What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer is what The Gattons Infant School can offer children who have Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND), in terms of support, resources and strategies.
Miss Ellie Bennett is the Inclusion Manager and Learning Support Teacher, who oversees special needs support. Miss Ellie Bennett can be contacted via the school office on 01444 235071.
Identification of SEN(D)
Special Educational Needs and Disability
- We are aware of the importance of the early identification of a child’s special educational needs.
- At times we are notified by an external agency about a child’s additional needs before the child starts school.
- If parents have concerns about their child’s development, then we suggest they ask to meet with either the Head Teacher or the SENCo if the child is pre-school or with the child’s class teacher and/or SENCo if their child is already in school.
- Every child’s progress is tracked by the class teacher and the Deputy Head. Any concerns will be discussed with parents and the SENCo.
- The SENCo will meet with the child and, if appropriate, assess and screen using standardised tests, the results of which will be discussed with parents.
- Support and resources are allocated on an individual basis, depending upon the needs of the child.
Our school has a diverse group of children, who have a variety of backgrounds, strengths, and interests; some of whom may have special or additional needs.
We aim to provide all our children with high quality teaching in the classroom. Children who have additional needs may require certain activities to be differentiated allowing them to learn at a level appropriate to their ability and to promote independent learning. The ways in which we do this includes:
- by making the activity more appropriate,
- through smaller groupings or individual work,
- by providing adult support, if it is felt appropriate,
- by using specialist equipment,
- Or through additional support for specific areas of weakness.
Additional Learning Support
If a child has been identified as having additional needs we can then support his or her learning in a number of ways.
Reception - Individual or small group support for:
- Phonics and early reading skills.
- Early number skills.
- Fine and gross motor skills.
- Social skills, including friendships.
- Speech sounds following assessment with a Speech and Language Therapist.
- Language – attention and listening, understanding of language and speaking. This may be as part of a small group following The Narrative Therapy Language Programme.
- Language support for EAL (English as an additional language).
Years 1 and 2 - Individual or small group support for:
- Reading, which may include the Fischer Family Trust Reading Intervention programme (FFT) or Better Reading programme.
- Maths, which may include Closing the Gap or 1stClass@Number intervention programmes.
- Fine and gross motor skills.
- Speech sounds following assessment with a Speech and Language Therapist.
- Language – attention and listening, understanding of language and speaking.
- Language support for EAL.
- Emotional and social development and friendship issues. This support will be with a SEN Learning Support Assistant or our Learning Mentor.
- The class teacher or SENCo will plan and oversee any intervention programme and ensure the necessary resources are available.
- The class teacher and/or the SENCo will meet with parents to explain the additional support.
- Specially trained Learning Support Assistants (SEN LSAs) will implement the majority of the intervention programmes, although the SENCo also works with individuals and small groups of children.
- The child will be assessed at the beginning and end of any intervention and the intervention changed if it has not been effective.
- Progress is regularly reviewed by staff, including at half-termly Intervention Meetings. Following these meetings any necessary changes to additional support will be made and parents informed.
Pastoral, Medical and Behavioural Support
We have a Learning Mentor who is available to provide pastoral support for any child needing this. Parents or staff may refer a child for support, having spoken initially to either the child’s class teacher or the SENCo.
The school can refer a child to the School Nursing Service at the request of a parent. This may be due to difficulties with bed wetting, establishing bedtime routines, a reluctance to eat etc. The School Nurse aims to meet with parents within three weeks of receiving the referral.
A Health/Medical care plan will be written by medical personnel and parents for any child who has a chronic medical condition. All staff are informed of the child’s medical needs and alert notices displayed in appropriate places. Specific medical training will be provided by either the school nurse or other specialist nurses.
We have a high number of staff who have emergency and paediatric first aid training.
If a child is experiencing behaviour difficulties then various actions can be taken:
- Each class has ‘Rights Respecting Rainbow’ (this is based on the United Nations Rights of the Child) and this encourages positive behaviour in class and around the school.
- Observations of the child to see whether there is any pattern to the behaviours, or any triggers.
- Additional support from an experienced adult at ‘trigger’ times.
- The use of a behaviour log or a home-school liaison book.
- If appropriate, changes made to the child’s learning experiences - being moved closer to the teacher, using a reward system etc.
- Withdrawal support from the Learning Mentor, in order to explore the child’s difficulties.
