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School SEN Details

Squirrel Hayes First School, Biddulph

Springfield Road, Biddulph, ST8 7DF


Please note that these details are as supplied by the school themselves.

How we identify and assess needs

Barriers to learning and behaviour or relationships can be a result of difficulties with cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social and emotional needs or sensory/physical disabilities or a combination of these difficulties. Where there is no prior history of special educational needs, a lack of progress in learning or persistent changes in behaviour and relationships may be evidence of the need for targeted additional support or an underlying special educational need. This can be evidenced through:

• Classwork including access, engagement and learning outcomes
• In-school assessments and tracking of progress
• Skills testing and observations by outside agencies
• Observations and patterns identified by teachers and teaching assistants
• Behaviour tracking and/or incident reports

When there are concerns about a lack of progress, social and emotional challenges or changes in behaviour and relationships, there may be informal discussions or meetings with parents about some short term catch up or pastoral support before a child is identified as having a special educational need.
Where early intervention has not had any impact, a child will be place on the Special Educational Needs register in school with a primary need identified, although exploration of additional needs will inform provision mapping. This is a plan of learning and/or pastoral support. This support will be monitored by the class teacher as part of their regular ongoing assessment and formally every term for reporting to parents and school leaders.

If you have any concerns about your child’s possible or identified special educational needs, you should bring them to the class teacher’s attention quickly. It may be that an informal conversation or communication around changing circumstances is needed or you may require a more formal or private meeting. There are different ways to communicate depending on the concern:

• Chat or phone call with class teacher and a log of your conversation will be made.
• An appointment made to speak to the class teacher away from the class with more time to explore your concerns.
• An appointment made with the class teacher and SENCo.

All school policies and related documents can be found on our website:

SEND Policy and other related documents

Squirrel Hayes School Policies

Teaching, learning and support

School analyses cohort and pupil needs each year to deploy teaching assistants, budget for resources and deploy the most appropriately skilled teachers.
Support is planned at a class, group and pupil level according to analysis of needs and school priorities.

All parents are involved in their children’s education as partners in learning though weekly homework, termly parents consultations and the end of year report.

The parents of children with special educational needs have additional opportunities for transition meetings, to discuss additional learning support and for liaison as needs change or require more support.

Children with SEND may be supported through a range of interventions following Staffordshire LA's graduated response:

• Pre-teach and catch up
• Precision teaching linked to assessment of skills (spelling, number, reading)
• 1:1 RWI phonics intervention
• Write from the start handwriting
• Visual or auditory memory work
• Speech and language advice
• Motor Skills United
• Sensory diets (sensory top ups or reductions)
• Positive Behaviour Plans

School provides interventions and support based on advice from agencies including:

• Early Years area SENCo
• Entrust SEND advisors
• Occupational therapy
• Speech and Language
• Behaviour Support
• Autism Outreach
• Educational Psychologist
• The Staffordshire Moorlands SEND outreach services

We believe that good practice for children with special educational needs is good practice for all children. Inclusive practice means that all children access, engage with and are supported to make good progress through first quality teaching supported by teachers as equal fair access. All children will benefit from and are not held back by:

• Dyslexia Friendly Practice
• Dual coding (picture support for communication and language)
• Oracy (language) scaffolding
• Singapore maths methods: concrete and pictorial methods in maths (using manipulative such as numicon, base 10 and bar modelling)
• Progressive short chunk learning and over learning for long term memory
• Opportunities to apply learning
• Flexible groupings
• Technology to support
• Scaffolding (short term and flexible support building to independent application)

Our approach to personalised learning is based on The Education Endowment Fund guide to best practice for special educational needs in mainstream schools with a focus on children with special needs having access to high quality whole class teaching.

We use Rosenshine’s Principles of Education, as a school wide consistent approach, to ensure clear curriculum access through carefully selected small step progression across the year groups from Nursery to Year 4. These principles are referenced in EEF guidance and support scaffolding for working memory and transference to long term memory. Learning is successful once it is in the long-term memory.

We dovetail Rosenshine’s Principles with Dyslexia friendly practice, Singapore Maths methods and Read Write Inc philosophies to scaffold and ensure independent application of skills. There is much overlap of good practice and Rosenshine’s principles and more subject specific approaches to learning.

Carefully planned interventions link to classroom learning for interwoven and transferable learning. We support learners to think and make progress within manageable challenge for aspirational outcomes.

Class teachers with a good knowledge of your child are best placed to plan intervention at school support level. Class teachers may take advice from the SENCo or the SENCo may support class teachers in response to analysis of data or school monitoring of books, support plans and lessons.

