Special Educational Needs

The St Thomas Church of England Primary School SEND Information Report

What is SEN?

A child has special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for him or her to learn than most other children of about the same age.

Special educational needs could mean that a child has:

  • learning difficulties – in acquiring basic skills in school
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties – making friends or relating to adults or behaving properly in school
  • specific learning difficulty – with reading, writing, number work or understanding information
  • sensory or physical needs – such as hearing or visual impairment, which might affect them in school
  • communication problems – in expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
  • medical or health conditions – which may slow down a child’s progress and/or involves treatment that affects his or her education

How does St Thomas Church of England Primary School know if children need extra help?   

Early identification of needs is important to enable us to put the right support in place. We know when pupils need help if: concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child; limited progress is being made.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

If you have concerns about your child then these should be discussed with the class teacher at the earliest opportunity. Alternatively, concerns can be discussed with the SENCo, Sarah Weekes, or the Headteacher, Jill Gray.

How will St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School support my child?

Our school provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special educational needs and require particular action by the school.

Teachers take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Such children may need additional or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling or handwriting etc. then the pupil will be placed in a small focus group or complete the work one-to-one. This will be carried out by the teacher, teaching assistant or learning support assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need but will generally be for a term. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ensure the effectiveness of the provision and to inform the next step in learning.

It may be appropriate for a pupil to receive more expert support from an outside agency. A referral will be made, with your consent and forwarded to the most appropriate agency.

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

When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be differentiated sufficiently by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily. Teaching Assistants (TAs) may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-to-1 or in a small focus group to target more specific needs.  We have a Behaviour Support Assistant and a Learning Support Assistant who can work with individual children on a needs basis.

If a child has been identified as having a special need, they will be given an SEN Support Plan (formally Individual Education Plan). Targets will be set according to their area of need. These will be monitored by the class teacher and/or the SENCO once per term, more if appropriate. They will be discussed with parents and a copy given to them.  If appropriate, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, pen/pencils grips.

The classroom environments are dyslexia and autism friendly, for example, the use of visual timetables.

How will both parents and school know how your child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

If your child has an SEN support plan or statement/EHC plan their targets will be shared with you, either by the class teacher or SENCo, at least once per term and will usually be discussed at parents evening. In addition to the normal reporting arrangements there will be opportunities in October and March to discuss progress of children with any additional needs with school SEN staff. In addition, you and your child will be involved in an annual review of needs or a Secondary School transfer review if they are in Year 5 and have a Statement/EHC plan, the review will include reviewing the plan and sending review notes to the Local Authority.

If your child has an SEN support plan their targets will be regularly evaluated and monitored in school. The targets can be worked on both at school and at home. Please use the home school planner to communicate with teachers or SEN staff at school. Teachers will liaise with parents at the end of the school day if there have been any issues that have been raised during the school day. There are opportunities for all parents to attend curriculum mornings or afternoons throughout the school year, please see half-termly planners for more information. It is important teachers and SEN staff work closely with parents/carers to ensure progress of individual children is supported and monitored.

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

Our school offers additional pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties. Members of staff such as the class teacher, Learning Mentor, Behaviour Support Assistant, SENCO, School Business Manager and Headteacher are all available for pupils/parents who wish to discuss issues and concerns.  The school has a ‘worry box’ which children can use to write down their worries and put them in, anonymously if the prefer, these are regularly checked and monitored.

Pupils with medical needs

We aim to provide all children with all medical conditions the same opportunities as others at school. Pupils with medical conditions at this school will be supported so they have full access to education, school trips and physical education. We will help to ensure they can:

  • be healthy
  • stay safe
  • enjoy and achieve
  • make a positive contribution
  • achieve economic well-being

If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled with support from the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers 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. We offer the flexibility to meet the needs of children with medical conditions. Should you wish to discuss any issues this can be done by contacting Mrs Holt our Medical Policy lead or Mrs Gray. (Please refer to School Medical Policy for further information – Medical Conditions in Schools Policy)


The main behaviour system in school is the ‘traffic light system’ with all children encouraged to keep their peg on green. Warnings are given and children may be required to move their name accordingly. The majority of inappropriate behaviours are initially dealt with by the member of staff in charge using the above sanctions.  If a child fails to respond to the action taken above they will be sent to the Headteacher, or in her absence, the most senior member of staff available. Children who persistently find it difficult to respond to the actions taken and consequently have many recorded incidents will be brought to the attention of the SENCo/Behaviour Support Assistant so that additional support may be provided either through an SEN Support Plan or a referral made to an agency that can provide support/advice. Parents will be invited to be involved in this process. Exclusions will only be used as a last resort.  If it is considered necessary to exclude a child from school we will follow the Stockport LEA guidelines. (Please refer to school behaviour policy for more information – Behaviour Policy)

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

At St Thomas’ we work closely with a range of agencies. We have a Learning Support Service teacher working in school who is available one day per week to work one-to-one with children on a 6 month cycle basis depending on needs, as recommended by the SENCo and Headteacher. We have a Primary Behaviour Support Service teacher once per week for an hour, who works with identified individual children/groups. The Educational Psychologist comes in to school once per half term to observe and assess individual children, after a referral has been made by the SENCo, in consultation with parents/carers. In addition to the above agencies, we also work closely with Speech and Language Therapy, Primary Jigsaw, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Support Service and make referrals where necessary. We work together with the school nurse and social services, the school’s Safeguarding Officer is the Headteacher.

What training are the staff supporting young people with SEN having/had?

The SENCo and SEN Learning Support Assistant have been on recent training to implement three highly successful interventions; SERI (Stockport Early Reading Intervention); Motor Skills United; Motivational Maths. Training within school is being provided to teaching assistants to enable them to also deliver these interventions within the classroom.

The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as ASD, Dyslexia friendly teaching and Speech and Language difficulties.

Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.

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

We will endeavour to include all children in all activities; special arrangements can be made for children with additional needs.

How is St Thomas’ accessible to children with SEND?

The building is accessible to children with physical disability via ramps. The ground floor of the building is accessible to those with physical disabilities.

We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs. Specialist equipment is used for children on an individual needs basis.

After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.

Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.

What support does St Thomas Church of England Primary School offer for transition?

Transition between key stages: This is planned and delivered effectively; there is a transition unit of work to support all children moving from the EYFS to Key Stage 1.

Transition to Secondary School: For children with SEND a transfer review is arranged with the receiving Secondary School. A transition plan will be devised where necessary and extra visits to the secondary school can be arranged as appropriate. Transition to Secondary School is managed sensitively and with the support of pupils and parents/carers. Outside agencies can offer support and advice when appropriate.

Arrangements for admission

Please refer to Stockport’s School Admission Policy.

If you have any contributions to our school offer or would like any further advice, please inform the SENCo


Inclusion Policy

SEN Policy

What does St. Thomas’ Primary School offer children with SEN?

Stockport’s SEND Local Offer

SENCo Contact Details

You can contact the SENCo by phoning the school office on 0161 480 4742 and asking to speak to Sarah Weekes. Alternatively you can send an email to


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