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Cawthorne Church Of England (VC) Primary School

"With you every step of the way"

Cawthorne Church Of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Taylor Hill, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S75 4HB

01226 790447 Fax: 01226 792848

E. Pursley

Cawthorne CE (VC) Primary School SEND Offer

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  1. What is a Special Educational Need?
  2. What is a disability?
  3. Is Cawthorne Primary school accessible for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties?
  4. Is there a school policy for SEND?
  5. Who is responsible for our provision for SEND?
  6. What should I do initially if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?
  7. What will happen if my child’s teacher identifies my child as having a special educational need?
  8. What can I expect Cawthorne Primary School to initially do in order to meet my child’s special educational needs or disability?
  9. How will my child be supported when they are identified as needing support that is ‘additional to or different from’ that which is normally provided?
  10. How do we use extra staff to support children with SEND?
  11. How will my child’s learning be monitored and assessed?
  12. How can I be involved effectively in any SEN meetings?
  13. What can I do to help support my child with SEN at home?
  14. If my child has a special educational need what will happen during the transition stages between Cawthorne School and another education provider?







Welcome to our special educational needs and disability (SEND) information pages. We hope you will enjoy reading about the variety of ways in which Cawthorne Primary School is able to support your child to reach his/her full potential.

We are a church school and as such aim to be fully inclusive in all we do. We believe that all children should be valued, treated with respect and should be provided with an opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards they can within a caring and nurturing environment. We adopt a holistic approach in which every aspect of the child is appreciated and cherished.

We have been graded as outstanding by OFSTED (2013) yet are still constantly striving to improve our practice. We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between our children with SEND and their non-SEND peers. We aim to provide ‘quality first’ teaching within a creative, exciting, broad and balanced curriculum. Where we feel a more considered, individual and graduated approach is needed, we aim to provide extra interventions within, or outside of lessons to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

If a child enters school with already identified needs we aim to provide effective interventions and extra support from the moment the child joins our Foundation Stage or our Primary Phase. We will strive to communicate with parents, previous Schools and any Early Years Providers, to enable the child to make a successful transition into school life.

In school when a child is not working in line with, or begins to fall behind, the expected progress of their peers, we aim to make early identification and try to offer a range of provision that will support the child’s specific needs. We strive to communicate fully with parents /carers and work in partnership with them to provide a support structure around their child. We aim to provide; ‘A family centred system in which the school works as a partner and a child centred system in which the school acts as a facilitator’.

When needed, we will aim to seek a range of help from other health care professionals who will then become part of the ‘child centred system.’

We will work as partners with the Local Authority to ensure services and interventions provided through the Local Offer can be accessed and used by our children. This will contribute to a multi-agency approach.

The school works with due regard to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice, The Children and Families Act (2014), the Equalities Act (2010) and our specific school policy for SEND.

To help you to access the information about our specific school offer for SEND we have set out the information under a series of questions. Just click on the questions and you will find the relevant information.

OFSTED Report February 2013:

Early identification, excellent support and careful monitoring ensure that disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make excellent progress in their learning.


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1. What is a Special Educational Need?

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. For children aged two or more, special provision is educational or training that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.

A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she is likely to fall within the above when they reach compulsory school age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.


The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on maintained schools and academies to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions. Individual Healthcare Plans will normally specify the type and level of support required to meet the medical needs of such pupils. Where children and young people also have SEN, their provision should be planned and delivered in a co-ordinated way with the healthcare plan.

A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Making high quality teaching available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. Such improvements in whole-class provision tend to be more cost effective and sustainable.

Professionals should also be alert to other events that can lead to learning difficulties or wider mental health difficulties, such as bullying or bereavement. Such events will not always lead to children having SEN but it can have an impact on well-being and sometimes this can be severe. Schools should ensure they make appropriate provision for a child’s short-term needs in order to prevent problems escalating. Where there are long-lasting difficulties schools should consider whether the child might have SEN.

Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN. However, they may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability. Some learning difficulties and disabilities occur across the range of cognitive ability and, left unaddressed may lead to frustration, which may manifest itself as disaffection, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Identifying and assessing SEN for children or young people whose first language is not English requires particular care. The school will look carefully at all aspects of a child or young person’s performance in different areas of learning and development to establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN.

The SEN and Disability Code of Practice name four broad areas that give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for within school. These are identified to help schools provide a range of actions, not to put children into categories.

These categories are;

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory/other Physical Needs


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2. What is a disability?

The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment and that impairment has a substantial and long- term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A physical or mental impairment includes: learning difficulties including specific learning difficulties; medical conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, more severe forms of asthma and eczema; autism; speech, language and communication impairments.

If the impairment has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities it may amount to a disability.

It is important to understand that it is not for this school to decide if your child has a disability. This will be determined by medical or other professionals.


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3. Is Cawthorne Primary school accessible for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties?

Yes. The entrance and egress of the site have access points for those in wheelchairs. We have long, wide corridors for ease of access and ramps with support rails in place. We have disabled toilets with emergency call facilities. Access to the two playgrounds is via ramps and not steps. The Foundation unit has a flat access in and out of its outdoor area.

The only point of access which is limiting from inside the school is the hall, which is also used as a dining hall, as there are stairs to this area however there is outside access via the emergency fire door.

Outside access to the field is via a steep incline.

In case of emergency, all exits are viable for those with mobility difficulties.

In line with the SEN and Disability Code of Practice and the Equalities Act 2010, we will make thorough advanced plans and reasonable adjustments to ensure disability equality – this is called an accessibility plan.


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4. Is there a school policy for SEND?

Yes. The school works with due regard to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice and the Equalities Act (2010).

Cawthorne School’s Policy for SEND is presently being thoroughly reviewed in the light of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice and the Children and Families Act of 2014. It will be available to view on this website very soon.


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5. Who is responsible for our provision for SEND?

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators: Mrs Janet Hutchinson and Miss Erica Pursley (Head Teacher).

Our Governor with responsibility for SEND: Mr A V Kent (Chair of Governors). It is the responsibility of the SEN Governor to feed-back relevant SEND information to the full Governing Body.

Mrs Hutchinson has a specific qualification in SEND: ISC Social and Educational Studies - Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) awarded by Sheffield University.

All our very experienced Teachers are involved in the delivery of our SEND provision through ‘quality first’ teaching and by enabling any specifically designed programmes or 1-1 sessions to be delivered effectively. The Teachers and Teaching Assistants are the primary deliverers of the SEND provision.

When the SENCOs have identified a specific need within a graduated programme of intervention, our experienced and well qualified Teaching Assistants (TAs) help to deliver small group or 1-1 sessions.

The SENCO provides professional guidance to colleagues and works closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The SENCO should be aware of the provision in the Local Offer and be able to work with professionals providing a support role to families to ensure that pupils with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching. The key responsibilities of the SENCO may include:

  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
  • liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
  • liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
  • liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
  • being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date


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6. What should I do initially if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?

If you are concerned that your child has SEND then you should, in the first instance, ask to speak to your child’s class teacher. It is better to arrange an after school meeting where your concerns can be discussed in more detail. It is always helpful for your teacher to have some indication of what you wish to discuss in advance, so they can best facilitate an effective outcome to the meeting (ie have books available to share, have previous class reports available etc). You can do this through a brief telephone conversation, as you arrange the meeting, or through a note given in advance.

Your child’s class teacher might also feel it would be helpful to have the SENCO present at the meeting. Their role in this first instance will be to listen to your concerns and offer some initial information or support.

It is quite normal to feel anxious and upset when you first begin to recognise that your child might be experiencing difficulties. It is important to remember that at Cawthorne Primary School, you have an experienced team of teachers who will be able to work alongside you to support you and your child through this worrying time. The school team has lots of different expertise, qualifications and experience that they can offer.

In accordance with the SEN Code of Practice, our school uses a graduated approach when meeting the needs of our SEN children. Up to 20% of children and young people have special educational needs at some stage in their school lives and around 2% have special educational needs which are severe and of a more complex nature. For many children, simple changes to the way the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact on their learning and, with these changes in place, their learning can be supported. In school, this is called ‘differentiating the curriculum’. Your child’s class teacher will be doing this on a daily basis so that all children can access the curriculum and make the most of the learning experiences presented.

In your initial meeting with the class teacher differentiation strategies might be discussed. This might include small group work supported by the teacher or TA or extra reading sessions.

For some children they need input that is above and beyond what they might get through differentiation. This input will be ‘additional to and different from’ that which is normally offered in the class. If your child needs this added support then the school will begin to monitor them according to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice. You will be informed of this and meetings will begin to be held where specific strategies and interventions will be discussed and a graduated process of interventions will be decided. You will become a key part of this graduated approach. The SENCO and teachers will work with you to agree the next stages of provision for your child. You will become fully involved in all the stages, included in all meetings, give permission for all interventions and have access to all extra paperwork/reports.

