St Mary's C.E. Primary School

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School Local Offer – Document 1

Pupils with specific difficulties receive exceptional support through the way that their learning experiences are tailored to help them to overcome the additional challenges they face, and there are examples of outstanding progress. (OFSTED, June 2014) 

Your Questions Answered



  1. How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think that my child/young person may have special educational needs?


At St Mary’s Church of England School children are identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND)  through a variety of ways including the following:-

  • - Liaise with pre-school/previous school
  • - Child performing well below age expected levels
  • - Concerns raised by parents
  • - Concerns raised by teacher eg self-esteem or behaviour
  • - Liaison with external agencies eg physical needs
  • - Health diagnosis



How Will I Raise Concerns If I Need To?

  • - Talk to your child’s class teacher, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) Mrs Doyle or Head Teacher. We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We always try to be open and honest and hope that you can be the same.


  1. How will school support my young person and how will it communicate to all staff that my child has special educational needs or a disability and the support he or she will need?


Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs learn well, both when they are supported in their class and when they are working on their own or in small groups on special programmes.  (OFSTED June 2014)


  • - The SENCO oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school. This information will be kept in the Class Orange Folder and updated/reviewed regularly through Pupil Progress Meetings.
  • - The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made. Details of types of provision can be seen in SEND Local Offer Document 2.
  • - There may be a Teaching Assistant working with your child either individually or as part of a group; if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.
  • - Where necessary, with parental permission, the SENCO will arrange for external support and advice
  • -

       Who will explain this to me?

  • - The class teacher will meet with parents at least twice a year (this could be as part of Parent’s evening) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress. Additional meetings can be arranged as needed.
  • - For further information the SENCO is available to discuss support in more detail.



  1. How are the Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?


  • - The SEND Governor is responsible for ensuring that the provision for SEND children is good and that the children are making good progress.
  • - The SENCO reports to the SEND Governor three times per year to inform him/her about the progress of children with SEND. (This report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.)
  • - The SEND Governor observes the delivery of some SEND intervention groups at least once a year.
  • - The SENCO writes a report to the Governors once a year.
  • - The Governors agree priorities for spending within the SEN budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress.



  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? What are the school’s approaches to differentiation and how will that help my child?


The school has been very inclusive of our daughter. Classroom activities have been subtly adapted to enable her to participate at a level appropriate to her abilities. (Parents of a child with SEN – July 2014)


  • - All teaching and learning within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access according to their specific needs. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be three different levels of learning set for the class, however on occasions this can be individually differentiated.
  • - The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.


  1. How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? What opportunities will there be to discuss my child’s progress?


We continue to see our children’s development go from strength to strength and we cannot thank St Mary’s School enough for what they have done for our children and us. (Parents of two children with SEN - July 2014)


  • - We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCO and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
  • - We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
  • - If necessary we can operate a home / school link book which your child will bring home regularly so that comments from parents and teacher can be shared and responded to when needed.
  • - If your child has an Individual Target Plan, your child will be regularly assessed, targets will be agreed, and your child will have opportunities to work towards achieving these targets, before they are reviewed. Parents will be given a copy of these targets. The targets set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets with the expectation that the child will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed.
  • - We have two formal parents evenings every year and the end of school year report.
  • - If your child has complex needs and a Statement of Educational Need or an Education and Health Care Plan is in place, there will be an annual formal meeting to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written that is submitted to the Local Authority.
  • - As available/required, information meetings are arranged to inform and support parents of children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
  • - Parents are invited into school for a meeting following formal assessments by external agencies.




  1. How does the school know how well my child is doing?


Disabled pupils and those that have special educational needs achieve well from their starting point. Their progress is carefully checked so that any pupil that is falling behind is quickly identified and given help to catch up. (OFSTED June 2014)


  • - As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and age related expectations.


  • - The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed.
  • - Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through Review meetings with the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Class teacher, SENCO and Key Stage Progress Monitors. In these meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.
  • - When the child’s plan is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.


  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school?
  • - We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring and understanding team of staff.


Pupil’s welfare is a high priority. (OFSTED June 2014)


  • - The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the Headteacher/ SENCO for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services, and/or the Behaviour Support Team.
  • - The school also has Pastoral support - Mrs Lewis who supports the vulnerable children in KS2 at St Mary’s School, and Mrs Higgs who supports the vulnerable children in KS1.




  1. What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?
  • - As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear management, reward and sanction system that is followed by all staff and pupils.
  • - Incidents of concern are recorded on the safeguarding/wellbeing sheet and discussed at the termly Pastoral Meeting.
  • - Children for whom we have a high concern are discussed at staff meetings.
  • - If a child has behavioural difficulties an Individual Behaviour Plan is written in conjunction with the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets.
  • - After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour.
  • - Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Head teacher.


Attendance is higher than average and there are very few pupils who are regularly absent from school. (OFSTED June 2014)



  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
  • - Experienced SENCO who attends local network meetings.
  • - As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including: - Behaviour Support, Inclusion Support, Educational Psychology, School Nurse, Speech and Language Therapist, Paediatricians, Social Services.
  • - As needed, we liaise with EMAS (Ethnic Minority and Travellers Achievement Service) who assist us in supporting our families with English as an additional language.
  • - Parents are always consulted before involving external agencies.


  1. Will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
  • - All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will, whenever possible, provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
  • - A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure that health & safety will not be compromised.


  1. How accessible is the school environment?
  • - The main school building is wheelchair accessible with three disabled toilets large enough to accommodate changing. There is one shower. However the Year ½ block has a very small entrance, wheel chair access is not good and there are no disabled toilets.


  1. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?


  • - We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting.
  • - For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings.
  • - We write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult.
  • - When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits, supported by Teaching Assistants if appropriate.
  • - At our ‘feeder’ secondary schools they run programmes specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils.
  • - We liaise closely with Staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
  • - If your child has complex needs then a Statement review or an Education and Health Care Plan review will take place. This will be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.


  1. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s SEN needs?
  • - We ensure that the needs all children who have SEND are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
  • - We have a team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) who are funded from the SEND budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
  • - The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The Children who have the most complex needs are given the most support often involving TAs.


  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
  • - The class teacher alongside the SENCO will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.
  • - Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
  • - Data showing attainment and progress will be scrutinised.
  • - This will be through on-going discussions with parents
  • - This will be through discussions and reports from external agencies.


  1. How do we know if it has had an impact?
  • - By reviewing children’s targets and ensuring they are being met.
  • - The child is making progress academically against national/age expected levels.
  • - Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and pupil.
  • - Children may move off the SEND register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.


  1. Who can I contact for further information?
  • - First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns.
  • - You could also arrange to meet Mrs Doyle, the SENCO or Mr Bird the Headteacher.
  • - Look at the SEN policy on our website
  • - Contact South Glos Supportive Parents Group (


  1. Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?
  • - Contact the school office to arrange to meet the Headteacher, the Deputy Head teacher or the SENCO who would willingly discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs.


We feel that our daughter has been given the best possible start to her school life and has developed enormously academically and socially. (Parents of child with SEN – july 2014)


 School Local Offer – Document 2

Parents of pupils with specific difficulties are extremely positive about the way that their children are supported and the extra care that the school takes to make sure that their needs are met. (OFSTED June 2014)

St Mary’s Church Of England school is an inclusive school and may offer the following range of provision to support children with SEND.



Strategies to reduce anxiety/promote wellbeing (including communication with parents):

·        Meeting and greeting parents/carers in the playground at the start and the end of the school day by a member of the senior leadership team.

·        Open door policy by Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, SENCO and all teaching staff (as available) throughout the day.

·        Pastoral Support run by experienced Teaching Assistant (TA) who supports vulnerable children. Children are able to approach them independently, parent/carers can request support for their child or the TA may suggest that the child has an informal chat with them.

·        Lunch Time Club for vulnerable children.

