Countess Gytha Primary School’s Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

How does the school know if children require additional support and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs and/or disabilities?

At Countess Gytha Primary School and preschool children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:

(Class teacher refers to school, keyworker refers to preschool.)

  • Liaison with nursery/pre-school or previous school
  • Child performing below age related expectations
  • Child not making expected progress
  • Concerns raised by parent
  • Concerns raised by pupil
  • Concerns raised by teacher/ keyworker
  • Concerns raised by Health visitor or Get Set worker (Foundation Unit)
  • Liaison with external agencies e.g. Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist
  • Health diagnosis through pediatrician
  • Social and emotional needs are identified which are having an impact on the child’s learning.

 How will I, as the parent, raise concerns?

At Countess Gytha we value the support that parents/carers are able to give to the home/school partnership. Sharing information between home and school helps us to support your child effectively.

  • If you have concerns about your child contact your child’s class teacher/ keyworker to arrange a meeting. The Class teacher/ Keyworker will then discuss your concerns with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and /or the Head teacher who will then consider next steps. A discussion with you may then be held to plan additional support.
  • You can talk to the SENCO, Mrs Spike, who is also the Foundation Unit SENCo directly by organising an appointment.
  • You can also discuss concerns at Parents’ Evenings, these are usually held in the Autumn and Spring Term each academic year. Foundation Unit Parents Evenings are held once a term.

 How will the school staff support my child?

  • Class teachers/ keyworkers will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made. Good teaching provision in class for all pupils is known as Quality First Teaching.
  • Our SENCo oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.
  • Work will be matched to the child’s need and will support and extend their learning accordingly. Sometimes a child might need additional work or support to ensure progress or to help the child overcome a specific, identified learning barrier. This will be overseen by our SENCo and may be delivered by her, a trained Teaching Assistant (TA), Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA), the class teacher/ keyworker or by an outside agency, e.g. a speech therapist.

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

  • All work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access according to their specific needs. This might mean that in a lesson there are three different levels of work set or some work might be individually differentiated.
  • The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
  • Teaching techniques are varied so that there are hands-on, concrete, visual and auditory experiences.
  • Our classrooms are also communication and dyslexia friendly environments.
  • Our teachers will be empathetic to any changes in a child’s life (past present or future) which may affect his or her learning.


  • How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs in Early Years?
  • Each keyworker works within the age and stage of development that is appropriate to each child.
  • Each keyworker differentiates the EYFS so that each child can access and enjoy their development and learning in a way that suits them.
  • Teaching techniques are varied so that there are hands-on, concrete, visual and auditory experiences.
  • Our keyworkers will be empathetic to any changes or events in a child’s life (past, present or future) which may affect his or her learning.


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

  • You are welcome at any time to make an appointment to meet with the class teacher, keyworkers, preschool SENCo and/or the school SENCo, to discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
  • We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers/keyworkers therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
  • As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National Expectations and Age Related Expectations.
  • The impact of specific interventions are monitored by the SENCo. Data will be collected before and after the intervention to show the effectiveness in helping your child.
  • The class teacher/ keyworker continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry in Reception through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including Reading and Spelling ages. A personal EYFS tracker is used in preschool.
  • Every child’s progress is discussed at Pupil Progress Meetings with the Class teacher, SENCo and Head teacher. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression. Changes in provision will be made accordingly.
  • Specific individuals may benefit from a home/school link book which your child will bring home regularly so that comments from parents and teacher can be shared and responded to when needed.
  • The use of Pupil Learning Passports, written by the child, teacher, SENCo and parent, are now being used in line with the new Code of Practice. These are child friendly documents easily accessible by the child and all staff working with the child. They highlight areas such as “Learning is better for me when…” and “ I would like to be supported by…” Such Learning Passports state what the barriers to learning may be

We have developed the use of Provision Maps to highlight support and interventions for the child.

  • If your child has complex SEND they may have an Education Health Care Plan (formerly a Statement of SEN), which means that a formal meeting will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written. There is a lengthy process for completing this and it will be based on a lack of educational progress at school due to the child’s SEND.


What Support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in school?

  • We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.
  • The class teacher/ keyworker has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this is the parents’ first point of contact. If support is required the class teacher liaises with the SENCo for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health Professionals, Children’s Social Care (CSC), the Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SMEH) Support Team, our Educational Psychologist (EP) or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), health visitors, Get Set Family Support Services, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists (OT), physio therapists, English as an Additional Language specialists (EAL), area SENCO, GP’s and pediatricians and Team around the School(TAS).
  • We sometimes use Behaviour Support Plans (BSP) or Pastoral Support Plans (PSP) in order to support children who are experiencing a particular difficulty in these areas.
  • We have a PFSA (Parent Family Support Advisor) for whom we can complete a referral form to ask for their support both in school and for families at home. This is a dual role in our school since our PFSA is also our SENCo. There are sometimes overlaps and so this dual role is most effective.
  • For Early Year pupils we use Get Set Family Support Services where we as a Foundatiion Unit can refer to, or in some cases, parents can refer themselves to.

