From September 2017, our SENCO Team will be Mrs Heather Ireland and Mrs Sarah Brewster (shared with the Junior School). Prior to this date, please contact the Headteacher.
If any member of our school community has questions or would like further information in relation to special educational needs or disabilities please feel free to contact the school and make an appointment to see Mrs Heather Ireland (SENCo). We find that a conversation in person is often the most helpful way to support parents and carers and provides an opportunity to discuss pupils' needs, explain processes and put agreed plans in place. Within this section of the website there is a range of information designed to help parents and carers understand the school's approach to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. There are also links within the text to the Inclusion Policy, information about North Yorkshire County Council's 'Local Offer' and sources of support. In addition, there are some Government publications which we would like to make everyone aware of
What does SEND mean?
A child is defined as having SEND if they have a significant learning difficulty which requires special educational provision to be made for them or if they find it much harder to learn than children of the same age.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children the same age; or
- have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age.
Children must not be regarded as having learning difficulties solely because the language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.
At Holy Trinity CE Infant School we believe that all children can make good progress when provided with high quality differentiated teaching which takes account of specific learning styles.
Children are assessed regularly to ensure that they are making the expected progress and there is a shared responsibility for progress. Teachers meet termly with the headteacher to discuss pupil progress during which children identified as not making expected progress are discussed and interventions are planned. For the majority of children these ongoing conversations are sufficient to secure progress.
For some pupils however additional SEND support is required. A child can have SEND in one or more of the four areas of need (as identified in the 2014 SEN Code of Practice):
- Cognition and Learning Needs
- Emotional, Social and Mental Health Needs
- Communication and Interaction
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs
Who do I need to know?
In most cases your primary contact will be your child’s class teacher. However, there may be times where the education of your child leads to involvement from the Inclusion Team. This is currently structured as:
Mrs Heather Ireland – Inclusion Leader and SENCo
Mrs Sarah Brewster – SENCo Support
Mrs Sue Edwards – SEN Governor
If you have any concerns regarding your child then please raise them with the class teacher and/or the SENCo.
How do I know if my child has a special need?
Your child’s class teacher, the headteacher and Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo), will use their professionalism and judgement to decide where a pupil has barriers to their learning. Where members of staff become concerned about an area of learning or development of a pupil they will first of all invite parents into school in order to share their concerns. Once a discussion has taken place the teacher will then discuss their concerns with the SENCo.
Teachers use an agreed system to share concerns which details the outcomes that the teacher and parents would like to see for the child. At Holy Trinity CE Infant School we believe that an outcomes-based system enables us to focus on the strengths and aspirations of individuals irrespective of barriers to learning. The SENCo will then meet with the class teacher and/or parents to establish strategies which could overcome these barriers, during which a date for a follow up conversation will be arranged.
For further information please see the SEND Policy. A paper copy can be provided if required, please speak to a member of staff.
How is additional SEN support provided?
The approach to special educational needs provision at Holy Trinity CE Infant School takes account of the continuum of special educational needs and recognises that good practice can take many different forms. This reflects current government recommendations that schools adopt a graduated response to provision of educational opportunities. We firmly believe that these strategies need to be underpinned by the following key principles, that:
- all children can learn and make progress
- all teachers are teachers of SEND and there is a shared responsibility for the progress of all pupils regardless of their needs.
- a differentiated curriculum is not SEND provision - differentiated learning opportunities are given to all pupils.
- provision for a child with SEND should match the nature of their needs and must take account of their future needs and aspirations.
There should not be an assumption that all children make progress at the same rate. A judgement has to be made in each case as to what it is reasonable to expect a particular child to achieve. Where progress is not adequate, it will be necessary to take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively and this is referred to as additional SEN support. Whatever the level of pupils’ difficulties, the key test of how far their learning needs are being met is whether they are making adequate progress.
When a class teacher or the SENCo identify a child with SEN, the class teacher should provide interventions that are additional to, or different from, those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum and strategies. Provision is made for children based on assessment of their identified needs rather than to reflect the existence of a particular condition or syndrome.
The provision of additional SEND support must take account of a child making insufficient progress despite having had access to high quality differentiated teaching. These may be learning needs or persistent emotional or social needs, resulting in behavioural difficulties which are not ameliorated by the consistent reinforcement of the school's positive behaviour policy and adherence to the Respect Code. The SENCo will instigate further assessments of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses.
