Teaching and Learning at St Mary's
At St. Mary’s RC Primary School we welcome everybody into our community. We believe that our community should reflect God’s wish that every child is welcomed and should be provided with the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential. Every pupil at St. Mary’s has the opportunity to follow all National Curriculum subjects. We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND pupils.
Where possible, we identify children who have Additional Educational Special Needs according to the following definition-
? A learning difficulty i.e. a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age, or a disability which makes it difficult to use the educational facilities generally provided; ? And if that learning difficulty calls for specialist educational provision i.e. Provision additional to, or different from, that made generally for children of the same age. Therefore, the early identification through observation, assessment and discussion with parents and professionals for any child who may have Special Educational Needs is extremely important to us at our school. When a child has been assessed as having learning difficulty parents/carers will be asked to sign a consent form consenting to outside specialist help as and when needed.
On entry needs are identified through liaison with parents, carers and other professionals. Regular teacher assessments and observations are also used to identify any special education needs as they move through the school. By thorough monitoring we are able to act quickly when children do not make expected progress.
? All children have different needs, therefore children with SEND at St. Mary’s RC Primary School receive a differentiated personalised curriculum. All our staff are trained to differentiate teaching and learning so that every child is able to learn at their own pace and in their own way. We use additional interventions- schemes and materials so that we have something at the right level for pupils with SEN. We use Inference training for reading; Read, Write, Ink for writing; Stern and Numicon for Maths; BLAST 1 and 2 for language and communication; Time to Talk, Socially Speaking, Emotional Literacy and Lego Therapy for personal, social and health education. ? All our staff are trained so that we are able to adapt to a range of SEN:- specific learning difficulties including dyslexia (SpLD); autistic spectrum disorder (ASD); speech, language and communication needs (SLCN); and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).We use a number of approaches to teaching- Booster, We have teachers and support staff trained in SpLD; ASD; Team Teach; Signalong; PECS; Lego Therapy.
Money is allocated annually from the school budget to support pupils with SEND. This is used to ensure that positive outcomes for pupils with SEND are maintained and that all pupils have full access to the National Curriculum and Foundation Stage Curriculum.
Money is allocated according to a child’s additional needs and it may typically include: ? The provision of additional Teaching Assistants who are used to provide support to enable children to access the curriculum. ? The use of Teaching Assistants for targeted support and the delivery of specialist programmes. ? Release time for SENCo to meet with parents and liaise with staff and other agencies to improve the quality of provision for identified children. ? The provision of external specialists for additional and more in depth assessment and advice. ? The provision of specialist equipment and resources. ? Additional training and support for staff where necessary.
Where needed, pupils with SEND can have modified access arrangements when undertaking statutory assessments. This could be ? Timed breaks ? Modified print ? Additional time ? A scribe
Person Centred Reviews are used to review outcomes and progress and plan a course of future action. Parents, the class teacher, the SENCo and other relevant outside agencies are involved in the process.
Our SENCo has achieved NASENCo accreditation and has over 8 years experience working in this position of responsibility.
The SENCo and Head teacher ensure that staff are kept up to date with any changes in legislation, local arrangements and any developments on all matters related to SEND. The Head teacher and SENCo liaise with staff regularly to ensure any changes are communicated appropriately and in a timely order.
How do we review outcome?
Our recent school data shows that good provision for pupils identified as having a special educational need is a strength of our school. A consequence of good SEND provision is that children with SEND at both KS1 and KS2 make significantly better progress than all other pupils with similar prior attainment in reading and numeracy, make similar progress to all other pupils in writing and achieve higher standards than national. Furthermore, children with EAL both at KS1 and KS2 make better progress in writing than other pupils and significantly better in reading and numeracy than other pupils and nationally.
Our children do well because we have a rigorous monitoring and review cycle in place. Termly Person Centred Reviews and Pupil Progress Meetings are used to review progress, tackle any underperformance and ensure the strategies are appropriate for the age, ability and needs of the child. Children who have an Education Health and Care Plan also have an annual review. For pupils with statement/EHC plan a Home/School book will be used to keep regular contact between school and home.
At all reviews, interventions are evaluated for effectiveness and changes to provision are made if needed. Parents, class teachers, governors, specialist teachers, other professionals and the SENCo are involved in the review and evaluation of outcomes for pupils with SEND. Parental views on outcomes for pupils are also sought.
We use P scale levels and PIVATS to assess progress that is in smaller steps and at a slower pace than the usual national curriculum.We regularly use staff meeting to get all teachers to assess an anonymous piece of work to check our judgements are correct (moderating).We check how well a pupil understands and makes progress in each lesson. Our senior leadership team check the progress of pupils every term and we discuss what we are doing to make sure all pupils make good progress (is there anything else we can do?)
