Special Educational Needs Information Report

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School

Special Educational Needs Information Report 

This annual report has been produced as a legal requirement identified in Section 69 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and contains information outlined in Schedule 1 of SEND Regulations 2014.

 Our Vision

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we are proud to provide a safe, stimulating and inclusive learning environment where every member of our community is valued and respected.

At the heart of all we do are our children. Our school is a safe environment where everyone is valued equally and encouraged to achieve their full potential as part of a community, loving, learning and growing together with Jesus.

We are a larger than average-sized Catholic Junior School and we admit pupils from age 7 to 11. Our school provides caring support for all children, including our vulnerable pupils and for those who have disabilities or special educational needs. Our caring and competent staff ensure that all pupils are fully included in everything on offer. They work well with outside agencies to ensure that support is targeted appropriately for children and families who require it. Our Ofsted rating is ‘Good’, and our most recent inspection was in December 2014. The full inspection report can be downloaded from Ofsted’s website, please click the following link for further information.


1. The kinds of SEN for which provision is made

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we can make provision for a range of frequently occurring special educational need without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance, we are currently supporting pupils with the following needs: dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning difficulties and social or emotional health difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice to support us in meeting those needs. 

2. Information about policies for identification and assessment of pupils with SEN

We will know if a child needs extra help if:

  • a parent, teacher, staff member or child raises their concerns
  • limited progress is being made
  • attainment is well below age-related expectation
  • there are changes in well-being, social and emotional health or progress
  • information provided at transition from KS1

If St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School feels that a child has Special Educational Needs:

  • a meeting will be arranged with parents to discuss the concerns and the support being put in place.
  • the child’s name will be added to the school SEND list.
  • appropriate support will be provided by the class teacher and this will be monitored by the SENCO.

3. Information about provision for children with SEN (with or without an Education Health and Care Plan)

The admission arrangements for pupils without a statement of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plan must not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs and must follow the normal school admissions procedures.

(i) How the school evaluates provision

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we assess and review the progress of all children termly. Personalised Provision Plans are reviewed termly by class teachers and these are evaluated through identification of small steps of progress. As appropriate, curriculum, learning environment and activities are adapted to meet the needs of our pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (including those with social and emotional health needs).

(ii) Arrangements for assessing and reviewing progress

At St. Margaret Mary’s, staff track and review progress towards meeting planned outcomes at least once a term and the outcomes of the review feed directly into the next planning phase of the graduated approach. Whole-school monitoring and review processes are used whenever possible in order to make the best use of time, for example, all children’s progress is reviewed termly and this is discussed with parents at termly Parents’ Evenings. All staff recognise that the process needs to be planned for as it is a crucial part of the graduated approach, providing a formal opportunity to evaluate the success of day-to-day teaching and targeted provision on pupils’ progress and development. Class teachers drive the process, with support from the SENCO, and consider questions such as:

• Has the child achieved the agreed targets?

• What is the evidence from day-to-day intervention tracking?

• Are the skills acquired through targeted support transferred back into class work?

• How have the pupil and parents responded to targeted provision?

• What are the views of support staff, parents and the pupil?

• How will the outcomes of this review feed back into the analysis of pupils’ needs?

 • What changes to support, provision and targets are needed?

(iii) Approach to teaching children with SEN

All pupils with SEND are taught a full range of subjects. All staff receive ongoing training and continued professional development. Teachers have experience of adapting lessons to make them accessible but appropriately challenging for all pupils. Pupils have access to all of the curriculum unless otherwise stated in an EHC plan or Statement of Educational Need. Additional support in the form of a Teaching Assistant in all classrooms enables access and further engagement in lessons. Priority is given to enabling pupil independence through differentiation and personalised approaches to teaching and learning as appropriate. The quality of every teacher’s provision for pupils with SEND is assured through observation, learning walks, robust monitoring and review and ensuring ‘quality first teaching’ as a minimum.

(iv) How school adapts curriculum and learning environment

The Teacher Standards (2012) and SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years (2014) require all teachers to ensure all pupils in their class access learning and that they make adaptations to the curriculum, learning environment and opportunities in school to ensure this is achieved. Some ways in which we provide a highly inclusive curriculum and learning environment are: 

· Ensuring staff have opportunities for relevant continued professional development relating to SEND 

· Teachers planning with differentiated and personalised learning opportunities that allow access and success but ensure challenge

· Providing visual timetables, writing frames and using mind maps

· Responding to outside agency advice and providing specialisedv resources where required, for example sloped writing boards

· Responding to the views of children with SEND and their parents/carers

· Focused teaching opportunities within a smaller group or one-to-one basis.

