At Birchfield School we are committed to ensuring that all children become independent learners and reach their full potential. We aim to identify children’s individual and specific areas of need early and make provision to support them and remove any barrier to learning.
How does the school identify if a child has Special Educational Needs and how will I be informed?
At Birchfield School we take a graduated response to identifying when children have special educational needs and we focus on identifying additional needs as early as possible.
The children’s academic progress is tracked through regular teacher assessments If we identify that a child is making less than expected progress, the teacher will discuss this with you and the Inclusion Team will support them to ensure the work is differentiated and appropriate to your child’s level and needs. If your child continues to make less than expected progress despite additional intervention and support in class, then they may be identified as having additional learning needs. When children are identified as having additional learning needs, they make be supported through a specific intervention programme.
We also identify children as having Special Educational Needs if they are working significantly below expected levels for their age. Where this is the case, children may work with an external agency such as PSS or the Educational Psychologist to make further assessments and observations of their needs. Children may be identified as having a Special Educational Need if they have a specific health diagnosis from a Paediatrician.
In addition, children are identified as having Special educational Needs if there are concerns regarding their behaviour, self esteem, concentration, attitude and they need extra support from a mentor to help improve this.
Finally, concerns raised by a teacher or parent/carer may lead to a child being identified as having Special Educational Needs if additional support is required to address the concerns.
Usually if a child is identified as having a Special Educational Need, the parent or carer will already know that the teacher has concerns. You will receive a letter from the Inclusion Leader explaining that your child has been put on the Special Educational needs database and the reason why.
Who should I talk to if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?
The Classteacher or Year Group Leader
The class teacher is responsible for ensuring every child in their class receives high quality first teaching within the classroom environment that is adapted and personalised to meet the individual needs of every child (this is also known as differentiation). They will also monitor the progress of your child and plan for any additional support they may have. They are also responsible for ensuring your child’s individual needs are shared with, and understood by relevant staff. They should also be communicating regularly with you to discuss your child’s needs and progress.
The Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion
The Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion (also known as SENCo) at Birchfield School is Mrs Cara Rose. The Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion is responsible for coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and ensuring the school’s Inclusion and SEND Policy is implemented in order to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school. They will also liaise with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Pupil and School Support service or Educational Psychology.
Deputy Head for PACT Inclusion
Amanda Shotter is the DHT for Inclusion across the Prince Albert Community Trust. She is responsible for ensuring the best possible provision is put into place for all children with SEN in order for them to achieve outstanding outcomes. If your question cannot be answered by the classteacher or Assistant Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion, they will discuss it with the Deputy Head for Trust Inclusion in order to come up with a solution. Mrs Shotter works Monday to Thursday and is part of the Central Support Team.
We pride ourselves on listening to and building positive relationships with our parents and carers.
How will school support my child
We aim to provide personalised provision tailored to each child’s individual needs. As far as possible we ensure that this provision comes through the high quality first teaching they receive through their day to day learning experiences in the classroom. Sometimes children require additional support through an intervention which may be as part of a small group or on their own. These interventions may be delivered in addition to the classroom learning experiences by the child’s teacher, a member of the Inclusion Team or a member of the support staff.
Someof the interventions that we use are:
- Precision Teaching
- Words First
- Wellcomm language programme
- Speechlink or Languagelink
- Dancing Bears reading programme
- Apples and Pears spelling programme
- Action Words for reading and spelling
- Fine Motor skills
- Gross Motor skills
- 1:1 mentoring or group mentoring
- Dynamo Maths
There may be times when a child needs more expert support from an outside agency such as Educational Psychology, School Nurse, Speech and Language Therapy. Referrals for such support are discussed with parents and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. Very occasionally, the outside agency will complete a programme of work with the child in school but more often they provide targets and activities for the child to work on in school and at home.
Occasionally, a child may need a significant amount of support in order to meet their complex needs. This will often be provided in the form of 1:1 support from a Senior Inclusion Support Worker for at least part of the week. Usually, children who need this level of support will have or be applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The types of SEN that we support are:
Cognition and Learning
- How your child thinks, learns and understands their world.
Communication and Interaction
- How your child talks to, listens, responds, plays and learns with other children and adults.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
- How your child shows their feelings, negotiates and solves problems in different situations and handles changes of routine.
Sensory and/or Physical needs
- How your child responds to their environment and learning using their senses and any diagnosed medical issues.
How will I know how Birchfield School supports my child?
