Here at Painters Ash we nurture and care for all of our pupils so that they can all reach their full potential and we do this by trying our utmost to cater for their individual needs. We truly believe that each and every child can achieve regardless of any additional needs. It is our priority to make sure that all children are given the support and resources they need to reach their academic goals and be fully prepared for the next steps in their lives, enabling them to leave Painters Ash as confident, well-rounded, sociable young people with the life skills that they need for the world.
All children, regardless of additional educational needs, are fully included in all school activities. Full use of externally provided facilities is made where appropriate.
Below we have answered some of the frequently asked questions we receive from parents:
What is a local offer?
On 1st September 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a new framework for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Click here to find out more about the local offer.
All Local Authorities are required to publish information on ‘the Local Offer’ about all SEND services, along with details of any eligibility for specialist services and a signpost to support those who do not meet thresholds.
In light of this New Code of Practice, we have reviewed the School’s SEND policy through consultation with parents and Governors. This is available on the Policies section of the website. Please look out for details in forthcoming newsletters relating to an information sharing evening for parents.
How does the school know if young people need extra help, and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We pride ourselves on providing quality first teaching in the classroom which includes differentiation, high quality teaching, active learning and effective feedback. This ensures the majority of children’s needs are met within the classroom environment.
- For those children who are identified as needing some extra support, we run support programmes which are closely matched to their needs. Interventions will depend on the child’s needs and the resources available.
- Class provision maps show the range of interventions in place in each class when it has been identified that additional support is required.
- All interventions which we put into place are tried and tested. Where we feel something is not working, we are quick to respond and find alternatives through talking to you, the teacher and child. All our additional support programmes are overseen by the SENCO.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Differentiation is embedded in our curriculum and practice. As a school we ensure we tailor our teaching to the needs of the pupils. We regularly assess the quality of our teaching to ensure that all students are receiving a high standard of teaching and learning.
- Quality first teaching ensures that the pupils are able to access the 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 regularly share progress and attainment with our pupils and their families. All year groups have two parents’ evenings a year and an annual report, and a report consultation meeting.
Parents/carers of children who are receiving additional support and identified as having Special Educational Needs will be invited to attend provision review meetings three times a year. At these meetings you will have the opportunity to discuss ways in which you and the school can further support your child’s learning.
- The school will share information about the curriculum your child will be studying through Termly Information for Parents (TIPS) letters. We also host a number of curriculum events, known as Show and Share Meetings, to help families understand what learning is expected and how they can best support their child at home.
-Each child has a School Contact Book which can be used by parents and the class teacher to record any concerns of achievements.
- Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure this is put in place.
- The first point of contact should you have any concerns about your child’s progress is your child’s class teacher.
- We believe in supporting families as well as the children, our Parent Support Advisor, Donna Smith, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with parents and carers, and is contactable to discuss and issues parents/carers may have. We also benefit from having an experienced Pastoral Support Advisor, Mrs Sue Caveney , who supports individuals and groups of children with their learning and their well-being needs. Mrs Caveney can also be contacted by parents via the school office.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
As a school pupil’s well-being is our primary concern. Our students and their families can access support from either our Parent Support Advisor or our Pastoral Support Advisor.
- Our leadership team is also very supportive ensuring that your child will always have someone to talk to if there is something concerning them.
- Relevant staff are trained to support medical needs and in some cases, use of epipens and insulin injections.
- Our Behaviour Policy; which includes guidance on expectations, rewards and sanctions is fully understood by all staff and pupils.
- We regularly monitor attendance and take the necessary actions to prevent prolonged, unauthorised absence.
- Our School Council meet regularly and discuss the issues that are important to them and well as ways in which we can improve the running of school. They are democratically voted onto the school council by their class.
- Our school runs a wide range of afterschool clubs allowing children to develop and extend their interests.
- Children have access to breakfast and after school club
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Our staff receives regular training and our teachers all hold qualified teacher status.
- We have a number of established relationships with professionals in education, such as the specialist teaching team, educational psychologists and outreach services.
- All external bodies we work with are linked to Kent County Council. When we buy in additional services we monitor the impact of any intervention to ensure it is meeting its objective.
- We work with a number of external partners depending on the needs of the pupils. These include the specialist teaching and learning service (STLS), Kent Parent Partnership Service, The Parents’ Consortium, Education welfare service, Speech and Language service, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists.
- We also work with social services.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
Our SENCO holds the mandatory National SENCO Award and is a qualified teacher and a member of the senior leadership team.
- We regularly invest time and money in training our staff to improve quality first teaching and develop skills and knowledge of delivering specific interventions.
- Weekly Professional Development meetings ensure that staff are kept regularly informed about special education needs changes and given specific advice on interventions.
- We focus on effective provisions in the classroom including differentiation of resources and teaching strategies.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Our school ethos and SEN Policy promote involvement of all our pupils in all aspects of the curriculum including activities outside the classroom. All pupils have the opportunity to participate in educational visits.
- Members of staff always complete a preliminary visit and carry out a risk assessment for any school trips, to ensure that the venue is suitable and fully inclusive.
How accessible is the school environment?
Our school has had relevant adaptations put into place to cater for pupils in wheelchairs.
