SEN & Disabilities
Who do I contact about my child’s special educational needs?
If parent/carers have concerns these should, in the first instance, be raised with the class teacher. Class teachers monitor the learning of all children in their class to ensure they make progress with their learning; when teachers are concerned that progress is not in line with their age expected targets they will liaise with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) who will monitor and assess a child where needed. The SENCo will also be able to support parent/carers when dealing with any concerns. The Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs, including those who have Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP). The SENCO also provides professional guidance to school staff and works closely with parents and carers and other services that provide for children in the school. Depending on the area of need, interventions can be put in place to ensure a child makes adequate progress and outside agencies contacted where necessary.
Which children does the school provide for?
The Bewbush Academy is a maintained Primary School, admitting pupils from age 4 to 11. We are an inclusive school and offer the following range of provision to support children with SEND. Support is tailored to individual need as a result of assessment by internal and external agencies. Support is aimed at children becoming independent learners.
If you want a place at The Bewbush Academy for a child who has an Education Health and Care plan, contact the SEND Officer at West Sussex County Council. If you are looking for a place for any other child with special educational needs, you should apply as normal and your application for admission will be considered in the same way as applications from children without special educational needs.
A summary of how the school meets the needs of children with SEND
Teachers at The Bewbush Academy are skilled at adapting teaching to meet the range of needs in every class Lesson planning takes into account individual children’s needs and all work is differentiated. Our school has high expectations of quality first teaching and the application of a differentiated and personalised approach to teaching and learning and we make it a priority to discuss aspirations with all our learners. Underpinning all our provision in school is the graduated approach cycle of:
Plan - Do - Review - Assess
All teachers are responsible for every child in their care, including those with special educational needs.
Our children are assessed throughout the academic year for maths and English to measure progress and look for gaps in learning. We analyse the assessments to ensure that children not making progress receive support to move them forward, if this is needed. Pupil progress meetings between the teachers, SENCO and members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) support this process. Assessment for learning occurs in each lesson to inform planning and ensure that the children are receiving the input they need to challenge them at the right level. Self-selection of tasks is encouraged in some lessons to allow the children to consolidate learning and set their level of challenge in line with our ethos of encouraging a Growth Mindset in our learners. All adults working within the classroom feed into this process as part of the team working towards our children reaching their full potential.
Discussion with parents and carers also supports our knowledge of the children through informal meetings, parent consultations and Annual Review Meetings as appropriate.
Teachers plan lessons based on assessment of the children’s needs and gaps in learning. These may be adapted as the week progresses to provide more challenge or more support depending upon the children’s understanding and rate of development. Some children may have an intervention that is targeted at their particular need to fill gaps in their learning and enable them to continue to make good progress.
Class teachers deliver lessons with the support of teaching assistants. A range of support is provided for children, including those with additional needs. This may include adult support to focus, rephrase or prompt; visual cues or physical resources to aid access and understanding of the lesson; and in some cases pre-learning of concepts or vocabulary may be provided.
Additional interventions may also be used to support children with specific difficulties. These take place outside of the classroom, usually in the afternoons to prevent time being taken from key lessons such as phonics, English or maths. They include Speech and Language input; additional phonics, writing or maths support; handwriting or fine motor skills work; reading and comprehension input and in some cases emotional development support.
Planning is reviewed daily by the teacher based on their assessments of children in lessons and feedback from other adults in class. SLT (including SENCO) and core subject leaders work alongside teachers to support planning if need arises.
Pupil Progress Meetings take place with the SENCO and members of SLT to closely monitor individual children’s development and look at levels of support as appropriate. This enables us to review practice and adapt to individual needs as they arise.
If the child is looked after by the local authority they will have a Care Plan including a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and a Health plan. We will co-ordinate these plans with the SEND support plan and will involve parents where appropriate, foster carers, social workers and other professionals in discussions.
How the school identifies children’s special educational needs
We aim to identify children’s special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) as early as possible, so that the child achieves the best possible outcomes. A pupil has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision. That is provision which is different from, or additional to, that normally available to pupils of the same age.
