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St Thomas More's SEN Provision & Practice
1. How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?
At St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School is a mainstream school, children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:-
. parental concern should be discussed with class teacher initially, then SENCo if required
. liaison with Pre school, Key Stage 1 and previous schools
. child performing significantly below age expected levels
. concerns raised by teacher, for example behaviour or low self esteem which is affecting performance
. liaison with external agencies
. diagnosis by health professionals
2. How will school support my child?
Our SENCo oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school. The class teacher will plan and work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made.
There may also be a Teaching Assistant working with your child, either individually or as part of a group; if this is deemed necessary by the class teacher and SENCo. Specialist Teaching Assistants may oversee or plan a programme of work appropriate to your child’s needs.
The regularity of support will be explained to parents when the support starts, at parent meetings and through your child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan).
The class teacher will meet with parents at least twice yearly (this could be part of Parent’s Evening) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress. Our SENCo is available four afternoons (Mon – Thurs) to discuss support in more detail.
How are the Governors involved, and what are their responsibilities?
The SENCo reports to the Governors termly to inform them about the progress of children with SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability); this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
One of the Governors is responsible for SEN, currently Mrs Catherine Davis, and meets regularly with the SENCo. 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.
3. 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?
All work within each 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 work set for the class, however on occasions this can be individually differentiated. SEN children also receive tailored interventions to meet their needs and provide additional support.
The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
4. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We offer weekly surgery appointments where you are welcome to make an appointment through our school office to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss how your child is progressing. 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 required, in some circumstances, we 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 – this should include positive comments.
If your child is on the SEN register they will have an Personal Plan which will have individual/group targets. This is discussed on a termly basis and parents are given a copy of the Personal Plan. 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.
If your child has complex SEND they may be part of an IPA (Inclusion Partnership Agreement) or have an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan – previously known as a Statement). This means a formal meeting will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written.
How does the school know how well my child is doing?
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. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Year R through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including Early Years Foundation Stage Profiles, National Curriculum levels, Reading and Spelling Ages.
Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through termly review meetings with the class teachers and Senior Leadership team. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression. If your child is discussed at one of these meetings, parents will be informed.
When the child’s IEP is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress each 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.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
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, understanding team looking after our children.
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 SENCo for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside external agencies.
The school also has an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who works, under the direction of the SENCo, with vulnerable children and parents during the school day. We also have a Family Liaison Worker who is available by appointment for further advice on parenting and support.
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 reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils.
If a child have behavioural difficulties an IBMP (Individual Behaviour Management Plan) is written alongside 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 by the Administration Office. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Head Teacher. Support is given through an incentive scheme where good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school.
How will my child be able to contribute their views?
We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is usually carried out through the School Council, where representatives from each class raise issues or give viewpoints gathered from their classes.
Teachers regularly discuss targets with those children who have Personal Plans.
There is an annual pupil questionnaire where we actively seek the view points of children especially concerning being able to speak to an adult if they have a worry.
If your child has an EHCP, their views are sought before any review meetings.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
All SENCos are required to undergo training and gain full accreditation of the National SENCo award.
As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual childrens’ needs within our school. These include:-
.Speech and Language Therapists
.Social Services including Locality Teams, Social Workers and Educational Psychologists
.Specialist Hearing Advisers
7. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Mrs Flanagan is our SENCO. All SENCos are required to undertake the mandatory SENCo qualification which will result in the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice.
Ms Miller, Family Liaison Worker.
Miss Griffin, ELSA.
In addition, a number of TAs have completed courses in Dyslexia and Dyscalculia awareness.
Class teachers and TAs with hearing impaired pupils in their classes completed course
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
We are an inclusive school. All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school. YES/NO?
9. How accessible is the school environment?
The school site is wheelchair accessible with a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing. The school is all on one level with ramps at specified fire exits.
We liaise with EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service) who assist us in supporting our families with English as an additional language.
10. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to another school for the next stage of their education?
We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting. For children with SEND we would particularly recommend this to allow them to acclimatise to their new surroundings. We encourage a ‘class buddy’ system for all children to provide new pupils with support in learning the routines of the school and to help develop friendships. Our ELSA will write social stories with children if transition is particularly difficult.
Transition to Another School
When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, visit days are arranged by the Secondary school in the Summer Term before transition. In addition, a number of Secondary schools also send Head of Year teachers and SENCos to our school to meet the children and to give them a chance to answer questions relating to the transition.
IPAs may also be written to further assist with arrangements from primary to secondary and this would involve a meeting with teachers from both schools, parents, the pupil and any other external agencies that were involved in the child’s care.
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.
11. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special education needs?
We ensure that all the needs of children on our SEN register are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available to us.
We have a team of TAs who are allocated to work with our SEN children and deliver programmes appropriate to their needs.
The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given the most support, often involving a TA.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will need?
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.
Parents will be kept informed by ongoing discussions throughout the year, using teacher surgery days, formal meetings or Parent Evening meetings.
13. How are parents are involved at St Thomas More’s? How can I be involved?
At our school parents are kept informed in a number of ways:-
. Parents receive our school newsletter on a fortnightly basis, informing them of news, key dates and upcoming events
. Parent forums are held on a termly basis to inform them of
. Parent’s Evenings, held twice yearly
. Annual school reports
. Teacher surgery appointments
We have an enthusiastic and hardworking ‘Friends of St Thomas More’s’ group which is made up of volunteers including parents. They are always keen to recruit more willing helpers.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns.
You could also arrange to meet Mrs Flanagan, our school SENCo.
Look at our SEN policy on our website.
Or contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) www.ipsea.org.uk
Our school website is www.st-thomasmores.hants.sch.uk
Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?
Contact our school Admin team to arrange to meet our Head teacher Mr Colin Flanagan who would willingly discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs.