Learning Support Policy
This policy applies to the EYFS, Main School and Out of School Care
1. How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Westward School is a mixed one form entry Independent School in Walton-On-Thames for children aged 3 to 11 years of age.
Westward is a non-selective school for entry into its Early Years (Nursery and Reception), but an assessment is required for entry into Years 1 to 6. The school is committed to addressing the needs of each and every pupil.
The aim of this policy is to provide a framework for the support of learning throughout the school. The school maintains a learning support register and has regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0 to 25 years (January 2015).
Westward aims to enable pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) to achieve their full potential by;
- Working with the pupils concerned to enhance their learning skills and abilities
- Working with their teachers to ensure the best programme of study for each pupil
- Working with outside agencies, where necessary, to enable the greatest access to opportunities for pupil progress in their schoolwork and their future study.
Objectives of SEND provision at Westward
- To provide appropriate material resources, dedicated support and suitable advice to support both parents and pupils with special educational needs
- To develop a partnership with all members of the teaching staff to ensure that there is a positive approach to the learning of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities
In the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) at Westward
Your child’s class teacher will make regular observations in relation to their development across the seven areas of learning.
The class teacher will record your child’s development using the Early Years Development Matters Tracking grids and if for any reason there are concerns that your child is not developing at the expected levels for their age and that they may have a special educational need then the SENCO (Mrs Lawrence) will be informed.
The SENCO will work closely with the class teacher and parents to investigate the concern further.
- Meetings will be held between the SENCO, class teacher and parents when needed to keep everyone informed of next steps and required actions if any.
- The class teacher will collect more information about the area of concern and feedback to the SENCO.
- The SENCO may observe your child over several sessions.
- An Ann Locke profile may be filled out with the support of the SENCO.
- The school may seek advice from Surrey Early Years Educational Effectiveness Team or SEND Team to provide support and advice to both the school and parents about how to proceed with the concern.
As a parent you may also raise a concern about your child’s development at any time by requesting a meeting with your child’s class teacher or the SENCO.
Year 1 and above at Westward
As your child moves into Year 1 the Reception class teacher will hold a transfer meeting with the Year 1 class teacher and discuss the end of Foundation Stage Profile results and any special educational needs and disability support required for individuals within the cohort.
Each child’s individual progress will continue to be monitored throughout their time at Westward through observations and assessments and if at any time a class teacher has concerns they will inform the SENCO who will organise a meeting with the parents to discuss next steps.
2. How will the setting support my child?
In the Early Years at Westward
- After initial meetings with the SENCO, class teacher and parents the following steps may be taken. (They are not listed in any particular order)
- The class teacher will continue to carry out observations/collect evidence about the concern.
- The SENCO will observe and advise.
- Parental permission will be sought and you will be kept informed at every stage.
- The Surrey Early Years Educational Effectiveness Team or SEND Team may be contacted for external advice.
- Observation of your child in the setting by the Early Years Educational Effectiveness Team Advisor.
- Referral to appropriate agency depending on need e.g. GP/Educational Psychologist/Paediatrics. The SENCO will fill out all referral forms with the child’s class teacher and parent and send to the appropriate agency.
- A One Page Profile and Action Plan will be drawn up with specific individual targets for your child to work towards. At this stage parents will be able to contribute and share their views through the One Page Profile and then sign to agree to their child receiving individual support for their special educational need or disability.
- The SENCO and class teacher will discuss with the parents the type of support being put in place/ who will be providing the support and for how long.
- Children with a One Page Profile and Action Plan will be named on the School’s learning support register held electronically within the SENCO folder on the School's confidential Google Drive, stating their area of need and support strategies in place.
- An Early Help form may be completed.
- Regular meetings will be held with parents, the SENCO and class teacher to review the individual targets set out in the Action Plan. Action Plans will be reviewed on a half termly basis.
- Parents may contact the SENCO or class teacher at any time in between half termly reviews.
- We ask parents to keep us informed about the outcome of any reviews/appointments with outside agencies and provide us with copies of reports to keep our records up to date and to make sure we have the most current information to support your child effectively within the setting.
- We recommend and always welcome outside agencies into our setting to observe and support children as part of our provision.
- All information relating to a child's special need or disability is held confidentially within a pupil file in the SENCO folder of the school's Google Drive.
Year 1 and above
Children in Year 1 and above with a One Page Profile and Action Plan will continue to receive support through the school’s SEND budget which is set by the Proprietor and will be supported through the same process as listed above.
The main difference being that once your child enters Year 1 we no longer have the additional financial support from Surrey in terms of applying for an inclusion grant or discretionary funding which can be crucial for accessing 1:1 support or specialist equipment.
The SENCO may write a letter to your child’s GP to request a referral through appropriate health services.
The SENCO will also be able to provide information to parents about private services in the local community such as Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language services. Parents will be asked to fund these assessments.
If your child has a high level of special educational need we can apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) if your child meets the criteria set out by the Local Authority in Surrey. A panel of experts will assess your child’s need from evidence collated over time. The Action Plans over the last 6 months will be looked at and a judgement made. Children with Education, Health and Care Plans are funded by the Local Authority. The SENCO will work closely with the parents throughout this process.
All reasonable adjustments will be made by the school and advice will be taken from the Local Authority as to the most effective provision for your child.
Where a pupil has an Education, Health and Care Plan prepared by the Local Education Authority, the school will work with this body to ensure that the provisions of the EHCP are addressed and that the relevant Action Plans are prepared and enacted according to the relevant statutory requirements.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All children identified as having a special educational need or disability at Westward are recorded on the learning support register located within the confidential SENCO folder of the School's Google Drive. This is monitored and updated regularly by the SENCO.
The learning support register clearly states each child’s identified need and the current differentiated strategies in place to help them thrive within the classroom and have equal access to the curriculum.
The SENCO will work closely with parents, children and the class teachers.
Where appropriate a child may have an Action Plan which lists their personal targets and approaches in place within the classroom to help them reach their target.
- Now and next board
- Behaviour modification system in place
- Individual seating arrangements
- Individual support from a teaching assistant
- Visual clues to help with decoding of information etc.
All staff working with children with special educational needs are made aware of their individual targets and they are worked towards on a daily basis.
If your child requires additional support then it is possible to apply for an inclusion grant or discretionary funding while your child is within the Early Years at Westward.
Once your child enters Year 1 a transition meeting will be held between the SENCO, class teacher and parent where further additional support plans will be discussed.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- A child’s Action Plan will be reviewed on a half termly basis.
- Between review meetings the class teacher and SENCO will work with your child on their individual targets. Further assessments of their learning may take place such as further Ann Locke profiles being completed or other formal assessment tests.
- A meeting will be held between SENCO, class teacher and parents to review the effectiveness of the targets set and to discuss next steps. This may involve setting more targets or having to consider further assessment and support from outside agencies. Parental views will be taken into account at all stages of the review process.
- We have an open door policy at Westward and parents are more than welcome to book an appointment to meet with the SENCO or class teacher at any time during the school term.
- The class teacher will also keep you updated on your child’s progress via the Home Message Book or email.
- We also hold special training evenings for parents to support the learning process at home.
- We also advise parents about external support groups in the local area and where the nearest Children’s Centre is located. Many useful workshops are run by the local Children’s Centres.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
At Westward we aim to support your child throughout their time at Westward so they can reach their full potential.
Westward is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere.
Pupils at Westward are expected to foster good manners, honesty and consideration for others.
We have a buddy, prefect and young leader system in place which allows older children in the school to care for the younger ones, promoting friendships, integration and social inclusion as well as helping them to follow the school rules.
We have a Behaviour Policy at Westward which is shared by all staff, pupils and parents. (See the Behaviour Policy)
We aim to develop each child as an individual and to develop his/her academic and social potential to the full.
The Westward Code of Conduct is displayed in every classroom and around the school.
PSHE lessons and assemblies play an important role in teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships.
In implementing our Behaviour Policy, any individual needs of pupils will be taken into account and reasonable adjustment made where appropriate in the management of challenging behaviour or the application of sanctions where a pupil has a special educational need or disability. Staff will consult the behaviour management officer if they are unsure as to whether reasonable adjustment should be made.
We also have an active School Council at Westward. A representative from each class is voted to the position by their peers to represent their voice on the council. The elected school council members meet every other week and also have a weekly session in class where they get to feedback and discuss other pupils views and ideas.
See our Administration of Medicines Policy for management of all medicines.
A meeting will be held between the Office Manager, class teacher and parent with regards to any regular medication being required or if an intimate care plan needs to be put in place. We ask parents to keep us up to date with current medical information.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
The School does not have any specialist teachers trained in special educational needs.
The SENCO attends local training and National events to keep abreast of current legislation and thinking in the special educational needs and disability field which is then cascaded to staff members.
Staff members also attend local training to develop their knowledge in supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The school accesses external services such as speech and language and health by completing referral forms or writing a letter to the child’s GP.
In the Early Years we contact the Surrey Early Years Educational Effectiveness Team and SEND Team who provides invaluable advice as to which services need to be accessed and how to go about the process.
7. What training are the staff supporting children and with SEND had or are having?
The SENCO is also the Nursery teacher Mrs Diana Lawrence. She attends termly SENCO forum meetings run by the Surrey Childcare team.
All staff members working with children with SEN attend training where appropriate.
Staff members also have access to training through the EduCare e-learning platform and attend staff INSET sessions on topics such as dyslexia and autism.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
It is the overall aim of Westward School to do all that is reasonably possible to ensure that children with special educational needs or disabilities are able to access all of the activities within the setting and outside, including trips and use of The Hub and XCEL Leisure Centre.
Meetings will be held between the SENCO, class teacher and parents about any external activities or trips and an individual plan put in place so that your child can be included where reasonably possible.
This may involve phoning the venue and checking available access or making sure a member of the Westward support staff is available to accompany a child on the trip.
