Welcome. I’m Mr Bullock – Inclusion Manager
School SEND Figures
Special educational needs support: 20%
Children with statements/education and health care plans: 2%
The school operates a creative topic-based curriculum, which is carefully planned by teachers to be as engaging as possible for the children. All of the topics planned meet the objectives of the new Curriculum 2014.
Teachers are encouraged to make lessons as interactive as possible, whilst encouraging children to become independent and resilient learners. The school places the School values at the heart of all that it does, promoting Peace, Respect, Love, Honesty, Friendship and Endurance. The school prides itself on offering the children a wide range of stimulating experiences, including trips, visitors, workshops and so on.
All of the teachers in school have received training from the school’s SENCo on ways of adapting the core curriculum offered to meet the varying needs of children with SEND. Teachers differentiate to meet the needs of individuals. St James is a fully inclusive school, but equally we understand that minor adaptations may need to be made, or support put in place to allow all children to access the curriculum to the best of their ability.
The school is very well supported by an incredibly strong team of Teaching Assistants. Although an undoubtedly invaluable resource, in the interest of promoting independence, it is unlikely that the majority of children with SEND will be supported by a TA all of the time. We believe that SEND children, just like any others, need to learn how to think things through for themselves and to develop the important skills they will need later on in life. If a child has physical difficulties which mean that they require the support of an adult on a more frequent basis throughout the day this can be arranged, but this will be considered on a case by case basis.
The SENCo formally asks teachers every half term if any further support or resources are required for the children, but communication between the SENCo and teachers on a more informal basis is constant and ongoing. This process is followed in Nursery as well once an area of need has been identified.
In line with local authority guidance we follow the “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” Model. Every half term we assess the progress children are making. If a child has not made as much progress as we had hoped, we (the SENCo along with teachers and teaching assistants) plan what we are going to do to support the child and to hopefully assist them in making greater progress. Then we do what we have planned –this may be in the form of an intervention, providing resources, making a referral etc. Finally, usually after a period of another half term, we review how successful we have been and the progress the child has made.
Once this process has been completed we will assess again and it may be decided that we need to plan for further provision for that child to be put in place, or that no further support is required at this time. Some children’s needs are such that their support will need to be ongoing throughout their time at school. If it is apparent that a child consistently requires a high level of support and resources to enable them to access the curriculum, the school may feel it is necessary to implement an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
[Please note: EHCPs were introduced under the new SEND Code of Practice 2014 and replace what were previously known as a Statement of Special Educational Needs.]
Following the termly Pupil Progress meetings, it is the job of the school’s SENCo and teachers to decide which interventions will be run in each phase for the next term. The interventions will be selected depending on the needs of the children with SEND in that phase at that time. These are adapted during the term as and when it is necessary. The school offers a wide range of interventions, which teaching assistants and teachers are trained in. Some of these are brought in intervention packages (produced nationally), whilst others are bespoke interventions, which have been developed in school to meet the needs of a particular group of children.
SEN – Parents’ Voice
We believe that the parents of children with SEND play an essential role in supporting their children’s progress both in and out of school. As a result of this, the school work hard to ensure strong links with parents. The school’s Inclusion Manager and pastoral team are always available before and after school to talk to, should you have any queries or concerns. Appointments can be made with the SENCo as required by contacting the school. Class teachers are also always available both before and after school. If they are unable to answer your question directly, they may consult the SENCo and get back to you as soon as possible. Feedback on provision for children with SEND is also welcomed on our termly parent questionnaires.
The Sandwell SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS) aims to increase the confidence of parents/ carers of children with special educational needs by offering information, advice and support. The service is free, confidential and impartial. They help those who have a child who has, or may have, special educational needs that live in Sandwell and need information, advice or support about their child’s education.
At St James we encourage the children in our care to be independent learners and to develop a resilient attitude. We therefore love to hear from the children as to how they think they can improve their learning environment. This is true of all children in our school, SEND children included.
St James provides an accessible environment for those children with physical needs. The site itself has a number of levels which can be accessed and there is access for wheelchairs. The key stage 2 classrooms upstairs would be rearranged if required to support SEND children. All of the classrooms are large and organised to suit the needs of the class. The rooms are well lit, ventilated and are engaging for the children.
For access to school’s Accessibility Plan, please follow the link here to our policies library.
The school is also lucky to have a Nurture Bungalow. This is furnished with comfortable seating, dining furniture and a sensory room which features dim lighting and fairy lights. There are also a number of toys in the room aimed at focusing and relaxing the children. This provides an excellent space for children to calm down and refocus, if they are finding the classroom environment challenging. In addition to this, the school also has a “Well Being” room containing a soft play area.
SEND – Training & Qualifications
The staff at St James Primary School have a wide range of qualifications, which enable them to support children with SEND effectively. We think carefully about the strengths staff have and how we can use these skills to support the children in our care. Staff have completed professional development courses.
The SENCo is constantly looking for opportunities to further develop staff’s training. Future courses will be booked in line with the needs of children in the school at the time.
As is statutory, the SENCo has recently completed the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination.
We understand that for children with SEND, moving to a new class, key stage or school can be particularly worrying and may also incur difficulties of a practical nature. As most children join us in September, as a matter of course we hold a transition afternoon at the end of the summer term, in July. On this afternoon children will meet their new teacher and class and take part in fun activities, in their new classrooms. Children from elsewhere who are due to start at the school often attend these sessions and usually find that they really help to settle their nerves over the long summer holidays!
Pupils moving up to school from nursery are often already very familiar with the school environment before they start. Nursery children eat lunch in the school hall on a daily basis. They also often make use of the forest schools area. Reception teachers hold a transition day for parents and children in the summer term, in which they meet their new teachers, see their new teachers and even have lunch together in the hall.
If a child is moving to us from a different school or nursery, a tour (within school and nursery hours) can be made by booking an appointment with the main school office. This gives children and parents alike the opportunity to see what St James is like on a normal day-to-day basis. Where necessary we may feel that it is appropriate for a child to have additional visits to their teacher and classroom on the lead up to the transition, this will be assessed on a case by case basis. If a child has specific physical difficulties, it may be necessary to make additional visits to the school prior to a child’s first day, in order to complete risk assessments, to ensure appropriate resources are in place and to train staff. In previous years, at this time, we have worked alongside the Local Authority to ensure that appropriate procedures and resources are in place.
It is the responsibility of the previous school a child may have attended to transfer any relevant paperwork to their new school. For children with SEND this will then be read by the school’s SENCo and passed to their new class teacher. If parents have any particular concerns they wish to discuss with either the SENCo or class teacher, an appointment can be made, after all your information and support is both important and useful to us!
We also think very carefully about the transition of pupils leaving us in year 6 to go to secondary school. Most secondary schools in the area offer two transition days as standard, which usually take place on a Thursday and Friday (across the authority) in the middle of June. Some local schools have now started offering a full week. If a child with SEND has particular concerns about attending secondary school, we can also arrange additional visits.
For further information, please visit our policies page or click here for our policy library where you will find our:
- SEND Policy
- Local Offer
- SEND Information Report