- If, after appropriate support, the child continues to present with behavioural difficulties, then the SENCo can make a referral to our Inclusion Support Team requesting a meeting with an Advisory Teacher.
Level of Support
- If a child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC), then we are legally obliged to provide the support stated. This will specify the number of hours of adult support and any resources required.
- For a child who does not have a EHC Plan, but has a high level of need, any decision about the type and level of support will take place following meetings with parents, the Head Teacher and SENCo. We are also guided by the recommendations of any outside agencies who are involved with the child.
Intervention, Assessment and Evaluation
- Every child’s progress is tracked by the class staff and any child not making expected progress would be discussed with the Year Leader/Deputy Head/ SENCo at half-termly Intervention Meetings.
- If it is felt that the child needs some additional support then we would aim in the first instance to provide this either in class or by taking part in an intervention programme e.g. for maths or reading.
- Learning Support Assistants and the SENCo/Learning Support Teacher run the intervention programmes. Assessments are obtained before the start of any intervention and at the end to determine what progress has been made.
- If there has been limited or no improvement, then further or different interventions will be offered.
- If additional support or interventions have not been successful and if it is felt there may be an underlying reason for this, then advice may be sought from an external agency e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.
There are regular opportunities for parents to meet with staff to discuss a child’s progress and any concerns they may have. These include:
- informally in the playground at the beginning and end of the day,
- every Friday morning during whole school assembly from 9am,
- longer meetings which can be arranged directly with the class teacher, or with other members of staff via the school office,
- the availability of SEN Learning Support Assistants who support individual children to talk with parents at the beginning or the end of the day,
- Parents Consultation Evenings,
- yearly workshops to help parents support phonics and reading, as well as maths workshops,
- A ‘6 Weeks In’ meeting for all new Reception parents
In addition to face-to-face meetings, we also communicate in other ways, including:
- The use of a home-school liaison book for any child for whom regular contact between school and home is needed.
- Co-production of EHC Plans and sharing of the most effective strategies.
- Setting and reviewing of personal targets.
- Notes from the SENCo to parents following sessions with individuals/groups of children. This will include information about the targeted activity, progress and the next step, and may include suggestions of what the parents can do at home.
- Weekly ‘Talk to Me’ sheets outlining the activities that have taken place during the week and ideas of support for home.
- Half-termly take home tasks, which are activities linked to the class Learning Journey.
- Telephone calls and emails when needed.
- The school prides itself on supporting the transition between year groups for all children, especially those who have additional needs.
- When moving between year groups, vulnerable children will be supported by having additional visits to their new class and may have a transition booklet with photographs of the class and staff.
Transition between The Gattons and Southway
- We have developed very close links between ourselves and Southway, with the aim being to help each child achieve their full potential both academically and socially, throughout their primary phase of education.
- We aim to make the process of transition as easy as possible for every child. We strive to ensure a smooth and anxiety free transfer, making each child safe, secure and happy as they move between our school and Southway.
- The transfer process begins in the autumn term of year 2 and continues through to the autumn term of year 3.
- Extra visits are arranged with a member of the SEN Team to take individual or small groups of children who have additional needs to have a tour of Southway.
- Our Learning Mentor runs a transition group during the summer term for children who need further opportunities to discuss any worries they have about moving to a new school.
Staff experience and Training
- The SENCo/Learning Support Teacher has an Advanced Diploma in Special Education, and has many years of experience of working with children with various types of special or additional needs.
- The SEN Learning Support Assistants have all worked with children who have a variety of learning and physical needs and some have many years of experience.
- Most of our support staff have attended training in speech and language development, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attachment Disorder and signing.
- Some of our support staff have received training in the Jump Ahead motor skills programme, Fischer Family Trust reading and writing intervention programme and 1st Class@Number maths intervention programme.
The Accessibility of our Environment
- Our school is on one level, but is not fully accessible to wheelchair use, due to a small flight of steps between the hall and the Reception/Year 1 corridor.
- There is an individual disabled toilet and changing facilities.
- We aim to obtain any equipment to support children who have special educational needs or disability. This will usually occur following an assessment with the relevant external agency e.g. an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.
- We work with the Local Authority to source equipment as required.
- We try our utmost to communicate with parents/carers whose first language is not English. This includes using the services of the Ethnic Minority Achievement Team (EMAT) and other parents. The SENCo and a SEN Learning Support Assistant help support class teachers when required.