At Highfields Primary School we take care to ensure that all children have an excellent start to their education, no matter when they join the school. We are committed to helping each child make the best possible progress. We use many strategies to support learning and we aim to ensure that our children enjoy and achieve in all areas of their personal, social and academic education.
However, whether in the Foundation Stage or later in the Primary classes, some children find it more difficult to learn and make progress. Children can have needs and difficulties that affect their ability to process their learning. For example, a child with emotional and social difficulties may have problems making friends or a child may have specific difficulties with reading, writing or maths. A child may have a disability such as a hearing or visual impairment. Children who are identified as having significant difficulties in school are categorised as having special educational needs or SEND.
Click on the questions below to find out more about what we have to offer.
Approximately 1 in 5 children nationally are identified as having SEN and a similar number will have a special educational need of some kind during their time at Highfields.
Every child's progress is measured continuously throughout each academic year in English (reading, writing and speaking and listening), maths and science. Whilst there are times when all children's learning slows or accelerates, we use this information to identify any children who may have difficulties.
The progress of all our children is discussed at pupil progress meetings which are held 4 times each year. Any child who seems to be struggling, whether academically or emotionally, will be discussed and a plan will be put into place. This may be to provide them with some extra support in a particular area (e.g. a reading intervention). If concerns persist, a child's class teacher will talk to parents about progress and will gain further information about the child's general development. Following this discussion, a decision will be agreed as to how we can support the child more effectively. At this stage they may be listed on the school's Special Needs register.
As a parent, if you have concerns about your child's progress, you are always welcome to make an appointment to talk to your child's class teacher or you can speak to our teacher responsible for special educational needs, (SENCo) Mrs Hubber. Working together and including your child in this process is vital in supporting your child.
If, after discussion and further support, it is felt that your child does have a special educational need then he or she will be placed on the special needs register and will have an Individual Education Plan. Wherever possible, your child will be involved in this decision. The IEP will outline just what school and home will do together to help your child to make progress in small steps and help them to gain in confidence.
The IEP might also outline interventions and additional support which will be targeted at supporting your child.
1. SEN Support
Any child who is not making the expected progress over time is placed on the SEN register at SEN Support. You will have already had a meeting with the SENCo and class teacher to discuss this and we will agree on some targets to support your child. We will review these targets together with you and your child four times each year and agree new ones.
Your child will continue to receive differentiated teaching from their class teacher, and may also be part of targeted interventions run outside the classroom in small groups or maybe have 1 to 1 support with a teaching assistant.
If difficulties persist, we will discuss asking a specialist teacher for advice that could help your child. For a child with a disability e.g. hearing loss, this will involve a specialist observing your child in class and providing the school with clear strategies to help them.
For children who are making slower progress than we would wish, this may include a specialist teacher from the Learning, Communication and Interaction Team (LCI) or the Educational Psychology Service, who will often carry out further assessments with your child. They are trained to make sure your child is comfortable and often the assessment is presented in the form of games. This helps to identify any specific gaps in your child's learning or helps to identify the best teaching methods to best suit your child's learning style. Using this advice, targets are modified and agreed and will identify the area which your child needs to work on and how we intend to help them to do this.
A child with an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously called a ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs) will have more significant difficulties, and will often need a daily timetable that is different from other children for some of the time. Children with very complex needs often have an EHC Plan.
An EHC Plan can only be given by Leicester City Council, and is based on your child's individual circumstances. Sometimes these children will have an adult assigned to them for some or all of the school day. This adult is trained to help your child achieve their targets. Children with an EHC Plan must have an annual review meeting. Together we will look at progress against last year's targets and any changes to the child's needs are discussed. All professionals working with the child will be invited to the annual review. If they cannot attend, it is expected that they will send a report that can be shared at the meeting.
All children at Highfields Primary including those with SEN receive teacher input via excellent classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching. Like all children in school, your child will be set targets and progress will be monitored.
If your child has additional needs, this would mean:
Class teachers are responsible for planning and delivering the curriculum for all the children they teach.
The teacher's planning will be differentiated for your child and show quite clearly how they can move through the levels at their own pace.
Your child might need to be in a smaller group, he might need to have additional resources to help him to learn by visual methods or he may need to work at a slower pace with more repetition. Whatever will help your child to learn and make greater progress (in terms of the curriculum) will be provided for him.
Your child's class teacher will assess your child's learning through all the work he does and check that he is making progress. The teacher and maybe the SENCo will then meet with you four times a year to look at this progress and to see whether he is meeting his IEP targets. Together we will decide on new targets. Sometimes we might need to work on certain targets for a little while longer. This will be discussed at our termly meetings.
Your child will be given homework that can be done at his own level with a little support from parents. If you are unsure about how much to help your child you are most welcome to come and ask the teacher.
The SENCOs often liaise with parents, through phone calls and meetings. They have a good understanding of individual children's needs and requirements. The SENCOs are available via appointment, during the day, for face to face meetings.