Class teachers and the SENCo may be supported by external professionals to plan support for children with more significant needs. This is coordinated by the SENCo in liaison with class teachers and parents.

School follows national statutory guidance for access to statutory assessments such as the Key Stage 1 Phonics Screener, Key Stage 1 Assessments and Year 4 Multiplication Test.

The school Governors and the Headteacher allocate resources from the School Notational Budget for special educational needs, including children with and without additional funding. Allocated resources can include staff training or bought in services.

When a child has an Education Health Care Plan or additional needs funding agreed after the school budget is planned, the Headteacher works with the SENCo to allocate those additional resources.

For most children with special educational needs, first quality teaching and planned intervention or pastoral support with assistance from the teacher and class teaching assistant will meet their needs. Some children will require advice from external agencies to plan more specific intervention or pastoral plans. Some children may need more significant support that require additional adults to meet their needs. School aims to deploy all adults to support additional needs whilst promoting and developing independence and aspirational targets.

For a child that has significant learning or social and emotional needs that have not been met after acting on two cycles of specialist advice, school will make and application for additional funding from the Local Authority. This is to support a child while an application for an Education, Health Care and Needs Assessment is undertaken or additional evidence for an application is gathered.

• The Local Authority decides on if this application meets criteria.
• School will liaise with professionals and The Moorlands SEND Hub to make and application for an Educational, Health and Care Needs Assessment.
• The Local Authority will decide on if this meets criteria.

After the Headteacher and Governing Body have approved the distribution of the Notational SEND budget allocation to school resources, class teachers and the SENCo plan support at a class and school level. The SENCo liaises with the Headteacher to allocate the agreed funded additional adults or sources resources and interventions detailed in whole school SEND planning or from external agency advice.

Class teachers plan initial interventions or pastoral support with short daily interventions by the teacher or class teaching assistant whilst still accessing quality whole class teaching.

For more specific support linked to assessed needs the support will be as specified in professional reports or agreed plans:

• The Staffordshire Moorlands SEND Hub may allocate additional resources such as outreach in liaison with the SENCo.
• The local authority may allocate additional funding or an EHCP once criteria has been met.

Parents will be involved in discussions about support when school has concerns about possible underlying needs.
Regular discussion will take place at key times in the school year:

• As part of a termly review of progress
• As part of an Education Health Care Needs Assessment application
• As part of a finalised Education and Health Care Plan.
• Parents are invited into school with and external professionals for an annual review of an provision and target setting.
• Where there is a change in needs due to circumstances or transition.

Parents have ongoing opportunities for informal discussions as part of our open-door policy when dropping their child off in the morning or via private messaging on our digital platform, Google Classroom, as part of our daily teaching and learning partnership working.

Our facilities and equipment are regularly evaluated in relation to the needs of the pupils that we have in school:

• Writing slopes
• Ear defenders
• Pen grips
• Reading overlays
• Wobble cushions
• Distraction free works stations

Outside agencies can provide more specialist equipment on a loan basis i.e. a Braille resources, specific chairs.

Assessment of learning and, where relevant, social skills is an ongoing cyclical process.

• In Reception and Key Stage 1, reading is assessed every half term so that progress is carefully monitored, and any support put in place quickly.
• Children are assessed in their learning and where relevant pastoral needs ongoing each week and updated termly.
• Assessment of attainment against age related expectations and a review of support plans and provision maps takes place termly.
• Assessment takes account of evidence of engagement in learning, progress in books, discussions, informal testing and standardised assessments.
• Assessments are reported to the local authority at the end of Reception and in the summer term of Key stage 1.
• Children take the phonics screener in the summer of Year 1 and again in the summer of year 2 if they do not pass in Year 1.

Teachers will report how your child is progressing against age related standards as well as their personalised small step targets at a termly review.
You may request an additional chat or meeting with the class teacher if you are concerned.

There are a range of ways to feed back or have additional communication:

• A quick catch up when dropping off or picking up your child.
• Communication through Google Classroom private messaging.
• A communication diary may be appropriate for children with significant special educational needs.

To keep communication accessible for all parents we:

• Have Dyslexia friendly newsletters and letters.
• Have a text messaging service.
• Have child drop offs and collections at the classroom door to the class teacher or teaching assistant.
• Have a home school link worker that can meet with parents to discuss any issues in a friendly and approachable manner.

• All children are set personalised reading, spellings and timetables or counting patterns as the building blocks that underpin literacy and maths for homework.
• All children are set optional weekly discussion homework so that you know what your child has been learning in class, you can be involved in their learning and to give additional opportunities for your child to transfer their learning links into their long term memory.
• School subscribes to quality evidence-based platforms for you to access additional phonics, reading and number programs.
• School shares your child’s additional needs learning map or pastoral plans with you for additional home support and partnership working.
• School holds workshops and will facilitate more individual support for accessing home learning and digital platforms; to support number work, spelling and reading.

How will my child be kept up-to-date on their progress, and involved in review processes? (IRR)

Children review their learning each lesson with a discussion about skills practised or developed and next steps. with the class teacher or teaching assistant.
Children with social and emotional challenges review their personalised target charts at the end of each lesson and day with the class teacher or teaching assistant.
Children complete an attitude to learning/well-being /self-esteem assessment with their class teacher twice and year. This gives a voice to the child and is informative for class teachers. Results from these assessments inform whole school, cohort and individual plans.
Children review their termly support plans with their class teacher.

School draws on a range of evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of provision for children with SEND including:

• Ongoing assessment and formal assessment of children and groups of children with special needs to analyse spikes and trends in provision.
• Feedback and audits from external agencies.
• Internal monitoring of lessons, books and pupil interviews.
•Twice yearly pupil surveys of well-being and self-esteem are completed one to one with the class teacher.

Keeping students safe & supporting wellbeing

All children come straight into their classroom between 8.45 and 9.00 with their class teacher or teaching assistant to greet them.

All children are collected from their classroom from a class teacher or teaching assistant. Children are called to leave when their parent, carer or after school club are seen and handed over to them. Children cannot leave with anyone other than their known parent, carer or after school club unless a password is given.

Lunch time supervisors and teaching assistants support children at lunchtime. A range of lunchtime clubs are accessible for children that want a quieter or more supportive opportunity to socialise.

All school events and activities such as P.E., sports day, visits or school productions are risk assessed and managed in an orderly way.

Children are involved in risk assessments and sign to say that they are aware of how to keep safe and how they are being kept safe.

Learners with special needs are encouraged and supported to socialise and to have a voice in lots of ways.

• Meet and greet at the start of the day.
• Learning and social and emotional check ins at the end of each lesson.
• Assessments of well-being and self-esteem twice a year.
• Supportive lunchtime clubs.
• Weekly health and relationships class assemblies with themes such as change, difference, responsibility and families.

Usually bullying behaviour is not done in isolation and there are roles within the bullying group that encourage the behaviour.
We work with children to identify these roles for the correct support and next steps.

School has a restorative justice approach to bullying where we work with targets and children involved in bullying incidents to empower vulnerable children and educate children that participate in bullying behaviour.

Our Anti Bullying Policy can be found on our website : https://www.squirrelhayes.staffs.sch.uk/school-policies/

We do not tolerate peer on peer abuse. More information can be found in our policy: https://www.squirrelhayes.staffs.sch.uk/school-policies/

• We provide buddies and supportive clubs for children at lunchtime.
• Teachers and teaching assistants are vigilant to children that appear isolated or have challenges with self-regulation or social skills.
• The class teacher and SENCo will formulate a support plan to meet a child’s needs if they need help to socialise or to self-regulate.
• Children with social and emotional challenges can be referred into behaviour support, trailblazers for in school counselling or a family support/early help referral can be made depending on the needs of the child or family.

We facilitate practical and procedural support for children that have medical or personal care needs.

• A care plan will be drawn up in collaboration with parents and the school nurse.
• Risk assessments will be in place to ensure that your child is safe and all necessary procedures and adaptations are in place so that your child can safely access and enjoy all in school and out of school learning activities.
• Details of who to contact and what to do in an emergency will be detailed on the care plan and risk assessment.
• Most staff are qualified First Aiders.
• Staff who provide medicine administration complete training that is overseen by the school nurse and follow the LA policy/DfE guidelines included within Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions, statutory guidance (DfE) 2014.
• Children that need time off school for medical appointments, medical arrangements or recovery can access remote learning that is set each day with feedback from the class teacher.
• For longer term medical arrangements school can work with the Education Welfare Officer to arrange technological assistance to access class teaching and remote learning for a more blended approach.

Social and emotional challenges are a barrier to learning, friendships and well-being. We have extensive support for behaviour at a class and individual level.

Our graduated response to behaviour support includes:

• Personalised now and next or focused target charts with linked check in reviews.
• Early Help and Family Support.
• Positive behaviour plans that look at positive proactive support that changes at the settled, bubbling and active stages.
• External agency support from Behaviour Support, The LA Inclusion Officer, The Education Welfare Officer or Autism Outreach.
• Referral into The Staffordshire Moorlands SEND Hub.

