SEN Information Report Blackminster Middle School September 2020

1. What special educational needs are catered for at Blackminster Middle School?

Special educational needs and provision can be considered as falling under four broad areas as stated in SEN Code of Practice (2014):

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  4. Sensory and/or physical needs

2. How does Blackminster Middle School know if children need extra help?

We know when students need extra help if:

Concerns are raised by parents, teachers or the child.

  • Limited progress is being made. .
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress.
  • We have received information from external agencies who may already be working with the child before they join us.
  • Liaison with a previous school or pre-school setting
  • Child performing significantly below ‘age expected’ standard
  • Use of tools for standardised assessment such as Language Link
  • Children with EHCP already have many of their needs clearly identified.

Their placement at our school is a decision that is made by the Local Authority.

3. How do I raise concerns if I need to?

Talk to us – contact your child’s class teacher about your concerns initially. If you feel that you would like to speak to a senior member of staff, ask to arrange an appointment with the SENCo Jan Blakely or Acting Headteacher Linda McQuone. Appointments can be arranged in person, by phone or by email. Please see the school contact details at the bottom of this report.

4. What should I do if I think my child might have special educational needs?

The form teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns. A meeting should be made with the form teacher where we will listen to your concerns. We know that you can draw on your own experience and observations that you will have as parent/carer of how your child is outside of school. In conjunction with our school views and observations, we can help build a better picture. We can arrange for your child to be assessed either by ourselves, external partners who work with the school or by referral to external agencies who can provide specialist assessment or guidance. We will support you throughout this process and review provision consistently to find out what works best for the child.

If you have any further concerns, or would like to know about specific provision that is available for your child, then contact our SENCO or Inclusion Manager.

5. How will I know how Blackminster Middle School supports my child?

5a. How will the curriculum be differentiated to match my child’s needs?

We believe in personalised provision planned by the teacher. When a pupil has been identified with special needs, their work will be differentiated or adapted by their subject teachers to enable them to access the curriculum more easily and effectively. The child will be given small, measureable targets which will be discussed with the child and parents, and monitored regularly by the SENCO. Targets may be discussed at parents evening or through other informal discussions where progress can be reviewed more regularly.

We may provide additional support in class from the teacher or teaching assistant. Teaching Assistants may be allocated to work with the student in a 1:1 or small intervention group to target more specific needs. Children with SEND will have access to the appropriate resources needed in order to help them to make progress e.g. key words and coloured overlays.

The Chair of Governors and the governor responsible for SEND meet regularly with the SENCo. They report on their visit to the governors to keep them all informed with school or LA information.

5b. Who will oversee, plan and work with my child and how often?

If a pupil requires greater support in a particular area, for example, phonics, numeracy or literacy skills, then she/he will be placed in a small intervention group led by either the teacher or teaching assistant. All interventions are regularly reviewed by those delivering them, and by the SENCO. This helps to assess how effective they are and to inform future planning. These intervention groups may be led by published material, or will be tailor made by the subject teacher for the child’s specific needs.

Regular Pupil Progress meetings are held between the SENCO and members of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss progress of all individual children on the SEND list. This shared discussion may highlight patterns of progress or ongoing concerns for individual children. This discussion will then be a platform to plan further support for individual children if required.

Some pupils who require additional support are referred to external agencies and specialists such as Speech and Language Support or the Educational Psychology service. These services can offer outreach advice and involvement to support the school, the child and family.

If appropriate, specialist resources may be given to the pupil to help them access their learning tasks e.g. writing slopes, pencil grips, easy to use scissors or adapted, higher chairs.

We regularly review our provision and if further expertise is required then we will ensure staff are sent on relevant courses to develop or further enhance their skills.

The SENCo and Headteacher oversee the progress of any child identified as having SEND to ensure that they achieve their potential.

5c. Who will explain this to me?

The subject teacher will meet with you formally on at least a termly basis (this could be part of learning conversation meetings, parents’ evenings or separately), in order to discuss your child’s progress and the support that they are receiving. Class teachers are always happy to discuss your child’s needs if you have questions or concerns between more formal meetings. Please speak to them directly to arrange this. An appointment can be made with the SENCo to discuss support in more detail if required.

IPMs (Individual Provision Maps) will be constructed with you and your child (age appropriate).

5d. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Activities and trips are made as inclusive as possible and available to all children. 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 that will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided within the school environment, wherever possible. This may require 1:1 support from a teacher or teaching assistant. It might be appropriate for a parent/carer to accompany a child on a school trip, depending upon the child’s individual needs.

Blackminster Middle School has a variety of extra-curricular clubs during lunchtime and after school. We aim for these to be as inclusive as possible and may provide additional staff or sessions in order to achieve this.

