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SEND Local Offer

At Firthmoor Primary School we strive to support all children to enable them to achieve at school and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

What is The Local Offer?

The Local Offer is easy to understand information setting out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child. It is a guide to the services available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities aged from birth to 25. Our Academy Local Offer has been developed with parents, carers, and children with SEN and disabilities to make sure it meets your needs.

Darlington Borough Council have produced a Local Offer for parents and Carers of children with Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND). The purpose of the Local Offer is to ‘offer’ information for parents, in a single place, which helps them to understand what services they and their family can expect from a range of local agencies including:

  • what the law says they may be entitled to;
  • what is available for their child from early years settings, schools (including Academies and Free Schools), colleges and other services,
  • What is available from education, health and social care.

To access the local authority SEND Local offer and further guidance and support, please visit: Darlington Borough Council SEND Local offer

Our SEN Information report is based on the statutory Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0-25 and the following legislation: Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which sets out schools’ responsibilities for pupils with SEN and disabilities and The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, which set out schools’ responsibilities for education, health and care (EHC) plans, SEND co-ordinators (SENDCOs) and the SEND information report

To access the academy SEND Policy and Information Report, please click: SEND Policy & Information Report

The Special Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO) for Firthmoor Primary School is:  Mrs Helen Irwin

The Designated Teacher for looked after and previously looked after children is:  Mrs Ann Dixon, Headteacher

How does Firthmoor Primary School know if the children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

All children are assessed when they enter our academy through age appropriate tasks, so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children. Children’s progress is constantly monitored by teachers and the Senior Leadership Team but if you have any concerns then the class teacher is the initial point of contact. If further advice is needed, please contact our SENDCO, Mrs Irwin

We are aware that children may have a learning difficulty or disability if:

  • a concern has been raised by parents/carers, teachers or child
  • they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for other children of the same age.
  • they are making significantly less progress than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • they fail to match or better their previous rate of progress

How will I know how Firthmoor Primary School supports my child?

Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class. Children with Special Educational Need have School Support Plans, detailing strategies, interventions and targets to support your child. We take into account the views of both the pupil and parents.

Termly meetings are held involving key staff to assess and review the effectiveness of the support and interventions in place. If the child has been identified as requiring additional support, more specialist assessment may be called for from specialist teachers or outside agencies, such as Speech and Language, CAMHS or behaviour support.

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education and at Firthmoor Primary School we have an open door policy which welcomes parents to discuss any concerns they may have about their child’s education.

Children’s progress is shared through;

  • discussions with the class teacher throughout the year
  • parents evenings and individual education plan meetings. Parents are encouraged to include possible suggestions and strategies for support.
  • discussions with the SENDCO, Headteacher or other professionals
  • annual reports to parents

How is the curriculum matched to my child?

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class. High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEN and is differentiated for individual pupils. Teachers respond to children’s needs by:

  • differentiating tasks so that all children can access a broad and balanced curriculum
  • providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy;
  • planning to develop children’s understanding through a multi-sensory approach and varied experiences;
  • specific resources and intervention strategies implemented to support your child individually and in groups
  • where appropriate, specialist equipment is provided to support your child

Targets will be set according to the child’s area of need and written on a plan. These plans are regularly monitored by the class teacher and SENDCO.

How will you help me support my child’s learning?

Your child’s class teacher will meet with you to discuss how to support your child with strategies set in their individual plans. If any outside agencies are involved with your child’s support plan, suggestions and strategies are provided that can be used at home.

To support parents with children’s learning, home learning tasks set by each class teacher. We ask that parents read with their children, daily if at all possible. From time to time, we hold parents’ meetings which focus on a specific curriculum are, e.g. tables learning or phonics and attending these is another key way that parents can support learning in school.

How are schools resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Needs?

Funding for SEN provision is allocated each financial year and is used to provide additional support or resources depending on the needs of the individual. The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year. Resources may include deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances

What support will there be for my child’s wellbeing?