9. How accessible is the school environment?
It is the overall aim of Westward School to do all that is reasonably possible to ensure that the school facilities, services, culture, policies and procedures are made accessible to pupils, staff members and visitors who have Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities, and to comply with our moral and legal responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010).
The school was founded in 1927 and is located in a converted Edwardian house; as such our physical facilities for persons with disabilities are limited as the upper sections of the school are only accessible by stairwell with little feasibility of having a lift system installed.
The school currently has handrails in place for ease of access into lower level of buildings, a low level ramp and disabled toilet facilities.
The school shall endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to aid a prospective or existing pupil/parent/staff member. Such adjustments may include (but not limited to):
- Use of the designated disabled parking bay in the school car park.
- Installing low gradient ramps for easy access to the ground floor.
- Allocating a classroom on the ground floor.
- Specialist seating or any other relevant classroom resources or equipment.
In defining what is reasonable, the school will take into account:
- The cost and feasibility of making specific alterations to the school premises.
- Implications on financial resources and the likelihood of any external funding being available to offset this.
- Staffing requirements.
- Health and safety considerations.
- The interest of pupils, staff and visitors.
(See Disability Access Policy for more information)
If a parent does not speak English as their first language we will always endeavour to locate an interpreter to aid communication of information. This may be a current parent or staff member at the school or use of the Google Translate system. If not then we will seek advice from within the local community.
10. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
- It is important that you advise the school of any special educational needs and/or disabilities in advance of registration so that a meeting can be held at the earliest opportunity to discuss the transition between your child’s current setting and the Westward environment.
Parents must submit copies of Educational Psychologist reports or other relevant SEND documentation to the Head teacher who will then consult with the SENCO and relevant class teacher.
- Before your child begins at Westward the Early Years team will come and spend some time with you and your child in the home environment. This home visit usually takes place in the weeks leading up to the start of term in September. This is an important meeting to find out all about your child.
- Some pre-school settings invite our Early Years staff to come and visit children in their setting before moving to Westward. The Early Years staff at Westward find this very beneficial and always find time to visit children in their current pre-school setting.
- Your child will also be provided with the opportunity to visit Westward for as many sessions are needed until they feel settled.
- A transition meeting may take place between the pre-school SENCO and the Westward SENCO to hand over any SEND documentation. Where possible we always make sure a meeting takes place between both SENCO’s.
- Parents will be invited to attend a Welcome to the Early Years Meeting led by the Head of Early Years/Lower School in June.
- As your child moves through Westward a transition meeting will take place in June/July between the present class teacher the next class teacher and the SENCO.
- You will be fully supported by the senior management team when it is time for your child to move onto secondary school. The Head teacher, SENCO and class teacher will meet with you on a regular basis and recommend schools which they feel would be the best environment for your child to thrive.
If following the process of consultation and the making of reasonable adjustment, it is the professional judgement of the Head teacher that the school cannot provide adequately and effectively for the pupil’s special educational need or disability, every reasonable effort shall be made by the school to assist in finding a suitable placement in another school.
11. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The school SEN budget is set by the Proprietor of the school. The Head teacher is in charge of the day to day running of the school and keeps the Proprietor informed about current numbers of children with special educational needs or disabilities in the school and additional resources, staffing and training required.
- Support staff are deployed as required and where needed. In the Early Years an application may be made for additional funding through the inclusion grant or discretionary funding (EARLY YEARS ONLY).
- The school will always aim to provide support assistants where possible within the SEN budget and school staffing rota but there may be additional support required such as 1:1 which the school are unable to provide on a long time basis through only the school budget.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
- Review meetings will be held with families on a regular basis. The SENCO and class teacher will be in attendance.
- The Head teacher and the SENCO meet every half term.
- The Head teacher and SENCO will decide on the level of support provided to a child and whether the current level of support is having an impact.
- The Head teacher and SENCO will take into account all the current information known about the child’s special educational needs or disabilities and also follow guidance from any outside agencies working with a child before making a decision about type and how much support.
- The Head teacher with the support of the SENCO will be in charge of deploying members of support staff to work with specific children.
- If support is not seen to be making a significant impact at school level then external advice may be sought as to how best to support a child within the setting.
13. How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
- Parents are always welcome within the setting at Westward and we encourage parents to get involved in the day to day life of the school.
- During special themed weeks parents are often invited to come in and read a story or share a talent.
- There is an opportunity once a term to attend informal coffee mornings in the Early Years and also with the Head teacher. There is also a very active Westward Home School Association where you can get to know other parents and get involved in school projects.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
- Your first point of contact should always be the class teacher who will advise you what to do next.
- The home message book and email system is your communication between school and home. Teachers read the home message books and check emails on a daily basis and will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Your first point of contact is Mr Parkhurst the Operations Manager. He will be the first person who will respond to your email or phone call regarding admissions.
- If your child has a special educational need or disability then please do let the Operations Manager know as he will refer you to speak to or meet with the SENCO and Head teacher.