Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Our School SENCO is Mrs Liz Holmes.

For further information, please also see our Inclusion Policy on the Policies Page of our website.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is committed to ensuring that all our children succeed and reach their full potential. All our children are treated as individuals. We work with children, parents and other agencies to provide the best possible educational outcomes. We have high expectation for all our children and put support in place at the earliest possible stage where needed.

The class teacher, alongside other support staff, plans an appropriately differentiated curriculum for our children with additional needs to ensure high quality teaching and learning with effective support and resources. Clear personal provision plans and care plans are put in place and reviewed regularly. A range of carefully tailored interventions are developed, reviewed and evaluated to ensure maximum progress and impact for our learners. Key assessments ensure that children are on track to meet targets and planning accurately addresses needs. Progress, targets and plans are regularly reviewed with the children and evaluated to inform next steps.

An appropriate and accessible learning environment is provided within the school’s means and confines of the building, and is adapted where possible. St Joseph’s is committed to ensuring that staff receive regular training, and work alongside other professionals to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in specific areas of SEND, e.g. autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc. Staff are able to offer a wide range of support and strategies for inclusion.

Our Catholic Compass Partnership works together on a regular basis to share good practice and keep up to date with changes to legislation. This ensures we fulfil our mission statement of the partnership:

Jesus Christ is at the centre of the life of the Partnership. We work together to ensure that all children reach their full potential by striving to offer the highest possible standards of education. We recognise that every child is unique, created in God’s image. We celebrate and nurture their individual gifts and talents. Inspired by faith, our partnership shares its achievements offering each other challenge and support, as together we follow Christ in self giving love and service.

The following school policies, available on the website, reflect the school’s commitment to inclusion, safety and well-being of the children:
·         Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
·         Behaviour and Discipline
·         Teaching and Learning
·         Safeguarding
·         Child Protection
·         Anti-Bullying
·         Equalities
·         Health and Safety
·         Access
·         Freedom of Information
·         Home-school agreement

What does SEND mean?
SEND means special educational needs and disabilities. Children have a special need if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made. This will be if the child:

  • Has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of school age within Local Authority Area.

The area of special need will be identified as either:

  • Cognition and Learning (general of specific learning difficulties)
  • Communication and Interaction (speech and language difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders)
  • Behaviour, Emotional and Social
  • Physical, Sensory and Medical (hearing, visual impairments, physical and medical difficulties

Who Oversees Special Needs Provision at St Joseph’s?
Every member of staff has a responsibility to ensure that the needs of SEND children are being met. However, all Special Educational Needs provision is overseen and managed by the Senior Leadership team (SLT) in school and is coordinated by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). The Senior Leadership Team evaluate all special needs provision on a regular basis throughout the year and report to the school Governing Body on how individual needs are being met and how special needs funding is being spent.

What do I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
Parents should contact their child’s class teacher to discuss initial concerns, or arrange an appointment with the SENCo, Liz Holmes, via the school office on 01937 582163. Arrangements will be made for a meeting where school will listen carefully to the parents concerns and put appropriate action in place. This may involve signposting to other professionals if necessary.

The staff at school thinks that my child may have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). What happens now?
The school will collect information about your child from all the staff involved, and we will also ask for your views and seek any information that you can provide. Parents are an important source of information; we will work actively with you and keep you fully informed about what is being done to meet your child’s needs. If it is decided that your child needs further support, the class teacher will work with the SENCo to arrange this.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
School will ensure that the curriculum is adapted by to meet the child’s specific needs. The class teachers, alongside other support staff, plan an appropriately differentiated curriculum for all children with additional needs to ensure the highest quality teaching and learning with effective support and resources. The class teachers work in partnership with the SENCO and parents to put in place individualised provision plans, and where appropriate intervention or highly personalised support, which are regularly reviewed. Progress is rigorously monitored and evaluated to inform next steps. The support we offer our SEND children was judged as outstanding by Ofsted at our last inspection. “Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs do exceedingly well. They also make rapid progress because of the excellent individual and small-group teaching they receive.” Ofsted 2013.

How will I know how well my child is doing?
There will be termly meetings where parents are invited to discuss their child’s current personalised provision and progress with the class teachers and/or SENCo. This may include parents’ evenings and annual reports. Parents are always encouraged to request a meeting with the SENCo should concerns arise.

How will school help me support my child’s learning?
We ensure that parents/carers themselves are fully involved in supporting their child’s education in consultation with the class teacher and the SENCO. This involves consultation with target setting and strategies to support learning. It may also involve special homework tasks or reinforcement of classroom strategies at home. School will endeavour to offer parent training or learning events to aid this process and would welcome suggestions from parents.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
St Joseph’s prides itself on having a caring and supportive Catholic ethos. All our staff ensures that the children have the highest levels of pastoral care possible. This support is varied but may include specific sessions designed to meet the emotional and social needs of individual children. We dedicate time to ensure that we develop supportive partnerships with Diocesan and local agencies to provide support for families who may need additional support. We have very close links with Local Authority services such as the Complex Needs Team, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists. We also have excellent links with Cluster services such as Family Outreach Workers and Counselling services. Working with parents’ agreement, we will seek advice or make referrals to get the best support possible, as quick as possible. This may be as part of an Early Help Plan process (EHP) or an Education Health Care plan.

