Information

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 Pinder and Mrs Gould have the responsibility for leading and managing the 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 workshop in February 2020, led by the SEN consultant Andrew Whitehouse, a specialist in neurological diversity. This focused on supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and was attended by over forty parents, together with staff from Blakehill and other local primaries. It is our intention to continue to support parents in this way, when we are able to hold such events again. We have invited Andrew to return to Blakehill in November 2021 to deliver 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 2020 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 and more recently 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 Training 
 

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. 

Andrew Whitehouse Parent Conference
 
Andrew Whitehouse is a specialist in Neurological Disorders. We were very excited about hosting a parent conference yesterday with Andrew which was very well attended. We appreciated the positive feedback from everyone who attended. "Andrew was insightful and interesting. I really enjoyed the workshop and truly value the information Andrew provides at these events". (parent comment) Following the parent conference, Andrew then delivered a twilight to the staff of Blakehill looking at understanding Dyslexia and how how to support children in the classroom.
Andrew Whitehouse's Dyslexia twilight PowerPoint is available below.
Fundamentals of Communication Training 
 
Early Years and KS1staff took part in training on the Fundamentals of Interaction, led by a specialist teacher from the Communication and Interaction Team. The training covered an awareness of the barriers to communication and interaction and also developed our knowledge and strategies to help promote and develop communication and interaction with the children we work with. 

 

Zone of Regulation
 
Dr Summer, our Educational Psychologist, worked with staff during 2 twilights to introduce the Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation framework and curriculum (Kuypers, 2011) teaches students scaffolded skills toward developing a metacognitive pathway to build awareness of their feelings/internal state and utilize a variety of tools and strategies for regulation, prosocial skills, self-care, and overall wellness. This includes exploring tools and strategies for mindfulness, sensory integration, movement, thinking strategies, wellness, and healthy connection with others. The Zones of Regulation provides a common language and compassionate framework to support positive mental health and skill development for all, while serving as an inclusion strategy for neurodiverse learners, those who have experienced trauma, and/or have specific needs in terms of social, emotional, and behavioural development.
SEND Parent Conference 14 February 2022
 
We were very pleased to host our Parent Conference this morning, with guest speakers from AWARE. The focus of the meeting was for parents to find out more about where they can access support and advice. We looked at Bradford's Local Offer and also the Bradford Parent Forum. We also shared information about the Bradford Matrix of Need and how this is used to highlight the four different areas of need and the provision that should be in place for each.  The conference was well attended and gave parents a valuable opportunity to chat, share ideas and find out about the new Blakehill Parent Support Group/Forum, which will be launched at a coffee morning in school at 9.00am on Wednesday 9 March. More information to follow! 
SEND Parent Forum 1
 
We understand how difficult it is for parents of pupils with additional needs to find the support they need. Parents often say that they feel isolated and uncertain of what to do and who to speak to for the best advice. You are not alone!
We are pleased to announce that we are starting our first ever Parent Forum at Blakehill, with the intention of providing opportunities for parents to regularly meet together, share experiences and seek and offer advice and support. Out first parent coffee morning/forum is at 9.00am on Wednesday 9th March in school.
 
Today we had our first Parent Forum meeting. Thank you to Adele from the Bradford and Airedale Parent Forum and to George Zito (children's mental health practitioner) for attending the session.
Parents asked that at our next Forum, we discuss children's anxiety and how to cope with this at home and which support agencies can help.
George will be doing a 'Drop In' clinic after the session.
The next session will ne 5th April at 9am.
SEND Parent Forum 2
 
We had our second parents forum in April 2022 and we discussed anxiety. 

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. 

Interactive Parent Workshop 
 
Thank you to George Zito (mental health practitioner) from Inspired Neighbourhoods who delivered an interactive workshop about understanding sensory processing difficulties.
George showed us some breathing and meditation techniques to support children who are feeling overwhelmed.
Parent Workshop 
 
Suzy Zito from Great Minds Together attended our Parent workshop. Suzy is supporting some of our Blakehill families with both mental health support and navigating through the EHCP process. She spoke to the parents about her service and what support it offers to the local community. 
Parent Workshop
 
Olivia from Kooth attended our parent workshop to share information on the services they offer for mental health support.
 

A new online counselling and support service for young people aged 11 to 18 years is now available in Bradford district and Craven. The online service, called Kooth - kooth.com, provides safe, anonymous online support for young people with emotional wellbeing needs or emerging mental health issues.

The service aims to provide an early response to, and identification of emotional wellbeing and mental health problems, leading to improved well-being, prevention of symptom escalation and provision of the right care at the right time. It is intended for children and young people with emotional wellbeing and/or emerging mental health problems, many of whom will require a low level/targeted/short-term intervention. It also aims to engage with children and young people who may be hard to reach and who may not engage with services through traditional routes.

Service hours:

  • The digital platform, which is available on any web-enabled, internet connected device (including laptop, smart phone, tablet) is available 24/7, 365 days a year. This includes features such as messaging the team, static forums and magazine articles.
  • Scheduled and ‘drop-in’ counselling sessions take place between midday-10pm, Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday; these are available 365 days a year.
  • On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, a live moderated forum will take place in the early evening.