How would we identify a child might have specific additional needs?
Some children will join our school with identified additional needs from nursery or from another school. Communication and sharing of information is key to ensure a smooth transition into High Ercall and that the relevant support mechanisms are in place prior to starting. This might involved pre-start meetings, sharing of all documents relating to the child and their needs, liaising with relevant other professionals - for example Speech and Language therapists - all of which will build up a clear picture.
In addition to this, all teaching staff make regular ongoing assessments of progress of all pupils in school. These can take many different forms in order to build up an accurate assessment profile. Each term, formal assessments are recorded, and these alongside informal assessments in class support teachers in identifying quickly any children making less than expected progress.
Through conversations with parents and the children, the best support is identified and put in place to best suits the needs of the child.
Initially additional intervention might be put in place, alongside the high quality differentiated curriculum and first quality teaching. This intervention can include:
- Additional small group work with a Teaching assistant - for example - language and communication activities
- 1:1 work for short periods of time - for example precision teaching of phonics, additional reading
- Focused teaching on gaps or misunderstandings by the class teacher or teaching assistant - specific maths computation - Pre-teaching of concepts or vocabulary
If there continue to be concerns by staff and /or parents and children, Mrs Roberts, as SENCO will work alongside all concerned to discuss all the information gathered on progress. A decision will then be made as to the best way to support the child in school. Parents are involved at all stages of decision making.
Initially support in school is called intervention, which aims to enable pupils to catch up and close any learning gaps. This may be provided through additional sessions with a Teaching Assistant and may involve helping the child to understand particular concepts, programmes to improve maths and literacy skills, or development of general learning strategies and skills which can be applied across the curriculum. This support may be provided individually or in small groups, and would be detailed on school intervention planning.
Where there is a higher level of need, or increasing concerns about a pupil, after consultation with parents and carers, we may involve other agencies for support. In school this is called ‘School Support'. The list of other agencies we work with is detailed in the About Us section. Following detailed assessments, using school progress records, parental views and the outcomes of any assessments from external agencies, an Individual Provision Map (IPM) is written. Specific targets are set, and a programme of work established. Targets on IPMs are reviewed each term with the SENCO, staff, parents and children. New targets are set following the review and progress recorded. If it is relevant, risk assessments or Individual care plans will be written to ensure all medical needs are supported in school and all children with special needs are safe in our care.
Where, despite careful planning, action and review, the child continues to made little or no progress, we would work alongside the parents to consider whether a request for an Education, Health and Care needs Assessment should be submitted to the Local Authority.
An Education, Health and Care needs assessment can lead to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which is a statutory document which details the needs of a child and the actions needed to support them in school to enable the child to make good progress. This process is led by the Local Authority with the parents, pupil and school. Further information is detailed in the SEN Policy.
At High Ercall, we value the opinion of our pupils and allow regular opportunities for the children to discuss their learning. Children are able to elect peers to be part of our School Council so ideas and opinions can be shared.
Through staff subject leader and Governor reviews, we also talk to the children, including those with specific needs about their learning, life in school and how they are supported in school. These responses are reviewed and used to implement change across school as needed.
All children can also take up responsibilities in school to be a part of school life and contribute to its development - this includes school librarians, Eco Warriors and Well-being Warriors.
Parents are welcomed into school and will have the opportunity to attend a parent – teacher meeting each term by the Key Stage Two class teachers where they can ask questions about their child(s) school life and have the opportunity to share information.
For children with a provision map, parents are encouraged to meet Sarah Roberts and the class teacher for an additional meeting to discuss progress and new targets set for the term.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to be involved with the High Ercall Friends group. Parents are regularly informed of events within school through the Weekly newsletter and the website There is always a member of the senior school staff available on the school playground before and after school to listen to parents’ views.
Each year, a parent questionnaire is undertaken, including questions about SEND needs. This is reviewed by the Headteacher and the Governing Body and acted upon as needed. The questions utilise questions from the Parent View OFSTED webpage.