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Supporting parents, schools and professionals with children who have learning, social, emotional, behaviour, mental health, needs and disabilities

 

Sample School SEN Report Accordian Style

pencil senco offerThis is not all my own work but I have looked at loads of examples and picked out what I like the best, and if it works as a starting point for you... then that's great!

My School School SEN Report

My School is an inclusive school and believe children should be educated in a mainstream school wherever possible, and enable all pupils, whatever their educational need to achieve their full potential.

Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (September 2014), our school is expected to provide SEN Information with reference to:

  • Appropriate and Effective Teaching and Learning
  • Open and Honest Communication
  • A Partnership Approach

All our pupils receive quality first teaching. This means that we use a range of teaching and learning styles, with a relevant and appropriate curriculum. Relevant learning objectives are shared with the children and are matched to their needs. Please find a copy of our SEN Policy here.

The questions below will help you find out more:

1. Who can I talk to at this school and how can they help me?

Our school has a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).
Please contact My Teacher (SENDCo) on 0121 111 1111

2. What special educational needs, conditions or disabilities do you support in school?

There are four broad areas identified as Special Educational Needs:

Communication and Interaction

Children may find it difficult to interact with people or understand the social aspects of the world around them which may include, talking to adults, playing with other children talking about unfamiliar topics, making or keeping friends, understanding facial expressions or sarcasm or inference. Children may need routines which restrict what they do or how they cope with changes to the normal day.

Cognition and Learning

Some children find learning, thinking and understanding more difficult than other pupils. Difficulties may include, learning important skills, times tables, understanding how to use letters and sounds to read and spell. These children may need more time to think about their ideas and answers.

Social, emotional and mental health

Some children find managing their emotions and behaviours which affects their daily lives. Difficulties may include listening and following instructions, following rules, sitting still, understanding their own feelings and taking responsibility for what they do.

Sensory and / or physical

Children with a disability may require changes to the environment around them to allow them to manage with their everyday life.

Difficulties may include using pencils or scissors, hearing what others say in the classroom, struggling to read normal sized text and require large text books and worksheets or coloured dry-wipe boards, moving around with the aid of a wheelchair or walking aid.

3. What support do you offer for children with special educational needs and disabilities?

We aim to provide the best learning environment for all pupils. Teachers adapt what they teaching to help the child learn more with the rest of the class. Skilled adults may work with your child in a small group or on an individual basis to support their learning. All children have individual targets to show what the child needs help with. We also involve professionals to support our teaching and the child’s learning.

4. How will I know if the school has concerns about my child’s progress?

All children in school are carefully monitored with regard to progress with their learning and tracked using their school’s assessment tracking system. Teachers assess regularly using professional discussions, marking, observations and questioning as well as formal tests. The class teacher will talk to you about your child any concerns and to learn a little more about your child at home. You will be invited to Parents’ Evenings and if necessary you will be invited to a meeting with Mrs Gwilliam, our SENDCo.

5. What provision is available for SEND children and who supports them?

All pupils can expect quality first teaching within their daily lessons. Wherever possible, adaptations are made to suit different styles of learning. Children will be included in various individual sessions or group provisions lead by skilled staff including teachers and teaching assistants. These may include numeracy support, reading support, fine / gross motor skills, strengthening the core, social skills self-confidence etc.

The infant school is based fully on the ground floor and the junior school can be accessed by staircases and a lift is available. Where possible there are ramps into the building and into the canteen.

6. What services and external agencies are available to the school?

We involve specific professionals to support the teaching and learning in school depending on the needs of the children, these include:

Pupil and School Support Service (P.S.S.) advise the SENDCo on strategies to support all children with Special Educational Needs and the staff that work with them.

Educational Psychologist (E.P.) helps school assess children with the most significant needs. The E.P. is also involved when an application is made for an Education & Healthcare Plan.

Communication and Autism Team (C.A.T.) advises teachers how to support children in school with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Physical Difficulties Support Service (P.D.S) provides advice with pupils with physical needs and disabilities.

Sensory Support Services (S.S.S.) support teachers of children with hearing and visual impairments in school.

School Nurse (S.N.) supports families in school regularly, please call school (0121 111 1111) to find out the times of her next drop in clinic.