Cawthorne School works with due regard to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice. Please see Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years issued by the Department for Education. A specific guide for parents and carers has also been produced by the Department for Education.


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7. What will happen if my child’s teacher identifies my child as having a special educational need?

Cawthorne staff a a friendly group of teachers and will often chat informally to parents after school, so you may already be aware via conversation that your child is struggling and he/she has been given some extra support in various ways. These types of conversations often happen when your child is in Foundation or KS1. You might begin to notice the teacher is giving your child more support in their reading, via comments in reading journals etc. These extra conversations are part and parcel of the day to day communications between home and school.

More formally, you will be told at the two parents’ evenings we hold in the year if your child has work differentiated for them because they are in need of extra support.

If your child’s teacher has recognised a need that is ‘additional to and different from’ that which they provide through quality first teaching and a differentiated curriculum, they will ask to see you outside of teaching hours and will arrange a special meeting with you. You will set a mutually agreed time and date for your first meeting. This is likely to be the first of several meetings of this type in which the focus will be on supporting your child to make progress and achieve well.

These meetings will follow the guidelines set by the SEN and Disability Code of Practice (2014). There is further information in other questions about these meetings and the importance of your role as a parent in this process.

In these meetings you will help contribute to and agree a graduated approach to be taken in response to your child’s specific needs.


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8. What can I expect Cawthorne Primary School to initially do in order to meet my child’s special educational needs or disability?

(Also see the question: How will my child be supported when they are identified as needing support that is ‘additional to or different from’ that which is normally provided?)

‘Quality first teaching’ is an entitlement for all children and at Cawthorne School, we are constantly striving for excellence in all that we do. We are determined that the teaching your child receives on a daily basis will be of a high quality, differentiated according to need and take account of your child’s different learning styles and abilities. We aim to provide a creative and lively curriculum that allows access for all children. We are an inclusive school and will ensure that all our ‘quality first’ teaching is accessible to all children regardless of SEN or disability. In 2013, OFSTED graded the quality of teaching as ‘outstanding’. We are very proud of this but not complacent in our attitudes. We assess children’s learning thoroughly and set differentiated, yet challenging, targets for all.

Teachers make excellent use of assessments to match work precisely to pupils’ individual needs and to provide them with clear targets for improvement. These often take the form of target cards in reading, writing and mathematics, which show pupils exactly what they need to do to achieve the next level of attainment. Pupils use teachers’ verbal evaluations and detailed marking of their work to record when individual elements have been achieved. This excellent practice, not only provides teachers and pupils with a detailed picture of the progress being made, but instils in pupils the importance of regular self-assessment.

Lessons are carefully planned for and work is differentiated according to need. This is referred to as the ‘differentiated curriculum’ and is present in all classes in Cawthorne School.

Teaching is specifically targeted to meet individual need and we call this personalised learning. Where and when appropriate, we give our children access to small group activities, interventions and in some cases individual sessions within the day. This may be to undertake work on specific intervention programmes or simply as a means of facilitating opportunities to revisit skills, or knowledge where they need additional practice or over-learning. This work is carefully planned for and monitored by the teacher who will have targeted the support carefully.

Sometimes our children have special educational needs that require much more detailed programmes of intervention and delivery. These children will receive a more structured approach involving a series of graduated interventions. Children will have their ‘Personal Plans’ (PP’s) organised and produced by the SENCOs in consultation with the class teachers, the supporting teaching assistants and you, the parents. These programmes are also shared with the child in an age appropriate way. At this point, the allocation of time and resources becomes the responsibility of the SENCO and Head Teacher.

These interventions might only last for short periods or longer if required. SMART targets are written, implemented and reviewed; progress and attainment against these targets is carefully monitored. The delivery of PP’s is carefully thought out and planned for, affecting issues of human resource and timetabling. When possible, we build 1-1 and small group sessions into lessons where they will best suit the child’s educational needs. ie If your child was excellent at PE we would not remove them from such a session so as to allow them success and enjoyment from all the curriculum. A great deal of time goes into planning for successful intervention as this leads to a more successful outcome.

We strive to be a visually attractive school so as to support easier access for our children who require a communication friendly environment. We also aim to provide an environment that is accessible for those who are hearing impaired. We are working towards providing a dyslexia friendly environment and employ a wide range of dyslexia friendly strategies to ensure a consistent approach for children with literacy difficulties of a specific need.

