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St Mary of Charity

Primary School

What is SEND?

What is a “special educational need” or disability?


A child has learning difficulties or special educational needs if he or she:


  1. Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  2. Has a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind provided for the children of the same age in other mainstream schools.
  3. Is under compulsory school age, and falls within the definition at 1. or 2. above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for the child.


These needs are categorised into broad areas:


  • Communication and Interaction.
  • Cognition and Learning.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical.


Special education provision means:


For a child over two, educational provision which is additional to, or different from, the educational provision made generally for children of the same age in maintained schools, (other than special schools) in the area.


Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.


At St Mary of Charity Primary School we strive to include all children regardless of their needs and/or disabilities.


What kind of special educational needs can be provided for at St Mary of Charity?


At St Mary of Charity Primary School, we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), for instance dyslexia, dyspraxia, speech and language needs, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, learning difficulties and social, emotional and mental health difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met.


Who are the best people in this school to talk to about my child’s difficulties with learning or special educational needs or disability (SEND) and what support will I receive?


Your child’s class teacher


In the first instance you should ask to talk to your child’s class teacher about any concerns that you have about your child’s learning or development. Your child’s class teacher will know your child better than anyone else in school and will be able to give you an idea of how he or she copes in school on a day to day basis.


Class Teachers are responsible for:


  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help that your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the SEND Coordinator know as necessary.
  • Writing Pupil Progress targets, sharing and reviewing these with parents and planning for the next term. Personalised teaching and learning for your child as identified on the school’s provision map.
  • Providing ‘Quality First Teaching’ for ALL pupils.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teaching with any SEND.
  • Being the main point of contact for parents at the beginning/end of the day and through homework and/or home contact books as appropriate.


Once you have met with your child’s class teacher and you feel that there is still more that needs to be done, you should contact


The SENCO – Rob Moorfield


Mr Moorfield is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the provision for all children with special educational needs and disabilities across the school. It is his job to engage with outside agencies and ensure that your child gets the support that he or she needs. 


Mr Moorfield is responsible for:


  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy
  • Coordinating all the support for children with SEND
  •  Working closely with the school’s Parent Support Advisor, Mrs Ling
  •  Ensuring that you are:
  1. Involved in supporting your child’s learning
  2. Kept informed about the support your child is getting on
  3. Involved in reviewing how they are doing
  • Liaising with external specialists that may advise on specific programmes for your child or offer staff training e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology, School Nursing Services, Outreach support from Special Schools etc.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring that all SEND needs pupils in this school are known) and ensuring records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so that they can help children with SEND in the school to achieve the best progress possible.
  • Overseeing individual care plans for specific conditions and putting safeguards in place for your child’s welfare.
  • Planning for transition in your child’s education between key stages and schools,
  • As the school’s designated teacher for Children in Care, overseeing the provision and well-being of Children in Care.


Having met with the SENCo and allowing time for strategies and plans to be put in place and reviewed, should you still have concerns about provisions made for your child in school, you may contact:


The Head Teacher – Mrs Rowley-Jones and Deputy Head Teacher – Mrs Albin


Mrs Rowley-Jones has overall responsibility for all children in the school and Mrs Albin is responsible for Teaching and Learning throughout the school, so if you feel that you still have concerns having met with your child’s teacher and Miss Harrison, you should arrange to make an appointment with Mrs Rowley-Jones or Mrs Albin.


They hold responsibility for:


  •  The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for children with SEND, and the arrangements for medicines and healthcare plans.
  • Ensuring that your child’s needs are met through appointment of qualified staff within the school including a Masters level qualified SENCo (National Award for SEND Coordination) 
  • Updating the Governing Body about issues relating to SEND.


Should you still have concerns and all other avenues have been explored, you may consider contacting the governor responsible for SEND.


The SEND Governor


Responsible for:


  • Supporting the school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEND across the school.


How does the school know if my child needs extra help?


The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 - 25 years (2014) makes it clear that ‘all teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs.’ All teachers at St Mary of Charity Primary School are responsible for identifying pupils with SEND and, in collaboration with the SENCO, will ensure that those pupils requiring different or additional support are identified at an early stage.


Pupil progress meetings are held termly, where each child’s progress is reviewed and potential difficulties or barriers are discussed. At these meetings the team will discuss possible strategies, assessments and whether the SENCo needs to intervene or support.


Sometimes further assessment is needed and Mr Moorfield may need to seek support from external agencies, such as the community paediatricians or the specialist teaching service (STLS). 


Our school will use appropriate screening and assessment tools, and ascertain pupil progress through:


  • Evidence obtained from teacher observation/assessment
  • Their performance judged against age appropriate National Curriculum objectives
  • Standardised screening diagnostic tests and/or assessment tools
  • Reports or observations
  • Pupil conferencing
  • Records from feeder schools etc.
  • Information from parents
  • National curriculum results
  • Well-being scales
  • Behaviour logs


How will my child and I know if he or she needs extra help?


As parents, you will receive annual reports and have an opportunity to meet formally in a parent consultation twice a year to discuss your child’s progress. The school welcomes contributions from parents and a quick word can be managed at the beginning or end of the school day but please make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher for anything more in depth.


Discussions with your child in class will make them aware of short-term goals that they he or she is working towards. Success in and progress towards these goals will always be celebrated with your child.


If your child is identified as not making expected progress, or significantly below age expected attainment, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:


  • listen to any concerns you may have
  • listen to any concerns your child may have
  • plan any additional support your child may need
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning


Should outside specialist teaching services be involved, all reports will be copied to you, and the school will arrange a meeting to allow information and findings to be shared and agree the next steps to support your child further.


If, as a parent, you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or wellbeing, then you should make an appointment to see the class teacher initially to agree a plan to monitor the situation. If you continue to be concerned, please contact the SENCo and/or Headteacher/Deputy Headteacher.


How will my child be supported in school if he or she is identified as having special educational needs?


A. Class teacher input via 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 built 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 the learning in class. This may involve using more practical learning.
  • Lessons are differentiated well, and other adults in the class are directed well to support the learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the teacher, parent, TA or SENCO) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will monitor their progress and may decide that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to make the best possible progress. In this case an intervention may be planned as an individual or within a group.
  • We use a graduated approach, from whole class teaching, through small group work to one to one support for children with significant needs.


Such an intervention may be:


  • Bespoke support for the individual need, an established intervention programme from the DfE (Department for Education), LA or specialist teaching services.
  • Social or emotional support from the SENCo, ELSA, or parent support advisor (PSA).


(These interventions may be run in the classroom or in other learning areas around the school. The intervention may be Teacher or Teaching assistant led.)


For some children a small intervention may impact quickly, however others may be identified as in need of ongoing school support and will be put on the Special Educational Needs Register. This would be known as being at the SEN support level.


B. Specialist groups run by outside agencies


If your child can not progress with additional school support in place, the Class Teacher and the SENCO will use further assessment tools to identify their needs. They may then seek permission from you to discuss their learning needs with the relevant agencies: specialist teachers, educational psychologist, speech and language therapists etc.


The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support at school.


C. Specified Individual support


This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.


This is usually provided via an Education and Health Care Plan (EHC Plan) with the additional support of High Needs Funding which is currently applied for each year by the school. This means that your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching and will have been awarded additional funding to access a high level of support in school.


This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.


Your child may need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school, details of this will be specific to your child’s needs and identified in their EHC Plan.


Obtaining an EHC Plan is for the most severely affected 3.7% of pupils, the majority of which have complex needs and many of whom seek places in Special Schools. The 26 week process of assessment and final decision to award an EHC Plan entails information gathering from children, parents and professionals, including school. All parents have the right to appeal if they disagree with the outcome of such statutory assessment.



How are the staff at St Mary of Charity supported to work with children with SEND and what training do they receive?


The SENCO supports the class teachers in planning for children with SEND.


The SENCO will often provide and/or enable training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND. This has included whole school training on SEND relevant topics such as Attachment Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD), Speech and Language difficulties and Dyslexia.


Individual teachers and TAs attend courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children.


The SENCO attends LIFT meetings, specialist training and conferences. Where possible she takes other members of staff to enable them to access the best practice training that will enhance their provision.


The school seeks advice from the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) and other agencies as appropriate who support with training in specific techniques and strategies for working with children with SEND.


How might teaching be adapted for children with SEND at St Mary of Charity?


Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class. Daily planning considers the needs and requirements of individual pupils. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all children can experience success and challenge in their learning.


Adaptations may take the form of additional or adapted equipment, small group or individual work, talking partners, alternative recording methods and writing frames or specialised ICT equipment.


Whilst additional adults are used to support pupils, the school monitors their use closely to avoid children becoming over-reliant on adult support and to encourage children to be independent and resilient learners, thus preparing them for next steps in their education.


How will my child’s progress be measured at St Mary of Charity?


Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her teacher.


  • Progress and achievement is subject to ongoing assessment within an Assess, Plan, Do & Review cycle.
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term in Reading, Writing and Maths.
  • Those children following a specific plan are monitored against specific targets and these are adapted accordingly.
  • The progress of children with an EHC Plan is reviewed at Annual Review Meetings and review meetings throughout the year.
  • During Year 1, all pupils take part in national assessment and are screened in terms of their phonic knowledge. At the end of Years 2 and 6, the children are formally assessed in Maths and English using Standardised Assessment Tests (SATs). This is something the government requires all schools to do and the results are published nationally.
  • Interventions and specific whole class teaching techniques as monitored alongside scrutiny of children’s recorded work and achievement data.
  • For children with an extremely high level of need the school uses B-squared Connecting Steps. This is reviewed every 2 terms.



What should I do if I am unhappy with the provision made for my child at St Mary of Charity?


If you are unhappy with the provision offered to your child at SMC please, in the first instance, speak to the SENCo, Mr Moorfield. He can be contacted via the school office or his email is . If, following any discussions, and with time for adjustments to be made, you are still unhappy, please make an appointment to see Mrs Rowley-Jones or Mrs Albin. If, following this discussion, you feel issues have not been resolved, you can contact the school governor with responsibility for SEN or the Chair of Governors, Alison Swinney.


What emotional and social development support do we offer for children at St Mary of Charity?


At SMC we believe that the emotional health and well-being of all of the children is paramount to their happiness and success in learning and consequently we have a strong, supportive, Christian ethos to provide a secure and caring environment. To support the children we offer a range of pastoral strategies and interventions.


Within the school we have a strong offer for supporting children in their emotional needs.


  • Our SENCo, Mr Moorfield is the designated teacher for Children in Care (CiC) and has extensive experience supporting vulnerable learners.
  • In the academic year 2022-23 the school trained two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) to work with children with emotional difficulties.
  • Mrs Wood, ELSA and TA is currently completing her Play Therapy training and is supporting children across the school.
  • Mrs Ling, the Parent Support Advisor is highly skilled in supporting children and their families with emotional needs and is able to access outside agencies such as SATEDA and the School Health Service who are able to offer more specialised support.
  • Children who are vulnerable or showing a high level of emotional or social need will be offered access to lunchtime clubs or “check-ins” with a trusted member of staff.


Weekly safeguarding meetings and termly pupil progress meetings are held to discuss children who are most at risk from suffering emotional difficulties and bespoke support is put in place as a result.


External support specialist support is sought for any child who continues to cause concern at home and/or school through accessing specialist teaching services, expert clinicians, therapy group support, etc. External counselling services may be accessed through referrals to the ‘Early Help’ Service.