Whole school moderation of writing takes place each half term. This involves teachers assessing pieces of pupil’s written work and moderating their judgements for quality assurance.
Pupil Progress Meetings with the Class Teacher and members of the Senior Leadership Team take place each term to ensure all children are making good progress towards age related expectations. Where children are not, short term interventions are put in place and rigourously monitored to ensure they have the impact desired.
How we work collaboratively with outside agencies/ external expertise
St. Mary’s works in a collaborative partnership with many different agencies. This means that a supportive plan can be developed to meet your child’s needs both in and out of school.
? We have support from specialist teachers for accessing the curriculum and extra work on SEND related needs. (QEST, Visual Impairment Service, Hearing Impairment Service.)
? We access support from speech and language therapy (SALT) to train our staff; advise on strategies and programmes; we refer pupils for assessment if we believe they need a period of therapy.
? We get support from Moving and Handling and from occupational therapy (OT) e.g. for pupils who need assessment for special seating.
? We get support from physiotherapy for pupils who need it.
? We get support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
? We get support from a specialist educational psychologist.
? We get support from SEMH’s Together with the pupil and the parent we review the pupil’s progress; agree what everyone will do to make teaching more effective and to support learning; agree outcomes for the pupil’s achievement; agree how we will work together and what we will each do; agree a date to review how well the pupil is doing and whether we are making a difference; and what we need to do next. This information is recorded to ensure accountability.
Extra Curricular Activities
We encourage all children to engage in extra-curricular activities both those that our school hosts and those that are available in the local community. We provide a wide range of activities that are held after school, we ensure that the clubs we offer reflect a wide variety of curriculum elements e.g. sport, art, gardening etc. Our clubs are popular and the uptake is high. All extra-curricular activities available to our children are communicated to parents via our school website. To support our working families we run a Before School Club. Children are able to access this from 8.15am.
We provide our children with regular educational visits and a residential visit in Year 6. Pupils with SEND are always included in these. We provide a 1-1 teaching assistant to support their full inclusion. We choose visits that are accessible to all. Parents and carers of children with SEND will be involved in planning activities and educational visits in advance.
Accessibility and Inclusion
At St. Mary’s RC Primary School we embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the educational needs of every child are different- this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs.
During the early years of school, when our children are preparing to start school, we carry out home visits. This enables us to get a full and detailed exchange of information so that we are as fully informed as possible. This allows us to assess the need to make adaptations, source and supply additional equipment, engage with relevant agencies and set up regular liaison meeting with parents.
St. Mary’s R.C Primary School is a designated ‘Open Access’ school and is therefore judged fully wheelchair accessible. We are a single level school with wide internal and external doors. All the furniture we provide for learning is designed for the age and suitability of the activities we do. We are a friendly school and the teachers are available at the start and end of each day for ‘handovers’ and the sharing of information. We pride ourselves on our bright and stimulating classroom environments. We have an ‘Intervention’ room called ‘The Oasis’ where we encourage the sensory, auditory and visual environment. We have disabled changing and toilet facilities in both the infant and junior departments.
All the statutory policies with regards to Equality, SEND, Inclusion and many more are available on our school website or alternatively they can be requested from the school office. A wide variety of other information is available on the school website, the school Facebook page, the community noticeboards around school and via the regular communication with parents e.g. newsletters.
The school has a range of resources specifically to be used for children with SEND. We use visual/pictorial timetables, workstations, easy grip pencils, first and then boards, visual timers and specialist programmes.
We use a range of technology including iPads, apps, PCs, Talking Pegs and we use a range of software on our school learning platform/website to help pupils engage with subjects they find difficult; practice skills and become independent learners.
For parents and carers whose first language is not English we try to use any staff member with that language strength as first reference and then seek specialist language support through Oldham LEA.
Health and Safety (Including Emotional Health and Wellbeing and Behaviour)
The ‘Well-Being’ of our pupils holds a very high place in our priorities for our children at St. Mary’s. We follow the ‘5 Ways to well-being- Be Active, Keep Learning, Connecting, Take Notice and Giving. There is a well-being team consisting of Mrs O’Leary as emotional well-being lead and Mrs Dobrowolski and Mrs Millington as emotional well-being ‘first-aiders’. Mrs Dobrowolski has completed ELSA training which specialises in supporting the emotional well-being of young children. ? Once a week special Well-being sessions take place and involves the inclusion of each child. Various varied activities take place both indoors and outdoors including art and craft, shared reading, caring for the school environment, social skills and putting the ‘Statements of Belief’ into practice.
