At St Mary’s we take great pride in ensuring that all children, irrespective of any Special Educational Needs or Disabilities, are given the best education possible. All pupils in our school are supported with all means necessary to make the best progress possible. At St Mary’s we celebrate our differences and the richness they bring to our classrooms, school and community.

If the information below does not answer any queries you may have, please contact our lead SENDCo and Assistant Headteacher Ruth Knight at

St Mary’s commissioned an independent SEND review in September 2018 to provide an overview of the school’s strengths and areas for development. Click here to read our report.

At St Mary’s we cater for a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. Some of these may include speech, language and communication needs, autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, working memory and processing difficulties and emotional, social and mental health needs.

Admissions of pupils with SEND are considered on the same basis as those without SEND. The School Admissions Code of Practice requires children and young people with SEN to be treated fairly. Admissions authorities:

– must consider applications from parents of children who have SEN but do not have an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan) on the basis of the school’s published admissions criteria as part of normal admissions procedures

– must not refuse to admit a child who has SEN but does not have an EHCP because they do not feel able to cater for those needs

– must not refuse to admit a child on the grounds that they do not have an EHCP

The SEND policy can be found on the school website policies page and is regularly reviewed and updated (review date September 2018, parent community to be involved). At St Mary’s we follow the SEN Code of Practice (September 2014) and use the graduated response of assess, plan, do and review. Early identification enables us to assess the needs of a pupil and take the appropriate action in providing additional support.

The SENCo for Reception and Key Stage 1 and Year 3 is Ruth Knight and she can be contacted on The SENCo for Key Stage 2 (Years 4, 5 and 6) is Margaret Kapila and can be contacted on Caroline Freer is a dedicated SEN teacher, based on the Junior site.

Staff at St Mary’s work in close partnership with parents to identify any additional educational needs and parents will be formally notified once a decision to provide SEND support is made. Parents are invited to meet with the class teacher and, if appropriate, SENCo to discuss how best to provide this support. There are  further termly meetings to discuss and review planned outcomes identified in the child’s Learning Profile. These meetings give parents the opportunity to eview their child’s progress in depth. Parents are encouraged to share any concerns or queries at any point during the year with the class teacher or SENCo.

Parents are advised to use specialist services from the Local Authority such as the Local Offer, SENDIASS, or SEND Family Voices.

Each term the class teacher, together with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the SENCo, meet to review pupil progress. Children with SEND are closely monitored and the impact of their interventions is reviewed and adjusted accordingly. The SENCo liaises with the class teacher to review current learning targets and assesses progress against the outcomes. New targets are set and shared during extended parent consultation meetings. The child is involved in the reviewing and setting of planned outcomes.

Children identified as having SEND are visited in their nursery settings by the SENCo and class teacher in order to support a smooth transition. Parents of these children are invited to meet with the SENCo before they begin in Reception and have the opportunity to visit their new class at the end of the summer term prior to September entry. All pupils receive a home visit in the summer term by the class teacher and teaching assistant in order to prepare for school entry. On occasion, more than one visit may be arranged, if required.

At the end of each academic year, all children have the opportunity to visit their new classes for a full day and spend time with their new class teacher. This helps prepare them for the next phase of their education. Children with SEND receive a transition book and further visits are organised. Transition plans are shared with parents, as required.

During Year 5, parents are encouraged to consider options for secondary school placements and attend open evenings and information sharing sessions. Parents of children in Year 5 with an EHCP, can attend an information event on secondary transfer process with the SEND team (AFC). This supports parents in making informed choices about secondary school applications. The SENCo is available to meet with parents to consider the most suitable secondary school options.

Upon confirmation of a secondary school placement, the SENCo arranges further visits in liaison with secondary SENCos and a thorough handover meeting is arranged between the primary and secondary school. Parents are kept updated and informed throughout the process. This helps to ensure a smooth transition into secondary education and helps the child and family to feel involved and prepared for the transition.

