SEND Local Offer
The Headteacher and Special Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator at Thorn Grove Primary School have developed our local SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Offer to parents. This area of the website, provides parents of children with SEND or parents with concerns about their child, with information and advice which will signpost them to the appropriate school’s services and resources.
The Governing Body of the school takes an active involvement in all aspects of school life and is kept fully informed and involved in the Special Educational Needs provision for the school.
We hope that you find this information useful and that it provides you with the relevant background knowledge regarding our SEND provision; however, we are also happy to speak with you either on the telephone or personally on your visit to the school.
Mrs S Denford
Message from the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)
At Thorn Grove, we believe in the importance of every child achieving their ‘best’, making good progress and enjoying their learning experience. Consequently, as a school, when we plan any learning opportunity, our learners and their needs are the central focus.
However, for some of our learners, there are occasions when additional support is required to support the next steps in their learning journey. Additional support may be given for a set period of time or for a longer period to ensure they can access the curriculum effectively and are fully included in learning opportunities and school events. Our parents are informed, included and supported throughout such periods of intervention and additional provision.
If a learner’s needs are significantly greater than the majority of children of the same age, or they have a disability which hinders their use of educational facilities provided for the age group, then they are considered to have a Special Educational Need (Please see Parent Handbook).
These SEND needs may be in the area of:
- Social Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
- Physical and Sensory
At Thorn Grove Primary School, teaching and learning opportunities are adapted and continually evaluated (with the support of external agencies when required) to ensure the needs of all of our learners are met. Parents should not feel unduly anxious about such additional support, which at our school allows all learners to receive the specific help they need to make the next steps in their learning journey more engaging and exciting.
We hope the following information explains how we provide this support at Thorn Grove. If you need any further information or have any concerns please contact Miss Rimmer (SENDCo) or print our Parent Handbook.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know if my child needs extra help?
- Children with SEND are identified as early as possible at Thorn Grove. Initial identification is usually through comments or concerns brought by parents, or school staff working directly with the child. These concerns may be based on a pupil’s general wellbeing, emotional or behavioural presentation, their progress compared to peers, or their profile against recognised characteristics of specific forms of SEND. Early identification is paramount, and therefore school staff can monitor the children’s progress carefully on a termly basis through regular pupil progress meetings, led by the Headteacher.
- Concerns are initially raised with the School SENDCo who would discuss them with those working with the pupil, the pupil’s family and the pupil themselves, focusing on the desired outcomes for the child, the provision needed to enable the child to reach those outcomes. Depending on the level of the child’s needs the decision might be made to offer class based support approaches e.g. help for the teacher to support differentiation for the pupil, or a package of out of class interventions may be offered. Pupils with the highest level of need may be referred to other agencies for further advice and support. The SENDCo keeps a register of pupils requiring additional support to monitor progress and to plan for provision across the school.
- There are a variety of assessments within school including reading, writing, maths, motor skills, speech & language therapy (SALT) etc.
- Multi-agency meetings enable professionals to discuss individual cases.
- We have good relationships with outside agencies who can offer specialised help, support and advice.
- Thorn Grove is an inclusive environment that caters from a wide variety of learning, emotional/ behavioural/social and physical needs.
Who should I talk to if I think my child needs extra help?
- If you have concerns about any aspect of your child’s education the first port of call should be the class teacher. Class teachers are usually available at the end of the day and are happy to make appointments if you require a longer discussion. The class teacher may consult other staff members involved with your child, such as the class Teaching Assistant (TA) or SENDCo (Miss Rimmer – 0161 485 1177).
TEACHING, LEARNING AND SUPPORT.
What type of support will be available to my child with SEND? How will teaching at Thorn Grove be adapted?
- It is our aim that all children are given the opportunity to access appropriate learning opportunities in an inclusive manner. Our priority is the provision of Quality First Teaching which is differentiated to meet the needs of all our learners. Class based approaches might include alternative forms of recording work, visual prompts, small group or individual teaching etc.
