Special Educational Needs
Our SENDCO is Miss Andrea Warwick, who is supported by the Head Teacher Mrs Sarah Kirkbride
SEND support at Oughterside Foundation School
Our SENDCO is Miss Andrea Warwick, who is supported by the Head Teacher Mrs Sarah Kirkbride.
At Oughterside Foundation school we strive to meet the needs of all of our pupils. We ensure that every member of staff are aware of SEND within the school and engage with training to support our pupils. We also share high quality information and resources to help our staff support pupils with SEN, be that within the classroom or during break and lunchtimes.
We aim to quickly identify any pupils who are making limited progress and organise targeted interventions to support their learning. We value the benefits of working in partnership with parents; ensuring that parents are regularly updated regarding the progress of their child/children and have the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have at home. We feel communication with both parents and pupils is key to creating an enabling environment in school, where our pupils feel valued and understood.
Our school has established strong links with the Local Authority, Health Professionals and organisations within our local community. We utilise these links to ensure that our pupils are supported to learn and achieve. Oughterside Foundation School is developing its practices and improving provision regularly and consciously to meet the needs of our pupils. We aim to continue to strengthen our staff understanding of SEND across school to meet the needs of all pupils within our care.
When pupils are thought to have Special Needs, we seek advice from appropriate agencies. At times, it may be necessary for a Psychologist to assess a child’s progress in order to determine the necessary support. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to ask for a multi-disciplinary assessment of a child. This involves reports from the: School Medical Officer, School Nurse, Educational Psychologist, Headteacher, child’s teacher and any outside agencies involved with the child. A copy of the ‘Assessment’ is sent to parents with any recommendations for the future educational needs of the child.
Four Main Areas of Need
SEND is organised under four main areas:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning.
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Sensory and/or Physical.
If your child has been identified as SEND, it will be determined which of the four areas will be their main area of need. We promote the ethos of quality first teaching within school, to adapt and meet learning needs. We then follow the process of Assess – Plan – Do – Review in collaboration with parents/carers and, where possible, pupils, to determine the next steps for you child.
Below are some examples of needs within the four main categories.
Communication and Interaction
- ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition)
- Speech, learning and communication (SLCN)
Cognition and Learning
- Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) – such as Dyslexia, dyscalculia etc
- Mild to moderate learning difficulty (MLD)
- Severe leaning difficulty (SLD)
- Profound multiple learning difficulty (PMLD)
Social, Emotional, and Mental Health:
- Attachment Disorder
- Mental Health challenges such as: anxiety, withdrawn or feeling isolated, self-harming, depression/low mood, eating disorders.
Sensory and/or Physical Need
- Visual Impairment (VI)
- Hearing Impairment (HI)
- Multi-sensory Impairment (MSI)
- Physical Disability (PD)
If you have any concerns regarding any of the four areas of need, then please do not hesitate to speak to Miss Warwick or Mrs Kirkbride. You can also find more information and advice on our ‘support and groups for families’ tab on the website. A link to this can be found below:
How does Oughterside Foundation School Meet these Needs?
Supporting SEND in the Curriculum
We endeavour to ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities. We help pupils to achieve success within school, despite any barrier to learning or disability they may have. In order to ensure this happens across the whole curriculum we:
- Prioritise quality first teaching, with focused support, to help children with identified needs to access the curriculum for their year group. This is regularly monitored and continually developed.
- Ensure that teaching staff are aware of, and sensitive to, the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is most effective and considerate of their needs.
- Ensure non-teaching staff are aware of the needs of all pupils so they are able to support pupils during non-structured times, such as lunchtimes and breaktimes.
- Work in collaboration with parents/carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide effective support for each pupil’s specific educational needs and/or disabilities.
- To make suitable provision for children with SEND and fully develop their abilities, interests, and aptitudes so to gain maximum access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
- Ensure all children with SEND have to opportunity to participate within all activities provided by school.
- Promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels .
- Use enrichment activities to stimulate and motivate learning.
- Utilise specialist group support from outside agencies.
- Provide training within different areas of SEND to help support teachers to understand the deferring needs of pupils within our school.
A range of interventions are facilitated within Oughterside Foundation School to provide pupils with support for their learning. The type of intervention, and delivery, is very much dependent on the level of need of the child.
Current Interventions Include, but are not limited to:
- Targeted intervention and pre-teaching to bridge gaps within learning.
- Speech and Language Therapy sessions.
- Phonics catch-up sessions.
- Handwriting Support.
- Sensory breaks.
- Listening games.
In addition to this we have a range of interventions established to specifically support pupils with SEMH needs.
- Drawing and Talking - A gentle therapeutic intervention for children and young people that need an alternative to talk-based therapy, using drawing as a stimulus.
- Volcano in my tummy – Aids children to develop the necessary skills for anger management and communication of emotions.
- Decider Skills - CBT therapy session which can be used with both parents and children to develop the skills to express strong emotions effectively.
- Lego Therapy - LEGO therapy is a social development program that uses LEGO activities to support the development of social skills
- Sand Play – A non-verbal, expressive therapy session, especially useful for support younger pupils or pupils who are non-verbal.
- ‘My Time’ – Sessions to boost self-confidence lead by Family Action.
For further information about how Oughterside School supports the needs for children in all four areas please see the provision overview documents at the bottom of the webpage.
We currently use a dyslexia screener in school to identify pupil who may display traits of dyslexia. This screener is not a diagnostic tool so can’t provide pupils with a formal diagnosis. However, it can be used to help identify key areas of need, thus aiding in the decision making of both parents and staff as to how best to support your child’s learning.
Oughterside Sensory Room
Over the previous academic year, we have been developing a sensory space to provide children who struggle to regulate their emotions with a safe space. Within the area children are able to use the dark den to help ease sensory overload and have access to fidget tools, headphones, and weighted blankets. This room was purpose built within one of our KS2 classrooms to create an additional space within school. We will be continuing to develop this area over the coming year and adapting the resources to meet the current needs of our pupils.
Outside the sensory room is also an additional quiet area for pupils who may find it challenging to work within a busy classroom environment.
At Oughterside School we appreciate the impact that the transition to secondary education can have on all pupils, and especially those with SEND. We have worked to develop strong links with our feeder secondary schools and we will often attend the secondary schools for workshops throughout the school year. We will always strive to support our pupils as much as possible during this key time and have previously worked alongside the secondary schools to organise additional visits for those pupils who require additional reassurance. We also discuss the needs of our pupils with feeder schools to help them to ensure children continue successfully along their learning journey.
Our staff are continually striving to improve their knowledge and understanding of different areas of SEN so to meet the ever-changing needs of the pupils they teach. Staff have access to National College which hosts an array of different training webinars on various areas of SEN. We utilise these webinars as both a whole staff or for individualised training. We also regularly invite professionals in to school to lead staff training on key areas such as: Autism Awareness, High Quality First Teaching, and language skills.
At Oughterside school, we work closely with the specialist advisory teacher team and Educational Psychologists for our local area, whom we invite into school to work with our pupils. These professionals also provide staff with advice and training regarding effective support for pupils.
We also access support from the NHS, working alongside speech and language therapists, specialist trained nurses and community paediatrics whom provide parents/carers, and staff in school, with a greater understanding of how to meet pupils’ needs.