All our staff are trained in Child Protection procedures. We also have four members of staff who are fully trained to be specially designated Child Protection Officers to ensure the safeguarding of all children. These members of staff are Miss Milivojevic (Headteacher) Mrs Ward (DHT) Miss Costello (Teacher) and Mrs Frost (HLTA).

How will the professionals from these services support and assess my child?
The SENCo will inform you of the services that might be involved in the support of your child in order to gain your consent and explain why they have been asked to give advice. Outside professionals mentioned above who are linked with the school will usually observe your child in their normal classroom setting if this is appropriate and practical. This will enable them to assess your child’s needs and advise the school on new and appropriate targets for your child’s personalised provision plan. They will also be able to provide advice on the ways in which the school can help your child achieve that targets that are set. Following the receipt of advice from outside agencies a copy of the report will be sent home along with an invitation for you to come and discuss it with the SENCo.

Will my child have one-to-one support in the classroom?
For a very small minority of children one-to-one provision may be appropriate. What is important is that your child has an effective personal programme of teaching and learning. This might include the provision of different learning materials or special equipment or the training and development of staff.

What happens if my child has really complex needs?
For a few children with complex needs, an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) may be issued by the Local Authority. In this instance it is likely that your child will receive a significant level of additional support in order to meet their needs.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The SENCo, working alongside the class teacher, will take advice from all professionals involved with the child, alongside the views of parents and the child themselves, if appropriate. Based on the advice of professionals and outstanding practice, the best package of support will be put together to provide a teaching programme additional to or different from the usual curriculum which reflects the child’s individual needs; details of this will be in your child’s personalised provision plan.

Does this mean that they will not do the same things as their peers?
No, your child will still be part of the class group but will receive some extra support or support that is different from their peers. This support will be carefully planned and aim to provide the specific help your child needs.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?
In consultation with parents, the school ensures reasonable adjustments are made so that out of school activities and visits are accessible to children with additional needs.

How are the school’s resources/funding allocated and matched to the children’s needs?
The school is funded on a national formula per pupil. Initial blocks of £6000 are allocated depending on the number of SEND children who meet the criteria. The school can then apply for top-up funding based on strict criteria, if it is felt that a child’s needs are above that which can be provided through the initial £6000. The school uses the additional funds to put appropriate support in place to meet the specific needs of a child. In most cases, this will take the form of a key worker to support the child to access a personalised timetable, develop independence, support personal care, and access all areas of the curriculum. Spending of funding received into school is closely monitored by the Senior Leadership Team, Governors and the Local Education Authority.

How will school help my child to transfer to the next phase of education?
Transition arrangements are very carefully considered for children with extra needs. The involvement of the child and parents in these arrangements are firmly established in the outstanding practice of our school. Nurture provision is planned to ensure children make all transitions as smoothly, confidently and happily as possible.

How are parents involved in the school and how can I be involved?
The Governing Body has a parent governor to act as a link between the school and all parents. Parents are also kept informed regularly about teaching and other events through newsletters, open evenings and open days. The school invites parents in to practical sessions to show parents our methods of teaching. Parents are also invited into the school for information sessions, weekly Golden Book assemblies, school masses and various performances and concerts throughout the year. Parents are also encouraged to support the Friends of St Joseph’s who send home regular updates and have a notice board in the school playground.

Who can I contact for further information?

  • If you are considering applying for a school place contact the school office on 01937 582163
  • If you wish to discuss something about your child speak to your child’s class teacher or contact the school office to make an appointment with the relevant member of staff.
  • If you require information about other support services contact the school, SENCo, Liz Holmes.
  • If you require information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer please contact the SENCo or a member of the Senior Leadership Team or click here.
  • If you would like further support and advice visit the website or call 0113 3951222.
  • If you have any concerns about any area of SEND within school, please contact the SENCO or Head Teacher in the first instance.

SEN Showcase Sessions

    • 2019 has seen St. Joseph’s launch their SEN Showcase sessions. These have allowed parents to see first-hand the provision that is in place for their child, to have an opportunity to work alongside them in class and to participate in some of the interventions that they access. We’re really proud of the provision that we offer and of the efforts that the children make every day and felt that this was a good way to share this and celebrate it with parents.


    • At the sessions there is a workshop led by Mrs Holmes covering an area of interest for parents.
    • Parent Presentation: Approaches to Reading ~ Oct 2019
    • Parent Presentation: Dyslexia Friendly Strategies ~ March 2019


This year we have participated in the Level Two Dyslexia Aware School SENIT training and a key part of our action plan was to engage and listen to the pupils so that their voices and ideas were heard. Four pupils from Year 5 who have dyslexia were asked to be Dyslexia Ambassadors for school. This involved them leading assemblies, presenting to parents and raising awareness of dyslexia across school.

As a school we are really proud of them for the way in which they have embraced the role and the hard work that they have put in. Children across school now see dyslexia as a learning difference not a learning difficulty and this is very much due to their example and attitude. The role is still developing and they still have lots of ideas that they want to implement.

Dyslexia Awareness School Assembly

Dyslexia Ambassadors ~ What Dyslexia Means To Us.

Dyslexia Ambassador Celebration

Pupils Understanding of Dyslexia



The Main Principles of LEGO Therapy

Lego Group is great fun! We work together as a team, take on different roles, communicate and succeed!