Special Educational Needs

At Woodchurch CE Primary School we strive to support all children to enable them to achieve at our school.  In order to do this, many steps are taken to support them on their learning journeys. Quality teaching is vital. However, for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets. The Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCo) at Woodchurch CE Primary School is Mrs Vanessa Robinson. Mrs Robinson can be contacted by email using the following address vrobinson@woodchurch.kent.sch.uk or you can call her on 01233 860232. You can download the latest SEN&D Policy and Information Report here.

Roles and Responsibilities of a SENCo

Our SENCo is responsible for the operation of the Inclusion Policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual children with Special Education Needs. I liaise with staff to monitor the pupil’s progress and plan further interventions where progress is slower than expected. I regularly have contact with a wide range of eternal agencies that are able to support with specialist advice. If you have any concerns regarding SEN matters, please do not hesitate to make an appointment to speak to me. There are many abbreviations and acronyms that are used in SEN. You can download an explanation of the most commonly used ones here.

The areas of Special Educational Needs (SEN) that are supported at Woodchurch CE Primary School

Children with SEN at Woodchurch CE Primary School most commonly have difficulties with their:
  • English skills (Reading, Writing, handwriting, dyslexia)
  • Maths skills
  • Speech, Language and Communication skills
  • Gross (large body movements) motor control
  • Fine (small body movements) motor control
  • Social and Emotional development (making friendships, understanding boundaries, anxiety, managing their own behaviour, coming to terms with attachment and trauma issues)
  • Autism (ASD, Asperger’s) – Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/ Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD/ADD) – these are disorders that affect an individual throughout life. They are conditions of the brain that affect a person’s ability to pay attention
  • Medical and health problems (global learning development, hearing impaired, vision impairment
This, however, is not an exhaustive list. Although each child may have a variety of different learning needs, key areas of need are identified to assist with planning and provision. These areas are:
  • Cognition and Learning – covering academic aspects of learning
  • Communication and Interaction – covering Speech, Language and Communication disorders
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical needs

How your child’s needs are identified and what you should do if you are concerned about your child’s needs

All children are valued, respected and welcomed to the school, whatever their additional educational needs. We will support their learning and ensure they are fully included in all school activities, making full use of externally provided facilities where appropriate. Any concerns you may have about your child can be shared with your child’s class teacher in the first instance or Mrs Robinson (Special Needs Coordinator, SENCO) or Mrs Mewburn (Family Liaison Officer, FLO) at any point during the school year. Additionally, should a member of staff become concerned about your child’s additional needs or rate of progress, you will be contacted as soon as possible to discuss these concerns. Children can be identified at any time, by either parents or staff members. Assessment periods often highlight children that require further support. Those children who are receiving support ‘additional to or different from’ that of the rest of the class, will be supported through the school’s SEN register. This is to ensure that all children receiving extra support can be monitored closely. Previously, children were recorded on the SEN Census as either School/Early Action, School Action /Early Action Plus or as Statemented. The updated Code of Practice removes these categories and now uses single category of ‘SEN Support’. If your child has severe and complex long term needs, they may have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC).

How we help your child at Woodchurch CE Primary School

High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised meets the individual needs of the majority of children. However, some children need educational provision that is additional to or different from this in order to narrow the gaps in learning. Classes have a Teaching Assistant (TA) which improves the adult ratio in the classroom so every child receives more help. Specific interventions and support take place throughout the day to meet the personal needs of the children.

How we promote your child’s social and emotional well-being at Woodchurch CE Primary School

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Well-being and involvement of every child is an integral part of our school life. We use Building Learning Power to encourage independence and positive relationships. Mrs Mewburn, our FLO, works alongside the class teachers to offer pastoral support to children. Examples of pastoral work include help with: difficulty with work, friendship issues, poor attendance, family break up, bereavement etc. One to One or small group sessions aim to encourage the child to feel safe and to communicate with a key member of staff. A range of strategies can also be suggested such as reward charts, visual timetables and feelings charts to support the child in their home environment.

How Woodchurch CE Primary School will work with you to monitor your child’s needs

At Woodchurch CE Primary School we have an open door policy and try to encourage family involvement at all stages of identifying and supporting children’s needs. Currently we hold parents’ evenings twice each academic year. Where there is a high level of support or assessment for a child, Mrs Robinson or Miss Harrington will meet with parents to discuss progress and review targets. We work together during these meetings to provide practical support and strategies for the child and/or their family. In cases where there are multiple outside agencies involved, the Kent Local Officer will be consulted. Agencies that may become involved through formal meetings might include:
  • Speech and Language
  • School Nursing
  • Specialist Teaching Service (STS)
  • Educational Psychologists (EPs)
  • Early Help through Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK)
For more details please see the Kent Family Support Network/Early Help section (Parent support).

