Care, Respect and a Commitment to High Standards

St George's CofE School aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice.

Above all, our aim is to make St. George's School a happy place, where your child will want to be, where their personal strengths and weaknesses will be recognised and their work will be tailored to reflect their individual needs.

 

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SEND Local Offer 

In light of the new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice (September 2014), St George’s CE Primary and Nursery School have prepared the following, to outline our ‘local offer’- the provision and capacity we have to meet the needs of children with additional needs.

Our school’s local offer goes along with the local offer that Cumbria County Council provides for meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and Difficulties. To find out more about what is available through the Local Authority click here.

 

Children with very significant or obvious needs are often identified before they start school. For others, we use different ways to help us to spot those pupils who may need extra support to make progress in their learning.

We use detailed tracking and assessment each half term. We also use our professional judgement through watching the children in the classroom and talking with other staff.

We very much value the opinions of those who know the children best- their parents and carers. In using all of these tools and professional conversation, we can see quickly which children may need support.

If you have concerns about your child’s progress or development, speak to their class teacher to start with.

Class teachers are responsible for the education of all the children in their class. Class teachers plan the work for the class with each child in mind, carefully setting tasks to help all children to make the next steps in learning. This is true for children with SEND too. Some children might need an individual learning plan.

The class teacher will make this, with help from Mrs Whitworth. She is the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (known as ‘Inclusion Manager’). Parents/carers will help plan this too, maybe with tasks to work on at home too.

Where it is most helpful for the child, they may be supported by an adult; this help could be in the classroom, working 1 to 1 or in a small group.

There is a SEND Governor within the governing body, and this person meets regularly with the Inclusion Manager.

Most of the time, all pupils follow the same curriculum in terms what they learn about.

Children are set work and activities matching their own level.

A child with very complex or unusual needs may need what they learn about to be changed a lot but they will still be learning about things which reflect the work of the other children in their class.

All parents and carers get a school report once a year for their child. There are chances for parents/carers to meet with their child’s teacher once a term to talk about next steps and set targets together with school staff.

For some children with SEND, we will make an individual support plan or behaviour management plan to help everyone who works with them to meet their needs. Also, pupils with profound, lifelong needs may well have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Parents/carers will be invited to come and join in with yearly reviews of their child’s plan. Other professionals and agencies outside of school may help parents/carers in supporting their child if this is best for the child.

As well as all the more formal support we have talked about above, chats with school staff on the playground and on the phone are a key way of knowing about the progress and learning your child is making. If you want a longer talk following these short catch-ups, we can often plan this.

For parents/carers who want to develop their own learning or parenting skills, we run parenting, literacy, maths and family learning courses. We also do sessions to help you understand parts of your child’s learning.

For example, we have helped parent/carers to understand how we teach phonics or solving problems in maths. Some parents have also come into school on their own to work with their child and school staff.

This helps them to better understand how their child is learning a particular skill.

The social, emotional and mental wellbeing of pupils is really important to us as a school. This is because it is very difficult for children to learn if these needs are not being met. This sort of support is through your child’s class teacher and class team to begin with.

If your child needs more help with this, we have staff that focus on these parts of your child’s development. This includes Mrs Albery, our Pastoral Mentor and Mr Riley our Care Worker. It also includes Mrs Thomson and our behaviour lead.

Our behaviour staff work with other school staff and parents/carers to help promote positive behaviour in school and at home. We always try to be very clear and fair with children. We recognise their maturity and needs when we see unwanted behaviour.

We also spot and reward good behaviour. If attendance or lateness is a concern, we speak to parents/carers quickly about this. If we can, we find practical ways to support parents if there are barriers or reasons for poor attendance or lateness.

For example, we might assess if the family meet the criteria for using the school minibus service. We run a wide range of out-of-hours learning clubs and activities. These include sports, crafts, and study clubs as well as a reading club with a simple breakfast before school.

These clubs are fully inclusive, and play a big part in promoting the overall wellbeing for our pupils.

If children have personal care or medical needs, these are met in a dignified and sensitive way. If your child needs regular medication in school, this is kept safely in a locked cabinet. It is given by staff who also fill in a log for your child’s medication. Any children with personal hygiene or self-care needs are helped in a discreet and sensitive way which matches their age, level of understanding and needs.

If children need showering or changing at school for medical reasons, we have fully-accessible facilities to do this.

Our staff are very strong and experienced in meeting the needs of lots of different needs children have. We have a wide range of skills and qualifications to help us do this. We can also get support from other people who don’t work in school for children who need it.

