Welcome to Special Educational Needs at St. Joseph's!
This page contains statutory documents and links to sites which offer guidance and support for parents and carers.
See also our Class Page which has links to sites with child-friendly activities.
SEND Frequently Asked Questions
SENCo: Mrs Charlotte Lamb (Wednesday PM & Thursday)
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? What can the school do?
If you have any concerns about the progress your child is making at school then your first point of call should be the Class Teacher. You can make an appointment to meet with them and discuss your concerns. The Class Teacher will then refer any concerns to Charlotte Lamb who will contact you to speak about possible actions. Concerns you have may be around reading and writing, number skills, behaviour, speech and language, sensory or emotional and social development. Our ELSA (Mrs Lauren Keen) will also be involved if the difficulties are social, emotional or behavioural.
How does the school decide who might need extra support?
Each class teacher is responsible for the progress of all children in their class. They use quality first teaching, observations and regular assessment to identify any cause for concern. The school will also check each child’s progress throughout their school year/life and refer any children who appear to be falling behind or struggling in any area. These children will be put into small group interventions conducted by their Teacher/Teaching Assistant to support their area of need. Charlotte Lamb may suggest that the Class Teacher and Parents complete the Graduated Response Toolkit to help further identify barriers to learning. Somerset’s Graduated Response Tool sets out the barriers to learning that children and young people may have and the strategies and provision that should be in place to support them. Strategies, interventions, and support should be put in place as a Graduated Response, meaning that Universal strategies and provision are the foundation for all learners.
If needed, they will then be referred to Charlotte Lamb who will decide if further more specialised internal interventions will help or whether we need to refer to outside agencies. Outside agencies may include Speech & Language, Educational Psychologist, Community Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist, School Nurse, Behaviour Improvement Programme, Advisory Teacher etc. Parents will be kept informed throughout this process. Parental permission is required before outside agencies become involved.
How does the school make provision for pupils with additional needs with or without an EHCP?
We provide support for children in many different ways. Some children’s needs will be met by differentiated work or small group work with adult support. At times some children may need 1:1 support from a Teaching Assistant to help them access their learning. Where necessary children may have a personalised curriculum which suits their learning needs. The building is accessible and classroom access is supported by ramped access points. We have a disabled toilet and wet room available for children who may need these facilities.
What support is available for improving the emotional and social development of children with additional needs?
In addition to high quality provision from the class teacher all children have access to our Teachers and Teaching Assistants to talk to as a support. Our Classroom based staff work with individual children and small groups to help explore emotions and feelings, this may be through books or more specialised material. We also run a Circle of Friends groups so that children can develop skills they need to help them cope throughout their life. Our ELSA (Mrs Lauren Keen) will also be involved if the difficulties are social, emotional or behavioural and Teachers can refer to Mrs Keen for further support and advice.
How will parents of children of additional needs be consulted about and involved in the education of their children?
We try to involve parents in all stages of the support being offered. Although there are two parent evenings a year, we will meet with parents of children with SEND three times a year as per the SEN Code of Practice. Discussion is not limited to those times, and meetings with parents, child and teachers to discuss and set targets can be held when appropriate. You can request a meeting with your child’s teacher any time you need one. If your child has more complex needs, parents are invited to meetings between professionals. Parents of children with EHC plans are an important part of the planning process. If your child has an EHC Plan then you will also be invited to Annual Reviews yearly which will review your child’s progress and plan for next steps. Parents, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Outside Agencies (if involved), Charlotte Lamb [SENCo] & Mr Olsen [SEN Admin] will usually be involved in these meetings.
How will the children with additional needs be consulted about and involved in their education?
Children will be consulted throughout the year by their Class Teacher and Teaching Assistants. Children who have an Annual Review will be invited to help organise and take part in their meeting. They will reflect on how School/Home is going for them (if they are able to) and the children in the class will also gather their positive thoughts on the child having the Annual Review.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?
All children, regardless of their needs, are included in all parts of school life, including trips away from school and residential trips. School trips are organised with everyone in mind and extra staff can be provided to assist children with SEND where it is deemed to be necessary and practical. Parents may also be invited to come along where appropriate.
Which specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
We have a good deal of specialist knowledge and experience within school. We also have good links when extra support is necessary and, when necessary, can engage the support and advice of Educational Psychologists and Advisory Teachers. We also liaise with other agencies such as Speech and Language Services, Occupational Therapists, the School Nursing team and CAMHS.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining St Joseph’s or transferring to a new school?
Children who need extra support at times of transition are identified by the school and/or the parents. Enhanced transition procedures are then put in place. These can be extra visits to the school/class, transition books with photos and information, meetings with teachers and meetings between staff at both schools, and the parents.
As may be aware, Somerset Local Area (Somerset County Council and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group) were inspected between the 9th and 11th March 2020, with Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) finding that the Local Area significant weaknesses.
The Local Area has drawn up a plan, a written statement of action, so they improve on the inspectors findings.
The links below will take you to a copy of the report and the written statement of action.
Copy of report
Statement of Action
The Somerset Local Area were inspected again in December 2022. The report is due to be issued in January 2023.