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How we support children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities

Highgate Primary is a fully inclusive school that strives to provide the best education for all children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  We set out here an extract from our SEN Information Report, detailing our provision for children with SEN; for the full text, click on the link at the bottom of this page.

How we know if a child has special educational needs

If a child has special educational needs, it is very important that they get the help they need as soon as possible.  In order to make sure that any special educational needs not known about before starting school are picked up early, all pupils are assessed in an informal manner during the first three weeks at school.  We look closely at children’s speech, language and communication skills.

Children’s progress throughout school is closely monitored through our termly assessment and monitoring procedures, so that any special needs that may become apparent later are identified.  Additional assessments and screening may be used to explore any potential issues further.

What we do to help children with special educational needs

Highgate Primary School has developed a wide range of ways in which we support children with different special needs or disabilities. We plan support as follows:

  • First we identify what the particular problem is.  We ask parents to meet with their child’s class teacher in the first instance in order to discuss their child’s needs. We work hard to maintain strong links between home and school, and parents are always welcome to speak to us if they have any concerns.
  • In consultation with the SENCo, we agree a programme of support that is carefully targeted on the particular area or difficulty.  This describes what we will do to support a child additional to in-class teaching (SEN Support) and what we hope the support will achieve.
  • We set a time-frame and review children’s progress, adapting and changing the intervention in response to its success or otherwise.
  • If it is felt that further support is required, we will apply to the local authority for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is a legal document which will include: a profile of the child; their educational, health or care needs; the outcomes sought; and the provision in place to meet those needs.

How we adapt our teaching for children with special educational needs

Children with special educational needs are taught alongside other children in their class, however lessons are designed so that all children in the class learn and make progress.  We do this by adapting lesson plans, in which children are able to work towards different learning goals within the lesson, or are provided with additional resources to support their learning.  Every class teacher plans, monitors and provides support for pupils within their class including children with special educational needs.  This is known as ‘Quality First Teaching’. Additional teachers and/or teaching assistants may provide individually targeted, small-group interventions beyond normal class lessons. Class teachers can access support from the SENCo to help them make provision for children with special educational needs.  If necessary, a child with SEN may be supported with additional adult support, and their timetable personalised further.

How we decide what resources we can give to a child with special educational needs

Part of the school’s budget is set aside for support with special educational needs and disabilities.  This is a fixed amount and so we have to use the money as cost-effectively as possible and make sure we can give help to all the children who need it.  We cost all the ways we support children in order to evaluate the impact of the support on children’s progress.  Decisions about which support programmes are best for a child are made by the Inclusion Manager and SENCo, in consultation with a child’s class teacher and parents, who are invited to contribute to planning.  The school may also seek advice from the school’s Educational Psychologist in order to decide which programmes to use with children.

In exceptional circumstances, where we feel we are not able to meet a child’s needs from our own funds we will apply to the local authority for additional support for a child in the form of an EHCP.  Parents can do this too.  We are happy to discuss all of this in more detail with parents. There is a high threshold to meet and a significant amount of evidence is required; for this reason, such applications are only made in exceptional cases.

How we check that a child is making progress and how we keep parents informed

We work hard to maintain good home/school links.  We have a regular newsletter with general news about the school.  We have two parent consultation evenings per year (one in the autumn term and one in the Spring term) as well as an Open Evening to meet next year’s teacher in the summer term.  Parents also receive an annual written report about their child’s progress.

For children with special educational needs, we have a meeting with parents each term.  For children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, the last one of these will be the Annual Review, to which we invite external professionals. We try as far as possible to arrange these meetings at a mutually convenient time for parents, teachers and other professionals.

Every term the Co-Headteachers meet with class teachers to monitor each child’s progress and assess the success of strategies and interventions. These meetings are called Pupil Progress Meetings.

To see our SEN Information Report in full, including information on our pastoral support and relevant contact details, please click on the link below.

SEN Information Report Jan 2024

To read our most recent Accessibility Plan, please see the link below.

Accessibility Plan