(v) Additional support available

Outlined below are the different types of support that are offered to children with SEND:

a) High Quality Teaching

For your child, this means:

• the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class

• all teaching is based on building upon what your child already knows, can do and can understand

• different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School strives to ensure all pupils receive high quality teaching.

b) Specific small group work (sometimes called Intervention Groups in school)

For your child, this means:

• your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress

• programmes of support will be put in place on a short term basis to help your child to ‘catch up’. This may be:

• your child may be taught for some of the timetable in Teaching Assistant/Intervention rooms/spaces

• led by a teacher or most often a Teaching Assistant or Learning Support Assistant using the teacher’s plan.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning. Examples of intervention groups currently on offer at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School are; phonics groups, Read, Write Inc. Programme, 1st Class at Number, Success at Arithmetic, Bug Club, Fresh Start, spelling groups, Booster groups.

 c) Highly personalised support, called Special Educational Needs Support

For your child, this means:

• in consultation with you, your child will have been identified by the Class Teacher, Year Head and/or SENCO as needing extra specialist support in school, in addition to high quality teaching and intervention groups

• you will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan the focused support for your child through writing an Personalised Provision Plan (PPP)

• personalised support through specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or specialist professional) are in place to support your child to learn and make progress

• a Learning Support Assistant or Specialist Teacher will run these small group sessions

• you may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional such as a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist to help the school and understand your child’s particular needs in order to provide further focused support

• the specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

- making changes to the way your child is supported in class, for example, some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better

- support to set better individual targets for your child, which will include their specific expertise

- a group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional, for example, a social skills group

- a group or individual work with the outside professional

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through high quality teaching and intervention groups. This is called Special Educational Needs Support (and replaces School Action and School Action Plus).

d) Specified Individual support

This support is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). This means your child will have been identified by the Class Teacher and SENCO as needing a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be entirely met from the resources usually available to St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School through the delegated budget to provide SEN/D Support.

For your child this means:

· The school (or you) can ask the Local Authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment for your child.

· This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.

· After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a EHC assessment.

· If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs.

· After the reports have all been sent in, the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs require an EHC Plan in order to make good progress.

· If this is the case, they will write an EHC Plan.

· If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with Special Educational Needs Support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.

· The EHC Plan will outline long and short term objectives for your child and what support they will receive in order to achieve these outcomes.

· This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are complex and lifelong.

This graduated approach is evaluated using the Assess-Plan-Do-Review cycle, which begins with the Class Teacher. For each type of provision, appropriate professionals will also adopt the same approach to evaluating the successfulness and appropriateness for each child. In the ‘review’ stage of the graduated approach teachers gain a growing understanding of what approaches secure better outcomes. Teachers continually review all pupils’ progress, formally and informally. It is not necessary for teachers to wait for formal review meetings before reviewing and, if appropriate, making changes to teaching approaches and other provision.

Following reviews of SEN provision for individuals, adaptations are made and discussed with parents/carers as appropriate, with additional support or adaptations to curriculum and environment being made as necessary.

(vi) Enabling pupils to participate in activities

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we see it as a priority to commit ourselves to the highest levels of pupil participation for all children. We recognise that there must be a commitment to the long-term participation of pupils and that some pupils may need training and encouragement to help them become actively involved. Here at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we make best use of any available expertise. Disabled pupils, their parents, specialist teachers, local voluntary and disability organisations are able to support us in bringing a useful perspective to help identify practices and arrangements that may act as a barrier to admitting, accommodating and including disabled children within all activities.

(vii) Support for improving emotional, mental and social development of pupils with SEN

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching (e.g. PSHE or Circle Time) and indirect teaching (every conversation adults have with children throughout the day). Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their special educational needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately. This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support. The SENCO may, under the consent of the parent, feel it is appropriate to coordinate additional support through access to a mentor, time with member of SLT or management team, an external referral to CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), or access to a therapeutic intervention. Some pupils may benefit from additional support through specific emotional and mental health strategies, such as the use of social stories, time out spaces and personalised reward charts.

