How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
- When a child has an identified or suspected Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) before they start at Fairfield or Colneis we work with the people who already know them and use the information already available to identify how we can meet their current and any emerging needs in our school setting.
- When a child already in the school moves year group there are systems in place to ensure that information about their individual needs is passed on to the new teacher and support staff. This is overseen by the Headteacher/SENCO and his team.
- If you tell us you think your child has a SEND we will discuss this with you and check it out. We will share with you what we find and agree with you what we will do next and what you can do to help your child.
- Our half termly pupil progress meetings will indicate whether a child is not making the expected progress and is below age expected levels. This may indicate a Special Educational Need. Staff will also raise concerns if they feel that other factors such as a child’s behaviour, self-esteem, ability to follow instructions or ability to form relationships are affecting performance or well-being.
- Liaison with external agencies for example health professionals.
- TALK to us first. Firstly contact your child’s class teacher as they work with your child on a daily basis. However, if you prefer you can always ask to meet with the Headteacher/SENCO or Deputy Headteacher.
At Fairfield and Colneis we pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us.
Year 4 parent
‘The school has done a very good job in getting to understand my child’s needs and anxieties.’
Year 3 parent
‘My child is feeling so much more positive about his learning since his needs have been assessed by the school. He is very well supported by all of his teachers and teaching assistants.’
The level of support your child receives will depend on their needs which we know can change over time. It is our aim to be responsive to any developing and emerging needs
- Many children will have their additional needs met through excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching (Universal Support). This means teaching where:
- the teacher has the highest possible expectations for all pupils
- teaching is carefully planned to build on to what the child can already do and understand so as to accelerate progress
- different ways of teaching are put in place so the child is fully involved in learning
- specific strategies (which may have been suggested by the SENCO or another professional) are put into place to support the child’s learning
- Some children may take part in specific group work with a smaller group of children. Such groups are put together to address specific gaps that have been identified in a child’s learning and will be closely monitored to ensure that they are resulting in good progress for the child (Targeted Support). These groups may be:
- run in the classroom or outside the classroom
- run by a teacher or teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups (usually school staff but sometimes from an approved outside agency which would only be done with a parent’s permission)
- Some children may have needs that require one to one support (Specialist Support). This support may be:
- to deliver a specialist package (for example a programme devised by a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist)
- to access certain parts of the curriculum
- individual teaching programmes to improve literacy or maths skills
- support with medical/physical needs
- support to manage social situations and emotional needs
It is at this stage that the child’s name will be officially added to the school’s Special Needs register and more individualised targets put in place through a Pupil Passport or Individual Support Plan.
For children whose needs are severe, complex and lifelong the school (or you) can request that the local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of the child’s needs. This is a legal process you can find out more about by looking at Suffolk’s Local Offer
After a request has been made to the Local Authority they will decide whether they think the child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If they do they will ask you and all professionals involved with the child to write a report outlining the child’s needs. If they do not think this is necessary, they will ask the school to continue with the support they are providing and may make suggestions as to how this can be further improved.
If they do decide to carry out statutory assessment the reports requested by the Local Authority will be carefully collated and they will write an Education, Health and Care Plan. The Education, Health and Care Plan will outline the support the child will receive from school and any other agencies involved in their care and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for the child. It will then be regularly reviewed, with you and the child providing input as to how well it is meeting their needs.
Please see flow chart below to help clarify this process.
Year 5 parent
‘Offering my child additional support with maths is helping him massively.’
‘The school have supported my child with an individualised and group learning education to meet his individual learning needs.’
We aim to be child and family centred so you can expect ‘no decision about me without me’
- When we assess for Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) we will discuss with you what we are assessing and the results of that assessment. We will also want you to share with us your perceptions of how your child is functioning in school and what their understanding and behaviour is like at home.
- Following on from this we will plan what support might be appropriate and share this information with you.
- Progress and the outcomes of any support will be regularly reviewed and fed back to you. Support will be adapted in light of this to ensure your child’s needs continue to be met.
