Special Needs Information
While at John Stainer School some children may require extra support to allow them to access the curriculum and to achieve their best. The John Stainer School SEND information report provides information on what we provide for children who have additional educational needs or disabilities.
The SEND Policy 2019 gives more detail about our day to day procedures.
Our SENCo, Michael Riddle, is very experienced with all types of special educational need as he has taught in both mainstream and special needs schools.
Lewisham Local Authority also publishes on its website a local offer which sets out a wide range of information about the specialist services, schools, colleges and organisations that can provide support and information for families of children and young people with SEND. It explains the procedures for requesting an assessment for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – which has replaced the Statement of Special Educational Needs. You will also find information about:
- where to go for advice and guidance on SEN and Disability matters
- leisure activities for children with SEND
- arrangements for resolving disagreements and mediation
What kinds of SEND do we provide for?
At John Stainer school we believe that all children should be given the best possible opportunities to achieve their potential. As an inclusive school, we provide SEND support for children in the following areas:
- Cognition and learning
- Communication and understanding
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Sensory and/or physical needs
SEN support may only be necessary for a short period of time or, in some cases, a child may need long term support in order to achieve their best. Children may also have more than one type of SEND.
How do we identify and assess children with additional needs?
In order to provide the best support, early identification of any SEND is vital. If a child joins the school with an identified need, we will collect as much information as possible before they begin, speaking with parents/carers and collecting information from previous settings. Your child’s progress will be continually monitored and assessed by their class teacher and if you have any concerns or enquiries about their learning you should arrange a meeting with the class teacher first. If additional support is needed the Inclusion Manager will become involved, and together we decide how best to support your child, deciding on the necessary interventions and targets to help them move forward. We believe that it is important that the views of the parent, teacher and child are all included. Sometimes we will ask other professionals to add their input through observations or assessments. Parent/carers form a valuable part of this process and input and consent will always be sought for referrals.
Who is our Inclusion Manager (Special Needs Coordinator/SENCO)?
Some schools use the title Special Needs Coordinator or SENCO. At John Stainer we use the title Inclusion Leader. The name of our Inclusion Leader is Michael Riddle. He can be contacted by arranging an appointment through the school office, calling on 020 7639 0482, or you can email email@example.com
What is our approach to teaching children with SEND?
Our school strives to make education fun, exciting and meaningful with a broad, balanced well-differentiated curriculum for all children. Our classrooms are stimulating and motivating and teachers are well informed about SEND, adapting their planning and teaching to meet the needs of the child. Education is constantly evolving and teachers adapt continually, following advice from teaching experts and outside agencies, to ensure that all children can access the curriculum to progress and achieve their best.
How do we adapt the curriculum and learning environment?
The needs of the individual are always considered and planned for with a well differentiated curriculum and quality first teaching. Where children have specific needs the curriculum is adapted and personalised. Our main aim is to remove any barriers to learning and to ensure equal access to the curriculum and we make sure that children have necessary resources to help them learn. These resources include - using ICT provision, handwriting slopes, spring scissors, pencil grips, visual timetables and other prompts, move “n” sit cushions, coloured reading guides, coloured writing paper etc.
Sometimes a child’s ability to access a test may be affected by a SEN. For example, a child with dyslexia may have difficulty reading the questions in a maths test and we want to assess their maths attainment not their reading skills. In a case, such as this we will find the solution which will best suit the needs of the child. This may include having a scribe, a reader, taking breaks or using a separate test room.
How do we enable pupils with SEND to engage in activities with other pupils who do not have SEND?
We have a strong ethos of inclusion and children are encouraged to see the positive role that we all play in the school community. We celebrate difference and diversity and always strive to adapt activities to ensure that all pupils with SEND can access them and achieve their best.
How do we consult parents of children with SEND and involve them in their child’s education?
A good partnership between the school and family is at the heart of a successful school and we value the input of both children and parents/carers. By working together, we ensure that we build strong foundations and support children effectively throughout their school career. We listen to the views of parents and children and recognise the value of this input.
How do we assess and review pupils progress towards their outcomes?
Class teachers will regularly assess and review all children’s progress and adapt their planning appropriately. In the SEND Code of Practice, the graduated approach recommends the assess-plan-do-review cycle and we follow this to ensure that we regularly evaluate the support we have in place for pupils with SEND. We have parent meetings every term where targets are reviewed and updated.
When children have additional needs, which require more support than can be meet by current provision, the school or parents/carers can apply to the local authority for an EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan). These replace the old Statements of Special Needs and the details about the legal process can be found at Lewisham’s Local Offer website (see link above).
Children with an EHCP have additional annual review meetings which parent/carers and relevant professionals are invited to attend.
How do we support pupils moving between different phases of their education?
During their time at John Stainer, children will move through EYFS (Nursery and Reception Classes), KS1 (Years 1 and 2), and KS2 (Years 3 to 6). Sometimes these transitions can be rather daunting and the changes in learning styles can be challenging to some children. We endeavour to make these transitions as smooth as possible.
When children begin in our Nursery they usually settle very quickly and children who take more time will have a “staggered” entry. To help ease these children into Nursery life, the staggered entry gradually increases the time spent in the nursery over three days. Parents are welcome to stay during this time. In the Reception classes, parents and children visit their reception class before starting and teachers make nursery visits. During the transition from Nursery to Reception, some children will make booklets with photos in to help them to become familiar with their new school.
