Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
Every child is of equal importance and unique in their own way. All teachers at Blakehill Primary School are teachers of SEND who successfully provide for the diverse needs of pupils through good differentiated teaching. Children may require ‘additional ‘ or ‘different’ provision and the quality of their provision is relevant and matched to their individual needs. Blakehill are proud to have designated and experienced SEN support staff who offer specialised SEN support to children in both key stages.
At different times children at Blakehill Primary may require different levels of support. We aim to:
- promote inclusion in the broadest sense
- ensure that all children’s needs are met through the culture, agreed practices and procedures, management and deployment of resources in school.
- facilitate early identification, assessment and provision for all pupils with special educational needs
- ensure that all pupils are in receipt of a broad and balanced curriculum which is well differentiated.
- ensure the wishes of the child are considered in light of their age and understanding alongside the views of individual parents
- ensure that professionals and parents are encouraged to work in partnership.
The Local Authority must publish a ‘Local Offer’ which provides clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available to children with SEN and their parents.
Blakehill have also completed a 'school offer' and information report.
All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils' with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.
The four broad ‘areas of need’ are defined as:
Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, and Sensory and Physical Needs.
Mrs Gould and Miss Dickinson have the responsibility for leading and managing SEN. If you have any questions or comments about SEN provision in school please speak to either SENDCO or alternatively email the school office. We encourage any parent wishing to discuss their child's SEN provision to speak to our SENDCOs.
At Blakehill the SEN Team pride ourselves on providing a high level of support for parents. In addition to the weekly surgeries, we have held a number of enrichment training events for parents. Our most recent event was a series of workshops in January 2023, led by mental health practitioner George Zito, a specialist in neurological diversity. This focused on supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and was attended by many parents, together with staff from Blakehill. It is our intention to continue to support parents in this way, when we are able to hold such events again. We have George to return to Blakehill in March to deliver further staff and parent workshops.
As a school we regularly invest in our staff development, so that all staff feel supported and involved. The SEN Team are constantly looking for training opportunities to enable us to fully meet the needs of all our children. Since the start of Autumn Term 2022 SENDCO and SEN Support Staff Training has covered a wide range of issues including: Inclusion, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Behaviour Management, Attachment Issues, Neurodiverse Learners, Selective Mutism, Precision Teaching as well as Makaton. Class teachers, teaching assistants and lunchtime staff have also attended all training that is relevant to the individual children in their class. This includes epilepsy training, haemophilia training and behaviour management training. Some staff have also attended Mental Health Champions training and we hold whole school training sessions as appropriate. In addition, the SENDCOs attend termly SENCO Network Meetings, to ensure that we are up to date with national and local developments and with current practices.
Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.
Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.
With Makaton, signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign.
Early Years and Key Stage 1 staff attended Makaton training in school.
How to help an anxious child
If a child is experiencing anxiety, there are things that parents and carers can do to help.
First and foremost, it's important to talk to your child about their anxiety or worries. Reassure them and show them you understand how they feel.
If your child is old enough, it may help to explain what anxiety is and the physical effects it has on our bodies. It may be helpful to describe anxiety as being like a wave that builds up and then ebbs away again.
As well as talking to your child about their worries and anxiety, it's important to help them find solutions.
For example, if your child is worried about going to a sleepover, it is natural to want to tell them not to go. However, this could mean your child feels that their anxiety will stop them from doing things.
In the Parent Forum meeting, parents wrote down questions and concerns and the next session is going to be used to address the questions and provide links to support.