Other professionals visit school regularly to offer support and therapies. On occasions children who visit professionals in their clinics will send information to school to continue and use specific strategies in school. These include, National Health Services such as Paediatricians, Speech therapists, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Community Health Specialists.

7. How will I find out about my child’s progress and if provision has been effective?

You will be offered three Parents’ Consultation appointments throughout the year but we urge you to arrange meetings at other times if you have concerns about your child’s progress. You will be informed of what support your child has been included in and the impact of the provision. We also value the feedback from the child, their parents, teachers, teaching assistants, SENDCo and outside agencies.

8. How do staff help children with SEND and what training do they receive?

All staff in school receive high quality training and where children have specific educational needs or a disability, appropriate training will be offered. Training needs are reviewed regularly. Recent training includes Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1 for all Staff. Level 2 for the Higher Level Teaching Assistant and Level 3 for the SENDCo, Team Teach training for all staff etc.

Various members of staff have specific training and deliver individualised programmes and support other members of staff, these include, Reading Recovery, Shiny Folders, Direct Phonics, Number Gang etc.

9. Who will work with my child and how will I know who they are?

Class teachers plan lessons according to the needs of all groups of children in their class. Teaching assistants work within the classroom and take groups to other working rooms to deliver specifically adapted lessons.

At times, children will be involved in specific group provisions because of their individual needs.

We may want to work with outside agencies and professionals to support us with a child’s specific needs. We will always ask your permission before we involve these professionals and discuss our concerns along with the benefits of gaining extra advice.

10. How will you meet my child’s needs?

We will try to ensure that all barriers to learning and participation are removed or overcome. We monitor and track progress of all children so that the support provided is as effective as possible. All children are involved with their targets, evaluation of their progress and planning of the next steps in their learning or development. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and where necessary will seek support and advice from professionals outside school to ensure we develop and maintain a range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all children.

11. How is the whole school day made accessible to children with SEN or a disability?

We endeavour to make adjustments to the physical environment where necessary. We can involve extra adult support to assist children if required. We will purchase or hire specialist equipment if recommended by professional services.

Each classroom uses a visual timetable and we can create personalised versions if necessary. Social stories help children with daily routines and situations. Our specialist PE teacher is trained in including all children. All educational visits are risk assessed to include all children and all children are invited to attend after school clubs.

12. How can I support my child’s learning?

We will let you know what targets your child is working towards. Class letters will inform you about what is going in your child’s classroom. Some children have a Home School Liaison Book to inform parents about their child’s day. Reading diaries go home in book bags. Every child is offered three formal meetings a year with the class teacher but we are always willing to meet you before and after school. If your child has an Individual Provision Map, then you will be asked for formal meetings about your child’s progress.

13. How will my child share their ideas about their plans?

As part of daily lessons, children reflect and assess their understanding of their work. Children’s ideas and opinions are always valued and children with Individual Provision Maps will be involved in evaluating their targets.

14. How can I have my say about my child’s needs, progress and plans?

We want all parents to be involved in the decision making processed to meet your child’s needs. We will at times have formal meetings but please talk to us informally about your child and any concern you may have.

Outside agency professionals will want to involve you and may send questionnaires and ask for your comments about your child at home, please complete these as quickly as you can.

If your child has a Statutory Assessment of Educational Need or Education, Health Care Plan, you will be asked to meet the professionals involved with your child at an annual review.

15. What support do you off parents of SEND children?

We believe that supporting parents will benefit all children. Your child’s class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns or worries you may have.

The SENDCo is available to discuss your child’s progress and provision available in school The SENDCo can arrange for outside agencies to be involved with your child. Any information given by professionals or reports will be shared with you.

If you would like, we will devise a shared reward and sanction system to support your child at home. Often parents create their own Zone Board to use similar rewards as school

16. How is my child supported for moving from one class to the next or the transition to their next school?

We aim to make transition to the next class or next school as easy as possible for all children. We can make arrangements for the child to have extra visits, talk to the next class teacher, create a photograph transition book, hold a person centred review about things that help the child to be well and happy in school, arrange meetings with parents and the next class teacher or school etc.

17. How does the school’s governing body involved with SEN provision?

We have a governor who is responsible for SEND, please see the Governor Page of our website. The role of the SEND governor is to meet regularly with the SENDCo and share provision offered in school and ensures the right services from in and outside school are supporting the children.

