West Croft School

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SEN

What levels of SEN does the school currently support?

West Croft is a large, 3-form entry mainstream school with nursery provision. There are 547 children currently on role and 85 children attending our nursery, with 73 classroom-based staff.

At West Croft we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure that all pupils regardless of race, creed, gender, ability or disability make the best possible progress.  We utilise a framework which enables us to analyse and adapt our arrangements to provide effectively for all of our students.  This is linked with the School Improvement Plan by monitoring and evaluating the needs of groups and individuals and ensuring that progress for children with SEND is good or better.

We recognise that not all pupils with disabilities have special educational needs and not all pupils with SEN meet the definition of disability.

The Governing Body has agreed with the LEA admissions criteria, which do not discriminate against pupils with special education needs or disabilities, and its admissions policy has due regard for the guidance in the Code of Practice 2015. 

The school has a Disability Equality Scheme which details the provision for access to the building and learning for our disabled learners and members of the wider school community.

We cater for a wide range of SEND through our highly-trained teachers and learning support assistants. Current specific provision supports:

  • 49 pupils with Speech, Language and Communication needs from SEN 1 to EHCP level
  • 8 pupils on the Autistic Spectrum (ASC) from SEN 2  to EHCP level

 We currently have 62 pupils at SEN 1, 32 pupils at Sen 2 (Enhanced provision from external agencies) and 10 pupils with an EHCP at high-level provision. 

 

How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Our assessment system has been developed over a number of years and with it we are able to evaluate the progress of a range of groups and provide early intervention where appropriate. Our inclusion team are tasked with overseeing the data pertaining to SEND and vulnerable pupils and the impact of any interventions or programmes of work in place to enable them to access the curriculum and/or catch up with their peers. Diagnostic assessments form the backbone of our decisions to provide extra help for all children and parents are consulted about their child’s needs through informal chats with the inclusion team or more formal TAF meetings where the needs of the pupil and/or family are discussed prior to activating support.

 

Our SENDCo is part of the Senior Leadership Team and any SEND issues are raised in this forum. Governors are informed termly via the Head Teacher’s Report.

 

Our routine assessments in English and Maths are supplemented by more ‘specialised’ assessments from outside agencies as appropriate; sometimes this can take the form of additional family support in or outside school.

 

However, if you think your child has special needs and these have not been raised with you by the school, you should approach your class teacher in the first instance.

 

How does the school monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of its SEN provision?

The school has a SEND action plan and carries out a range of monitoring actions each year to ascertain the quality of provision for SEND pupils. We evaluate each pupil’s progress against their own starting point and against their non-SEND peers: the expectation is that our SEND pupils will progress at the same rate or better than their peers – SEND is not regarded as a barrier to learning.

There is a named SEND Governor and Governors are informed of SEND-related issues through the Head Teacher’s Report to Governors termly.

 

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Termly assessments inform our teachers of the progress of all children. Where a child has a special need, the data from the assessments are monitored by the SENDCo and senior leaders. Progress will be discussed with you through Parents’ Evenings but also at Provision Map and IEP (Individual Education Plan) reviews. You are also, of course, most welcome to discuss your child’s needs and/or progress with your child’s class teacher or learning support assistant where appropriate before or after the school day.

 

How will the school staff support my child?

We have catered for a wide range of SEND pupils’ needs over the years; many of these have been supported by the class teacher through small alterations to routines or timetable or the regular review of the child’s Provision Map or IEP However, there have been many instances where more specialist support is required and we have had to adapt to a greater degree.

Recent examples of more specialist adaptation to need have been:

  • diabetes training for all key staff to support a pupil requiring daily insulin injections and monitoring of diet

  • appointment of a Speech and Language professional

  • Increased Educational Psychologist time for SEND pupils

The school SENDCo closely monitors the progress of all SEND pupils and liaises with teachers and support staff to ensure that their needs are being met fully. At the end of the year, the needs of SEND pupils are reviewed and taken into consideration when allocating new classes.

 

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?

