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Special Educational Needs & Disabilites (SEND)

Spellbrook Primary School, School’s information report- 2020

All Hertfordshire maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). They are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. Schools aim to be inclusive, with the needs of SEND pupils being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible, if families wish this to happen. Please use the following questions and answers below to understand how children with SEND can be catered for at Spellbrook Primary School. Should you have any questions please speak to the SENCO or Head-teacher for further advice.

For further information please see the  Hertfordshire Local Offer-

Our SEND Policy is on the  Policy Page - (click button below)

How does the school know if the children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has SEN?

  • The Special Education Needs Code of Practice (2015) gives a clear definition of what is now classed as 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 or her.”

  • Class teachers at Spellbrook School are monitoring children’s progress regularly and should be the first port of call if you feel your child may need more support in school. They will also discuss your child’s progress with you at parent consultation evenings which take place twice a year.
  • Class teachers are also available to book formal or informal meetings with parents for further discussion when needed. It should be remembered that our class teachers know the children very well and are constantly assessing your child’s progress. We welcome parental input as we want to build positive relationships with our parents.
  • The Special Educational Needs co-ordinator (SENCO) may also assist in discussions about your child as they also monitor progress throughout the school to help make decisions in regards to children’s SEND.
  • Our school SENCO is Mrs Charlotte Smith. She can be contacted via the school office.

    We aim to use early intervention so that we can help our pupils in their early years of schooling with us. We are then able to put in small step targets to help with any issues as soon as they appear.

  • Please do have a look at the ‘Identification of SEND at Spellbrook’ flowchart to see how we go about making decisions about a child and their SEND. This will be on the SEND page of the school website.

How will the school staff support my child?

  • All members of staff at Spellbrook work together to ensure that all children are given the support that they require throughout their time with us.
  • Class teachers are ultimately responsible for the children in their class and provide quality first teaching to ensure that children progress at the correct rate for their age. They are also responsible for keeping your child’s targets manageable and up to date so that your child should know what they are working on in order to improve.
  • If children are highlighted as having a Special Educational Need you will be consulted and the class teacher may be given advice and support from the SENCO or other external agencies to aid that child as far as possible.
  • Support staff are trained to run small group or 1:1 sessions that will be planned by the class-teacher. They will also liaise with the class teachers daily so that assessment information is passed on and acted upon swiftly.
  • The SENCO will monitor the progress of children who have a Special Educational Need, through pupil progress meetings with the class teachers, to ensure these children are supported in the classroom in the best possible way. She may also liaise with parents to gain better insight, to share information when necessary or to conduct review meetings. She may also seek advice from relevant professionals when necessary.
  • The Head-teacher is involved in discussions with the SENCO and is kept updated about progress made by all children.
  • The governors support the SENCO with decisions and help the head-teacher to monitor progress throughout the whole school.
  • The member of our governing Body who has specific responsibility for SEND is Mrs Fay Clarke. She can be contacted via the school office.
  • We also maintain close relationships with the parents or carers of our children, especially those with SEND, and together make decisions about how best we can support their children at school.

How will I know how my child is doing?

  • Parents will be invited to attend parent’s consultation meetings that occur twice a year but may also seek consultation at other points in the year if they should need to.
  • Parents should ideally make initial contact with the Class Teacher who will be able to give them an up to date assessment of how their child is doing in school. They may also request a meeting with the SENCO if they require further support
  • Parents will also receive a School Report once a year which will outline in more detail how your child is doing and will set small targets for them to achieve with support from home.
  • If your child has a Special Educational Need or needs to be given more support in the classroom then they may be given an Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR) document. This is a document produced in discussion with the child, the parent and the class teacher in order to establish a set of SMART (Small, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) targets to be worked on that will help a child to progress. These are also used to closely monitor the progress of children with SEND. These will be reviewed each half-term and will be shared with parents. Parents will be invited in to support review meetings, wherever possible.

How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?

  • The Class teachers use regular informal as well as some formal assessments to decide upon the provision that may need to be provided for the children in their classes. This provision is closely monitored by the SENCO in pupil progress meetings, held termly with each class teacher. Teachers ensure that their lessons are differentiated in order to best teach the children in their classes.
  • Children are given suitable resources to use within lessons to ensure that they grasp and consolidate new concepts as they are taught.
  • Children who are identified as having a SEND will have an Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR) document. The SENCO and the class teacher will Assess the child’s needs and Plan out targets that will be worked on for approximately six weeks. The class teacher will then make sure that the targets are worked on (the 'do' element) either as a specific focus within lessons, in small group sessions or 1:1 time with the SENCO or a teaching assistant. These targets will then be reviewed by the class teacher; they may be amended or added to and then the cycle begins again.   

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • Children at Spellbrook School are active in expressing their opinions on things that happen in school and are regularly asked to take part in pupil voice activities.
  • Children are taught to understand the feelings of others in PSHE lessons and learn how to express theirs to key adults within the school.
  • Children are invited to take part in wider outcome initiatives such as extra- curricular after school clubs run by teachers and external agencies.
  • The school also teaches the idea of maintaining positive relationships between children as well as between parents and members of staff.
  • Staff ensure that boosters and interventions don’t take often children out of the subjects that they enjoy and make sure that they still receive a god balance of the national curriculum.

What training have the staff, supporting children with SEND had or are having?

  • Members of staff attend regular training courses to ensure that they are kept up to date with new ideas and concepts relating to education.
  • Teachers consider their class or cohort when thinking about training needs for the year ahead.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their classes.
  • Staff attend courses run by local advice agencies to ensure that the correct support is given to those who need it.
  • The SENCO at school has achieved the National Award of Special Educational Needs Co-ordination to give support to all members of staff and to monitor SEND throughout the school.
  • The SENCO puts together a training programme for all staff to plan out the year ahead, considering the needs of the school. This plan may include in house training or training delivered by other relevant professionals.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • Within our school we aim to cater for children’s individual needs as far as possible.
  • The class teacher’s first port of call is the SENCO who can give advice and share expertise with other members of staff. If this is not possible then the SENCO may need to seek advice from outside agencies. These can be split into two categories- Education and Health.
  • For education the SENCO will seek advice from an Educational Psychologist through consultations and for Health concerns the School Nurse will be the first port of call. Other agencies, such as those from Integrated Services for Learning (ISL), may be consulted as and when they are required.   

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • Parents will be able to seek out support from the class teacher so that they may best advise and provide ways to help support your child with learning at home.
  • The school offers ‘coffee mornings’ for parents to come in to learn a little more about some of the more modern methods of teaching, especially in maths and phonics to help with early reading skills. This should also enable parents to help their children with homework. Relevant paperwork relating to these sessions will be sent home or placed on the school website for those who are unable to attend.
  • Other parenting or support courses may also be held at the request of parents by outside agencies such as ASPECTs.
  • The school will also be able to help put you in touch with a family worker should it be required and also has connections with the Learners Community Library at Herts and Essex hospital which may also be able to give you further advice and resources to borrow.
  • If your child receives an APDR document, then it will be sent home to you so that you are aware of the targets and methods being used at school.

How will I be involved in discussions about planning for my child’s education?

  • Parents will be invited to attend parent consultation evenings twice a year where their child’s progress will be discussed with the class teacher in depth. If you have any concerns at other times you may speak to your child’s class teacher as they should be your first port of call. They may then pass on information to the SENCO should they require greater support in the classroom.
  • Assess, Plan, Do, Review documents- If your child requires an APDR document, the class teacher or SENCO will meet with you to plan, share or discuss the targets that have been set. Parents will also be expected to support their child with these targets at home too.
  • If your child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability that may need more support than a typical mainstream nursery or school can provide they may need to go through a process where an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) is applied for and put in place for them. If this is necessary, the SENCO will have in-depth consultations with you throughout the process. Some children may already have one of these in place before they arrive at the school. In order to make sure that these are kept up to date the SENCO will meet with you frequently to make sure that targets are being met and that children are progressing within school. You will also be invited to attend an annual review with other relevant professionals where new targets may be set for your child.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • We aim to involve all children in all things that we do inside and outside of school. If your child has a specific learning difficulty that prevents this from happening the school will liaison with you to decide how reasonable arrangements can be made, dependent on your child’s needs.
  • Suitable risk assessments will be carried out where appropriate to calculate the amount of risk for all children. 

How accessible is the school environment?

  • All Hertfordshire schools comply with the Equality Act of 2012 and will make reasonable adjustments for children so that the site is as accessible for all as far as possible.

Who can I contact for further information?

  • The Class teacher is always the first port of call but may then need to refer you to the SENCO or Head-teacher who may be able to give you further information or advice.
  • The SEND Governor is also available to be contacted through the SENCO.
  • Should greater support be needed the SENCO can also put you in touch with the SEN Officer from County.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

  • We recognise that transitions can be difficult for all children, especially a child with SEND, and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
  • If your child is moving to another school:
    • We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
    • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
  • When moving classes in school:
    • 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. All Assess, Plan, Do, Review documents will be shared with the new teacher.
    • If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving on then it will be made available for them.
  • In Year 6:
    • Your child will do focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
    • Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.
    • The SENCO meets with SENCOs from secondary schools to ensure that relevant information is passed on.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Needs?

  • The school budget is decided each year by the Head-teacher and the Governors and this takes into account those children with SEND.
  • Within the budgetary constraints support is allocated according to the level of need throughout the school.
  • Additional funding can also be applied for using High Needs Funding procedures in exceptional circumstances for individuals. The SENCO will make contact with you if it is necessary for us to apply for this.

How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

  • The decision about the amount of support a child will receive will be made in consultation with the class teacher, parent and the SENCO.
  • Parents will be invited to regular meetings where updates can be given on their child’s progress as well as to discuss the provision that children may require.
  • It is to be remembered that we also want to teach children how to foster their own independence for learning.