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SEND in school

How would my child be assessed and would we be informed?

As a school, we assess all children continuously. We carry out formal assessments at the end of every half term to measure their progress and identify the next steps in their learning.


If your child has SEND, it is important for us to carry out formal assessments to identify their strengths and identify their needs accurately. To do this, we will use a range of methods depending upon their needs. When your child enters our school, their current attainment is assessed to give us a ‘baseline’ from where they will progress. Depending upon their needs, other assessments may be needed. These could include:

  • Speech Therapy Assessments – which may focus on sound production, language understanding, or other relevant assessments to your child’s needs

  • Education Psychology Assessments – which may include memory, understanding, reasoning, logic, and general skills assessments

  • Learning Support Assessments - which will focus on their specific difficulties

Your child’s school achievements may be assessed against the levels expected for children who are working on the National Curriculum (i.e. the same as the majority of other children in their year group), or they may be assessed against other measures for children who are not ready to work on National Curriculum Levels (i.e. the steps before the National Curriculum). These smaller steps are called ‘P-Levels’ and they are measured in our school using a system called PIVATS. Aspirational targets are set for all children assessed against ‘P Levels’ using the updated 2017 Guidance – a document for schools to use to ensure that all children are expected to make good progress, including those not ready to access the National Curriculum.


The outcomes of all assessments are shared with parents and carers at our termly Open Evenings and in your child's School Report. If other agencies are invited to work with your child, you will be invited to attend a meeting where the outcomes of these assessments and their next steps will be shared with you. 

At St Hild's, we have experience of supporting children with a wide range of needs. We currently have children with a variety of needs in school including:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Communication and Interaction difficulties
  • Medical conditions
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • General learning difficulties
  • Gross motor and fine motor difficulties (including balance, coordination and handwriting)
  • Difficulties with literacy skills (including reading, writing and spelling)
  • Difficulties with maths skills


Data on the types of need and level of need our children have is reported to the Local Authority. This data is collected through the school census. 


How do we support children with emotional and social difficulties?

As a school, we have a number of systems in place to support children who may experience emotional and social difficulties. The support we offer is tailored to the needs of individual children and can take many forms. This could include:

  • The use of social stories
  • 1:1 sessions with a familiar member of staff
  • The completion of the Listening Matters Programme
  • 1:1 sessions with a counsellor in school
  • Participation in social groups as part of our Provision Map, following programmes including Time to Talk, Socially Speaking or Getting Along
  • The use of feelings diaries and emotions cards
  • The use of our worry box (this is available to all children in school)
  • Work with our PSA - both the child and Parents and Carers
  • Referrals to CAMHs if we feel this would be benefical


Further information and support is available for Parents and Carers from MCT 


How do we support Looked After children with SEND?

As a school, we have a designated member of staff who is responsible for supporting Looked After children. All Looked After children are supported by the Looked After Team (LACES). Regular meetings are held in school and PEP (Personal Education Plan) targets are set and reviewed during these meetings. The LACES team will attend SEN Support Plan and EHC Plan review meetings with Social Workers and any other professionals who work with the child and they will contribute to the formation of new outcomes.


How are resources made available to support children with SEND?

The resources we use to support children with SEND depend upon their needs and they are allocated on an individual basis. 

As a school, we use a number of programmes to support children as part of our Provision Map. For example we use Graphisme and the Treetops Movement programme to support children with fine motor and gross motor skills. We use Time to Talk and Socially Speaking to support children with communication difficulties and we have adapted many other resources to meet the needs of our pupils.

Once your child has been identified as SEND, their needs will be assessed and targets and outcomes will be identified. It is the responsibility of the SENCO to ensure that the resources that are required are made available and that staff are aware of their individual needs. We are very flexible in our approach and we constantly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions and the provision that we provide.


The experience, expertise and knowledge of our staff


As part of our staff professional development, all members of staff received training from the Hearing Service and ADHD training from CAMHs. This is an ongoing CPD scheme that will continue into the next academic year depending upon the needs of our pupils.


Our Support Staff received ASD training with the Autism and Communication team and they are currently completing CPD through the Durham Teaching Alliance. Mrs L Abbott and Mrs K Hawkins are also trained to deliver Listening Matters sessions.


We currently employ a Speech and Language therapist, Rachel Farley, to work with a number of our children. This has greatly reduced the waiting time families were experiencing for initial speech and language assessments. Following sessions, our staff receive reports and resources so we are able to address the difficulties children experience quickly. Information is also sent home and Rachel meets with Parents and Carers regularly to provide activities to work on at home. All staff have received speech and language training and we are all trained in the Word Aware techniques Rachel uses.


We also employ a Counsellor in school who works with our children as needed. Children are initially assessed then they usually complete a block of sessions each week. We have found this to be beneficial as children are in a familiar, supportive environment.


Our Positive Futures Worker, Siobhan Reilly, works closely with staff and families to ensure that both children and parents and carers are fully supported.