Bridekirk Dovenby Primary School’s Local Offer for children with
Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
Q: What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer is to assist parents in the important decision of choosing the best school for their child. It explains the provision for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) within the school.
It explains to parents what the school offers children with additional needs, including how they are identified, and also helps them to understand how services and extra support are accessed. We hope the following information will be useful to parents when making a choice.
At Bridekirk Dovenby School we are a fully inclusive school and we ensure that all of our children achieve their full potential in all areas of the curriculum, regardless of gender, ethnicity, social background, physical ability, religion or educational needs.
Q: How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs?
Children are assessed regularly within school using both paper and on line resources. Mrs Taylor (SENCo) has regular discussions with class teachers to discuss any children working below age related expectations. Further assessments, discussions or observations may be carried out to find out if any further support is needed. If the teacher/SENCo feels that a child has needs that require additional support to that provided in the classroom, then the child is recognised as having Special Educational Needs and an Individual Education Plan will be written by the class teacher. The details of this plan will be discussed at a meeting between parents and the class teacher and, if deemed appropriate, the SENCo.
Q: How will the school staff support my child?
At Bridekirk Dovenby School there are a number of Teaching Assistants who may provide additional support to the pupils who need it. A number of staff, including the SENCo and some Teaching Assistants, have a tremendous amount of experience in supporting children who need it:
eg.- Reading Intervention; Structured Reading and Spelling Scheme; Success in Spelling; Word Wasp Toe by Toe; Power of 2; Hatcher Sound Linkage; Precision Teaching; Autism Training at Level 1 and Level 2 and programmes to help develop skills for positive behaviour management.
Depending on the amount of support and resources your child needs, your child may be supported in the classroom, in a small group or individually. If, after in-school support, it is identified that your child needs more specific assessment or involvement from any outside specialist, then the SENCo will discuss this with you and seek your permission to proceed.
Q: How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
At Bridekirk Dovenby School, children’s individual needs are met through differentiated teaching activities within the classroom. We aim to be inclusive in all areas of the curriculum, however, on occasions children who require additional support may work on a specifically designed programme of study to help boost their achievement in reading, writing or number work. If deemed beneficial, your child may work as a member of a smaller group of children or individually in a room other than your child’s usual classroom.
These groups would normally be run by a teacher or a member of support staff who has be trained to deliver the programme.
Q: How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?
In addition to the normal reporting arrangements, parents’ evenings are held during the Autumn and Spring terms. At these appointments teachers will discuss progress that a child is making and how parents can support their child at home, if necessary. Additional appointments are also offered with the SENCo if a child has an individual education plan (IEP) which will give details of the targets, who will be supporting your child to help achieve the targets and when the targets will be reviewed.
IEPs are usually reviewed and rewritten every six months but, on occasions, they can be issued at the beginning of a term.
Parents are always able to contact teachers or the SENCo (either by email or telephone) to either discuss their child or to arrange a meeting at any time throughout the academic year.
Q: What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Bridekirk Dovenby School is classed by OFSTED as outstanding in personal development, wellbeing and behaviour. Our expectations in relation to behaviour are consistent across the school. All children are treated equally and rewards and sanctions are in place for appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. For positive behaviour the pupils can earn team points, be awarded the Golden Jumper in assembly or receive a sticker. For inappropriate behaviour pupils can have time removed from Golden Time and/or reductions in allocation of playtime. For children who repeat inappropriate/unacceptable behaviour in and around school, a meeting will be arranged with parents and next steps will be discussed. In some cases it may be necessary for a behaviour management plan to be drawn up by staff and this would be reviewed on a regular basis. Often support for the details of this plan would involve ideas from a Specialist Advisory Teacher and/or an Educational Psychologist.
At Bridekirk Dovenby School some children require a School Health Care Plan. These plans are written and monitored annually by Mrs Christina Brentnall (School Business Manager) to ensure that children with medical requirements (allergies, specific medical conditions etc) have their needs met by staff. The plan may include the administration of medication or advice regarding what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.
The Health Care Plans are displayed in the staff room and the child’s class register.
Child friendly IEPs are used in Reception, Key Stage 1 and Year 3. Whenever possible children are involved with the writing of the IEP and they are also invited to comment on the targets included in them.
Q: What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
The SENCo at Bridekirk Dovenby School is Mrs Fiona Taylor. She is also the Assistant Headteacher and she teaches Year 5/6.
Dr Kirsti Howarth is the Governor responsible for SEN.
We have two Teaching Assistants trained to deliver Reading Intervention and Structured Reading and Spelling Scheme. We also have Teaching Assistants with the skills and knowledge to support pupils with a specific language difficulty using Hatcher (Sound Linkage), Toe by Toe, Success in Spelling, Word Wasp or Numeracy difficulty with the Power of 2. A number of teachers and assistants have also attended the Autism training (level 1 and level 2). If it is decided that a pupil would benefit from expertise offered by an outside agency, then they would be referred to the appropriate person or team. Usually the support would be given by a Specialist Advisory Teacher or an Educational Psychologist.
Q: What training is the staff receiving or have completed to support children with SEND?
Staff training in relation to SEND is carried out on a regular basis depending on the needs of the children within the school. Recently, whole staff training on Makaton took place to support a pupil with speech and language difficulties, whilst many of our staff members have attended Autism 1 and 2 training to support a statemented pupil. On other occasions a member of staff will attend a specific course and feed back knowledge to the relevant staff on return to school.
Referrals can also be made to external specialists of particular areas of SEND by the SENCo. They will then come into school to observe and work with the child. They will then write a report which will provide staff with advice and strategies to support individual children.
Q: How accessible is the school environment?
Bridekirk Dovenby School is accessible for wheelchair users and there are disabled toilet facilities.
Handrails are present in some of the school corridors.
Q: How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
The Reception class staff carry out home visits once you have accepted the place for your child.
If a child is transferring to another school or setting, appropriate data is shared with the new setting. If the child leaving has Special Educational Needs, then the SENCo from Bridekirk Dovenby Primary School will contact the new school directly by telephone to discuss the needs of the child.
For Year 6 pupils transferring to Cockermouth School there are two intake days towards the end of the Summer Term. If a child has SEN or for another reason might take longer to settle into a new setting, then extra visit days are arranged by Cockermouth School. The Head and Deputy Head of Year 7 visit our school in the Summer Term to give the Year 6 pupils information about the secondary setting and answer any questions they may have. A member of staff from Cockermouth also visits to assess the reading and spelling levels for all the pupils transferring there. Where pupils transfer to other secondary settings, visit days are arranged, usually about the same time.
Q: How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The school budget received from the Local Authority includes money to support pupils with SEN on School Action and School Action Plus. This money is used to employ Teaching Assistants to deliver specially designed programmes to meet the needs of the specific children. Some of this support will be in the classroom, other will be small group support and individual support will also be given if necessary. The money received could also be used to buy specialised equipment if necessary.
Children who have a Statement of Special Needs will have their Education and Health Care Plan allocation money topped up with money from the school budget. This money will be used to pay for a Teaching Assistant to support the child for the number of hours stated in the Statement report.
Q: How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Each child is assessed individually following guidelines written in the SEN Code of Practice. The decision will be made based on the needs of the child and the professional agencies involved with providing support for the child. Children with Educational and Health Care Plans (replacing Statements) will be allocated funding as recommended in their plan.
The effectiveness of SEN support is monitored regularly by staff and Governors and the effectiveness of the support is judged. Core assessments are carried out termly for all pupils in school so the progress of children with special needs can be tracked alongside that of their peers.