Children may have one or more broad areas of special educational need:
- Communication and interaction – including speech and language difficulties and those on the autistic spectrum
- Cognition and learning – including developmental delay and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – including difficulties with behaviour, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, an attachment disorder or anxiety.
- Sensory and/or physical needs- including visual and hearing needs, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities or medical conditions which affect a child’s learning.
We assess each pupil’s skills and level of attainment when they start at the school. We continually assess each child’s progress. If a child is making less than the progress we would expect for their age or individual circumstances, we will explore whether they have special educational needs.
Early identification of SEND is essential in providing the right support for children to enable them to fulfil their potential. At The Bewbush Academy we do this is in a range of ways.
In June, the SENCO, with the EYFS Lead Teacher, looks at information provided by the parents and carers of children expected to begin in Reception the following September and transition meetings may be arranged to further look at provision for the child. Transition meetings with outside agencies may also take place to support the child’s move into school where there are higher level needs. Speech sound assessments take place early in the first term so that support can be put in place quickly as this can impact on English attainment and also behaviour later in life. Language assessments may also take place.
Regular Pupil Progress Meetings take place with class teachers and senior leadership to monitor where the progress of any child in the school may have slowed or is significantly behind their peers to explore reasons for this and look at whether any further assessments or additional support may be needed. Staff meeting time is given throughout the year to discuss SEND and any children that staff have questions or concerns about.
For children where challenging behaviour interrupts learning or social and emotional development we work closely with parents to explore any possible underlying reasons for this. We may look at challenges they have faced in the past or are currently facing, or whether there are additional needs as yet unexplored. These may be communication needs (including speech and language difficulties or autism for example) or undiagnosed learning difficulties which may be impacting on behaviour.
For emotional and mental health difficulties we have a variety of support available from our Family Link Worker, to the Thrive programme where assessments are taken regularly and a programme of 1:1 support with the Pastoral Inclusion Leader is put in place. We may also make use of a Play Therapist to undertake more therapeutic work where this is appropriate.
At The Bewbush Academy we know that a number of factors can impact on children’s well-being and lead to challenging behaviour at different times. This may be changes in circumstances at home, loss and bereavement or traumatic incidents. We work hard to support our children who find the school environment difficult and adopt a flexible but consistent whole school approach to enable them to develop and work towards reaching their full potential.
Identifying and assessing SEND for children whose first language is not English requires particular care and it’s important to look closely at all aspects of a child's performance across different areas of learning and development. This enables us to establish whether lack of progress is impacted by a currently limited ability to access the curriculum in the English language, or if it arises from SEND or disability.
Assessment takes place all the time in classrooms and around the school. All adults working with children observe them when they are working for how they are achieving, what helps them learn effectively and any barriers they are facing. Regular formal assessments take place to explore whether children are achieving at Age Related Expectations (ARE), above ARE or below ARE. These are reported to parents during parents' evenings and in the written report at the end of year.
How does the school teach and support children with SEND?
We monitor the quality of provision and assessment of need regularly in school. This includes observations of whole class teaching to look at quality first teaching, Teaching Assistants and how they support in the classroom, and interventions. This is a supportive method to ensure the highest quality provision for our children through feedback and discussion. Teaching Assistant Appraisals include targets around raising attainment for our vulnerable pupils, tracking progress and ensuring interventions take place regularly and to a high standard. Targets are then reviewed for impact later in the year. Training opportunities are explored during this time to ensure that staff have the confidence to manage and support our children within school. Their input is taken into account with regard to the effectiveness of the intervention, and adaptations may be made based on this discussion, observations and data to maximise the impact.
Audits are undertaken for all staff during the year to further explore future training opportunities. Regular Support Staff meetings, which incorporate training sessions, enable in-house support to be put in place quickly where need arises. Pupil Progress Meetings take place throughout the year with members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This ensures that children who are falling behind or have stopped making progress can immediately be picked up and interventions be put in place where appropriate.
