Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND)
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 or make an appointment to speak with our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities co-ordinator Mrs A Hubber.
Highfields Primary School Information Report which is part of the Leicester local offer For learners with SEND
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.
2. Education and Health Care Plan (Statement)
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:
- That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
- That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and understand.
- Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.
- This may involve things like using more practical learning.
- Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or outside agencies) are in place to support your child to learn.
- Your child's teacher will have carefully checked on your child's progress and will have decided that your child has gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support and intervention to help them to make the best possible progress. This may mean that they are taken out of their class for a short while during the week, as an individual or small group to work on carefully planned targets.
- Your child's targets are recorded and reviewed termly.
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:
- Early Years Support Team: 0-5 years old
- Learning, Communication and Interaction Support Team (LCI Support Team) 5-16 years
- Social Emotional and Mental Health Team (SEMH)
- Educational Psychologist (EP)
- Speech and Language therapy (SALT)
- Hearing Support Team Visual Support Team Health Visitor/School nurse/ Single point of access (Children's health services)
- Occupational therapist
- McMillan Nurses
- Family Support workers
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.
Learning Support Assistants / Teaching Assistants
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:
- Emotional/social difficulties
- Reading, Writing or Mathematical difficulties
- Difficulties with receptive or expressive language
- Physical disabilities, multisensory difficulties, mobility
- Complex Needs- Down Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Physical and medical needs
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.
Leicester City Local Authority Local Offer
Although Highfields Primary schooi is part of the Attenborough Learning Trust , we still work 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