The school has made reasonable adjustment to internal and external teaching/learning areas to support those with physical or mobility difficulties.(Please see: Is Cawthorne Primary school accessible for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties?)

We have a room specifically designated for SEN to allow for safe and convenient storage of support equipment and resources and an area to provide small group and 1-1 sessions.

Above all you can expect that Cawthorne School will be sensitive to the needs of all its community, both children and parents. We will strive to intercede quickly and professionally when a child needs extra help with their learning. Our interventions will be ‘person centred’ and designed around the specific needs of your child.


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9. How will my child be supported when they are identified as needing support that is ‘additional to or different from’ that which is normally provided?

Initially your child’s teacher completes a ‘Cause for Concern’ sheet for the SENCO in which they detail what the additional concerns are, who is concerned, what has already been put in place (differentiation) and any extra information that is relevant to the child. This will be shared with you at your first meeting and your views will be included in the document. This document allows the SENCO (who might not be your child’s teacher) an overview of the concerns expressed. It is at this stage that the SENCO might agree to meet with you and your child’s class teacher to arrange more detailed support. This might include putting in place some special strategies or interventions, small group work sessions outside/inside of the class or targeted TA/Teacher interventions. This is known as the graduated approach. Sometimes interventions require human resources to be used to support your child, or alternative tasks or activities will be required. Any small group work will be specifically targeted to address the needs of your child. Records will start to be kept and monitored and you will be kept informed of what is happening. This might be via informal chats after school if that suits you best, or by more formal and pre-arranged meetings.

You might be asked at this stage to support your child’s learning at home, as a team around the child. This might be through extra reading practice, work on words and sounds or support with basic maths etc. Your child’s teacher will support you via advice or added resources to enable you to do this. The important thing is to try and make the learning fun and to provide lots of encouragement and praise.

Initially your child will be recorded on our provision map which is a document that maps out the extra provision that will be put in place to support your child. It will detail such things as extra reading sessions, group interventions like ALS (Additional Literacy Support), extra phonic group work, extra sessions in basic maths etc. This allows us to record where, when and by whom additional support is being offered and also gives us a general overview of how we can best use our teachers and TAs to support children over the whole school.

Your child will be monitored through these processes and you will be kept informed of his/her progress alongside set targets through the meetings held in school.

Beyond this if your child needs an even more personalised programme, the SENCO will begin to write PPs (Personal Plans) which will be completed and shared with yourselves, the class teacher, the Head Teacher, the TAs involved with your child and also your child, using age appropriate language. The PP is written with SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed bound targets) and they require a specific focus. Short assessments might take place at this time to help structure the SMART targets. The PPs are regularly reviewed and new ones written to aid progress. These reviews are shared with you.

It is at this stage that outside agencies might be included. This simply means that the school has decided to involve some external professionals or agencies to provide staff with more specialist advice and guidance in order to support your child. This external support might consist of an Education Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational/Physiotherapist, Specialist Advisory Teacher or medical professional. Sometimes, if the need arises, you, the parents, may be asked by school to take your child to your own doctor to enable you to get support from external health care agencies. In order to implement these PPs successfully the school might arrange for specific staff to attend courses.

Sometimes in the Early Years Foundation Stage of school outside agencies might already be involved, or have had some involvement with your child, prior to him/her attending school.

As more people become involved in helping the school to meet your child’s needs, your child’s class teacher, or the SENCOs may talk to you about holding a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) meeting. This will involve filling in some forms to start the process. Once established, the CAF will help the school to organise ‘Team Around the Child Meetings’ (TAC meetings) where everyone involved (including yourself) can sit down together and discuss the best way forward to support your child to make progress.

Again, for the majority of children, this graduated approach often means that the child can begin to make progress. Your child may have these sorts of interventions at some stage in their educational life but it does not mean they will need to receive this level of support permanently as their circumstances might change. Indeed if intervention is very successful they revert to accessing a normal differentiated curriculum.

Only a very small percentage of children require support above and beyond this level. If this is the case, the SENCO might discuss with you the possibility of asking the Local Education Authority to undertake a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. If this is necessary, the school will collect together all the information and evidence gathered, showing the strategies and interventions undertaken and with your permission send it to the Local Authority for them to consider at a panel meeting. They will make a decision as to whether your child needs an EHC (Education and Health Care Plan). Whilst this is taking place the school will continue to meet your child’s needs with the support that is already in place.

