SEND Information Report
1. What kinds of SEND are provided for?
Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
- have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
- have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
At Biggleswade Academy, we provide for all areas of SEND. There are four broad areas of need (see below) and the Academy uses these to identify what action needs to be taken to provide for and support the child.
- Cognition and Learning
- Communication and Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
- Sensory and Physical difficulties
2. What are the policies for identifying children and young people with SEND and assessing their needs?
The Early Years Foundation Stage has arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care. This is set out in the EYFS Framework.
In addition to the formal checks, the Academy’s Early Years Practitioners (EYPs) will monitor and review the progress and development of all children throughout the early years.
Where a child appears to be behind expected levels, or where a child’s progress gives them cause for concern, practitioners will consider all the information about the child’s learning and development from within and beyond the setting, from formal checks, from practitioner observations and from any more detailed assessment of the child’s needs.
All the information will be brought together with the observations of parents and considered with them. The SENDCo will work together with parents to assess a child’s needs and consult with the Early Years Support Team if required.
If a pupil is identified as having SEND by meeting the criteria as outlined in the Graduated Approach, they will be placed on the appropriate stage (Stage 1 or Stage 2) in accordance with the ‘Central Bedfordshire’s Guidance SEND: Early Years’ and placed on the Academy’s SEND Register. The Academy will take action to remove any barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. A SEND Support Plan will be used to record all provision and support.
Progress is reviewed every 6-8 weeks and a decision is made whether to remove the pupil from the register, continue on Stage 1, move onto Stage 2 or proceed to make a request for an Educational Needs Assessment (Stage 3).
At Biggleswade Academy, all Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class. High-quality teaching, differentiated for individuals, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND. As such, all staff at Biggleswade Academy are required to identify and address the SEND needs of pupils.
If a Teacher has initial concerns regarding a pupil, they are required to complete an ‘Initial Concerns Form’ and E-mail it to the SEND Department documenting what they have already provided for the pupil in the way of high-quality inclusive teaching. The SENDCo will review all documentation and evidence before deciding on a plan of action.
If a pupil is identified as having SEND by using the criteria set out in the ‘Graduated Approach’, they will be placed on the appropriate stage (Stage 1 or Stage 2) in accordance with the ‘Central Bedfordshire’s Guidance SEND 5-16: A Graduated Approach’ and placed on the Academy’s SEND Register. The Academy will take action to remove any barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. A SEND Support Plan will be used to record all provision and support for pupils on Stage 1 and 2 or those pupils who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). SEND Support Plans are shared with parents so that they are fully informed of the interventions that are in place to support their children.
Progress is reviewed termly and a decision is made, in agreement with the child’s parents, whether to remove the pupil from the register, continue on Stage 1, move onto Stage 2 or proceed to make a request for an Education, Health and Care plan.
3. How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child's learning, special educational need or disability?
- Your child’s teacher or keyworker will ring or email you to discuss concerns.
- Your child’s teacher will discuss any concerns with you at a Parent Consultation Meeting
- The teacher along with the SENDCo will arrange a meeting with you to discuss any issues or concerns
- If your child has been identified as having SEND, they will have a SEND Support Plan which will be shared with you termly (every 6-8 weeks in Early Years), so that you are aware of your child’s targets and can support them outside of school
4. Making provision for pupils with SEND
When a pupil has been identified as having a special educational need, their stage and area(s) of need are documented on the 'SEND Register' which is made accessible to all staff.
A Pupil Profile is completed which is an overview of:
- Personal details
- SEND need/stage
- Strategies to be used in the classroom
All staff working with the pupil are provided with the Pupil Profile.
In Early Years, information regarding the children's needs is shared with the staff in the setting and targets and strategies are made accessible.
A SEND Support Plan is completed by the Teacher which identifies the need(s) and/or learning difficulty. In Early Years this will be completed by the SENDCo, along with the child's keyworker. SMART targets are devised and shared with parents (and the child where appropriate) which are followed for one term. The teacher/keyworker is responsible and accountable for the SEND Support Plan and will ensure that the strategies are implemented in order that the outcomes can be achieved.
