Special Educational Needs
Special and Additional Educational Needs at The Wells Free School
The Wells Free School is an inclusive school and we welcome children from a wide range of abilities and backgrounds to our community. We aim to ensure all children at our school have access to learning within and beyond the curriculum, and we are committed to an individualised approach to teaching and learning.
Planning for learning is aimed at identifying and supporting each pupil’s individual learning needs through a Quality First Teaching approach, where ongoing assessment of pupils’ learning forms the basis of further instruction and practice. Differentiated approaches are planned and implemented by the class teacher, sometimes with the support of additional adults who may work with small groups or individuals to ensure all pupils are able to make progress.
Miss Rae Akehurst is the school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and is responsible for the arrangements for provision for children at risk of underachievement including those with Special Educational Needs throughout the school. She is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. As Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Miss Akehurst :
- Works closely with the Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, Class Teachers and Teaching Partners to co-ordinate provision for children across the school.
- Manages the Teachers and Teaching Partners working with individual or small groups of children with additional needs.
- Manages the Teaching Partners working 1-1 with children with Education Health and Care Plans and those assigned with High Needs Funding.
- Maintains a register of children with Special Educational Needs, and monitors the progress of the children on the SEN register.
- Has responsibility for the day to day operation of the SEN Policy and Information Report.
- Liaises with the Specialist Teaching Service and Educational Psychology Service to gain advice and support for children who are at risk of underachievement or have SEN.
- Works closely with parents of children with SEN.
- Applies for Education Health and Care Plans and High Needs Funding for children when appropriate.
- Refers children for assessments by specialists as necessary, including Community Paediatrics, Speech and Language Therapy Service, Occupational Therapy.
To contact the SENCO please call us on 01892 739075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The school uses both Teaching Partners and Teachers to support children who are at risk of underachievement. The majority of support is put in place in class as part of the normal school day, but there are also a range of groups which run outside the classroom. These change according to the needs of the cohort of pupils, but may include VIP Booster sessions in Reading, Writing and Maths, Speech Link activities, Nurture Group, Social Communication and Interaction Group, BEAM and Sensory Circuits.
Some pupils enter school with English as an Additional Language. For children who have English as an additional language we carefully monitor their progress to ensure that language and learning needs are met. Where additional support is required, this has taken the form of individual or small group provision, aimed at improving language and communication skills as well as ensuring pupils have the academic tools they require to make good progress.
Identification and assessment
At The Wells Free School we identify children with additional needs as early as possible in order to put in provision to support them with their learning. We carry out Baseline Assessment with all children and Language Link and Speech Link assessments when appropriate. Class Teachers monitor and track progress of all children continually. Tracking documents are completed and shared with the Senior Leadership Team for analysis twice per year. The SENCo meets with the Class Teachers three times a year to discuss the children’s progress. Children with additional needs may be identified at any stage in their school life. Children who are working Below the Programme of Study in Year 1 will continue to work on the Development Matters Early Years Curriculum until they have achieved the Early Learning Goals. Children who are working Below the Programme of Study in Year 2 and above will be assessed using the P Scales.
Support for families
We pride ourselves on being an open, friendly school, and we recognise the fundamental importance of parents in the learning process. Where parents and families require additional short or long term support, perhaps in times of crisis, or where family members are experiencing difficulties, we are able to help with access to support networks, advice and guidance, or sometimes just to be that listening ear. Social, emotional and physical wellbeing are at the centre of our provision in school, and this extends beyond the pupils to their immediate family too. We have a truly open door policy, and welcome family members as an integral part of our learning community. We can’t always solve problems ourselves, but we can often find others to help.
According to need, we work with a range of external agencies. Sometimes, we request their support; sometimes external agencies are involved with a pupil because of their EHCP, medical needs or other route. External agencies include the School Nursing service, Speech and Language therapists, Occupational therapists, Educational Psychologists and Counsellors.
What to do if you think your child needs additional support?
In the first instance, it is important to speak to your class teacher if you have any concerns about your child’s learning or development. They will be able to talk to you about in class support or to raise the issues with the SENCo. Where there are concerns about a child’s development, we may advise you to see your medical practitioner, or make a referral to the School Nursing service.
We will regularly update you on your child’s progress through teacher meetings and termly reports, and we are always happy to talk with you after school if you have any concerns. It’s best to make an appointment through the office if you would like to speak to your teacher to ensure sufficient time can be allocated for the discussion.