1. Who is the school’s SEN Coordinator (SENCO)?
Mrs Ali Bowden, Deputy Head.
2. Who are the school’s SEN Governors?
Mrs Margaret Hodder
3. Who is on the Christ Church C of E First School and Nursery SEN Team?
* Ali Bowden
SEN intervention staff:
* Wendy Rollason
* Mary Widger
* Di Wright
In-class SEN support staff:
* Emma George
* Kate Newland
* Marc Taylor
KS2 Learning Hub Staff:
* Sarah White
Parent Family Support Advisor (PFSA):
* Joel Ayliffe
PAT (Parents as Teachers) Workers:
* Claire Harrington
* Julie Turner
* Sarah Walton
* Sally Keegan
* Ruth Gait
4. What is a special educational need?
A child or young person has a SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally
provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
5. What are the four categories of need in the SEN Code of Practice?
The four categories of need in the SEN Code of Practice are:
To read more, go to the SEN areas of need section, below.
6. How does Christ Church know if children need extra help?
We receive information from parents and carers, and/or from professionals when a child enters our school or nursery. We also track each child’s progress (in any area including social or emotional development) to see if it:
(a) is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
(b) fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
(c) fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
(d) widens the attainment gap
(From SEN Code of Practice 2014 )
Children’s progress is tracked carefully by class teachers and reviewed at regular team meetings and at termly meetings by the Senior Leadership Team.
7. What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you have any concerns, please speak to your child’s teacher or with the school SENCO, Ali Bowden.
8. How will school staff support my child?
In the first instance, any concerns will be addressed through “Quality First Teaching” in the child’s class – this will include a more personalised approach and careful differentiation within the classroom.
Where a child continues to make less than expected progress, the teacher (with the support of the SENCO where necessary) will provide small group additional targeted support, this may include assessing their needs using appropriate assessment tools.
If a child continues to underperform, then the SENCO will become involved to carry out appropriate assessments to provide more specialised, individual support. At this stage parents will be informed that their child is needing additional support and a plan will be shared. Staff from the SEN team may work with your child at this point.
If in-school support does not have an impact or if a child’s needs require more specialist assessment, the SENCO will refer to appropriate external support agencies to provide advice to the school on how to meet the child’s needs.
In school, SEN learning interventions are tailored to meet the needs of the child and these include Individual Literacy Intervention; Talking Partners; 1:1 tuition in phonics, reading, writing or maths; Speech and Language therapy, following therapist-provided programmes or based on in-school assessments.
All interventions are reviewed at least termly by either the SENCO or the class teacher to measure their effectiveness.
9. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
At Christ Church, we believe in a practical, play-based approach to learning and continue Early Years approaches throughout the school, including role play areas in every classroom to provide “real life” scenarios for learning in context.
Our topic-based approach to the curriculum allows and encourages children to make relevant links between different areas of learning.
When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily.
Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target and support more specific needs where appropriate.
If appropriate, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil to support their access.
10. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Parents and carers play a key part in identifying children’s needs. Where a child has existing SEN, details about how to best meet their needs will be gathered from parents on entry.
School parents’ evenings are held termly to discuss children’s progress and review how their child’s needs are being met. A child’s SEN Passport, including a support plan, will be reviewed at this meeting. Support plans will include what additional provision will be provided at school and how this can be supported at home. Additional meetings can be arranged to meet with the SENCO or class teacher as needed.
Where a child has high level needs and/or an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) there will be an Annual Meeting in addition to termly reviews.
Where a child has an assigned LSA, daily conversations about their life at home and school can take place to ensure the best support and communication.
If there are any particular areas which you feel it would be helpful to target support to your child at school, these should be raised with the teacher and they can be put into the next support plan if appropriate.
11. What are the arrangements for consulting and involving children with SEN?
Any child who is in receipt of additional SEN support will have a SEN Passport. This includes a One Page Profile which gathers the child’s views on what is important to them, how best to support them and long-term outcomes needed.
Current aims and provision will be shared with the child and how they can best achieve within this, including what they can do at home.
12. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We pride ourselves on our positive, nurturing ethos, which focuses on inclusion and helps children to form trusting relationships with their peers and with adults working at Christ Church.