Data is analysed by members of the SLT and the SENCO to look at vulnerable groups within school, the impact of interventions on progress and where changes need to be made.
How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?
All pupils will have access to a broad and balanced curriculum suitable for all our pupils. We set high expectations for all pupils, encouraging them to be the best that they can be. Teachers try to take into account the ideas and interests of the children when planning work to ensure the children feel ownership of their learning. We adjust the curriculum for children with SEND to make sure that they can access subjects at their own level and make progress. This is called differentiation. In some lessons children are encouraged to self-select the level of work they work from. This enables children to challenge themselves if they feel confident in an area, and enables children who are less confident to practise before moving forward with more difficult tasks. All classes are taught about the importance of a Growth Mindset, the skills that an effective learner uses, and how to build resilience for times when things don’t go your way.
How are parents and carers involved in reviewing children’s progress and planning support?
At The Bewbush Academy we believe very strongly that children develop best when school and home work together as a team for the best interests of the child. It demonstrates to the child that education is important and that those around want to help them reach their potential. When parents and carers share information with the school it enables us to understand the child in a more holistic way, to think creatively and in a targeted way about the support we provide. By working alongside the school, parents can feel empowered by the help provided, with more information being available about the best ways to support and strategies they can use at home to help their child be the best that they can be.
Annual Review Meetings take place for those who hold an EHCP to explore whether this will stay in place or is no longer needed, will remain at the same level or need adaptation. Again the class teacher, SENCO and any adults who work with the child for a significant period of time are likely to be present for these.
For children who are fostered and fall into the category of Child Looked After (CLA), PEP and CLA meetings will also take place throughout the year, with opportunities for both children and parents and carers to significantly feed into the process. The SENCO and designated CLA Teacher will attend these. On occasion the class teacher may also be present but not always.
Children at the SEN Support level of SEND have their progress and support tracked on a provision map. This highlights the support they are having, how regularly and for how long it is in place. Although reviews are set to take place 3 times a year, this may be increased under specific circumstances. For example, if significant progress takes place we may meet earlier and more often than planned in order to keep targets relevant and celebrate the success the child is achieving. Equally if an incident occurs that may prevent the child from making progress for a short period of time, or if there are changes in needs or circumstances, this may mean we need to meet more regularly to ensure the provision matches the need. If parents have concerns or questions, they may request a meeting, and if appropriate we can then set up an appointment with the class teacher or SENCO to look at progress and discuss further ideas on how to help their child at home.
Where outside agencies are involved, parents and carers may be invited to meetings at different times. This is to ensure accurate information for targeting need during the intervention by the professional, information for the parent about how to help during the intervention for the parents at home and us in school, and for how to continue and extend this support once the intervention is complete.
How are children involved in reviewing their progress and planning support?
In class children work individually and in pairs to say how well they felt they achieved tasks or how confident they were. This enables the teacher to adapt planning and target those children who are less confident for further support or intervention if needed. Children enjoy their learning more when they are included at each stage of the process. Teachers work with the class at the beginning of topics to explore what they want to find out about during the learning journey and adapt some areas of learning to this.
Children who have an EHC plan have the opportunity to have their views heard at the Annual Review meeting. With the support of an adult if appropriate, children record their feelings about what is going well for them and what further support they would like.
How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new school?
At The Bewbush Academy we firmly believe that our responsibility for our children’s development doesn’t end when they leave us at year 6. We work hard with children, parents and carers, and secondary settings to ensure that they have the best possible start in their new school, and the best life opportunities as they develop. The SENCO meets with parents of SEND children in year 5 to discuss their wishes, concerns and questions about secondary schools and transfers. We do not advise where their children should attend at secondary level, but begin a dialogue and open discussion about what the parents may wish to consider when looking at their child's next steps. We work closely with secondary schools to ensure that our most vulnerable children have additional transition days to make new friends and get used to their new surroundings before they move up.