Your child’s teacher will talk to you about their support and they will meet with you on a termly basis at Parent’s evening to discuss and review your child’s needs, support and progress. You can also request a meeting with the class teacher at another time if you need to discuss further concerns or questions. Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan will have an annual review each year.
Each child will have targets set by the class teacher or Learning Mentor. The targets will be adapted to reflect the pupil’s individual needs. A copy of these targets will be sent home to parents.
If your child is supported by a Senior Inclusion Support Worker, they will talk to you about their support and progress on a regular basis. Mrs Rose is available for further information and discussion.
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. We make formal assessments four times a year. Pupil progress meetings are held three times a year. This is a meeting where the class teacher meets the Assistant Headteacher responsible for the phase with the Head or Deputy Headteacher to discuss the progress of the pupils in their class. This shared discussion may highlight any concerns so that further support can be planned. The class teacher also continually assesses and monitors each child and notes where further support is needed, making a referral to the Inclusion or Pastoral Team if needed.
In addition, Intervention groups are reviewed regularly and usually run for 6 weeks at a time. Interventions are all recorded on a provision map and they are reviewed every 6 weeks to see how well they are working. Sometimes, we will decide to continue with an intervention for longer than 6 weeks. At other times, we will decide to change the intervention or stop the intervention work altogether.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Class teachers are regularly available in the playground at the end of the day if you wish to talk to them about your child’s progress or raise a concern. You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at parents afternoon. Mrs Rose will also be available for you to speak to at Parents Evening. If your child is supported by a Senior Inclusion Support Worker, you will be able to speak to them on a daily basis.
Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to Mrs Rose via the school office or using the contact details above.
What can I expect to happen during meetings about my child’s additional needs?
You may be invited to discuss your child’s needs at regular times throughout the year. If you have concerns or questions between scheduled meetings, you are welcome to contact the school at any time to arrange an appointment.
Key staff will be invited to attend the meetings, including outside agencies where appropriate. You are always welcome to bring someone with you for support. The meeting will usually be held in a quiet room in the school and staff will attempt to make this as informal and relaxed as possible.
The purpose of the meeting could be to:
- Review your child’s current targets and set new ones together.
- Review your child’s EHCP, if they have one (this will take place annually).
- To inform you about your child’s progress and suggest ways in which you could support them at home.
- To gather more information from you in relation to your child’s needs.
- Provide an opportunity to meet with outside agencies who may work with your child (for example – Educational Psychologist).
- To use a person centred approach to support your child at important transition times.
The Special Educational Needs Disability Information Advice and Support service is an organisation that provides impartial advice, support and information to parents and children with SEN or disabilities about all aspects of special educational needs, in order that parents can make informed decisions in relation to their child’s education. SENDIASS can be contacted on 0121 303 5004.
How is the Board of Trustees involved in supporting families of children with Special Educational Needs?
TheDeputy Headteacher for PACT Inclusion reports to the Board of Trustees every term to inform them about the progress of children with SEND; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times. The Board of Trustees agree priorities for spending within the Inclusion budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress.
A designated member of the Trust Board liases with the Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion and the Deputy Headteacher for PACT Inclusion to ensure that the Board of Trustees are informed about provision, progress and well-being of our children with SEN.
If you have concerns about how school deals with your child regarding any SEN issues you can discuss these with the Head of School.
What are the admission arrangements for children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities?
The school admission policy is applied to all children with SEND and no child is refused admission on the grounds of SEN, disability or medical conditions. When children start at Birchfield School, an induction meeting is arranged where information about the child is shared. This meeting will involve parents/carers and any other professionals who are working with the child. This information will then be shared with school staff. This supports the school to make informed decisions about the nature of the provision required to meet the child’s needs. A phased or amended school day may be offered at the beginning of the induction process.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. We have a large Inclusion and Pastoral team including a Pastoral Leader, Learning Mentors, Playworkers, Senior Inclusion Support Workers, and sports coaches. All of these members of staff are available for children who wish to discuss issues and concerns
The Learning Mentors run a variety of well being groups targeting social skills, self esteem, emotional well being and anger management. Children who find lunchtime a struggle will be able to have a pass to access the Pastoral room.
Pupils with medical needs
At Birchfield School, we aim to ensure that all children can be fully involved in all aspects of school life, regardless of any medical conditions they may have. If your child requires medication in school, we are usually able to support with administering this medication. If your child requires medication during the school day, you should speak to the school office or Mrs Rose and complete the relevant paperwork. On a day to day basis the school office oversee the administration of any medication and Mrs Saiyed/Mrs Begum/Mrs Paul manage the medicines that are kept in school.
If your child has a complex medical need, you should discuss is with Mrs Rose. She will work with yourself, the school nurse and any other medical professionals involved to compile an individual health care plan. These plans are discussed with all staff who are involved with the child. If special arrangements or facilities are required to support your child’s medical needs, you should speak to Mrs Rose who will arrange for the special arrangements to be made, in conjunction with Mrs Shotter. Full details of how we support children with medical conditions can be found in the policy on the school website.
All staff have regular training regarding conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff are able to manage medical situations. There are a number of first aid trained staff in school.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Your child’s teacher will suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning through parent workshops that happen each term. They may suggest additional ways of supporting your child’s learning through a note in the reading diary, at parents’ afternoons or by arranging a meeting with you.
In addition, a member of the Inclusion or Pastoral Team may meet with you may meet with you to discuss how to support your child’s learning, behaviour or emotional needs.
Outside agencies or the Educational Psychologist may suggest advice or programmes of study that can be used at home if they have worked with or assessed your child.
Parent/carer workshops and coffee mornings are arranged by the Inclusion and Pastoral Team throughout the year, sometimes with invited guests, to encourage an open and relaxed forum where advice and ideas can be exchanged.
How does the school get more specialist help?
At Birchfield School, if we feel a child needs more specialist help we can work with a range of outside agencies. We may need your permission before some specialists will become involved with your child.
Agency or Service
Who they work with
BCC Educational Psychology Service
Dr Cherelle McDonald
Children who require or may require statutory assessment.
Children who have an EHCP that needs reviewing.
Children with more significant learning needs.
Independent Educational Psychology Service
Dr Anita Soni
Children with more significant and complex learning needs.
Provide school staff with advice on teaching strategies, resources, individual and whole school training
Pupil and School Support (PSS)
Provide school staff with advice on teaching strategies and resources, individual and whole school training to support pupils with difficulties in language, literacy and Maths.
Individual assessments of pupils who are not making progress in language, literacy and maths and advice on next steps.
Speech and Language Therapy Service (SaLT)
Children who are referred by the GP or school who have specific speech or language needs. Provide school with advice on work that can be carried out in school as well as providing specific programmes in clinic.
Communication and Autism Team
Children with social and communication difficulties or a diagnosis of Autism.
Provide individual and whole school training for staff with advice on teaching strategies, resources for pupils with Autism.
Sensory Support Service
(HI) Victoria Carter Harris
Children with visual or hearing impairments. Provide school with advice regarding resources and strategies to support children with sensory impairments
Physical Difficulties Support Service
Children with gross motor skill difficulties.
Provide school with advice regarding resources and strategies to support children with physical difficulties.
Provide advice and support for staff working with individual children with health needs.
Child Development Centre
Forward Thinking (formerly CAMHS)
Children with specific mental health issues e.g. anxiety/ depression.
What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or will be having?
In the school year 2016-17 most staff had level one training in autism awareness. There has also been training on delivering speech and language support to all children, and including all children in learning activities, as well as a number of drop in sessions with a SEND focus hosted by the Educational Psychologist. In the current school year the focus has been on developing the skills of staff who are working with small groups of children with SEND, and all staff are working on developing skills in delivering reading, and activities to engage all children in a more inclusive environment.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All school activities and school trips are available and accessible to all children. Children are never excluded from a school activity unless parents specifically request that they don’t take part. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. For off site visits, where appropriate, we will access support from the Physical Difficulties Support Service and our outdoor activities consultancy service, Shapestone Outdoor Consultancy.
If a health and safety risk assessment suggests that that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent or carer may be offered the opportunity to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual school staff. However if you cannot attend your child would not be excluded from the trip.
How accessible is the school curriculum?
The school curriculum is designed to be inclusive and personalised activities are designed to support the individual needs of children. In line with the SEN Code of Practice the class teacher leads on SEN for their teaching group and will take advice from the Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion and from other agencies. There may be some amendments to lesson planning to which will take into account the individual needs of the child, and this will usually be recorded in the class provision map or one page profile. Support may be offered by the class teacher, by a teaching assistant or by a member of the Inclusion Team. Accessible resources that support individual needs are made available when needed.
How accessible is the school environment?
As a school, we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Current facilities in school include:
- Level access to main building
- Electronic double door access to main building
- Double doors in most parts of the building.
- Automatic doors where appropriate.