Some children find the lunchtime period challenging. Depending upon their needs, it might not be appropriate for them to spend long periods of time outside. Each child’s needs will be considered on an individual basis.

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

6a. What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school?

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for all pupils and more specifically those who are encountering emotional difficulties. These include:

  • All form teachers are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues or concerns and we pride ourselves on the strong relationships built between teacher and child.
  • A variety of interventions, aimed at children in both Key Stages, are available for those children who require emotional support.
  • The Inclusion Manager (Mrs Claire Fletcher) works closely with families who have multi-agency involvement, such as a Social Worker.
  • We can also offer a range of interventions for children who need help to develop their social skills or anger management techniques.
  • Teaching assistants, the Inclusion Manager/SENCO are available throughout the lunch hour to support children who require emotional or social support.
  • Specific clubs at lunch times are provided for students with social and emotional needs.
  • ‘Achievement for All’ Programme.
  • If a child has a medical need, then a detailed care plan is compiled with support from the school nurse and in consultation with parents. This is then shared with all staff who are involved with the student.
  • Staff receive training as necessary from the school nurse or health care professional, for example Epipen training (which was carried out in September 2020).
  • Where necessary, and in agreement with parents, medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed medicine consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.
  • Staff receive regular basic first aid training.
  • The school has a comprehensive Medicines in School Policy that is available for consultation from the school office.

6b. What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

The school has adopted behaviour and exclusion policies. If a child has significant behaviour difficulties, a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) is written to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets with a view to identifying and addressing the underlying reasons behind the behaviour. The school works closely with the Behaviour Support team who provide training as deemed appropriate e.g. Team Teach and by providing ‘home’ support to parents if necessary including offering ‘Triple P’ parenting sessions. In some instances, the school may draw on additional resource provision e.g. the local Pupil referral Unit.

The school has adopted an attendance policy. Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the school. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported to the Headteacher who may involve the Early Help Assessment Team, Education Investigation team and Children’s Services if this becomes a concern. Various incentive schemes are used to promote positive attendance throughout the school including the presentation of certificates individually and class rewards.

6c. How will my child be able to contribute their views?

Children who have IPMs or PSPs are invited to discuss their progress and targets when these are reviewed (age appropriate), as well as at termly learning conferences. If your child has a Statement or EHCP, their views will be sought before any review meetings (age appropriate). Children are routinely asked to reflect on their learning and share how they feel they are progressing during the course of their daily learning journey.

All children are provided with the opportunity to be voted onto the School Council Congress as well as hold other positions of responsibility, by their class or teachers.

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

Within the school, we have a culture of sharing good practice and expertise; this enables us to ensure our staff have as much knowledge as possible within the field of supporting children with SEND. The environment is designed to support children with individual needs e.g. visual timetables, individual workstations etc. as required.

As a school, we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to supporting individual children’s’ needs within our school including: – Learning Support Team; – Behaviour Support Team; – Children’s Services including: Early Help teams, social workers, educational psychologists and specialist advisory teachers.

In consultation with parents it may at times be necessary to consult with external specialists agencies to receive their expertise. Individual children may be referred through school, or through their G.P. or local Children’s Centre. The agencies currently used by the school and our families include:

♣ Educational Psychologist
♣ SALT (Speech and Language Support)
♣ Complex Communications Team (Autism Outreach)
♣ CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
♣ Social services
♣ School Paediatrician
♣ School Nurse,
♣ Visual Impairment service
♣ Hearing Impaired service
♣ Parent Support Partnership
♣ Local Children’s Centres.
♣ Family Support Workers
♣ Occupational Therapists
♣ Physiotherapists
♣ Learning Support Units
♣ Attendance Improvement Officers

8. How does the school know how well my child is doing?

As a school we track and analyse the children’s progress in learning against age related expectations five times per year. The class teachers continually assess 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 year 6 through to Year 8, using a variety of methods. Please ask the school if you require any further details.

By regularly reviewing children’s targets on IPMs we can ensure that they are being achieved and also through verbal feedback from the child and adults working with the child to build a wider picture of progress.

Regular Pupil Progress Meetings take place. In these meetings, a discussion takes place concerning children who are not making expected progress and possible actions are discussed.

At Blackminster Middle School, we carry out a Language Assessment (Language Link) on all our children. Children with language difficulties are re-assessed at key points to enable us to monitor their progress and implement the required support. Where specific needs are apparent, the school has access to a range of specialist support agencies which can explore a child’s difficulties in more depth. For example, the Learning Support Team and Educational Psychology service.

The Headteacher and SENCo report regularly to the Governing Body. We have a governor who is responsible for SEN, who meets regularly with the SENCo and makes monitoring visits to the school. They also report back to the Governing Body.

9a. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. We feel that this has a greater effect on the child’s progress when school and home are working collaboratively. We regularly carry out progress meetings with our children so they know what the next steps in their learning are and at what sort of level they are working at.