The SEND Support Plan is reviewed termly (ever 6-8 weeks in Early Years) in collaboration with the parents/child where progress will be measured. If progress hasn't been made and the support is still required, another SEND Support Plan will be completed with adapted SMART outcomes to be achieved and new strategies to be implemented.
It is always the intention to promote inclusion so support is provided within the classroom in the following ways:
- Quality First Teaching
- High expectations
- Quality teacher talk
- Varied and differentiated delivery of the lesson using a variety of teaching styles - visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and tactile
- Differentiated resources which suit the learning style of the pupils
- Suitable challenge for all pupils
- Learning Support Assistant (LSA) support (when and where required)
- Small group work
When a pupil is on Stage 2 or above, the responsibility of the implementation of the SEND Support Plan is still the Class Teachers but it is also overseen by the SENDCo. Where a pupil requires specific, targeted support, the pupil may be withdrawn from the class on a 1:1 basis or within a small group depending on the need.
The formative 'I Can' statements, in addition to any electronic-based year assessments, will have identified areas of need, so in consultation with the SENDCo, a specific, targeted intervention may be used to aid learning and progress. This may be delivered by the SENDCo, Class Teacher or an LSA.
An intervention provision map is used to monitor and track the progress of the pupil to identify whether the intervention has had maximum impact. An assessment will be carried out before and after the intervention to evidence effectiveness.
Where a pupil has an EHCP, provision is provided in line with the legal recommendations set out in the EHCP. This may require the support to be provided within the classroom, in a small group, or on a 1:1 basis depending on need.
The Inclusion Department will continuously monitor the effectiveness of support and interventions, making appropriate adaptions when and where needed to meet the needs of the child.
5. Arrangements for assessing and reviewing progress of pupils with SEND
The Academy uses a number of methods to know how well children with special educational needs are doing:
- Teacher Assessments - using 'I Can' statements ('Development Matters' statements in Early Years)
- Formative assessments
- Class Data
- Pupil Progress trackers.
- School reports
- Summative assessments.
- Achievement of SMART targets on the child’s SEN support plan.
- Termly behaviour and attainment report
- Intervention trackers
Parents are informed of their child's progress and attainment via Parent Consultation Evenings and formal school reports. In addition to this, the Academy has an 'open door' policy regarding SEN concerns and is happy to be contacted by parents through the relevant channels (please refer to section 12 of the SEN information report for contact details).
6. How is the curriculum matched to the needs of the pupil?
The Academy follows the Early Years Framework, National Curriculum for English and Maths, the International Primary Curriculum for Science, ICT and foundation subjects up to Year 6 and the National Curriculum for all KS3 subjects. Subject planning is overseen by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and subject leaders with plans matched to the year group. The 'I Can' statements ('Development Matters' statements in Early Years) are taken from the current National Curriculum and are again specific to the age group.
Growth Mindset underpins the approach to how work is set and teachers have high expectations of all their pupils, including SEND pupils. The learning objective is the same for all pupils but the teaching, delivery and resources are differentiated to meet the learning styles of the pupil. This can happen in a number of ways:
- Pre-teaching of vocabulary before the lesson
- Visual aids for pupils with SEND
- Teaching tailored to the learning needs of the children
- Work printed onto coloured paper rather than white to support Visual Disturbance.
- Selected seating to maximise learning
- Task plans used to break instructions and work into manageable chunks
- Use of an iPad or laptop as an alternative to writing
- Use of Interactive White Boards and coloured backgrounds
- Differentiated slides for ASD pupils
- Use of coloured page exercise books for dyslexic pupils
- Differentiated tasks
- Over learning to ensure understanding is embedded
- Use of SEND resources to support learning needs
- Small group work/1:1 work
- Support from LSA in the classroom.
