SEN and Disabilities
We promote high achievement for all and encourage all children to achieve their full potential. We are an inclusive school and promote equality for all. We are proud of the relationships we develop with each individual child that enable us to identify any needs as soon as they arise, and to address them. We offer extra support for children with special educational needs and enrichment and challenge for those children who are gifted and talented.
Different levels of support can be provided depending on the needs of the child. Most children will normally be catered for through the usual differentiation of the class work provided by the teacher. However, some children may have a more specific difficulty that would need to be addressed through a specific intervention programme carried out for a specific purpose for a short period of time.
If the learning difficulty is more general, then the class teacher will plan a programme of extra work for the child that may involve extra adult support. This will be discussed with parents and reviewed regularly through an Individual Education Plan. If we feel unable to provide adequately for the specific needs of the child, then we may involve other agencies for specific support eg speech therapy, educational psychology, behaviour support.
If parents have any concerns, questions or information about their child, then it is vital this information is shared with school staff. We aim to work in close partnership with parents to ensure we meet the needs of all children.
Head of School – Emily Smith
SEN Governor – Kate Green
Thorncombe St Mary’s SEND Local Offer
The new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice sets out the principle of a more individualised and better graduated response to support children and young people with SEN and disabilities. We are required by the DfE to set out our “Local Offer”.
- Click here to view the Dorset Local Offer.
- Click here to view the Somerset Local Offer
What should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?
Speak to your child’s Class Teacher
During this meeting you will review progress over a period of time and look at latest assessment results. If the class teacher feels it is necessary, they will pass information on to the SENCO and a plan of action will be decided.
What will the SENCO do?
The SENCO may arrange to meet with you to discuss your concerns and a plan of action. Your may will be placed on the Special Needs Register or receive some intervention work.
What will the school do next?
How will we know what my child’s needs are?
Interventions and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may immediately be put together or advice/assessment may be requested by an outside agency. If this is the case, you will receive correspondence directly from other professionals e.g. paediatrician.
Teachers and the SENCo will use both formal and informal assessments of your child (observations, monitoring data and pupil progress every half term). You may be asked to contribute your own observations. The school may ask for classroom observations from other professionals such as the educational psychologist or SALT.
What support will my child have in school?
Any support and interventions will be included in an IEP. This is devised between the SENCo, teachers, SEN TA. Your child will be included on the school’s SEN register. The old codes of support (action and action plus) have been replaced with ‘SEN Support’. An IEP is sent to you for your information and also for you to follow up interventions at home. Information gained from conversations with you is included within the IEP and is incredibly valuable. Older children are invited to contribute towards the development of their IEP.
Who will support my child and what does this look like?
We use a range of different strategies to help your child achieve their target/s. Additional support is known as ‘intervention’ and could include teaching assistant support class in a small group or 1:1 support with the SEN TA.
Roles and responsibilities
- The Class Teacher is the first point of contact should you wish to raise a concern about your child. It is the Class Teacher’s responsibility to plan for teaching and learning and to make judgements based on your child’s progress.
- The SENCo will monitor the progress of all the children on the SEN register and will monitor the effectiveness of intervention for children throughout the school. The SENCo will review IEPs, set up meetings and refer children to outside agencies.
- There is a trained Teaching Assistants that work across the school, and they support your child on a daily basis with teaching and learning.
- At Thorncombe the the SENCo works closely with the head of school, and leads the half-termly pupil progress meetings and ensures that provision and support is available for children with SEN.
- The Midday Supervisors support the personal, social and emotional needs of your child during lunchtime and at lunchtime play. There is communication between teaching staff and Midday Supervisors which ensures that children are closely monitored during lunchtime and information is passed on if necessary.
Other agencies roles and responsibilities
- From time to time, the SENCo may request further support from other agencies including: Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), Specialist teachers, Educational Psychologists (EP), Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists (OT), Paediatricians, and Specialist Nurses. Their role is to provide more in depth information to support the SENCO with all aspects of SEND.
- The EP will meet with parents and teachers to discuss concerns. During planning meetings, the EP and the SENCo discuss concerns. The EP will talk to teaching staff and visit the classroom to observe, assess and assist in setting targets (if necessary).
