(updated March 2023)
At Leigh Central Primary School we believe that every child matters and we are committed to offering an inclusive, broad and balanced curriculum for all children, including those with special educational needs.
As parents there are many questions you may have about what our school is able to do to meet your child’s needs when choosing a school for your child. We aim to answer many questions about how school will contribute to the Local Authority Local Offer as possible here but should you have any other questions please contact Mrs Melling (SENDCo) in school. Further detail about our provision for children with needs can be found in our SEND policy which is on the school website under the Parent Information tab.
The Local Authority Local Offer can be found at www.wigan.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer
Admission arrangements for pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
Our school acts in accordance with Wigan Council policy on school admissions, which is in compliance with the Children and Families Act 2014, the SEND regulations 2014 and the Equality Act 2010. All pupils are therefore welcomed and we strive to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are made to our premises and necessary equipment and resources are catered for so that their needs are fully provided for. This includes making adaptions to meet particular needs and enhance learning – please see our school’s Accessibility Plan.
What kinds of special educational needs is provision made for at our school?
Our school is an inclusive school where every child matters as an individual. We aim to address children’s needs and support their development in the most appropriate way possible and celebrate effort as much as achievement. We strive to educate our pupils with a fully holistic and inclusive approach and thus feel that best practice to support our pupils with SEND needs is in fact best practice for all pupils. Our school’s SEND policy document is available on this website, detailing our philosophy in relation to SEND.
We currently have 204 pupils on roll. 20% of that number are pupils with SEND needs. Additional and/or different provision is currently being or can be made in school for children with a range of needs, as outlined in the new SEND Code of Practice 2014, including:
In September 2022, our school became a Resourced Provision school and we now have an additional 5 places (raising to 8 in September 2023), which are allocated by Wigan SEND team, for children in Reception to Year 6 who have an EHC Plan and a diagnosis of Autism (ASD) or other Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), whose needs cannot be met in their own school. All Wigan maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best progress in school. All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible, where families want this to happen. The children in the Resourced Provision are supported within our RP classroom, The Hive. The additional staff in The Hive are experienced and skilled at supporting children with a range of needs relating to their ASD or SLC difficulties to ensure high quality opportunities, high expectations and excellent outcomes. Learning is personalised for each individual pupil. The amount of time that children in Resourced Provision spend in their mainstream classroom and how they access it will depend on their individual needs and personalised plan.
How does school know if a child needs extra help?
All children are assessed on entry to the school, whether that is starting school in Reception or joining another class at any point in the year. Assessments are also carried out on a weekly and half termly basis. Further assessments may be carried out if additional needs are identified or if the class teacher has concerns about the progress a child is making. The class teacher, in consultation with the Mrs Melling (the SENDCo), will then put into place a programme of support for that child. This provision will be discussed with parents and will be reviewed regularly by the class teacher and Mrs Melling. Depending on the progress that the child makes, school may then decide to identify the child as receiving SEND Support.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
First, share your concerns with the class teacher, who will discuss with you the support or interventions your child is already receiving and the progress they are making. The class teacher will then share you concerns with Mrs Melling and discuss next steps for your child. When extra support or help is put into place, this will be talked through with you.
How will school support a child who has been identified as receiving SEND Support?
If a child receives SEND Support, then provision will be put into place by the SENDCo which provides the child with support and interventions from both the class teacher and learning support assistant (LSA). The provision will be personalised to meet the needs of the child. The class teacher and Mrs Melling will talk through this support with parents, including what interventions their child is receiving, who will deliver them and how often, and parents will be kept informed of the progress their child is making. Progress will also be monitored by Mrs Melling. As part of the support, a Target Monitoring Record will be written for the child, which sets out the child’s targets, linked to the interventions they access, and the support they will receive to help them achieve these targets in a specified timescale. Provision and support for children who are identified as having SEND Support across the whole school is monitored half termly by Mrs Melling and their progress measured and reports detailing the impact of the interventions on progress and attainment are shared with the Head Teacher, Senior Leadership Team and Governors.
