Inclusion & Special Educational Needs
Mersea Island School is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all children. We believe that all children, including those identified as having special educational needs, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life.
We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe. Mersea Island School is committed to inclusion. Part of the school’s strategic planning for improvement is to develop cultures, policies and practices that include all learners. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties. This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.
We recognise that pupils learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity. We are particularly aware of the needs of our EYFS and Key Stage 1 pupils, for whom maturity is a crucial factor in terms of readiness to learn. We believe that many pupils, at some time in their school career, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, and we recognise that these may be long or short term. At Mersea Island Primary School we aim to identify these needs as they arise and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every child to achieve to his or her full potential. Mersea Island Primary School sees the inclusion of children identified as having special educational needs as an equal opportunities issue, and we will also aim to model inclusion in our staffing policies, relationships with parents/carers and the community.
“As part of Tiptree and Stanway Consortium of 24 schools we have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and are supported by the local authority to ensure that all pupils regardless of their specific needs make the best possible progress in school. We make a school offer based on our collective resources, as well as the individual ethos specific to our individual schools”
This school information report has been written in line with the 2015 SEND Code of Practice.
We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.
Mersea Island School is committed to inclusion.
We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners:
·girls and boys
·minority ethnic and faith groups, travellers, asylum seekers and refugees
·learners who need support to learn English as an additional language (EAL)
·learners with special educational needs
·learners who are disabled
·those who are gifted and talented and very able
·those who are looked after by the local authority
·others such as those who are sick; those who are young carers; those who are in families under stress;
·any learners who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion
The questions below will support you in understanding the SEND provision offered by Mersea Island School.
How does Mersea Island School know if my child needs extra help?
The school regularly observes, assesses and records the progress of all children to identify those who are not progressing satisfactorily or who may have additional needs. This information is collected from:
·Baseline assessment results
·Progress measured against the objectives in the National Curriculum
·National Curriculum descriptors for the end of a key stage
· Use of the descriptors in the Autism Education Trust document called the Autism Progression Framework Tool
·Progress against Age Related Expectations
·Standardised screening and assessment tools which include Assertive Mentoring Assessments
·Concerns raised by parents
·Observations of behavioural, emotional and social development
·An EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan)
·Assessments by a specialist service, such as educational psychology.
·Another educational setting or LA which has identified or has provided for additional needs
Who are the best people to talk to if I think my child may have special educational needs?
·The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns.
·Where appropriate the concern will then be shared with the Inclusion Manager – Mrs Williamson or the SENCO of the nursery, Mrs Ward,further discussions may then take place between all the relevant parties to determine the best way forward for your child.
·All parents will be listened to. Their views and their aspirations for their child will be central to the assessment and provision that is provided by the school
What is the process for identifying my child’s needs?
There are four broad areas of SEND, these are:
Communication and Interaction
Cognition and Learning
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties
At Mersea Island School, we follow a graduated support approach which is called “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.
This means that we will:
Each pupil’s education will be planned for by the class teacher as part of high quality teaching. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or learning support assistants in class.
If a pupil’s needs relate to more specific areas of their education such as spelling, handwriting, mathematics or literacy skills then the pupil may be placed in a small focus group. This may be run by the teacher or learning support assistant. The length of time of the intervention may vary according to need but will be monitored regularly. Interventions will be reviewed by the SENCOs to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.
If a pupil’s needs are additional this may result in the creation of a ‘One Plan’.
The ‘one planning process’ involves the family, the child and other relevant professionals. This process will identify outcomes for the child and how they may be achieved.
When a pupil’s needs are more complex an assessment of education, health and care needs may be undertaken by the authority and an EHCP plan developed. This is developed in collaboration with the family, child, and as appropriate, other relevant professionals.
How will Mersea Island School support my child and match the curriculum to my child’s needs?
