Questions & Answers
How does Town Lane Infant School know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think that my children should have Special Educational Needs?The class teacher is the first point of contact for parents who think their child has developed additional needs. Following this the class teacher will liaise with the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for further advice and guidance. However more frequently the class teacher will identify children with additional needs based on ongoing assessments and observations in class. A meeting may be arranged with parents/carers if it is felt supplementary assessments or investigations are required.
2. How will staff at Town Lane Infant School support my child?
At Town Lane we offer many different forms of additional provision. This can include additional in class support; additional out of class support; 1:1 support; flexible grouping (including small group work); access to specific resources and mentoring; and access to a range of outside agencies. Additional provision is overseen by the school SENDCo and is designed and implemented by an excellent team of teachers, supported by highly skilled teaching assistants. Staff can access extra help and receive training if necessary e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language services, Pediatrician, Occupational Therapy. The most important is this: desired outcomes depends on the needs of the child.
For many children desired outcomes will be connected to learning and will often be specifically to do with Literacy and Numeracy. For other children they may be to do with social interaction, communicating with children and adults, emotional and behavioural difficulties, mental health difficulties, overcoming physical issues (e.g. problems with fine motor control)… the list is endless. The most important point is this: desired outcomes depends on the needs of the child.
Quality First Teaching
Class teacher input via targeted classroom teaching also known as Inclusive Quality First Teaching.
For your child this would mean:
- That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
- That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
- Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning or using technology, i.e. iPads.
- Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or specialist agencies) are in place to support your child to learn.
Your child’s teacher will carefully monitor your child’s progress and will decide if your child has gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress. This will also be monitored by the SENCo
All children in school will be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed
Some children require more support in the form of specific programmes which are delivered within a smaller group of children. These groups, often called Intervention groups by schools, may be run in the classroom or outside. They will be delivered by a Teaching assistant who has had training to lead these groups.
This provision is offered when it is felt that a child is not making expected progress and therefore; is falling behind their peers, or they need an additional boost. It may also be used to help fill gaps in learning caused by poor attendance, absence due to ill health or when other barriers to learning have been identified. Children who receive this level of support may already have been identified as having SEND, but they may not.
For your child this would mean:
- He/she will engage in-group sessions with specific targets to help him/her to make more progress in a specific area.
- A Teaching Assistant/teacher or outside professional (like a Speech and Language Therapist) will run these small group sessions using the children’s desired outcomes.
- Permission may be sought for the Speech and Language Services or the School Nursing Services to become involved with your child to support their identified needs in this area
Some children require more individualised programmes which are targeted at a smaller number of pupils in a small group or on a 1-1 basis.
For your child this would mean:
Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENDCO/parent or carer as needing more specialist/targeted input, instead of, or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
Your child’s name will have been added to the Schools SEND Register.
You will be invited to attend meetings to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional, e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school and at home.
The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
- Making changes to the way your child is supported in class, e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better.
- Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise.
- A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional, e.g. a social skills group.
- A group or individual work planned by and or run by the outside professional. This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
Pupil progress meetings are held each term to discuss the progress of pupils with the Headteacher and SENDCo. The shared discussions will highlight what further support or intervention maybe needed to increase progress and bring the child back on track to meet end of year expectations.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All pupils benefit from a range of teaching and learning styles; a highly adapted curriculum, a wide range of learning materials (both for reinforcement and extension); assessment procedures that emphasise pupils’ strengths and achievements; access to ICT; booster classes.
We believe that it is important for children to develop relationships with a number of adults across the school and ensure that all relevant staff understands the child’s individual needs. Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and includes all the mainstream subject areas and has been adapted by staff to enable all pupils to access all subjects in a meaningful and purposeful way. Phonics is taught across EYFS, Key stages 1 and is embedded across the curriculum.
Access to the curriculum is important to ensure that we get it right for children with numeracy and literacy difficulties. The school uses a wide variety of resources to facilitate access to the curriculum, including Numicon, RWI Programmes, iPad apps and coloured overlays. It maybe that your child needs specialist equipment e.g. writing slopes, pencil grips, posture support cushions and specialist chairs.
