How we support children/young people with SEND starting at our school
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for any child; a child with SEND may find change even more challenging, depending on the nature of their needs. Therefore, steps are taken to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. Involvement with the school SENDCO begins early for pupils with identified special educational needs, which can include visits to a current school or nursery before transfer, and attendance at multi-disciplinary meetings to ensure that key messages are passed on. Early identification of needs ensures a smooth transition and it is always nice for children to see a friendly, known face that they met in their previous environment, when they start at our school.
The period of transition depends on the individual needs of the pupil. If it is felt appropriate, secondary school colleagues will attend annual reviews to meet the current class teacher, parents and most importantly the pupil. We have found this strategy particularly useful in easing any worries or concerns parents and pupils may have. This ensures parents/carers can make the most informed placement decision for their child.
When a child with SEND is applying for secondary school, support with this transition begins early in KS2. Mrs Firth will start to explore considerations with parents about what they would prefer their child’s KS3 provision to look like. This may involve visiting schools, arranging discussions with transition workers and additional pastoral support – all of which Mrs Firth can attend or support with. When a secondary school has been allocated to the child, parents are fully involved and consulted at all stages of the transition process.
Transition from each year group is supported so that the children have met with their new teachers and are familiar with the new classroom environment and organisation; this is very relaxed in our school, as the pupils know all of the members of staff from a a very young age.
New starters for Reception children are provided with the following opportunities:
- Parent and child meeting in school, including informal coffee and biscuits; this gives parents the opportunity to meet senior leaders, as well as Reception staff, in a relaxed situation. This also gives Mrs McDonough, our headteacher, the opportunity to explain home to school agreements, and what we offer for your child.
- Children’s visits to Reception class in the summer term
- Pupils and parents invited for school lunch; this is a particularly welcoming event, particularly for those with specific needs, as they feel much more settled in September.
At West Rainton Primary School we have a flexible approach and additional visit opportunities or multi-agency meetings can be organised if required.
How we support children/young people with SEN moving between classes in our school
As we are a small school, our pupils are well-known to all members of staff. Each member of staff strives to get to know each pupil before they even reach their class, and this really helps pupils to feel easily settled and confident. We have an annual ‘moving up’ day when each class visits their new teacher, which is a relaxed day for pupils to really get to know their new classroom environment. The family atmosphere of our school is what makes transition so seamless.
How we support children/young people with SEN leaving our school
We work in partnership with our local secondary schools; most of our children transfer to Belmont Community School. We also have children who transfer to Framwellgate School in Durham, and Houghton Kepier Academy in Houghton-le-Spring. This enables us to provide an enhanced level of transition for those who we feel would benefit from this. This may take the form of additional visits for pupils, one to one or small group working with secondary school staff or pupil mentoring from secondary schools. We are particularly keen to involve parents/carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to secondary school. School staff will take opportunities to work alongside parents/carers to visit secondary schools in advance of secondary placement applications being submitted to the Local Authority, in the case of children with an Education Health Care Plan.
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.