The school is committed to “High Quality Teaching” and ensuring that lessons meet the ‘needs of’ and ‘challenge’ all pupils. Our teachers are trained to differentiate lessons and break down any barriers to learning that may be causing difficulties for the child. Teachers use a variety of different approaches including visual, aural, kinaesthetic methods as well as ‘peer to peer’ collaboration and effective questioning. Lessons are rigorously planned to encourage all types of learners to participate and reach their expected outcomes. Teachers and teaching assistants work with children with SEND regularly each week. As well as encouraging all learners to work independently and take responsibility for their learning.Pupil progress meetings are carried out at strategic points in the year to assess and review pupil progress and to ensure needs are being met effectively and strategies reviewed.
Appropriate specialist equipment may be given to your child e.g. writing slopes, pencil grips, coloured overlays.We use targeted intervention in small groups or 1:1
E.g. following specialist advice such as when a child is on a speech and language programme.
Intervention may include:
How will my child and I be involved in making decisions about my child’s education?
We believe in a child centered approach whereby when children have additional needs the thoughts and feelings of the child and their parents/carers together with the views of the school staff and relevant professionals are taken into account when making decisions about their education e.g. when writing a One Page Profile or Annual Review.
Other opportunities for involvement maybe:
·Informal discussions with staff
·Teacher and Child Consultations
·Teacher and Parent Consultations
·Pupil surveys and feedback forms
·Review meetings including outside agencies where appropriate
·Parent surveys and feedback forms where appropriate
What training have staff supporting children and young people with SEND had?
The Inclusion Manager, Mrs Williamson holds the qualification ‘National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination’ . Mrs Williamson has completed the 'MAZE' professionals course to support children with autism.
Mrs Ward is the SENCO of the Nursery and holds the University of Cambridge Certificate of Further Professional Study
Different staff members have received training related to the following areas of SEND:
Staff received additional training last year on supporting children with Speech and Language Needs and using an alphabet arc to aid spelling, The nursery and school staff also piloted the Attention Autism intervention and this is now being used in the EYFS.
A group of teaching assistants have been trained in supporting parents and promoting positive behaviour strategies.
Four members of staff have been trained in Talk Boost which is a speech and language intervention.
Staff have attended training on Attachment Needs that was organized through the Educational Psychology Service.
As part of The Tiptree and Stanway Consortium all members have access to, up to date and relevant training on all matters related to SEND in order to support the needs of our pupils.
What specialist services and expertise can be accessed by the school?
We can refer to:
·Children’s Therapy Team (Speech and Language/Occupational Therapy/physiotherapy)
·School Nurse/Doctor and Health visitor (Integrated Review for 2 year olds)
·Specialist Teacher Team and Early Years Specialist Teacher Team
·Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health service (NELFT)
·Educational Welfare Service
·The Junction counseling service
·Educational Psychology Service
And other agencies as appropriate
Parents may also be able to access some of these services through their family GP.
How will I know how my child is doing?
We support and involve parents in their child’s learning both formally and informally, this may include:
·We have an open door policy which provides parents with the opportunity for discussions face to face or on the telephone.
·Celebration assemblies and class assemblies/Parents stay and play (in the nursery)
·School Website on the Class pages
·Parents Evenings/phone consultations
·Termly Review Meetings (One Planning) for children at Additional and Assertive Mentoring Meetings – to discuss progress towards specific outcomes
·Home school liaison books
Additional appointments can be made with the class teacher or Inclusion Manager /Nursery SENCO through the school office.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
What support is available for my child’s overall well-being?
Members of staff are available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns. Where it is deemed appropriate parents/carers will be invited in to school to discuss concerns and plan for further support.
Other provision may include:
·Lunchtime and Morning Booster clubs
·Social skills groups
·quiet areas around the school available to all children and the Sanctuary Club at lunchtime
Where it is felt that pupils are encountering significant emotional difficulties the support of outside agencies will be considered, such as the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health service, The Junction, Mind and the School Nurse.
The school follows the advice set out in the Department for Education document: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools updated in November 2018.
The school’s PSHE curriculum promotes good mental health.
Mrs Williamson has attended the Youth Mental Health First Aid one day course.
How will my child’s medical needs be met?