As an inclusive school we expect all children to be able to access the curriculum fully or to the best of their ability. This has involved physical changes to the layout of the classroom or fabric of the building (e.g. ramping for wheelchair access) or use of specialised equipment (e.g. coloured overlays for reading where appropriate). In high needs cases, we liaise with specialist providers in order to establish what adjustments are needed and when we review their impact. In a few cases, a child may follow a personalised curriculum with 1:1 adult support for part of the day, but this would be done As part of ‘normal’ classroom practice, not ‘excluded’ from the class or the curriculum (unless as part of an agreement by a multi-agency meeting in collaboration with parents).

 

Risk assessments require all pupils with medical or SEND requirements to be identified individually and a personalised assessment for them to be completed and shared with all adults as appropriate – this is particularly relevant on off-site visits.

 

Of course you, as the parent, are at the top of our list when discussing practical solutions to supporting your child’s SEND: so please talk to us!

 

How is the decision made about the type and how much support my child will receive?

The decision on the amount of support is tailored to the individual’s need; this may be determined by an external assessment or through our own observations over time. The progress of all SEND pupils is tracked and evaluated regularly. The allocation of support for pupils with funding for high level needs are closely monitored and the impact of spending evaluated regularly. As a result of the evaluation, it may be deemed that the current support is not effective and may change; this may involve other relevant agencies. If this is the case you will be fully informed in advance of the changes to enable you to discuss these with someone at school and or other relevant professionals and with your child.

 

How will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom including school trips?

West Croft School is an inclusive school that takes its duties as outlined in the Equality Act 2010 very seriously. Any extra-curricular activity, on or off-site, is fully risk assessed for all pupils to ensure it is appropriate and accessible to everyone. All staff preparing off-site educational visits are required to identify any SEND pupils in their planning which is shared with all accompanying adults and the owners of the venue where appropriate. A pre-visit is then made and, where necessary, the organisation’s own risk assessment scrutinised to make sure that it provides access to all pupils whatever their type of need.

This does not mean that we wrap our SEND children in cotton wool! Pupils with significant mobility issues have participated, with support, in orienteering on a Dartmoor residential and most recently, a child fitted with a fragile device to rectify absences brought on by epilepsy was able to fully participate in sports following meetings with parents and specialists. Rest assured, if we are in any doubt as to the suitability of an activity, our first port of call will be you, the parent.

During the school day, all staff are aware of the needs of our SEND pupils and a range of appropriate support is in place, from 1:1 adult supervision to the setting up of a dedicated area at lunchtime run by a trained play leader to support SEBD pupils or those who find it difficult to socialise where they may bring along a friend and develop key life-skills.

 

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

We support the needs of all our pupils irrespective of the level of that need or its nature. We have fully-qualified first aid staff on site at all times during the school day and, where there is a specific need, certain staff are trained in specialist support (eg identification of the need for and the administration of insulin). Key staff have received Boxall, ELSA or Learning Mentor training: package designed to support children with developmental/emotional needs, at a high level.

We liaise with a range of agencies to support pupils with medical, emotional, social and behavioural needs these include the Educational Welfare Officer in the case of low attendance due to SEND and the Integration Officer where a child is at risk of exclusion and alternative strategies such as a managed move or reduced timetable may prevent exclusion.

We follow DCC guidance on the administration of medicines and are happy to discuss your child’s medical needs and support within the guidance. The school has an intimate care policy and can support your child discretely and reassuringly as the need arises.

 

Who are the key staff to contact at West Croft about SEND issues?

The following staff would be happy to talk and advise you on SEND matters:

  • Mrs Johnston (SENDCo)
  • Mrs Beams (SENDCo Assistant)

Mrs Routley (Learning Mentor)

 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

As a large School, our pupils have a wide range of needs which makes it imperative that we regularly update our training for all or key staff as appropriate and that we engage with and draw on the expertise of an equally wide range of specialist services.