- Our policy and practice follow the Equality Act 2010.
- We value and respect diversity in our school.
How will the school prepare and support my child/to join the school/transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
We have an Induction programme in place for welcoming new learners and their families to our setting. This involves an induction day for children and additional days, as and if required. In the EYFS the teachers will make a visit to the nurseries prior to the children starting in September. Parents are also offered the opportunity of a home visit, so that the child can be observed in a setting they are comfortable in.
- We also communicate with nurseries and secondary school to ensure a smooth transition for all our pupils. We share information to support pupils’ learning and wellbeing at transition for children with SEN or Educational Health Care (EHC) plans.
- We have a transition programmes in place for pupils that require it from EYFS to KS1 and from KS1 to KS2 and KS2 to secondary school.
- Children who require additional support with moving from one year group to another are also provided with a transition booklet with information about their new class at the end of every academic year.
- Children who have a statement/Educational Health Care Plan will meet with the SENCO regularly and have a transition meeting during an annual review to ensure all their needs will be met in their new setting.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special needs?
Our finances are monitored regularly and we utilise resources to support the strategic aims of our setting as well as individual learners needs.
- When the outcomes of the assessment indicate that your child is not progressing as well as expected or his/her attainment is below the average, interventions and support will be put in place and your child will feature on a class provision map.
- If progress is not made we will carry out further assessments and possibly add the child to the SEN support register.
- When it is necessary the SENCO will contact outside agencies.
- If required, a formal request for an EHC plan will be submitted.
- All provisions are recorded on provision maps, they are evaluated and updated termly. The SENCO monitors these closely to track SEND pupils and evaluate the impact.
The outcomes of the provision will be discussed termly during the Pupil Progress meetings with the class teacher, SENCO, the assessment co-ordinator and the headteacher.
Which interventions do you use at Painters Ash?
Listed below is a brief overview of the various additional programmes we deliver to support all learners, where appropriate. If you wish to discuss your child’s support programmes please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Inclusion Team.
Gifted and Talented
We aim to ensure that children who display exceptional gifts and talents are provided for. Every year, the children with exceptional gifts and talents are identified by members of staff as well as their families. This process enables the school to ensure that provision is in place to challenge and enrich the learning of this group of children. The school works to offer a variety of enrichment opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, and aims to harness and develop the gifts and talents that our children display.
A speech programme which targets sounds that children have difficulties in producing. Children are tested within the school using this specialised computer programme and then our Speech and Language Teaching Assistant delivers the suggested individualised programmes. There are occasions when the tests show that a child needs to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapy for additional guidance and/or intervention.
Speech and Language
Individualised programmes submitted by a Speech Therapist are delivered by our Speech and Language Teaching Assistant . These are for children who have been referred, by the school or by a medical professional, to be assessed by the Speech and Language Therapy Service. These programmes can include speech sound production, language development and social skills, depending on the child’s needs.
EAL - English as an Additional Language
This is for children who have a first language other than English and may need further intervention with their English language understanding in order to aid their academic development.
Project Code X
A motivational approach for supporting struggling readers; this proven reading intervention embeds synthetic phonics within a highly motivational character adventure series. This intervention programme will transform the lives of struggling readers as they revisit phonics knowledge and build key reading and comprehension skills
Emotional Literacy support
This intervention is accessible to all pupils who may be experiencing difficulty with some aspects of home/school life e.g. a family bereavement which may impact on their school life.
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are vital to the development of many competencies in young children. Activities are divided into sections focusing on warming up, hand and finger strength, manipulation and eye-hand co ordination.
This is a one to one maths programme which focuses on number bonds and multiplication facts. It is a long term programme which can be very effective.
Power of 2
This is a one to one intervention which focuses on mental maths, introducing maths vocabulary and sequencing of numbers and number bonds. This is a long term programme.
trugs (Teach Reading Using Games)
trugs (for teachers), trugs at home (for parents) is a systematic synthetic phonics group of resources to enable anyone, who can themselves read, to help a child to progress their level of reading and spelling. Trugs uses fun card games to support the decoding (reading) of words. Children are able to practise reading by sounding out the phonemes in a word from left to right and blending them together all through the word until they can read the word automatically. The trugs resource gives them an enjoyable and successful way to reinforce and consolidate the knowledge of their letter-sound correspondences.
This intervention aims to develop communication and interaction skills. It encourages turn taking, and collaboration.
Reception - This programme of activities provides an opportunity to develop the child’s language development in a practical way, including skills such as listening and attention. It also extends the child’s physical abilities, and can benefit those with impaired gross motor skills.
This is a web-based intervention which is highly effective at supporting struggling readers and can help children with dyslexic tendencies. This intervention focusses on spelling, reading and listening skills. 20 minutes three times a week. This intervention can be accessed at home. Ipad and phone apps are available.
Who can I contact for further information?
- In the first instance parents/carers are encouraged to talk to their child’s class teacher.
- Further information and support can be gained from the SENCO Joe Murray email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kent County Council local offer with information on services offered by the council can be accessed at: www.kelsi.org.uk
- For advice and support you can contact Parent Partnership Service: www.parentpartnership.org.uk