SENDCo: Miss Anna Vecchio
It is for this reason that the school is fully committed to supporting pupils and teachers in effective teaching and learning; to promoting enjoyment of, and a quest for learning; to securing progress and high standards of attainment for all.
Our Learning Support Assistants, under the guidance of our SENDCo, Ms Anna Vecchio, work tirelessly behind the scenes to support our most vulnerable children, not by “doing the work for pupils” but by working, together with our teachers, in planning and responding to their short and long-term needs and aspirations. We strive for each child to be the best that they can be by addressing and removing potential barriers along the way. For our most vulnerable children, we strive to ensure that they can achieve in line with their peers in order that they are able to move onto their next phase of education determined to achieve in life and striving to fulfil God’s eternal plan for them.
SEND Information Statement
This policy is drawn up with reference to the "Special Educational Needs and Disability - Code of practice: 0 to 25 years" June 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014 and “Bedford Borough Council Guidance on Special Educational Needs – a graduated response 2010” & “Guidance on Special Educational Needs in the Early Years: a graduated response 2010.”
Bedford Catholic Schools are committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the children in our school communities. We believe that all children, including those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and are to be fully included in all aspects of school life.
We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.
The BCS schools are fully inclusive. Part of our schools strategic planning for improvement is to develop cultures, policies and practices that include all learners. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties.
This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs.
We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners within our Catholic School Communities. For as St Paul wrote:
"There is a variety of gift but always the same spirit: there are all sorts of service to be done but always the same Lord working in all sorts of ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose".
This policy describes the way we meet the needs of children who experience barriers to their learning, which may relate to sensory or physical impairment, learning difficulties or emotional or social development, or may relate to factors in their environment, including the learning environment they experience in school.
We recognise that pupils learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity.
We believe that many pupils, at some time in their school career, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, and we recognise that these may be long or short term.
Within BCS schools, we aim to identify these needs as they arise and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every child to achieve to his or her full potential.
The BCS schools see the inclusion of children identified as having special educational needs and disabilities as an equal opportunities issue, and we will also aim to model inclusion in our staffing policies, relationships with parents/carers and the community. We are trying to move from an SEND approach that locates a problem with the child to looking at what additional provision we need to make for specific children.
The development and monitoring of the schools work on Inclusion is undertaken by the Catholic Life Committee (Directors) which meets half termly, and includes a parent director, teaching and non-teaching staff.
What types of SEND are catered for in school?
All of the Bedford Catholic Schools are Inclusive. We work very hard to support all pupils within the school, who present with a variety of needs in a mainstream school. We do not have a ‘specialism’ in supporting pupils with a particular type of need; we support all pupils’ additional needs on an individual basis.
All schools have been awarded the Inclusion Mark.
How we identify
On entry to the Bedford Catholic Schools, pupils are assessed by staff, this assessment helps the SENDCos to determine the needs of pupils, alongside discussions with previous educational settings and discussions with staff.
SENDCos also use the “Bedford Borough Council Guidance on Special Educational Needs – a graduated response 2010” & “Guidance on Special educational Needs in the Early Years: a graduated response 2010” in order to assist in ascertaining the needs of pupils.
There is a rigorous Transfer Programme in place between the schools and pupils are supported by this when they move from setting to setting. This rigorous transfer programme also enables information to be shared between the schools to assist in the further identification of pupils with SEND.
Information relating to Provision
The BCS Schools have systems for regularly observing, assessing and recording the progress of all children is used to identify children who may have additional needs.
This system includes reference to information provided by:
- Termly data analysis
- Baseline assessment results
- Progress measured against the objectives in the National Curriculum
- National Curriculum descriptors for the end of a key stage
- Progress measured against the P level descriptors
- Standardised screening and assessment tools
- Observations of behavioural, emotional and social development
- An existing Statement of SEND
- Assessments by a specialist service, such as educational psychology, identifying additional needs
- Another school or LA which has identified or has provided for additional needs
- Information provided by parents, carers and the pupil
- Information provided by teachers and departments
Based on the Trust Schools observations and assessment data and following a discussion between the class teacher, SENDCO and parent, children may be recorded as needing either additional support or learning opportunities.
Info on expertise and training of staff
In all Trust schools, pupils are taught by teachers across a variety to subjects. We view each teacher as a teacher of SEND. All pupils are entitled to access to teaching staff. Within lessons appropriate work is planned and set by teachers, assisted by the SENDCo where required. All staff have training on types and ways of supporting all pupils. – Teaching Assistants and Teachers have regular training on supporting pupils on the Autistic Spectrum and pupils with ADHD.
Adaptations to the curriculum & learning environment
Curriculum and learning environment adaptations are considered for individuals and groups of pupils depending on needs. These adaptations vary throughout the year and each year depending on the cohorts of pupils currently being taught. For example the needs of a pupil are assessed and a decision is made about appropriate intervention. The intervention may be academic or pastoral depending on the need of the pupil.
Additional support available
Each of the BCS schools have access to additional support in school. This support includes: behaviour, social skills, academic support, mentoring, support with attendance, support for families, exam support. The schools can also access Local Authority support and voluntary agencies as appropriate.