Links to external agencies

Squirrel Hayes School Policies

Looked After children (LAC) and LAC with SEND are supported by partnership working with Carers, The Virtual School and external agencies.
School will draw on support plans and funding for best outcomes linked to analysis of needs.
A personal education plan (PEP) will be drawn up to outline needs, support and outcomes for looked after children.
A provision map with needs, support and outcomes will be planned for previously looked after children.
School will make best use of any additional LAC, previous LAC or Adoption Funding for best outcomes for the child and may resource:

• Additional adult support
• Specialist intervention programmes as recommended by professionals
• Buy in support from specialist providers
• Training for staff

Working together

The best person to be informed about and plan high quality daily teaching for your child is the class teacher. This may be supplemented by SENCo and/or advice from outside professions.

If your child has special educational needs, they will be working with their class teacher and class teaching assistant.

• The class teacher will provide day to day learning, and resource and timetable daily interventions. The class teacher will plan and assess your child’s learning in line with the year group teaching and National Curriculum expectations.
• The class teacher or teaching assistant may support your child with the lesson input, to begin independent learning or to join in with paired or group work.
• The class teacher or teaching assistant may support your child with planned intervention.
• If your child is supported by external professionals, this will be coordinated by the SENCo who will ensure that the class teacher and teaching assistant are fully informed.
• The SENCo will also facilitate external support with your child's class teacher.
• If your child has additional funding, they may be supported more specifically by a learning support assistant as specified in learning plans formulated by professionals, the SENCo and the class teacher. Your child will still have equal access to the class teacher and whole class teaching.

All reports and information about a child are shared with class teachers and teaching assistants. Reports inform class provision maps and intervention timetables that are reviewed termly.

• Class teachers attend and contribute to multi-agency meetings to plan for children.
• Class teachers attend and contribute to annual education and healthcare reviews.
• Class teachers and teaching assistants attend training by professionals.

Staff have regular CPD for special educational needs including:

• Dyslexia friendly practice
• Sensory awareness
• Behaviour support
• Attachment disorder
• Autistic spectrum condition
• Disability awareness and equality
• School is developing further expertise in language and communication needs

Mrs Harris, SENCo, has a National SENCo award and a Specific Learning Difficulty qualification accredited by the British Dyslexia Association.

Ongoing review and action planning takes account of the needs of children and staff in the school to plan ongoing professional development.

The school is proactive in referring children to outside agencies to meet their needs, develop expertise and as part of our graduated response. We access a range of services to support children with special educational needs:

• Early years Forum and Early Years Area SENCo
• Entrust SEND support
• Staffordshire Moorlands SEND Hub
• Local Authority Educational Psychologist Support
• Occupational Therapy Support
• Behaviour support.
• Education Mental Health Practitioner support (Trail Blazers)
• Action for Children Counselling Support
• Visyon Counselling
• Virtual School for Looked After Children
• Autism Outreach
• Staffordshire Local Authority Hearing Impairment Support
• Social Services

Your class teacher is usually the first point of contact for support or to involve the SENCo or Home School Links Worker.

A meeting with your child’s class teacher and the SENCo or Home School Link Worker can be arranged within a week of your concern if it cannot be met by speaking to the class teacher.

Either speak to your child’s class teacher or contact the school office if you would like a meeting to discuss your concerns.

The school SENCo is Mrs Harris. Mrs Harris is also a full-time class teacher and deputy head.

• Call the school office or speak to office staff to arrange a meeting with Mrs Harris.

We have a dedicated SEN and LAC Governor, Lynsey Hurst. Lynsey brings a wealth of experience as an Ofsted trained SENCo across a group of pre-school settings.

Our SEND Governor Liaises with the SENCo and Headteacher (responsible for LAC) through review meetings and termly reports that are shared with the governing body.

• Children review their learning each lesson with a discussion on skills developed and next steps.
• Children complete an attitude to learning/well-being /self-esteem assessment with their class teacher twice and year.
• Children give their views about progress termly as part of their review of support.
• Children give their views for Education Health Care Needs Assessment applications and annual review.

Children are supported through discussion to give their view. They might:

• Show us what they are proud of and what they find hard.
• Select or discuss resources that they like to use.
• Draw pictures of friends or worries.

Support for thinking about and making aspirations known can include:

• Discussion, stories, pictures and taking note of thoughts that they share.

We have a school council with two representatives from each year group.

• School welcomes parent volunteers for reading support, educational visits and for school events.
• We have two parent governors that serve for four years. Parents are notified by an emailed and paper newsletter when we have vacancies.

