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St James' VA C of E Primary School

At St James CE VA Primary School, we are proud of our distinctive ethos and our caring atmosphere, where everyone is encouraged to feel part of a strong family, all working together to meet the needs of all our children. We aim for all our pupils to grow into well-rounded, happy and curious learners in an environment where they feel safe and well supported. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Maria Soulsby
Contact Position

Where to go

St James VA Primary School
Main Road
MK40 4BD
Get directions

Time / Date Details

When is it on
School day 8.45am to 3.30pm

Other Details

Age Bands
5-10 years old

Schools Extended Local Offer Response

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

• We will assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, which will build on previous settings and Key Stages, where appropriate. Class Teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and identify those whose progress:
• Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• Widens the attainment gap

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs.
Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEND.
When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.
Where children are not making the expected progress, we will set up a meeting to discuss this with parents in more detail. We may plan future support during this meeting and review whether referrals to outside agencies are appropriate.
Early intervention and identification of SEND is important. On entry to school in Reception all children are assessed on a baseline assessment. During our thorough transition programme, emerging individual needs or difficulties can be identified and discussed with parents and provision adapted accordingly. For pupils in EYFS, we follow the same procedure outlined above to identify resource and review your child’s needs so they can make the best possible progress towards the Early Learning Goals.

We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. These conversations will make sure that:
• Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty
• We take into account the parents’ concerns
• Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child
• Everyone is clear on what the next steps are

Notes of these early discussions will be added to the pupil’s record and given to their parents.
We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEND support.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

In all year groups, the Class Teacher is responsible for targeted teaching and learning that matches the needs and stage of development of all children, this is known as ‘Quality First Teaching’ or Wave 1 provision. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants know the children very well. Planning, teaching and learning builds upon what the children already know, can do and understand.
If a child is demonstrating a specific difficulty or is not making good progress the Class Teacher may implement further (Wave 2) strategies. This may include 1:1 or small group work outside of the classroom run by teachers or trained Learning Support Assistants. These interventions are closely monitored by the Class Teacher and SENDCo and are set up in liaison with parents and carers.
For pupils who have been identified as needing further specialist support, this will be discussed with parents and referrals to external agencies can be made.
If a child has an EHCP a review will be held annually to look at the progress made against the child’s identified targets. All of the professionals involved in the child’s care will be invited to attend this meeting.
We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.
The class or subject teacher will work with the SENDCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on:
• The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
• Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour
• Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
• The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
• The views and experience of parents
• The pupil’s own views
• Advice from external support services, if relevant

The assessment will be reviewed regularly.
All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class.
High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEND. This will be differentiated for individual pupils.
We will also provide the following interventions:
• Additional adult support within the class
• Small group phonics
• 1:1 reading interventions such as Toe-by-Toe and Read Write Inc Fresh Start
• Maths booster sessions
• Small group maths intervention
• 1:1 maths intervention
• Pre-teaching
• Speech and Language support
• Personalised provision through adapted resources and interventions as identified by external agencies

We provide a highly structured continued professional development programme which focuses upon Quality First Teaching. We focus strongly on a research-based approach, which reflects current research and pedagogy. Learning environments are designed to provide a communication friendly space that reflects the children’s individual needs and stage of development.
We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:
• Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
• Adapting our resources and staffing
• Using recommended aids, such as laptops, radio aids, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
• Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
• Pupils are given the opportunity to comment on their support, how they learn best, likes and dislikes. They are also able to set personal targets that they would like to achieve.
• Teaching and learning for children with additional needs is personalised through Individual Education Plans. This document outlines individual targets, approaches to learning, group and/or 1:1 work and specific resources. Support for children is developed and planned cooperatively with parents and carers.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

We aim to make our curriculum and teaching accessible to all parents and carers. Parents and carers should have a clear view of what their child is learning and the progress they have made. At St James we ensure communication between home and school through:
Weekly school newsletters
Half termly curriculum newsletter and planning overview from teachers
An 'Open Door' policy - this means we try to be available for parents who may have a concern or query
Informal class assemblies for parents
‘Book blinks’ - regular opportunities for parents and carers to look at their child’s books
Home learning projects
Parental consultation evenings Mid year and end of year written reports
Parent workshops e.g. Supporting phonics and reading at home

If your child has an EHCP or individual provision map there will be formal meetings arranged with parents and appropriate external agencies (at least annually) where their needs are reviewed and individual targets set. For children with an EHCP this will be the ‘Annual Review’ meeting. For children who have an individual provision map, this may take the form of a review meeting alongside an external service such as Speech and Language Therapy. These review meetings allow for parental and pupil voice. Parents can request a meeting with the SENDCo at anytime during the academic year.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

At St James CE VA Primary School, we are proud of our distinctive ethos and our caring atmosphere, where everyone is encouraged to feel part of a strong family, all working together to meet the needs of all our children. We aim for all our pupils to grow into well-rounded, happy and curious learners in an environment where they feel safe and well supported. We use the rainbow to illustrate our commitment to our children and to each other. In the Bible, God sent Noah a rainbow as a sign of His promise. We believe that God loves each of us, and it is our promise that we will love, look after and care for our children in the best way possible. We ask our children to 'show the rainbow' by looking after and loving one another in the best way they can. Underpinning this are our Christian values: love, hope, peace, joy, forgiveness, compassion, honesty, patience, perseverance and koinonia (community). Our values are shared and celebrated in many different ways, and are central to our key policies and procedures. Each week, Rainbow Moments are celebrated in our Friday assembly and in our weekly newsletter. Parents and carers are invited to share their Rainbow Moments from home with the school; all of these are collected together each term and displayed in our 'Rainbow Moment' book. Collective Worship themes focus on core values regularly throughout the year.

