SEND Questions

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Questions around Special Educational
Needs and Disabilities

Please click on the links below for information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including how we support, identify and assess children with SEND at Greengate Junior School.

Further information and policies can be accessed from the drop down menu on the SEND tab on our website.

The 2014 SEND Code of Practice outlines four areas of special educational need that include a range of difficulties and conditions:

1.1 Communication and interaction

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD is a term that recognises there are a number of sub-groups within the spectrum of autism. Pupils with ASD find it difficult to:

  • understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication
  • understand social behaviour, which affects their ability to interact with children and adults
  • think and behave flexibly, which may be shown in restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities.

Pupils with ASD cover the full range of ability and the severity of their impairment varies widely. Some pupils also have learning disabilities or other difficulties, making diagnosis difficult.

Further information can be found at: http://www.autism.org.uk

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Children and young people may have a range of difficulties with speech and language, some of which may resolve as the student develops.

For some children, such difficulties may be confined to their production of speech. For others, it may be hard to find the right words or to join them together meaningfully in expressive language. They may have problems in communicating through speech and may find it hard to acquire language and express thoughts and ideas. They may experience difficulties or delays in understanding or responding to verbal cues from others, or in understanding and using appropriate language for social interaction.

The fact that a child or young person may understand and speak English as an additional language does not in itself constitute a speech and language difficulty. It is important to note, however, that different languages have different structures/phonologies (sound systems) which can sometimes cause initial short term difficulties.

1.2. Cognition and learning

Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)

Pupils with MLDs will have attainments significantly below expected levels in most areas of the curriculum despite appropriate interventions. Their needs will not be able to be met by normal differentiation and the flexibilities of the National Curriculum.

They should only be recorded as MLD if additional educational provision is being made to help them to access the curriculum. Pupils with MLDs have much greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills and in understanding concepts. They may also have an associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and under-developed social skills.

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD)

Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties have complex learning needs. In addition to very severe learning difficulties, pupils have other significant difficulties such as physical disabilities, sensory impairment or a severe medical condition. Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care. They are likely to need sensory stimulation and a curriculum broken down into very small steps. Some pupils communicate by gesture, eye pointing or symbols, others by very simple language.

Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)

“A child or a young person with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) may have difficulty with one or more aspects of learning. This includes a range of conditions such as dyslexia (difficulties with reading and spelling)” (2013 SEN Code of Practice)

Dyslexia

Pupils with dyslexia have a marked and persistent difficulty in learning to read, write and spell, despite progress in other areas. Pupils may have poor reading comprehension, handwriting and punctuation. They may also have difficulties in concentration and organisation, and in remembering sequences of words. They may mispronounce common words or reverse letters and sounds in words.

Further information can be found at: http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

Dyspraxia

Pupils with dyspraxia are affected by an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement, often appearing clumsy. Gross and fine motor skills are hard to learn and difficult to retain and generalise. Pupils may have poor balance and coordination and may be hesitant in many actions (running, skipping, hopping, holding a pencil, doing jigsaws, etc). Their articulation may also be immature and their language late to develop. They may also have poor awareness of body position and poor social skills.

Further information can be found at: http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

 

1.3. Social, Emotional and Mental health

Children with emotional difficulties include those who may be withdrawn or isolated, hyperactive and lack concentration; those with immature social skills and those presenting other difficulties arising other complex needs.

Some children may have emotional needs and/or social problems that interfere with their own ability to learn effectively. In some instances, the difficulties they experience may cause disruption to the learning of other children or young people.

 

Social difficulties, in this context, occur when students have problems managing interactions with others in school effectively and appropriately. They may have difficulty making the necessary adjustments to conform to the expectations of others in a variety of settings. The process is known as socialisation. Either difficulty may impact substantially on the child’s ability to learn.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex condition can seriously affect a child’s concentration, behaviour and learning. A child with ADHD will often feel easily bored, may be distracted by unimportant sounds and sights, be impulsive and find it hard to sit still. This impacts on their learning as they can find it very hard to concentrate for the periods of time needed to complete tasks. Consequently, the work that they produce may not necessarily reflect their true ability.