- The school has a wide range of intervention and catch-up programmes available to support children who require support which goes beyond class based approaches e.g. Early Reception Literacy, Reading Recovery, Fischer Family Trust (Wave 3), Better Reading Partnership (BRP), Inference for Reading, 1:1 Read Write Inc., Motivational Maths, Fresh Start, Springboard Maths, Catch up Maths, small group catch-up support, Motor Skills United, Social Communication Group, and life skills groups.
- Thorn Grove has additionally resourced provision for pupils who are deaf and use a sign-bilingual approach to communication. This provision is staffed and managed by Stockport Sensory Support Service providing specialist support. Pupils are on Thorn Grove School roll and school and service staff work in close partnership to provide personalised packages of support to meet individual needs. Further information can be obtained from Stockport Sensory Support Service on 0161 474 3906 or via school.
- For those with significant or complex needs, the school seeks the advice of specialists, for example Speech and Language Therapist, Learning Support Teacher, Behaviour Support Teacher, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Educationsl Psychologist etc
- Individual learning or behaviour programmes which are discussed with parents/ carers are written by the class teacher, under supervision of the SENDCo, with advice from specialist teachers. Children have very specific targets according to their needs.
- Parents/carers are fully involved in the planning of support for their child and have the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress at regular review meetings
- A team of high quality, experienced teaching assistants, deliver suggested activities from individual programmes, under the supervision of the class teacher and specialist teacher
- Suggested activities to support children at home are explained to parents/carers by the class teacher/specialist teacher
- Plans are evaluated regularly by class teacher and SENDCo, in collaboration with parents
- Tracking of attainment and progress is analysed by the SENDCo to evaluate effectiveness of intervention programmes
- Regular multi-agency meetings are held to discuss progress
- SENDCo and SEND governor share information regularly
How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to my child’s needs?
- All class teachers take responsibility for meeting the needs of all learners in their class by differentiating the learning. Where pupils have SEND, class teachers will be aware of the pupil’s areas of strengths and weaknesses, and will make every effort to accommodate these. For example for learners with literacy difficulties the class teacher may provide personalised spelling banks for those with language processing difficulties, visual supports may be used to accompany auditory information.
- Personalised timetables (if required) that incorporates variety of individual programmes in addition to classroom activities.
- Information about individual pupils with SEND is shared with supply staff via a one page profile which summarises the child’s strengths, what is important to them and how best to support them.
- Where learners are working at an attainment level below that of their peer group class teachers adapt teaching to ensure that gaps in learners’ knowledge are covered. Occasionally, children will attend another class for particular subjects to access teaching on the right level for them.
- We aim to encourage independence in all learners and this is promoted by ensuring that independent work tasks are matched as far as possible to the strengths of the learners. For those learners who require a more specialist approach to learning. Class teachers are encouraged to discuss approaches to differentiation with specialist staff in school e.g. the SENDCo and LSS.
How are Thorn Grove’s resources allocated and matched to the child’s needs?
- A proportion of the SEND budget is used towards class based provision to provide quality first teaching as first wave of provision to meet all learners needs e.g. resources in classrooms such as additional computers/ iPads, writing slopes, alternative seating etc.
- Funding is matched to need
- Budget is allocated to support SEND children who require personalised interventions e.g. teaching assistants to deliver specific programmes, individual resources, outside agency support
- Funding is reviewed regularly by the Head teacher and governors and monitored to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately and cost efficiently. Additional funding is accessed through the local authority.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive? Who will make the decision and on what basis?
- The SENDCo/Head meets with all class teachers at least once each term, tracking and discussing the progress made by all children. Additional support and specific interventions are then allocated based on all of the above factors. Class Teachers may ask the SENDCo for advice at any time.
- Support is allocated after various factors have been considered, these include:
– The child’s progress and predicted attainment in relation to age-related expectation.
– Current level of additional support given
-Identified gaps within the child’s knowledge.