- The class teacher will meet with you at least on a termly basis to discuss your child’s needs and progress towards their targets, (this could be part of parent’s evenings but class teachers will always make an additional appointment to talk to you as the need arises).
- The Headteacher/SENCO will offer appointments to discuss your child on scheduled parent’s evenings but is available at any time to talk things over with you.
It is easy to assume that all is well if we don’t hear from parents. If you would like more information about anything regarding your child’s needs or progress PLEASE ASK
Year 2 parent
‘The school always keeps us involved and up to date with concerns, progress etc.’
‘The school has been very good at liaising with me, as the parent, to enable continuity of my child’s learning at home; which reduces anxiety for us both.’
Year 1 parent
‘All concerns were addressed so I was very pleased.’
- At both schools we measure children’s progress in learning against national expectations and age related expectations.
- Your child’s class teacher will continually assess each child and note areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. We track all children’s progress from entry in Nursery or Reception through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including nationally agreed expectations and standardised reading, spelling and maths ages.
- Each child’s progress will be discussed at our half termly pupil progress meeting. This is a meeting between class teachers and the senior leaders in the school to discuss the progress each child has made over the preceding few weeks. Things that are working well will be noted and any necessary changes to the existing support will also be discussed. If any change is suggested for your child then you will be informed.
- If your child has individual targets set out in a pupil passport or individual support plan staff will make a brief weekly comment as to your child’s progress and invite you to do the same. Each half term the targets will be reviewed more fully. This will involve your child meeting with their teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to talk about progress towards the targets, whether they have been achieved or whether they need to be adapted. They will then set some new targets which they will bring home to share with you. Anybody who works with your child will be able to see how they are progressing towards their target and what strategies will support their learning.
Year 1 parent
‘I feel the school is very good at ongoing monitoring.’
We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers; therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly. We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and discuss how your child is getting on. We are more than willing to offer advice and practical ways you can support your child at home
- The school has systems in place to measure children’s progress against national and age related expectations (see Section ‘How does the school know how well my child is doing?’) All children are carefully tracked throughout their time at both schools. This information is available to be shared with you at scheduled meetings and at any other time you may wish to request it. Class teachers continually assess children and note areas of progress and difficulty so they can be addressed on a daily basis.
- We operate a home/school link book which your child will bring home daily so comments from parents and teachers can be shared and responded to as needed. It is very helpful if parents keep staff informed of any changes at home which might impact on their child’s learning. Where necessary any such information will be handled sensitively. Parents may wish to make contact with the school’s Family Support Worker for further advice and support.
- If your child is on the Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) register they will have an individual Pupil Passport. This will contain information about them as a learner and have some individual targets set on a half termly basis. These targets will be set by the class teacher in consultation with your child and the SENCO as necessary. You will receive a brief comment as to progress towards these targets on a weekly basis and there is the space for you to record your comments too if you wish. You will receive more detailed feedback at the termly meetings described above.
- Homework will be set as appropriate to allow your child to repeat and practice new learning and share it with you.
Year 6 parent
‘We really appreciate the regular meetings and emails.’
Year 2 parent
‘I like the pictures added to the passport. I like that it lists the people who help my child.’
All work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access it according to their specific needs
- All of our staff are trained to make work more accessible or more challenging so that every child is able to learn at their level.
- We use additional schemes/materials so that we have something at the right level for children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND).
- As well as adapting the learning activities to match individual children’s specific needs we use approaches that support all of the children’s different learning styles. We are aware that some children learn best when doing (kinaesthetic learners), some are very visual learners, some benefit from collaborating with others while some prefer to work on their own.
- All of our staff are trained in a variety of approaches which means we are able to adapt to a range of SEND for example: specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, speech, language and communication needs and behavioural, social and emotional needs.
Year 2 parent
‘There has been continuous support for my child, which has been made by many different people/staff, with different qualifications and training, which is good for meeting all of my child’s needs.’
Year 6 pupil
‘When I don’t understand my teacher will always explain it in a different way.’