Highfields Primary School's most important resource is its generous staffing. The children are taught in whole class settings by qualified teachers. Children may be taught in smaller groups which means that teachers can focus more closely on children who have a learning difficulty. Their learning is pitched at the right level and hands-on resources are available for them.
Our teaching assistants are well trained in a range of interventions covering English, maths and emotional needs. They work with children either individually or in small groups to encourage progress. These interventions go on throughout the day and usually last for several weeks.
Children who have more complex or medical needs may have individual support all day to meet their range of targets, often set by external agencies e.g. a speech and language therapist.
Whilst children identified as having SEND are fully supported where required, it is also important to ensure that we provide your child with basic independent personal, social and learning skills. If your child does have a learning difficulty, he will be monitored continually so that we are familiar with his needs and also the aspects of learning, concentration or managing his emotions that he may have difficulties with during the school day.
Through either whole class, small group or 1-1 provision, these children are provided with strategies to assist them in their area of difficulty. They are also given the opportunity to apply these skills in relevant situations.
We celebrate success by focussing on what the child does well. All targets set for the children are individual and are achievable, giving the SEN children a chance to make success.
All children at Highfields Primary School have the opportunity to be a part of the the different Pupil Groups regardless of ability or need. At Highfields, we take a no-nonsense view to bullying and/or harassment.
Highfields can call on excellent advice from a range of external agencies. They give verbal feedback as well as written reports and often arrange to meet parents during the school day. If your child continues to make slower than expected progress we may ask if we can refer your child to an external specialist teacher or the educational psychologist. We will fill in special referral forms and you can describe your feelings about your child's needs on the form. This form has to have your signature on it before the specialist teachers can visit him in school.
Our external agencies are:
All school staff has training on how to support children with more common SEND issues. The Highfields primary team also includes some highly trained staff in particular areas. A child's class teacher are responsible for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, despite any special need they may have. However advice and support will be given by the SENCo and specialists from outside agencies.
The SENCo (Special Needs Co-ordinator) provides professional guidance to colleagues and works closely with staff, parents and other agencies. At Highfields this role is carried out by two teachers who are highly experienced in recognising different types of special needs and have significant knowledge about the possible needs of different SEND children and how they can best be supported with different teaching methods. These teachers are also responsible for meeting with specialists and ensuring a child receives the support they are entitled to. The SENCo at Highfields is Mrs Hubber (Y1-Y6) and Mrs Bolina (FS)
We have a team of well trained staff who have experience of supporting children with a wide range of needs.
At Highfields Primary, our team strengths include supporting children with:
Sometimes children with complex needs may require adults to have additional training. We aim to identify any requirements and ensure that the staff is trained in additional areas before working with a child.
At Highfields we try hard to plan trips and visits which are inclusive for all our children. We are happy to take buggies and wheelchairs to both local and more distant venues on a bus. We always check that the venue has a disabled toilet and take the necessary resources with us.
If in any doubt we will ask for your opinion about the suitability of the journey and take our lead from you as your child's parent.
We have always taken children with physical disabilities to the swimming pool and ensured that a member of staff is in the water to support them alongside the other children.
If your child struggles to follow instructions when in the street or in an open environment, we will make sure that there is a responsible adult to keep them safe.
Highfields Primary School aims to be inclusive to all pupils. We had our school environment assessed by pupils from a local school and put their recommendations into place.
Buildings and rooms are accessible to children with a physical difficulty via ramps.
Outside steps are marked with highlighted paint for the benefit of anyone with a visual impairment.
We provide an inclusive learning environment for children with a hearing or visual impairment.
Equipment and resources used are accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
Trips and visits are accessible for children with SEND
After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
Highfields admits many children during the school year, children of all ages. If your child has a special need we will discuss this at the admission meeting and the new teacher will be fully informed of his needs. It really helps when parents are open to school about their child's needs, especially older children who have been to school before. We really value advice that parents give us to support their child in school.
Your child will be informally assessed quite quickly by the class teacher. If there are any concerns we will contact you for a chat to share our thoughts. We will also arrange for any support or intervention that seems appropriate.
Whether children transfer between classes within the school or move to another school we ensure:
At Highfields Primary school, arrangements are made for supporting pupils in moving to their next phase of education. The school has strong links with feeder secondary schools. During the Summer Term, the SENCos meet with secondary SENCos to discuss the needs of the pupils transferring. Where necessary, extra visits are planned and secondary staff begin making links with transferring pupils.
We welcome parents into the school in a variety of different contexts. We have:
For further information please contact Mrs Hubber (Yr1-Yr6) or Mrs Bolina (FS) who will be happy to answer your questions.
Highfields Primary school is a Maintained school, which is in partnership with Leicester City Local Authority. You can find further information about the Leicester City offer below: families.leicester.gov.uk/send-local-offer