Additional SEN support might make use of:
- Different learning materials or special equipment
- Grouping strategies of different types and sizes
- Working outside the ordinary classroom for part of the time
- Pre-teaching a pupil about a subsequent lesson
- Access to additional resources / adult support
- Small group / 1:1 interventions focusing on specific areas of need
- Means of communication other than speech, including ICT aids, signing, symbols or lip reading
- Non-sighted methods of reading, such as Braille, or non-visual or non-aural ways of acquiring information
- ICT aids or adapted equipment to allow access to written work and/or practical activities.
The content of the additional provision will be recorded by the child’s class teacher who remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and/or delivering an individualised programme.
Where a child continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period of time despite the provision detailed above, a request for help from external services may be made. This is always done in consultation with parents.
What is an intervention?
An intervention is a specific and time limited education programme which is led by a class teacher or teaching assistant.. A variety of interventions are used throughout Holy Trinity and these are detailed on the whole school provision map. The school evaluates the impact of all interventions and whether they have a strong evidence base of effectiveness.
The importance of early identification, assessment and provision for any child who may have special educational needs cannot be over-emphasised. The earlier action is taken, the more responsive the child is likely to be, and the more readily intervention can be made.
If interventions are to be successful then there are a number of critical success factors:
- Children’s abilities must be assessed pre- and post-intervention to assess the impact of the intervention
- Clear, thorough, ongoing and relevant recording systems which document the interventions made by the school must be kept
- The SENCo must regularly review interventions in order to consider value for money
At Holy Trinity CE Infant School we are confident in our belief that children learn best when provision is made which enables them to access the curriculum at their own level, and therefore it is only in certain circumstances that children will be withdrawn from the classroom for an intervention.
All staff receive regular training to enable them to meet a range of SEN. The SENCo has the nationally recognised qualification of NASENCO and teachers and teaching assistants have regular generic and specific training to meet individual needs as necessary.
However, if a pupil has particular needs and the school has exhausted its repertoire, specialist support is sought promptly. The Local Authority offers a range of specialist support and outreach services, including educational psychologists and local enhanced mainstream schools, to help schools to deliver appropriate support and interventions. Other specialists such as speech and language therapists can also support schools in this. Is school feels that the involvement of another agency will help them to meet your child's needs you will be informed and asked to give your consent. Staff have a good relationship with specialists and are able to use the Single Point of Access (SPA) referral system if they need extra support.
What happens if support provided by school does not enable my child to make progress?
The progress and attainment of all children is carefully monitored and reported to parents. If a child is provided with additional and different provision and /or interventions, school carefully monitors the impact by a variety of methods including measuring how the intervention accelerated progress over a given time - known as ratio gain, or the before and after impact on self-confidence, behaviour etc. In review meetings with parents and where possible the child or young person, the expected impact and progress will be discussed and evaluated. Outcomes and targets for children are recorded on individual provision-maps.
For a very few pupils the help given by schools through additional SEN support may not be sufficient to enable a pupil to make progress. It will then be necessary for the school, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether to ask the Local Authority to proceed with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Request. This is a detailed investigation into the educational needs of a child. Where the school, parents and other professionals agree that this is appropriate, the school will provide written evidence to the Local Authority about:
- The needs of the child
- The nature of the school’s additional SEN provision
- Details and reviews of the impact of interventions
- Records of regular reviews and their outcomes
- Attainment levels in literacy and mathematics
- Educational and other assessments, for example from an educational psychologist or an advisory specialist support teacher
- The views of the parent and of the pupil
- Any involvement by other professionals
Upon receiving the request, a panel of experts then consider the range of evidence and consider whether an Education and Health Care Plan is necessary. This will describe:
- what the child’s special needs are;
- desirable short and long term outcomes and aspirations;
- the objectives, or targets to be achieved;
- how those targets are going to be met – the educational provision required;
- the school or pre-school setting your child will attend;
- any non-educational needs your child has and how those will be met.
How will I be involved?
The SEND Code of Practice 2014 states that schools must provide a family centred approach and at Holy Trinity we understand that parents know their child best and value their contributions and concerns.
As normal school practice all parents are invited to consultation evenings during the year. In addition to this where a child is receiving additional SEND support we hold review meetings termly to set clear goals, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, review progress and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school.
The SENCo will ensure that records of these meetings are shared by home and school, and the actions agreed will form the beginning of the next meeting.
Prior to a meeting with school it is often useful for families to have thought about and discussed the interests, aspirations and needs of the child. A prompt is available from school which helps parents to think about the type of details which will be discussed at meetings. The SENCo will also meet frequently with your child to gain their views and opinions so that they can play a full part in decisions about their education.
What arrangements will be made for assessments?