- When children’s needs are initially identified, a discussion takes place between professionals and parents/carers. Targets are discussed and the support the child needs to meet these outcomes will be agreed. School staff are usually best placed to offer advice on the nature of the support / provision needed, but occasionally the school seeks the support of other agencies to offer advice on this. Parents/ carers and pupils are fully involved in decisions about support and provision and any decision to implement provision which is different from or additional to that received by the majority of children are made in conjunction with parents and pupils. If there are differences of opinion about the nature of support required the advice of external agencies (Parent Partnership) may be sought to support the decision making process
- Parents/ carers and professionals involved in the child’s learning will be invited to tri-annual review meetings. Progress towards targets and next steps are shared and the impact of extra support/intervention is evaluated.
How does Thorn Grove know that my child is making progress?
- At Thorn Grove we measure the children’s progress in learning against national expectations and age-related expectations. The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed – this is also analysed by the Headteacher on a half termly basis. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Nursery through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, Phonic Screening Check, ongoing ‘Read, Write Inc.’ assessments, as well as levelling and moderating work against National Curriculum levels.
- For pupils who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), each will be reviewed on a tri-annual basis (as recommended by Stockport Local Authority). At the meeting, parents will be asked to attend and their input sought. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-scaled) targets will be set for the pupil that will be reviewed at the next meeting.
How will I find out about my child’s progress? How can I support their learning?
- All school staff have high expectations for all learners. Monitoring of progress takes place on a day to day basis by class teachers, and they are best placed to identify where progress is falling behind or exceeding. For learners with significant needs, regular or even daily contact with parents/carers takes place, for example through informal conversation at the end of the school day or sometimes in home-school books. Formal monitoring of progress takes place termly in the form of a pupil progress meeting held between class teachers and the Headteacher. Information about pupil progress is shared with parents at parent-teacher meetings which are held twice a year and via the annual school report to parents which is shared during the summer term. For learners with SEND, personal provision will be discussed with parents at parent-teacher meetings, and for those with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) an annual review is held. Parents are welcome to seek additional appointments to discuss their child’s progress if more in-depth discussion is required and class teachers are usually available for informal discussions at the end of each school day
- The school also offers a range of parent support sessions throughout the year; e.g. reading and writing workshops.
How does Thorn Grove consult with and involve children with SEND in planning and reviewing their education?
How does the Thorn Grove assess and evaluate the effectiveness of its arrangements and provision for my child with SEND?
- The school’s SENDCo, along with members of the leadership team undertake regular monitoring of pupil progress and of the effectiveness of provision. The success of intervention programmes in school is monitored carefully to ensure they provide high quality outcomes and remain good value for money.
- The individual opinions of pupils, parents/carers regarding the effectiveness of support are sought through questionnaires and collated to inform decisions about future provision.
KEEPING STUDENTS SAFE AND SUPPORTING THEIR WELLBEING.
How do we keep pupils safe?
- Pupil safety is paramount. Information about pupils with SEND is communicated to relevant school staff. Where risks are identified measures are taken to limit these, for example supervising a child more closely during the transition between class teacher and parent/carer at the start and end of the day. Where necessary, individual support is allocated for children at breaks, lunchtimes and during other activities such as outdoor games sessions and on school trips.
- In Foundation Stage and Key stage 1 children are handed over to the class teacher in the mornings by parents/carers on the school yard. At the end of the school day the teachers and teaching assistants hand over pupils to parents/carers when they are present on the school yard.
- If a parent is unable to pick up their child at the day and alternative arrangements have been made at the school office a password is issued to the carer and Class Teacher. This ensures that children are released to named persons only.
- Parents are not allowed to park in the school car park without prior permission from the Headteacher due to limited space. Priority is given to pupils with Disabilities. The car park has designated drop off and pick up zones.
- All children are supervised at break and lunch times. Break time supervision is provided by Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Lunch time supervision is provided by Lunch Time Supervisors and Teaching Assistants.
- Risk Assessments are also completed by teaching staff for potentially hazardous activities in the classroom such as baking or using candles for science experiments.
- Children are supervised at all times. Additional safety procedures are shared with pupils for lessons such as indoor and outdoor PE and extra – curricular events.
- Comprehensive risk assessments are completed by all staff for school trips. The Headteacher then approves/makes alterations to the plans. For more ‘high risk’ activities the risk assessments are authorised by the Chair of Governors and then submitted for authorisation to Stockport Local Authority. No trips are authorised unless the ratio of staff to pupils is appropriate.
