facebooklatest-news close curriculumceophomekey-docs newsletterparents-and-childrenphonesecure-areaarrow-rightonline-paymentsearch arrow-downtwittertranslate about-usalert calendar
  • Search
  • Translate

Translate / Traduire / Übersetzen / Tłumaczyć / Išversti / Tulkot / Traducir

School Logo

St Mary's C of E

School Bideford


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)


At St Mary's Primary School we have a commitment to the inclusion of all children in accessing learning. We provide high quality class teachning supported by numerous interventions to enable children to progress effectively and maximise their potential.

As part of the SEND Code of Practice Devon County Council have published the Local Offer which you can view by clicking here.


SEND Information Report


As one of many Devon Local Authority (LA) maintained school we have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. 

All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible. 

At St. Mary’s School we believe that provision for pupils with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole and will do our best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs or disabilities. 

The staff and governors of St Mary’s Primary School will also work to ensure that all SEND pupils reach their full potential, are fully included within the school community and are able to make successful transfers between educational establishments.


Definitions of special educational needs (SEN) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:


a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them. Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

What kinds of special educational needs might the children at St Mary’s Primary School have?


Under the SEND Code of Practice 2014 pupils identified as having a special educational need (SEN) will be considered as falling under four broad areas of need: 
•Communication and interaction
•Cognition and learning
•Social, emotional and mental health
•Sensory and/or physical

Communication and Interaction needs

The profile for every child with communication and interaction needs is different and their needs may change over time.
• Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) 
• Autism (including Asperger Syndrome)

Cognition and Learning;

• Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) : dyslexia (reading and spelling), dyscalculia (maths), dyspraxia (co-ordination) and dysgraphia (writing). 
• Moderate learning difficulties (MLD) 
• Severe learning difficulties (SLD)
• Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties or are a reflection of the way a child is coping with a current loss or trauma. Other children and young people may have disorders such as:
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
• Attachment Disorder

Sensory and/or Physical needs

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. 
• Visual impairment (VI) 
• Hearing impairment (HI – including Deaf and hearing impairment) 
• Multi-sensory impairment (MSI - sometimes referred to as Deafblind) 
• Physical disability (PD).


Who are the best people to talk to about my child’s Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)?

The Class Teacher
Responsible for:
• Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be targeted work or additional support) alongside the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo).
• Setting individual targets using a My Plan, and sharing and reviewing these with parents at least termly.
• Personalised teaching and learning for your child as identified on the school’s provision map and in relation to their My Plan.
• Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.
• Overseeing support that Teaching Assistants or Intervention Teachers provide for your child
• Ensuring that you are involved in supporting your child’s learning.
• Providing work /ideas to be used at home to help your child achieve their personalised targets.


The Special Needs/Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) is currently Mrs Rachael O’Dell (rachael@stmarysce.co.uk)

Responsible for
• Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.
• Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
• Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school
• Ensuring that you are:
o involved in supporting your child’s learning
o kept informed about the support your child is getting
o involved in reviewing how they are doing
• Liaising with all the other people who may be coming in to school to help support your child’s learning, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology…
• Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring that all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.


The Headteacher
Miss Naomi Tottle (headteacher@stmarysce.co.uk )

Responsible for:
• The day-to-day management of all aspects of the school; this includes the support for children with SEND.
• The Headteacher will give responsibility to the SENDCo and class teachers, but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
• The Headteacher must make sure that the Local Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.


The SEND Governor
Mrs Sarah-Jane Palmer (spalmer@stmarysce.co.uk )

Responsible for:
• Making sure that the necessary support is given for all children with SEND who attend the school.


How does the school know if my child needs extra help?

At St Mary’s CofE Primary School children are identified as having SEND through a variety of ways including the following:
• Liaison with the previous educational setting
• Assessment information – is the child performing below age-related expectations?
• School based assessments carried out initially by the class teacher or specialist Intervention Teacher e.g. infant speech and language Link, age-related curriculum tests, reading running records, etc.
• Further school based assessments carried out by the SENDCo where concerns have been raised e.g. Junior Language Link, dyslexia screeners, Thrive assessments, Short Term Memory assessments etc.
• Concerns raised by parents, pupils, or school staff
• Liaison with external agencies
• Health diagnosis


What support is available for children with SEND at St Mary’s?

a) Class teacher input, via excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching). 
For your child this would mean: 
• That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class
• That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand
• That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class
• That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo) are in place to support your child to learn 
• Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress, either during the lesson or in addition to it

b) Targeted intervention work (either 1:1 or in a group)
Intervention which may be:
• Run in the classroom or outside of class
• Run by a teacher, teaching assistant (TA), intervention teacher (IT), or the pastoral support mentor.

c) Personalised learning targets
At St Mary’s teachers will work closely with parents, the pupil and the SENDCo to decide what interventions and support need to be put in place for children identified as requiring additional support. Small, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-dependant (SMART) targets will be identified. This will be recorded on a DAF 2a ‘My Plan’ with a date to review the plan. The My Plan will clearly identify the areas of needs, the desired outcomes, the support and resources provided, including any teaching strategies or approaches that are required and when the My Plan will be reviewed. The Plan will be shared with all the professionals working directly with the child.
Where appropriate, the My Plan will detail the support from other agencies and how this will support the pupil in achieving the desired outcomes.
d) Specialist Support offered by Outside Agencies 
This means a pupil has been identified by the SENDCo and Class Teacher as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from Outside Agencies such as: 
• Communication & Interaction Team, 
• Behaviour Support Team 
• SEN Support Team 
• Education Psychology Service 
• Speech and Language Therapy Service 
• Integrated Children Services 
• Occupational Therapy Service 
• Children and Adolescence Mental Health Service 
• School Nurse 
• Parent Support Advisor

What could happen? 

• You will be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional
• The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support
e) Statutory Assessment of Needs 
• This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong. 
• This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching and/or specialised training or equipment.
• This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups. 
• Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.
For your child this would mean 
• The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child. 
• After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including an Early Help Assessment and the My Plan), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support. 
• After the reports have all been sent in, the Panel of Professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible. 
• The EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long- and short-term goals for your child.


How can I let the school know that I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?


• If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.
• If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the SENDCo or Pastoral Support Mentor.
• The Headteacher or the SEND Governor can also be contacted for support.
How will I know how my child is doing?
All parents have a formal opportunity to liaise with their child’s class teacher twice a year during our Parent/Teacher Consultation days. In addition, all parents receive a written report identifying how their child is progressing in all areas of the curriculum.
If your child is identified as not making progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:
• Listen to any concerns you may have.
• Discuss/review a My Plan (DAF 2a)
• Plan any additional support your child may need.
• Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child.
Please note that the class teacher is regularly available afterschool to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school, so that similar strategies can be used.
Via appointment, the SENDCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
• All information from outside professionals will be shared with you either through a direct discussion or in a report.
• In some cases a home-school link book is set up to aide regular communication between home and school
The Parent Partnership Service is available to give further impartial advice and support should you need it. Their website address is: http://www.parentpartnershipdevon.org.uk/
How do you know what progress my child is making?
Your child’s progress will be continually monitored by his/her class teacher.
• His/her progress will be reviewed formally with members of the senior leadership team every term in reading, writing and maths, through pupil progress meetings.
• If your child is in KS1 or KS2 working below National Curriculum Level 1, a more sensitive assessment tool can be used called P Scales, which shows children’s attainment in more detail – breaking learning down into smaller steps.
• At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6), all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and the results are published nationally.
• Where necessary, children will have a My Plan (DAF 2a) based on targets agreed by teachers, parents, and where appropriate the SENDCo and/ or external agencies which are specific to their needs. Targets will be designed to accelerate learning and close the gap. Progress against these targets will be reviewed regularly, evidence for judgements assessed and a future plan made.
• The SENDCo will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in through the use of Provision Maps.
• Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by members of the senior leadership team to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high.
• For all children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care plan, an annual review will take place with all adults and relevant professionals involved with the child to review the needs and current level of support they are receiving.


How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

• Where appropriate Class Teachers will send home additional work/activities/ideas to support learning at home.
• Areas of concern and additional provision required may be identified on the My Plan
• Access to online e-learning platforms such as Espresso, Reading Eggs and My Maths are provided for additional learning at home

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?

• Class teachers plan lessons and differentiate their planning according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class (including using P Scales for children working below National Curriculum Level 1) and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
• Support staff, under the direction of the class teacher, can adapt planning to support the needs of your child where necessary
• Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
• Planning (including that for P Scales and for specific intervention programmes) and teaching will be adapted, on a daily basis if needed, to meet your child’s learning needs.


How is the decision made about the type and how much support my child will receive?

The school budget includes money for supporting children with SEND and the Headteacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, in consultation with the local governing body, on the basis of needs in the school. The school identifies the needs of SEND pupils on a SEND register in conjunction with a resource based provision map completed by Team Leaders. This identifies all support given within school and is reviewed at least termly so that the needs of children are met, and resources are deployed as effectively as possible.
How will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom including school trips?
All activities in the classroom and all trips outside of school will be planned so that all children within the class can be included. In some cases additional adults and/or resources will be used to enable this.