- A specialist teacher may be needed to assess your child’s learning needs in school. They may teach your child in a small group or through precision teaching. They also support the SENCo with target setting (if necessary).
- A Speech and Language Therapist may visit the school to see your child or see you both in clinic to carry out an assessment of speech difficulties and language acquisition
- Paediatrician/School Nurse are specialists in the development of children. They are able to provide support and advice to you and school. This may include specialist advice and support for medical needs such as Diabetes.
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are based in community locations and is a multi-disciplinary team. Waiting times for counselling can be lengthy.
- The Early Intervention Service works alongside children and young people with disabilities and their families
- The governing body at Thorncombe has a named governor whose responsibility it is to oversee the provision for SEN.
- All staff supporting children with SEN have appropriate qualifications; they also attend training when available.
How will the school support my child’s emotional, health and well-being needs?
At Thorncombe we are proud of the relationships that are built up between the children and all staff to support children’s social and emotional needs. We work closely together to provide support for children such as:
- During playtimes we are proud of our older children who are always prepared and on hand to support younger children.
- Any incidents are communicated to the relevant member of staff and if necessary (dependent on severity) recorded in the behaviour, bullying or racism log.
- All child protection issues are reported to the available safeguarding officers (Miss Smith and Mr Owen).
- A clear behaviour policy which is adhered to by all staff (Please refer to copy on school website).
- Difficulties surrounding your child’s behaviour is a symptom of something else and can be linked to emotional upset or medical issues. The class teacher may also organise a home/school link book, enabling the school and you to contribute comments; this two way process has proved to be highly effective, particularly if a child’s behaviour is challenging either at school or home, or in both settings. Your child may be observed in the classroom by the SENCo or the behaviour support service if deemed helpful in understanding the nature of the difficulty
- Targets to help your child with self-regulation will be put into place to support your child with coping strategies (parents and older pupils are involved in this process). All staff in contact with the child will have an understanding of the process.
- We take every possible step to avoid an exclusion. However, if it is felt that your child’s behaviour may cause harm to themselves or others then you will be informed and asked to collect your child from school.
- As part of our commitment towards supporting children’s social and emotional well-being, we monitor children’s attendance at school. If concerns arise regarding your child’s attendance, you will be notified by the Head of school. If attendance does not improve, the Early Intervention Service become involved, which may lead to further action.
- If your child has medical needs then please ensure that the information is passed on to the office. Please contact the school office if your child requires medication as you will need to give us the details of the medicine and sign a consent form. If required a ‘care plan’ can be put in to place for serious illnesses.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
If your child has SEN then they will need support that is ‘additional to and different from’ other children. In addition to high quality teaching, their teacher/s will plan a range of appropriate strategies to support the child’s learning. These are listed below:
- A differentiated curriculum ensures that all children in the class have their learning needs met. The class teacher will plan activities for your child to work in a small group to meet their learning objective.
- If appropriate, your child may have sessions on a 1:1 basis with the SEN TA or a specialist teacher.
- The SENCo or class teacher may develop visual timetables/prompts to help your child develop greater independence. This also helps children to understand the school routine, particularly those who may be on the Autistic Spectrum.
- Your child may need to use ICT programs on iPAds and computers, and other forms of technology to support their participation in lessons.
- We plan interventions to enable children to meet their targets (Wave 3 Maths, Structured Spelling Programme, Manga High Maths)
- As a school, we use topic based learning which ensures that children develop skills through first hand purposeful learning opportunities. Our curriculum has been planned to inspire pupils, enabling them to make links in their learning.
What opportunities will there be to discuss my child’s attainment and achievement?
How will I know how well my child is progessing?
Progress is reviewed by the SENCo at suitable times during the year with teachers, the SEN TA, parents and older children. If progress continues to be a concern we will set new targets. If your child has made sufficient progress, and attainment has improved they may be removed from the SEN register. On occasion, further assessments from other professionals are needed and Education, Care and Health Plan may be necessary (used to be called ‘statements’).
