How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs

A Melrose Learning Trust School

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

Early Identification of Need

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we aim to identify children who have any difficulties as soon as possible so that appropriate support can be given from an early age. Full use is made of information passed to the school when a child transfers from early education provision and we use assessments during the Early Years Foundation Stage to identify pupils and any difficulties they may have.

Other strategies used by our teachers to identify SEN include:

  • Discussion with parent/carer to see if they have noticed anything/have any concerns
  • Ongoing day-to-day teacher assessment and observation
  • Progress measured against the Early Learning Goals in the Foundation Stage
  • Performance measured against National Curriculum age-related expectations, particularly in English and Mathematics
  • Standardised screening or assessment tasks (e.g. Reading/Comprehension Tests)
  • Results from Statutory Assessments (end of Years 2 and 6) and Teacher Assessments in Years 1, 3, 4 & 5

All children at Easington C of E Primary School are reviewed for their progress termly. At the end of each term children are assessed and progress against their outcomes is reviewed. In termly pupil progress meeting between Class Teachers and the Head Teacher, individual children’s progress is discussed along with any additional requirements.

If a teacher has concerns relating to any aspects of a child’s academic, social or emotional progress they will approach parents for a meeting. During this meeting a short note will be completed. This is simply a record of the meeting, and actions to be taken. This is reviewed regularly to ensure progress is being made and appropriate intervention in place.

SEN Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we continue to follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review‘.

This means that we will: 

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

We use ongoing and termly assessment strategies as listed above to identify individual needs. This is carried out by staff who know the children, and who work together to identify progress and to identify gaps in learning. As mentioned above, this may be documented on a short note or, as support progresses, a support plan may be put in place.

Short note and support plan outcomes and interventions are planned and recorded by the appropriate adults (Teacher or Support Staff). Different children require varying levels of support to achieve age related expectations, and we expect that parents/carers would work with us and alongside any other appropriate external agencies to ensure this happens.

All outcomes are reviewed, at minimum, each term and parents are invited to do this with us. Children’s views are also taken into consideration throughout the process. All information is shared with parents/carers at Parent Consultation events, or in specifically organised review meetings.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

In some cases it may be felt by the Local Authority that an EHC is not required and the child’s needs can be met within the setting with a SEN Support Plan and some top up funding to meet the child’s special educational needs.

For more detailed information see the Local Offer

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN

Easington C of E Primary School works hard to ensure it is an inclusive school. Quality First Teaching is provided in all classrooms across the school, and all children are treated as individuals throughout the learning process.

Teaching and learning is observed and monitored for quality and inclusivity by the Head Teacher, Mr Appleby. Through individual and whole-staff discussions, pupil progress is tracked, often more regularly where a child has identified additional needs. Differentiation is used as needed across the curriculum; often this is by resource or support, but can also be by task or outcome following structured adult input.

Interventions are both responsive and planned. Daily booster, catch-up or pre-teaching sessions, for whole class, individuals or small groups, occur at key points during the day and are carried out by both teachers and support staff, depending on need. More structured, longer-term interventions are planned in half-termly blocks and additional needs are met on a rolling program of intervention sessions. These are planned in discussion with the SENCO, individual teachers and the Head Teacher who manages the support staff timetable. Interventions may be 1:1, although some may be small groups where the need may be similar, or for the development of social skills.

As part of the SEN procedures within school, all children on the SEN register have their own Support Plan. These are written and evaluated as part of the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ schedule. Teachers identify specific targeted outcomes for the children and support staff help with provision. All intervention work is written onto an adapted ‘Short Note’ for school records. Teacher assessments at the end of each half-term are used to track progress. Records are kept of all interventions and staff can use these to plan, or re-plan, upcoming sessions.

Children are consulted throughout their intervention sessions so that staff can improve or alter provision as needed. Parents are invited each term to evaluate their child’s progress and provide input into future outcomes. Teachers also discuss progress at Parent Consultation events. We strive to meet the additional needs of the children to enable them to make at least expected progress.

All learners with SEN are included when teachers are planning their curriculum and activities which take place both in and out of the classroom. It is our intention that all children should have equal access to everything provided in school, and we will do our best to provide support to ensure this is possible (i.e. education visits, after-school clubs). This is in addition to providing timetabled in-class support where necessary.

When discussing approaches to be taken to address needs and provide additional support, all necessary staff are involved from the outset. This ensures that everyone is aware of the provision available to the children, and how the provision or interventions have been decided upon and timetabled.

Children with SEN are assessed, where appropriate, by the same means as the rest of the school. They are carefully tracked through both internal and external (statutory) data. Often, additional assessments are carried out as part of a baseline for intervention, or for staff to plan appropriate provision.

Most assessments across school are carried out as part of normal classroom practice. Where children reach statutory testing age, we administer tests according to the guidance provided. Where children qualify for additional time, or other adaptations, we ensure that this is provided. Where children are working below the standard of the tests, they may be withdrawn.

Adaptations are made for children where we think appropriate. For example, our Accessibility Plan describes our good practice in the key areas to ensure children of all abilities can participate in the curriculum, and in school life in general.

Additionally, policies (such as the Behaviour Policy) may be differentiated or adapted for children who struggle to conform due to additional needs which require support.

We adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEN in a number of ways, depending on the nature of each child’s needs. Such strategies include:

  • Differentiation of work in class (and homework)
  • Additional small group support with a teacher or support staff
  • Additional resources e.g. word banks, number squares, use of commercial schemes
  • Teaching activities to be adapted to the preferred learning style of the child, e.g. a multisensory, practical approach or use of visual cues
  • Use of ICT to support learning
  • Individual behaviour systems/charts
  • Adaptation of Curriculum resources or classroom displays
  • Targeted interventions to support specific difficulties

We believe that supporting all children to learn and participate in all aspects of school life is important. In addition to the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, our children are offered a range of experiences and opportunities in which they can develop social skills including resilience and independence.

For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.