School’s Information Report
St Joseph’s is an inclusive school which strives to meet the needs of all our pupils in order to enable them to make the best possible progress during their time at school. We recognise that every child is different, and, therefore the educational needs of every child is different, which is why we offer a wide range of provision to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
1.What should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
As a parent or carer, if you have concerns about your child’s progress you should share these with the class teacher. We hold 2 parent consultation opportunities throughout the year, however if you wish to speak to your child’s teacher outside of these times it is appropriate to e mail or telephone the school office to arrange an appointment with the class teacher.
2.How does the school know if the children need extra help?
A key priority for all teaching staff at St Joseph’s, teachers and teaching assistants, is to develop a comprehensive knowledge of every pupil within each class. Through observations, small group work, teacher assessment and tracking of pupil data, class teachers are able to quickly build a profile of each child and their needs. If progress is not as expected or the class teacher has any concerns regarding a pupil’s progress, they will arrange a meeting to discuss these concerns with parents/carers. The class teacher may seek advice from the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who may also attend the meeting.
3.How will the school staff support my child?
At St Joseph’s we ensure we offer quality first teaching to all of our pupils. This means that within each class or set work is differentiated appropriately to meet the needs of every child. If a child requires additional support in the classroom they may be part of a focus group and receive additional support from the class teacher or teaching assistant when completing activities. Should a child need further or prolonged support the class teacher will discuss his/her concerns with the SENCo. If deemed appropriate, the SENCo will organise for the child to receive additional intervention as part of a small group or on a 1:1 basis. This intervention takes place with a teaching assistant in the afternoons and is usually for 6 week period. Should the child have very complex needs, the SENCo will seek advice from and specialist services such as the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist or the Occupational Therapist. These external agencies may come into the school to work with those children with the most complex needs. Please note that funding for additional intervention and visits from specialist services such as the Educational Psychologist is limited and the school has to prioritise this time.
4.How will I know how my child is doing?
Through regular dialogue with the class teacher, consultation opportunities throughout the year and an end of year school report you will be kept informed of your child’s progress. For those children with more complex needs it may be necessary to generate an Individual Educational Plan (I.E.P.) - a personalised programme of support with specific targets. This will be reviewed termly with the class teacher.
5.How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
Through careful planning and regular and ongoing assessment, the progress of your child will be closely monitored. Those pupils with a number of learning needs may be given an Individual Educational Plan (I.E.P.), a personalised programme of support with specific targets, which will be reviewed termly with the class teacher. These meetings are in addition to the 2 parent consultation opportunities offered to all parents/carers throughout the academic year. The school offers a range of suitable support resources to enhance the learning of pupils with additional needs.
6.What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
At St Joseph’s our mission statement; ‘To live, love and learn in a caring Christian community’ permeates all that we do. Our aims are to ensure that all pupils: develop a love of learning; establish a high level of self esteem/sense of self worth, and build good relationships with all members of the school community-the family of St Joseph’s. We promote positive behaviour and encourage our children to learn from one another and work as a team. For our most vulnerable children, we assign a designated teaching assistant/teacher so that the child has a key adult they feel able to talk to as and when needed. We also provide a wide range of extra curricular activities and encourage all children to participate the age appropriate clubs on offer so that they may have the opportunity to excel outside of the classroom.
7.What training have the staff, supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Staff receive relevant training regularly as part of in service days or allocated staff meeting time. Every teacher is trained in supporting children with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Speech and Language difficulties. Teaching Assistants attend regular upskilling sessions with the SENCo. Where children have more complex needs, the relevant staff are supported by Advisory teachers or the school’s Educational Psychologist. If appropriate, class teachers and the SENCo attend relevant courses regarding complex needs, as and when they are provided by the Local Authority. If the needs of the child cannot be met by the school, the school may request outreach support from Special Schools.
8.What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Within the school there is already a great wealth of expertise amongst the teaching staff. If a child has complex needs, which cannot be met entirely by school staff, the SENCo co-ordinates a mulit-agency approach to supporting the child; often this involves working with 2 more or external agencies provided by the local authority. These may include:
- Educational Psychologist
- Specific Learning Difficulty Base
- Outreach support from Special Schools
- Autism Advisory Service
- ADHD Advisory Service
- Health Professionals e.g. school nurse
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Counselling Services
- ASPECTS - Family Support Service
- Advisory teachers
9.How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
If you have concerns about how to support your child with their homework, it is best to speak directly with the class teacher. In an effort to help parents/carers understand recent changes to the content and structure of the curriculum, we offer a number of parent workshops throughout the academic year e.g. Phonics, Maths, Grammar.
If your child has additional needs and you wish to attend training on how best to support your child at home, the SENCo can arrange for you to attend training at local parenting courses. We also run an informal SEN parent forum termly, which takes place at the school. The forum was set up by and run for parents with children who have additional needs. The aim is for our parents to act as a support network for each other.
If your child has moderate to severe needs the SENCo is able to recommend specific support services for parents of children with Autism or ADHD.
10.How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
At St Joseph’s we aim to work collaboratively with parents/carers and in the best interests of the child. If a child has multiple needs, a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan, we hold termly Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings, in line with local authority guidance, to review the child’s progress. Every professional working with the child/family is invited to the meeting, as are any family members-including members of the extended family-who wish to attend. At the meeting current targets are reviewed and new targets are set.
11.How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
When school trips or outings are being planned, the needs of all children are carefully considered by the relevant teaching staff. The class teacher is responsible for carrying out a statutory risk assessment of the intended site of the activity/trip and is therefore in a position to assess any health and safety risks that the trip may pose. If your child has additional needs which may prevent them from going on the trip, the class teacher will discuss any concerns with you and work to try to overcome any potential barriers. The school will make reasonable provision to ensure all children can access school outings/trips.
12.How accessible is the school environment?
All Hertfordshire schools comply to the equality act 2010 and will make reasonable adjustments to ensure the school environment is accessible to all pupils. St Joseph’s has an ‘Equality and Accessibility Plan’, available from the school website, which is reviewed annually.
13.How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
Transfer to a new school
As part of transition to a new school, we promote visiting the new setting as frequently as possible to help the child familiarise themselves with the new staff, pupils and classroom. Any paperwork e.g. school reports, levels of attainment, attendance reports will be passed on to the new setting within 2 weeks of them leaving St Joseph’s.
Transfer to Secondary school
In preparation for Secondary school, children in year 6 are invited to take part in a transition day at their chosen school. Children with additional needs may make several visits to the school in advance of ‘Transition day’. The SENCo will meet with and liaise with the SENCo from the chosen Secondary school so that transition is as seamless as possible for your child. For all children, records of progress are transferred and discussed within 15 days of the child leaving the St Joseph’s. Both electronic and paper documents are transferred and discussed with new staff.
14.How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The budget for SEND is decided by the Headteacher and the Governors. Within the budgetary constraints support is allocated according to the level of need. Additional funding can be applied for using High Needs Funding in exceptional circumstances (ENF) for individuals.
15.Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher. If you wish you seek further advice, information or if you wish to make a complaint you may also contact:
- SENCo – Mrs Catherine Morrissey
- Headteacher – Mr Peter Coldwell
- Deputy Headteacher - Miss Ann Cassidy-Jones
- SEND Governor – Mrs Colette Kerins
- Chair of Governors – Mrs Suzanne Fitzgerald
- Hertfordshire County Council - SEN Officer for East Herts