Accessibility and Inclusion
Accessibility of the school environment
The building is fully accessible for wheelchair users. The school has sloping access ramps and hand rails leading towards each main entrance. The school site is on one level with no stairs in either building. There are two designated car parking spaces situated at the front entrance of the main building. There are disabled toilet facilities in both the junior and infant buildings. The accessibility plan is reviewed and updated annually.
All policies are made available on the school website. A weekly newsletter is distributed to all families and is also available on the website. Each teacher has a school blog where information for their class is posted regularly. The school currently has a very low intake of children with EAL. Communication to families requiring support in accessing information is carried out on a one to one basis. The weekly newsletter can be translated using software which the school has access to.
The school uses a software package “Communicate and Print” to provide visual symbols to create visual timetables for children requiring this method of communication. Teaching assistants are active in creating resources to support individual children. We work closely with the occupational health team to ensure children with physical needs have access to appropriate seating and furniture. The school has a variety of equipment at its disposal to use for individual needs including, dictaphones, coloured overlays, finger grips. The SEN room is resourced with an up to date network of computers, enabling children to access a variety of support programmes. In addition to this, a range of English and Mathematic resources are available in a range of formats to support children with specific learning difficulties.
Teaching and Learning
Identification of SEN
The school places a high priority for early intervention and assessment for children with special educational needs. This is done through positioning the coordinator for SEN in the Early Years department. The Early Years tracker also supports staff to identify delayed progress in relation to the 7 areas of learning. Tracking the progress of all children is a continuous process throughout school and supports the identification of children with any individual difficulties. The school is also assisted well by specialist teachers and educational psychology services to provide in depth observations and guidance for helping children with SEN make good progress. Teacher assessments are submitted to subject leaders to determine rates of progress in order to organise intervention support where necessary. Individual teachers may also highlight concerns at any time to the school’s SENCo.
“The school is committed to securing equal opportunities for all pupils. Pupils with disabilities and special educational needs make good progress toward their individual targets. This is because of good quality support programmes and effective teaching in lessons. Teaching assistants are skilled at accelerating pupils’ progress through small group work and one-to-one tuition.” (Ofsted 2014)
The senior management in school plan with the available resources for highlighted children to receives the best level of support possible. In Key Stage 2 classes ability streaming is currently practiced to support differentiation. The allocation of teaching assistants is determined on the level of need within the classes. We currently have the capacity to allow for support in each class for the teaching of English and Maths. In addition to this, some classes are allocated more than one assistant based upon the level of need.
The school’s newly reviewed curriculum encourages the development of skills and independent learning, allowing children to self-evaluate their own progress. Close links are made with outside agencies such as IDSS (Inclusion Disability Support Service) Occupational Health, Speech and Language, School Health. Providing supportive advice and programmes of study to further increase levels of independence.
“Excellent teamwork between teachers and teaching assistants makes sure that pupils with disabilities and special educational needs make good progress.” (Ofsted 2014)
Training is openly available to all staff in school where a need is identified for any child. Each year the senior management team identify a priority for whole staff training which has previously included, behaviour management for children with SEN. This year the school intends to address the impact of dyslexia and provide a dyslexia friendly environment. Training for the SENCo is also carried out continuously through the attendance and participation in a cluster network with other schools. The SENCo has received the National SENCo Award and has a number of years’ experience. The teaching assistant staff are directly accountable to the SENCO and are provided with appraisal to determine relevant professional development opportunities for themselves and the school.
Appropriate adjustments are made in advance of assessments taking place. This may include: reading support, an amanuensis (scribing on behalf of the child), providing additional time, organising an alternative room for the assessment to take place.
Reviewing and Evaluating Outcomes
Children in the Early Years under 5 years old with a statement or EHC Plan will receive a 6 month review of their plan. Children over 5 will receive an annual review. In addition to this, all children who possess a statement or EHC Plan will receive a termly meeting to update and evaluate IEP targets. Children who receive additional support on Stage 2 of the Code of Practice will also receive a termly meeting to update and evaluate IEP targets. The Senior Leadership Team meet on a regular basis to evaluate the effectiveness of ongoing provision using the school’s tracking system to determine rates of progress.
Keeping Children Safe
• Risk assessments are established and routine in nature and carried out where necessary to safeguard all our children. They are annually reviewed by the governing body. All educational excursions out of school are also risk assessed by individual staff before each visit and are then scrutinised by the Educational Visits Coordinator and the Headteacher. The risk assessment will identify children that require extra assistance in particular aspects of the visit and the level of support required by a teaching assistant.
• Younger children and children with needs that require special consideration at the start and finish of each school day are supervised by teaching staff and assistants. Passwords are used to allow specific adults to make a collection and information is passed to parents where necessary.
• For specific cases and special circumstances, there is a suitable parking point in the school car park to enable parents and children to make a smooth and safe departure from school.