Once the Local Authority receives a request to consider an EHC a legal timescale begins. The process of statutory assessment is carefully bound by legislation and guidance within the SEN and Disability Code of Practice. If the decision is made to go ahead with a statutory assessment then the Local Authority will signpost you to guidance and support that will help assist you through the process, for example from the Parent Partnership Service.

In this process our School role will be to provide general information, assessment data and evidence of prior and present interventions. The EHC needs the assessment process at its heart under a very specific person centred structure. We aim to cooperate fully with the Local Authority to share information and to inform the future planning of provision. When an EHC is formulated it will dictate future provision and budget allocation in School. It will be issued to the Governing Body and Head Teacher and the outcomes will be reviewed annually. We will cooperate fully in the planning, delivery and review process of the EHC to ensure the best outcomes for your child.

For further, specific information about the EHC please see section 9 of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice.

Throughout the whole process there is a theme of assess, plan, do and review.


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10. How do we use extra staff to support children with SEND?

At Cawthorne School we have a team of support staff who are highly qualified in delivering the curriculum to children with SEND. They work alongside the teachers to deliver the curriculum effectively. All have received training in some area of SEND and we are able to pool their expertise to best fit the needs of our different children.

When the SENCO or Head teacher identify a specific need, our Teaching Assistants are sent on courses or receive school based training from specialist advisors so they feel confident and qualified to help deliver 1-1 and small group sessions to children with SEND.

They work with the SENCO to find suitable strategies and interventions that will help children with SEND to access the curriculum.

Our Teaching Assistants help to deliver our graduated approach, working closely with the class teacher and SENCO to ensure that SMART targets are met and progression is made. Timetables are very carefully drawn up to allow Teaching Assistants to support the differentiated curriculum, or, when needs arise, to work with specific groups or individual children. This requires the Teaching Assistants to be very flexible and fluid in their movements around school. Cawthorne is a small school so our Teaching Assistants often follow children through the school and become very familiar with their needs. Therefore they can offer vital advice when compiling specific programmes for children with SEND.

They may work to support children within the class setting or take children out into small bases where they can work on specific programmes or interventions.

We often ask our Teaching Assistants to attend review meetings with parents so that parents can get to know the person who supports their child and the Teaching Assistant can feed in vital information into any reviews and future interventions.

We are careful to ensure that children with SEN get to see the same Teaching Assistant throughout a year and that they are not seeing different people every day. This can sometimes be logistically difficult to organise but we feel it is worthwhile in the long term.

Our Teaching Assistants are very professional and approachable - they work hard to form excellent collaborative relationships with our children with SEND.

Presently our Teaching Assistants are:

  • Mrs Hilary Howe
  • Mrs Margaret Lowe
  • Mrs Bryony Lindley
  • Mrs Alison Smith
  • Ms Vikki Campling
  • Mrs Mary O’Connell

All these Assistants help to support our children with SEND.


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11. How will my child’s learning be monitored and assessed?

Cawthorne Primary School has a rigorous programme for assessing children’s learning.

Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process.

When a child starts school, teaching staff carry out Baseline Assessments. It involves staff observing children to understand their levels of achievement, interests and learning styles and to then shape the learning experiences for each child. The Early Learning Goals are used to summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of Reception year. If a child’s progress in any of the Early Learning Goals, gives cause for concern, teaching staff will discuss this with parents and agree how to support the child. At the end of the year, the EYFS Profile is completed for each child - this again highlights any areas that a child may need additional support in.

There are on-going daily assessment at Cawthorne Primary School as evidenced in the marking of children’s work and the ‘next steps’ provision that is put in place.

Some assessments take place at the end of specific pieces of work to inform future planning of the next steps in learning. Other more formal assessments take place half termly or termly and information from these and on-going teacher assessments are fed into our SIMs data programme where progress can be monitored. At any point, if a child is found to be struggling, this will be evidenced through his/her assessed work and SIMs data.

SIMs data allows us to recognise specific patterns of need and to compare to national data.

These systems are in place for all children including those with SEND.

In some instances additional assessments may be appropriate for children with special educational needs in order to provide the school with the information they need to determine a child’s strengths and areas for development. If some more specialised assessment is required then the relevant service provider will be contacted (with your permission) and your child referred for further assessments. These usually take place in school but sometimes you may be required to take your child out of school to attend assessment sessions. All data from these sessions is (again with your permission) fed back to school so as to facilitate effective intervention programmes.