First quality teaching is paramount in our School. All teachers set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils. Well planned lessons ensure good pupil progress and outcomes. Lessons are well structured and cater to the strengths and needs of all pupils. Differentiation may take the form of prompts and guides, multi- sensory resources, adult support and a range of other specialist interventions. Some pupils may require adaptations to their learning environments which could include working in quiet spaces, smaller groups or 1:1 sessions. Systematic and effective on- going assessment and evaluation informs teaching and improves the learning of SEND pupils.

When a child requires more intensive differentiation to access the curriculum, the school seeks specialist advice from the Educational Psychologist who works with the Teacher and/or Learning Support Assistant to enable this. We work closely with AFC’s Emotional Health Service to support children’s mental health in the classroom.

Children at St Mary’s also have access to a dedicated Learning Mentor (Diane Pummell) who supports children with social, emotional and behavioural needs. In addition, Diane is the family therapy school partner that works closely with a family therapist from the Anna Freud Centre.

The curriculum is exciting and promotes a love of learning and contributes very positively to academic achievement, physical well-being and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The SENCos share good practice and expertise by delivering INSET and planning continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for the staff. Team teaching, pupil observations, informal consultations and supporting staff in delivering intervention groups are also planned.

The school has access to a range of specialist services who also support the training development of our staff. These have included training on Attachment theory,  indfulness techniques and benefits and medical support such as diabetes, epipen use and First Aid.

Accurate assessments and early identification for pupils with SEND are implemented in close liaison with class teachers, SENCos and parents. We use the model of assess, plan, do and review to monitor the impact of any additional support on the pupils’ overall progress. Regular monitoring focuses on the extent to which planned outcomes have been achieved. The views of the pupil, parents and class teachers are taken into account.

For pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan there is an annual review of provision, which enables an evaluation of effectiveness to be made. In certain circumstances, an interim annual review may be held to ensure the provision under the EHCP is appropriate. Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked termly. In addition to this, pupils with special educational needs will have more frequent and  detailed assessments to inform targets and to enable the measurement in smaller steps of progress.

St Mary’s ensures that the necessary provision is made for any SEND pupil to engage in activities alongside their peers. All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at St Mary’s are available to pupils with special educational needs. For some pupils ‘reasonable adjustments’ may need to be made. This is always carried out  n partnership with families and carers. A wide range of extracurricular activities are available to all pupils at St Mary’s. Parents are informed of club choices and these are updated termly.

At St Mary’s we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through implicit teaching for instance e.g. PSCHE, circle time and collective worship and indirectly through the relationships adults have with pupils during the day.

As the mental health of our pupils is so important to us we are involved in a 3 year programme provided through Dr. Barnardo’s Charity. PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) is a comprehensive teaching tool to support mental health. Pupils from Reception to Year 6 are taught 2 lessons each week and outcomes are carefully monitored by the charity.

For those pupils requiring enhanced mental, emotional or social development, we provide a Learning Mentor service and family therapy groups. The school may also make an external referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) All children with emotional and social needs are supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately.

Children with SEND are more likely to be the victims of bullying, so it is important to ensure that they are able to report any behaviour that concerns them. The school provides a ‘Bevan’ safe room for all children to talk in a confidential and nurturing environment with an adult. They will be provided with safe, supervised places that they can go to during social time. Peer support systems are in place as well as regular opportunities for raising awareness of SEND for everyone in the school community. Parents are immediately informed should a bullying incident occur. A bullying/ behaviour log is maintained and analysed for trends.

The school has access to an Educational Psychology Service.

In addition we have access to Speech and Language Therapy Services /Occupational Therapy Services / Physiotherapy Services.

We work alongside The Anna Freud Centre to provide a family therapist weekly. The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is a children’s mental health charity with over 60 years’ experience of caring for young minds. They aim to support families to build on their own strengths to achieve their goals in life.

The school is able to make ad hoc requests for advice from the Education Welfare Officer and the School Nurse as well as Feeding Advice Consultation.

We also liaise closely with the Single Point of Access (SPA) if there is a safeguarding concern.

Please refer to the ‘Local Offer’ for the full range of professional services offered to support SEND children in this Borough.

The Headteacher will work to resolve the complaints and take appropriate actions. If this is unsuccessful, parents may access the school’s Complaints policy via the website and submit their complaint in writing to the Clerk to the Governing Body.