Both Fairfield and Colneis are inclusive schools. We welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring understanding team looking after our children.
- Your child’s class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care or every child in their class on a daily basis making them a parent’s first point of contact. For children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) the class teacher will liaise with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and Consultant SENCO for further advice and support. This may also involve liaising with outside agencies too such as health and social care professionals.
- Fairfield and Colneis share the same school aims and Star Rules. These underpin all that we plan and do at both schools.
- The schools have a full time Family Support worker who works under the direction of the SENCO to support children and parents with a range of different matters.
- The schools also have a Higher Level Teaching Assistant for Pastoral Support to work directly with individuals or small groups of children to provide support with a range of social, emotional and behavioural issues. The Family Support Worker usually offers parenting courses at certain points during the year or is able to signpost you to relevant support.
- When a child has a medical need we will work with you and any relevant medical professionals to put together a Care Plan which we will review with you at least termly or more frequently if the need arises.
Year 1 parent
‘The teachers have been wonderful to my child; keeping an eye on him yet making him feel as important as the other children. ’
‘The school has been so accommodating of my child’s needs; getting staff educated with his equipment and ensuring other relevant people were aware of those needs.’
Year 4 parent
‘The support has truly made a difference and my child is feeling a lot more positive. He is less reluctant to go to school in the morning and looks forward to his day.’
Pupil Voice is very important to us at Fairfield and Colneis and we seek to gather pupil views when we make key decisions and as part of our monitoring processes. Research shows that pupil participation has positive benefits for behaviour and community cohesion; it develops a feeling of responsibility and helps children take ownership of their own learning
We believe that children have clear views about their needs and what helps them to succeed and that these views need to be respected
- Each school has a school Council whereby pupils can express their views on all aspects of school life and contribute towards any changes
- Staff, including the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), regularly carry out pupil perception interviews to gather information about how pupils feel about their learning, what supports them in their learning and what would improve things further for them
- Children on the Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) register who have an individual Pupil Passport will regularly discuss their learning and progress with their class teacher. They will also work together with staff to set their targets
- When formal meetings are held between parents, school staff and any outside professionals pupils will be encouraged to contribute their views by either attending the meeting or expressing them to an adult prior to the meeting who will then deliver them on the child’s behalf. We try to encourage children to take part in this process but remain sensitive to their age and their individual needs. We recognise that children taking part in formal meetings is something that we will need to build up to gradually over the years so that children develop their confidence in being able to take part in formal decision making.
Year 4 parent
‘I believe that when my child is concerned they are listened to and the concerns are acted upon.’
Year 6 pupil
‘My teacher will always listen to me. When things go wrong she lets me start again.’
Year 5 pupil
‘My teacher always lets me ask questions so I can try to understand things better.’
Year 6 pupil
‘My teacher always wants to make sure that I am feeling happy about everything.’
At both schools we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs
Relevant agencies include the following:
- Support from Local Authority Advisory Team (Please see Suffolk Local Offer suffolk.gov.uk/localoffer)
- County Inclusion Support Service Outreach to support children with a diagnosis of ASD, traits of ASD but no diagnosis, social and communication difficulties, social, emotional and mental health difficulties and all associated behaviours.
- County Resource Outreach for Dyslexia
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Educational Psychology
- Social Services
- The Early Help Team
- School Nurse
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS – formerly Parent Partnership) www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/send-and-the-local-offer/sendiass/sendiass-for-parents-and-carers
- Mental Health Service for Children and Young People in Suffolk (Integrated Delivery Team IDT – formerly CAMHS)
Any discussions with the above professionals include parents and the child as appropriate. Together we review the child’s progress, agree what everyone will do to make learning more effective and set appropriate targets.
Both schools have a strong commitment to continuous staff training and development. We consider it very important to keep up to date with the most recent research and its findings regarding SEN
- Our Headteacher/SENCO is supported by our consultant SENCO who has over 20 years’ experience in the role.
