Orchard Park Primary School has an inclusive attitude towards learning. If additional support, interventions or adaptations are necessary these are made to the best of our ability in order to provide our children with the opportunity to fulfil their own personal potential. Currently we cater for children with a range of specific learning disabilities such as ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Global Development Delay and Dyslexia. We also have the facilities and accessible environment to be able to support children with physical disabilities, if required.
Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)
The current Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at Orchard Park is Mrs Bridges and she is employed at the school full time. Part of her time involves directly supporting individuals and groups of children, however each week she has time set aside to enable her to meet with parents/carers. She is more than willing to discuss concerns that parents/carers may have about their children’s learning along with the progress that they are making following receiving support or intervention programmes.
Support and Intervention
All pupils at Orchard Park are regularly assessed both formally (through assessments such as PiRA for reading, the Sandwell Test for Mathematics and SATs) and informally (through teacher and teaching assistant observations, conversations with children and the marking of work done in lessons). These assessments help to build up a picture of the progress that each child is making. Each half term meetings are held between each class teacher, the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher and the SENCo. At these meetings the progress being made by each child in each class is discussed. This is to ensure that all pupils are making strong and sustained progress in all areas. When progress is not rapid, changes to provision are made with support mechanisms being put in place.
If a child’s lack of progress is a concern, the class teacher will always inform the child’s parent/carer and when appropriate the child themselves, discussing how the school aims to provide additional support or intervention and how parents/carers can help at home.
Support or interventions at school might include adapting the curriculum, pre-teaching, providing additional learning resources within the classroom or receiving support or a planned intervention, either on an individual basis or as part of a small group. Some support may take place within the classroom to enable the child to access the lesson that is being taught. Planned intervention groups usually require children to be withdrawn from the classroom for between 10 minutes and an hour (depending on the intervention) for a specific period of time, to accelerate the children’s learning and to try to close the gap between their level of achievement and that of their peers.
At Orchard Park we believe in educating the whole child, which means that support is not only just focused on academic areas. If a child is in receipt of Speech and Language Therapy, time is provided for them to work either individually or in a very small group with a teaching assistant on the targets and activities set by the Speech and Language Therapist. Equally, if a child has social or emotional difficulties, help is also provided.
As well as the school contacting parents/carers if there are concerns over a child's progress parents/carers are encouraged to come into school and discuss this with their child's class teacher or the SENCo if they have worries about their child's learning. If the need for additional support is agreed then this will be provided as soon as reasonably possible.
If despite additional support within school, a child continues to make slower than expected progress, referrals to outside professionals will be made; the SENCo will complete the relevant paperwork in partnership with the parents/carers requesting the appropriate professional to either consult, assess or work with the child. Outside professionals who may work within school are: the Speech and Language therapist, Specialist Teachers, the Educational Psychologist, Blue Smile therapists or the School Nurse. Other professionals who may become involved with a child outside of school are the Community Paediatrician, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Doctors from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The support and intervention groups that are currently offered at Orchard Park are:
Better Reading Partners (BRP)
1:1 Literary Tuition
5 Minute Literacy Box
Stareway to Spelling
Personalised Literacy Curriculum
1st Class Number 1
1st Class Number 2
1:1 Maths Tuition
5 Minute Number Box
Personalised Maths Curriculum
Support for Social/Emotional Difficulties
Blue Smile therapy or mentoring
Silver Seals social skills groups
Red Hen Family Workers
Support for Children with Physical Difficulties
Handwriting/fine motor skill programmes
Pupils with a Special Educational Need or Disability
All children in receipt of additional support or interventions work towards achieving group targets. If a child is deemed to have a ‘High Need’ for SEND support they will also have a Pupil Passport on which personalised targets are written. These targets are reviewed and new ones are set termly with the parents/carers and the child.
Children with specific Special Educational Needs or disabilities will be monitored by the SENCo to ensure that any support or interventions provided are having a positive impact on their learning. This is done by ensuring that specific, relevant assessments are made at the beginning and end of any support or intervention groups in order to determine whether the additional help was beneficial for the child. The SENCo will also ensure that staff working with a child with an identified need are aware of their barriers to learning and plan to overcome these throughout each lesson. There are regular opportunities for staff training about specific Special Educational Needs and disabilities to enable the teachers and teaching assistants to deliver intervention programmes, make appropriate adaptions to the curriculum and learn about strategies that are proven to best support the learning of children with that particular Special Educational Need or disability.
If, despite receiving additional support and interventions, a child continues to make little progress and advice from outside professionals suggests that the child is in need of further support, the SENCo will apply for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). This is a replacement for a Statement of Special Educational Need. If a successful request is made, the EHCP will enable additional funds to be made available to help support the child even further – such as enabling a teaching assistant to work with the child on a 1:1 basis. If a child with an EHCP requires specific equipment to enable them to learn more effectively, further requests for this can be made to the Statutory Assessment and Resourcing Team and if agreed, funding will be provided to enable this to be purchased. Currently there are five children with Education and Health Care Plans.
At Orchard Park we like all of our children to take part in as much as the curriculum as practicably possible. This means that at times adaptations or specialist provision may need to be made. This extends to going on school trips; children with a specific Special Educational Need or a disability may need additional adults to accompany them or to be provided with separate transport to the coach on which the rest of the class are travelling. If it is possible to accommodate the necessary adaptations or provision, then we are prepared to do so to enable the child concerned to participate along with their peers.
Support During Points of Transition
Points of transition such as starting Nursery, moving into a new class or Key Stage or leaving Year 6 to go onto secondary school, can be emotional or difficult times for any child. However this can be particularly hard for children with a Special Educational Need or disability. We invite parents/carers of children with a Special Educational Need or disability who are due to start Nursery or move into Reception to transition meetings in the Summer Term before any transition takes place, asking about their concerns and how they feel their child can be best supported. This meeting will be held between the parents/carers, the SENCO, other relevant members of school staff and the Early Years Specialist Teacher if they are already involved. If it is deemed necessary, the child can make additional short visits to help familiarise them with the school. At this time, photographs can be taken to be used in a transition booklet for the child to look at during the summer holidays. Additional support for those children who find changing from one class to another within the school difficult will be made during the Summer Term. Again this will be in the form of transition booklets and additional visits into the new classroom to familiarise the child with the classroom layout and the new teacher. When children move onto secondary school, staff at Orchard Park meet with the new school’s SENCo, carefully explaining any areas in which a child with Special Educational Needs or disability may need additional support, along with how they have been supported during primary school.
Find out more
Parents/carers can also find out more information about Special Educational Needs and disability at Orchard Park by looking at the Special Educational Needs Policy on the school website.
Parents/carers may also like to look at the Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and disability in Cambridgeshire which details Special Educational Provision within the county as a whole by following this link: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
If Parents/carers would like advice about Special Educational Needs or disability the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (previously known as the Parent Partnership Service) is also a good source of information and can be reached by following this link: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
Should any parent wish to register a complaint concerning the Special Educational Needs and disability provision made for their child this should be made in the same way as any other complaint, following the procedures set out in the Complaints Policy which can be found on the school website.
Please click here for a document outlining the above.
Please click here for a copy of the SEN Policy