All pupils are assessed termly in order to provide an accurate picture of their abilities and progress at any particular time. At the end of Key Stage 2 all schools are required to formally assess children’s learning. This is currently done through SATS and the vast majority of children are able to access these tests.
For some individuals additional access arrangements may be made in order to allow fair access to testing. These arrangements form part of daily classroom practice and may include:
- additional time
- the use of a scribe
- a reader or prompter
- adapted test materials
- access to alternative tests
For the end of Key Stage 2 tests some arrangements must be applied for externally. The SENCo works with year 6 staff to identify children for whom this applies. In very rare circumstances it may be deemed inappropriate for a child to take the end of key stage tests. In such cases teacher assessments will be used - parents will be involved in this decision.
Will my child be able to participate in all school activities?
All children, including those with SEND, are encouraged to play a full part in school life, including clubs, house activities and responsibilities, curriculum-based trips and residential activities. School ensures that any barriers are overcome to this end including providing 1:1 support for after-school clubs and enabling parents to attend residential trips if appropriate.
Can my child access pastoral support?
All children at school and particularly those with SEND are encouraged to improve their social and emotional development through ongoing assemblies, circle time, PSHCE lessons and consideration of the school's Christian values. They have access to ongoing proactive pastoral support and children with SEND are particularly encouraged to share their thoughts in order that any issues including any incidents of bullying can be dealt with immediately and any successes celebrated. The school's strong adherence to the Respect Code gives a strong framework within which staff and children can articulate any needs or concerns.
What arrangements are made for transition?
A large majority of pupils at Holy Trinity Infant School join Year 3 in Holy Trinity Junior School. At the end of Year 6 children transfer to a range of secondary schools. The SENCo, along with other members of staff, liaise closely with local schools to share information and where necessary implement additional transition arrangements.
We understand that for any child moving schools can be an anxious time, and that for a child with additional needs appropriate transition is particularly important. We endeavour to provide support which enables a successful transition to be made.
This support may include:
- Additional opportunities for children to visit school
- Observations of the child by members of staff
- Meetings with parents or specialists
- Information sharing between schools
- Staff training
- Arfur Moes transition workbook
- Communication passports
- Independent travel training
Transition at both end of Key Stage 1 and 2 is very well planned for all children. Where a child with SEN is transferring to another school we share all information and prepare our pupils for the transition using the approaches detailed above as necessary.
What if I disagree with decisions about my child’s education?
Occasionally there will be instances where, as a parent, you may feel that it is in the child's or teacher's best interests to draw attention to a matter. At such times, parents are warmly welcomed to see either the class teacher or SENCo to discuss problems. This can be done informally through a quick chat either before or at the end of the teaching day, or formally, by parents contacting the school to arrange a mutually convenient time for discussion.
At all stages we endeavour to involve parents in the education of their child and will work together to ensure that provision is appropriate for individuals. Despite this, there may be times when you disagree with a decision made.
In such cases we ask that you contact the Class teacher, SENCo or Headteacher in the first instance, who will be able to work with you. You may also see the School Complaints Policy.
What is the Local offer?
Along with all schools, the Local Authority are required to provide information to parents on how to seek additional support beyond that which is ‘normally available’ for their child.
The local offer is an outline of the services available for children and young people in North Yorkshire. The local offer details the services available to children and families from 0-25. The main aim of the local offer is to enable families to see readily the support they can expect locally without having to struggle to find the information.
The North Yorkshire local offer can be accessed through the following link: North Yorkshire local offer
There is also a young person’s version which can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
Who can provide support to me?
There are a range of services which exist to provide support to parents and many of these are detailed in North Yorkshire's local offer. In addition to this, we hope that the following information will be useful to you:
SENDIASS (previously Parent Partnership Services) provides confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of children who have special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities.
The team of SENDIASS co-ordinators are qualified and experienced in special educational needs, and are based at the locations across the county.
- Listen to your concerns and worries;
- Give you information about special educational needs;
- Offer home visits;
- Provide advice by telephone
- Support you in meetings;
- Go with you and your child to visit schools;
- Give you information about the special educational needs mediation service;
- Provide information about the special educational needs and disability tribunal; and
- Put you in touch with a voluntary organisation or parent support group.
North Yorkshire SENDIASS will continue to offer information and support to families of students with SEND up to the age of 25 years whether or not they have a statement or EHC Plan.
For further information please contact them on 01609 536923.
This enquiry line is open during office hours throughout the year, including school holidays.
There is also great work done by the Contact a Family charity. This charity aims to support the families of disabled children and information can be accessed by following the link:Contact a family