Our partners are:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team (SEMHT)
  • Devon Integrated Support Services (DISS)
  • Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Targeted Families Support
  • Health Professionals (including School Nurse and specialist consultants where needed – eg diabetes, epilepsy)
  • Early Help for Mental Health Team
  • Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
  • Devon Inclusion and re-integration services
  • Speech and Language Services
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Services
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA – now called SPLITZ)
  • North Devon Hospice
  • Early Help/Right for Children

All of our staff are trained at level 2 in Child Protection and key staff are trained to level 3. Level 3 trained staff are:

  • Mrs Morris (Head Teacher, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Mrs Lisa Johnston (SENDCo, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Assistant Head Teacher)
  • Mrs Shadrick (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Ms Hoare (Designated teacher for Children in Care, Designated teacher for refugee children)
  • Mr Dorrell (Deputy Head, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Dr Fancourt (Assistant Head Teacher)
  • Mrs Beams (Assistant SENDCo)
  • Mrs Routley (Learning Mentor)
  • Mr Francis (Learning Mentor)
  • Mr Ford (Site and Systems Manager)
  • Mrs Mackie (Business Manager)

Key staff are trained in Team Teach (now ‘PIPs’), a behaviour management strategy designed to support SEMH pupils. Where a pupil requires 1:1 adult supervision, the adult is trained to support that child’s needs and is proactive in building a relationship with the child’s parents or carer.

Other training for staff has included:

  • THRIVE  (emotional health support programme) all staff trained to basic level. Mrs Shadrick, Mr Francis and Mrs Routley have taken the full, accredited training
  • Boxall training (All staff)
  • Planning for Educational visits (all staff)
  • Diabetes support (key staff)
  • Moving and Handling (key staff)
  • Using an Epi-pen (all staff)
  • Writing effective Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) (all staff)
  • Speech and Language (key staff)
  • English and Maths interventions (all Learning Assistants)
  • Learning Mentor training (key learning assistants)
  • Child Protection training (all staff)
  • Epilepsy training (key staff)
  •  ‘Fun Fit’ (Physical Activity to foster confidence and the development of gross and fine motor skills) (key staff)
  • Play Leader (key staff)
  • Autism training (all staff)
  • Supporting children who have been affected by domestic abuse (key staff)
  • PIPs (Passive Intervention Programme) refresher training (key staff)
  • FGM (Female Genital Mutation) (All staff)
  • Prevent Training (All staff)
  • Early Help for Mental Health (Key staff)
  • Communication in Print (Key staff)
  • Precision teaching (Key staff)
  • Supporting children with English as a second language  (Key staff)
  • Early Help 4 Mental Health
  • Counting to Calculating (Key staff)

 

So, if your child has a special educational need and will be starting with us in September, what will happen?

We have induction days for all pupils starting Nursery and Reception and visits to our school are always encouraged for any new pupils who may choose to join us at different times of the academic year.

Our transition arrangements from Y2 to Y3 are thorough and, where applicable, responsive to those children with greater needs around this potentially unsettling time. Liaison with current or future teachers of the child and increased frequency of supervised visits for the child are all part of our SEND practice. You are welcome to speak with your child’s new teacher, Head Teacher, SENDCo should you wish; just contact the school office to arrange an appointment or telephone conversation.

 

How accessible is the school both indoors and outdoors?

Although the school is on a split-level site, alterations to the building and premises have made all areas accessible. For our Disability Access Plan, a parent assessed the site with consideration to their child who uses a wheelchair. We have had children requiring a wheelchair for mobility and they have had full access to all facilities.

 

We respond to the specific requirements of children at point of need. For example, alterations to the children’s toilets were made to accommodate a child with achondroplasia (a growth-limiting chromosome). In other cases, EHCPs have been completed to access funding for equipment to support learning, from pencil grips and ‘overlays’ to support specific literacy difficulties to a laptop to support writing or a one-to-one learning assistant to aid a child access the curriculum.

In the event of multiple barriers to learning/access to the curriculum, we liaise with a range of agencies to secure the appropriate support for the child.

 

How are parents involved in the school? How can I get involved?

There is no-one who understands your child’s needs as well as you and therefore we actively encourage you to discuss your child’s needs with us regularly: you do not have to wait for the next Parents’ Evening!

Our transition arrangements from nursery to reception, Y2 to Y3 and Y6 to Y7 are thorough and, where applicable, responsive to those children with greater needs around this potentially unsettling time. Liaison with current or future teachers of the child and increased frequency of supervised visits for the child are all part of our SEND practice.

 

How do we involve children and young people with SEN in their provision?

We have an active school and sports council and ensure that pupils from a broad range of abilities are represented on these. Pupils with a Provision Map or IEP are regularly consulted about their progress towards meeting the targets on the plan and to express their views on their progress or what they feel they need to develop next.  

