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Thornham St James' C.E. Primary School

Thornham St James C.E. Primary School
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Thornham St James’ C.E Primary School SEN Information Report

Updated September 2021



Mission Statement

  • To prepare pupils for life we will provide an inclusive learning environment in which each individual is valued. Pupils will be given the opportunity to identify and develop their skills and talents as people and citizens.


  • Our school is a Christian Community where respect, love and tolerance are the foundations of our activities. Worshipping together fosters and affirms these values and attitudes.


  • Our priority is to provide a caring and supportive atmosphere, within an environment which will foster self respect, self discipline, self esteem, confidence and motivation.


  • We have high expectations, permeating every aspect of school lif


  • We hope to achieve this with the co-operation of children, parents, teachers, support staff and governors.

At Thornham St James’ C.E Primary School, we embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the needs of every child are different. Each individual is valued, and we believe in nurturing talents, widening horizons and creating aspirations for all creating a firm foundation for individual growth.

One of the key principles underpinning the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice is ‘co-production’. In short, this is the involvement of service users (Parents, Carers and Pupils) in all aspects of the SEND (Special Educational Needs and disabilities) practice. Therefore, creating a more holistic approach to SEND. These requirements are set out in The Children and Families Bill (2013) which state that it is essential to:

  • Ensure children, young people and families know what help they can get when a child or young person has special educational needs or a disability
  • Provide children, young people and their parents with more control over the help they receive









How do Thornham St James’ know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?


When pupils have identified SEND before they start our school, we work with the people and agencies who already know them and use the information already available to identify what their Special Educational Needs (SEN) will be in our school setting.

The child’s class teacher is the first point of contact for parents/carers who may think that their child has additional needs. Following this, the class teacher may liaise with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) for further advice and guidance. We will share what we discover with you and agree with you what we will do next and what you can do to help your child. Possible outcomes could include further assessments and investigations or interventions put in place.

If our staff think that your child has an SEN this may be because they are not making the same progress as other pupils. We will observe them; we will assess their understanding of what we are doing in school and use tests to pinpoint what is causing the difficulty. We will then discuss our findings with you.

How will Thornham St James’ staff support my child?


The class teacher plans for all the pupils in his/her class, differentiates accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs and is responsible for the assessment of their progress. Children are taught as a whole class, as groups, or 1:1 by both class teacher and the teaching assistants.



At Thornham St James’, we offer many different forms of additional provision. This can include in-class support; additional out-of-class support; one-to-one support; flexible groupings (including small group work); access to specific resources; mentoring; and a wide range of outside agencies. Additional provision is overseen by the school’s SENCO and is designed and implemented by an excellent team of teachers alongside a fantastic group of highly skilled teaching assistants. As with individual targets, the most important point is this: additional support depends on the needs of the whole child.

Once a child has been identified with Special Educational Needs, targets are set for the child to work on. For many children, targets will be connected to learning and will often be specifically to do with English and Maths. For other children, they may be to do with social interaction, communicating with children and adults, emotional difficulties, overcoming physical issues (e.g. problems with fine/gross motor control etc…). The list is endless. The most important point is that targets depend on the needs of the individual child.

The class teacher plans for all the pupils in his/her class, differentiates accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs and is responsible for the assessment of their progress. The child will follow a cycle of assess, plan, do and review the work they need and this will form part of our graduated response to learning.

How do Thornham St James’ assess pupil progress towards the outcomes we have targeted for pupils?

We use PIVATS to assess progress that is in smaller steps and at a slower pace than the usual National Curriculum. We regularly use staff meetings to get all teachers to assess an anonymous piece of work to check our judgements are correct (moderating). Teachers and teaching assistants check how well a pupil understands and makes progress in each lesson. Progress is discussed with parents at a Review Meeting.

Pupil progress meetings are held each term to discuss the progress of pupils with the Headteacher and Deputy head teacher. The shared discussions will highlight what further support or intervention may be needed to increase progress and bring the child back on track to meet their own personal targets and possible end of year targets.

The Governors at Thornham St James’ C.E Primary School are responsible for the overseeing of all procedures in school and take an active role in everyday school life.

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


All our staff are trained so that we are able to adapt to a range of SEN- specific learning difficulties (including dyslexia) (SpLD); autistic spectrum disorder (ASD); speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).

All pupils at Thornham St James’ benefit from a range of teaching and learning styles; a differentiated curriculum; a range of differentiated learning materials (for reinforcement and extension); assessment procedures that emphasise pupils’ strengths and achievements; intervention programmes; access to ICT; differentiated booster classes; and a broad range of extra-curricular activities.