 How are Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

  • The SENCO reports to the Governors every year to inform them about the progress of children with SEND; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
  • The Governors review the SEND Policy annually
  • One of the Governors is responsible for SEND and meets termly with the SENCO. They also report to the Governors to keep all informed. Our named Governor is Mrs Butterfield.
  • The Governors agree priorities for spending with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress.

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

Our SENCo is an experienced, qualified teacher.

When a child is identified at school as having a specific need, we are able to access County or NHS Services such as Educational Psychology, Learning Support Service, Speech and Language Service, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Impairment and Medical Support Team, Hearing Support Team, Vision Support Team, Autism and Communication Outreach team (CAOT)

  • When a child is identified at preschool as having a specific need, we are able to access Health Visitors, Get Set Family Support Services, Speech and Language therapists, Occupational Therapists (OT), Physio therapists, English as an Additional Language Specialists(EAL), area SENCo, GP’s and pediatricians.


 What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are currently having?

Various members of staff have received training for the following:

  • ‘Introduction to Autism.’
  • Delivering Speech & Language programmes provided by Speech & Language therapists.
  • Leading groups in nurture and theraplay to support children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
  • Delivering reading and spelling/phonics programmes.
  • Integrated Literacy Intervention (ILI).
  • Toe by Toe – an English Intervention
  • Talking Partners
  • Asking questions.
  • Elklan Test of Abstract Language Comprehension (TALC)
  • Introduction to Dyslexia
  • Supporting children with Diabetes
  • Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)
  • STC ( Somerset Total Communication)
  • Learn to Move
  • Precision Teaching


Whenever the need arises staff will receive further appropriate training.

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

  • All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
  • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
  • External providers will be advised of any particular need prior to a visit.


How accessible is the school environment?

  • The school site is wheelchair accessible with support.
  • There is a disabled toilet.
  • There are changing facilities for any child whose needs necessitate personal care.


How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting.

For children with SEND we encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings. Staff may visit a child in their current school.

Meetings will be arranged with the SENCO and other relevant parties to which parents will be invited.

We use books, including photos, with children if transition is potentially difficult, using a School Entry Plan which is reviewed in the Autumn Term after they start.

We liaise closely with Staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.

When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits. At our ‘feeder’ secondary school, Ansford Academy, they run a specifically tailored programme to aid transition for the most vulnerable pupils. Other Secondary Schools may also offer additional visits for vulnerable pupils.

Social Stories may be written to help to set out changes that are about to occur.

If your child has complex needs then a School Entry Plan or EHC review will be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.


How the school’s resources are allocated and matched to children’s SEN needs?

  • We ensure that all children who have Special Educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
  • We use the SEN budget to contribute towards the funding of Teaching Assistants who deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
  • The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given the most support.

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

  • The class teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.
  • Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
  • This will be through on-going discussions with parents.


How do we know if this has had an impact?

  • The child is making progress academically against national/age expected levels and the gap is narrowing – they are catching up with their peers or expected age levels.
  • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and pupil.
  • Children may move off of the SEN register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.
  • The SENCo monitors the progress made in intervention work
  • Pupil progress meetings are held termly between the Headteacher, Classteacher and SENCo. The progress of every child is discussed at these meetings and support is discussed and planned.


Who can I contact for further information?

  • Talk to us…..Your first point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns. You can speak to your child’s class teacher at the beginning or the end of the school day but it may be appropriate to make an appointment to discuss concerns in more detail. This meeting will be arranged for a mutually convenient time.
  • The class teacher may consult with colleagues confidentially to discuss strategies to help your child.
  • It may also be seen as necessary to involve the SENCo and Foundation Unit SENCo, Mrs Spike.
  • If concerns persist, further appointments may be arranged with the class teacher and/or the SENCo. You can also ask for an appointment with the Headteacher, Mrs Goodland or the Preschool manager Ms Flagg.


 Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?

  • Contact the school office to arrange to meet the Headteacher, Mrs Goodland.
  • Mrs Goodland will include the SENCO, Mrs Spike, in initial meetings if this is felt to be appropriate.


Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the preschool?

  • Contact Ms Flagg (Preschool manager lead) or Mrs Spike (Foundation Unit SENCo) if appropriate.


Click to view the Somerset Local Offer

Accessibility Plan 2018*

Information Report Dec 18*

Special Educational Needs & Disability Policy  -Updated May 2018 – Review date May 2019