Updated: January 2017
All Ebor Academy Trust schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the local authority (LA) to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.
What is the Local Offer?
The LA Local Offer
- The Children and Families Bill was enacted in 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) aged 0-25. This is the ‘Local Offer’.
- The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.
The School SEN Information Report
This utilises the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of SEN pupils as determined by school policy, and the provision that the school is able to meet.
At Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, we are committed to providing our pupils with a broad, balanced and enriched curriculum which is accessible to all and promotes inclusion. All our pupils are included in all aspects of school life and are equally valued in school. We create environments that are safe and calm so that our pupils feel comfortable to be in school and to enable them to flourish. Our staff work closely as a team to provide consistency of approach and strategies that we have in place for our pupils.
Because all children learn in different ways, we have tailored our classroom environments so that they can meet a range of needs. All of our classrooms provide:
- Visual supports (including dyslexia friendly, speech and language friendly and autism friendly approaches)
- A distraction free learning zone
- Sensory Processing strategies (movement breaks, noise reducing headphones, move and sit cushions, fiddle toys etc)
- Access to multi-sensory and hands-on learning
- Use of IT and alternative methods of recording where needed
- Use of de-escalation strategies
- A Restorative Practise Approach with daily check-ins and Affective Questions
- A preventative rather than reactive approach
- Positive praise – and lots of it!
- Staffing ratios appropriate to the level of support needed.
At Robert Wilkinson, we are working with Leeds Communication Trust over 2016-2018 to become a Communication Friendly School. You will see our progress in the front reception.
Identification and Intervention
Every teacher here atRobert Wilkinson is working towards the achievement of every child through excellent quality first teaching. We call this our Universal offer. If any child is struggling in class for any reason, strategies and or intervention will be put in place at a Targeted level to support with this after discussions with parents/carers. Advice would be sought from the SEN team and progress would be tracked to see if these strategies were proving to be successful.
If a child is still struggling in school and needs additional support, it may be that they need more Specialist level intervention and resources putting in place. Again, parents would be very much involved in this discussion and would work with the school to plan this. At this stage, your child would be receiving ‘SEN Support’ and the SEN Team would be closely involved to support staff, your child and the family. The majority of children at this level with have some Assistant Teacher Support. Each child’s support package will look different depending on their level of need. As we are keen to promote independence and develop young people’s life skills for the future, where a child has AT support, we discourage the concept of 1:1 ‘velcroed’ support. Through careful planning, we will ensure that each child’s needs are met through a balanced approach of 1:1, group work and monitored independent time.
SEN Support: defining SEN and SEN provision
The new SEN Code of Practice (2014) defines children as having special educational needs (SEN):
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or 16
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions .
The SEN Team and the Pupil and Family Support Team oversee the provisions and interventions we have in place for all our pupils at Robert Wilkinson. Along with the Senior Leadership Team, they monitor the effectiveness of provision through observations and data analysis and provision will be adjusted as required to ensure pupils are fulfilling their full potential. Children will always be supported to engage in activities available to pupils who do not have SEN.
Because we understand that Early Identification is key, we have a dedicated Early Years SEN worker to work with staff to help identify children with any additional needs and advise on intervention as this early stage. This is done in liaison with the SEN team.
We work closely with individuals and other agencies to help us identify the right support for each child, including:
- Emma Truelove, Educational Psychologist
- CAMHS (Child Adolescent Metal Health Service)
- Speech and Language Therapists (both in school and in clinic)
- Other Health Professionals
- Occupational Therapists
- CYC Specialist Teaching Teams
- Physical and medical
- Early years
- Hearing Impairment
- Dyslexia outreach support
- Speech and Language outreach support
1. Communication and Interaction
6.28 Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
6.29 Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Communication and Interaction Interventions
- Delivery of individual speech and language programmes
- Time to Talk
- Talk Boost
- Talking Partners
- ELKLAN strategies – mind maps, task plans, modelling, limited use of language etc.
- Lego Therapy
- Pre teaching vocabulary
- Well Comm 0-5yrs
- Every Child a Talker (ECAT)
- Communication Toolkit.
2. Cognition and Learning
6.30 Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.
