Special Educational Needs
Lancashire County Council SEN Disability & Local Offer
Please click here to view the LCC SEN Disability & Local Offer report
How does Skerton St Luke’s know if my child needs extra support?
Children's progress is tracked every half term to identify any areas children might be finding difficult. This allows the teacher to put in extra support for that child or group of children to allow them to experience success.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you have any concerns, queries, or doubts over your own child’s development, please see your child’s class teacher for an informal/formal chat. In addition to this, you can also make an appointment with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) or learning mentor to discuss any of your concerns.
How will the school staff support my child?
The first stage in assisting any children who are finding the curriculum challenging is to provide them with more focussed support through one-to-one or small group work. The class teacher and parent will have regular meetings to go over any strategies that we are putting into place at school and provide parents with ideas of how they can support their own child at home. We work very closely with a private educational psychologist to identify and support children with specific needs such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. As a school, we feel very confident in identifying children with these needs, and will then ask our educational psychologist to come into school to assess the children and provide both school and parents with a detailed report. This report is then broken down into steps and targets for both school and parents to work with, to enable that child to experience success in a more structured environment.
We are very fortunate to have a learning mentor in school, Mrs Walling-Lewis, who works very hard with all children and parents. In addition to many other roles, Mrs Walling-Lewis provides children with emotional support through structured, well planned activities often resulting in the children achieving something special. For example, a group of children have recently worked with Mrs Walling-Lewis to revamp our quiet nurture area in the playground. The children worked together to paint the benches and design a new layout, and concluded with a trip to a garden centre, where they chose and bought their own plants to re-pot back at school. Within our specialist nurture room, we also have a school budgie. Our budgie enjoys working with all children, and can often be seen visiting all the different classrooms.
As a school, we work very closely with speech and language teams, who are based either in schools or centres. Staff at Skerton St Luke’s work with parents and specialists to create schemes of work, which are then implemented as part of a focussed intervention program.
If your child has medical needs, we work very closely with occupational therapists and physiotherapists to ensure we have the correct equipment in school. If your child needs to experience physiotherapy at school, our staff are more than happy to attend courses and seek support to ensure that all children receive the best possible care.
Teachers will follow two pathways depending on the needs of our child, both of which the parents will be informed about as the process continues. The first is a behavioural pathway, whilst the second is a learning needs pathway.
How will I know how my child is doing?
If your child is identified as having areas in need of support, he/she will embark on our intervention program. Our current intervention program runs on a half-termly basis, depending on the needs of the children. Parents and children are invited to take part and contribute to all review meetings. All parents will then receive any relevant paperwork linked with the targets, and the children are given a chance to discuss those targets with their class teacher.
The school currently runs two Parent Evenings each academic year. In addition to these we have a very open door policy and welcome any parents wanting to have a little chat before or after school – without a prior meeting arranged. Any parents with children receiving further support, i.e. children with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), will be invited to an annual review of their targets, at which all agencies involved with that child will be invited to attend.
How will you ensure my child’s needs are identified and the provision is matched to their learning?
As a school we offer a graduated approach towards provision.
Each child’s education is carefully differentiated, and all learning styles are considered by the class teacher to ensure all children are able to access the curriculum. This may include in-class one-to-one support or focus group work.
If a child’s needs cannot be first met by in class differentiation, then the teacher will contact the parent and as a team will formulate an intervention program to enable that child to learn more effectively. This will be reviewed half termly and will always include feedback to parents and the child.
SEN Support (Special Educational Needs Support)
If a child is still not progressing as he/she should, then they will be identified as requiring SEN support. This means an individual education plan (IEP) will be written, which again is created as a team involving parent, teacher, and child. This may also include the SENCO or Learning mentor. The intervention log contains;
• Assessment data – before and after intervention
• Identifies the key areas of development
• What interventions that child will receive
• Who will implement these interventions
• How we will know if they have been a success
This log will then be approved by the SENCO and reviewed every half term. Once a child is placed on SEN support he/she will stay on the list until both teacher and parent are happy with the child’s progress.
What about my child’s overall well-being?
We recognise that some children may have emotional and social needs that need to be developed and nurtured. These needs can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including behavioural difficulties, anxiousness, and being uncommunicative. As a school we have adopted many PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Education) strategies to help combat these needs before they arise. We have family groups in which children from all years groups are mixed together with one staff member (not just the teachers), and meet once a month to work on key skills or problems. The children stay with this family throughout their entire life at St Luke’s.
Our Learning mentor and her team work closely with children who have been identified as needing further support, and these groups are adjusted and altered regularly to suit the needs of the group. The children are also aware that they can approach Mrs Walling-Lewis with any problems at any time.
How accessible is the school environment – including communication?
We have ramped access to the building and the whole school is on one level to ensure wheel chair access for all. We are always looking to change the school to best suit our pupils which includes purchasing specialist equipment for specific children i.e. Foxdenton chairs to support children needing extra support when seated.
We send out weekly newsletters to inform parents of upcoming events and our children’s achievements. We have numerous methods of contact, including a school blog and Facebook page. We also have a text system to ensure messages can be sent to all parents quickly and effectively. We now operate an online pay system to help parents with payment for trips, clubs, music lessons, etc.
ICT plays a large part in our school, and we have just updated all of our interactive whiteboards, and purchased over 30 laptops. In addition to these, at least two iPads can be found in every class, with apps designated to that year group.
SEN drops-in sessions are also run regularly by a dedicated parent for peer support, guidance and advice. These groups provide parents with numbers and contact details for local support groups, and allow parents to speak to other parents in similar situations.
How will Skerton St Luke’s assist my child with transition to and from another school?
We see this as a vital time for any child, and therefore ensure children with SEND (Special Educational Needs Disabilities) have extra provisions during this time.
If your child is joining us from another school;
The school SENCO will meet with your child’s previous school’s SENCO and discuss any provisions currently in place. As a school, we will then work with you as a parent to discuss how we can adopt any positive strategies into our school. If it would be helpful to create a picture booklet to support your child’s transition, this will be made for you. Your child will be invited to come for taster sessions with his/her new class in preparation for the move.
If your child is joining another school;
The SENCO or learning mentor will contact his/her new school’s SENCO and discuss our current interventions and strategies. We will explain any special arrangements which have a positive impact on your child’s learning, and offer any support to the new staff working with your child. Finally, all records about your child will be passed on as soon as possible.
In school transition;
Each teacher will consult with your child’s next teacher and pass on all interventions and strategies for your child. Children will be given transition days with your child’s new teacher, and if we feel your child would benefit from more, these will be put into place. Regular talks between parent and teacher are vital to share any key information that could affect the child’s well-being and development. We always have the children at the heart of our thinking, and if we believe your child would benefit from the same class teacher again, the class teacher will move up with the class.
All high schools will have transition days for new children to ease them into their new school. If needed, we would liaise with the high school’s SENCO to provide a more detailed transition, including further visit days, picture booklet, school map, transport information etc. For children with an Education Health Care Plan, a transition meeting will occur during his/her final review meeting at primary school. The Year 6 teacher will also use transitional materials during the final summer term to prepare the children for the move.
How will the school’s budget be allocated?
The school budget, which we receive from Lancashire, includes money for supporting children with SEND. All money allocated to children is decided by the headteacher, in liaison with the school governors. This money can be used in any way the school believes we can support your child including;
• Paying for further TA (Teacher Assistant) support,
• Purchasing specific equipment/resources,
• Paying for an Educational Psychologist to work with your child,
• Purchasing software for iPads, laptops etc.
Further funding may be accessible for trips and visit days which we will apply for when needed.
Finally...will my child enjoy being at Skerton St Luke’s?
A most definite YES!