Further information can be found at: www.addiss.co.uk

1.4. Sensory and/or physical

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

 Hearing Impairment (HI)

Pupils with an HI range from those with a mild hearing loss to those who are profoundly deaf. They cover the whole ability range.

For educational purposes, pupils are regarded as having an HI if they require hearing aids, adaptations to their environment and/or particular teaching strategies to access the concepts and language of the curriculum. A number of pupils with an HI also have an additional disability or learning difficulty. Hearing loss may be because of conductive or sensorineural problems and can be measured on a decibel scale. Four categories are generally used: mild, moderate, severe and profound. Some pupils with a significant loss communicate through sign instead of, or as well as, speech.

Visual Impairment (VI)

A visual impairment is generally defined as an eyesight problem that cannot be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses or by surgery.

The terms partially sighted, low vision, legally blind, and totally blind are used in the educational context to describe students with visual impairments. They are defined as follows:

  • “Partially sighted” indicates some type of visual problem has resulted in a need for special education;
  • “Low vision” generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, even with the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses. They use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, although they may require adaptations in lighting or the size of print, and, sometimes, Braille;
  • “Legally blind” indicates that a person has less than 20/20 vision in the better eye or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point); and
  • Totally blind students learn via Braille or other non-visual media.
Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)

Pupils with MSI have a combination of visual and hearing difficulties. They are sometimes referred to as deafblind but may have some residual sight and/or hearing. Many also have additional disabilities but their complex needs mean it may be difficult to ascertain their intellectual abilities. Pupils with MSI have much greater difficulty accessing the curriculum and the environment than those with a single sensory impairment. They have difficulties in perception, communication and in the acquisition of information. Incidental learning is limited. The combination can result in high anxiety and multi-sensory deprivation. Pupils need teaching approaches that make good use of their residual hearing and vision, together with their other senses. They may need alternative means of communication.

Physical Disability (PD)

There is a wide range of physical disabilities and pupils cover the whole ability range. Some pupils are able to access the curriculum and learn effectively without additional educational provision. They have a disability but do not have an SEN. For others, the impact on their education may be severe.

In the same way, a medical diagnosis does not necessarily mean a pupil has a SEN. It depends on the impact the condition has on their educational needs.

There are a number of medical conditions associated with physical disability that can impact mobility. These include cerebral palsy, heart disease, spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and muscular dystrophy. Pupils with physical disabilities may also have sensory impairments, neurological problems or learning difficulties.

Some pupils are mobile but have significant fine motor difficulties that require support. Others may need augmentative or alternative communication aids.

Medical Needs

A medical diagnosis or a disability does not necessarily imply a special educational need (SEN). It may not be necessary for the child or young person with any particular diagnosis or medical condition to have any additional form or educational provision at any phase of education. It is the child’s medical needs rather than a diagnosis that must be considered.

Some children may not require school-based SEN provision but they have medical conditions that, if not properly managed, could hinder their access to education.

Children and young people with medical conditions will include those with Asthma, Diabetes, Arthritis, Epilepsy, severe allergies, Incontinence, Eczema, Cystic fibrosis Tracheotomy, Colostomy and Ileostomy.  In such cases, school staff will take into consideration the medical guidance available.

 

The code states that:

Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset.”

Sometimes, if a child’s needs are more complex, a multi-agency approach will be used so that there is opportunity to consult with a wider range of support services and health professionals.

When children have identified SEND before they start with us at Greengate, we work with the people who already know them (teachers, teaching assistants, parents, outside agencies) and then use this information to work out how best to support your child in our school.

Concerns can range from learning difficulties, language and communication difficulties, sensory impairment, medical problems to emotional, social and mental health issues.

Some children may be working below age expected levels in English and Maths which would indicate extra support may be needed. Some children may have specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia. Children may also have low scores on standardised tests e.g. reading/spelling age.