You may approach the subject teachers informally if you would like to talk to them about your child’s progress in between our more formal parents’ evenings. For more regular support, for those with special educational needs, we are able to set up a home-school communication book if needed. This helps you to keep in touch with your child’s subject teachers regularly so we know how they are doing at home and we can tell you what they are doing at school. We hope that this will ensure that we are working together to support your child both at home and school.

We can suggest activities and games that you can do with your child to support their learning. We also subscribe to MyMaths, Accelerated Reading and Show My Homework initiatives that are designed for home learning with parents and children working in partnership. Where there are significant needs, more formal review will be required, to which parents will be invited (usually annual and interim) as well as informal discussions with the SENCO and professionals from external agencies. At reviews students are supported and encouraged to present a showcase themselves so we can all listen to their input. We place great importance on the child’s views, wishes and aspirations when setting provision and targets.

9b. How will I know how well my child is doing?

Your child’s progress is continually monitored against national standards by his/her subject teachers on a daily basis through their class work. A variety of assessment tools are used to keep track of their progress, which is discussed with senior staff at termly Pupil Progress meetings to ensure all of our children are making good progress. We also review the provision of individual child and if required then this is adjusted to meet their specific needs. We share their attainment and progress with parents at parent evenings.

Towards the the end of Year 6 all children are formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). Your child will be provided with a progress report five times per year. This details their progress, attainment and attitude to learning.

Your child may have an Individual Provision Map (IPM) that will have their individual targets. This is discussed with you on at least a termly basis and parents are provided with a copy. The conversation will also provide suggestions as to how you can support your child’s learning at home. All parents of SEN pupils are invited to participate in learning conversations twice a year. When your child’s IPM is reviewed, comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made.

If your child has complex SEND, they may have Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). In such instances, you will be invited to a formal meeting to discuss your child’s progress and a report will be written at least annually.

10. How accessible is the school environment?

At school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements and adapt our Access Plan as required so that it meets the needs of all of our children. At present in school we have:

  • Access to upper floor by lifts
  • Access ramps to doors.
  • 2 disabled toilets/hygiene suite
  • Ramps to lower level outdoor areas
  • A translation service can be arranged for those parents whose first language is not English.
  • Classrooms are mainly carpeted throughout to reduce noise for the hearing impaired.
  • Doors are wheelchair accessible.
  • A disabled parking bay is provided.
  • We can access specialist equipment if required.

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

We look to ensure that we have a variety of skills among our staff body in order to enable us to support children in the best possible way possible. The specific training held by support staff includes: Team Teach, Attachment training, Speech and Language training, Third Space Learning, Read Write Inc and Rapid Reading.

The school also operates an internal training programme for support staff, facilitated by key members of staff. Whole group sessions or bespoke support based upon the needs of both children and staff are timetabled when needed.

12. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Blackminster Middle School, or transferring to a new setting or high school?

Many strategies are in place to enable the pupil’s transition to be as smooth as possible. These include:

Transference of records and other communication between schools prior to the pupils leaving or joining.

Student visits to Blackminster are arranged as required. Some children may need more transition visits than others.

  • The SENCO and/or The Inclusion Manager meet with parents of students with SEND before they start at Blackminster Middle School.
  • If your child has complex needs, then EHCP review will be used as a transition planning meeting to which we will invite staff from both schools.
  • At any point where a child with SEND is preparing to leave our school, we would seek to arrange additional visits for the child in question to support smooth transition. Many secondary schools also run programmes specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils at the end of the primary stage of education.
  • We liaise with other agencies where there is a wider involvement with the family.
  • For transition to high schools, the SENCO schedules a transition meeting with the high school SENCO and any other external agencies involved, to ensure smooth transition and sharing of information. Students with SEND have extra visits with the SENCO and The Inclusion Manager to their new high school.

13. Who can I contact for further information?

General information relating to SEND can be found on the school website within the SEND policy. For more specific queries, you should discuss matters with your child’s form teacher in the first instance. Further information is available from the SENCo (Jan Blakely), Acting Headteacher (Linda McQuone), Inclusion Manager (Claire Fletcher) or in exceptional circumstances, the SEN Governor (Phil Jones).
Should you wish to make a complaint, the school has a complaints policy which is available on the policy page of the school website

You might also wish to visit the following websites:
Worcestershire County Council’s Local Offer, outlining services available for children and young people who have SEND, can be found at:
Special Educational needs and Disabilities information advice and support service
Contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice)

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

Please contact the Business Manager (Ildi Booth) for further information about the school and to arrange a meeting with the Acting Headteacher (Linda McQuone).

Tel No: 01386 830 311

Our SENDCo is Mrs J Blakely. Her email address is