- Our Consultant SENCO is also a qualified Specialist Dyslexia Teacher
- All teachers and support staff have received training in supporting pupils with dyslexia. During 2015 -2016 we participated in the Dyslexia – SpLD Trust training programme.
- One Higher Level Teaching Assistant and several other teaching assistant are ELKLAN trained which means they have had additional training in how to deliver speech and language programmes.
- All teaching assistants have been trained in delivering a range of reading, writing, phonics and maths programmes.
- One teacher is trained as an Every Child A Reader Teacher.
- Three teaching assistants are trained to deliver the Catch Up Numeracy Programme.
- One teaching assistant is trained to deliver the Catch Up Literacy Programme.
- Three teaching assistants are trained to deliver Drawing and Talking Therapy.
- Two teaching assistants are trained as Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA’s)
- Several teaching assistants are trained to deliver Gym Trails.
- Some teachers and teaching assistants are Makaton trained.
- All staff have received training in supporting children with working memory difficulties.
- All teachers and some teaching assistants have been trained in supporting children with behavioural difficulties.
- Staff receive training to support pupils with medical needs as required.
- A Family Support Worker works across both schools to support families and individual pupils who may be having a difficult time for a whole range of reasons.
- The school has a continuous programme of auditing the skills and expertise of staff and providing the relevant training to fill any gaps identified.
- Both schools are wheelchair accessible. The schools are all on one level with ramps at specified fire exits.
- Emergency evacuation plans are drawn up for any wheelchair users/people with limited mobility with a designated route and an alternative route clearly identified.
- Both schools have a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing
- Fairfield has a shower and changing bed.
- Accommodating children who need adaptations to the school environment is carefully considered each year when children move classes and changes/adaptations made as necessary.
- We strongly advise parents to meet with us as soon as possible so we can explore the accessibility of the school with your child’s needs in mind and make any additional changes identified.
- We regularly audit the school’s accessibility with a range of other professionals (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health and safety officers)
- We liaise with advisers from the Equalities and Minority Ethnic Attainment Team (EMEA) to assist us in supporting families with English as an additional language
- Pupils have access to ICT and adapted equipment to support their physical needs as required
- All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips and choose visits that are accessible to all. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. Where a child has additional needs this will be taken into account at this stage and additional control measures put in place to enable them to participate fully. For children with significant needs they may require an individual risk assessment. We understand that including parents to ensure that a child is able to take part in any trip or activity successfully may make both the parent and child feel more at ease. We will talk to you about what will work best for your child.
We are very aware that difficult behaviour is likely to be a symptom of an underlying issue. We endeavour to work with a child and their family to identify what might be causing the problem and then work to support them in moving forward
- At both schools we have a very positive and inclusive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear rewards and consequences system that is followed by all staff and pupils.
- After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. Often they will be asked to complete a reflection form. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change or improve their behaviour.
- If your child has on going behavioural difficulties we will talk to you and your child together. We will often write a Behaviour Management Plan to identify the specific issues and how best to manage them. It will include the sort of support the school will be giving your child. Short term, achievable targets will also be set for your child and these will be reviewed regularly with you. We will meet with you as often as necessary to do this, even if it is as much as once a week. We will also endeavour to provide brief daily feedback if this is considered helpful and always seek to celebrate the positive. This will be done through a brief word on the playground or a quick note in the home/school book.
- The attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Admin Team. If your child is absent and you haven’t written or called to tell us why you will be contacted by us.
- Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Senior Leadership Team. The registers are also inspected regularly by the Education Welfare Officer. Children with full attendance are rewarded at end of term celebration assemblies. Studies show that good attendance is directly linked to good attainment and progress. Our Family Support Worker will work with any family who is struggling with lateness and attendance to support them in overcoming the difficulties.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
We place huge importance on ensuring that children are well prepared for the next stage in their education and feel comfortable and supported through any transitions
- We encourage all new children to visit either school prior to starting when they will be shown around and meet their teachers. A series of induction events are planned for pupils and parents for all children starting in Nursery, Reception or transferring from Fairfield to Colneis at the end of Year 2. This is also the case for Year 6 pupils on transfer to High School.