It is important to remember that slow progress and low attainment does not necessarily mean that a child has special educational needs. However, it may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally it should not be assumed that attainment in line with age expected levels means that there is no learning difficulty or disability.

Reports received from e.g. doctors, educational psychologists, special advisory teaching service, speech and language therapists may recommend specific support. We always take into account information given by parents. If you are concerned about your child, talk to the class teacher and SENDCo. We also listen to concerns expressed by the child.

Teachers will liaise with the SENDCo for any child they are worried about. Appropriate next steps for the child will be planned for and parents are actively encouraged to be involved in the decision making process.

At Greengate Junior School, we believe that children should be placed at the centre of their learning and development. Teachers/SENDCo and Support Staff will work with children and young people to identify the support needed to meet agreed outcomes. The provision is planned and interventions are allocated to individual needs. The children take an active role with setting their targets, discussing them with the class teacher/teaching assistant and SENDCo.

We are committed to working with parents and carers to identify their child’s needs and support. Parents and carers will be involved throughout the process. When we assess SEND, we will discuss with you to find out if the same is happening at home and school. We will then take this in to account and work with you so that we are all helping your child in the same way to make sure they make progress. Once it has been agreed that a child has additional needs, you will be informed and they will be placed on the Special Educational Needs Register under the category of SEN Support. They may receive extra support or intervention if this is felt appropriate. Your child will receive at least 2 reviews each year with the class teacher, whilst they are on the SEN register.

If they continue to make slow progress or have ongoing problems, then the school, with your permission, may ask for advice from outside agencies. A small number of children may go on to have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – these are for the most complex children that have significant and ongoing needs. If a child has an EHCP, then they will also have an additional annual review and the plan can stay with them up to the age of 25 if it is deemed necessary. These children will also receive a review in the autumn term of Year 6 to discuss transition to an appropriate secondary school.

We aim to promote and develop parent voice by:
– Sending out a parent questionnaire for the EHCP Annual Review
– Providing an opportunity on our school Facebook and Twitter pages for parents to provide feedback
– Welcoming parents to be a member of our ‘Greengate Coffee Afternoon’ group

We also strive to promote and develop pupil voice by:

– Asking pupils to fill in an ‘About Me’ form for the EHCP Annual Review and we are gradually phasing in Personal Support Plans for all classes to support those on SEN support
– Asking pupils to share their opinions during School Council and Pupil Governor meetings, which are then acted upon by the Head teacher within reason
– Discussing behaviour and other related personal, social and emotional issues during 1:1 sessions with the SENDCo

If your child is identified as having a particular difficulty with their learning, then we will set up a meeting with you to share concerns and discuss what action may be needed at a time that is convenient for you.

Informal updates will also be given via the school messaging system, chats at the end of the school day or through phone calls with the class teacher or SENDCo.

All local secondary schools have transition days where your child be offered the opportunity to spend time at their new school.

We liaise closely with the new school setting to ensure they are aware of any individual’s needs and all records are passed on to the new school.

When children are preparing to leave Greengate, we ensure that their new school is provided with all relevant data. Where necessary we will liaise with the new school regarding any needs or anticipated difficulties we feel your child may have in order to make their transition as smooth as possible.

If a child transfers to a new school mid-year, all records are passed on. Other professionals may be involved to support your child further and offer advice.

All children are assessed by their class teacher regularly through teaching and learning, in order to celebrate achievement or identify any difficulties they may be having at an early stage. Class teachers meet once a term with the head teacher to discuss all children’s progress. Progress is assessed and recorded each term, and tracked carefully against national expectations and individual progress. More formal assessments take place at different points in the school year and are used to set targets for your child’s progress.

If your child is working below age related expectations, then a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress. School use PIVATs for this purpose.

Teachers make on-going assessments for all children lesson by lesson and over a series of lessons. This information informs planning. Children receiving interventions will have their progress tracked throughout the time they are receiving the support.

For children on the SEND register, there will be at least two reviews over the year. They will be held each term during Parents Evening where you will be offered a longer appointment. This will give you a chance to meet with the class teacher and the SENDCo.

Your child’s progress will be discussed (including any interventions they have received). However, at any point during your child’s time at Greengate, please feel free to ask your child’s class teacher how your child is doing. All children will receive an end of year report that will inform you of your child’s progress throughout the year.

  • At the end of the key stage (year 6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally
  • The Head Teacher, SENDCo, Literacy leader and Numeracy leader analyse end of Key Stage results to identify any areas requiring change/support. PSP’s will be reviewed at least twice a year
  • The progress of children with an EHCP is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education

Our SENDCo has completed the Post Grad National Award for SEN Co-ordination and all class teachers are trained to support children with a wide range of needs, receiving updates via staff meetings or specific training sessions. Support Staff are experienced and trained to support children with medical, physical, behavioural and learning needs.

Training is an ongoing process, it is constantly reviewed depending on pupil need. Interventions and training of staff include the following-

  • Staff are qualified to cope with the individual needs of children covering a wide variety of need including: Severe learning difficulty , speech, language and communication difficulties,  autistic spectrum conditions, dyslexia,  visual impairment, hearing impairment, ADHD, behavioural difficulties  and medical conditions such as diabetes/asthma
  • 2 members of staff have passed the Tracheostomy Care Competency
  • 3 members of staff are trained in Emergency Tracheostomy First Aid
  • 2 members of staff have Nurture Group training
  • 2 members of staff have post graduate qualification and further training in working with and supporting children and young people with an ASC
  • 3 members of staff have post graduate qualifications to work with children with dyslexia
  • 1 member of staff have ELKLAN speech and language qualification
  • 2 members of staff are qualified to deliver reading recovery programmes
  • 5 members of staff are qualified to provide Maths Intervention
  • 2 members of staff are trained to use Numicon intervention
  • All members of teaching staff and support staff are qualified to use Team Teach
  • 2 members of staff have high level knowledge of working with hearing impaired children including use and maintenance of equipment
  • Members of staff are trained to support Looked After Children
  • Members of staff have recently attended training on support of diabetic children provided by specialist nurse from Furness General Hospital
  • Staff are trained in supporting emotional and social resilience
  • 2 members of staff trained to deliver Barnardo’s ‘Real Love Rocks’ CSE training
  • Staff qualified to deliver Kidsafe
  • All staff have a variety of behaviour management strategies and are able to prevent behavioural issues with suitable planning and differentiation of tasks

Depending on your child’s level of need, we will use high quality teaching, targeted in class support and intervention sessions out of class. You can find more information in the SEND Information Report and SEND policy.

All our staff adapt materials and work for each pupil so every child is able to access the curriculum and make progress.

Where necessary, we create a personalised curriculum to ensure that all students with SEND have access to a full range of subjects.

At Greengate Junior School, we use a mixture of multi-sensory learning and differentiated teaching to make the curriculum accessible to all children. For some children with SEND, we also use individually tailored timetables in order to best promote their inclusion and learning.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class. Lessons are differentiated to match each child’s needs. Teachers will make reasonable adjustments to the curriculum to meet individual need. At Greengate, we have a well-designed curriculum with strong teaching and learning.

All our staff use a variety of approaches which means that we are able to adapt to a range of SEND (specific learning difficulties-including dyslexia; Autistic Spectrum Disorders; speech, language and communication needs; and social, emotional and mental health difficulties).

At Greengate we have a specialist nurture facility, supporting a group of children who need extra help and care when accessing our mainstream education and curriculum. This group, The Greenfinches, has been instrumental in maintaining and improving the education and social skills of a significant group of our pupils. The Hive provision works with children who need extra help with improving their social and emotional skills.

In Greenfinches and The Hive we aim to provide a caring, nurturing and safe environment where pupils are provided with experiences that make them feel valued and respected. We help our pupils recognise, understand and develop skills to improve social and emotional well-being.

We continue to remove learning barriers and to motivate pupils through a wide range of learning opportunities.