Parent’s Information

St Alban’s RC Primary School

Special Educational Needs Information for Parents

(February 2021)

St Alban’s Roman Catholic School 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.

‘At Alban’s Primary School we are proud to celebrate each individual for all that they are. We are a caring community enjoying and excelling in the presence of God.’

This document is to give families information about the variety of ways we support our children with special educational needs (SEN) to enable them to achieve their full potential. We provide a full range of educational and pastoral support to all and our aim is that 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 want to discuss anything, please contact our SEND Team. First point of contact is Mrs Deborah Tate and then Mrs Maria Duncan, our Assistant Head and SENCO., by email at the school office, or phone to make an appointment.

admin@stalbans.newcastle.sch.uk or telephone on 0191 2625552

There are several 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.

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

  • Recognise that the family is the expert on their child and work in partnership with them;
  • Recognise the importance of pupil voice and take this into consideration;
  • Deliver high quality teaching, adapting the curriculum and our resources to ensure children can access the learning;
  • Employ a qualified Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) and a SEND Teacher to lead on SEND provision across the school;
  • Use the Newcastle Graduated Response Approach to meet educational needs;
  • Assess, Plan, Do and review the learning of our SEND children, using that information to inform future planning and teaching;
  • Provide teaching assistants in class who work with SEN children and, importantly, support other children so that the teacher has more opportunities to work with the SEND children;
  • Promote the capacity for independent learning;
  • Have opportunities for regular meetings for teaching assistants with the SENDCo, SEND Support Teacher, class teacher and external agencies to review children, interventions and resources and to adapt provision where necessary;
  • Support our families with children with SEND, formally through review meetings. We also strive to create an ethos where families feel that they can approach us at any time they need advice or support. Families are also advised of other services and organisations which may offer further advice and support. Mrs Yeldham , our Parent Support Officer is also there to offer support, alongside our SEND team, to families of children with additional needs;
  • Monitor progress and teaching in regards to SEND children;
  • Seek advice from outside agencies to ensure each child’s needs are fully identified and understood and we learn from specialists how best to support educational needs so that we can provide additional and extra where required;
  • Lias with professional medical staff and set up medical plans.

St Alban’s also buys extra support from SENTAS Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy and SENTASS Motor Coordination support, to ensure we are providing the highest level of support possible for our pupils:

  • Carefully assessing the barriers children may have towards learning and plan activities that will help them to overcome;
  • Set up Individual Support Plans shared between children, parents and the staff and SENCO involved with the child;
  • Hold review meetings with families for children with a SEND each term;
  • Evaluate intervention groups, data and strategies on a termly basis;
  • Regularly evaluate our teaching resources to ensure they are accessible to all SEND children;
  • Ensure our school activities and trips, as far as is possible, are accessible to all our SEND children;
  • Provide on-going SEND training and information for teachers and teaching assistants;
  • Liaise closely with secondary schools at transition times to ensure SEND pupil information is clearly communicated and recommendations heard so that the move to secondary school is as smooth as possible.
  • Specific provision is also provided for the different areas tailored to pupils individual needs . The tables below give examples of the detail of this support.

Our learners who have Communication and Interaction needs are supported

For example:   We use visual timetables in all classrooms to support children to understand what will happen and when; If the child needs the visual timetable in a different way, we will provide this e.g on the table in the front of them or on teachers whiteboard;We provide areas with reduced distractions and low stimulus; We use social stories to help children learn how to approach different social situations; We run small groups focusing on friendship/resilience; We have a variety of resources available to use, depending on a child’s sensory difficulties; We use ICT as an aid to learning; Time is spent with children helping them to identify situations that cause anxiety and finding ways to relieve that anxiety; We plan activities to support  social communication difficulties and ensure that good role models are included in these groups to help our SEND children progress in this area; We run small group speech and language sessions, following recommended programmes and addressing individual targets; We access the expertise and advice of the local authority Speech, Language and Social Communication team, Educational Psychology, Specialist Teachers and the NHS Speech and Language Service; We have training sessions for staff to increase their awareness, for example of Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders; Staff working with children with Autism access training;We access the PECS training system through the hospital to help communication

Our learners who have Social Emotional and Mental Health needs are supported

For example: We use visual timetables in all classrooms to support children to understand what will happen and when;We use a range of differentiated approaches for social and emotional developmentWe run small nurture groups focusing on  friendship and resilience; Our curriculum includes work on emotions, coping and resilience through our ‘Skills For Life Program’;Time is spent with children helping them to identify situations that cause anxiety and finding ways to self-regulate;We access the expertise and advice of outside agencies, including the NHS and make CYPS referrals and involve the school nurse;We have training sessions for staff to help them develop strategies to support their own wellbeing and that of the children in their care;Our school practise and ethos promotes a sense of belonging, positivity and resolution to conflict;We use peer support as well as identifying key members of staff as mentors;Pastoral support plans are used where necessary.

Our learners who have Cognition and Learning Needs

For example: Instructions are broken down into smaller steps;Displays and resources are used to clarify meaning;Time is given for responses;Visual timetables are used so children know what is coming next;Repetition and reinforcement of skills and tasks are simplified;Training is given to staff to raise awareness and to develop a range teaching strategies and knowledge of resources;Targeted/structured literacy and numeracy programmes are in place and alternative ways of recording are used eg. Mind mapping, role play use of ICT;Memory strategies are taught;Access arrangements are made for testing and assessment;Programmes and activities are put in place to work on underlying skills, eg. Read Write Ink, Rapid Readers etc.Barriers to Learning are identified through diagnostic testing and through the use of Specialist Teachers we take advice, for example for dyslexia, dyscalculia etc. 

Our learners who have Sensory and Physical Needs

For example: We access the expertise and advice of outside agencies, including the NHS, Educational Psychologists, Teacher of visual/hearing impairment, SENTASS, Ophthalmologist and other health professionals;We provide a differentiated curriculum with modified resources;We have training sessions for staff to help them develop strategies to support their pupils;We use peer support as well as identifying key members of staff as mentors.

SEND Support during Corona virus and Beyond can be found by clicking here.