- You will be invited to Parents’ consultation meetings three times a year. You will be able to meet with the SENCo as well as teachers. However, we have an open door policy to ensure good communication between parents and staff.
- You will receive regular feedback outlining your childs progress, againt National Curriculum (NC) objects and their own Individual Education Plan (IEP) targets.
- You will be invited to any meetings with outside agencies, together with the SENCO.
How does the school know how well my child is doing?
At Thorncombe, we assess children’s learning on a regular basis using a range of formative and summative assessment. This information is updated onto the Educater progress on a termly basis, and discussed with the head of school. Robust monitoring and tracking enables us to identify children who are not making expected progress. We measure children against age related expectations and Early Learning Goals through the Educator – Tiny Tracker Baseline Assessment.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
First hand experiences are a key feature of learning in our school. We frequently use educational and residential trips to enhance learning opportunities. We will always include your child on a visit and will ensure that any specific needs are taken into account in our risk assessment.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school building has been identified as not fully meeting DDA requirements because of its age, structure and organisation. Therefore the school may not be able to accept some children with physical disabilities.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join school?
At Thorncombe we ensure that your child is fully prepared to join our school through a careful, well thought transition plan. We have strong links with feeder pre-schools, Woodroffe School and our partner Acorn MAT schools . To ensure a smooth transition we will:
- Visit your child at pre-school and ensure that we speak to your child’s keyworker/SENCo to gain as much information as possible to support the transition, and arrange a further information sharing meeting if required.
- Use paperwork sent from preschools such as your child’s learning journeys and any medical/SEN information.
- Arrange a meeting for new parents during the summer term before your child starts school. This is an opportunity for you to find out about our school in greater depth and to meet the class teacher/s.
- Provide taster sessions for pre-school children. These take place from the Summer term and allow your child to familiarise themselves with the school, children, routines and staff.
- Provide a transition morning in the Summer term. These are opportunities for your child to meet their new class teacher/s and teaching assistant.
How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new school or secondary school?
We work hard to ensure transition to a new school is as seamless as possible. Transition to a new school is often a worrying time and even more so if your child has SEN. We will do our best to ensure that:
- Your child is offered extra transition opportunities (should this be required).
- We liaise with the SENCo of the secondary school to share information. The Head of School will also meet with you and the SENCo of the secondary school if necessary, to discuss issues surrounding transition.
How will I be involved in supporting my child?
At Thorncombe, we recognise the valuable role parents play in supporting their child’s learning. There are many different ways parent can support their children such as:
- Attending meetings, particularly parent consultations.
- Ensuring children complete homework/reading tasks to support their learning.
- Attending achievers assemblies and school events to celebrate your child’s learning.
- Keeping us up to date of any changes or information you feel that is necessary to pass on to the class teacher/SENCO.
How can I access support for myself and my family?
Some useful organisations/contacts include:
- The Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC) is run by parents for parents and for their families and work to provide a strong and united voice for the families of children who are disabled/have SEN. http://www.dorsetparentcarercouncil.co.uk
- Bridport Children’s Centre
Tel: 01308 421714
- NHS Children’s Centre, Dorchester Hospital
Tel: 01305 255705 or your local medical centre
- Bridport Children’s Social Care Team
Tel: 01308 422234
Out of Hours Service Tel: 01202 657279
- National domestic violence 24 hour helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247
- Dorset local support
Tel: 0800 032 5204.
- Family Information Service (FIS)
Tel: 01305 221066
- Dorset Safeguarding Board
Tel: 01305 221192
- Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Tel: 01305 224888
- West Dorset Family Support Team (Early Intervention)
Tel: 01305 224026
- TREATS (The Resources Equipment and Toy Store)
Tel: 01929 472937
- AFASIC – www.afasic.org.uk
- ICAN – www.ican.org.uk
- Talking Point – www.talkingpoint.org.uk
- Down Syndrome Educational International – www.dseinternational.org
- Wessex Autistic Society – www.twas.org.uk
- National Autistic Society – www.autism.org.uk
- Parentlineplus – 0808 800 2222 www.parentlineplus.org.uk