In our academy, we aim to provide choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community and offer support by;

  • ensuring that all children are supported socially and pastorally by staff, who know the children well
  • having a high ratio of staff to children with one Teacher and access to support staff in each class.
  • offering a wide range of activities within school to support their social and emotional development such as school visits, educational trips and links with the community.
  • delivering PSHE across the whole school as part of the curriculum. PSHE contributes to personal development by promoting social and emotional aspects of learning.
  • reviewing and implementing our Medication in School policy which supports parents/carers with the management of their child’s medication within school.  Staff regularly undergo training in key areas such as asthma, diabetes and the use of Epipens.
  • providing staff with the relevant training to support a child’s specific needs. The school also has trained first aiders within school, including paediatric first aid, and at least one will be present on any visit outside of school.
  • promoting positive behaviour by reviewing and implementing our Behaviour policy and ensuring that this is communicated effectively to staff and pupils
  • promoting and celebrating excellent attendance and providing support and interventions where needed

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

Our academy will identify sources of support as they develop and evolve as the Local Offer is defined through Education, Health and Social Care (including the establishment of joint commissioning arrangements). All of our staff are trained to educate in key areas of the curriculum and also in identifying and supporting children with specific difficulties around learning, child development and social and emotional problems children may experience.

We seek to respond quickly to emerging need and work closely with other agencies including:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Local NHS services – Health Care Visitors/ School Nurse/Paediatricians
  • Multi-agency safeguarding hub
  • Social Services
  • Local Authority staff
  • Therapists such as speech and language, physiotherapists and occupational therapists
  • Behaviour Support
  • Child Protection Advisors

We work with other agencies closely, by liaising with them on a regular basis. This liaison ensures that all of a child’s areas of needs are addressed. We have a clear point of contact within the academy who will coordinate the support from outside agencies for each pupil. Most often this will be the SENDCO or designated key worker. All relevant professionals are invited to the child’s annual review

How accessible is the school environment?

At Firthmoor Primary School, we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. The building is all one level and includes:

  • Ramps into the school to ensure accessibility for all
  • Wider entrances and doorways throughout the building
  • Three toilets adapted for disabled users
  • Sound systems in the main hall
  • Use of computers, Ipads and Surface Pros enable all children to have access to varying technologies
  • Resources, equipment and learning aids to support children in school

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

Firthmoor Primary School is an inclusive academy with a high level of commitment to ensuring that members of staff have the skills needed to support the needs of our learners. Whole staff training to disseminate knowledge, strategies and experience ensures consistency of the school’s approach for children with a SEND. The SENDCO provides in-house training on developing IEPs and around specific requests from staff, or as necessary to support a particular child or group of children. Where necessary, specialist training is brought into the school staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class

Staff members have been involved in training that has included sessions on:

  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Specific learning difficulties (such as, dyslexia)
  • Specific medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, eczema, epilepsy)
  • Occupational Therapy Training specifically linked to sensory needs
  • First Aid Training (Paediatric First Aid, Emergency First Aid, Administering Medication, Anaphylaxis Training and using a Defibrillator)
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Handling children in a positive way (Team Teach)
  • Working with children with Hearing Impairments
  • Working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Supporting children with specific learning difficulties impacting on their reading, writing and maths learning

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including off site visits?

We are fully-inclusive and all children attend all events and trips and are encouraged to take part in all activities both within and outside of school. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. Where necessary, extra support will be provided to ensure full participation by all children and parents are fully-informed as to the trips and activities open to every child. If it is deemed that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required the Academy may ask the parent or carer to accompany their child during the activity.

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Firthmoor Primary School or transferring to a new school?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. No child will be refused admission to our academy on the basis of his or her special educational need, ethnicity or language need. When joining Firthmoor Primary School, we encourage parents and children to visit the school and meet their new teacher prior to joining the school. A member of the Senior Management Team will either show the child and parents around school or be available to answer any questions 

Supporting pupils with transition to other schools

We will share information with the school, academy or other setting the pupil is moving to. We will discuss and agree with parents and pupils which information will be shared as part of the transition to ensure that the setting is prepared to fully support the needs of the pupil. With the support of the SENDCO, if additional visits are necessary these will be arranged by the parent/carer and the new school.

Pupils moving to others schools and academies, in particular transition to secondary education, will have an induction period or a short visit to their new setting. We will support pupils by inviting visitors from prospective secondary schools to talk to pupils about transition to a new school and what they can expect. Our SENDCO, Mrs Irwin, will liaise with the SENDCOs from the secondary education setting to pass on information regarding SEN pupils.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the SENDCO or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

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