The ‘Graduated Approach’

High quality teaching and additional interventions are the first steps to addressing children’s additional needs. We use provision mapping each term to review and record what we offer EVERY child or young person in our care and what we offer additionally. We discuss aspirations with our learners to ensure that their wishes are taken into account. In line with the updated Code of Practice (2014) and underpinning ALL our provision in school is the graduated approach cycle of:
  • All teachers are responsible for each child in their care, including those with Special Educational Needs.
  • Assessment tools enable teachers to set small step targets in reading, writing and mathematics which can be easily monitored and reviewed by teachers and teaching assistants.
  • Teachers are responsible for planning and reviewing their Provision Map at least termly.
During a review period, children will be highlighted if they do not appear to be making progress despite high quality teaching. Once highlighted, the SENCO will suggest and provide support for a range of assessments to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses. These assessments support the teaching within a child’s year group and are additional to the Class Teacher’s assessments that happen on a regular basis within the classroom.

How we assess learning needs at Woodchurch CE Primary School

The assessments below are an example of what can be administered after concerns have been raised via teachers and/or parents. Results are shared with parents and class teachers/TAs to inform the next steps in support. Speech Link, Infant Language Link (Reception and KS1) and Junior Language Link (KS2) This assessment investigates whether there are any speech sound difficulties, or any areas of language that need development. This assessment can lead to a referral to the NHS Speech and Language department, or an assessment by our privately employed Speech and Language therapist. Salford Reading test – uses small passages of text and questions to gauge an average reading age, comprehension age and reading rate. Dyscalculia Screener – this assessment looks at a child’s strengths and weaknesses within basic maths skills. Fizzy/Clever Hands programme screener – this looks at body awareness, balance and ball skills and fine motor skills. Lucid COPS (4-8 years old) and Lucid LASS (8-11 years old) - this assessment looks for signs of dyslexia and measures visual and auditory memory, phonic skills (such as blending, segmenting, reading and spelling) and non-verbal reasoning. Identification of dyslexia –Kent Local Authority provides the following definition of dyslexia: “Dyslexia is evident when accurate and fluent word reading and/or spelling develops very incompletely or with great difficulty. This focuses on literacy learning at the ‘word level’ and implies that the problem is severe and persistent despite appropriate learning opportunities. It provides the basis for a staged process of assessment through teaching.” (A working definition of Dyslexia, British Psychological Society, 1999, page 18). Consistent with the recommendations from The Rose Report (2009), Kent’s policy is that persistent difficulties with reading and spelling are best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category. Identifying dyslexia does not rely on identifying a particular profile of cognitive skills. Indicators that a child is at risk of finding reading and spelling particularly difficult could include:
  • difficulty in processing the sounds in speech
  • difficulty in linking sounds to written letters
  • difficulty in short term or working memory
  • difficulty in processing information about letters and sounds quickly
Failure to grasp these underlying ‘phonological processing’ skills is almost universally agreed as being the underlying difficulty for children who find learning to read and spell particularly hard. Some children may also have additional difficulty with visual memory, visual discrimination or sequencing and with fine motor skills.

How Woodchurch CE Primary School works with outside agencies to support children

The recently updated SEND Code of Practice 2014 reflects many changes introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014. There is more of a focus on multi-agency working to ensure the best possible care and support for children’s needs. This was formally known as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), used when it was thought that a child or family required multi-agency support. Now an Early Notification form is completed. This form is screened by the Early Help Team who suggest the best possible agencies to support the child/ family. Following this, outcomes are set and regular meetings are held throughout the process to review the targets and progress. Additionally, further advice and support can be gained through the termly Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) meetings. Some of agencies we may work with include:
  • Speech and Language
  • Occupational therapists
  • Specialist Teaching Service (STS)
  • Educational Psychologist (EP)
  • Hospital/GP
  • Child Health (based at The Rainbow Centre)
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS)
  • Housing
  • Social Services
  • Counselling services

