Special Educational Needs (SEN)
For information on Surrey's Local Offer for SEN please click on the link below:
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
- The progress of all pupils is monitored regularly by class teachers and the senior leadership team (SLT). Pupil progress meetings are held every term between the class teachers, members of the inclusion team and members of SLT, so that when a pupil is not making expected progress in a particular area of learning, the school can identify what additional support needs to be put in place.
- The SENCO, and all staff involved with the learning of the child, will also monitor the progress of all pupils at least once termly in order to identify when a child may need to be identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), this will then be communicated with the parents/carers concerned.
- Once we have assessed the needs of individual pupils, we then work as a team to plan how we are going to provide further support, carry out the planned support and then review the effectiveness of this provision, making changes where necessary. This continues on a cycle of assess – plan – do – review as needed.
- If parents/carers have concerns about the progress or attainment of their child, or is concerned that their child could have SEND, they should in the first instance make an appointment to speak to the class teacher to discuss their concerns, or alternatively they can speak to one of the SENCOs, please contact the school office on 01483 770063 to make an appointment.
- Please see the SEND policy on our school website for more information.
How will nursery and school staff support my child?
- Sythwood is a mainstream, inclusive school that fully complies with the requirements outlined in the Special Educational needs Code of Practice (2014). Staff have been trained, as appropriate, to be able to cater for learners who may have difficulties with:
- Cognition and Learning
- Communication and Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Sensory and/or Physical
We make reasonable adjustments to our practices so as to comply with the Equality Act (2010).
- All teachers adapt their lesson plans to meet the needs of the individuals in their class, this is known as Quality First Teaching (QFT). Staff make reasonable adjustments to help include, and make learning accessible for all children, not just those with SEND. We take a holistic approach to supporting pupils by looking at the whole child, not just their academic skills or needs.
- When the school identifies that a child is having difficulties, we respond and find alternatives through dialogue with the child and their families. Where needed, different strategies or additional support will be put in place to support the progress of each child.
- When extra support is needed, that is additional to the support within class, we use a range of interventions that are research and evidence based and are measured to monitor impact.
- A number of staff have areas of speciality. These include dyslexia screening (for children in Y3 and above), Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Reading Recovery teacher, Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ESLAs), Elklan accredited LSA (speech and language needs), Counsellor and an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) lead.
- We work closely with a range of external professionals such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Behaviour Support specialist teachers, Learning and Language specialist teachers, Surrey specialist schools outreach teams, Physical and Sensory Support and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
- Governors/trustees play an active role in monitoring the effectiveness of the provision in place for pupils identified with SEND in consultation with the Head of School, SLT and SENCo.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- We aim to create a high-quality learning environment which meets the need of all children.
- Differentiation is embedded into our curriculum and ‘Sythwood Way’ in such a way that every child can access the learning taking place, this is known as quality first teaching.
- All teachers use their knowledge of each child’s ability, and good use of assessment data, to carefully plan next steps to ensure that their learning is moving forward.
- As a school we create One Page Profiles, in consultation with parents/carers and their children, for specific children in the school, so that all teaching staff have a clear overview of the whole child.
- All teachers are provided with information on the needs of individual pupils so that they can plan the learning to ensure that progress is facilitated for all pupils.
- We take pride in delivering a wide curriculum and have specialist teachers for Music, PE and languages
- We ensure that PSHE (personal, social, and health education) is given a high priority in our school curriculum.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- We have an open-door policy where we encourage regular communication between parents and school.
- We regularly share progress feedback and new targets with all our children and their families through termly Parents’ Evenings.
- Any child with SEND will also have a termly review of their child’s outcomes, targets and strategies. Any child with an EHCP will also have an annual review of their plan.
- Any home-learning sent home will be linked to the work your child is currently doing in school, this should help you understand how to further support your child at home.
- Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure that this is put in place.
- We share any reports from external professionals and facilitate regular meetings with them to review and set outcomes.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- Our staff care about all the children in our setting. Our policies define our expectations regarding behaviour and attendance.
- Relevant staff are trained to support medical needs and we have a large number of staff with first aid training.
- All pupils are supported with their social and emotional development through the curriculum and at playtimes.
- All classes follow the ‘Jigsaw’ PSHE scheme of work. The children work on the units ‘Being Me in My World’, ‘Celebrating Difference’, ‘Dreams & Goals’, ‘Healthy Me’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’, these units also incorporate learning about British values. In Nursery and Reception the curriculum is also devised to cover key areas from ‘Development Matters’.
- We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying in school, which addresses the causes of bullying, as well as dealing with negative behaviours. All staff follow the school’s behaviour and anti-bullying policy.
- In the first instance every child can talk to their class teacher or another familiar adult in order to share concerns. All staff take the time to listen to all children in their care and we work hard to ensure children feel that they can trust all adults in the school.
- We currently have two ELSAs. The training is provided by Educational Psychologists and will enable the trained member of staff to effectively work with children who have social, emotional or mental health difficulties.
- We also run other interventions that focus on social, emotional and mental health such as ‘Drawing and Talking’, ‘Happy to be me’ and social skills groups.
- We have an open door policy so that any parent/carer can speak to a member of staff about any concerns they may have about their child’s well-being.
- Children are monitored by familiar adults during lunch times and play times so that they feel comfortable approaching the adults around them.
- We ensure support is provided at all transition times and especially key transitions, such as from Reception to Year 1 and Year 6 to secondary.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
- We are a specialist centre for Vision Impairment and have one qualified teachers for the visually impaired, and one teacher in training.
- All the SENCos hold the National Award for SEN co-ordination.
- We have staff trained to support children with English as an additional language (EAL) and an EAL co-ordinator.
- Many of our staff work in specialist areas including Reading Recovery, Numbers Count, ELSA, Elkan, NELI, Project X CODE, Fischer Family Trust and dyslexia screening
- We aim to ensure that all staff working with learners who have SEND possess a working knowledge of the child’s/children’s key difficulties to help them in supporting access to the curriculum.
- Where it is deemed that external support is necessary, we discuss any referrals with parents in the first instance and gain full consent before proceeding with a referral.
- As a school we have access to a range of external services and professionals such as: Speech & Language Therapy, Educational Psychologists, Learning and Language Support Specialist Teachers, Behaviour Support Specialist Teachers, CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services), Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, outreach from specialist schools such as Freemantles and the school nurse.
- The SENCO meets termly with the Educational Psychologist, a specialist teacher from Learning Language Support, a specialist teacher from Behaviour Support , the EAL coordinator, link Speech and Language Therapist and a member of the school pastoral team. In this meeting whole school issues and needs of individuals are discussed. The professionals involved may offer advice and discuss if staff training or external support is needed. In any case where external support is deemed necessary, parents will be consulted and consent gained.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
- We carefully plan staff training around the needs of our staff and around the changing needs of our pupils.
- Recent and upcoming training for staff has include ‘Introduction to phonics’, ‘Lego therapy’, ‘Better reading partnerships’, ‘Project X CODE’, ‘Quality First Teaching’, ‘Supporting children with speech, language and communication needs’, ‘Becoming a trauma aware school’, ‘Elklan accreditation’, ‘Colourful semantics’ and an ‘Introduction to attachment’.
- External professionals are invited in as appropriate to deliver staff training, either to the whole staff, to small groups of staff or to work with individual members of staff.
- External professionals provide school staff and parents/carers with reports outlining targets, next steps and supportive strategies; these are then implemented in school.
- We currently have 2 Higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs).
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
- Our inclusion policy promotes involvement of all our children in all aspects of the curriculum, including extra-curricular activities and those outside the classroom, including residential visits.
- School trips will be planned that link with the learning taking place in class and that take the needs of the class into account – we aim to be fully inclusive. Where necessary, additional staff may accompany a school trip so that specific learners with SEND can attend.
