Schools Local Offer
Petersgate is a two form entry Infants School. We pride ourselves on being an open and friendly school that wants the best for all children. We believe in working with parents is the best way to achieve this and are always happy to talk to parents about their children.
Special Educational Needs Information
At Petersgate Infants School we work hard to support all children to enable them to maximise their potential at our mainstream school.
Many different strategies are employed to support the children through their learning journey.
Quality teaching is vital but for some children there are times when additional support may be needed to help them to make progress at school.
In 2013, the Government introduced the Children and families Bills.
This bill was introduced to improve services for vulnerable children and to support families. As part of the changes, all schools have been asked to provide information to parents and carers on the ways in which they can support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This information takes the form of the answers to a series of questions devised in consultation with parents and carers. Along with information from other settings this will create the Hampshire offer.
Below are Petersgates responses to these questions.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We are an open and friendly school and pride ourselves on our approachability so:
- Talk to us. The first point of contact is the class teacher.
- The next point of contact is the SENCo (Mrs. Kelly Felton) or Head teacher (Miss Julie Tasker)
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
- These decisions are made by the class teacher and the senior management team.
- Decisions are made based on termly tracking and on assessments made by outside agencies.
- Routine screening indicates that help is needed such as CoPS (Cognitive Profiling System) testing undertaken at the end of Early Years providing the teacher with a profile, which can be used to identify and predict problems that children are likely to encounter in learning. CoPS has been proven to identify children who are struggling in learning and for the early identification of dyslexia.
How does the school know if children need extra help?
We know when pupils need help if:
- Concerns are raised by parents/carer, teachers or the child
- Limited progress is being made
- There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress
- Liaison with previous settings including pre-school settings and/or external agencies including health visitors, speech and language therapists etc.
How will school support my child?
Who will plan work with my child, plan for their work and oversee this work?
- Each child’s educational programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated to meet the child’s needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant (TA) in class.
- If your child has needs related to a specific area of their education eg. Spelling or handwriting then the child will work in a small focus group run by either the teacher or a TA. The intervention will vary in length depending on the need. All interventions will be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are effective and to inform future planning.
- Pupil progress meetings are held each term. The class teacher meets with the senior leadership team to discuss the progress of pupils in the class. This enables people to highlight any potential problems and put in further support or change the support as needed.
- Sometimes a child may need more expert support from an outside agency such as a speech or physical therapist. Referrals are made by the school in conjunction with the parents/carers. After assessment, a programme of support is often provided to the school and parents/carers.
- The SENCo will liaise with the class teacher and involve different agencies where necessary. They will support you and the class teacher to ensure that your child maximises their potential
How are the governors involved and what are their responsibilities?
- The SENCo reports to governors annually to inform them about the progress of children with SEND; this report does not use names and confidentiality is maintained at all times. The head teacher also reports on pupil progress termly.
- One Governor takes special responsibility for SEN and meets regularly with the SENCo.
- The SENCO and senior leaders agree priorities for spending within the SEN budget with the overall aim of giving all children the support they need to make progress.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- When a child is identified as having SEN the teacher will differentiate the work to suit that child
- TAs may be assigned to work with a child either in small focus groups or individually
- If a child has been identified as having SEND they may be given an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Targets will be set according to the area of need. These will be monitored by the class teacher and SENCo.
- Specialist equipment may be given to a child where appropriate (eg. writing slopes, pencilgrips, reading rulers)
Who will explain this to me?
- The class teacher will meet regularly with parents, usually termly as part of parents meetings to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress.
- If your child has an IEP, this will be discussed with you and you will be provided with a copy.
- The SENCo is also available to talk to parents if this is more appropriate.
- The SENCo or class teacher will be happy to arrange other meetings as and when they are needed.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- We offer an open door policy where you are welcome to talk to the class teacher or about your child’s progress and ways to support them at home.
- If outside agencies are involved they may suggest programmes that can be used at home.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s wellbeing.
- The class teacher has overall responsibility for the care of the children in their class so this would be the first point of contact for parents/carers. If extra advice is needed, the SENCo can offer further advice and support. This may include calling on the advice and support from outside agencies such as Health, Social Services and Behaviour Support and Parent Support Worker
- The school has an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), who works, under the supervision of the SENCo, with vulnerable children and parents during the school day
Pupils with medical needs
- If a child has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled with the support of the school nurse and the parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who work with the child.
- Specific training of staff is undertaken when there is a specific need eg use of epipens or blood sugar testing.
- Where necessary, and with the agreement of the parents, medicines are administered in school. This is usually overseen by the admin office but only where a signed Medicine consent form is in place to ensure the safety
What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?
- We use a positive behaviour approach to all types of behaviour with clear reward systems in place in all classes
- For children with behavioural difficulties Individual Behaviour plans (IBP) are written alongside the child and parents. These outline specific issues and put relevant support in place.
- It is anticipated that at least two members of staff will receive Team Teach training by the end of the autumn term 2014.
- A parent Support Advisor helps support parents/carers at home once the school and parents have made a referral.
- Where necessary, outside agencies such as Primary Behaviour Support, specialist schools, Educational Psychologists and CAMHS are called in to offer support and guidance.