- There is a buddy system in place to support Year 2 pupils when they move to Colneis. They are given the opportunity to build up a relationship with a Year 5 pupil during their time in Year 2 so when they start at Colneis they have a buddy who is then in Year 6.
- We write social stories and make transition books with any children for whom it is considered transition may prove difficult or especially worrying. These include key information about the new setting and relevant photographs of staff and parts of the school building. They will also focus on any key areas of change that may be causing anxiety. The children are encouraged to take them home and share them with their families.
- We recognise that some children, including those with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND), will need something in addition to our planned transition programme. Such pupils will have an extended transition programme put in place that is tailored to meet their individual needs. This may include additional visits to the school to assist with the child becoming more familiar with their new surroundings and new key adults. Staff will accompany children on any of these additional visits to support them and work through any questions or specific issues that arise.
- Staff from the receiving school will liaise with the staff from the feeder school to discuss each child’s specific needs and hand over any paperwork. Staff from the receiving school will also visit pupils in their existing school to meet them in a familiar setting and observe how their current teachers manage their individual needs. This also includes visiting pre-school settings when children first join us in Reception. Where staff and parents feel there is a need we will hold a Professionals Meeting prior to transition to ensure that the child’s needs are fully understood and that we have the correct provision in place.
- The SENCO is always available to meet with you at the end of each academic year to discuss your child’s transition into the next school or year group to explore any concerns and adjust plans for meeting your child’s needs.
- Most of the secondary schools our pupils move on to run extended transition programmes for any pupils with additional needs. Whether or not such a programme would be beneficial for your child will be discussed with you and your child at the relevant time.
- If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) from the school you wish your child to attend after leaving us will be invited to attend your child’s Annual Review in their final year at Colneis.
‘I really appreciated the meeting between the school SENCO, Nursery SENCO, outside professionals and reception teachers. I was able to discuss all of my child’s needs and my concerns.’
- We receive funding for all children who have Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) and will use this funding to meet the needs of each individual pupil as best as we possibly can. This includes the cost of some of the learning support assistants, the delivery of some interventions, staff training and additional equipment if required.
- Suffolk also has a system for securing High Tariff Needs top up funding for pupils whose needs match specific criteria and whose needs are considered greater than can be met through the school’s general SEND allowance. If the school can provide evidence of the child’s needs meeting the strict criteria set then extra funding will be secured. This funding is set out in bands with the amount awarded increasing as they complexity of need increases.
- Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan will have resources allocated appropriately depending on the content of the plan. If the plan identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated. You will be told by the Local Authority if this means you are eligible for a personal budget. Parents will have a say in how this is used. However, this must be used to fund the agreed plan.
At Fairfield and Colneis we understand that as a parent you are the expert on your child and have a valuable contribution to make regarding your child’s needs and wishes
- We aim to involve you in every decision making process.
- We encourage you to meet with us as often as you feel necessary. Your child’s class teacher will be happy to share information about your child’s progress and listen to what you have to say about what your child is doing at home. We hope that this will make sure that we are doing similar things to support your child at both home and school and that we can share what is working well in both places.
- The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is available to meet with you and discuss any worries or concerns you may have.
- All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you so you are aware of any recommendations they have made. If you do not have a face to face meeting with the relevant professional and receive a written report instead, the SENCO will be happy to meet with you and discuss the contents.
- Any homework set will be adjusted to meet your child’s needs and we would appreciate your support in completing it with your child. If you need support or strategies for managing homework with your child then please let school staff know.
- The SENCO or Senior Leaders at either school would be happy to expand further on any of the information given above. Please contact the school directly.
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS – formerly Parent Partnership) can offer further advice and support. Contact them at: www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/ send-and-the-local-offer/sendiass/sendiass-for-parents-and-carers
- Visit Access Unlimited, the new One Stop Shop for Suffolk children and young people with additional needs and disabilities www.access-unlimited.co.uk