We believe it is important for children to develop relationships with a number of adults across the school and ensure all staff understand a child’s SEN.  All the mainstream subject areas will be adapted by staff to enable all pupils to access each subject in a meaningful and purposeful way. Phonics is taught across EYFS and KS1 and 2 and is embedded across the curriculum.

Access to the Curriculum is important. Therefore, school uses a wide variety of intervention and resources to facilitate access to the curriculum, including:

  • Maths - Plus 1, Power of 2, Numicon and Precision Teaching. Numbershark.
  • Reading/Writing – Precision Teaching, Comprehension groups, Processing Training Programme (Acoustic Linguistic) , Toe by Toe. Alpha to Omega and talking pegs.
  • Phonics/Spelling – Multi-sensory programmes and Phase based spelling intervention
  • Language and Communication – Black Sheep, BLAST, Lego Therapy and Processing Training Programme (Acoustic Linguistic).
  • Personal, Social, Health Education – Circle of Friends, Lego Therapy, SEAL, social Stories and socially speaking.
  • Fine Motor Skills – OT intervention programmes, Handwriting – Write From the Start.

It maybe that your child needs specialist equipment e.g. sloping boards, pencils grips, posture support cushions and chairs this will be provided by school to help your child make progress.

Our children are consulted about their preferred learning style and what best supports them in their learning journey. They make progress in many ways not only through academic achievement. We teach using approaches to develop confidence, resilience and independence and offer opportunities for these skills to be transferred across the school setting creating a firm foundation for individual growth.

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

Typically, a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities will have a Provision Map which outlines what additional provision is being put in place for them. The content of the Provision Map is negotiated, as appropriate, with the child and the child’s family at an arranged meeting. Targets will be set for your child to attain within their class. Copies of your child’s Provision Map will be sent home when they are reviewed and new targets set. We aim to have a review meeting in the Autumn Term and Spring Term. An Annual Review will also take place in the Summer Term. During this meeting, you will be given the opportunity to discuss your child, their progress, achievements and steps for the next year, as well as meet your child’s new class teacher. 

Parents Evening is held in the Spring Term for teachers to discuss your child’s progress. At the end of each term, you will receive a written report outlining progress made. The Summer Term report outlines targets for your child to aim for the following year.

We have been using Person Centred Planning (PCP) Meetings, which take into consideration both the views of the parents and of the child. Your child’s view is valued and plays a vital part of the process. Having had the meeting Next Steps are written and copies of these are sent home.



What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Your child’s well-being and emotional health lies alongside their academic progress. Teachers plan for the holistic development of each child in his/her class, using their detailed knowledge of each individual to promote their confidence and self-esteem. Individual behaviour plans are used should there be the additional need.

As a school we offer a wide range of pastoral support for pupils who encounter emotional difficulties which include:

  • Teachers and teaching assistants readily available to discuss issues and concerns.
  • Person Centred planning.
  • Clubs and extra adult supervision from teaching assistants and teachers at lunchtime to support children who find them challenging.
  • If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Health Care Plan is compiled.
  • Many of our teachers and teaching assistants are trained first aiders and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school. However, these are medicines based on a formal diagnosis. A medical consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.
  • Playground Pals

At Thornham St James’, we pride ourselves in how well we promote children’s well-being and emotional health.

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


Senior leaders, teachers and teaching assistants are highly skilled in meeting the individual learning, behaviour and social needs of our children. The school accesses a range of specialist services including:


  • School Nurse
  • Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)
  • Occupational Therapist (OT)
  • Educational Psychologists (EP)
  • Hearing Impairment Team
  • Visual and Physical Impairment Team
  • Outreach support from specialist schools, e.g. Spring Brook
  • Social Services
  • Paediatricians – accessed via school nurse and/or GP’s
  • Parent Partnership
  • POINT (Parents of Oldham IN Touch)
  • Quality and Effectiveness Support Team (QEST)
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Mental Health Services)
  • Physiotherapists
  • Health visitor




What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?


Professional development is an ongoing process and our staff receive regular training related to SEND to support our children’s needs including sessions on:


  • SEND reforms and quality first teaching
  • Autism (All staff are Level 2 Autism Trained)
  • Social Communication Difficulties
  • Speech and Language
  • Dyslexia
  • Lego Therapy
  • Numicon
  • Precision Teaching
  • Phonics
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Dysfluency
  • Social Emotional Behavioural Needs
  • First Aid
  • SENCO also attends SENCO network meetings
  • SENCO attends annual NASEN (National Association of Special Education Needs ) conference.