- Every effort is made to ensure children attend school regularly and achieve well, irrespective of need. Exclusion is a last resort, used in exceptional circumstances and only considered when there is a threat to the provision of education or the safety and welfare of children, where rules are persistently broken or where physical or verbal violence is directed at staff. (See Behaviour Policy)
How will my child be able to contribute their views?
- We believe that it is important to listen to what children have to say. All our staff develop strong relationships with the children in their care and encourage the children to express their views and feelings.
- There is a school council which meets on a regular basis
- Philosophy for Children is taught across the school and this supports the children’s ability to express themselves and teaches them that their opinions are important
- ELSA support provides children with alternative opportunities to express themselves when they find them difficult to articulate?
How will you safeguard my child?
- all adults working with children on a regular basis are checked through DBS
- all staff are trained annually on safeguarding children, ie. Child Protection
- the Governors ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible and treats all children and staff in a fair and equitable way. They monitor and review all relevant policies
What specialist services and expertise are available to the school?
- All staff receive training to assist them in working with the children in our care and if a child comes to our school with a need for which training is required we will undertake this.
- As a School we work closely with a range of external agencies to meet the specific needs of the children in our care. These include:
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Specialist Teacher Advisors
- Educational Psychologists
- Outreach Teams
- Parent Support Workers
- Social Services
- School Nurse
- Health visitors
What training have the staff supporting children with SEN received or are in the process of receiving?
- All staff are given the training they need to work with the specific children in their care these have included:
- how to support children with Speech and Language Difficulties
- how to support children with Social and Emotional needs
- how to support children with physical and co-ordination difficulties
- A member of staff is employed and is being trained as an ELSA
- It is anticipated that there will be at least 2 members of staff who have received Team Teach training.
- School clubs
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
- Activities and school trips are planned to be accessible to all.
- Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate to the best of their abilities.
- On occasions if it is deemed that an intensive level of 1-1 support is required a parent/carer may be asked to accompany their child.
How accessible is the school environment?
- We are an inclusive school and the school environment is set up to support children with a wide range of learning styles and needs.
- The school building is all on one level with ramps at fire exits
- All doors are wide enough for a wheelchair
- There is an accessible toilet
- There is an adjustable changing table
- There are 2 disabled parking bays
- If a child coming to our school requires any further adaptations we will consult the relevant agencies to make any changes that are considered reasonable.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Petersgate or moving to a new school?
- Many strategies are in place to support a child’s transition to a new setting. These include:
- Discussions with the previous or receiving school prior to the move.
- transition sessions for all children changing school at the usual times
- Additional visits for those children who need them
- The SENCo will liaise with SENCos from the previous or receiving school
- Pparents/carers can arrange meetings with the SENCo and/or class teacher prior to a child starting at Petersgate.
- Where a child has more specialised needs, a separate transition meeting can be arranged with the receiving or previous setting and the parents. If necessary an IPA (Inclusion Partnership agreement which sets out the support a child is getting in one setting and what can be expected in the next setting) will be written. This will include who will be responsible for any actions and the relevant time scales.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
- The SEN budget is allocated each year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources for children who need them
- Additional provision may be allocated at any time depending on need and can be triggered by a variety of events (see answer to question 1)
- Resources may include staff time
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
- All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education.
- This may be through:
- Discussion with the class teacher
- Discussion during parents meetings
- Discussions with the SENCo and other professionals
- Parents/carers have the opportunity to comment on the IEP
- New parent visits?
- Headteacher coffee mornings?
If there are concerns or complaints the first point of contact is the class teacher and then the Head teacher. More information can be found in the complaints policy on our website
CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental health services – NHS provided services for children in the mental health arena
DBS Disclosure and Barring Service – police checks for adults working with children and other vulnerable groups.
ELSA Emotional Literacy Support Assistant – a teaching assistant who has received specific additional training. Their role is to support children to understand and regulate their emotions and to respect the feelings of those around them. This work is supported by the Educational Psychologists.
IBP Individual Behaviour Plan – a document which outlines the specific behavioural difficulties a child may be having, setting targets and detailing the strategies that will be used to meet the targets.
IEP Individual Education Plan – a document which gives details of a child’s strengths and needs. It also sets targets for the child and details what will be done to achieve these targets and the criteria for meeting the targets.
IPA Inclusion Partnership Agreement – this document sets out a child’s strengths and needs and what support is being given in the current setting. It goes on to outline what the new setting will offer to meet the child’s needs.
Parent Support Worker – somebody who works with families at home to help support work in school. They are linked to a cluster of schools and are accessible via a referral from the school, after discussion with parents.
SEN Special educational Needs – needs or disabilities that affect a child’s ability to learn.
SENCo Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator – person in school responsible for co-ordinating and overseeing the support for children with SEN.
SEND Special Educational Needs and Disability – see the definition for SEN
TA Teaching Assistant – person with specialised training to support children’s learning. This includes working with groups of children and individuals with SEN.
Team Teach Training which promotes the least intrusive positive handling strategy and techniques, which emphasises and prefers the use of verbal, non-verbal de-escalation strategies to be used before positive handling strategies are utilised. The training enables staff to feel more confident to manage disruptive and challenging behaviour, reducing stress by increasing safety and security for all involved.