Each class has a full-time LSA, as well as other part-time staff to offer support to all children.
We provide a range of support and interventions for children in this area: Talkabout Social Skills Groups; Theraplay; Little Gems Nurture Group; Forest School; Play Therapy; PFSA; PAT worker; Wessex Counselling. (Please see our Behaviour and Vulnerability Pyramid for the full scope of provision we provide in this area.)
Where a child has specific medical needs, a plan will be drawn up in consultation with health professionals to ensure that needs are met, this includes Toilet Management plans where needed.
Where a child needs support with behaviour it is essential to explore the reasons for this behaviour, working together with parents and outside agencies. We have a school behaviour policy that is consistent throughout the school – following Jenny Mosley’s Golden Time reward system, this is removed in increments for not following the Golden Rules.
If a child’s behaviour needs do not fit into this system, then an individual behaviour plan may be drawn up in consultation with parents.
All school staff are trained in Team Teach (a de-escalation technique and certified restrictive physical intervention method, though this is only used where necessary in a very few cases).
13. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
In-school specialist support:
Sally Keegan (Play therapist)
Ruth Gait (Wessex Counselling)
External agencies we can access include:
14. What training has the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) had?
All school staff have received accredited Team Teach training, attachment training and Child Protection Training.
Where appropriate, staff have received additional training in the following areas:
15. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
We are committed to ensuring that all children have access to external visits and trips. In all cases a plan will be put in place, with appropriate external agency advice where necessary, and risk assessments carried out. Where for physical reasons a child cannot participate, for example in an adventurous activity, alternatives will be provided where needed.
16. How accessible is the school environment?
Christ Church First School is a fully accessible flat site, with a proven history in supporting children with physical disabilities. We have a fixed hoist and disabled toilet, and several staff are Moving and Handling trained.
Where a child has other needs, such as visual needs, the site has been adapted to meet these needs, for example lines painted to show changes in level and blinds fitted for light sensitivity.
17. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
For children starting the school in Nursery or Reception with known needs, an Entry planning meeting involving all professionals and parents will be held to plan the transition and provision.
On starting school, several “Starting School” sessions for parents and children are provided to enable good, supportive transition.
Photo books about the child’s new class/school will be provided for those children who need this.
All children participate in a transition morning.
On transition to middle school, SENCOs meet to discuss all children with additional needs.
Middle school SENCOs are invited to the Annual Meeting.
Additional meetings for vulnerable pupils are arranged between class teachers.
Additional visits are arranged for those children who need this support.
School Entry Planning meetings are arranged with the middle school and parents for those children with the highest need.
18. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The SEN budget is allocated each financial year and is used to provide a wide range of support, including learning and pastoral intervention staff, resources, accessibility arrangements, staff training, SENCO time, administration and supply cover.
Each child’s needs are considered in terms of allocating intervention support, ie are children making progress with Quality First Teaching.
Individual learning support staff are provided through higher level funding where appropriate.
19. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
When the children join the school, support is allocated on the information provided by the feeder school/nursery. In consultation with the Headteacher, the SENCO will allocate teaching assistants to individuals or pairs of children to support them in class or in other intervention groups tailored to the pupils’ needs.
During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being, then other interventions will be arranged. All interventions are evaluated for their effectiveness, and decisions are then made about whether a child has made appropriate progress.
20. What are the arrangements for the admission of disabled children to the nursery?
If your child has a disability and you would like a place at the nursery, please contact the school office (01373 463781) initially to enquire about spaces and ask to speak to Ali Bowden (SENCO) to discuss your child’s needs and how we can best meet them. We will be happy to arrange visits to the site and arrange pre-school entry meetings to ensure provision is made for any extra needs.
21. Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact for any further information should be your child’s class teacher.
If you remain concerned, please contact the school SENCO, Ali Bowden.
If you are a new parent, please feel free to contact the school SENCO for further information about our school and provision.
For details of the Christ Church C of E First School and Nursery SEN Team, see Question 3, above.
What are Core Standards for Education?
