Sheerness West Federation

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Special Needs and Disabilities – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are the best people to talk to at Sheerness West Federation about my child’s difficulties with learning, well-being, special educational needs or disability?

Talk to your child’s class teacher about your concerns either face to face, through the contact book or by appointment via the front reception desk.

Depending on the concern, it is likely that the class teacher will have had a discussion with Mrs Samuel (SENCo at West Minster), or Mrs Carter (Well-Being Manager at West Minster). You may then wish to arrange a meeting with them.

If you continue to have concerns you may want to arrange a meeting with Mr Cates – Federation Assistant Head for Inclusion.

2. How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning, special educational needs or disability?

Your child’s class teacher may initially speak to, write, or phone you to arrange a suitable time to discuss the concerns.

The class teacher may also talk to you about any issues at a parent/teacher consultation meeting.

The SENCo or Well-being Manager / FLO may contact you and arrange a meeting to discuss your child’s difficulties with learning or emotional well-being and any possible support strategies the school might be considering.

3. How will the school consider my views and those of my child with regard to her/his difficulties with learning, special educational needs, emotional well-being or disabilities?

At SWF we believe it is very important for parents/ carers to be involved in all areas of their child’s learning and we actively encourage discussions. We believe, where appropriate, that it is essential to understand your child’s views on any difficulties they may experience with their learning and emotional well-being.

You will be able to share your views and discuss your child’s progress at regular meetings with the class teacher and others.

If your child has an identified special educational need you will be invited to a meeting at least 3 times a year with the class teacher and /or SENCO to discuss current progress, support strategies being used and expected outcomes.

If your child has a Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) you and your child will be able to share your views at the In-Year and Annual Reviews.

4. How does SWF ensure the teaching team is appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs, emotional wellbeing and/or disability?

At SWF we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality first teaching delivered by her/his class teacher and the teaching team.

We regularly review the school training schedule and professional development for all teaching and support staff to ensure there is the appropriate expertise to support children with special educational needs.

SWF is able to access training programmes from different organisations including KCC Midas Centre Specialist Teaching Team.

SWF is proactive in ensuring that the teaching teams and where possible, all staff, have been trained in the needs of the current cohorts attending the school. Examples include training in speech and language programmes, epilepsy and positive handling and are working with the staff to ensure these skills are cascaded throughout the Federation. We also have programmes running in the school to support specific needs.

Specialist individual training from outside agencies is arranged when necessary.

All training and programmes are responsive to the needs in the current cohort.

5. How will the curriculum and the school environment be matched to my child’s needs?

At SWF we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality first teaching delivered by her/his class teacher and the teaching team.

We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, ability and needs of all children.

The class teacher will adapt lesson planning and teaching to match your child’s special educational needs and/or disability.

It may be appropriate to adopt different strategies or resources and adapt outcomes to meet your child’s learning needs.

Additional specialist advice is sought when appropriate and, when necessary, accessibility aids and technology may be used to support your child’s learning.

SWF regularly reviews its Accessibility Plan to ensure that all children have the fullest access to the curriculum and the school site as possible.

6. What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

This really depends upon the nature of your child’s needs and difficulties with learning. But our education provisions will match the needs of the four broad areas of need as defined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

This support is described in more detail in the SWF Provision Map.

7. How will you support my child to reach his/her learning outcomes?

The class teacher and other staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals. The learning plan, strategies and progress will be reviewed termly.

External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and adapt their planning accordingly.

8. What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for one for my child?

The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special education provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and, as he/her gets older, prepare for adulthood. An EHC Plan will contain;

  • the views and aspirations of you and your child.
  • a full description of his/her special educational needs and any health and social care needs.
  • establish outcomes for your child’s progress.
  • specify the provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes.
  • You and/or the school, usually the SENCo, can request that the local authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. If agreed, this may lead to an EHC Plan.

9. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

There may be suggested strategies or activities for you to do at home to support your child’s learning.

Meetings may be arranged with other professionals involved in supporting your child eg educational psychologists, specialist teachers, speech and language therapists etc.

10. How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?

Each school receives funding from the local authority. These funds include money to support the learning of children with SEN and/or disabilities.

The Executive Head teacher, in consultation with the School Governing Body, decides the budget for SEN provision on the basis of the needs of the children in the school.

The Executive Head teacher and the Senior Leadership Team discuss the effectiveness of the school’s current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs.

This process is reviewed regularly to ensure the best possible intervention is provided to those children who require additional support to learn.

The school can apply for High Needs Funding which may result in additional support provided to meet a child’s specific needs.

11. How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?

Your child’s progress will be assessed both in terms of his/her regular learning within the class and with regard to specific intervention programmes.

The impact of the support given is carefully measured to ensure that the learning outcomes have been achieved and if not, what adaptations are necessary. It may be decided that a further period of support would be beneficial for your child.

You and your child will be kept informed and encouraged to be actively involved at all stages of this support.

12. What support will there be for my child’s happiness and well-being at SWF?

At SWF we believe that the happiness and well-being of all our pupils is paramount. All members of staff take this aspect of school life very seriously.

You can be confident that in your child’s class teacher, the teaching assistants, Well-Being Team, SENCO and Senior Leadership Team are available to provide support to match your child’s needs.

You should feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns. She/He will then liaise with the teams mentioned above and you may be invited to a further meeting to discuss possible support for your child.

13. How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school?

Rose Street and West Minster are inclusive schools and are committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.

School clubs, educational visits and residential trips are available to all children.

When necessary the school will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities.

You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

14. How will SWF support my child in transition stages?

We liaise and where possible visit the school or nursery your child is transferring from. We are able to discuss with the relevant staff any individual needs and how best to support your child in school.

While at Sheerness West Federation, we take care to ensure that during transition points (between classes each year and at the end of Key Stages) all staff are aware of individual pupils needs, learning progress and best support strategies. Where transition may be difficult for an individual we make sure that transition meetings are arranged with staff from Secondary school and /or photo books are compiled.

Sheerness West Federation makes arrangements to ensure there is a smooth transition when your child transfers to his/her secondary school of choice by close liaison with the inclusion team at the new setting. All supporting documents will be passed on.

If your child has an EHC Plan, we will facilitate its review in sufficient time prior to him/her moving between key phases of education. You will be kept informed of these arrangements and asked to attend the reviews.

15. Who can I contact if I have a complaint about the SEN provision made for my child?

Initially speak with your child’s teacher and/or the SENCO or Assistant Head for Inclusion. Hopefully they will be able to address your concerns.

You can then contact the Head teacher, who may direct you to the school’s Complaints Policy.

16. If I have any other questions about my child at Sheerness West Federation, who can I ask?

At Sheerness West Federation we are very happy to speak to you about any aspects of your child’s education. It is best to speak to one of the following in this order;

  • The Class teacher
  • The Well-Being Manager / FLO
  • The SENCOs
  • Assistant Heads of School
  • The Head of School
  • The Executive Head Teacher

 

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School Contact Details

Head Teacher Hazel Brewer

Contact Person Debbie Jamieson

Emailwestminster.office@swfed.co.uk

Telephone 01795 662178

School Address West Minster Primary School
St. Georges Avenue
Sheerness
Kent, ME12 1ET

School Opening Times

Juniors:  8.45am – 3.15pm

Infants:  8.45am – 3.10pm

Nursery  8.30am – 11.30,     12.20pm – 3.20pm