Questions frequently asked by parents
Q: What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Shirley Junior School is committed to early identification of special educational needs. A range of evidence is collected through the school assessment and monitoring arrangements: if this suggests that the learner is not making the expected progress, the teachers will decide whether additional and/or different provision is necessary. If you are concerned, please speak to your child’s teacher, or contact the SENDCo (Special educational needs and disabilities coordinator).
Q: How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Year Leaders hold regular team meetings where they discuss children’s progress. Teachers attend termly meetings with a member of the senior leadership team where all children’s progress is reviewed. If a child is identified as needing additional support the SENDCo is informed and in consultation with the class teacher extra provision is arranged.
Q: How will staff at Shirley Junior School support my child?
Your child’s class teachers and the SENDCo will oversee and plan your child’s education programme. Depending on the intervention required, your child may be working at times in a small group aimed at supporting their learning. Sometimes a student requires support to access the curriculum or to manage his or her behaviour, emotions, or to work on their social skills. In this case the ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) may support your child to be a successful member of the school community. This will all be explained to you by your child’s class teacher, the ELSA or SENDCo.
Q: How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All our teachers are teachers of children with special educational needs. All teachers plan to include everyone in their lessons and work is provided at the appropriate levels for children to access their learning and make good progress. Planning is monitored rigorously by the Senior Leadership Team.
Q; How will Shirley School support my child if they have physical or sensory needs?
We make adjustments as far as is reasonably possible, as the school is on the first and second floor of an Edwardian building. All the classroom ceilings have been lowered to improve the environment for children with a hearing impairment. The Inclusion team at the school work closely with other professionals to support children with physical or sensory needs. We receive advice from experts such as teachers of the hearing impaired or partially sighted. This allows us to adjust the classroom environment, and use appropriate technology, to allow children with sensory impairment to participate fully in the curriculum.
Q: How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We have an open door policy at Shirley Junior School. There are termly parent evenings and you can ask for an appointment to speak with your child’s class teacher or the SENDCo at a mutually convenient time. If appropriate, your child may have a Home School contact book. This will enable you and your child’s teacher to keep each other informed about any significant events on a regular basis.
If your child has an Education Health and Care plan, an annual review is held according to the guidance in the SEND Code of Practice. Your child will also have a learning log, which will be shared with you. These logs will show the targets that a child is working towards. The learning log will also include photographs and examples of the child’s work to show how he or she is meeting those targets. Learning logs are also a way of celebrating the child’s hard work, so both child and parents will be asked to give their feedback about how well it is working.
If your child is on the SEN register and has a specific learning need, he or she will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This will record the targets that your child is working towards, and will also show how he or she is making progress towards those targets. A copy of the IEP will be sent home every term for your information. You will also receive a report at the end of the academic year and we will always ask to see you if we have concerns about your child’s progress.
Each half term the school gives an overview of what your child will be learning during this period. This is available on the school website home page, under the Curriculum heading. In addition, we have sharing time with parents in class before school on the fifth Tuesday of the half term and after school on the fifth Thursday of the half term.
Q: What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
At Shirley Junior School we hold regular assemblies which focus on different areas of personal, health and social education. In class, teachers may also hold class circle times when they need to address specific issues. Pupils are encouraged to take an active part in discussions and express their own views. We can also refer children to the school’s Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) or to our family support worker when necessary. We will also help prepare your child for any changes in their school day, such as school trips, awards ceremonies, activities weeks and sports day.
Q: What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Shirley Junior School?
In addition to high quality teaching in school, we have links with other professionals such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Social Care, Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language therapy, the school nurse and specialist teachers for children who have physical difficulties, specific learning difficulties and visual or hearing impairment.
We also have a Family Support Worker, who can discuss any concerns you may have at home, or provide advice about outside agencies that might be useful to you.
Q: What training has been available for the staff supporting children and young people with SEND?
Our Inclusions Lead is an experienced teacher, who has gained a Master’s degree in special educational needs. Our SENDCo is also an experienced teacher, who has obtained the National SENDCo Accreditation. They attend an annual inclusion conference as well as regular SENDCo forums. All staff members receive regular training and updates for the main categories of special educational needs. During the academic year 2019-20 staff have received further training on setting appropriate, focused targets to enable children with special educational needs to make progress in their learning. They have also received support in planning differentiated learning tasks that allow children to experience success. Further training has been given on Growth Mindset and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Teaching Assistants have received training on precision teaching of reading, spelling and maths. The school nurse has also provided epi-pen training.
Q: How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
We make every effort to include all pupils in school trips. If an individual risk assessment is required we will write this in order to ensure that everyone is as fully included as possible. If there are concerns we will always seek to make adaptations such as taking additional staff or in some cases asking parents to come along. However in some exceptional cases your child may not be able to attend a school trip if it is not possible for them to participate safely.
Q: How accessible is Shirley Junior School?
We make reasonable adjustments wherever possible. Our school is on the first and second floor of an Edwardian building. We have a ramp in the playground to allow access for parents in wheelchairs or with pushchairs to an accessible toilet, community room and the hall.
Q: How will Shirley Junior School prepare and support my child to join the school and then transfer to a new school?
The Inclusions Lead, SENDCo and Year Leader for Year 3 and Year Leader for Year 6 liaise with infant and secondary teaching staff, support staff and SENDCos from feeder schools. There are regular visits between Shirley Junior School and our local Jefferys Education Partnership infant and secondary school: Shirley Infant School and Upper Shirley High. Extra transition takes place as necessary in addition to the City’s transition days. This can be arranged for individual children or small groups and may include a number of visits and activities before the child changes school. Social stories are written for children who might struggle with the transition process. Throughout the year, year 6 children are provided with regular opportunities to meet teaching staff from Upper Shirley High in preparation for the move to secondary school.
Q: How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The Department for Education provides funding for schools to meet the needs of all children with SEND. This is worked out using the information about the children’s prior attainment and the socio-economic make up of our school cohort. We allocate support according to need. Additional interventions are funded to support children’s progress. If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, we will ensure that the provision specified in Part 3 is provided.