- A thorough risk assessment is completed before any school trip or extra-curricular activity takes place to ensure the safety of all pupils, this will include preparing for any specific medical needs and ensuring that at least one adult accompanying the trip is First Aid trained and carrying a First Aid kit.
- We run a wide-range of extra-curricular clubs both before and after school and during school lunch breaks. The types of clubs running change on a termly basis. Club places are open and offered to all families.
How accessible is the school environment?
- We value and respect diversity in our setting and do the very best to meet the needs of all our children. We are vigilant about making reasonable adjustments; where possible.
- All school buildings are fully wheelchair accessible and there is at least one disabled toilet in each building. Most of the school is on one level, in the year 5-6 building there is a lift to travel to the first floor.
- Adaptations to the environment are made to cater for individuals’ children’s needs such as lighting and Braille signs for those children with vision impairment, hand-rails, ramps and use of high visibility paint.
- iPads are available for use.
- Where necessary any information for parents/carers is shared in person/verbally rather than just by correspondence.
- Where families speak a different language, and an interpreter is needed, this can be arranged to support communication.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
- We aim to make all our children and their families feel welcome. We have good relationships with many feeder schools, as well as other settings children move onto, and share information that will ensure continuing progress.
- When we are given notice that a pupil with additional needs is due to start a new school, transition is planned with the child, their family and their new school. All relevant information is passed on to the new school as early as possible.
- We encourage new parents of children with additional needs to book an appointment with the SENCo prior to their child starting, so that we can carefully plan the child’s transition.
- Additional transition visits to some local secondary school are organised for our more vulnerable pupils.
- When a new child joins the school, all relevant files are sought from the child’s previous educational setting. Where appropriate our SENCo will liaise with the SENCo from the child’s previous setting.
- In order to prepare children in moving up to a new year group within the school, we have transition sessions, where classes get to spend time in their new classroom and with their new teacher and any other additional classroom adults.
- Each class teacher will meet with their pupils’ next class teacher to handover any relevant information about each child.
- Where a child has additional needs, which may mean them finding this transition process particularly challenging, extra provision will be put in place to ease this process. This may include the child spending some additional time getting to know their new teacher/classroom, a social story being written to aid the child’s understanding of the changes and the child’s family being informed of the changes as soon as possible.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
- The Head of School, governors and business manager oversee all matters of finance. We utilise resources to support the strategic aims of our setting, as well as individual learner needs.
- The Inclusion budget (including SEND budget) is allocated appropriately to ensure that staffing is deployed effectively to meet the needs of the children, that appropriate resources are available to support access to the curriculum and to fund training of staff so that support provided is effectively targeted towards needs.
- We use a provision management tool in order to look at the impact each intervention has had on the progress of each learner. Decisions are then made as to whether specific interventions are effective, both in terms of time and money spent on them, and therefore if they should be run again.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
- We provide support in line with National and County guidelines based upon Surrey’s ‘Graduated Response’ and ‘Profiles of Need’, a link to both can be found on our website.
- The SENCo liaises with key staff in the school where there are concerns about emotional wellbeing, progress, attainment or engagement. Following the sharing of information, decisions are made as to the most appropriate type of support to put in place for individual children.
- We offer 4 levels of support, in line with the Surrey ‘Profiles of Need’ (see school website for full document):
- – the support all children are offered through quality first teaching (Sythwood Way). This is provided through teachers adapting their planning, the environment and the curriculum to meet the needs of all the individuals in their class.
School SEND support - involves provision that is additional to or different from the Universal support already in place. Children receiving this level of support will have a personalised plan called an SSA1. They may have adaptations made for them in the setting and in lessons and may receive additional support on a small group or individual basis. Support may be provided from external professionals and/or agencies.
Specialist SEND support – this level of support is for children who need a more specialist level of support. Children receiving this level of support will have a personalised plan called an SSA2. They will have personalised adaptions made for them in the setting and/or in lessons. They will receive additional support on a small group or individual basis, this support may be on a fixed term or long-term basis. Support may be provided from external professionals and/or agencies.