4. Name and contact details of SENCO

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is Mrs C Medway. Appointments can be made either in person, or by contacting:

Telephone: 0151 4778490

Email: medway@smmj.org.uk

The Learning Mentor (LM) at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is Mrs C Perry

5. Expertise including training of staff and seeking of specialist expertise

Part of the SENCO’s role in school is to support class teachers and teaching assistants in teaching children with SEND.

The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEN/D, this involves whole school training on SEND issues. In the academic year 2015-2016 staff received training relating to teaching children with Autism, providing specialist teaching for children with Specific Literacy Difficulties, Read Write Inc. and Project X intervention programmes.

Individual teachers and support staff attend specialist training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. understanding Sensory Processing Disorder, understanding and teaching children with ADHD etc.

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we work in partnership with a range of professionals in order to support children with SEND. Currently, directly funded by the school:

• Additional Educational Psychology Service input to provide a higher level of service to the school

• Specialist Teachers for Dyslexia (SpLD)

Paid for centrally by the Local Authority but delivered in school:

• Educational Psychology Service

• Specialist Teachers for children with Autism

• Speech and Language Therapy (provided by Health but funded by the Local Authority)

Provided and paid for by the Health Service (Richmond NHS Trust) but delivered in school:

• School Nurse

• Occupational Therapy

In addition the SENCO can make referrals to:

• The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

• Social Care services / Early Help Team

6. Equipment and facilities secured for SEN pupils

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School we strongly believe in fulfilling our statutory requirement to be an inclusive school. We follow the advice in The National Curriculum Framework on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in statements of special educational needs / Education, Health and Care Plans.

· We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs

· Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.

· Access arrangements are made by the SENCO/Year 6 Year Head for children with SEND who take part in Standard Attainments Tests (SATs) in Year 6.

· Support is provided for children with SEND who require it at break times and other unstructured times e.g. Golden Time.

Where external advisors recommend the use equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEND funding, or seek to find additional funding. For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of relevant professionals.

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School’s Accessibility Plan is detailed in our Policy, available on our website at: http://www.smmj.co.uk/school-policies2

7. Arrangements for consulting and involving parents

· All parents of pupils at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School are invited to discuss the progress of their children three times a year and receive a written report once per year.

· The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.

· Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.

· A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.

· As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching/support to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has a special educational need.

· If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision.

· Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.

· In addition to this, parents of pupils with a statement of SEN/Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil.

· All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.

· The SENCO will share information with you about local support groups, courses for parents and holiday activities that are relevant to your child’s needs.

· Reviews will be undertaken on a termly basis.

8. Arrangements for consulting young people with SEN

When a pupil has been identified to have special educational needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning. Parents are likely to play a significant role in the primary years with the young person taking more responsibility and acting with greater independence in later years.

9. How complaints are dealt with

If a parent or carer has any concerns or complaints regarding the care or welfare of their child an appointment can be made by them to speak to the Headteacher or SENCO, who will be able to provide advice on formal procedures for complaint. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class teacher, Year Head, SENCO, Senior Leadership Team or Headteacher to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the Governing Body. Our complaints procedure, available from the School Business Manager (Mrs S. McNulty), sets out the steps for making a complaint in more detail.

10. How outside bodies, LA, Health, Voluntary agencies are involved

We work closely and have strong partnerships with other agencies who are involved in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils. We may involve specialists at any point to advise us on early identification of SEN and effective support and interventions. We will always seek to involve a specialist where a pupil continues to make little or no progress or where they continue to work at levels substantially below those expected of pupils of a similar age despite support. Parents will always be involved in any decision to involve specialists. Some of the agencies we work alongside and seek advice from include:

· Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

· Specialist Autism Teachers

· Speech and Language Support Service

· Occupational Therapy

· Child & adolescent mental health service (CAMHS)

· School Nursing Team

· Social Care

· Children and Families First Team

11. Contact details of support services that may help parents

In Knowsley we have a wide range of services to help support our parents, carers or any other adults with responsibility for caring for a child. Some of the services are outlined below:

· Knowsley Childcare Information Service - Knowsley's free service offering information on childcare and early years education. Telephone: 0800 085 2022 (Option 1)