- Lift to first floor in main building
- Lift to first floor in new block
- Toilets adapted for disabled users
- Staff members who speak most community languages
The Inclusion Team and leaders for health and safety work together, conducting termly accessibility walks to ensure the school environment is as accessible as possible. We are actively planning further improvements to make the school more accessible and have an up to date Accessibility Plan, which you can access here.
How does the school enable children with SEND to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEND?
All children are given the opportunity to participate in all school activities. Children with SEND are actively encouraged to join in with out of hours learning opportunities and wow experiences. Where children or parents are anxious about participating in a particular activity, school staff will support parents through informal discussions. In addition, a familiar adult may support the child in the activity.
How will we support your child through transitions?
Before your child starts at our school, we will arrange to visit your child in their existing setting at home if they are not attending school or pre- school. In addition we will arrange transition visits that are staggered at times of the day to meet the needs of the child eg after school, during class time. When your child starts at our school, if it would support their needs and you are in agreement, we will start them on a part time timetable for as long as is appropriate.
When they are moving to a new school where possible, we will liaise with the new school to arrange transition visits to the new school, with a familiar member of staff if appropriate. We can usually support your child by arranging for a member of staff who they are familiar with, to go with them but we may need to ask you to arrange your own transport to the new school for these visits. The Inclusion Team will also share all information with key personnel at receiving school which includes transferring your child’s file securely. Where possible, we will arrange a review, centred on the needs of your child and involving yourself, staff and relevant agencies when appropriate (Person Centred Review).
When your child moves into the next class their new teacher will be informed of your child’s likes, dislikes and what works best for them using a One Page Profile. They will bring a copy of this home over the summer holiday. If they are in Reception to year 3 and have complex additional needs, they will also have a transition book, which they will bring home to work on with you during the summer.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational needs?
We have a large Inclusion and Pastoral Team who are able to support children with SEND and deliver interventions to meet individual needs. We aim to ensure that all children who have Special Educational Needs and disabilities are supported to the best of the school’s ability within the funds available. We have an Educational Psychologist who is employed by the school for two days per half term to further support children with SEND and the staff working with them.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The class teacher or Assistant Headteacher for the phase will discuss your child’s needs with the Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion and what support they feel your child needs. The Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion will observe your child in class and in the playground and may conduct some individual assessments. The Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion will discuss your child’s needs and the support they require with the Deputy Headteacher for PACT Inclusion and a plan to best support your child will be put in place.
Different children will require different levels of support in order to close the gaps in their learning. The support provided for your child may need to change from time to time. When there are any changes needed in the support, they will be discussed with you. You will be notified if your child is receiving one to one or small group support outside of the classroom. Any support will be reviewed regularly and therefore may change during the academic year or in future year groups.
How are pupils with Special Educational Needs involved in their own education?
All pupils are involved and encouraged to take part in their own learning journey, this may be through:
- Developing and achieving targets
- Attending parents’ evenings with parents
- Self-assessment and evaluation
- All children are encouraged to speak to members of staff if they have a concern or worried about anything.
- Working with Learning mentors
- Pupil Voice/School Council
- Pupil questionnaires that are completed at least annually.
- Pupil conferencing
Children identified with SEN additional needs are also involved in:
- Annual Review Meetings
- Developing their One Page Profiles
- Setting and reviewing their targets
- Person Centred Review meetings at key transition times
How are parents of children involved in the education of pupils with special educational needs?
All parents are encouraged to actively contribute to their child’s education. This may be through:
- ·Discussions with the class teacher
- ·Parents’ evenings
- ·Contributing and attending annual reviews, sharing information in reports
- ·Attending parents’ workshops, class assemblies
- ·Attending other meetings about the child in school
Who can I contact for further information?
- Your child’s class teacher
- The Assistant Head teacher for your child’s phase
- Nursery and Reception – Mrs Howell
- Y1 & Y2– Mrs Turner
- Y3 & Y4 – Mr Aldred
- Y5 & Y6 – Miss Malik
- Mrs Rose (Lead Practitioner for SEND and Inclusion)
- Mrs Shotter (Deputy Head for PACT Inclusion)
- Mrs Thewlis (Head of School)
Appointments can be made with any of these people through the school Office. Tel: 0121 464 5661
How can I make a complaint?
If you are not happy with the provision and support in place for your child, you should contact Mrs Thewlis, Head of School or Mrs Shotter, DHT for PACT Inclusion in the first instance. The school complaints policy can be found on the school website.
How can parents/carers find the Birmingham Local Authority’s Local Offer for SEN?
You can find the Birmingham Local Authority’s local offer by clicking on the link below