Who can I contact for further information?

  • Visit Access Unlimited, the new One Stop Shop for Suffolk children and young people with additional needs and disabilities www.access-unlimited.co.uk

How can I be involved?

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.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s additional needs?

  • 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.

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.

Reception Parent

‘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.’

What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

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 my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • 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.

How accessible is the school environment?

  • 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

What training have staff had regarding special needs?

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.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

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
  • Physiotherapy
  • Educational Psychology
  • Social Services
  • The Early Help Team
  • GP
  • Paediatrician
  • 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.

How will my child be able to contribute their views?

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.’