Our school also provides an adaptive curriculum to ensure that the curriculum includes all pupils regardless of their needs or barriers to learning, by adapting lessons whilst maintaining high expectations for all. Examples of adaptive teaching can include the use of visuals, scaffolding, adapting language and vocabulary, concrete resources, individual explanations, modelling, targeted support from a teacher or LSA and improved accessibility or modification of resources (different sizes/fonts/proximity to speaker/visibility of whiteboard). The revised SEND Code of Practice 2014 is based on a Graduated Approach where the focus is on quality first teaching for all children, which is adapted accordingly to match the needs of all children. This also includes ensuring that all children, regardless of their special educational needs or disabilities, will be able to take part in activities and trips, by adapting activities and providing specialist equipment, extra support and assistance where needed. Parents and carers will be consulted regarding any arrangements we make for trips or special activities. This means that all children should be able to access the curriculum as fully as possible.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
School receives a special educational needs budget which is used to provide children with support and resources, over and above what they would usually receive in school. The SENDCo, in consultation with the Head Teacher, will make a decision about how much support a child receives, based on their individual needs and the resources needed to meet these needs. As a child’s needs change, then the provision and resources they receive will also change. Advice will be gathered from a range of outside agencies to ensure that the resources allocated are appropriate for that child’s needs. All provision will be discussed with parents and carers, including the impact of the support. When the impact of individual interventions and support is measured and evaluated, they will be adapted as necessary. If a child has been receiving support for 2/3 terms and there are still concerns over the lack of progress a child is making, then the child will be assessed against specific criteria. If the child meets these criteria and school feel they need more than 15 hours support, then an application to the Local Authority for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) may be considered, which would, if successful, provide the school with extra funding to meet that child’s needs. This extra funding would be used for specific support as well as purchasing resources which the child needs to fully access the curriculum.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
School staff are trained in a variety of interventions that support pupils’ learning, social, emotional and mental health and their medical needs. Interventions include:
The SENDCo has also completed the national SENCo Award.
Alongside 1:1 and small group interventions which focus on reading, writing and maths or speech, language and communication needs, we also run a number of SEMH interventions, with trained staff, to support children with a range of social, emotional and mental health needs. This includes the use of Motional (an on-line Mental Health and Well-Being Assessment Tool) to identify underlying causes (such as trauma or attachment) for children which may lead to children presenting with SEMH needs. Interventions such as Therapeutic Sand Tray Play, Big Emphathy Drawing, trauma informed responses (including validation) and mindful activities can be provided to support children who are experiencing difficulties linked to anxiety, fear, anger or grief. We also employ a Play Therapist who works in school 1 day a week to support targeted children and families.
If, after a term, the child is still not making expected progress, it may be that external specialist services become involved. This could include a referral to the Educational Psychologist, Targeted Educational Support Service, Speech and Language, Sensory Support, Virtual School Team for Looked After Children, Physical Disability Support, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and CAMHS. We also work with the School’s Outreach Support, who will provide advice and training, in addition to working with children.
How will I know how well my child is doing?
In addition to the termly parent’s evenings and end of your report, your child’s class teacher will meet with you once a term (or more frequently if necessary) to discuss their progress against the targets set for the child and the age-related expectations for their year group. During these meetings, future interventions and support and next steps will be discussed and new targets set. We will also discuss strategies and activities which can be done at home in order to consolidate the learning they are doing in school. We want to support our parents in helping their children by providing some activities in school, such as Inspire and other workshops, and also by providing parents with information and advice about where they can access training or support in order to help their child. At Leigh Central we encourage parental involvement as much as possible. We hold an annual Parent Consultation in November, where the views of our parents are gathered and reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team to discuss any possible actions from the outcomes of such evaluations. We hold regular coffee mornings throughout the year and parents are also invited to drop into their child’s classroom after their class assembly where they have the opportunity to talk to the class teacher and look at children’s books. Leigh Central has an open door policy, this means that parent/carers are welcomed into school to arrange appointments or pass messages to any staff in school. Parents are welcome to discuss a child’s progress, provision and assessment.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
Any important information about a child is recorded on an online system and can be accessed by the class teacher and Senior Leadership Team. Information may include any concerns raised by school or home, medical needs information, up-to-date Health Care Plans and information about any health or therapy services the child may access. If your child has a medical need, a Health Care Plan will be completed by the Learning Mentor, alongside external agencies and staff will be briefed as to the child’s needs. All staff receive Emergency First Aid training every 3 years, a number of staff receive extra First Aid training and a few members of staff are Paediatric First Aid trained. Medication can be given in school if it is essential that it is given at a specific time of day.