- Parents are able to access the policies such as Safeguarding and Anti-Bullying on the school website.
How will Thorn Grove manage my child’s medicine or personal care needs?
- We are aware that some children with SEND also have medical or personal care needs which require attention during the school day, including the administration of medication
- Wherever possible medication is not given in school or parents/ carers come into school to give it to their child. The school’s policy on administering medicine is available from the school office on request.
- If a child requires a Health Plan then a meeting is set up with the Deputy Headteacher, parent and care professional concerned. All staff are then made aware of the Health Plan through Staff Briefings. All Health Plans are reviewed on a regular basis and the relevant staff have annual medical needs training in key medical conditions e.g. asthma, diabetes, epilepsy
- In any case of medical emergency all staff are trained to phone 999
- Children who require rescue medication e.g. Epi-pen, Insulin are given this as required by trained staff, following signed parental consent
- Medication is kept securely and is administered by school staff.
- We work closely with our school nurse and other health professionals who advise and contribute to individual plans.
- Parents/ carers are encouraged to provide up-to-date information regarding their child’s medical needs and are involved in writing plans.
What support is available to assist with my child’s emotional and social development?
- Personal Social and Emotional wellbeing is addressed by class teachers through regular sessions in class.
- All staff offer support for children who need extra help to manage their emotions and relationships on a day to day basis.
- For those requiring further support, the school allocates teaching assistants who are trained to deliver interventions and who work with children in a more holistic way e.g. social skills or life skills, under the advice of an outside agency.
What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusions and increasing attendance?
- As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils. The school has a clear behaviour policy (see website) which is implemented constantly. Where pupils are unable to follow this policy or require additional support with behaviour a range of measures are used to support them in adhering to the school rules. For some pupils, this involves alternative arrangements at key ‘trigger points’ during the day, for others this may involve a ‘time out’ arrangement enabling pupils to find a designated safe place at times of stress. A key focus of the school in supporting pupil’s whose behaviour challenges is to firstly understand this behaviour. Our focus is on proactively avoiding behaviours, deescalating emotional incidents, and supporting pupils to change their own behaviours. We work flexibly in response to pupil behaviour, and aim to find creative strategies to support pupils in managing their behaviour.
- For a child with specific behavioural difficulties, an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP) will be written alongside the child and parents to identify specific issues and to indicate support and targets. The school also has the ability to draw upon the services of Stockport’s Behaviour Support Service if it is felt necessary. After a significant behaviour incident, we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult and discussions will take place as to how they need to behave in future. Behaviour is monitored by the Headteacher.
- Parents/ carers are contacted and invited into school to discuss behaviour concerns. It is very rare that we would consider exclusion for any pupil. Procedures for this are outlined within the Behaviour Policy. We take active steps to improve attendance, including a weekly attendance award for the best attending class. Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the administration staff. Lateness and absences are recorded and reported to the Headteacher.
WORKING TOGETHER AND ROLES
What is the role of my child’s class teacher?
- The class teacher has the overall responsibility for pupil’s learning and their day to day wellbeing in school
- They are the first port of call for pupils and parents/ carers
- Class teachers are expected to plan and deliver appropriate learning opportunities for all pupils, and to ensure that any resources in place to support pupil learning are used efficiently (e.g. additional adults, physical prompts, and interventions).
How will I receive communication regarding my child?
Communication with Parents is provided on a variety of levels, such as:
- Informal pre and after school face to face contact with class teachers
- Telephone conversations
- School website
- Parents Evenings
- Open mornings
- Coffee mornings with the Headteacher
- Curriculum themed evenings
- Celebration Assemblies
- SEND Reviews
- Transition events
- Parental feedback is always welcomed. The school collects parents views via questionnaires sent out after key events OR responses gathered at coffee mornings led by the Headteacher.
Who else has a role in my child’s education?
- The Headteacher oversees the running of the school, ensuring that all elements of a pupil’s education are in place
- The school SENDCo has responsibility for co-ordinating the provision for pupils with SEND. She may work individually with pupils, and will usually host formal meeting such as annual reviews.
- In addition to the class teacher and SENDCo pupils might come into contact with professionals from a range of outside agencies e.g. school nurse, SSS staff, Learning Support Teacher, Behaviour Support Teacher.
- The school nurse (parental consent required for any contact).
- There are also a large number of teaching assistants working in school. Many of these are highly skilled and experienced. Some of these staff run intervention programmes under the guidance of the teaching staff; others work in classrooms supporting pupils in small groups or on a 1:1 basis. For pupils with the highest levels of need, an additional adult might be assigned to work with the pupil on a 1:1 basis.
- Occasionally external agencies or specialists might be brought in to work with pupils. Their involvement will always be with the consent of the parent/carer.
What training is available to staff in relation to SEND?
- Teachers and TA’s have regular training to update their knowledge on different aspects of Special Educational Needs. School also keeps up to date with all current SEND legislation.
- TA’s are trained to deliver a wide range of intervention programmes including Literacy and Mathematics development.
- Some staff have also received more specialist training on specific aspects such as Social and Communication disorders and British Signing Language.
What roles do governors have? What does the SEN governor do?
- The Headteacher and the SENCo report to the Governors every term to inform them about the number of pupils with SEND and their progress.
- The Inclusion Governor (Ms R. LeLohe) is responsible for SEND and meets regularly with the SENCo.
- The Governors, in conjunction with the Headteacher, agree priorities for spending within the school budget, which includes the SEND budget, with the overall aim that all pupils receive the support they need in order to make good progress.
How do we work together?
- All pupils on entry to the school are issued with a Home/School agreement which has to be signed and returned to the school after the Induction Process.
- Pupil voice is strong within the school. The school has an active School Council and Eco-Council that express the opinions of the wider school community. In addition to this pupils are asked to complete questionnaires on the effectiveness of certain projects like Reading for Pleasure or the New Reward Scheme. Annually, children in Y4- 6 are asked to complete a questionnaire on their experiences to date at Thorn Grove. These questions include topics such as bullying, curriculum enjoyment and feeling safe at school. Children’s views are sought half termly on the topic to be taught in the succeeding term to ensure high levels of interest, engagement and challenge.
- Parents are provided with a half termly curriculum newsletter and an opportunity to provide input where necessary.
What opportunities are there for parents to become involved in Thorn Grove and/or to become governors?
- Parents are actively encouraged to become involved in the life of the school, inputting on the school curriculum by leading presentations, attending whole school events such as Harvest Festival, Christingle and Eid Celebrations and providing additional adult support on school trips.
- Many parents volunteer to support in class, e.g. hearing readers, mystery readers, maths ambassadors etc.
- There are opportunities to join the PTA who organise events and fundraise on behalf of the school.
- Parent governors sit on the governing body and when their term of office expires, details of how to stand are sent out to all pupils.
What help and support is available for the family through Thorn Grove?
- We recognise that there is a huge amount of paperwork as a parent/carer of a child with SEND. The SENDCo and SSS staff will provide support to parents as required. This might be completing forms with parents/carers, or signposting them to agencies who can help further. A variety of personnel are on hand to support such as Office Manager, Class teacher, SENCO, Signer and Headteacher.
- Children out of Authority have their travel plans reviewed and revised at the Annual Review Meeting
INCLUSION AND ACCESSIBILITY
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including trips?
- As an inclusive school, we seek to ensure that all pupils regardless of need are able to attend enrichment opportunities such as after school clubs, school trips etc.
- We work creatively and flexibly to make relevant adaptations to enable pupils with SEND to attend e.g. offering support to pupils attending after school clubs, breakfast club, additional staffing for trips including residential trips
- We have a range of after school clubs and activities, all of which are available to every pupil regardless of need.
- For those pupils whose high levels of need, this may mean that the standard out of school activities on offer are inappropriate we seek to liaise with families about suitable alternatives ( for example a day trip in place of an overnight residential).
- The school makes every effort to provide reasonable adjustments to ensure that its facilities are accessible
- Pupils with SEND are supported to access the facilities available to their peers, for example by providing large print text for those with visual impairments, providing additional adult support for sports sessions etc.
- Where required the school seeks to make reasonable adjustments to the auditory and visual environment for those learners with sensory impairments in partnership with the Sensory Support Service e.g. sound-field system.
- We aim to personalise communication to suit families. For those who find it difficult to access written documents we communicate in person, by phone or text. Where pupils and their families require communication through languages other than English we seek to provide translation for key meetings / communications and we would discuss with those families their preferred means of communication. In order to support our SSS pupils, some members in school have completed BSL Level1 Training.
Who should I contact about my child joining Thorn Grove?
- We follow Stockport Council’s admission policy
- For further details contact the school office who will be happy to help 0161 485 1177.
- For information about entry please contact Stockport Council School Admissions http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/education/educationtrainingandemployment/schooladmissions/applyingforaplace
How does the school support transition?
- Transition is widely recognised as a stressful time for all families. Thorn Grove Primary School aims to reduce this stress as far as possible by ensuring transition is planned for and executed in a timely manner.
- Transition days and events take place in all year groups so that pupils feel comfortable in their new environment. The school also ensures that parents have sufficient opportunities to meet with the new teachers and forge relationships with other parents. In the Early Years this is done through Stay and Play sessions. Whilst, in KS1 & KS2, open mornings are provided.
- In preparation for pupils moving to secondary school, there are a series of transition days and opportunities for secondary tutors to meet with pupils in the primary setting.
- Pupils with SEND moving to Specialist Educational Provision will be encouraged to attend a variety of Transition days which include visits with and without their parents to allay anxieties and forge new relationships.
How can parents arrange a visit to Thorn Grove? What is involved?
In order to ensure a smooth transition into Thorn Grove Primary School:
- Please register as soon as possible and begin to talk to your child about some of the information which is shared on our school website.
- Call the school 0161 485 1177 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to book a tour of the school.
- On arrival to the school, you will be welcomed to Thorn Grove. Once you have signed in, your tour of the school will take approximately 30 minutes followed by an induction meeting with Mrs Denford (Headteacher). Your child will then be allocated to a class.
- All new arrivals are welcomed in a whole school assembly.
What is involved in transition from Thorn Grove?
- We prepare pupils for transition to new settings in a manner most appropriate to the individual.
- Parents/carers of Y5 SEND pupils are invited to a transfer review meeting to share information and discuss initial transition arrangements. Wherever possible a member of staff from the preferred high school attends.
- Parent Partnership will support families to visit a variety of secondary placements
- Head of Y7 and the Y6 teacher meet at the end of Summer term to transfer information
- All SEND documentation shared with new placement
In order to ensure a smooth transition from Thorn Grove Primary School:
- Some pupils will provided with a leaving book to record positive thoughts about past and new adventures and challenges.
- Additional visits or liaison with staff from new setting.
- Working through materials which address key aspects of the new setting.
- Class ‘Circle time’ to deal with change.
- A whole school ‘Goodbye’ in assembly.
- 1:1 support from the Headteacher/SENDCo if necessary.
- School records and leaving report prepared and given to parents to take to the new school.
- Additional links to specialist settings are already established, and can signpost parents and families when making decision about secondary provision.
What should I do if things go wrong?
- For any concern you may have in relation to your child, your first contact should be with your child’s class teacher. If they are unable to solve the issue for you, please contact the SENCo or the Headteacher.
- An impartial source of advice and support is available to parents through the Stockport Parent
- Partnership Officer. They are an independent body who will support parents at meetings or by completing forms. They can also offer home visits. They can be contacted on 0161 286 4230 or email@example.com. Leaflets on their service are available at the front desk.
- Parents in Partnership, Stockport is a group for parents and carers who have children with disabilities or additional needs. pipstockport.org
- If your concern is with the Local Authority, please contact the SEND department:
Special Educational Needs Department.
c/o 3rd Floor, Stopford House,
W: http:/ www.stockportcypdisp.org.uk
T: 0161 474 2525