The ‘Core Standards’ are the expectations which the local authority has for education support available for children and young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The Core Standards are designed to make sure that all education settings comply with updated legislation. They make it clear what to expect in terms of SEND identification and provision for a range of stakeholders, including school staff, parents, and professionals.
The local authority hopes and expects that the Core Standards will reduce anxiety and confusion for education settings and families by making clear the core offer of SEN provision that each setting will make.
To read more about Core Standards on the Somerset Choices website, please click here.
Key equality documents:
Documents about Somerset Choices and the Local Offer:
To read more about the services available for children and young people in Somerset with SEN and disabilities aged between 0 and 25 and how to access them, click here: Somerset County Council Local Offer.
Equality of opportunity for all
As a Christian learning community, Christ Church C of E First School is committed to upholding the biblical principle that all human beings are made in the image of God and, as such, should be welcomed, accepted and valued as unique individuals of equal value and dignity.
At Christ Church, we believe that diversity is a strength which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here. We promote a positive culture of inclusion, in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life.
At Christ Church, we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the school, irrespective of age; disability; gender; gender identity; pregnancy or maternity; ethnicity, colour or national origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; or socio-economic background.
As a school, we aim to tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes, and creating an environment which champions respect for all.
Furthermore, we believe that it is our Christian duty to make an extra effort to welcome and support individuals who are not always treated respectfully in wider society. Hence, as a school, we aim to tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes, and creating an environment which champions respect for all.
At Christ Church, we aim to ensure that every adult and child is treated fairly and has equality of opportunity to participate fully in the life of the school. We also work to develop good relations between people from different groups.
We try to make sure that our school is a safe and secure place for everyone.
We do not put up with unfair treatment or bullying of any kind.
We recognise that people have different needs and we understand that treating people equally does not always involve treating them all the same. When people face particular difficulties they need extra support to help them achieve success and we try to do this for people in our school community.
We also try to make sure that people from different groups are consulted and involved in our decisions, for example, through talking to pupils and parents/carers, and through our School Council.
Our school has the following equality objectives:
(These targets are based on 2016–17 data. Hence, current (2017–18) class teachers will be closely tracking and targeting groups in order to close the attainment gaps identified last year.)
To read the Christ Church Equality Duty Policy, click here.
Inclusion and hospitality
Within Somerset, Christ Church has a well-deserved and long-held reputation as being a school which is especially successful in welcoming and supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.
Our dedication to inclusive practice is a reflection of our school’s Christian ethos and values. In keeping with the Christian concept of Koinonia (a Greek word meaning “fellowship” or “community”), we are committed to creating a warm, welcoming, nurturing school where all children are valued.
We believe the members of our school family are interdependent: all are needed and valued, and each person is important to the whole community. As a supportive, cohesive school community we work together to ensure that no one feels left out. We encourage and support each other when the going gets tough. We praise perseverance, resilience, “grit” and “stickability”. In fact, at Christ Church we attach as much importance to deepening the emotional and social resilience of every child as we do to their academic progress.
We recognise that resilience and vulnerability are not individual personality characteristics but are closely related to socio-economic factors. We are committed to playing a full and effective part in building the capacity for resilience in individual children, their families and the local community.
Mr Kaye (Headteacher) says: “This is our starting point and the foundation upon which we stand: ‘Everyone matters.’ We matter to one another and we matter to God. Every life has meaning and value to others, whether we can see this for ourselves or not. At Christ Church, we believe every adult and child in our school family should be (and feel) needed, supported and appreciated. We are an inclusive school that cherishes diversity and celebrates difference. We encourage and help one another, and every day we work as a team, because we are a community of love and learning. We have high expectations and ambition for all adults and children at Christ Church and, because of this, we are relentless in our commitment to remove barriers to children’s learning and, whenever necessary, to ‘move mountains’ so that all children can flourish. Whenever we do this, children grow in confidence and make faster progress in their learning. And when this rapid academic progress – whether from starting points that are high or low – is sustained over time lives are transformed and new opportunities are opened up. Christ Church is a warm, kind, friendly school where everyone can learn, everyone will learn and everyone will discover that learning is fun. Everyone matters at Christ Church.”