Teachers and LSAs are responsible for ensuring that all pupils can access the learning yet promote independence. The SOARR approach is used by support staff (Scaffold, Observe, Assess, Reflect and Review) when supporting pupils.
In line with the Equality Act 2010, the Academy has been adapted so that all pupils can access the curriculum effectively. We are a fully wheelchair accessible site. Up to date advice from outside agencies is acted upon to ensure best practice for our children. The site management staff ensure that all pupils, especially those with a physical or medical disability can access all areas.
The thresholds to buildings and classrooms have all been sloped, ramps installed or modernised, plus doors, entrances and exits widened to improve movement and accessibility around the academy. There is a lift in Brazil Block and disabled toilets throughout the Academy. Disabled parking is also available at the Mead End and Kitelands Road sites.
8. Additional activities, how will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom including trips?
There are a wide range of extra-curricular activities open to all pupils across the Academy no matter what their age, ability, disability or SEN need. Parents/carers are encouraged to discuss any concerns or issues regarding inclusion and reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate everyone's needs where possible.
9. What support is there for the overall well-being of the pupils?
Arrangements are in place to support pupils with medical conditions at the Academy. Pupils with a medical condition or diagnosis are placed on the Academy's medical register and, where needed, working together with Local Authorities, Health Professionals and other support services, an individual care plan is created, agreed by all involved and disseminated to all staff who work with the pupil.
Academy staff who work with children with specific medical needs are fully trained by outside agencies to ensure they have the skills to meet the needs of the child they support.
It is worth noting that a medical diagnosis or a disability does not necessarily imply SEN. Therefore, only children whose medical condition or disability that is having an impact on their learning will meet the criteria for a SEND Support plan.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health
For some children and young people, difficulties in their emotional and social development can mean that they require additional and different provision in order for them to achieve. Children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional and social development may have immature social skills and find it difficult to make and sustain healthy relationships. These difficulties may be displayed through the young person becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as through challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.
A wide range of mental health problems might require adjustments to be made in school. These can manifest as difficulties such as problems of mood (anxiety or depression), problems of conduct (oppositional defiance and more severe conduct problems including aggression), self-harming, substance abuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.
At Biggleswade Academy, we work with the child and parents to address social, emotional and mental health issues. If adjustments need to be made these are recorded in collaboration with parents on a SEND Support Plan or in the form of an Early Help Assessment.
Mrs Christine Gilbert works closely with Mr Bilimoria-Mears to drive forward the support for pupils in Years Reception to 8 who are struggling in this particular area. She works closely with specific children to support them. This can be in the form of 1:1 support sessions or group therapy. She also works with families to signpost them to outside agency support and to help them to support their child at home and at school.
10. What training have the staff who support SEND had or what training are they having?
Mr Ross Bilimoria-Mears (Academy SENDCo) - PG Cert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. Grad Cert Psychology (including Child Development).
Mrs Christine Gilbert (Pastoral Support Worker) - RGN.
Mrs Clare Lake (ASD Lead Teacher) - BA (Hons) Educational Studies. Accredited Level 3 Dyslexia, NNEB.
Members of staff also have training to meet the requirements of children with medical needs such as Diabetes and Epilepsy. We also have staff trained to support children with a range of disabilities. Throughout the Academy, we have staff who are First Aid trained.
All staff have Safeguarding training which is updated yearly.
11. How will my child be supported at transition?
Transition arrangements are embedded into the school year. During the summer term, teachers will begin to prepare their class for the movement to their new year group. Transition activities will be put in place for all children to ensure a smooth, positive move from one year to the next.
Children with SEN will require additional transition arrangements including:
- Additional visits to their new class or setting
- Opportunities to make photo books to record key members of staff and pictures of their new environment
- Transition passports
- Transition meetings attended by parents and the SENDCos from both settings
12. Who are the best people to talk to about my child's difficulties with learning, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
- Initially, make contact with your child’s teacher/keyworker to discuss any concerns
- In addition to this, you can contact the SEND department, where we will be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss your concerns.