Frequently asked questions:
How does Craneswater Junior School identify special educational needs (SEN)
According to the 2014 SEND code of practice:
A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if they:
Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age; or
Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational faculties of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
At Craneswater, children are identified as potentially experiencing SEND through the following:
if the child has a physical or learning impairment that prevents them from accessing the National Curriculum without significant additional support
if a child requires the support of an outside agency to support them with a specific learning difficulty or physical disability
if a child is making significantly less progress than expected despite the appropriate support being provided
if concerns are raised by a parent
if concerns are raised by a teacher; for example behaviour or self-esteem is affecting a pupil’s performance
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 through to year 6, using a variety of different methods. Some strategies inform next steps in learning and others allow to see where a child has achieved in terms of 'age expectation' - this may be a basic level of understanding, an expected level of understanding or a deep level of understanding. Children who are not making expected progress are identified through our termly review meetings with class teacher, SENCO and or Headteacher. 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. Your first point of contact is always your child’s class teacher. Make an appointment to speak to your child’s class teacher either in person or over the phone. If appropriate, the class teacher may refer you to the school SENCO (Miss Wilkinson) who has responsibility for providing guidance in the area of SEND in order to secure high quality teaching and effective use of resources.
The school phone number is: 02392 734 787
The school email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
What additional support is offered to families?
At Craneswater Junior School we have a Family Support Worker (Mrs Davis) who can help to support pupils access education. They may need this for a variety of reasons such as long-term illness or family trauma. The school has an ‘open-door’ policy and members of staff with responsibility for pupils are happy to meet with family members to discuss their needs. This could include discussion regarding a pupil’s ongoing academic performance, medical needs, referrals to an outside agency or a change in family circumstances.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you support my child’s learning?
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.
We have 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.
Your child may have an SEN Support Plan / Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place and therefore termly meetings between parents, class teacher and SENCO will provide an opportunity to discuss and review provisions for your child.
If you have a child with complex SEND who has a EHC plan a formal review with parents, the SENCO and relevant school staff and any outside agencies will take place at least once a year to review the child’s plan. The provision outlined as part of an EHC Plan will be formally reviewed termly.
In addition, the school website has links to additional online learning resources designed to support your children’s learning: SEND and Additional Needs | CRANESWATER
How will Craneswater Junior school staff support my child?
All teachers are responsible for ensuring that their students receive relevant support and that individualised teaching and learning strategies are implemented. Differentiation is planned for, at an appropriate level, so that all children can access learning according to their specific needs.
Our SENCO will closely monitor all provision and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school. The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made. There may be a Teaching Assistant (TA) working with your child either individually or as part of a group, to offer further specialised interventions. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts. At Craneswater Junior School, we also have a Pastoral Team who can provide 1:1 support sessions as well as group sessions where needed. In addition to this, we have a Family Support Worker who provides support for the most vulnerable children as well as acting as part of a support network for parents.
At Craneswater Junior school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including:
● MABs (Multi Agency Behaviour Support)
● Health, including School Nurse team, General Practitioners, CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Heath), MHST (Mental Health Support Team), Paediatricians, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language therapy NHS, Sensory Impairment Service.
● Learning support, including Educational Psychologist and Inclusion Outreach Service.
● EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service)
● We also work very closely with social care or agencies such as Early Help.
Should your child require any form of involvement with an outside agency then the school would immediately inform you and obtain permission from parents to pursue any kind of professional intervention.
We work closely with the School Health Nurse team who regularly hold drop-in sessions on the school site. If a child has specific medical needs, then a protocol is put together by the school nurse in conjunction with parents and the school. This ensures that all school staff know exactly what to do to care for that child in school or if a medical emergency was to arise. If specific training is required around a medical need, then this is co-ordinated by the SENCO to make sure that all the relevant staff have the knowledge they require to meet a child’s needs.
How will my child 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. Children who have SEN support plans/ IEP meetings discuss additional support with their class teacher. If your child has an EHC plan their views will be obtained before or as part of any Annual Review meetings.