The SENDCo works closely with Mrs Vaughan, the Learning Mentor, who is in charge of pastoral support across school. Mrs Vaughan provides support, care and guidance to both pupils and their families to ensure that all children’s social, emotional and mental health needs are met. School runs SEMH interventions for both KS1 and KS2, which focuses on raising children’s self esteem and resilience, and gives them strategies to overcome a range of social, emotional and behavioural barriers to learning. In addition, school offers one-to-one and small group support for children who need extra help to develop the skills needed to get along and work with other children. Working alongside Mrs Vaughan is Mrs Calderbank, our attendance officer. Mrs Calderbank will work with pupils and their families to ensure all children have a good level of attendance. Our pastoral team provide lunchtime support for children who may find unstructured times more challenging. There are a range of lunchtime clubs to encourage children to participate co-operatively in different activities with other pupils. We know that parents and families know their children best and work closely with you to ensure this knowledge contributes to the support that your child is given.
Here at Leigh Central, we will pursue every avenue of support possible to ensure that all children’s needs are met and that they are able to overcome any social, emotional and behavioural barriers. We also feel that exclusions are only used when all other support has been ineffective.
How accessible is the school environment?
Leigh Central is located in a new build (2009), which is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a lift which gives access to the first and second floor. There are accessible toilets on all floors and a hygiene room on the ground floor. All classrooms are equipped with a sound field system and the environment has been developed to accommodate children with hearing and visual impairments.
At Leigh Central we have a number of children for whom English is not their first language. We work closely with the EMAS team to ensure that all EAL children are assessed when they first start school and support is provided by specialist staff where needed. The EMAS team will provide translators during induction visits and also for meetings with school staff or other outside agencies. School will translate letters for parents when needed and staff have access to Google Translate, the EMAS website and other methods to ensure both important and general information is communicated with parents effectively in their first language.
Where specialist equipment or facilities are needed as part of a support plan, these can be provided for children with special educational needs. However, parents will need to sign an agreement for the loan of these items and they will be securely stored in school.
What extra-curricular activities are provided in school?
There are a wide range of after school clubs available for children, including a range of sports clubs, Film Club and choir. We also run a Year 6 residential. Adaptations can be made within all extra-curricular activities to ensure that all children, including those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities can access the clubs.
How will school prepare and support my child to join the school and transfer to high school?
Before your child starts school in Reception, we hold a series of INSPIRE sessions where parents and children will have the opportunity to take part in a number of activities with school. School also holds transition meetings with pre-school providers to share information about your children. A home visit will also take place where the Reception teacher and Learning Mentor will visit you at home. This is an opportunity for you to share any important information about your child and to ask any questions you have.
In Year 6, the children will have the opportunity to visit all the local high schools for taster sessions in September, before they apply to high schools. Once your child has been allocated a high school, they will then take part in further transition days at the high school where they experience lessons and find out more about the school. For children with special educational needs, there will be extra visits to the high school to meet with the staff who will support them. During these times, pupils will be accompanied by a member of our staff to ensure that they are fully supported in the transition to high school. Information will be provided to any new school (primary or secondary) a child moves to.
Who can I contact for further information?
Mrs Melling is the school’s SENDCo. If any parents or prospective parents wish to discuss any concerns they have regarding their child’s additional needs, please contact the school to arrange a meeting with Mrs Melling. In addition, Mrs Vaughan is also responsible for the pastoral welfare of your child and will welcome meetings with any parents to discuss concerns. Furthermore, your child’s class teacher is available to discuss your child’s progress and development. Mrs Vaughan can also provide details of external agencies who parents can contact for support or advice. Our SEND complaint procedure is outlined in the schools SEND Policy, including the contact details of the support service, SENDIASS, for the parents of pupils with SEND.