What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

School provision

• Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants (Education Assistants) working with either individual children or small groups.
• Trained intervention teachers delivering, Reading Recovery, Speech and Language Link, Counting to Calculating, Autism specialist, Speech and Language teachers.
• Thrive Trained practitioners delivering specialised support for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, including a full-time Pastoral Support Mentor working with children across the school.
• ICT support
• Volunteers and parent helpers work with small groups to support reading
Outside Agency Provision delivered in school or within the Learning Community
• Educational Psychology Service
• Sensory support for children with visual or hearing needs
• Parent Partnership Service
• Behaviour team
• Reading with Dogs
• Families in Grief (FIG)
Health Provision delivered in school or within the Learning Community
• Additional Speech and Language Therapy
• School Nurse
• Occupational Therapy
• Physiotherapy
• CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health)
• Paediatricians


What training have the staff supporting SEND had or what training are they having?

• The school provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEN issues, such as Specific Learning Difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and speech and language difficulties.
• Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class or interventions they are running
• The SENDCo has been in post for over 10 years.
• Support Staff receive a range of training as part of their ongoing CPD and to respond to the needs of the individual children they are working with. Many members of staff have basic training in Autistic Spectrums Conditions or Specific Learning Difficulties, positive handling (PIPs) guided reading, Thrive, and colourful semantics.


How accessible is the school both indoors and outdoors?

• The school is adapted to meet the needs of children with physical disabilities.
• The school has easy access and double doors where appropriate
• There is a disabled toilet and changing facilities.
• We ensure wherever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs
• Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND
• Quiet areas and calming zones are provided for children who need a space to support their emotional needs.


How are parents involved in the school?

Parents are invited in to support with different learning activities within class, to hear readers or support with trips. They are also invited in to watch class assemblies, shows and performances. All parents at the school are invited to join the Parents and Friends of St Mary’s (PFSM) group which meet regularly to organise and support events at the school. Michelle Atkinson is the current chair of the PFSM. Information evenings and open mornings to view your child’s learning are also held regularly at the school.
All parents who work with children in school are required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which is a quick and simple online check which can be arranged through school.


How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new setting or to the next stage of education and life?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND, and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.
If your child is joining us from another school:
• If your child has a Statement of SEN or an EHC Plan the SENDCo will visit the previous setting and attend annual reviews children.
• Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for sessions as appropriate.
• Parents will be invited to attend a visit/tour to meet the Teacher, Headteacher and SENDCo (if appropriate)
• You may be given an opportunity for additional visits where appropriate to help to prepare your child for their move to the school.
• All records are sent to us from the previous school.
When moving classes in school:
• Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. My Plans and other SEND records will be shared with the new teacher.
• Every child will have a ‘meet the new teacher’ session to meet their new teacher and class.
• Your child may participate in a transition group or be able to visit the new class more frequently where appropriate, to prepare them for the move.
In Year 6:
• The SENDCo and class teacher will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of the child’s secondary school. Where appropriate, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the SENDCo from the new school.
• Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions, and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.
• In some cases a Pupil Profile is created with the pupil to help them inform their new setting about their likes and dislikes.
• Current records relating to your child’s SEND provision will be passed on to the Secondary School
• If your child has a Statement of SEND or an EHC plan then a representative from the secondary school can be invited to attend the Transfer Review Meeting in Year 5 and Year 6.
• The Pastoral Support Mentor will teach focused learning relating to aspects of transition, to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
• A Summer School is available for children who would benefit from additional time spent at the new school before Term starts


How will we support your child’s emotional and social development?

We recognise that some children have extra emotional and social needs that need to be developed and nurtured. These needs can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including behavioural difficulties, anxiousness, and struggling to communicate effectively.
• All children receive a PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum to support their development which is tailored to the classes needs through a whole class Thrive screener.
• Individual Thrive sessions.
• In Class Thrive related to meeting the targets identified on a Thrive Assessment
• A range of extra-curricular groups which all children are invited to join.
• ‘Time-In’ room during lunchtime for pupils who find it difficult to cope on the playground
• Activity rooms run during lunchtime to promote communication and friendship skills
• 1:1 lunchtime and playtime support for children to develop skills in play and social interaction


Complaints Procedure

Pupils, staff and parents are expected to listen carefully and respectfully to each other. Where an issue arises, parents should, in the first instance, make an appointment to speak with their child’s class teacher and seek to resolve any concerns. If a parent believes that their concern has not been resolved to their satisfaction or is of a more serious or sensitive nature, an appointment should be made to see the Headteacher, who will investigate and report back on the results of the investigation. Where an issue is not satisfactorily resolved, parents should then take up the matter with the Chair of the Local Governing Body. A copy of the school’s Complaints Procedure is available on request from the school.

Speech and Language useful websites: