Our Local Offer SENd/ Information Report–January 2024
Overview of Simon Marks Jewish Primary School
Simon Marks is a Jewish primary school with a roll capacity of 235 pupils. We believe that every child can make progress and achieve. We ensure that teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all of the pupils. We ensure that appropriate provision is made for pupils who belong to vulnerable groups; this includes pupils with all levels of special needs and our pupils with English as an additional language whilst ensuring that the needs of socially disadvantaged pupils and pupils known to children’s social care are adequately assessed and addressed. In addition, we offer a twelve place Autistic Resource Provision (ARP) which caters for pupils with autism.
‘How does the school know if my child needs extra help?’
Simon Marks has rigorous systems in place for identifying pupils who may have additional needs. Our class teachers and support staff are trained to identify specific needs. We believe that early intervention is always in the best interest of the child. We hold termly class context review meetings where we look at each pupil’s progress and progress of groups of children. There are times when additional children or groups are identified as underperforming, strategies are discussed and interventions put in place and this/these pupils are monitored regularly.
Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and identify those whose progress:
· Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
· Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
· Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
· Widens the attainment gap
This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs.
Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEN.
When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.
If a child has indicators of a specific need, then the school will seek advice from relevant professionals, e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapist and all other specialist provision available both within the local authority and beyond the local authority.
All pupils are discussed at length every term in our class context meetings and decisions are made about next steps for pupils if concerns are raised about any aspect of a pupil’s development.
What are the kinds of SEN that are provided for?
Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:
· Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties
· Cognition and learning.
· Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
· Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy
· Moderate/severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties
How do you assess and review pupils’ progress towards outcomes?
We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review. The class or subject teacher will work with the SENCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on:
· The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
· Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour
· Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
· The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
· The views and experience of parents
· The pupil’s own views
· Advice from external support services, if relevant
The assessment will be reviewed regularly. All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress. If an intervention is not working, we will withdraw it and look for an alternative.
‘Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about my child?’
Your child’s class teacher should always be your first point of contact, your child’s teacher should be able to answer most of your questions, however if there are things that they are unable to answer then they will talk to relevant members of staff and get back to you. If you need to talk to a member of staff about a more specific special need and support on offer for your child, then Ms Metin (Headteacher) or Mr DasGupta (Deputy Headteacher and Inclusion lead) are available to talk through any issues or concerns you may have.
‘How will I know how you are supporting my child? How will I be involved in discussions about my child’s education?’
All pupils who attend Simon Marks will work with their class teacher and often a teaching assistant on a daily basis. Additional adults will be placed in classes and provide additional support for pupils who need additional support. Simon Marks holds termly parents’ meetings for all pupils, this is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s class teacher and discuss their progress. If your child has an identified need and needs additional support Mr DasGupta will be available to talk you through provisions in place.
Pupils identified with long or short term needs will have Personal Learning Goals (PLGs) set and these will be shared with you. Learning goals are reviewed regularly. For children with Education Health Care Plans, there will also be annual reviews of the plan which you will be invited to. Your child is at the centre of all that we do, so where possible your child will also be made aware of their targets and learning goals, they will also have time to talk about their progress and where they feel they will need extra help.
‘What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?’
Simon Marks has access to and can buy into all the provision on offer by the Local Authority, these include the Educational Psychology Service, Specialist Teacher provision (e.g. Autism, vision, hearing and other disabilities), Speech and Language Therapy Service, School Nurse Service, Dental Service, Hackney Ark (medical advice and assessments) and Child And Adult Mental Health Services. There are times when children can have individual mentors and group support where and when it is needed. The school is also part of The Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS) project. It is an initiative led by the CAMHS Alliance which aims to improve mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people in schools. The school also has two trained Mental Health First Aiders on site.
Our Learning Mentor, Ms. Osborne, offers in class and playground support where needs have been identified.
The school opened its Autism Resource Provision (ARP) in September 2023 and this will accommodate up to twelve pupils.
‘If my child has medical needs how will they be supported?’
The school has a school nurse who is available for support and advice. We would initially meet with you and gather as much information as possible; we would liaise with medical professionals who are working with your child in order to follow direction and advice. If staff members require additional training in order to support your child, where possible, we would try to accommodate this request e.g. epipen training, diabetes training etc. However, Simon Marks is a school and not a medical organisation so our level of medical support is limited. Simon Marks does have an ‘administration of medicines’ policy and we are able to administer certain prescribed medicines only.
‘Have any staff received specialist training for children with needs? How are school staff supported who work with children who have additional needs?’
Simon Marks offers a training program for all staff members, children who have mild/moderate learning difficulties are very well supported in class by teachers and teaching assistants. If we have children who have other difficulties and/or disabilities then we always look for additional training opportunities for the staff members working with the child/group of children. We currently have a number of support staff who have been trained to support and deliver specific speech and language group activities, or learning mentor is trained to deliver social skills groups.
