We are a friendly school with a real family feel. We place great emphasis on knowing, caring for and supporting all our children and promoting positive relationships based on praise and encouragement within a Christian ethos. Children, parents, governors, teaching and non-teaching staff, work closely together to develop a team spirit which is special to our school. We place a high value on building a successful partnership with parents. It is through working together, within a framework of clear expectations, that we can help every unique child achieve their potential and ensure they enjoy their learning at The Epiphany School.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
The Department for Education (2015) Code of Practice sets out statutory guidance for schools which can be found HERE.
It states that:
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 if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- 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.
The kinds of SEND that are provided for
The SEND Code of Practice identifies four broad areas of need to give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for within schools. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time.
Our school provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:
- Communication and Interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language difficulties.
- Cognition and Learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia, global learning delay.
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, for example, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attachment Disorder.
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy.
Identifying pupils with SEND and assessing their needs
Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress and attainment for all pupils and identify those whose progress:
- Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline.
- Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress.
- Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers.
- Widens the attainment gap.
This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs. Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil has SEN and other factors may be contributing to the current situation.
When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.
Consulting and involving pupils and parents
At The Epiphany School we believe a strong partnership between home and school enables children to best succeed. By working closely together with good on-going communication this can be achieved. If parents have concerns about their child, the best person to initially speak to is the class teacher. Class teachers are responsible for the day to day learning of pupils delivering high quality teaching that is accessible to all.
Class teachers will seek the advice of the SENCO in order to meet the needs of the pupil. As part of a graduated response, the SENCO may have an early discussion with parents and with the pupil (where age/developmentally appropriate) when identifying whether special educational provision is needed. These conversations will make sure that:
- Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulties.
- We take into account the parents’ concerns.
- Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child.
- Everyone is clear on what the next steps are.
Notes of these early discussions may be taken to build a picture of the child's developing strengths and needs. We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEN support. The Epiphany School uses provision maps to set out the support for pupils at SEN support level (updated termly) and personalised learning plans for pupils with an EHCP (updated termly).
Assessing and reviewing pupils' progress towards outcomes
We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.
The class teacher will work with the SENCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on:
- The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil.
- Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour.
- The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data.
- The views and experience of parents.
- The pupil’s own views.
- Advice from external support services, if relevant.
All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress.
Our approach to teaching pupils with SEND
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class. High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEND. This will be differentiated for individual pupils. The Local Authority set out the levels of support for pupils:
- Quality First Teaching: (Universal)
Quality First Teaching and the use of personalised, differentiated approaches form the universal offer for all children in educational settings. This will include the robust use of the ‘assess-plan-do-review’ cycle, rigorous teacher oversight and close liaison between the setting and family.
- SEND Support: (Universal Plus)
Where Quality First Teaching approaches have not been sufficient to meet the child’s needs and they now require more focused, targeted support, they will be identified as having SEND. Quality First Teaching, including evidenced, robust use of the ‘assess-plan-do-review’ cycle, rigorous teacher overview, and close liaison between the setting and family will continue.
- SEND Support: (Partnership Plus)
More specialist advice is sought, and the advice implemented and reviewed. Quality First Teaching, including evidenced, robust use of the ‘assess-plan-do-review’ cycle, rigorous teacher overview, and close liaison between the setting and family will continue.
- Statutory: (EHCP)
Only a small percentage of children with SEND will require the support of an Education, Health and Care Plan. When a child’s needs are complex, severe and long term and an education provider cannot meet their needs from within their own resources, and they have exhausted all SEND support options, a statutory assessment of the child’s needs will be undertaken. Quality First Teaching, including evidenced, robust use of the ‘assess-plan-do-review cycle’, rigorous teacher overview, and close liaison between the setting and family will continue
Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment
All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable children to:
- Understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities.
- Experience levels of understanding and rate of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.
Teachers use a range of strategies to meet children’s Special Educational Needs:
- Lessons have clear learning objectives.
- Learning is differentiated appropriately, for example, giving longer processing time, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
- Assessment is used to inform the next stage of learning.
- Adapting our resources and staffing.
- Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
The school supports children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. There are times though when, to maximise learning, children are asked to work in small groups or in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom. This can take place in the school’s specialist SEN teaching areas or within the year base.
The Epiphany School’s Accessibility Plan can be found on the school website.
Additional support for learning
We have a team of teaching assistants that work in class supporting pupils as well as delivering small group and 1:1 intervention. The use of teaching assistants in school is led by the SENCO to meet the needs of pupils with SEND. This resource is carefully planned and monitored by the SENCO and the School Leadership Team to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Interventions in school include Beat Dyslexia, the Learn to Move, Move to Learn Programme, Sensory Circuits, Speech and Language Therapy, Play Therapy, Precision Teaching, Plus1 Maths and Counselling.
We work with the following agencies to provide support for pupils with SEND:
- Vision Support Service
- Education Psychologists
- Bournemouth Outreach
- The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
- NHS Speech and Language
- Private Speech and Language services
- Private Occupational Therapists
- Learning Support Service
- Dyslexia Tutor
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs)
- School Nurse
Supporting pupils during transition
For pupils starting The Epiphany School in Reception, parents and early years settings will provide school with information regarding pupils with special education needs or disabilities. Parents with concerns about their child will contact the class teacher once confirmed or make contact with the SENCO.
For pupils with SEND joining/leaving the school before Year 6, the SENCO will liaise with the receiving school's SENCO to provide a smooth transition and handover of paperwork.
For pupils with SEND leaving the school in Year 6, the SENCO will meet with secondary school SENCOs at a transition meeting during the summer term to discuss individual children (their strengths, needs and provision) and handover paperwork. There is also a secondary transition day for Year 6 pupils to attend their new school in the summer term. Additional visits and a programme of induction will be arranged between The Epiphany School and the new school's SENCO as appropriate to meet the needs of the pupil.
Expertise and training of staff
Our SENCO, Miss Kate Webster, works in school on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays and can be contacted via the school office on 01202 530960 or via email on email@example.com.
We have a team of experienced teaching assistants who are trained to deliver SEND provision. The Epiphany School team seek to develop staff knowledge, understanding and skills in SEND through school based INSET as well as external professional development.
We use the support of specialist professionals as part of the graduated response to help build a picture of the child, tailor support and assess their needs. The expert advice is used by school to plan and adapt the provision offered to pupils.
Securing equipment and facilities
The SENCO is responsible for managing the SEN budget to effectively meet the needs of pupils with SEND. Equipment and resources will be purchased from these funds. To secure additional equipment and facilities if required, the SENCO will liaise with the local authority.
Evaluating the effectiveness of SEND provision
We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEND by:
- Reviewing pupils’ individual progress towards their goals each term.
- Reviewing the impact of interventions termly.
- Monitoring by the SENCO and Senior Leadership Team.
- Using provision maps to measure progress.
- Using personalised learning plans for pupils with an EHC plan.
- Holding annual reviews for pupils with EHC plans.
Enabling pupils with SEND to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEND
All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before and after school clubs. On some occasions, school may ask parents to accompany their child on school trips to support the safety and enjoyment of the trip. All pupils are encouraged to go on our residential trips in Year 5 and Year 6. No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.
The Epiphany School’s Accessibility Plan can be found on the website.
Complaints about SEN provision
Concerns about SEN provision for a child should be made to the class teacher in the first instance as they work closely with the child on a day-to-day basis. Parents should then contact the SENCO and then the Headteacher if they have further concerns or complaints. The school will follow the school’s complaints policy (available on the school website).