? Children who need additional nurture or support emotionally or socially have individual Wellbeing sessions.
? The Wellbeing of our pupils is closely linked to our R.E programme and PSHE.
? Our well-being ambassadors and school council share the ‘Pupil Voice’ which has an input into how we provide for the Wellbeing of our pupils.
? Our school’s Mission Statement has a direct bearing on the formation of our behaviour policy.
? The school adopts the ‘Always Child’ system.
? We provide an environment where pupils are encouraged to behave well and where pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for each other’s responsibility for each other’s emotional and social well-being.
? Our curriculum is used to raise the children’s awareness of bullying and our antibullying policy.
? Current affairs, literature, historical events and the SEAL’s programme are chosen to reinforce our anti-bullying approach.
? Drama, circle time, role-plays and stories are used to show what pupils can do to prevent bullying and to create an anti-bullying climate in school. Safeguarding procedures are fully in place and robustly checked and monitored by senior leaders and Governors.
The Head-teacher is the designated Health and Safety officer for school and any concerns should be addressed to her. All staff undertake systematic training to allow them to fulfil their Health and Safety obligations. We have several qualified first-aiders on our staff. Accidents are dealt with by a qualified first-aider and are recorded. Medicines may not be administered by staff unless cleared to do so by the Head-teacher.
Pupils learn to stay safe in school through the curriculum and understand safety with respect to water, electricity, fire, road safety and safety in the home. Children are taught how to stay safe on the internet and other technologies through e-safety lessons which are shared with parents to enable them to know how to safeguard their children online. A highly effective induction process for children, parents and staff ensures that everybody feels safe and well looked after in our school.
Pupils respect the adults in our school, regardless of their role, and also show respect towards each other. Consequently there are very few incidents of bullying or racist behaviour.
Pupils are listened to and there are excellent opportunities for pupils’ voices to be heard and each pupil has access to more than one member of staff to offer support and guidance. The Youth Service provides support for young people with SEND so that their voice is heard. Visit : http://oldham.gov.uk/info/200250/youngpeople/624/the youth service for more information.
Class teachers, support staff and Pastoral Care Worker carry out their pastoral care responsibilities efficiently and effectively and the high level of care provided enhances the quality of learning and progress for all pupils, including those with SEND.
What our school provides on entry:
? When pupils have identified SEND before they start here, we work hard with the people who already know them (Early Years Team, previous school/SENCo) and use the information already available to identify what their SEN will be in our school setting. What our school provides on transition to Secondary School:
? We work closely with SENCo’s and SEN teams from Secondary schools to ensure smooth transition from Year 6 to Secondary, passing on all relevant information.
Our Year 6 pupils visit their forthcoming Secondary School for curriculum taster sessions. Our local Secondary Schools also provide transition events for parents and pupils part way through their final primary year. For children with special educational needs an additional transition meeting is arranged with pupils, parents and both primary and secondary SENCo’s (or their representatives). At this meeting a discussion is held about the pupil’s identified special educational needs, how they can be met and a provisional plan is made for their transition. In many cases, additional visits and extra transition arrangements are put in place.
What help and support is available to parents/carers?
Our Attendance and Family Liaison Officer has forged excellent relationships with our parents. The Senior Leadership Team and our Attendance and Family Liaison Officer support families in a wide variety of ways e.g. signposting to relevant organisations, completing paperwork/forms, putting in place home behaviour plans, assistance on getting their child to school (travel plan), meet and greet arrangements and regular update meetings.
There are a number of parent support groups (link to Oldham’s Council’s Directory: http//www.oldham.gov.uk/directory/98/sen and disabled children’s services/category/247).
Oldham’s parent/carer forum is called POINT (Parents of Oldham in Touch). This is an umbrella organisation for all parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs, disabilities and complex medical needs. They work with Oldham Council, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of SEND children and families. (http://www.pointoldham.co.uk)
Complaints or Queries
Your first point of contact is always the person responsible- this may be the class teacher; the SENCo or the Head teacher. Explain your concerns to them first. If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed speak to the Head teacher then ask for the school Governors representative.
If your concern is with the local authority, contact the Complaints and Representatives Officer, contact details as follows:
Complaints and Representations Officer
PO Box 40 Level 8,
Tel: 0161 770 1129
The Parent Partnership Service provides independent, individual information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs. Visit http//www.oldham.gov.uk/pps/info/12/about the service.