· Children with Disabilities Team - support to families who have children up to the age of 18. Telephone: 0151 443 4235

· Early Help Team - Early Help is an early intervention/prevention service across Knowsley. Families can be a great source of strength and support but sometimes family life can be difficult due to issues such as: parenting skills; drug and alcohol use; poor school attendance; emotional ill-health; violence within relationships and the involvement of adults or children in crime or anti-social behaviour. Early Help can offer support with these issues for families with children between the ages of 0-18. Telephone: 0151 443 4707

· Family Support Services 0-18 years. Telephone: 0151 443 2882

· HomeStart Knowsley - HomeStart provides a support service for families - recruiting and training volunteers to support parents with young children at home. Telephone: 0151 480 3910

· Knowsley Family Learning - Knowsley Family Learning is part of Knowsley Family and Community Education (F.A.C.E.). The Family Learning team manage and support a wide range of family learning courses which are offered at schools, Children's Centres and other community venues in Knowsley. Telephone: 0151 443 4502

· Knowsley MASH - The Knowsley Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) brings together agencies from services that have contact with children and adults at risk to make the best possible use of their combined knowledge. Telephone: 0151 443 2600

Further information relating to National services that provide advice and support for children, young people and families with SEND can be found at: https://www.knowsleyinfo.co.uk/taxonomy/term/1051

12. Arrangements for supporting children in transition

Joining St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School:

  • The SENCO and Learning Mentor attend information sharing meetings with the Learning Mentor and SENCO of the infant school in Summer Term.
  • All Year 2 classes come for visits to the junior school during the Summer Term.
  • The Learning Mentors and Year 3 class teachers visit all children in Year 2 before the end of their time at the infant school, prior to their starting at the juniors.
  • Year 2 parents are invited to information sharing meetings led by the Year 3 Year Head, Miss C. Finnegan.
  • Parents are invited to meetings prior to their child starting to share information about their child’s development.
  • Children come for several transition visits before starting school in September.
  • If children join St. Margaret Mary’s Junior’s in later years, information is gathered from their previous school.
  • Children are very welcome to join their new class for transition visits prior to joining our school family.

Transitions from one class to the next (internal transition):

  • During summer term, each class visits their next teacher and classroom.
  • For children who find transition a little more difficult, the Learning Mentor works with them in small groups, leading additional activities to ease their transition.
  • A social story or transition book to support your child’s understanding of moving on will be made for them if needed.
  • Teachers discuss each child in detail and pass detailed transition notes to the new teacher to ensure that the best provision continues seamlessly.

Transitions to Secondary school:

  • Transition work begins early at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School, with opportunities for children to visit secondary schools, or be taught inSt. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School by Secondary teachers (e.g. Arts Festivals, Choir concerts, visits)
  • In Year 5, children have taster visits at Broughton Hall & Cardinal Heenan Catholic Secondary Provisions.
  • During Year 6, the Learning Mentor, Year Head and Class Teachers prepare the children for transition during Circle Time.
  • In Year 6 children spend one or two days at their new Secondary school.
  • The class teacher and SENCO meet with Year Heads and SENCOs from local Secondary schools, and Secondary staff talk to our children about their transition, here in our setting.
  • The SENCO attends Local Authority transition sessions to transfer information relating to our pupils with SEND with both Liverpool and Knowsley authorities.
  • SEN information, assessment data and pastoral information is passed up to secondary schools.
  • Children with SEN, who might find the transition more difficult, are taken for small group visits to secondary schools by the Learning Mentor/SENCO where appropriate

In addition, for children with a statement or EHC plan we will:

• Hold the Annual Review in Year 5 at the end of the Autumn Term or beginning of the Spring Term to plan for your child’s needs in secondary school.

• Hold a Transition meeting in Year 5 Summer Term to discuss your preferred secondary school choices.

• Hold the Annual Review in Year 6 at the end of the Spring Term or beginning of the Summer Term and invite the SENCo of the named secondary school to attend.

13. Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published

The SEND Local Offer is a resource which is designed to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families. It describes the services and provision that are available both to those families in Knowsley that have an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who do not have a plan, but still experience some form of special educational need. The SEND Local Offer includes information about public services across education, health and social care, as well as those provided by the private, voluntary and community sectors.

The Knowsley Local SEND Offer can be found on the Knowsley Council Website www.knowsley.gov.uk