• Depending the level of need, the senior leadership team allocate playtime and lunchtime support for specific cases, to ensure children physical, social and emotional needs are met.
• All policies regarding the children’s behaviour and anti-bullying are readily available on the school’s website.
Health (including Emotional Health and Wellbeing)
The school has a clear Administration of Medicines Policy which is available on the school’s website. Nominated staff members are the only adults allowed to administer prescribed medicines on the school site. All medicines are stored safely away from children and their storage is supervised by staff. Controlled drugs are stored in locked cupboards. Details of all medicines in school that are administered have to be declared by a child’s parent or carer and signed for in order for any distribution in school. Any necessary training regarding the administration of medicines is supported by the School Health Team.
School works very closely with the School Health Team to ensure children’s care plans are up to date. This information is shared with all staff in school to ensure awareness of children’s needs is shared. In the case of a medical emergency staff have training of the procedures to follow. Any member of staff who is responsible for a child’s medical needs will receive all necessary training.
We regularly have visits from health professionals in school, including: School nurse, Occupational Therapy Service, Speech and Language Service. Children requiring support with Speech and Language at stage 2 of the Code of Practice will be offered an appointment at the local clinic. All information is shared with school and any programmes of support which are needed are shared with school and implemented by the teacher or teaching assistant.
Communication with Parents
At the beginning of a school year each year the class teachers offer a meet the teacher evening. Parents are invited to attend to become familiar with their child’s class teacher and the curriculum for that year group. Parents of children with Special Educational Needs will be offered regular contact meetings with the teaching assistant in their class, class teacher and SENCo to ensure communication is of a high standard.
If parents have concerns about their child, in the first instance they can see the class teacher. The class teacher will seek advice from the SENCo, and a meeting will be arranged to discuss concerns and create a plan of action. In cases where parents require daily liaison regarding their child this will be arranged to ensure all information is passed on.
Parents are regularly updated with information regarding their child’s progress this is in the form of two formal parent evenings one in the autumn term and one in the spring term. A non-formal parents evening is also offered in the summer term if required after receiving the end of year report. In addition to this, children in Key Stage 1 and 2 receive a termly report card home, which is to be signed and sent back to school. Children with additional needs on Stage 1 will receive an IEP through the post and the opportunity to discuss this with the class teacher. Children on Stage 2 and 3 will receive an additional termly meeting with the teaching assistant in the class and the SENCo to evaluate progress.
Parents can give feedback to school using the reply forms from the termly report cards. We also have a parent questionnaire which is collected annually to receive parental and carer feedback. We take action regarding any concerns raised and endeavour to resolve all issues swiftly.
Parents are an important part of our school and we organise a number of events where parents can be involved within their child’s learning. Parents will be given information regarding these events through the weekly newsletter, the school website and the school blog.
“Parents are very positive about the school and the direction it is taking. Excellent partnerships between the school and home are promoted through the innovative use of computer technology” (OfSTED 2014)
The voice of the children in our school is a high priority. We have a school council who make decisions when change occurs in the school and they organise a wide variety of events and fundraising to provide equipment for school. The children of the school also are involved in completing class questionnaires.
The school has a PTA which meets termly to organise fairs, discos, craft activities and seasonal events.
The school has a strong governing body and parents are regularly updated about vacancies to join as a parent governor when they occur.
There is a designated SEN governor for the school. The governing body is regularly updated with all issues surrounding Special Educational Needs through a regular report and attendance from the SENCo at key meetings.
What help and support is available for the family?
There are a number of forms and paperwork associated with Special Educational Needs. If parents require any support completing this paperwork, they are able to make an appointment with the SENCo or Head teacher and support will be provided.
We operate an open door policy at Walton-le-Dale Primary School and have access to number of professionals in a variety of fields. Should parents require any information they can see the SENCo or head teacher to receive this information. School works closely with the county SEN office and will endeavour to support families.
Transition to Secondary School
The school has close links with the secondary schools in its local area. When a place has been offered to a child with SEN in the spring term, a transition meeting is organised with staff from the secondary school. An action plan is then completed to ensure a smooth transition can take place. In conjunction with the secondary school, we offer a number of additional opportunities for transition including:
• Taster visits with TA which are in addition to the normal whole year group visits
• Completion of a booklet
• In school (MOTHS) Moving On To High School
What the school provides
Extra Curricular Activities
At Walton-le-Dale we have a breakfast and after school club which is an independent company.
School offers a wide variety of lunch time and afterschool clubs, including:
• Eco Club
The majority of these clubs are free of charge however some clubs provided by outside agencies will incur a charge. We ensure all clubs are inclusive and where necessary, support will be provided to ensure all children have the opportunity to participate in all extra-curricular clubs.
As children leave the infant building and move onto the junior building, we encourage a buddy system between to our Year 6 pupils and our Year 3 pupils to help them settle into their new environment.