Meetings take place with the SENCO and often the class teacher from secondary schools where our vulnerable children will be attending. This is in order to ensure they are fully aware of any needs, but also the personalities and strengths of the children moving up to them. For children in year 6 with EHC plans in place the secondary schools are invited to attend the final reviews or person centred planning meetings so that they are able to meet the child, parents or carers, and those adults in school or from outside agencies that have worked closely with the child. All paperwork is passed up to the secondary school with the child so that they can see the support that has been in place, any assessments completed and any important correspondence.
In the past we have often been available to secondary settings for conversations once the children are in year 7 to give further information about support provided, what worked well and any other questions the school may have. For children with EHC Plans, these remain in place until the secondary setting completes an Annual Review meeting with the children and parents. For children with social, emotional or mental health difficulties we work with any outside services supporting them to enable them to remain in place for the transition period where possible. This is to ensure they have familiar support during the time of change as this can cause significant anxiety and further difficulties.
Children who move to other schools at times other than the end of year 6 are also given support where needed, and reasonable to the time frame available. We send all relevant information (for example reports, assessments, minutes from meeting with parents/carers and programmes of study they have followed during their time with us) onto the school promptly, and where necessary, have had additional phone and email conversations to clarify support provided, progress, and relevant holistic information about the child and their needs.
What training do school staff have?
When we plan support for a child, we think about the knowledge and skills their teachers and support staff will need. If necessary, we organise training for specific staff members or allocate time in a staff meeting or an INSET training day for all staff.
Our School Development Plan is reviewed annually to look at how we achieved the targets set for the year, and what needs to be prioritised for the following academic year. These priorities may be based on trends such as where children are with their academic work, any changes or significant increases in areas of need for SEND, or on the results of staff skills audits. It also takes into account changes in government priority, guidelines or legislations. Training provided to our staff for SEND: All our teachers are fully qualified teachers, although at times we may take on student teachers who work closely with them in their training. Staff attend weekly meetings to support knowledge and skills development. This may take the form of expert teachers within the school delivering training or feeding back from professional development they have received outside of school. Sharing of good practice, whether in teaching and learning, behaviour management or effective feedback, enables staff to learn from within the team and build consistency of approach across the school. The SENCO may deliver training based on need within the school gathered either from current challenges or successes, or based on staff audits.
Outside agencies may attend staff meetings to deliver specific information about a given area. There is also time given within the year to look at work and expectations from across the school. Support Staff also complete audits so that we have an understanding of the training needed. As the school has implemented its plan to become a Thrive School, all staff have had training on how to support children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties in the class. This training has been delivered by the Pastoral Inclusion Leader who is a qualified Thrive Practitioner. Additional training that has taken place this year includes effective feedback and marking, effectiveness supporting children's progress in reading, and positive behaviour management and restorative practice.
Other specialist staff work with children to provide interventions. Specialists within the school (those with high skills and knowledge for maths, sensory and physical, reading or Speech and Language for example) may work alongside other teachers and teaching assistants to train or model good practice to them. Outside agencies also work with adults in the school providing programmes of study for them to follow, modelling and training how to deliver them effectively.
How does the school measure how well it teaches and supports children with SEND?
We regularly review the quality of teaching for all pupils to make sure no-one under achieves. This is done through observation and lesson study work with the teachers and teaching assistants. We look at whether our teaching and programmes of support have made a difference through observations, data and discussion with those leading intervention. We use information systems to monitor the progress and development of all pupils such as pupil performance meetings between the class teacher and members of SLT, and careful monitoring of data. This helps us to develop the use of interventions that are effective and to remove or adapt those that are less so.
We complete an annual self-evaluation of our SEND provision and use this to develop an action plan to further improve our SEND provision. Information from data for some interventions is used to judge impact. This may be taken from the class data to see how the interventions are transferring into day to day lessons, or directly from the interventions themselves depending on the type of support. We invite parents and carers to provide feedback at meetings (including parent consultations) by attending parent coffee mornings and events, and through the Ofsted parent view website.
How accessible is the school and how does the school arrange equipment or facilities children need?