A termly SEND report to governors is shared with the governing body to ensure all governors are aware of how special educational needs are supported in school.

18. What can I do if I am not happy with the provision for my child?

 If you have a complaint about the school’s provision that cannot be resolved with the class teacher or the SENDCo, then please contact Mrs Kelly, the Head teacher and she will investigate further. The governing body takes complaints seriously and will act upon these on an individual basis. For more information, please contact the school office.

By law, Birmingham Local Authority has to provide information on a website detailing all services available in Birmingham for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This information is called The Local Offer.

19. What is Birmingham Authority’s Local Offer?

The Birmingham Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found at: www.mycareinbirmingham.com.

20. Other useful acronyms

A list of acronyms to help you understand SEND

AAP

Attendance Advisory Practitioner

ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD

Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder

ASD

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

BESD

Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties

CAF

Common Assessment Framework

CAMHS

Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service

COP

Code of Practice

CP

Child Protection

DCD

Developmental Co-ordination Disorder

EAL

English as an Additional Language

EP

Educational Psychologist

FSM

Free School Meals

FLO

Family Liaison Officer

HI

Hearing Impairment

IEP

Individual Education Plan

ISR

In School Review

KS

Key Stage

LAC

Looked After Child

LEA

Local Education Authority

LM

Learning Mentor

MLD

Moderate Learning Difficulty

NC

National Curriculum

OT

Occupational Therapist

PSP

Pastoral Support Programme

SaLT

Speech & Language Therapy

SEN

Special Educational Needs

SEND

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

SENCo

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SENDCo

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator

SpLD

Specific Learning Difficulty

VI

Visual Impairment

 end faq

 

Fidget to the core

fidgety to the coreWe all know about developing fine motor skills to strengthen small finger muscles and gross motor to aid balance and coodination. I champion brain gym, PACE and finger gym. AND recently I have been reading more and more about strengthening the core.

Fidgety Kids!

At my school we seem to have lots of fidgety children, some with diagnoses of ASD or ADHD and some without. We have Movement Breaks organised by teaching assistants to set targets within the lesson and then dedicated times to get moving to fulfil their need to move. Carpet sessions children have fidget toys and seat wedges etc. so we think we are doing a fairly good job.

Strengthening the core

Recently, I have been reading more and more about strenthening the core improve concentrations. The theory behind it all makes sense! Our kids are more sedentary, few climb trees and have battles with sticks over the fields.

Research is showing that many children have an underdeveloped vestibuar system, poor balance and simply increasing movement in all directions, every day, PE twice a week, is simply not enough for most children.

I had the conversation this week with our PE teacher. I suggested she included specific gross motor and movement exercise focussing on the core to see if we can increase concentration. In addition to that, we'd start a group provision for identified children who have ADHD or are just simply fidgety to work for 20 minutes twice more a week.

I found these great core exercise cards. Ideal as prompt cards for strengtheing abdominals, back muscles and buttocks.

 

Surely, improving bakance, coordination, respiration and lung capacity has benefits for the children we teach.

If we can address the underlying issue for why children are fidgetting then they surely this will have a knock on achivement for their well being and progress in school.

Tricky Targets for Provision

As we all know the provision plan is important and I can highly recommend this book to for ideas for assessing a baseline and setting targets and monitoring progress.

 

Read more from Balanced and Barefoot.

Case Studies

vulnerable child with senProcedures, data, impact

Case Studies are essential to outline the processes implemented to support a child's learning. If you have potentially vulnerable children and need to assess the effectiveness of the care, guidance and support / teaching and curriculum adjustments for individual pupils, then case study will be a invaluable document.

Think about these questions:

  • Can we use data to tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of SEN provision?
  • Will a case study help to identify needs and gaps?
  • Can school data provide information?
  • Can a case study give valiated reasons for why a child has not made good progress?
  • Will our case study show our proactive approach?

A case study really is a snap shot into a child's learning journey over number of years. Use qualitative and quantative data.

Pen Profile

Pen profiles give an insght into the whole child. A case study can reflect the barriers to learning and particiapation a child may face. Whether a child has degenerative condition, had a long term absence or struggles with an unstable homelife, case studies give you the opportunity to investigate further, evidence the provision, the impact the learning and address the needs of a vulnerable child.

