Frequently Asked Questions
The following information is designed to help existing and prospective parents better understand the provision that exists for children who need extra support at St. Patrick’s School. If you are a prospective parent I would encourage you to contact the school as soon as possible to discuss your child and their needs with the school.
ST PATRICK’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL IS A MAINSTREAM PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH AN INCLUSIVE ETHOS.
1.HOW DOES THE SCHOOL KNOW IF CHILDREN NEED EXTRA HELP?
At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, children are identified as having SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) through a variety of ways, usually a combination, which may include some of the following:
- Liaison with previous school or pre-school setting.
- Child performing below ‘age expected’ levels or equivalent (e.g. percentile rankings)
- Concerns raised by a parent.
- Concerns raised by a teacher: for example, if behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance.
- Liaison with external agencies e.g. for a physical/ sensory issue, speech and language.
- Use of tools for standardised assessment such as: YARC – York Assessment of Reading for comprehension, NARA – Neal Analysis of Reading Ability, Basic Number Screening Test, BST – British Spelling Test and GL Assessment.
- Children with a EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) already have many of their needs clearly identified. Their placement at our school is a decision that is made by the Local Education Authority.
2.HOW DO I RAISE CONCERNS IF I NEED TO?
Talk to us – contact your child’s class teacher about your concerns initially. If you feel that you would like to speak to a senior member of staff, ask to arrange an appointment with the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator: Fiona Mullaney) or Headteacher – Mr Anthony Rush. Appointments can be arranged in person, by phone or by email. Please see the school contact details at the top of this report.
3.HOW WILL THE SCHOOL SUPPORT MY CHILD?
3a. WHO WILL OVERSEE, PLAN AND WORK WITH MY CHILD AND HOW OFTEN?
- The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that appropriate progress is made in every area .
- Our SENCo will oversee the progress of any child identified as having SEND.
- There may be an LSA (Learning Support Assistant) working with your child either individually or as part of a group. The content of this support will be explained to parents when support begins, as part of a child’s bespoke programme of learning and is reviewed and shared during extended SEND parents' evenings where both the class teacher and SENCo will be present.
3b. WHO WILL EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?
- The class teacher and SENCo will meet with you formally on at least a termly basis (usually as part of parents' evenings or separately if required), in order to discuss your child’s progress and the support that they are receiving.
- Class teachers are always happy to discuss your child’s needs if you have questions or concerns between more formal meetings. Please speak to them directly to arrange this.
- An appointment can be made with the SENCo to discuss support in more detail if required. IEPs (Individual Education Plans) and MSPs (My Support Plan) will be written in consultation with children and parents. These will form part of the written record of the support provided and copies will be provided to parents on a termly basis.
4.WHAT SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR MY CHILD’S OVERALL WELL BEING?
4a. WHAT IS THE PASTORAL, MEDICAL AND SOCIAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE IN THE SCHOOL?
- We are an inclusive school that holds a child’s emotional and spiritual development as a priority.
- The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class.
- The school works closely with Catholic Care and help and supported can be provided by them after a referral (subject to availability) has been made.
- Any additional staff working with vulnerable children requiring support during the school day, will work under the direction of the SENCo and Headteacher.
4b. HOW DOES THE SCHOOL MANAGE THE ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINES?
- Parents need to contact the school office if prescribed medication is recommended by healthcare professionals and needs to be taken during the school day. Any medication must be given to the school in the packaging that it was dispensed in by the pharmacy, with the child’s name and administration information clearly shown.
- On a day-to-day basis, the administrative staff or Headteacher generally oversee the administration of any medicines. Another member of staff will always witness any administration, with the exception of inhalers. A record book of medicines/medication given is kept in the medical room.
- As a staff, we have training and updates on conditions and medication affecting individual children, so that all staff are able to manage medical situations.
4c. WHAT SUPPORT IS THERE FOR BEHAVIOUR, AVOIDING EXCLUSION AND INCREASING ATTENDANCE?
- The school aims to work in a supportive role with children and families to understand the cause of difficulties and to take steps to address this.
- The school has adopted behaviour policies available on from the school office.
- If a child has significant behaviour difficulties, an Individual Behaviour Management Plan (IBMP) is written to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets with a view to identifying and addressing the underlying reasons behind the behaviour.
- The school has an adopted attendance policy. Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the school. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported to the Headteacher.
4d. HOW WILL MY CHILD BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR VIEWS?
- Children who have IEPs, IBMPs or MSPs discuss their progress and targets within their One Page Profile at the beginning of the academic year. If your child has a MSP (My Support Plan) or EHCP, their views will be sought before any review meetings (as is age appropriate)
- Children are routinely asked to reflect on their learning and share how they feel they are progressing during the course of the working week.
- All children are provided with the opportunity to be voted onto the School Council, as well as hold other positions of responsibility, by their class or teachers.
5. HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT?
- Our school has an adopted accessibility policy.
- All areas of the school are accessible by wheelchair. Ramps are provided near stepped areas and there is a disabled parking bay available beside the caretaker’s house.
- Accessible toilet facilities are available in the school medical room which is located by the Class 2 and 2/1 cloakroom in the centre of the school building.
- If you have specific access queries or concerns please speak with us.
6. HOW WILL THE CURRICULUM BE DIFFERENTIATED TO MATCH MY CHILD’S NEEDS?
- All learning activities within class are planned and differentiated at an appropriate level, so that all children are able to access learning according to their specific needs.
