Special Educational needs
St. Louis Academy
Special Educational Needs:
How we support children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities
“By recognising Jesus Christ in ourselves and others, our school strives to be a living Christian Community which values and nurtures each individual through a sound education and encourages responsible attitudes towards our changing world.”
Information about support services and local opportunities for children and young people with SEND can be accessed through Suffolk Local Offer/Infolink:
Please follow the link to access the school’s SEND policy:SEN & Disability Policy 2018-2019 (95 downloads)
The Policy provides detailed information about how it is implemented at St. Louis Academy.
Admission arrangements are in accordance with the school’s current Admission Policy. According to our admissions policy, “The Governors are required to admit children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan which names St Louis Academy as the school appropriate to their needs”. The Head and Governors will make every reasonable effort where/if possible to accommodate and provide for the specific requirements of a child with SEND. Every decision regarding a child with special educational needs and/or disability will only be made based on the best interests of the child concerned and the ability of the school to serve those interests.
Categories of SEND
In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice reforms (2014) there are four recognised categories of SEND:
- Communication and Interaction (including Autistic Spectrum Disorders)
- Cognition and Learning (Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Specific Learning Difficulties)
- Social, mental and emotional health (including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Sensory and/or physical disabilities
Definition of SEND
A child is considered to have special educational needs or disability if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability that means he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than most others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.
There are several indicators that a child may require additional support to make adequate progress in school, including the following:
- Limited progress compared to peers starting from the same baseline
- Slow rate of progress compared to previous rates of progress
- Widening of the attainment gap between the child and their peers
Awareness of the child’s difficulties may highlighted through several indicators:
- Child performing below age expected levels
- Concerns raised by parent
- Concerns raised by class teacher
- Consultations between class teachers and head teacher where progress data is discussed.
- Liaison with external agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapy Service
- Health diagnosis through a paediatrician
- Liaison with previous school or setting, if applicable
Information for parents who are concerned about their child’s progress in school
In the first instance contact your child’s class teacher. The teacher may make the decision to involve the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for further advice or information or you may contact the SENCo directly yourself by making an appointment through the school Reception office.
Who will explain my child’s needs and progress to me?
The class teacher will meet parents on a regular basis (this could be as part of parents’ evenings) to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress.
The SENCo will arrange to meet parents as necessary to discuss issues relating specifically to the child’s special educational needs or disability.
How will school support my child?
The SENCo oversees and monitors the progress of any child requiring additional help across the school.
The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with special educational needs or disabilities in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made.
The class teacher and support staff will use a provision map to record the support your child is receiving and evaluate the success of any interventions.
A few children will have an Individual Support Plan with specific individualised targets to ensure progress.
Children are consulted at a developmentally appropriate level to enable personal involvement in identifying targets for progress and recognising their achievements in working towards these targets.
How do teachers match the curriculum to an individual child’s needs?
Class work is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children can access it according to their specific needs. Typically, this might mean that in a lesson there would be up to three different levels of work set for the class, however on occasions this can be individually differentiated for a specific child.
The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
Who will support my child?
The class teacher will be responsible for ensuring that your child makes progress in every area.
The SENCo will monitor progress and co-ordinate provision of additional support from external agencies.
Teaching Assistants work in class to offer additional support to groups and individuals as directed by the class teacher. Some of the teaching assistants in school specialise in a specific area and these staff may work with the class teacher to implement specific interventions to meet children’s needs.
Learning Support Assistants support individual children to enable them to reach their full potential.
Support from External Agencies
St. Louis Catholic Academy has close working relationships with external professional agencies, whose specialist knowledge and advice enhance children’s learning and wellbeing. These agencies include:
- Speech and Language Therapy
• County Inclusion Support Service
• Occupational Therapy
• Educational Psychology
• Advisory Specialist Teachers
• Schools’ Nursing Service
Specialist support is usually available through fee paying traded work. The Class teacher, SENCo and Head of School work collaboratively to organise this when a requirement for additional support has been identified.
The new building in our school is fully accessible for children with physical needs, as there are ramps throughout and a lift to the first floor for easy access as well as accessible toilets. The organisation of classes within the old building would be reviewed to facilitate access for children with physical needs, as necessary. All staff have access to SMART Boards and visual timetables are available. In addition, specialist equipment or resources can be adapted or ordered for individual children as and when they are deemed necessary.
We aim for all children to be included on school day trips and residential stays. We will provide the necessary adaptations, having consulted with you, to ensure that this is successful. A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised.
Emotional and Social Development
The school offers Drawing and Talking therapy for children who may require pastoral and emotional support. The SENCo has completed the Counselling Children and Adolescents Diploma Level 4 qualification, endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme.
Drawing and Talking provides a therapeutic method of working with children. They can express, in a visual form, worries and preoccupations from deep in the mind. Drawings enable symbolic and safe expression of worries and feelings that a child may be unable to consciously talk about. Over time, with an empathic adult giving the child attention and talking to them in a gentle and supportive way, the child can create a story through their pictures that ‘sorts things out’ and enables them to move on.
The school has a bullying policy and code of behaviour, which has been developed with the children.
The school has an e-safety policy:e-Safety Policy 2016-2017 (100 downloads)
Before your child moves between classes, their current class teacher will meet with their new class teacher to share information and records. This enables the new class teacher to be best prepared and aware of any adaptations necessary for your child to make transition as smooth as possible. Transition booklets are prepared with the children as required so that they can familiarise themselves with their new environment and staff throughout the summer holiday. A transition visit is arranged at the end of the summer holiday when the child can see their new classroom and meet their teacher.
Prior to transition between our school and secondary schools, the secondary school SENCo will meet with our SENCo and class teachers to discuss your child’s needs and may offer your child a series of transition sessions at their new school.
Any complaints about provision for children with SEND should initially be dealt with informally, with the child’s class teacher. Should this not resolve the concern, parents and carers are able to make an appointment to see the SENCo to further discuss their concerns in a collaborative manner focused around the child’s needs. The SENCo can be contacted via telephone, written letter or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Should any concerns remain unresolved after such a meeting, the SENCo will recommend the parents meet informally with the Head of School. If the concerns cannot be subsequently resolved to the parents’ or carers’ satisfaction, then the formal complaints procedure can be followed.
Named Contacts (Key Staff)
Executive Head Teacher Mrs Teresa Selvey
Head of School Mr Nick Kerin
SENCo Mrs Karen Bryan
SEND Governor Mrs Julienne Whipp