These people have specialist skills or qualifications and can help and advise school staff and parents/carers:

  • School health- school nurses, health visitors
  • Community Paediatricians
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Specialist Advisory Teaching Service
  • Educational Psychology
  • Action for Children
  • Social care

School staff have the following skills, qualifications or areas of experience:

  • Our Inclusion Manager, Mrs Whitworth, has classroom teaching experience, has worked with small groups and 1 to 1, and works frequently to deliver specific support to groups and individual pupils. She also has the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.
  • Mrs Wood has a Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties (sometimes called Dyslexia), three members of staff trained in delivering Reading Intervention.
  • Many staff with level 1 Autism Awareness, some staff with level 2 training.
  • Mrs Thomson and other staff have qualifications in promoting positive behaviour, conflict resolution and trained in use of restorative justice.
  • Mrs Thomson is trained and experienced in teaching children about personal safety and protecting themselves from all kinds of abuse. 
  • Mrs Albery, our Learning Mentor is a qualified counsellor, trained in mental health awareness.
  • All staff are trained in ‘Makaton’ signing, three staff trained in ‘ELKLAN’ speech and language awareness.
  • All staff trained in Paediatric First Aid

All staff trained in Safeguarding and Child Protection Level 1, with two staff at Levels 2 and 3

The school is on a site which slopes a lot. This means it has some challenges for wheelchair access. However, the school had a £3 million rebuild a few years ago, and this has helped a lot.

It was designed to meet and exceed the most up-to-date requirements for disability access. The building is fully wheelchair accessible apart from 2 small office areas, which are in an old, listed part of the school’s structure and can’t be changed. It has platform lifts to allow for easy access.

There are several wheelchair accessible toilets and there are changing facilities for those with limited mobility. We have made the auditory accessibility of the building better, including lots of acoustic boards to reduce echoes. Visual stress is kept as little as possible through careful decoration.

We have coloured filters, paper and exercise books for the children to use if they need them. We use a pastel background colour on the interactive whiteboard as this is easier to look at than bright white.

For parents and carers whose first language is not English, we take care to make sure school letters and other writing is easy to read. We can sometimes translate information too. For parents and carers who find reading or writing difficult, we support as much as possible through reading letters to them, or making information accessible in other ways.

We take extra time to check we understand each other too. If needed, more support in meeting the needs of parents/carers can be given by the local authority or other professionals.

Resources include materials, teaching equipment and spaces, computer and technological equipment, and of course staff. The resources are given out according to need, and are reviewed very frequently- at least half termly, but as needs change this can be more often.

Matching of skills and experience of staff is really important in deciding where staff work. All classes have at least one full time support staff.

There are some other staff who don’t work in just one class but have the job of working with and supporting children right across school. This is not just for those pupils with SEND, but for all pupils.

This very much depends on the how severe and complex your child’s needs are. Many children who may or may not have SEND access short term support to help them make good progress. This could be by working on a tricky skill or practising something they are finding hard.

If this is what happens to your child, we would usually informally share with you that this has or will take place through one of the parents’ meetings or school reports during the year.

If we or you, as parents/carers, feel that your child’s needs are longer term and more complex, or your child fails to make the progress we would hope for with this short-term additional support, we would think about whether your child has a special educational need.

We may well request further support and advice about this from a professional outside of school. With you, we would plan out support for them. This is, of course, within the constraints of budget and availability of resources that all schools have.

We know how important times of transition are for all our children and their families. We work closely with other settings to make sure any changes into or from the school are as smooth as possible. We are very flexible in our approach too, meaning if a child has needs that mean he/she needs more transition support, they will get it. Particular activities or practices which take place include:

  • Home visits for all new children- on entering Nursery or Reception class, your child’s class teacher and support staff will come and meet with you in your home. For older children joining the school, members of staff will arrange home visits within the first few weeks of your child starting, giving you a chance to talk about any concerns. These visits also let your child see how closely parents and school staff work together to support them.
  • Meet the teachers meetings for children starting at the beginning of Reception class or Year 3- these give you an overview of school life and help you understand the kinds of learning your child will be doing.
  • For children with Education, Health and Care Plans, phase transition meetings with parents/carers and staff from both settings allow for a carefully planned move.
  • Taster visits to new classes- all children have at least two afternoons with their new class in July before they start in September.
  • Children moving up to secondary school have transition work which runs throughout years 5 and 6; secondary school staff make regular visits to the school to get to know children and also for handover meetings with key staff including the class teacher and Inclusion Manager so needs can be discussed.
  • Children with additional needs who would benefit can go on several bus journeys to practice using the bus to get to their secondary school and spend increased time at their secondary school to get used to their new environment.
  • Learning Away Camps for year 2 moving to the Juniors and year 6 children from primary schools across Barrow.
  • Mr Herbert - Headteacher
  • Mrs Whitworth - Inclusion Manager
  • Mrs Thomson - Lead Behaviour Person
  • Mrs Albery - School Pastoral Mentor
  • Mr Riley – Pastoral Care Worker

In the first instance, do come in and chat to us - we will try really hard to sort out any problems or concerns that come up.

If you are still not happy with our response, please ask to speak to a more senior member of staff, and if necessary we have a clear complaints procedure.

This information was reviewed in October 2016.  It will be updated in October 2017, or sooner.

Click here for a link to Greengate Street Surestart Centre
 

Any parents who have any questions or concerns about statements or EHCP's can contact SENDIAS (previously Parent Partnership).

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