- The class teacher, alongside the SENCo will discuss a child’s needs and what support will be appropriate
- Children with SEND will have access to the appropriate resources needed in order to help them to make progress e.g. phonic mats, coloured overlays, Numicon.
- The Headteacher and SENCo agree priorities for spending within the SEN budget, including the Pupil Premium, with the overall aim that all children receive the support that they need in order to make progress. This will include resourcing appropriate equipment and facilities.
7. HOW WILL WE KNOW IF THIS HAS HAD AN IMPACT?
- Ensuring that the child is making progress academically against national/ age expected levels (or equivalents) and that the gap is narrowing between them and their peers
- By reviewing children’s targets in their IEPs and ensuring that they are being met.
- Through verbal feedback from the child, the parent and teacher to build a wider picture.
- Through children moving off the SEN Register when they have made sufficient and sustained progress – parents will always be informed if this has taken place.
8. HOW WILL I KNOW HOW MY CHILD IS DOING AND HOW WILL YOU HELP ME TO SUPPORT MY CHILD’S LEARNING? WHAT OPPORTUNITIES WILL THERE BE FOR ME TO DISCUSS MY CHILD’S PROGRESS?
- You are welcome to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo at any time throughout the year and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help to support your child at home
- Your child may have an Individual Education Plan that will have individual/group targets. This is discussed with you at parents’ evenings and parents are provided with a copy. The conversation will also provide suggestions as to how you can support your child’s learning at home. All parents are offered an extended parents’ evening appointment with both the class teacher and SENCo present.
- When the child’s IEP is reviewed, comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made .
- If your child has complex SEND they may have an MSP or EHCP. In such instances a formal meeting will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written at least annually
9. HOW DOES THE SCHOOL KNOW HOW WELL MY CHILD IS DOING?
- As a school we track and analyse the children’s’ progress in learning against national expectations and age related expectations on a half-termly basis
- The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Year R through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including Focus Education and PIVATS5.
- Where specific needs are apparent, the school has a range of assessments which can be used to explore a child’s strengths and difficulties in more depth e.g. YARC – York Assessment of Reading for comprehension, NARA – Neal Analysis of Reading Ability, Basic Number Screening Test, BST – British Spelling Test and PIVATS5.
- The Headteacher and SENCo report to the Governing Body to inform them about the progress of children with SEND and how resources are being used. Information provided will never name individual children in order to maintain confidentiality at all times.
- We have a governor who is responsible for SEN – Mrs Michele Murphy.
10. HOW WILL MY CHILD BE INCLUDED IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM, INCLUDING SCHOOL TRIPS?
- All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful and may discuss this in advance with parents. It might be appropriate for a parent/carer to accompany a child on a school trip, depending upon the child’s individual needs
- A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities that will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided within the school environment, wherever possible.
- A variety of after school clubs are provided during lunchtimes and after school. We aim for these to be as inclusive as possible.
11. HOW WILL THE SCHOOL PREPARE AND SUPPORT MY CHILD WHEN JOINING THE SCHOOL OR TRANSFERRING TO A NEW SCHOOL?
- We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting.
- We can create ‘social stories’ with/for the children if transition is likely to prove challenging.
- For children starting in Reception, a series of visits for children are planned throughout the second half of the Summer Term as well as the opportunity for parents to meet with the class teacher at an information evening, in order to help children, parents and staff get to know each other.
- A transition form is sent to all pre-schools and other schools prior to children transferring to St Patrick’s. The Teachers will visit settings where possible.
- We liaise closely with the staff when receiving and transferring children to and from different schools, ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood
- If your child has complex needs, then a MSP or EHCP review will be used as a transition planning meeting to which we will invite staff from both schools
- Transition between year groups and key stages within the school will be dealt with as part of our annual programme of transition and handover to the next class teacher
- At any point where a child with SEND is preparing to leave our school, we would seek to arrange additional visits for the child in question to support smooth transition.
12. WHAT SPECIALIST SERVICES AND EXPERTISE ARE AVAILABLE AT OR ACCESSED BY THE SCHOOL?
- Our SENCo holds the national SENCo accreditation. Within the school we have a culture of sharing good practise and expertise; this enables us to ensure our staff have as much knowledge as possible within the field of supporting children with SEND.
- The environment is designed to support children with individual needs e.g. visual timetables, individual workstations etc. as required
- As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to supporting individual children’s’ needs within our school including: Health services: GPs, school nurse, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) paediatricians, speech and language therapists, occupational and physiotherapists; Children’s Services including: PORTEX, social workers; educational psychologists and specialist advisory teachers (Kirklees Specialist Provision).
13. WHAT TRAINING HAVE THE STAFF SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH SEND HAD OR ARE CURRENTLY HAVING?
- We look to ensure that we have a variety of skills among our staff body, in order to enable us to support children in the best possible way.
- All teaching staff have recently received training regarding precision teaching with our local educational psychologist. Also two members of staff have recently attended Lego Play Therapy training.
14. WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION?
- Please speak to the class teacher in the first instance.
- General information relating to SEND can be found on the school website, including within the SEND policy. This can be found on the SEND page of the school website.
- Further information is available from the SENCo (Fiona Mullaney), Deputy Headteacher (Miss Jenna Smith), Headteacher or, in exceptional circumstances, the SEN Governor.
- The school has a complaints policy, which is available on the policy page of the school website.
15. WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I AM CONSIDERING WHETHER MY CHILD SHOULD JOIN THE SCHOOL?
Please contact our office for further information about the school and to arrange a meeting with the Headteacher, in the first instance.
Tel: 01924 423220 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org