How Woodchurch CE Primary ensures the provision for children is effective

Ongoing assessment and monitoring of all children takes place throughout the school year, and includes whole class, small group and individual provision such as:
  • Assessment
  • Transference of skills taught into independent learning
  • Helping a child to feel more confident in the given area of learning/ increase of speed and/or understanding
  • Pupil Progress Meetings – 6 times per year
  • SENCO/AENCO monitoring in class
  • Lesson observations
  • Data analysis
  • Pupil voice
  • Book scrutiny
  • Tracking of progress/interventions
  • Termly review of provision maps
  • Learning walks and reviews
  • Feedback from parents and pupils

The support we provide for staff at Woodchurch CE Primary School to support all children’s needs

At Woodchurch CE Primary School we are committed to developing the ongoing expertise of all our staff. This training includes: Quality First Teaching, dyslexia friendly classrooms, developing communication and interaction skills, Big Writing, Big Read, Big Maths, Building Learning Power, Well-being and Involvement, Safeguarding and First Aid. All teachers are responsible for the children within their class. Considerable thought, planning and preparation go into utilising our support staff to ensure children achieve the best outcomes, gain independence and are prepared for adulthood from the earliest possible age. Teaching Assistants are matched to classes through experience, training and level of need. Teaching throughout the year is kept consistent by using familiar teachers to cover staff absences.

How we prepare children for their changing needs such as transition

Children experience several transitions throughout their school life; each stage is slightly different and affects each child in a different way. The majority of children adjust to these changes naturally over time, others may need more support. For this reason, individual transition programmes are set up for children who have SEN to try and make this process as smooth as possible. When I child leaves we work closely with their destination school to provide support to make the transition easier. Some of the ways we support children in times of transition are described in the table below.
Phase of transitionMethod
Into the Foundation StageOpen Days
New parents’ meetings
Visits in the Summer term before entry
Home visits,
Starting school booklet Regular FLO contact whilst settling in for the child and parents
Moving into a new year groupMove up day
Regular contact with all teachers in our school
Social story booklets when appropriate
Year 6 to secondary schoolsWe actively encourage you to attend Secondary School open days with your child
Visits to and from secondary school staff
Transition days/weeks arranged by secondary schools
Safety in Action inc. transport / online safety talks etc.
Social story booklets, when appropriate
Late admission or transfer to our schoolVisit to class to meet children and new teacher
Buddy system
Circle time
Regular FLO contact whilst settling in for the child and parents

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)?

The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special education provision to meet the special educational needs (severe and complex long term needs) of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for them across education, health and social care and as they get older and prepare for adulthood. An EHC Plan will contain:
  • The views and aspirations of the child and their parents
  • A full description of a child’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs
  • Outcomes for your child’s progress,
  • The provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet a child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes
Parents and/or the school, usually the SENCo or Headteacher, can request that the local authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. This may lead to an EHC Plan.

How Woodchurch CE Primary School arranges the SEN budget

Woodchurch CE Primary School receives funding from the Education Funding Agency and/or the local authority. These funds include money to support the learning of children with SEN and/or disabilities via support staff appointments, access to external services, additional teaching resources and staff training. Our notional SEN Budget this year was £6000. The Headteacher, in consultation with the School Governing Body, decides the budget for SEN provision on the basis of the needs of the children at Woodchurch CE Primary School. The Head teacher and the SENCO discuss the effectiveness of the school’s current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs. This process is reviewed regularly to ensure that the best possible support is provided to those children who have additional needs and/or disabilities.

How to raise concerns about the provision your child is receiving

If you have concerns regarding the SEN support for your child, please contact your child’s class teacher by making an appointment through the school office, or speak to Mrs Robinson, Miss Harrington or Mrs Mewburn.

Our SEN Governor

We are fortunate to have an experienced governor, Mrs Callie Durrand, as our School SEN Governor. The SENCO meets with the SEN Governor regularly to discuss the current SEN needs of the school. An annual Governing Body meeting is held in which the SENCO updates all Governors on the latest developments within SEN including the current number of children with SEN/AEN, types of needs, SEN budget developments and targets/progress against the School Development Plan.

Policies which have informed the SEND Information Report

  • SEN Policy
  • Disability and Equality Policy
  • Complaints Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Children in Care
  • Pupil Premium Provision
  • Safeguarding and Online Safety policies
  • Confidentiality Policy
All the above policies can be found on the menu to the right of this page.

The Legislative Acts that have been considered when compiling the SEND report.

  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • SEN Code of Practice 2014
  • National Curriculum 2013
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005