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 achieve according to their specific needs. Typically, this might mean that your child requires a little more support, or that your child is working on something personalised to their needs. However, on occasions it is necessary for work to be individually differentiated. The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
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.
How are resources allocated and matched to children’s SEN needs?
We ensure that the needs of all children who have Special Educational Needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We will often allocate Teaching Assistants who are funded by the SEN budget to deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs as well as quality first teaching from teachers. The budget is allocated on a needs basis.
What support is there for improving behaviour 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. Behaviour incidents are dealt with according to the behaviour policy. If a child is working outside of our behaviour policy an IBP (Individual Behaviour Plan) or a pastoral support plan are written in collaboration with the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets. We promote strong links between family and home to ensure stability and good outcomes for any child experiencing difficulty.
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 that everyone’s health and safety is not 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.
What support will there be for my child’s emotional and social development and well-being?
We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff appreciate the importance of children having high self-esteem in order to achieve positive well-being. At Craneswater, we understand that if we want our brains to be able to engage in learning, then our emotional well-being needs to be the priority. As a relational practice school, we support children and staff in learning to understand and manage feelings, experiences and relationships so that they are able to achieve and thrive. We have a Pastoral team who work with teaching and support staff, as well as outside agencies to ensure that the best support is available and accessed, they operate collaboratively across the school community; this places our children at the centre of everything we do at Craneswater. 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 can liaise with the SENCO and pastoral team for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services, and / or the Behaviour Support Team. We also have a Family Support Worker who supports the development of effective communication and good working relationships between school, families, and other support agencies in the community. They will work with school on the early identification of families needing support and take appropriate action. Here at Craneswater we also have an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSAs). She is a teaching assistant who has received specific additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on going supervision following training. Their role is to support children and young people in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them.
How will CWJS support transitions – including joining the school and moving onto their next school/key stage?
We encourage all new children to visit the school with their parents prior to starting when they will be shown around the school and any concerns can be addressed. We work closely with our feeder infant schools to find out as much as possible about the children joining us in Year 3. The SENCO will attend transition meetings for pupils who are known to have SEND. We also liaise closely with receiving schools regarding children who are making the transition from Year 6 to 7. School staff (often the receiving SENCO) are invited to any relevant meetings regarding a child with SEND during the summer term. There are numerous planned transition visits for all of the children joining the school in Year 3 and the children in Years 6 moving on to their next school. However, for those children that are likely to find the transition difficult, additional visits are arranged as necessary. A ‘Social Story’ can be used as a tool to support the transition process for those children with high levels of anxiety, communication difficulties or behaviour difficulties. Many of our ‘feeder’ secondary schools run a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for our 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 an Education Health Care Plan review may be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.
When moving classes in school: information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher.
How accessible is the school environment?
How are the governors involved and what are their responsibilities?
The SENCO reports to the governors annually to inform them about the progress of children with SEND; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is always maintained. One of the governors is responsible for SEND and meets regularly with the SENCO.
Who can I contact for more information?
Your main point of contact would always be your child’s class teacher and then following this you may need to speak to the SENCO or Headteacher. Contact can be made through the school office.
What should you do if you feel that the local offer is not being delivered or not meeting your child’s needs?
The first point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns. You could also arrange a meeting with the SENCO or Headteacher.
For further information:
Look at the SEN information report and policy on our website SEND and Additional Needs | CRANESWATER
Visit the Portsmouth Local Offer website: http://www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org
Contact Portsmouth Parent Voice www.portsmouthparentvoice.org
Contact the SEN team at Portsmouth City Council Special educational needs and disabilities - Portsmouth City Council
What is an EHCP and does my child need one?
An EHCP is an Education, Health and Care plan. Some children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) require more help and support than a mainstream school, college or nursery would normally provide at the level of SEN support.
(See ordinarily available provision 1.395-Ordinarily-Available-Provision-2022-Accessible.pdf)
This is when applying for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan should be considered. An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs, sets out the extra help that will be given to meet those needs, and how this will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. For more information, please look at the Portsmouth SENDIASS website: