Special Education Needs and Disabilities
Information Report 2023
St Mary's Catholic School is a mainstream primary school and a member of the Emmaus Catholic Multi-Academy Company. We accept pupils between ages 4 and 11 from Reception to Year 6 and have a Pre-School accepting pupils from age 3.
We are all made in the image and likeness of God, with our own talents and strengths and therefore We believe that every child should be valued as an individual to be treated fairly and with consideration. This philosophy is at the heart of our treatment of children with special educational needs. They, like all other children, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum, differentiated according to their needs.
We support children with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) including: cognition and learning; speech and communication and interaction; sensory and physical needs and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
There are no specialist units within the school. We work with a range of external agencies, from education, health and social care where appropriate to ensure we meet the needs of children with SEND so that they make the best possible progress. The agencies we work with include (but not limited to), Educational Psychology for Everyone, Occupational Therapy Service, Social/Family Services, Sycamore Behaviour Outreach Support, CAHMS, SALT, Inclusive Pathways and IEYs.
Definition of SEND
A pupil who has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or who has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.
Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEND
Some children are identified as children with SEND before entry to school by the parents, Health Visitor or Integrated Early Years' Service (IEYS). Other children are identified through observation and/or assessment as falling significantly outside the range of expected development or academic progress of their immediate peer group. The class teacher has the initial responsibility for addressing the concerns, by considering how they could make differentiated, additional or different provision to meet the particular needs of that child through high quality teaching, scaffolding and adaptation. In most instances this will be enough to help the child catch up; however, if concerns still exist, then the school adopts the graduated response approach as recommended in the SEN Code of Practice 2014, consisting of a continuum of support. The class teacher will discuss their concerns with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) and the identification process will include gathering information about the child's progress, assessments and observations completed by the SENDCO. Parents will be invited to meet with the class teacher and the SENDCO to share in these discussions and where appropriate the child will also be included.
The SENDCO will devise interventions "additional to or different from" those provided as part of the school's usual differentiated curriculum. The teacher continues to remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised curriculum. If necessary, the SENDCO may request further assessments to inform planned support from outside agencies, such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service or services under the umbrella of Educational Psychology for Everyone; this will only happen after discussion with and written consent from parents.
The SENDCO and Data Lead evaluate and monitor pupil progress through teacher assessment, standardised tests and achievement of individual targets. The SENDCO then updates the SEN register and works with class teachers to update the provision map to reflect the needs of the pupils. This is also discussed during Pupil Progress meetings with the school Principal and shared with parents termly, either verbally or in written form. Feedback is given to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and reported to the Local Governing Body.
The SENDCO carries out drop-ins of lessons, as well as interventions, in conjunction with assessment and book trawls to evaluate the impact of the support they are receiving. If necessary, a coaching and mentoring programme is put in place to support staff members. An intervention that is not having a positive impact on children's outcomes will be evaluated and amended where needed.
At St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, class teachers are responsible for delivering high quality teaching, scaffolding and adapted to meet the needs of all pupils. As much as possible, support will occur in class. This may involve specialised resources or equipment and/or support from a Teaching Assistant (TA). Where SEN interventions involve group or one-to-one teaching away from the main class teacher, the class teacher will still retain responsibility for the pupil, working closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved. The SENDCO monitors the delivery and impact of interventions. The SENDCO will support the class teacher in the further assessment of the child's particular strengths and weaknesses, in problem solving and advising on the effective implementation of the support.
St. Mary's Primary School believe that every child should be valued as an individual, to be treated fairly and with consideration. This philosophy is at the heart of our treatment of children with special educational needs. They, like all other children, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum differentiated according to their needs.
All children access a broad and balanced curriculum, including the Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) and Phonics Checks, alongside their peers. For a very small number of children the curriculum and assessments may be amended to meet their very specific needs. On some occasions a child may be dis-applied from the National Tests, if they are working too far below the expected levels and it is decided, in consultation with parents that it is not in their best interests to do so. However, the final decision remains that of the Principal.
In the event of any requests being received from parents or the Local Authority (LA) for other pupils to attend our school we need to take professional advice to assess their level of difficulty and how access to various parts of the school and, therefore, involvement in the whole curriculum would be achieved.
To assist us in this process we would, of course, work alongside any relevant outside agencies.
There is a disabled toilet in this building. All areas of the school are accessible by wheelchair. For further information please see our 'Accessibility Plan' which is also available on our website.
Each individual child's needs are, of course, different and would need to be assessed and the parents consulted prior to enrolment. Any further additional adjustments that are required would need to be completed before the child attends the school, including the appointment of suitable support staff. This process would be completed as soon as possible. We would strive to make all reasonable adjustments to facilitate the needs of each child within the limitations of the buildings and financial constraints.
There is one parking bay allocated for blue badge holders in the school car park.
The school's SEN Policy provides much greater detail about the type of support, interventions, strategies and resources that may be used to help meet the needs of each child. Once a child's needs have been identified and the relevant assessments undertaken, the class teacher and/or SENDCO will inform parents as to how school is planning to support their child and what they might do to help at home.
This additional and/or different support might be in the form of:
Children with Special Needs are actively encouraged to access activities before and after school - for example morning club as well as clubs after school such as drama, Irish dancing, multi skills, dodge ball, football and art.
In some cases, additional support on trips and additional targeted support will be made available to support a child with their individual need. If necessary, an individual Risk Assessment will be written.
We recognise that persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child has SEND.
Appropriate assessments will be carried out to determine if causal factors are related to undiagnosed learning difficulties, communication and interaction difficulties or mental health issues and appropriate support will be put in place. This may include circle time activities in class, Social Skills evidence -based intervention groups or the involvement of specialist support. Specialist support may involve: Educational Psychology, Speech and Language, School Health Advisor or referral by GP to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
Appropriate support will be provided in distressing circumstances where bullying is suspected or there has been bereavement, as we are aware of the significant impact that this can have on the well-being of a pupil.
Our Learning Mentors run a social skills and nurture group each week. Outreach workers from the Sycamore Centre support with social skills groups in school too. We also welcome support from 'My feelings and me' to help children develop their emotional literacy skills each term.
The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) is Ms Mosley. She is a qualified teacher and has achieved the National Award of Special Education Needs Coordination.
Telephone: 01384 985005
Ms Mosley works Tuesday to Thursday.
Staff training needs are identified by the Senior Leadership Team, SENDCO and staff during performance management reviews. Some training is delivered by Ms Mosley where appropriate and additional training has been delivered through the EP Service, Educational Psychology for Everyone, Occupational Therapy team, Sycamore Outreach Centre, the school nurse and the Speech and Language Therapy team.
Ms Mosley holds the National Award of Special Education Needs Coordination.
We work closely with specialist professionals to ensure that accurate information is accessed regarding equipment and facilities for pupils with SEN/disabilities. Children's specific needs are identified through the SEN review process, where specific equipment and/or resources are deemed to be necessary to support learning they are recorded in the reports submitted by outside agencies and included on the child's learning plan/passport. This is discussed with the Principal and resources are purchased accordingly.
Each term, parents of pupils with SEND will be invited to book an appointment on or around parent's evening with the SENDCO to discuss their child's progress. If an outside specialist has been working with a child, there may be additional meetings that parents will be invited to. Parents can speak to their child's class teacher or to Ms Mosley if they have a concern. Ms Mosley works Tuesday to Thursday and an appointment can be made with the school office if parents have any concerns.
The class teacher, SENDCO or teaching assistant will have an opportunity to discuss any targets and strategies that will be put in place with the child on a one-to-one basis. The member of staff will record the child's thoughts on their strengths and areas for development and any suggestions they have for targets to work towards. Pupils with an Education and Health Care Plan, are supported to submit their views in writing as part of the Annual Review.
Pupil interviews are also carried out to give children the opportunity to share their views.
As a school we believe that the Special Educational Needs of pupils are best met when there is effective collaboration and communication between school, other agencies, families and pupils. We aim to foster good working relations with all of these groups especially parents.
Any complaints will be dealt with in line with St Mary's Complaints Policy.
The school purchases the services of Educational Psychology for Everyone. We are able to directly refer pupils to the Physical and Sensory Support Service, and to The Sycamore
Partnership Service (behaviour) for advice. School can refer to Speech and Language Therapy and the Visual Impairment Team directly and to Occupational Therapy through the school nurse. Referrals to CAMHS can now be made by school as well as the GP. All referrals need parental consent.
The Dudley Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), formerly Dudley Parent Partnership Service, provides impartial information, advice and support to young people and parents, covering special educational needs, disability, health and social care. Helpline number: 01384 236677 Address: Trafalgar
House, 47-49 King Street, Dudley, DY2 8PS
For pupils entering St. Mary's in Reception Class, Ms Mosley and the Reception class teacher will liaise with the pre-schools, the Specialist Early Year's Service and the SEN Team as necessary. For pupils entering or transferring at other times during their primary education we will liaise with the previous or new school to ensure reports and information is passed on. Information is passed on to the receiving school as soon as possible. Some of our children transfer to Hagley Catholic High School as part of the Emmaus Catholic Multi Academy Company and there is a transfer programme in place during Year 6 to liaise with the SENDCO at Hagley. For pupils who transfer to other secondary education all information is passed on promptly and Ms Mosley will liaise with the SENDCO of the receiving school to ensure a smooth transition.
The admission of pupils with disabilities is considered in the first instance in the same way as non-disabled pupils. Further considerations are made in the light of need and accessibility and the school would work with parents/carers and other agencies involved to ensure that appropriate provision could be provided. We will accommodate pupils with disabilities should parents wish and individual needs are planned for to prevent any pupils with disabilities being treated less favourably than other pupils.
Existing facilities provided to assist access to the school by pupils with disabilities:
The Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENDCo) is Miss Mosley. She is a qualified teacher and has achieved the National Award of Special Education Needs Coordination.
During her absence, please contact the Interim SENDCo, Miss A Knowles, who works Monday, Tuesday and Friday
Telephone: 01384 985005
Ms Mosley works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday