A Special Needs Code of Practice gives practical guidance on how to identify and assess children with special educational needs. All early education settings, state schools and LAs must take account of this code when they are dealing with children who have special educational needs (SEN).
The School’s Co-ordinator for Special Needs is Mrs Channon and the Governor responsible is Mrs McClean.
We follow the DFE Code of Practice and our school policy is available on request. Our Local Offer is also available below. This gives you details of the programmes and support we offer in school. Our aim is to provide children with special needs an individual health and care plan with clear targets towards which they can work. Whatever a child’s learning difficulty we hope that they can develop their full potential in a positive, caring learning atmosphere.
The school uses a variety of strategic resources to identify Special Educational Needs, ie teacher observation, parental observation, child’s own perceptions, pre-school information from Health Authorities and standardised public screens. The intellectual, physical and social development of each child will be assessed and appropriate provision be made based on the assessment. This will be reviewed on a regular basis in consultation with parents and other relevant bodies.
Wylam First School is a purpose built First School comprising five classrooms, a resource room, a hall, kitchen, administrative area and a 26 place nursery. The school has an excellent playing field, which is used extensively throughout the year as well as a separate nursery playground and sensory garden.
Our school delivers an innovative and creative curriculum from nursery to year 4 whereby there are opportunities for thematic, cross-curricular learning which is progressive across the Key Stages. We also set out to develop a matrix of skills which we believe are essential to the development of all learners and are transferable.
We are an inclusive school and our aim is to ensure that we successfully and happily integrate pupils with SEND. We strongly believe that both early identification and intervention is vital. The school currently offers the following range of provision to support children with SEND through our timetabled provision management.
Wylam First School believes strongly in promoting positive emotional wellbeing, self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth to all pupils. We provide an environment in which all children can feel safe and secure. Pupils learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met allowing them to achieve their full potential. We believe that a balanced child works well.
We provide pastoral care through our Key Worker for Social and Emotional Needs, who has received training in Play Therapy Skills, Emotional Literacy (ELSA), Autism Awareness for Educators Level 3, Drawing and Talking Therapy, Advanced Attachment and Trauma, Counselling Children and Adolescents Level 4, and nurture groups (theory and practice). Our key worker provides support both in the classroom, through nurture groups or one to one sessions.
What does a Nurture Group at Wylam First School look like?
Pupils may need additional emotional support outside of the normal classroom environment. Our nurture groups are held in the Willow Room, providing a quiet, relaxed place to learn. A group can have up to 6 children and is led by 1 trained key worker. Sessions will take place once a week and last between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
What areas are covered in a Nurture Group?
Different nurture groups are held through the afternoons at Wylam First School and are tailored to suit each different group’s needs. They are taught using games, puppets, craft activities and books. The following topics may be covered:
How is my child chosen for a Nurture Group?
Pupils are chosen by their class teacher, who will regularly communicate with the key worker. Each child’s progress is monitored through a Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire. Parents are welcome to talk to their class teacher, SENCO or the keyworker about their child’s social and emotional learning.
Strategies/Programmes to Support Speech and Language
Children with language difficulties are referred to the Speech & Language Therapist and a specific, prescriptive Speech and Language Treatment Plan for each individual is followed for regular 1:1 timetabled sessions for each individual identified. These treatment plans are regularly reviewed by our SEND team and the Speech and Language Therapist is contacted for further assessment and review, where necessary.
Additional, Talk Boost Programme is used to support language development.
Strategies/Programmes to Support Reading, Writing and Phonics
The school use Read/Write inc resources to support reading, writing and phonics. A multi- sensory approach is used to address all learners with specific disabilities such as dyspraxia and dyslexia.
Strategies/Programmes to Support Numeracy
Practical, differentiated activities within the classroom. Children at Key Stage 2 who did not reach National Expectation in Numeracy at the end of Year 2 are identified and placed on our numeracy intervention – ‘ 1st Class @ Number 2’. This is delivered by a trained Support Assistant.
Strategies/Programmes to Support Handwriting
To address children who are struggling with fine motor skills we incorporate a multi-sensory approach which includes manipulation of physical objects such as therapy putty, PE equipment etc. We use the Nelson Scheme in Years 2, 3 and 4, and are using the Letterjoin scheme, which teaches a cursive style, in Reception and Year 1. We follow Teodorescu ‘Write from the Start’ intervention.
Strategies/Programmes to Support Behavioural, Social and Emotional
We have a trained Key Worker in Social and Emotional Needs who supports children in the classroom and runs nurture groups (see Emotional Support and Wellbeing) and 1 to 1 sessions.
Specialist Facilities/Equipment to Support SEND
Access to IWB (interactive white board) in each classroom, Surface Tablets and Laptops. Labels in the classroom to support children with colour vision deficiency. There is access to some sensory resources and quiet areas within school.
Breakfast and After School Support
The school hosts a range of after school clubs, such as Karate, Hockey, Multi Skills, and Gardening.
Access to Medical Interventions
Staff are First Aid trained, some with Specialist Paediatric First Aid. Some staff have also received training in the management of diabetes and use of Epi Pens with parents’/carers’ permission.
We pride ourselves in the early intervention of pupils with SEND.
We have a varied and trained team of experienced support staff who are able to deliver specific interventions (as detailed above) on either an individual or small group basis, depending on level of need.
Our pupils who are on interventions are regularly assessed at the end of each term. Progress is shared with the SENCo and the Class Teacher as to whether the intervention needs to be discontinued/continued or modified in any way. A regular dialogue takes place with parents between the SENCo and/or Class Teacher on each child’s progress.
Whole school training sessions have taken place from our Local Inclusion Support Team (LIST) on ADHD and a multi-sensory approach to spelling and literacy development. INSET training from Colour Blind Awareness, further strengthening the knowledge and expertise of teaching staff.
Provision to Facilitate/Support Inclusion within the School, Day and Residential Visits
Resources appropriate to age and specific needs of children, additional adults as necessary.
Our school always ensures that there is adequate provision made so that pupils with SEND can actively take part on residential and school visits safely. Each visit is risk assessed and additional trained teaching staff may be required to attend to meet the medical/physical and/or cognitive needs of individuals and specific education plans.
Input from Therapists/Advisory Teachers/other Specialist Support Services
School have actively sought the advice and expertise of support services; Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Behaviour services, Speech and language Therapy, Jigsaw Therapy and Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, ICT Consultant, Educational Psychologists and Communication and Literacy Services. Our school have also taken part in the colour vision deficiency awareness training to support children in school.
Parent Support Involvement/Liaison
Daily communication with parents/carers. log books, homework diaries, emails to encourage link between home and school. Attendance of parents, Head Teacher, Class Teacher, SENCo and Support Staff at key meetings to enable effective dialogue and plan next steps.
Planning and Assessment
All activities and lessons are planned and differentiated to consider the needs of all children in school.
Pupils who receive interventions are regularly assessed at the end of each term. Progress is shared with the SENCo and Class Teacher as to whether the intervention needs to be discontinued/continued or modified in any way. Records are kept up to date and regular dialogue takes place with parents, between the SENCo and/or Class Teacher on each child’s progress.
Children Currently at the School with a SEND need
COMPLETED BY: SENDCo, Wylam First School
DATE COMPLETED: November 2017
REVIEW DUE: September 2018
For children with complex SEND, the frequency of such provision may result in the school applying for additional funding to support a child, this is known as Exceptional Needs funding.
To find out more about SEN provisions in Northumberland go to: