Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Our Offer


St Alban’s is a caring community, with Jesus Christ at its centre.

We believe that each child is a special individual, deserving of love, care and respect.

Each person’s dignity must be preserved at all costs since this dignity was created by God and is most precious to Him.

At St Alban’s we strive to educate others, and ourselves to reflect  on what might be the effect of our actions and words on other  people’s feelings and actions.

We aim to provide an environment where each individual member can continuously develop their own unique potential and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to live a Christian / Faith-based life in the modern world.

Our mission statement is fundamental in all we do, including our work with our children with additional learning needs.

This document gives families information about the variety of ways we ensure we support our children with special educational needs (SEN) to achieve their potential. We provide a full range of educational and pastoral support to all and our children with SEN make very good progress.

The information here is general; each child is an individual and will receive unique provision and resources where necessary.

If you would like further information, or a chat, please contact our SENCO by email maria.duncan@newcastle.newcastle.sch.uk or phone on 0191 2625552.

There are a number of reasons why a child may be identified as having SEN:

  • They are having significant difficulty with their learning and making far less progress than would be expected.
  • They have a specific learning difficulty, for example dyslexia.
  • They have emotional or mental health difficulties.
  • They have difficulties with social communication and interaction.
  • They have sensory and/or physical needs, for example a hearing impairment

All pupils with Special Needs

For all children at St Alban’s RC Primary School who have an additional need we:

  • Recognise the contributions families can provide and work in partnership with them to best support our pupils.
  • Deliver high quality teaching, adapting the curriculum and our resources to ensure children can access the learning.
  • Employ a fully qualified Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to lead on SEN provision across the school.
  • Assess and review the learning of our SEN children, using that information to inform future planning and teaching.
  • Provide teaching assistants in class who work with SEN children and also, importantly, support other children so that the teacher has more opportunities to work with the SEN children.
  • Hold regular meetings for teaching assistants with the SENCO, to review children, interventions and resources and to adapt provision where necessary.
  • Support our families with children with SEN, formally through review meetings and informally through direct conversations and information sharing. Families are also advised of other services and organisations which may offer further advice and support.
  • Seek advice from outside agencies to ensure each child’s needs are fully identified and understood and to learn from specialists how best to support our SEN children.
  • We evaluate intervention groups and strategies on a termly basis.
  • Regularly evaluate our teaching resources to ensure they are accessible to all SEN children.
  • Ensure our school activities and trips, as far as is possible, are accessible to all our SEN children.
  • Hold planning and review meetings with families for children with a higher level of SEN.
  • Provide on-going SEN training and information for teachers and teaching assistants
  • Liaise closely with secondary schools at transition times to ensure SEN pupil information is clearly communicated and recommendations heard so that the move to secondary school is as smooth as possible.

Communication and Interaction

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Support provided in school:

  • We use visual timetables when needed to support children to understand what will happen and when.
  • We provide areas with reduced distractions and low stimulus- breakout rooms and quiet areas to enable pupils to concentrate
  • We offer additional support in class, during break and lunch time when appropriate.
  • We have a variety of resources available to use, depending on a child’s sensory difficulties.
  • Time is spent with children helping them to identify situations that cause anxiety and finding ways to relieve that anxiety.
  • We run small group speech and language sessions.
  • We access the expertise and advice of the local authority Speech, Language and Social Communication team.

Cognition and Learning Needs

Children in need of additional support with Knowledge and Understanding

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

We access the expertise and advice of the Special Educational Needs Teaching and Support Service (SENTASS) to ensure the needs of children are clearly identified.

We have member of staff trained in supporting pupils with Dyslexia offering advice and support to staff and parents.

We have generous levels of support to provide effective pupil teacher ratios.

  • We provide small group support with a focus on literacy or numeracy skills, depending on need.
  • We use intervention programmes to improve literacy or numeracy skills- e.g. Lexia Rapid Reading; Read, Write Inc, Fresh Start, Numicon. Many of these programmes are also available at home.
  • We use Ipad technology extensively to support all aspects of learning. This stimulates and invigorates learning for pupils.
  • We provide resources to support children with specific needs- e.g. coloured overlays and reading rulers to help with reading for our dyslexic children.

Social and Emotional

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs

Mental Health Condition

Social Difficulties

Emotional Difficulties

  • We provide excellent pastoral care for our children. When required we offer individual and small group sessions focusing on emotional understanding and expression.
  • We create a positive behaviour environment following our school’s catholic ethos.
  • We strive to encourage the children to show care, respect and consideration for all through the promotion of positive values.
  • We organise behaviour management plans where necessary, to ensure children can access the curriculum and all children remain safe.
  • We complete risk assessments and then take action to ensure the safety and inclusion of all children, whenever possible, in all activities
  • We provide one to one nurture sessions for vulnerable children.
  • We put in place short term support for children  with a specific emotional need, for example, bereavement.
  • We run small group sessions with a focus on social skills.
  • We seek the expert advice and support of outside agencies, including the School Health Advisor and the Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)

Sensory and Physical Needs

Hearing/Visual Impairment

Physical Disabilities

Multi- Sensory Impairment

Medical Needs

Staff and our parent Support Adviser offer guidance and support and seek advice and guidance from school health for pupils with significant medical needs:

  • We provide support and practical aids where appropriate to ensure pupils can access the curriculum.
  • We run intervention sessions to improve pupil skills, e.g. gross and fine motor skills
  • We request and act upon advice and guidance from the Newcastle Children’s Vision Team and Hearing Impairment Team.
  • When it is appropriate we use ICT to enhance pupil’s access to the curriculum.
  • When required staff receive training in understanding the impact of a physical or sensory need on the teaching of learning of the child.
  • The main entrance to school has a ramp fitted to allow wheelchair and a lift provides access to all floors.
  • Our school has a disabled toilet.
  • We have four staff trained in Pediatric First Aid and other staff have the relevant First Aid certificates. Four of the staff have had training in managing medication in school.
  • Our staff understand and apply the Medicine Policy

Who Can I talk to?

Mrs Duncan (Senco) is the first point of contact for additional learning needs in school. Mrs Tate is our SEN support in school, working alongside Mrs Duncan.

Mrs Dunca, Mrs Tate and the Headteacher are happy to meet with families anytime. Ring school (0191) 2625552 or speak with the office staff and Mr Smith, Mrs Duncan or Mrs Tate will be in touch with you.

Susan Yeldham is the school’s Parent Support Adviser (PSA) and has a wealth of knowledge and understanding about SEN and will be happy to support you with any needs. She is available through school and can be emailed at: Susan.yeldham@newcastle.gov.uk

Feel free to download our help guides located on the school website.

Support Services

Parent Partnership Service – offer impartial information, advice and support in relation to a child’s SEN and/or disability. Telephone 0191 284 0480 or email Judith.lane@newcastle.gov.uk

Northeast Special Needs Network- supports families with disabled children and young people from birth to 25 years. Telephone 0191 281 2485 or email admin@nsnn.org.uk

Newcastle Families Information Service- provides a guide to local organisations, childcare and events.

Helpful websites:

The Local Offer

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is a way of letting families know the services that are available locally and how to access them; from specialist social care services, to universal sports activities. It’s also a way of finding out which services we need in Newcastle.

The Local Offer has two key purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it,
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review

In Newcastle, information about services available to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families, are published on the Local Offer website