 

What is the most effective way to contact the school if I have a concern over the provision for my child?

Speaking to your child’s class teacher or learning assistant in the first instance is often the speediest way to sort any issues. If your concern is not fully addressed through this approach then raising your concern with our SENDCo or SENDCo Assistant will usually resolve the matter. If you are not satisfied with the outcomes of your meeting, you should make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Head Teacher for your child’s year group. If you still feel that your concerns have not been resolved, then contact the Head Teacher. Following this school’s complaints procedure and forms can be accessed on the school’s website and the Chair of Governors will make contact with you and the school to strive to resolve the complaint as soon as possible.

 

Which agencies work closely with the school to support SEN provision and what training have key staff had to ensure that all SEN pupils needs are met fully?

As a large school, our pupils have a wide range of needs which makes it imperative that we regularly update our training for all or key staff as appropriate and that we engage with and draw on the expertise of an equally wide range of specialist services.

Our partners are:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Behaviour Support Team (BST)
  • Devon Integrated Support Services (DISS)
  • Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Targeted Families Support
  • Health Professionals (including School Nurse and specialist consultants where needed – eg diabetes, epilepsy)
  • Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
  • Devon Inclusion and re-integration services
  • Speech and Language Services
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social Services
  • Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA – now called SPLITZ)
  • North Devon Hospice
  • Early Help/Right for Children

All of our staff are trained at level 2 in Child Protection and key staff are trained to level 3. Level 3 trained staff are:

  • Mrs Morris (Head Teacher, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Mrs Lisa Johnston (SENDCo, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Assistant Head Teacher)
  • Mrs Shadrick (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Mrs Beams (Assistant SENDCo)
  • Ms Hoare (Designated teacher for Children in Car, Designated teacher for refugee children)
  • Mr Dorrell (Deputy Head, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • Dr Fancourt (Assistant Head Teacher)
  • Mrs Routley (Learning Mentor)
  • Mr Francis (Learniing Mentor)
  • Mr Ford (Site and Systems Manager)
  • Mrs Mackie (Business Manager)

 

Key staff are trained in Team Teach (now ‘PIPs’), a behaviour management strategy designed to support pupils with SEMH needs. Where a pupil requires 1:1 adult supervision for part of the day, the adult is trained to support that child’s needs and is proactive in building a relationship with the child’s parents or carer.

Other training for staff has included:

  • THRIVE, ELSA and Learning Mentor training (emotional health support programmes) all staff trained to basic level. Mrs Shadrick, Mr Francis and Mrs Routley have taken the full, accredited training
  • Planning for Educational visits (all staff)
  • Diabetes support (key staff)
  • Moving and Handling (key staff)
  • Using an Epi-pen (Key staff)
  • Writing effective Provision Maps and IEPs (all staff)
  • Speech and Language (key staff)
  • English and Maths interventions (all Learning Assistants)
  • Learning Mentor training (Key staff)
  • Child Protection training (all staff)
  • Epilepsy training (key staff)
  • ‘Fun Fit’ (Physical Activity to foster confidence and the development of gross and fine motor skills) (key staff)
  • Play Leader (key staff)
  • Autism training (all staff)
  • Supporting children who have been affected by domestic abuse (Key staff)

PIPs(Passive Intervention Programme) refresher training (key staff)

 

As a parent of an SEND child, how can I access further support if required?

Our SENDCo team are very knowledgeable about the range of SEND support across the county and are always happy to talk with you.

If you are considering West Croft as a school for a child with SEND please ring us on 01237 473548 if you would like an informal chat or to make an appointment to view the school. Alternatively, our school website contains links to a range of organisations and groups (Please go to www.westcroft.devon.sch.uk: ‘Parents’; ‘SEND and Family Support’)

 

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new setting or to the next stage of education and life?

Our transition arrangements from Nursery to Reception and Y2 to Y3 and Y6 to Y7 are thorough and, where applicable, responsive to those children with greater needs around this potentially unsettling time. Liaison with current or future teachers of the child and increased frequency of supervised visits for the child are all part of our SEND practice as are meetings between SENDCo to discuss the child’s needs. Transition for SEND pupils can start from the beginning of the Summer Term if appropriate and can also involve participation in Summer Holiday activities.

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