If at any stage in the monitoring and assessment process, it is felt that outside agencies can support the assessment process then a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) might be sought and if necessary the Local Authority can be asked to complete an assessment for an EHC ( Education and Health Care Plan). All these are only sought with your permission.

All assessments will seek to identify the child’s strengths as well as weaknesses.

Sometimes children with SEND will be allowed extra support with more formal school based assessments (eg SATS tests). This support might consist of extra time allocation, a reader (for maths, science), or a scribe. This support will only be offered with the agreement of the relevant authorities. The school can apply for this support, but will need evidence of SEND for this to be allowed.

Cawthorne Primary School sets aspirational targets even for its children with special needs. Individual targets are shared with the children (at an age appropriate level) so that they can see progression even in small steps and children contribute to their own target setting.

If a personalised plan (PP) has been written, the school will monitor it very carefully. This will be shared with you and all involved in your child’s learning. Regular reviews and monitoring of PPs takes place and new plans are written when necessary. SMART targets are set within a timescale and then a review takes place.


Quotes from OFSTED 2013

Teachers make excellent use of assessments to match work precisely to pupils’ individual needs and to provide them with clear targets for improvement. These often take the form of target cards in reading, writing and mathematics, which show pupils exactly what they need to do to achieve the next level of attainment. Pupils use teachers’ verbal evaluations and detailed marking of their work to record when individual elements have been achieved. This excellent practice, not only provides teachers and pupils with a detailed picture of the progress being made, but instils in pupils the importance of regular self-assessment.

Pupils’ progress is monitored closely and a very careful watch is kept over each pupil’s learning and development. This ensures all pupils have equal opportunities to learn and that none are discriminated against.

Early identification, excellent support and careful monitoring ensure that disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make excellent progress in their learning.


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12. How can I be involved effectively in any SEN meetings?

It is important to remember that all the people involved in any meeting want the best for your child.

The teachers know that you know your child best and they will need your help to work effectively alongside to support your child. You have access to the personal voice of your child, their thoughts and feelings - this is important information to bring to the meeting.

When you first realise your child is experiencing difficulties, it is normal to feel anxious and emotional. It is human nature to want the best for your child and for him/her to be successful. At the initial meeting with staff, it is important to stay calm and controlled. It is often helpful to make notes in advance of what you would like to say about your child and his/her difficulties.

The teachers, SENCO and TAs at Cawthorne are an experienced group of professionals with many different specialisms. They will be observing your child in a learning environment on a day to day basis, alongside their peers. They will understand how your child is approaching their learning and where specifically he/she need extra support. They have experience of teaching many children with specific difficulties and will approach your concerns professionally and with integrity.

With this in mind, meetings can be calm and productive sessions where the child’s needs are effectively met.

In formal meetings, it is common for minutes to be to be kept and shared with you so that all concerned can be aware of what has been discussed. This helps with follow up meetings and can help the class teachers or the SENCO to formulate effective interventions. There is a specific section designated for parents’ responses.

Often in meetings, follow up strategies will be discussed and a timescale for reviewing them will be arranged. PPs (Personalised Plans) might be reviewed and discussed and new targets set.

If the teachers or SENCO feels that it would be helpful for outside agencies to become involved, then they will ask for your permission before referral. Alternatively the school may advise you to approach different agencies outside school.

If other agencies become involved you will be informed by reports or meetings of what has happened or what is going to happen.

You will be involved at all points in meetings to discuss your child and their needs. Nothing will be done without permission and consultation.

It is important to remember that 20% of all school aged children might at some point in their school life need extra support and that you as a parent are not alone.


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13. What can I do to help support my child with SEN at home?

In a child’s early years, the development of language/communication skills is equally important as literacy and numeracy skills. In the Foundation Stage, the prime areas of development are; physical, communication and language and personal, social and emotional development. Literacy and maths are seen as specific areas. For example, if a child is not able to communicate in full sentences, they are also going to have more difficulties with reading and writing. If a child cannot do a full circular motion with their arm from his/her shoulder, this makes it more difficult for him/her to develop fine motor skills required for writing. In the early stages of school life, keep regular, positive communication with the Foundation Stage staff, informing them of any difficulties, anxieties or learning issues your child is experiencing at home. They will be able to advise you on any support you can give to your child.

