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Special Educational Needs

Some children may have special educational needs (SEN), where a learning difficulty calls for special educational provision to be made for them. From September 2014, all schools are required to publish an annual School Information Report detailing how they will support children with SEN. Click here to read our current SIR.

Our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is Miss C Rennie. We believe in participation for all; we aim to create a learning environment which is flexible enough to meet the needs of all members of our school community. At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice defines SEN as:

“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age: or
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”If a learner is identified as having SEN, we will provide provision that is ‘additional to or different from’ the normal differentiated curriculum, intended to overcome the barrier to their learning but alongside their peers. Our SEN profile in 2023-24 shows that we have approx 25% of children identified as having SEN; 2% of pupils have an Education & Health Care Plan.

Of these pupils, SEN were categorised as follows (some children may represent in more than one aspect, therefore % does not equal 100):

  • Speech and Language & Communication Difficulties – 46%
  • Identified Learning Difficulties – 36%
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties - 6%
  • Social & Emotional Difficulties – 17%
  • Autistic Spectrum / ADHD – 42%
  • Hearing Impairment – 2%
  • Physical / Medical needs – 20%

Assessing SEN at High Firs Primary School

Class Teachers, support staff, parents/carers or the learner themselves may be the first to notice a difficulty with learning. At High Firs Primary School we ensure that assessment of educational needs directly involves the learner, their parents/carer and of course their teacher. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will also support with the identification of barriers to learning.

For some learners we will also seek advice from specialist teams. In our school we have our own commissioned Speech & Language therapist, Educational Psychologist and Family Worker, as well as access to services universally provided by Kent County Council, which are described on the Local Offer website – this can be accessed by clicking here.

Our teachers and team of Teaching Assistants deliver interventions and personalised programmes to support learning – these are identified in the provision map as discussed by the class teacher and co-ordinated by our SENCO. Many of our teachers and TAs are trained in specialist areas to ensure the best support we can give for our pupils; this includes Dyslexia, Sensory Circuits, Emotional Wellbeing, and ASD.

What we do to Support Learners with SEN at High Firs Primary School

Every teacher is required to adapt the curriculum to ensure access to learning for all children in their class, regardless of ability or need. The Teachers Standards 2012 detail the expectations of all teachers, and we at High Firs Primary are proud of our teachers and their development of support for all learners.

Our teachers will use various strategies to adapt access to the curriculum, this might include using:

  • Visual timetables
  • Writing frames
  • ICT or other alternative recording devices
  • Peer buddy systems
  • Positive behaviour rewards system
  • Special programmes

Each learner identified as having SEN, is entitled to support that is ‘additional to or different from’ a normal differentiated curriculum. The type of support is dependent on the individual learning needs, and is intended to enable access to learning and overcome the barrier to learning identified. This support is described on a provision map, which details the interventions and actions that we undertake to support learners. We modify the provision map regularly, and it changes frequently, as our learners and their needs change. This information is shared with parents and school staff, as well as the children themselves, to ensure everyone is involved.

Our staff share knowledge and expertise so we can learn from each other, and demonstrate what we offer for learners with SEN. We are also able to promote consistent practice across all the schools in our local area cluster ensuring equality of opportunity. All staff receive training in supporting children with special needs and we also have staff who specialise in particular areas; for example Dyslexia, Sensory Circuits, Emotional Wellbeing, and ASD.

A summary provision map is also shared with Governors who are able to ensure that we monitor the impact of these interventions on learning across the school.

Funding for SEN

High Firs Primary school receives funding directly to the school from the Local Authority to support the needs of learners with SEN. The amount of funding we received for 2023-24 is £66,210 – the majority of this funding is assigned to support staffing for identified children.

Sevenoaks & Swanley schools are committed to working together to improve learning for all, and we are able to share resources, training and moderate provision for learners with SEN.

How do we know this support is effective?

Monitoring progress is an integral part of teaching and leadership within our school. Parents/carers, pupils and staff are involved in reviewing the impact of interventions for learners with SEN. We follow the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model and ensure that parents/carers and children are involved in each step. Before any additional provision is selected to help a child, the SENCO, Teacher, parent/carer and learner, agree what they expect to be different following this intervention. A baseline will also be recorded, which can be used to compare the impact of the provision.

Children, parents/carers and their teaching and support staff will be directly involved in reviewing progress. This review can be built in to the intervention itself, or it can be a formal meeting held at least once a term, where we all discuss progress and next steps. If a learner has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) the same termly review conversations take place, but the EHC plan will also be formally reviewed annually.

The SENCO collates the impact data of interventions, to ensure that we are only using interventions that work.

Progress data of all learners is collated by the whole school and monitored by teachers, senior leaders and governors. Our school and local data is also monitored by the Local Authority and Ofsted.

Other Opportunities for Learning

All learners should have the same opportunity to access extra curricular activities. At High Firs Primary school we offer a wide range of additional clubs and activities, which change termly.

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure participation for all.

All staff at High Firs Primary school have regular training on the Equality Act 2010. This legislation places specific duties on schools, settings and providers including the duty not to discriminate, harass or victimise a child or adult linked to a protected characteristic defined in the Equality Act and to make ‘reasonable adjustments.’

The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is:

“A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if (s)he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to day activities.”

Section 1(1) Disability Discrimination Act 1995

This definition of disability in the Equality Act includes children with long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Children and young people may therefore be covered by both SEN and disability legislation.