 How does additional funding work?


     Schools receive funding for all pupils including those with Special Educational

Needs and Disabilities and they meet pupil’s needs from this. If the assessment of a pupil’s needs identifies something that is significantly different to what is          usually available, a child may be considered for Statutory Assessment for an     Education Health Care plan from the Local authority. This will provide additional funding from the Local Authority to support his/ her need.


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


At Thornham St James’, we ensure that all of our extra-curricular activities are carefully adapted for all of our children including those with Specific needs. We are delighted with all the children who actively participate in all of our school trips, residentials, extra-curricular clubs, sports teams and school committees (e.g. our school council). As a fully inclusive school, all children participate in whole school curriculum and off site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between children, but we differentiate the activities and expectations to enable all children to take part.


How accessible is the school environment?


Thornham St James’ is set on a split level site with some steps up to the Reception classroom, up to the Year 2 classroom, between Year 3 and Year 4 and when accessing Year 5 and Year 6 from the playground. The building is safe and secure at all times and classrooms provide children with a light and airy space where children can feel relaxed making it a happy and secure place to learn. We are open plan throughout and have two self-contained classrooms (Year 6 classroom and the ICT Suite).





How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Thornham St James’ or transferring to a new school?


As discussed earlier, when pupils have identified SEND before they start our school, we work with pre school staff, parents and agencies that already know the child and use the information to devise an appropriate plan for the child.


Parents and children are more than welcome to look around Thornham St James’ C.E Primary School at any time to see what excellent provision we offer and whether you feel we can meet the needs of your child.


Your child, if particularly worried or anxious, will be offered some transition visits and an opportunity to meet their new class teacher and class mates. Transition is most successful and beneficial particularly when your child is going into Secondary school.


At our school we talk to the necessary secondary schools. Our SENCo contacts the secondary school SENCo, and a meeting is arranged prior to transition so that any necessary information can be shared. Parents are invited to these meetings also. The secondary school SENCO or a Learning Mentor will attend the meeting. Secondary schools send representatives to come into school to talk to their potential new pupils. Children will get the opportunity to spend a day in their new schools so that they become familiar with their new environment. Relevant paper work is guaranteed to be passed on to them and they are made aware of any special requirements, both educationally and pastorally.


How are your resources allocated or matched to children’s educational needs?


Most of the resources used to meet your child’s needs are available within the classroom. Money may also be spent on further additional resources, staffing costs, staff training, specialist support/outside agencies and time allocated to the SENCO to manage and monitor the support.



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


On a daily basis the class teacher determines the level of support for individual children within the class. When children whose SEN circumstances or health requirements indicate that additional support may be required, discussions are held between the class teacher and SENCo to determine what this may be. Typically this support continues to be provided from within the class, but maybe targeted at specific times. If evidence suggests that even higher levels of support or funding maybe beneficial this is agreed by the Headteacher and SENCo with parental consultation and contribution. If further application for funding and support is deemed necessary the relevant applications will be made in joint consultation between the SENCo and parents/carers.




How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?


All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. This maybe through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher.
  • Regular Review Meetings – Person Centred Planning (PCP)
  • During parents evenings
  • During discussions with other professionals
  • Multi-Agency Meetings
  • Secondary Transition Meeting
  • Annual reviews




Who can I contact for further information or if I have any issues or concerns?


The first point of contact for anything related to your child’s education is the class teacher. We encourage parents not to wait for the next formal opportunity to meet but to contact us on an ongoing basis. Or, the SENCo can be contacted directly.


For matters not directly related to your child’s progress, parents are invited to contact the school office and the SENCo, the deputy headteacher or Headteacher will be available to talk to you at a mutually convenient time.


If you feel your matter still has not been dealt with you can follow the procedures outlined in our school complaints policy, which is on our school website under policies.


If your concern is with the local authority, contact the Complaints and Representations Officer. Contact details are as follows:

Complaints and Representations Officer.


PO Box 40,

Level 8,

Civic Centre,

West Street,


OL1 1XJ.

Telephone: 0161 770 1129

Email: cypf.complaints@oldham.gov.uk


For all impartial support and advice for all SEND matters, Oldham SEND Information Advice Support service (IASS) exists to help parents and carers of children with additional needs and disabilities, and young people themselves in matters relating to their Education, Health or Social Care provision. Contact: 0161 667 2055. Website: iassoldham.co.uk