In Cawthorne School we send home letters which detail what topics and areas will be covered in the term ahead. Homework is also sent home regularly from Y1 upwards. Both of these will give you an outline of what is being taught in class. On our school website you will also find information about the new curriculum for all subjects. These will help you to think about topics for discussion with your child.

Support your SEND child with his/her homework. Speak to your class teacher if the homework is too challenging or you have had to support him/her as a scribe in certain areas. If you have access to ICT resources at home, help your child to use online learning activities.

Share books with your child helping him/her to access the text and to understand the content. Read, talk about the pictures and predict what may happen next. ‘You read, I read’ is a supportive act for children with SEND. Try not to cover the pictures as these are there to support early reading and they are often crucial to early deciphering of the text. Make reading fun as children with SEND in literacy often pick up on their parents anxieties about their difficulties and this can lead to unco-operative behaviour or tension.

Play games with your child. Simple board games and bingo type games make learning fun and often children won’t realise they are doing number work or reading when involved in a game.

Listen to your child’s anxieties; he/she may be struggling with something that you found easy at school. Give him/her lots of praise and encouragement when they achieve small, but crucial, steps. Try not to compare them against their non-SEND peers or siblings as children with SEND often learn more slowly and in bite sized amounts - this does not mean that learning is not taking place.

Share with your child’s class teacher your child’s strengths as they might be able to use these to support them in their learning. See your child as a whole not just as a ‘poor reader’ for example.

Follow up individual programmes set by the school or outside agencies in the work you do with your child at home. This allows your child to see that you understand their specific needs and you are on board with the school’s approach, working as team.

Expect your child to occasionally be unco-operative when asked to work on something he/she struggles with. Adults know how it feels when we have to do something that we don’t find easy. Work in smaller chunks of time, give regular ‘brain breaks’ and build in time for physical activity to allow your child time to de-stress.

Attendance is crucial in terms of maintaining progression. This might sometimes be difficult due to medical conditions, appointments and other issues for SEND children, but there are some statistical facts that show that if your child’s attendance is low his/her chances at success at school are more difficult. One day off every couple of weeks equates very quickly to a full week. This added to potential time out for holidays can easily add up very quickly to half a term’s absence.

Keep positive contacts with the teachers who are teaching your child. They will be able to give you good advice and support where necessary. First thing in the morning is a difficult time for teachers to talk properly as they are setting up for the day ahead, so after school contact or arranged phone calls are better for conversations about worries. If a more formal meeting is needed, this can be arranged then.

Attend meetings arranged for your child and return any forms promptly to enable effective interventions.


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14. If my child has a special educational need what will happen during the transition stages between Cawthorne School and another education provider?

Prior to entry into the Foundation Stage at Cawthorne Primary School, we hold an information session for parents; you can express any concerns you may have to teaching staff at this. Visits to the school can be arranged above and beyond those normally provided, if your child has specific special educational needs.

We will contact with any pre-school establishments your child has attended so that we have all relevant information. If necessary, the teaching staff may undertake visits to your child in their pre-school environment to establish a relationship with your child. Initially each morning you will bring your child into the Foundation Stage classroom to ensure a calm, managed transition between home and school.

If your child starts school at the beginning of a new educational year (not foundation) or half way through the year, we strive to make their transition happy and successful. We are happy to meet with you prior to the transition day to discuss specific needs and concerns. If necessary, we will use the information from your child’s previous school to help us make quick interventions. This might involve us looking at the books passed on to us from your child’s previous school or a phone conversation with your child’s previous teacher. This will allow for continuity and progression.

When a child is to transfer to another school (in year) we will ensure that any relevant data and information is passed on quickly to allow for effective transition.

When your child is preparing for secondary school, we will arrange specific meetings to ensure your chosen school has access to all the relevant information. Secondary school colleagues (usually head of year/SEN team) are invited to attend. This meeting will enable all concerned to discuss relevant issues and concerns. It might be decided that your child needs extra visits to their new school to allay fears or worries. This will be offered if needed. At this meeting the SENCO will explain what is already in place for your child and what has been successful. The present assessment and future needs of your child will be discussed and shared. The new school will want to know about your child’s strengths as well as weaknesses in their learning. Groupings and friendship groups may be discussed to ensure an emotionally successful transition. You will be given contact details for your child’s new school and will be invited to attend their open days.

Transition times can be difficult for children with special educational needs so all staff will strive to make these crucial moves as easy and pleasant as possible.


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