Statutory assessment/EHCP – When a child requires a much higher level support, on a frequent and long-term basis they may require the support of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
- As a school we create One Page Profiles, in consultation with parents/carers and their children, for specific children in the school so that all teaching staff have a clear overview of the whole child.
- Where appropriate advice is sought, from external professionals, to reframe the support in place for specific children.
- The SENCo oversees all additional support and regularly shares updates with SLT, governors and trustees.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
- At the beginning of each academic year, parents are invited to a ‘Meet the Team’ session, hosted by the year group teaching staff.
- All parents are invited to a parent consultation meeting once a term.
- We have an open door policy. Parents are welcome to meet with class teachers and other members of staff at any time during the term, this can be arranged either directly with the required member of staff or through the school office.
- Parent helpers volunteer to help in school.
- Parents/carers and classroom staff comment in reading dairies.
Who can I contact for further information?
- For a school brochure please contact the main office on 01483 770063.
- If you would like to arrange a visit to our school, to discuss your child’s needs and how we can support them, please contact:
Nicola Matheson – Head of School
James Knights – Deputy Head & Head of Inclusion
Tor MacDonald – SENCo (Y3-6)
Jaime Gridley – SENCo (EYFS - Y2)
Vanessa Rose – Lead Teacher for Vision Impairment
- For children already at Sythwood, parents/carers are encouraged to talk their child’s class teacher and then the Special Educationl Needs Coordinator. Further information regarding a informal resolution can be found in our policies section.
Specialist Centre for the Vision Impaired
Mrs Vanessa Rose (training) and Mrs Bonnie Widdows (training).
VI Teaching Assistants:
Miss Sonia Brundle, Mrs Tracie Wheeler, Miss Natalie Newman, Mrs Jacky Goodchild and Lucet Piquito Kok.
Our School has been a specialist centre for children with a vision impairment since 1992.
The children are in mainstream classes and follow the same curriculum as their peers, with appropriate adaptation depending on individual needs. We have excellent resources to enhance the learning of a child using Braille or large print materials. A wide range of tactile equipment enables access to all areas of the curriculum.
Specialist teachers and experienced teaching assistants provide support to help each child acquire the skills necessary to become independent. ICT equipment and training is provided to suit each child's specific visual requirements.
We have good links with outside agencies and for those who need specialist help a mobility officer visits weekly and occupational therapists and physiotherapist visit regularly.
Our school environment has been enhanced to promote independent mobility. There are Braille signs around the school building and in our copse. We also have ramps at the main school entrances and toilets for the disabled in each building. Playground areas provide stimulating features and the sensory garden is an area for everyone to enjoy.
Our previous OFSTED reports have commented:
"Pupils from the resource base for visually impairment are carefully included in lessons within the main school and are challenged to continually perform at a high level." We are also proud that it highlights that "Interventions, such as for pupils with visual impairments from the resource base and special educational needs and/or disabilities are well planned and the success of this support leads to particularly good progress."
“Visually impaired pupils …. achieve well over time. This is because they are well supported in class and specific programmes are carefully planned to make sure that they make good progress.” The report also highlights that “In most lessons other adults provide skilled support for different groups. This enables visually impaired pupils in particular to join in all activities and achieve at a similar level to their peers. The specialist resources for visually impaired pupils are well managed to provide very effective support for these pupils.”
We are happy to show interested parents around the school. We also have a number of occasions when the school is open to visitors. Please ring the office for more information or to make an appointment.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
At Sythwood Primary and Nursery School we are proud of our diversity and we currently welcome families from over 20 countries with over 30 different languages. Over half of our community speak English as a second language so we have developed a very skilled team to provide support to these families and children. Mrs Raza is our EAL lead. Mrs Whitnall has a vast amount of experience with speech and language (she can Makaton sign as quickly as she speaks) and Mrs Salima who translate for our Arabic speakers and supports our older children in class.
We also have a range of languages spoken within our staff so there is often someone available to translate communication to parents or support children when they first begin at Sythwood.
Language of the month is celebrated by greeting and answering the register in the language.