6.31 Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Learning and Cognition Interventions
- Phonics Boosters/Rapid Phonics
- Rapid Reading/1:1 reading
- Bug Club
- Reading/writing/ Sentence and punctuation boosters
- Handwriting intervention – multi-sensory or alternative methods
- Precision Teaching (bespoke to child’s need)
- Hot Reading
- Early Literacy Support (ELS)
- Monster Maths
- Spaced Out
- Numeracy Booster
- Number Gym Booster
- Big Maths Quiz
- Pre Teaching
- Use of specialist equipment – ICT equipment, coloured overlays and books, pencil grips etc.
3. Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
6.32 Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
6.33 Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools – see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link.
Social, emotional and mental health interventions
- The Hub
- ELSA provision or mentors by trained ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assis tants)
- Lunch Clubs
- Circle of Friends
- Peer Buddies
- Worry Box
- Fireworks – anger management
- Use of visual prompts and timetables
- The Samaritans Mental Health Toolkit
- The Island Mentors Service
- Young Carer Group
- Wellbeing worker (CAMHS)
- 1:1 HUB support
- Resilience Group (Yrs 4, 5, 6)
- Viking Mentor Service.
4. Sensory and/or Physical needs
6.34 Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health (see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link).
6.35 Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
Sensory and Physical interventions
- Handwriting intervention – multi-sensory or alternative methods
- Busy Fingers boxes
- It’s in the bag
- Delivery of 1:1 Physio and OT programmes
- Use of sensory resources and strategies
- Adapted PE sessions
- Early movement sessions.
Family and Pupil Engagement
Communication is key
We pride ourselves on strong links with parents/carers and the child. We will always keep you in the loop when planning provision and intervention for your child. We have introduced comprehensive documentation for all our pupils receiving SEN Support that is written and reviewed jointly with parents and pupils. We know that by working together, we have a much greater chance of getting it right for your child. There are dedicated sections within your child’s plan for parents/carers and pupils to complete. We welcome yours and your child’s input into their plan, not just at their review meeting, but on a more regular basis as things arise.
As part of Ebor Academy Trust, we are committed to providing high quality training and support to all our staff. We have an experienced Academy Specialist for SEN who has dedicated time to work with our schools and our workforce. Our staff access in house specialist training as a well as a wide range of external courses from other professionals and agencies.
Examples of recent staff training would include:
- Sensory processing disorder training
- Differentiation in classrooms
- Creating an inclusive environment for ALL pupils and reducing anxiety
- Language friendly classrooms
- Supporting pupils on the dyslexia continuum
- Autism awareness training
- Restorative Practice.
There are also ELSA and ELKLAN trained staff in school to support children with social and emotional aspects of learning and speech language and communication strategies.
Within our school, we have a team committed to inclusion to ensure that all children are happy and safe and are achieving both academically and socially. We also benefit from having an Enhanced Resource Provision on site for pupils with Communication and Interaction difficulties from all over the City of York. The specialist staff from the ERP share their expertise across the whole school.
Our Senior Leadership Team carry out weekly learning walks in all of our classrooms which ensure that advice and support is given regularly to staff which means we are confident that our pupils are receiving the best possible support and teaching.
All staff in school are made aware of individual children’s specific needs and training/ support will be put in place as needed. This helps ease transitions from different teachers and into new year groups in September. Careful transition is also planned with Secondary Schools for those pupils in Year 6.
The SEN team
Gemma Davis – SENDCo
Lynda Swan and Pam Smith – Assistants
Aileen Sheerins – Behaviour and Well-being Leader
Other links you may find useful
By clicking on each area below you will see more detail and examples of interventions that we run for our pupils. Some children will need support in more than one area of need so we will personalise their learning to encompass this. At Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, we strive to support children with a wide range of special educational needs in each of these areas.
All pupils with SEN at Robert Wilkinson have a document in place that is jointly written by parents, the child and professionals. Depending on the level of need, this may be called a ‘Condensed My Support Plan’, a ‘Full My Support Plan’ or an ‘Education Health Care Plan.’ An EHCP is a statutory document that is written alongside the SEN Panel at the Local Authority.