The school works within the guidelines “(including all the protected characteristics) covered under the Equality Act, 2010 (Faith and Religion, Age, Sex and Sexual Orientation). However, it goes far beyond these strands to include sexuality, religion & faith, age and every aspect which has the potential to discriminate against or to devalue any individuals within our community such as against those with special educational needs or potential language barriers.
We are further committed to the development of cohesive communities both within our physical boundaries and within our local, national and global environments. Adaptations have been made to the school premises to ensure disability access and facilities for parents, pupils, staff and visitors to The Bewbush Academy. These include slopes for access into the grounds, an automatic sliding door to enable easy access to the school office and disabled toilets within the school. Adaptations can also be made for those with hearing or visual difficulties.
This may include 1:1 meetings rather than large groups to enable lip reading or another adult to interpret, or alternative methods of communication between home and school. Important pieces of information can also be sent home in advance where requested to ensure that full information is accessible to those who need it. Discussions with the school would take place in order to ensure both parties are aware of the needs to be met and options that can be provided to support.
Before entry to The Bewbush Academy, the parents of children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities may be invited to attend a transition meeting to discuss strengths, areas of challenge and support or resources that may be needed to ensure that the child has access to the school and the learning. Outside agencies and nurseries already working with the family may also attend so a full picture can be gathered by the SENCO (and the class teacher where appropriate). Where possible, additional resources will be put into place before the child begins at our school, and always as soon as can be achieved. Meetings to explore and meet any medical requirements, and to ensure that any Health and Safety needs can be met also take place before the child begins school with us. If your child has a severe medical need please ensure you make an appointment in good time to ensure that training or systems are in place for your child and there is no delay in admission for health and safety reasons.
How will my child/young person be included in activities with other children, including school trips?
At The Bewbush Academy we are committed to all children having access to Physical Education, school trips and extracurricular activities and work hard to make adaptations or provide additional equipment should they be needed. Through careful planning and reasonable adjustments, pupils with SEND engage in the activities of the school together with those who do not have SEND and are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity. Additional measures may be included in a Risk Assessment through discussion with parents, adults regularly working with the child in school and the child themselves. In some circumstances (some children with high anxiety, specific needs) we may invite parents to school trips.
What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall well-being and their emotional, mental and social development?
The Bewbush Academy is a “Thrive” school. The Thrive Approach is all about supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of all children. We use this approach to support our most vulnerable children. Trained staff work with children in small groups or one to one to support them in beginning to understand, change and manage behaviours. This has enabled children to develop their levels of resilience and improve their social interactions.
The Bewbush Academy decided to adopt this approach to mental health and wellbeing in order to support children with interrupted emotional developments. Such interruptions underpin many troubling behaviours, consequently impacting on how children engage with their learning and relationships with others.
The Thrive approach is closely linked to research in neuroscience about how our brains develop from an early age. Brain/ child development is based on various factors and when children experience interruptions in this development it may mean they find it difficult to understand what they are feeling and why. We work with these children in helping them to understand their feelings, to give language to these feelings and to know how to turn troubling feelings in to situations they can work through.
What specialist services does the school use to support children and their families?
We access a range of outside agencies depending on the changing needs of our children. Local authority agencies we work alongside include Think Family, the Speech and Language Team, Family Key Worker Team, The Social Communication and Autism Team, The Learning Behaviour Advisory Team, CAHMS, Educational Psychologists and Occupational Therapists. We may also buy in additional support such as counselling and therapy services. Depending on the child’s level and type of need we will work with parents and carers to explore whether outside agency support is needed. Parent / carer permission is sought before outside agencies are asked to step in, and the decision to do this is usually discussed with you before the decision is taken to refer.
What do I do if I am not happy or if I want to complain?
In the event of parents and carers being unhappy with anything within school or wishing to make a complaint they should first contact the class teacher if it relates to a class based matter, or a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) if it relates to other elements of school. We work hard to resolve issues by working with parents, carers and children in the school. If these avenues are not able to do this then the Governors of the school or outside agencies such as the County Council may be contacted.
Please see our Complaints Policy for more information.