Activities available other than curriculum based
All pupils can access clubs at each of the BCS schools. Pupils are included on trips and outings. The Trust schools also have enrichment days in which all pupils are included. Retreat programs run in the four schools which support the pupils’ spiritual development.
Support for emotional and social needs of the pupils
Each of the Trust schools offers behaviour and social needs support. This can be classroom based, individual or small group based. These sessions are run by Mentors, Family Support Workers or TAs with relevant training. The SENDCo monitors this support. Each school also has staff trained to deliver “Rainbows” a programme for pupils who have suffered lose or bereavement.
Name and contact of SENDCo
The SEND Coordinators of the respective Catholic Schools within the Trust are:
Ms A. Vecchio - St John Rigby Catholic Primary School – 01234 401900
Mrs M. Parton - St Joseph's and St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School – 01234 268649
Ms M. Claxton - St Thomas More Upper School – 01234 400222 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coordinators take the lead role in relation to inclusion, and report as required to the Directors of the Trust on this area. The Chair of the Catholic Life Committee is Mary O’Sullivan.
Equipment and Facilities
- ICT equipment both hard and software available to support pupils
- Two disableds toilet located in the main building (main hall) and new building (entrance)
- Lift in the new building.
- A nurture room to provide space where children can go for quite time and reflection. It is also a space for intervention groups and is fully resourced for SEN needs.
- Reading materials for different ages.
- Numeracy equipment for different needs.
- Regular evaluation of what resources we have and what we need
Arrangements for Consulting Parents
Each BCS school consults with parents in a variety of ways.
- Written reports
- Parent’s Evenings / consultations
- Written assessment details go home
- Face to face meetings
- Phone calls
- Notes in diary / planner
Arrangements for consulting young people
The views of young people are very important. Each school will do this in a variety of ways.
- Meetings / discussions with pupils
- Pupil forums
- Focus groups
- Involvement in reviews as appropriate
- Directors / School and complaints
The Trust Schools have one Board of Directors. The chair of Directors is Christopher Donnellan. The Chair is contactable through any of the three Trust Schools. Each school has an individual Complaints Procedure.
How other bodies are involved by the school/directors - health, social care etc.
Each SENDCo is very experienced at working with different outside agencies. There are a variety of agencies that we work with. These include:
- Educational Psychologists
- Autism Spectrum Disorder Team
- Speech & Language Therapy Team
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Hearing Impaired Team
- Visual Impaired Team
This list is not exhaustive and the Trust Schools are committed to communicating and working with professionals involved with a child or family to ensure a joined up approach to support.
Our objectives (in line with the Trust Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy)
1. To identify and provide for pupils who have special educational needs and additional needs.
2. To work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice, 2014.
3. To operate a “whole pupil, whole school” approach to the management and provision of support for special educational needs.
4. To provide a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) who will work with the Trust SEND Policy.
5. To provide support and advice for all staff working with special educational needs pupils.
6. To recognise, value and develop children and young people’s spiritual wellbeing alongside their educational experience.
7. To work alongside other professionals within the Borough to ensure that all pupils’ needs are met and the best outcomes are provided.
The SEND Code of Practice 2014 (section 6.25-6.32) identifies four areas of need:
· Communication and Interaction
· Cognition and Learning
· Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
· Sensory and/or physical needs
It may not be uncommon for a child or young person to have needs from a combination of these areas. Some students may have other needs such as English as an additional language or behaviour, but whilst these areas will be addressed, they are not in themselves a special educational need. Factors such as undiagnosed learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues may manifest through challenging behaviour. In these cases, needs will be identified and professional involvement will be sought.
Support for pupils and families
The Vatican reminds us that at the core of all Catholic schools is the recognition of the parent as primary educators. In ensuring that the needs of each individual child are met, the SENDCo and her team always put the working partnership with parents at the forefront of their work. Parents are frequently invited to come into school in order to meet with teachers and other professionals as appropriate. These may include Speech and Language therapists, Educational Psychologists, advisers from the sensory and communication team and other health care professionals as appropriate.
The local authority’s local offer can be found on the Bedford Borough
Further information and the Trust Policy can be found on the Safeguarding and Child Protection Page
Our Trust SENDCos meet on a regular basis to plan the all-through education pathways for our most vulnerable pupils. Transition from one setting to another within the Trust is a key element of this.
St John Rigby, like all of the Bedford Catholic Schools, has robust transitional processes to ensure a smooth transfer from nursery into Early Years, Early Years into year 1 and all the way through the school up until Year 6. When children reach year 6 a secondary ready programme is put into place in collaboration with St Thomas More, which ensures that all children are ready for the next stage in their academic journey. The process is yearlong with special attention being paid to our most vulnerable (SEND) pupils. SEND pupils will have an additional programme of transition which gives them more opportunity to experience secondary school life through set activities. Within all of the Bedford Catholic schools, transition between years is facilitated by the sharing of information and opportunities for the children to meet their new teacher, where appropriate.