·        Intervention from the Inclusion Support Service and Behavioural Support Service who are available to support children with friendship issues, improving self-esteem and developing children’s confidence. An experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistant is now able to deliver these sessions.

·        Play leaders from Upper KS2 support the KS1 children in the playground.

·        Educational Psychologist works closely with referred children and their parents/carers, and provides ongoing support in the form of school based assessments and meetings and regular telephone conversations.

·        Collaboration and communication with all external professionals involved with the children, as appropriate, eg hospital consultants, GPs, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioners.

·        All staff have up to date training in child protection.

·        Information about South Glos Parent Voice displayed in school office window and leaflets readily available.

·        Medical training as needed

·        Referral to School Nurse

·        Loan of sensory equipment from Jigsaw

Strategies to support/develop literacy including reading:

·        Small group reading support in class through guided reading and individual reading support out of class from TAs or volunteers.

·        Additional small group literacy support in class from class teachers and TAs.

·        Provision of resources to aid writing to include high frequency word lists, phonic sound mats, writing mats, writing frames, finger spacers, writing slopes, pencil grips, etc.

·        Out of  class targeted support for individual or small groups delivered by experienced TA

·        Early Literacy Support run by experienced TA.

·        After school creative writing club.

·        Penpals handwriting scheme

·        Nessy Phonic computer programme.

·        Toe by Toe and Precision Learning Phonic sheets for KS2 children

·        Coloured acetates to support dyslexic readers

·        Regular dyslexic professional training for all staff.

·        Reading Partners

·        If considered appropriate a dyslexic assessment from an external provider.

Strategies to support/develop numeracy:

·        Targeted small group in class support

·        Out of class - small groups or individual children for additional targeted numeracy support.

·        Pre Learning

·        Use of resources including Numicon and Cuisenaire rods.

·        Advancement of more able pupils through targeted teaching.

·        Nessy Numbers

·        Power of  2, Power of Times Tables

·        Springboard

·        Wave 3 Intervention Materials

·        Max’s Marvellous Maths

·        Beam Booster Materials

·        After school   maths club to support less able. (Year 6)

Strategies to support/modify behaviour:

·        Consistent whole school implementation of the school’s behaviour policy.

·        SEND registration of those children whose behaviour difficulties are persistent and constitute a barrier to their learning.

·        Behaviour Plan regularly discussed with child and monitored with parents.

·        Behavioural Reward charts

·        Referral to Access and Response Team

·        Referral to Family Intervention Support Service

·        Referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

·        Assessment by Educational Psychologist

·        Assessment and support from the Behavioural Support Team

·        Introduction of playpod at playtimes.

·        Professional Development for all staff – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Social Skills programmes/support including strategies to enhance self-esteem:

·        Time To Talk

·        Circle of Friends

·        Lunch Time Club

·        Intervention from the Inclusion Support Service who are available to support children with friendship issues, improving self-esteem and developing children’s confidence. An experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistant is now able to deliver these sessions.

·        Music Therapy session

·        Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning Programme taught.

·        Intervention from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

·        Referral to the Family Intervention Support Service

·        Celebration Assembly – in and out of school achievements.


Access to a Supportive Environment- IT, equipment, resources

·        Visual support to enhance understanding and facilitate access to the school environment and learning.

·        Pre teaching of concepts and vocabulary to enhance learning.

·        Use of Interactive whiteboards

·        Access to computers

·        Adaption to environment through installation of more disabled toilets, ramps, showering facilities, etc to accommodate needs.

·        Purchase of additional specialist equipment to address individual needs eg. Physio resources including trampoline, changing bed.

·        Individually tailored visual support packages for specific children including individual timetables and behaviour cue cards.

·        Provision of resources to enhance independent learning including sand timers, easy grip scissors, finger spacers, writing slopes, phonic sound mats and high frequency word lists, etc

·        Dual language signs in classrooms (as appropriate)

Strategies/programmes to support speech and language:

·        Assessment by and intervention from a trained Speech and Language Therapist.

·        Provision of small group speaking and listening skills - Time To Talk.

·        Delivery of individual/ small group speech and language therapy programmes as directed by Speech and Language Therapist.

·        Support for children with English as an additional language either individually or in small groups.

·        Support and advice from EMTAS.

Access To strategies/programmes to support occupational therapy/ physiotherapy needs:

·        Assessment by and intervention from an Occupational Therapist (OT)/ Physiotherapist.

·        Implementation of individual OT/Physiotherapy support and intervention programmes by allocated school staff, trained as appropriate for children in receipt of services.

·        Training of individual members of staff by the OT/Physio service in the delivery of individual OT and physio programmes

·        Fine motor skills group

·        Gross motor skills group

·        Individual sensory programmes

·        Provision of specific resources and equipment.


Mentoring Activities:

·        Circle of Friends

·        Use of talk partners during whole class and group learning sessions.

·        School Council

·        Play leaders from Upper KS2 support play in KS1.

·        Reading Partners.

Provision to facilitate/support access to the curriculum:

·        Small group work in class delivered by class teacher/TA.

·        1:1 support from allocated TA for children with statements of SEND  (EHCP)

·        Facilitate access to learning through the appropriate differentiation of tasks and activities.

·        Provision of specialist equipment or modified resources.

·        Extensive use of visual support.

·        Implementation of strategies and programmes devised by the educational psychologist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

·        Makaton training

·        Individual workstations

Strategies/support to develop independent learning:

·        Provision of individual/visual timetables

·        Provision of sand timers

·        Overlays to support Dyslexic children

·        Word mats

·        Keyword lists

·        Pre teaching of new concepts and vocabulary

·        Individual success criteria

·        Resources including finger spacers, writing slopes

·        Access to a range of practical resources eg numicon, unifix, dictionaries, etc

·        Clear understanding of children’s needs and consistent expectations.

Support/supervision at unstructured times of the day including personal care:

·        Trained midday supervisors supporting in the lunch hall and outside.

·        Play leaders initiating and supporting activities in the playground.

·        Individual lunchtime and playtime supervision where specified in the statement of SEND (EHCP).

·        Support by individual members of staff for children with special personal hygiene requirements.

·        Targeted support and supervision in the outdoor areas for children with disabilities.

Planning and Assessment:

·        Individual map of provision received each year and impact it has had can be found in the orange folders.

·        IEPs

·        Differentiated learning activities shown on planning.

·         Advice or guidance given by external professionals supporting individual children, incorporated into planning.

·        Learning Diary for Statemented Children

·        Referrals to external agencies as needed.

Liaison/communication with professionals/parents, attendance at meetings and preparation of reports:

·        Early identification of needs requiring referral to external professionals.

·        Team Around the Child meeting when child’s/family needs are assessed as significant.

·        Home visits

·        Referral to First Point

·        Regular communication and information sharing with extensive range of external agencies.

·        Regular progress meetings with parents/carers for which reports are prepared.

·        Sharing of professional reports with parents

·        Implementation by school staff of recommendations made and strategies devised by external professionals to support children and/or their families.

·        Annual review of Statements (EHCP)

·        SENCO attends meetings as needed.

·        Information afternoon/evening meetings as needed eg Dyslexia, Parent Voice

·        Parent Link (x 2 per week) run by an experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistant where Parents/Carers can discuss issues and concerns and obtain further information on where to seek help.

Access To Medical Interventions:

·        Information sharing between school nurse and SENCO.

·        Initial meetings with school nurse and parents of children with medical issues to establish child’s needs in school, and draw up care plans, where appropriate.

·        Staff training in the administration of support and /or medication for conditions including epilepsy, diabetes and epipen use. (as appropriate)

·        Liaison with medical professionals who provide ongoing treatment to children in school.

·        Photographs of children with significant medical conditions are displayed in the staff room kitchen and Lunch Break supervisor’s cupboard. Information is displayed regarding their medical condition, where relevant.

·        Implementation of risk assessment

·        All Teaching staff and TAs trained in First Aid, most recently Dec 2013.