‘How are the schools resources allocated? How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?’
At Simon Marks there is a commitment to monitor every child’s progress and direct resources according to the level of support individual and groups of children. We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:
· Adapting our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
· Adapting our resources and staffing
· Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
· Adapting our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
‘How will I be involved in this decision?’
We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. These conversations will make sure that:
· Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty
· We take into account the parents’ concerns
· Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child
· Everyone is clear on what the next steps are
Notes of these early discussions will be added to the pupil’s record. We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEN support.
If your child has an Education Health Care Plan, you will be invited in to discuss provision and see for yourself what the school has on offer for your child. The provision for your child will be based on the recommendations outlined in the plan. The school will use the pool of specialists within the local authority. The school will also consider provisions beyond the local authority and take feasibility into consideration. Your input and support is valuable to us and you will be consulted throughout the plan being implemented.
‘How is the school accessible for children with needs?’
All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before-and after-school clubs. There be occasions when parental support is needed with trips/ outings.
No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability. Simon Marks is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children. School clubs, educational visits, sports day, special workshops and residential trips are available to all children.
When necessary, the school will make reasonable adjustments in line with the Equalities Act 2010 to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities. You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns. Simon Marks has a sloped entrance for wheelchair access into the main building and reception area. Wheelchair access is also available into key stage one classrooms via the school playground. However, Simon Marks currently does not have a lift and access to the 1 st floor is not possible for wheelchair users. There is a disabled person’s toilet available on the ground floor.
Our Early years building is fully accessible for wheelchairs and prams. The school’s accessibility plan can be on the school website.
‘How will my child be included in activities at school, after school clubs and on school trips?’
Where possible Simon Marks will make every attempt to ensure that every child has access to everything that is on offer. However, there are times when certain events and activities may not be suited to individual pupils. The school will always carry out a risk assessment of an activity or a class trip which is in addition to everyday classroom activities. Based on the outcome of the risk assessment and the best interests of your child a decision will be made- this will be with parent consultation and will result in several options available. If an additional adult is required, then the school will provide this. In certain instances, it may be that we require parental support on trips. If a child’s behaviour or need is a cause for concern and safety is an issue, it may be decided that it is not in your child’s interest to attend a trip or workshop, the school has to take into consideration the education and the safety of all the other pupils and staff as we have a duty of care to everyone not just pupils with identified needs. The same risk assessment will apply to afterschool provision and other extended day activities. Where it is safe and possible the school will do it’s best to accommodate and support parents.
‘How will the school prepare my child when joining the school or when transferring to a new school?’
Simon Marks has many robust transition systems in place. If your child is joining us from another nursery and coming into reception, the minimum transition will include a telephone conversation with the previous nursery to gather information about how your child is doing, there will always be induction meetings and opportunities for you to visit the school with your child prior to starting school. In some instances, the class teacher and a member of the senior leadership team will visit your child in their early years setting and invite members of the early years setting to come over and visit the school with your child. We believe in making transitions run as smoothly as possible and understand that change can be challenging for some children. Staff are always available to talk to you about any concerns or issues you may have. If your child is moving on to secondary school, Simon Marks works very closely with the local authority and we will start giving you secondary transfer information from when your child approaches the end of year 5. Once places have been allocated, we provide information for the local authority which in turn shares this information with secondary schools. Pupils will have transition days in the summer term along with visits from secondary school staff to support transition.
Simon Marks works with ‘Streetwise’, an organisation which provide transition workshops for year 6 pupils in preparation for their move into secondary school. These workshops take place in the summer term.
‘My child needs help with transport to school. How can you help?’
Although Simon Marks is unable to offer support with transport, we are able to direct you to the Local Authority Inclusion team and/or children’s social care who may be able to assist you.
‘How will you help me to support my child’s learning? What support and training is available to parents and carers?’
At Simon Marks we offer parental training and support packages, we invite parents in throughout the year to various coffee mornings and workshops. All our senior leaders actively seek workshops and training offered locally and advertise these on our noticeboards, if we feel a parent may need help in any way we look at what is available and encourage participation. We want and encourage you to be empowered and confident. We are able to make referrals to local services that are able to help families through difficult times and circumstances.
‘Where can further information on services available be found?’
Simon Marks will always make every effort to direct you the other organisations and services available to you. If we get new information we will always display this on our parent notice boards, we will text you and send you leaflets with information. We believe that the best provision for our children will come with quality provision and a fantastic working relationship with parents. Hackney Learning Trusts website has its own Local Offer; this will guide you to a long list of services and support mechanisms on offer in Hackney.
‘What should I do if I have a complaint about SENd provision?’
Complaints about SENd provision in our school should be made to the class teacher in the first instance. They will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy. The parents of pupils with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SENd tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:
· Provision of education and associated services
· Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services