FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does Solent Junior School know if children need extra help?
At Solent Junior School children are identified as having SEND through a variety of ways including the following:-
- Liaison with Infant school/previous school
- Child performing below age expected levels
- Concerns raised by Parent
- Concerns raised by teacher, for example behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
- Liaison with external agencies
- Health diagnosis through paediatrician/doctor
As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and age related expectations.
The class teacher 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 at Year 3 through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including National Curriculum levels.
Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through Progress Review meetings with the Class teacher and Head of School. 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.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Talk to us – firstly contact your child’s class teacher. If you require more information contact our SENCo or Head of School.
We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us.
How will Solent Junior School staff support my child?
Our SENCo oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school. The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made. There may be a LSA working with your child either individually or as part of a group; if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher.
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. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be three different levels of work set for the class, however on occasions this can be individually differentiated. The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
How do we know if the strategies used have had an impact?
In school we use individualized targets and regular progress meetings. We can use these targets and meetings to monitor pupil’s progress academically against national/age expected level and update or adjust them accordingly. This may involve updating into smaller steps or using a different approach to ensure progress is made.
Children may move off of the SEND register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
The class teacher will meet with parents at Parents Evenings twice a year. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress. If you require more information or advice, further meetings can be arranged.
We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and 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, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
- Your child may have an additional needs that require specialized targets to be in place and therefore the targets set are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets with the expectation that the child will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed.
- If your child has complex SEND they may have an EHC plan or a Statement of SEND which means that a formal Annual Review will take place to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written. This can also be done at a six monthly interim review if changes to circumstances occur or concerns arise.
How will my child be able to contribute their views?
We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is usually carried out through the School Council which has an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised.
All children are actively involved in target setting and how they can achieve them. There is an annual pupil questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of children especially concerning being able to speak to an adult if they have a worry. If your child has a Statement of SEN or EHC plan they will be included in the Annual Review where their views will be an integral part of the process. Children with SEND are included in all review meetings and encouraged to participate in the target setting process.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
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 has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further 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 and Social Services, and/or the Behaviour Support Team.
- The school also has two ELSAs who works under the direction of the SENCo, with vulnerable children during the school day.
- The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site. Parents need to contact the Admin team to discuss this and if agreed complete a form: ‘Parental Agreement for School to Administer Medicines’. This may include medicines for life threatening conditions or required for a long term illness such as asthma and diabetes. In such cases a ‘Care Plan’ may be put in place according to the directions of the School Nurse.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Solent Junior School?
Our SENCo is fully qualified and accredited.
As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including: – Behaviour Intervention, MABS/CAMHS; Health including – GPs, school nurse, paediatricians, speech & language therapists; occupational therapists; social services including social workers and Educational Psychologists.
What training have the staff at Solent Junior School had or are going to have?
We have two members of staff trained as an ELSAs who receives regular external support.
Most of our LSAs have had training in delivering reading and spelling / phonics programmes such as Catch Up Reading, Toe by Toe and Precision Teaching.
We have two LSAs that receive termly training with the Down Syndrome Footprints service.
We have an LSA receiving fortnightly Speech and Language training.
As a staff we have regular training and updates of conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff are able to manage medical situations.
How the Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?
We currently have two governors involved in both SEND and Inclusion. Both governors regularly meet with the SENCo and will update on changes, needs in school and current concerns. The Governors are then also able to agree priorities for spending within the SEN budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress.
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 & 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.
How accessible is the school environment?
Solent Junior School is situated on one floor with a split level accessed by a small flight of stairs. Any resources needed for access may be assessed by OT and Physiotherapy I order for us to ensure ease of access and safety for all.
How will Solent Junior School prepare and support my child to join the school and then transfer to secondary school?
We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around the school. For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist with the familiarisation with the new surroundings.
- We may need to write a ‘Social Story’ to ease the transition for pupils with high anxiety or communication difficulties.
- School may also feel the need to arrange several transition meetings between the schools in order to alleviate pupil concerns.
When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits. Many of our ‘feeder’ secondary schools run a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils.
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. If your child has complex needs then a Statement of SEND or EHC Plan review will be used at a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.
How are Solent Junior School’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We ensure that the needs of all children who have SEND are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We have a team of LSAs who are funded from the SEND budget and 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, often involving a LSA, and will be prioritised in the event of staff absence.
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.
What support is there for improving behaviour, attendance and avoiding exclusion?
As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils. If a child has behavioural difficulties a PSP is written alongside the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets.
After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour. For more information, please consult our Attendance Policy.
Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Admin department. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Head of School. Good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school and rewarded on a termly basis.
Who can I contact for further information?
Your first point of contact would be your child’s classteacher to share your concerns and then following this you may need to speak to the SENCo/Inclusion Manager (Mrs Karen Young).
You may also want to look at the Inclusion Policy available on our website
Finally for external support and advice, you may also consider contacting Parent Partnership or the SEN team at Portsmouth City Council (PCC). Our SENCo can provide contact details for these organisations.
Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join Solent Junior School?
In the first instance you can contact the school Admin office to arrange a meeting with either the Head of School ‘Mrs Sarah Haydon’ or our SENCo/Inclusion Manager ‘ Mrs Karen Young’ to discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs.
How is the local offer reviewed?
This local offer will be reviewed annually to reflect the changing needs of the children who join and are developing in our school. Part of this review process will involve contributions from parents. All parents of children with SEND are invited to join the Parent Forum to help us match our local offer to the needs of their child.
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