This example was developed based on one circulating the authorities, it has a bit more detail and really shows you know you child in focus.

DOWNLOAD: Case Study Proforma for Vulnerable children

Emotion Pebble Cards

emotion cards pebbles sendcoThese useful emotion cards allow you to talk to your children about their emotions, there are 12 cards setup on one A4 sheet so easily laminated into cut into individual cards. Add a hole punch to the top of each card and attachment them to a ring. They can also be added to a lanyard or belt so always available!

Teach children (especially autistic children) to think about their emotions and display the card to aid communication.

 

UPDATE: I thought these may be more appealing if they had coloured backgrounds.

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Behaviour Checklist

behaviour checklisy boy thinkingThis useful checklist helps to hone into the exact behaviours being displayed and when they occuring and what the triggers are. I found this checklist a while ago and have found it very useful.

 

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Therapeutic Putty

therapeutic putty fine finger motor skillsSqueezing, pulling, squishing, pushing, rolling and moulding are fabulous ways to increase fine motor skills. The importance of strengthening the small muscles of the hands is worth every minute of time spent. Look for items and games that provide resitance.

Therapeutic putty

The carefully formulated therapeutic putty exeercises the hands and fingers, with consistent resistance, for how ever long you work with it.The yellow putty is perfect for KS1 and KS2, providing just the right amount of resistance to work those muscles. Just give it a go yourself to see how tough the exercises can be.

Non-Toxic

Theraputic putty is bleed-proof, nontoxic, clean, non-oily and will not leave a residue on hands, furntiure or clothing. It will however pick up dirt on hand or fluff of carpets, so be warned - it's worth making the extra effort to keep it clean!

Putty

 

 

Sensory Needs

boy with over sensitivityHave you ever thought a child did 'odd' things? You know!... those children putting everything in their mouth... from chomping on pen lids and dried pasta, to licking door handles and the rubber pe mats to shouting at and hugging friends too hard or bouncing down the corridors and into the canteen... did you ever suspect that they may have a sensory needs?

This simple audit allows you to focus in on the need... identify their hyposensitivity or hypersenitivity and call the right person for help! Probably an Occcupational Therapist but the information gathered may assist the Communication and Autism Team too!

Visit http://sendco.co.uk/index.php/conditions/9-conditions/14-sensory-audit.html

ODD

oppositional defiant disorderDo you have children in your class, who lose their temper easily, argue with adults, delibrately do things that annoy others? Then maybe they have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). ODD is a psychiatric disorder with no clear cause but probably a mix of nurture and nature.
If you have a concern, then take a look at the checklist to help get the right support for the child. ODD Checklist

Dyslexia or / and dyscalculia

dyslexia dyscalculiaDyslexia, the condition and dyslcalculia can be co-occurring conditions but both can exist without the other. There is increasing evidence that people experience a range of specific difficulties with retention and application of reading, mathematical, sequencing, ordering and organisation skills result in learning difficulties.

 

Clearly... if you cannot learn to read, you cannont read to learn...

 

Spectrum disorders

Children with dyslexia can have poor phonological awareness, verbal memory and processing. Dyslexia affects anyone regardless of their academic ability. Dyslexia is a spectrum disorder and the many aspects of the disability can be more prevelant in one child than another.

Children with dyscalculia struggle with maths, ordering numbers, following proccesses, again dyscalculia can affect a learner mildly or severly.

Specific intervention

Children with dyslexia and dyscalculia need a detailed audit of needs and how they respond for targetted support and intervention. It is essential children get the right help and high quality assessment from professionals must be sought.

Use the dyslexia checklist and dyscalculia checklist to help you decide whether a child may need investigating for their particular strengths and weaknesses.

 

Fidget toys

We have all been driven mad by the child that cant still, ttangle-toyhey fidget about and distract others, have little awareness on the impact to their peers and look bewildered when you ask them to ‘sit still!’ This area of need, really interests me so I thought I’d share ideas I have found with you all and hope it gives you some new ideas.

The need for sensory input

Children with ASS or ADHD and other sensory difficulties can have difficulty with their sensory input. Wriggling, biting nails, doodling, bouncing on haunches, doodling or moving about gives these children a sensory input, they need it and cant do without it and no matter how many times you ask them to stop, they have to fidget.

Improve concentration

What you can do is… channel their fidgeting. Fiddling with a fidget toy or wriggling on a fidget wedge can facilitate the need for the sensory input and actually improve concentration for themselves and others.

Who needs them?

These aids can help children with ADHD, ASD and sensory disorders. It can be trial and error to find the one that suits a child the best but it is worth bearing in mind that any strategy needs to be implemented for 4 to 6 weeks, to give time for the novelty to wear off, the rebelling against the strategy and the useful ness to really embed in with the child’s behaviours.

When to use them

The need for the sensory stimulus can be ineffective if used for too long periods. Use objects for small amounts of time when concentration is most needed or have a number of objects ready to be used.

Multi-sensory

Toys and objects with a variety of surface are useful to keep at hand, squashy, rubbery, smooth, jointed objects, furry, etc are good and can be inexpensive. Toys can be attached to ribbons or retractable key chains or added to a necklace or belt.

The fidget wedge

The first item I bought (not including the things I have at home or at school anyway) was the fidget wedge. These are great, they are triangular wedges that can be placed on the floor and a child can sit cross legged or on a chair. They allow a child to move about in a limited space but serve the need to move, movements can be rhythmic and in any direction but in a controlled space. I have had children who end up lying over other children or bumping into the child next to them. Often, they have to sit on the edge of the carpet area so they bob up and down without blocking the view of their peers but the wedge fulfils the need to move in a more well-ordered way. (It is worth spending the extra money on decent wedges as cheaper ones can lose their plugs.)

fidget cushion

What fidget toys can be used?

I use anything that is small, as I don’t want to distract others in the class with larger toys. Toys with tails are can be swung around like spinning helicopters so I tend not to use these anymore. The definitely do not have to be expensive and I find a collection of my own child’s McDonalds toys work great, we had a stash of hard plastic toys, toys with rotating arms, soft toys and bendy toys and of course it was a good excuse for a clear out.

Things to bear in mind

Often, children with sensory needs, like the feel of things in their mouth, so this may influence your choice of fidget toys. Only this week, one child opened the classroom door with his mouth and he said he liked the taste and feel… I don’t really want him to do this but there’d be no problem with having a spoon in his fidget box… Easy to clean and cheap to provide.

It is worth finding out which sensations, textures and surfaces your child enjoys.

It’s also worth considering if a child has poor fine motor control or weak small hand muscles, you can address these with a fidget toy, squishy toys will help strengthen muscles and enable to child to manipulate objects.

What will you have already in school?

Your school will be haven of objects already, so don’t think you have to go and spend a fortune on a range of toys hoping that a few will help.

Tactile fidget toys

Beads are great, already on a strong string, stress balls, moveable, fiddly and very tactile. Even the counting beads from your maths tray may be used. Other great items are shells, play dough, sponges, bubble wrap, elastic bands, beanie toys smooth stones, spoons, an abacus, blu tac, stress balls, bobbly balls, pencil grips, bean bags, bath toys, balloons, linking rigngs, spiral slinkies, newton’s cradle, jointed dolls, stretchy party toys, sliding toys, pipe cleaners…

Visual fidget toys

Anything that small children look at and say ‘wow’. Sand times and look out for liquid timers, torches, glow sticks, spinning tops, snow globes, larva lamps etc.

Chewable fidget toys

Drinking straws, plastic piping, chewing gum, and don’t forget the spoon to suck on for that cold and metallic taste (they can also be kept in the fridge if it is the cold sensation you require)

Weighted toys

Heavy toys can be expensive but you can easily make your own. The pressure is valued by some child as it makes them feel grounded. Weighted jackets, blankets and snakes can be bought but please check the weight advised for the size of the child. I bought a load of soft animal hot water bottles and filled with rice for the extra weight. Fill socks with rice or chick peas. Elastic bungee cords wrapped around chair legs can be pulled by the child.

Bought toys

There are lots of commercial toys for children and adults, the one I would rate is the Tangle

tangles

Blog Alert

Welcome to my new Blog, I have such an interesting daily job (which I love) that I thought I'd share my findings, ideas (not promising they are original) and proably a few rantings!

 

Join me on twitter - www.twitter.com/sendcoordinator

 

Enjoy and please feel free to add your comments too!

 

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