SEND at Alexander First School
Special Educational Needs & Disability
At Alexander First School we pride ourselves on developing the individual. This encompasses all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Mrs Haslett leads the area of Special Educational Needs alongside Miss Khokar and Mrs Corcoran at Alexander First School and passionately believe that every child, of every ability should have equal opportunities to achieve, to develop and to believe that they can do and be anything they wish. Through careful identification, high quality first teaching and targeted support at Alexander we strive to meet the needs of all children in an inclusive environment. Teaching staff training, outside agency and expert support, apt resourcing and highly positive relationships between staff and children all help our children to make progress, particularly for those who are finding the curriculum challenging. Parents are considered key additionally, and through parent partnerships and our open-door policy, we are able to act quickly, have open and honest dialogue and offer relevant support to our children and their families when supporting their educational journey.
What kinds of SEND do we provide for?
The school accommodates all SEND in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas of need outlined in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice.
The types of SEND the school caters for include:
1) Speech, Language, Communication
2) Learning, cognition
3) Social, Emotional, Mental Health Difficulties
4) Physical, Sensory
Below is a glossary of the most common SEN terms
ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD: Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder
ASD: Autistic Spectrum Disorder
BESD: Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties changed to
EMH: Emotional and Mental Health
HI: Hearing Impairment
MLD: Moderate Learning Difficulty
PS: Physical, Sensory
SEMHD: Social, Emotional, Mental Health Difficulties
SEN: Special Educational Needs
SEND: Special Educational Needs & Disability
SENCo: Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
SLCN: Speech, Language, Communication Needs
SpLD: Specific Learning Difficulty
VI: Visual Impairment
How do we know if a child needs extra help and what parents/carers can do if they think their child may have special educational needs and/or disabilities?
Our school will know when pupils need help if:
The primary contact is your child’s class teacher who will monitor to ensure that children are making progress and meeting age related expectations through apt assessment. Mrs Haslett alongside Miss Khokar and Mrs Corcoran manage SEND at Alexander First School.
How do Early Years staff support our children?
They will ensure that there are:
How will the curriculum be matched to a child’s needs?
Depending on your child’s needs they may access one or more of the following types of support with their learning:
School based Special Educational Needs & Disabilities support
This means a child has been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school in addition to intervention group work/
For a child at Alexander First School this would mean:
Specialist SEND support
This means that a child has been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school (of less than 20 hours in school). This may be from:
For a child this would mean:
The specialist professional will work with a child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
The school may suggest that a child needs some individual support in school. School will discuss with parents/carers on how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
Support provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP or previously as Statement of Special Educational Needs)
This means that a child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo/specialist professional as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching (more than 15 hours a week), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.
Usually a child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from:
For a child this would mean:
The school (or parent/carer) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of a child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for a child.
After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about a child, including some from parents/carers), they will decide whether they think a child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to require a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask parents/carers and all professionals involved with a child to write a report outlining a child’s needs. If they do not think a child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus.
After the reports have been submitted to the Local Authority they will decide if a child’s needs require more than 15 hours of support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure a child makes as much progress as possible.
The Statement or EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support a child will receive from the Local Authority and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put into place. It will also have long and short term goals for a child.
An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, deliver individual programmes or carry out small groups including your child.
A specialist teacher may be employed to work with your child if recommended in the Statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC Plan.
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and require more than 20 hours of support in school.
How will both the school and parent or carer know how a child is doing and how will we help families support their child’s learning?
We ensure there are opportunities for:
What support is there for a child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Alexander First School?
Inclusion Learning Services, Educational Psychologist, CAMHS etc. are all accessed as necessary, as are outreach services, for example, The Autism Outreach Team who support regarding children with ASD. Services are contacted/referrals are made as necessary. Please refer to the Local Offer for further details of support services/agencies.
What training do the staff supporting children with SEND have or are having?
Previously staff have received training for:
On-going training is delivered based on the needs of the children and staff.
How are children included in activities outside the classroom (including school trips)?
Alexander First School is an inclusive environment for all and so as such, all children are fully included in out-of-school activities/trips.
How accessible is Alexander First School?
How does Alexander First School prepare and support children to join the next stage of education and life?
As a school with a high proportion of Service pupils, we are well versed in supporting pupils with their educational transition. At Alexander First School this looks like:
If a child is joining our school:
If a child is moving from Alexander First School to another school:
When moving classes in school:
How are Alexander First School resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
How is the decision made about what type and how much support a child will receive?
Children will receive in-house support in the initial stages when special educational needs are noted. Appropriate SMART targets are set, reviewed and amended as necessary and on a regular basis. Teachers and support staff will attempt to meet needs of children within class/school.
If children’s needs are not being met, outreach services or referrals to relevant specialists will be sought, following collaborative consultation with children/parents/teachers/support staff/SENCo/ Headteacher or Senior Leadership Team as necessary.
Outcomes of referrals will then be acted upon with immediacy in school (for example, findings of Educational Psychologists reports, ASD specialist advice, S&L programmes etc.) to further support children. If necessary, more referrals or requests for Statutory Assessment/Education and Health Plans will be made.
How are our children and young people involved in decisions about their learning?
Pupils are involved at every opportunity through regular discussion of their learning, progress and targets. Pupils are involved specifically when reviewing their targets on their One Page Profile and are asked about what helps them to learn on a day-to-day basis. Pupils are consulted and asked for their views as part of the Annual Review process if they have a Statement of SEND or an EHCP. Pupils contribute ideas and say what they would like to find out about when planning the learning of a new topic in their class.
How are parents involved in decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education as noted above and below. This may be through:
How do our parents/carers get involved?
At Alexander First School we encourage positive relationships between parents/carers, pupils and staff.
What do parents/carers do if they want to make a complaint?
Any complaint is dealt with sensitively and promptly.
What other support is available to parents/carers and how can they contact them?
Contact the SENCo or Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher for leaflets/information about a range different support groups and additional services available to support the parents/carers of children with SEND. A vast array of information can be accessed via: https://rbwm.afcinfo.org.uk/local_offer this includes support and advice from Independent School Services (ISS) and well as SEND local area newsletters.
Additionally, please note that the school SEND Policy and the Local Offer are both linked on the school website and should provide further information relating to special educational needs.
English as an Additional Language ‘EAL’
At Alexander First School, almost all of our children speak English proficiently alongside their home language but some children who arrive at school may require additional support with English, particularly some of our Service children arriving from overseas.
As a result, our teachers are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to provide in-class support to help children learn, develop and apply new vocabulary and sentence structures. We also provide small group intervention sessions to ensure effective opportunities for speaking and listening, reading and writing.
We are extremely proud of the fact that, on average, children are able to reach age-expected levels within 11 months of starting school with little or no English. This is an incredible achievement across all boards and a testament to the collaborative hard work of the children, staff and parents.