For family support we have a Home-School Link worker, Mrs Oakes. Mrs Oakes can help in several ways:

• Support for filling in forms
• Signposting to other support services
• Early Help Assessments
• Referrals to the school nurse
• Referrals to family support
• Support for pastoral and friendship issues

Inclusion and accessibility

All children with special educational needs are included in activities that are accessible to all our pupils including:

• Extra-curricular clubs
• Educational visits
• Themed days and workshops

Additional support for these activities may include:

• Risk Assessments
• Adult support
• Social Stories
• Preparation for change
• Pictorial resources and check lists

Children can attend a fully inclusive after school and holiday club, Space Cadets, run by Crystal Morton: https://www.squirrelhayes.staffs.sch.uk/space-cadets/

We are partially wheelchair accessible:

• A wheelchair lift is available supporting access to and from the school hall for visitors, staff and pupils working in the Year 4 classroom, (there are stairs with handrails from the two main classrooms before accessing the wheelchair lift to the disabled toilet).
• Handrails are fitted to either side of the stairs to the hall from two classrooms and the main main toilets.
• There is a disable car parking space on the staff carpark. Arrangements can be made for this to be used for disabled pupils or parents.

• The school SENCo and key staff have had sensory awareness training. The SENCo is trained to complete a sensory diet plan.
• All classes have access to ear defenders, writing slopes, pencil grips, talking tins and wobble cushions to support inclusive teaching.
• A distraction free workspace can be facilitated depending of the amount of pupils with sensory needs in the class.
• School is committed to inclusion and equal access for all pupils, and seeks advice from parents and external agencies to improve access and remove barriers to accessibility.

As part of our accessibility plan, we have targeted areas to further develop accessibility to the environment and partnership working:
Curriculum and digital resources
Maintenance of facilities
Ongoing training for inclusive practice

• Where required, school uses widget pictorial, text and symbol and dual language resources for communication.
• Widget can be used for messages and simplified newsletters where English is not the first language.
• School utilises dual coding (pictorial support) to support language and communication barriers and as good practice for all pupils.

Joining and moving on

Contact the school office for any queries about admission places or to begin arrangements for your child to join our setting.
Following this, a transition pathway can begin.

A visit to our school can be arranged by calling the school office:

• To view the school as a prospective school.
• As part of a transition arrangement.
• As part of a family concern.
• We hold an Early Years open evening for new or prospective parents at the end of each school year.
• A school open morning takes place in the spring term each year.

For children starting in Early Years, home visits take place for an informal chat about your child. We also liaise with your child's previous setting. There is an open evening to come along and meet key staff and find key information about the school day, week and year. Children new to the school in nursery and Reception will have a staggered induction by attending shorter and fewer sessions initially.

For transition to their new class at the end of the school year, children spend two weeks in their new class with their new class teacher so that they can enjoy the summer holidays without anxiety, and we can be well prepared for the new school year. Some children will have the opportunity for additional visits before to the two-week transition supported by a photo book of key adults.

For children moving on to Middle School, there are many opportunities to visit the Middle school as part of planned transition between the Biddulph schools. School staff from each school meet to discuss attainment, needs, strengths and friendship groups.

For children starting part way through a school year, you will have the opportunity to look around the school with your child or without your child first if that is more suitable. You will then have a transition meeting with our Home School Link Worker, Mrs Oakes. We will liaise with your child's previous setting and ensure that they can get off to the best start with the correct support in place.

Additional information

If you require additional support or signposting to services:

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services (SENDIASS) offer information and confidential advice and support.

Our Home School Links Worker, Mrs Oakes, is a friendly face and listening ear with helpful suggestions and practical support to signpost you to family support services, or begin an early help assessment to get support services in place.

Our knowledgable SENCo, Mrs Harris, is available to support you with Special Educational Needs including behaviour support. This support can be with you and the class teacher for partnership working.

Call into the school Office to make an appointment with your class teacher, our SENCo or our Home School Link Worker.

Our SEND information report is updated each year at the end of February, in the Spring Term. This is the first version of the new SEND information report and it will be reviewed and updated or revised as required annually.

If you are not happy or have any concerns, please make an appointment to speak to the class teacher, SENCo, Home School Links Worker, Headteacher or any combination of these as soon as possible. It is much better to raise your concerns and work in partnership to have a better understanding or find solutions to problems.

We take your concerns very seriously and will do our utmost to help you. If your complaint cannot be resolved or you are not happy with the way that it has been dealt with, follow the steps in our complaints policy.

Specialisms, support and facilities


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