If a pupil has a medical need then a Care Plan is compiled with support from parents/carers and in consultation with medical practitioners where appropriate. These are shared with all staff who work with the child.
·A proportion of the staff have basic first aid training
·EYFS staff have Pediatric First Aid Training in line with national requirements.
·EpiPen training is undertaken by staff on a yearly basis
·Where a child has specific medical needs additional staff training will be arranged in consultation with the relevant professionals.
All medicine administration procedures adhere to the LA policy and Department of Education (DfE) guidelines included within Supporting Pupils at school with medical conditions (DfE) 2015 and identified in the School Medicine Administration Policy.
How accessible is the school environment?
As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. The facilities we have at present include:
·The school site, which is accessible to all users.
·A purpose built accessible toilet
·Coloured overlays and sensory equipment
·Consideration during tests for learners with additional needs
·Laptops, I-Pads and an ICT suite
·Disabled parking spots in school car park
For further information see the Accessibility Policy/Plan – this describes the actions the school has taken to increase access to the environment, the curriculum and printed information is available via the school website.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Mersea Island or transferring to a new school?
Strategies are in place to enable your child’s transition to be as smooth as possible.
These may include:
·Transition meetings between settings and at each Key Stage
·Additional visits may also be arranged for children/parents/carers
·The Inclusion Manager and class teachers will liaise between settings and with relevant staff
·Transition resources are available for children who may benefit
·Social stories and One Page Profiles will be used where appropriate
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The budget allocation is agreed between our school and the Local Authority at the beginning of each financial year. Detail of how this money is used to support children and young people with SEND is shown below. This is monitored each term by the Governing Body.
This is used to support children and young people with SEND through:
·Improved pupil: teacher ratio
·Purchase of additional resources to support specific outcomes for pupils
·Tracking and monitoring of achievement
·Targeted intervention and support programmes
·Specialist Teaching Assistants to provide effective support
·Early identification and assessment
·Improved ICT resources – iPads/ New Model Interactive Whiteboards in all classrooms/ Laptops
·Continuous professional development for all staff
·Purchase of Service Level Agreements to provide additional specialist and targeted support
If a child has complex/severe special educational needs, we could also receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes.
Who can I contact for further information?
Head Teacher – Mrs T Wright 01206 382736
Inclusion Manager – Mrs Williamson 01206 382736 (ext SENCo)
SENCO for Nursery - Mrs R Ward 01206 382736 (ext Nursery)
Chair of Governors - Mr P Martin 01206 382736
Governor responsible for Special Educational Needs – Mrs T Gibbons 01206 382736
School Nursing Team – 01206 747135
Educational Psychologist helpline – 01245 433293
Parent Partnership - 01245 436036
Statutory Assessment Service - 0300 0034127
Essex Local Offer – www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk
The Local Offer
The purpose of the local offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available in their area and how to access them. It includes provision from birth to 25, across education, health and social care.
Information on the Essex Local Offer can be found at: www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk
What should I do if I am concerned?
If you have any concerns relating to the schools provision for your child regarding SEND please speak to the Class Teacher, Inclusion Manager. If your child is in the nursery then please speak to the SENCO of the nursery.We aim to resolve any concerns parents have in person to arrive at a mutual understanding to support your child.
If a complaint is made and cannot be resolved, the parent can submit a formal complaint to the Head teacher in writing. The Head teacher will reply within 10 working days. Any issues that remain unresolved at this stage will be managed according to the school’s . This is available, on request, from the school office.
Which other policies might be helpful?
PUPIL PREMIUM STATEMENT
BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT POLICY
These may be found online or by request at the school office.
We hope these key questions have answered any queries you may have but do not hesitate to contact the school if you require further information.
What do our parents say?
"The school have quickly recognised my daughter's level of need and have worked hard to put provisions in place for her.'
Parent of a child in Year 5:
" Staff are very committed and listen to any concerns and in contrast any achievements he has and these are expressed to us."
This document is reviewed yearly by the Inclusion Manager and Governing Body in conjunction with parents. Above are comments made by parents who have children receiving additional SEND Support.