Our children are encouraged to work independently and collaboratively within their learning. They make progress in many ways not only through academic achievement. We teach using approaches to develop confidence, resilience and independence and offer opportunities for these skills to be transferred across the school setting.
4. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
Answer 4:The class teachers and teaching assistants observe and assess your child throughout each lesson, this information along with the information gained during the planned assessments throughout the year; help the class teacher to make judgments about your child’s strengths and areas for development. This also allows them to assess your child’s progress towards the National Curriculum expectations. The school monitors very carefully the progress and attainment in Reading, Writing, and Maths as these underpins access to all areas of the curriculum and to further education and work. The class teacher discusses the attainment and progress of children in their class with the Headteacher and SENDCo at Pupil Progress Meetings each term. It is during these meetings that teachers will begin to highlight concerns about a child’s progress and attainment and will begin to identify barriers to learning. It may be suggested that the class teacher and SENDCo organise interventions to support them to catch up. This would be reviewed at the next Pupil Progress Meeting (PPM). At the next PPM, if the child has not made the expected progress following the implementation of the interventions or strategies, then the class teacher would speak with the SENCO for further advice and support. A plan of support would be put together in discussion with the parent/carer and the child or young person. This may involve further intervention or strategies, referrals to specialist agencies, adding the child’s name to the SEND list, or an Individual Support Plan detailing the targeted strategies and intervention attended and required. All children who are on the SEN list have an individual One Page Profile (also known as a Person Center Plan - PCP) which is created with parents, the child and staff. The Profile explains how the children wants to be supported and how the staff can support the child.
5. What support will there be for my child’s well-being?
Your child’s well-being, mental and emotional health is as important as their academic progress. Town Lane offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who encounter emotional difficulties, including :
Teachers and Teaching Assistant readily available to discuss issues and concerns
Person Centered Planning/One Page Profiles
Clubs and extra adult supervision from Teaching Assistants and Midday Assistants at lunchtime to support children who find this time in school challenging
ELSA - one member of staff has gained their Emotional Literacy Support Assistant training and support children in small groups and in one to one situations depending on the needs of the children.
If a pupil has a medical need than a detailed Health Care Plan is compiled with support from the school nurse and the Local Authority in consultation with parents/carers.
All staff are trained in Emergency First Aid and a number of staff are qualified first aiders (including paediatric)
Twelve staff are trained in how to use a defibrillator and school has one on the premises.
Most staff have been trained in Team Teach including the SENDCo and receive refresher training every two years. Team Teach is where deescalation strategies are used to deescalate children's challenging behaviours and positive handling is used as a last resort to support a child’s behaviour and only when the child is putting themselves or others at risk.
We pride ourselves on how we promote children’s well-being and emotional health at Town Lane Infant School.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available are available at or accessed by the school?
Senior leaders, teachers and teaching assistants are highly skilled in meeting individual learning, behavioural and social needs of our children. The school accesses a range of specialist services including:
- School Nurse
- Speech and Language Therapist via the NHS
- Speech and Language via Rachel Barton
- Occupational Therapist
- Educational Psychologists
- Educational Welfare Officer
- Vision and Hearing Support
- Outreach support from specialist schools, e.g. Gillbrook, Hayfield and Orretts Meadow
- Special support from ASC team (Autism Social Communication Team)
- Social Services – Wirral Gateway
- Family Support Workers
- Paediatricians- accessed via School Nurse and/or Gp’s
- Wired- Parent Partnership
- Wirral Autistic Society
- CAMHS- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Services
- MEAS- Minority Ethnic Achievement Service
- SENAAT- Special Education Needs Assessment Advice Team
- ADHD Foundation Trust
7. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
As a fully inclusive school all children participate in whole school curriculum and off site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between children, but we differentiate the activities and expectations to enable all children to take part.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside of the classroom including school trips?
As a fully inclusive school all children participate in whole school curriculum and off site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between children, and we adapt the activities and expectations to enable all children to take part.
9. How accessible is the school environment?
Town Lane Infant School is a single storey building and is fully accessible for all children; we have a changing are for those children who require changing during the day.The building is light, classrooms have plenty of access, doors are wide and the site is both safe and secure.
- We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
- After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
- Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
Please see Town Lane Accessibility Plan for further information.
10. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Higher Bebington Junior School or transferring to a new school?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
Children joining our two-year old provision, Foundation Stage 1 and Foundation 2 will participate in transition activities including Induction mornings/afternoons. Parents are invited to a meeting when they have the opportunity to meet their child’s class teacher for information sharing. The EYFS Lead will visit or contact the nursery settings to meet the children prior to the induction day visit and the SENDco will visit children who have already been identified with additional needs in their nursery setting and attend review meeting when required, Where parents have identified concerns about their child, the EYFS lead or SENDCo has made contact to discuss requirements.
A multi-agency meeting will be held prior to starting school for any child with additional needs already identified.
When your child moves into the next year group information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. where the needs of the child will be shared with the new teacher.
Transition to Higher Bebington Junior School can be a worrying time for both the parents and child so at Town Lane Infant School we do additional transitional visits and talk at length with the junior teachers about the children’s special educational needs. We ensure that all paperwork is passed on to them and they are made aware of any special requirements, both educationally and pastorally. The SENDCos from each school meet in June to discuss the needs of the children that are transferring to the junior school in September to ensure that all paper work and needs are discussed and she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
11. How are your resources allocated or matched to children’s educational need?
Most of the resources used to meet your child’s educational needs are available within the classroom. Money may also be spent on further additional resources, staffing costs, staff training, specialist support/outside agencies and time allocated to the SENDCo to manage and monitor the support.
- Pupil Premium funding is used to deliver the small intervention programmes that take place. These may include:
- RWI- reading and writing support group
- Maths interventions
- Numbots club
- ELSA support
- Additional reading and phonic groups.
- Pupil Premium funding is also used to provide the children with the opportunities to attend after school clubs such as:
- Little explorers club
- STEM Club
- Kindness Club
- Full Of Beans -Street Dance, Gymnastics, Dodgeball and football,
- Art club
- Music provided by Edsential specialist teacher
12. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
On a daily basis the class teacher determines the level of support for individual children within the class. When children have been identified with additional needs or health requirements, additional support maybe required, discussions are held between the class teacher, SENDCo and senior leaders to determine what this may be. Typically this support continues to be provided from within the class, but maybe targeted at specific times. If evidence suggests that a higher levels of support or funding maybe beneficial this is agreed by senior leaders as the resources are often provided from within the school or by outside agencies.
13. How will I be involved in discussion about and planning for my child’s education?
All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. This maybe through:
- Discussions with class teacher
- During parents evenings
- During discussions with other professionals
- Annual reviews and Multi agency meetings
- Reviews of specific targets
- Parent workshops
- Meetings with the SENDCo
14. Who can I contact for further information or if I have any issues or concerns?
The first point of contact for anything related to your child’s education is the class teacher. We encourage parents not to wait for the next formal opportunity but to contact us on an on-going basis. Home school books can be used for communication or staff are available to talk outside of teaching hours or an appointment can be made for a mutually convenient time. Please telephone the school office to make an appointment. For matters concerning SEND please contact Mrs Jones (SENDCo) who will be available to talk to you at a mutually convenient time.
For matters not directly related to your child’s progress, parents are invited to contact the school office and make an appointment to meet with the class teacher or Head teacher who will be available to talk to you at a mutually convenient time.
If you feel that your matter has not been dealt with you can follow our schools complaints policy, which is on our school website.Staff can access extra support and receive training if necessary. E.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language service, Pediatrician, Occupational Therapy. The SENDCo has access to a wealth of outside agencies where she can receive advice and support when required.
15. Can staff get extra help from experts outside if they need to? (e.g. advice and training on medical conditions)