If a child has already been identified as having a SEND, the Inclusion Manager may meet with the people who know the child best and, at times, an external agency may support the transition. At the end of every year, teachers organise handover meetings to make sure the new teacher has the information needed to support each child. This includes discussing targets, assessments and any interventions and support that the child has received. Children also have a “meet the teacher” day where they get a chance to spend time in their next class with the new class teacher and staff that will be working with them. Where it is helpful, some children will make transition books with photos and information about their new classroom.
As children move from Year 6 to their new secondary schools, we ensure that the Inclusion Manager works with the secondary school Inclusion Managers to support the transition. Secondary school visits are encouraged and the families of children with SEND are supported by our Inclusion Manager and our School Home Support worker, Tracy Townrow.
How do we support pupils with SEND to improve their social and emotional development?
At John Stainer School children are encouraged to be caring and respectful of others and to be aware of the positive values important in society. Each half-term we focus on a specific value (such as kindness, trust, patience etc.) and this is discussed in the classroom and in assemblies. Parents/carers are informed via the newsletter to encourage children to promote these values outside of school and children look for opportunities to express those values and to see those values in others. We also have a cool to be kind week where children make a positive effort to show random acts of kindness both in and out of school
Responsibility is promoted through the use of prefects, the school council and classroom monitors. We also have a house points system where children are members of one of four houses. These houses are a mix of different year groups to encourage the children to work as a team, separate from their own class and established friends.
All classes use meditation to promote emotional well-being in the class room and many teaches have had mindfulness training.
We have weekly debating assemblies to encourage children to appreciate and listen to the views of others as well as circle times in class and high quality PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) lessons.
Some children benefit from the structured “Friendship” groups, shared cooperative activities (such as Lego therapy) or the quiet time sessions during lunch hours.
We also have many after school activities giving children the opportunity to socialise.
Our dedicated School Home Support worker, Tracy Townrow, can be found in the playground at the start of school and often at the end of the day. She works with a number of families and children and is always happy for any parent/carer or child to self-refer if they want help with something.
We take any bullying very seriously and our Anti Bullying policy ensures that any reported incident is dealt with thoroughly. For more information please look here (link to policy).
What expertise and training do our staff have to support pupils with SEN?
Our Inclusion Manager, Michael Riddle, has a great deal of experience working with children with SEND across both key stages in mainstream and Special Needs primary schools. Our Head teacher, Sue Harte, has also worked as a teacher and head teacher in both mainstream and Special Needs schools.
All staff have regular training and guidance to ensure that they meet the needs of the children. Our Inclusion Manager supports staff to ensure that recommendations from professionals are implemented in planning. Staff have training through SEND insets and staff meetings, making use of the expertise of our own staff or from outside agencies such as our Speech and Language Therapy Service, Sarah Buckley Therapies. Where appropriate, staff are also given the opportunity for more specific training to support individuals with a particular SEND such as Makaton training.
How do we secure specialist expertise?
We work closely with other professional services who lend their expertise to help the school and parents find more effective ways of supporting your child. We may use the services of:
- Educational Psychology
- Drumbeat ASD outreach service
- Speech and Language advice and input
- Occupational Therapy team
- Visual Impairment Team
- Hearing Impairment Team
- New Woodlands outreach service (for children Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties)
- School Nurse/Health Visitors
- Targeted Family support and social care
- Voluntary or charity organisations
These services provide a range of support including:
working one to one and small group work with children
- providing training for teaching and support staff
- helping us to assess needs, plan next steps and review progress.
How do we evaluate the impact of our SEND provision?
Interventions are carefully monitored to evaluate their impact following the four-step process - assess, plan, do and review. Class teachers and the Inclusion Manager measure the effectiveness of the interventions adapting where necessary and planning the next steps when targets have been met. The Leadership Team and Inclusion Manager monitor pupil progress and regular review meetings help teachers to understand the next steps for their children.
How do we handle concerns, from parents of children with SEND, about provision made at the school?
We value the constructive input of parents/carers and believe that the most effective way to help all children is through open and honest dialogue. Any concerns should be brought to our attention so that they can be resolved quickly. The class teacher is usually the first person to speak to about any concerns, then the Inclusion Manager and the Head teacher. If you feel that this has not resolved the matter, then we have a school complaints policy which outlines the complaints procedure (see policies page).
Who can young people and parents contact if they have concerns?
For independent advice, information and support you can contact the Special Education Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS) on 0203 319 2163 or the Independent Supporter at Contact a Family. Both services are working together to ensure that you are provided with the right advice and information.
What is “the Local Offer” and where can the Local Authority’s Local Offer be found?
Our school’s Local Offer describes the range of provision and support available to support identified children as and when appropriate. This Offer is subject to change depending on budgetary constraints and policy review.
To see our Local Offer, click here SENDJohnStainer_local_offer.docx
Lewisham Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found at: http://www.lewishamlocaloffer.org.uk/
This information is updated annually and will be updated next in May 2020
OFSTED 2012 - All groups of pupils make better than expected progress, including disabled pupils, pupils with special educational needs, and those who benefit from additional funding.