We provide support for pupils to improve their wellbeing, emotional and social development in the following ways:
• Pupils with SEND are encouraged to become a Pupil Governor, as well as other Pupil Voice groups (such as collective worship leaders, Eco-Echoes)
• We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying. At St James CEVA Primary School, we are proud of our distinctive ethos and our caring atmosphere, where everyone is encouraged to feel part of a strong family, all working together to meet the needs of all our children. We aim for all our pupils to grow into well-rounded, happy and curious learners in an environment where they feel safe and well supported.
• We have a Family Support Officer who works in school for 0.5 days per week
• We have access to the Mental Health Support Team for pupils with mild to moderate mental health difficulties.
• 2 LSAs are trained in Mental Health First Aid

What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Pupils who do not respond to interventions in school may have a referral to outside agencies for additional advice and support. In some cases an Early Help Assessment will be completed if there are a range of needs identified. The EHA will be completed by the Class Teacher, SENDCo or a member of the Inclusion Team. This will be reviewed regularly with parents and agencies involved.

Outside agencies will come into school to observe pupils, work with them on a 1:1 and consult with parents and staff. The SENDCO or Class Teacher will let parents know in advance of observations and consultations.

We are able to access support from the following external agencies:
Mental Health Support Team
Educational Psychology
Education Welfare Officer
Early Help Service
School Nurse
Safeguarding IFD team
Occupational Therapy
Child Development Centre
Speech and Language Therapist

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

Within the staff team there are specialisms such as Dyslexia, Autism and Social Communication difficulties, and Speech and Language development. We have 2 staff trained in Mental Health First Aid. We have a linked NHS Mental Health Support Team worker. We have a Family Support Officer who is on site 0.5 days per week.

All teachers and most LSA’s are trained in Read Write Inc which underpins the delivery of phonics teaching in our school.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

All children are included in trips and visits off site. Staff and the SENDCo liaise fully with parents to ensure the level of support and strategies before and throughout the trip lead to a safe and enjoyable experience for your child. This process is also in place for extracurricular clubs run by staff during lunchtimes or after school. St James’ has a strong family ethos, where individuals are cared for and valued. Staff are vigilant in their duty of care for our children and families. Child safety and wellbeing are prioritised above all. There is a high proportion of staff with paediatric first aid training. The before and after school care club is run by an external company: Dawn till Dusk, who operate a fully inclusive policy. It is open to all children regardless of additional needs. The school works closely with this service to ensure children’s needs are met throughout their day.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

The school is on a single storey with ramps into each building. There are wheelchair accessible toilets

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

We know that the first transition into school is fundamental in its effect (either positively or negatively) on further transitions within school and throughout adult life. It is imperative that transition into school is smooth, that all children feel safe, secure and ‘at home’ when they arrive.
In order to ensure a positive experience to starting school we:
Visit children in their nursery or pre-school
Offer a home visit for parent and child
Invite children to come for a Stay and Play visit in school
Invite parents to an information evening at which they visit the classroom and outdoor area
Receive written information/ transition report from the nursery, pre-school or child minder
Offer a staggered start to school with children arriving in small groups and initial part time attendance for the first few weeks.

For all families, the induction meeting, visits to school and home enable opportunities for us to discuss and understand your child’s needs, and any additional concerns about their transfer to school. For some children with SEND transitions can be particularly difficult. Meeting with parents, staff and SENDCo to discuss and plan the transition into school is important. This transition programme can be adapted and changed to suit individual needs. For example by extending or repeating visits to school or the home, increase period of part time attendance, a transition book including photographs of their classroom and key staff.

When a pupil with SEND is preparing to transfer to another school, we will put transition activities in place. This may involve additional visits to the new setting and an opportunity for parents to meet with relevant staff at the receiving school so that specific needs can be planned for.

The transfer to secondary school has its own managed programme which every child accesses. Staff from the receiving school visit the children to discuss and answer their questions. SEND paperwork, such as the Education Health and Care Plan, and most recent individual education plans are given to and discussed with the member of staff responsible for the pupil’s support in the receiving school. Where possible a planning meeting with the receiving school’s SENDCo would take place. We encourage staff and SENDCos from secondary schools to come and see the Year 6 children in their setting and discuss individual needs of pupils with staff. All children will have induction visits at their secondary school shortly before the end of the summer term. We are able to liaise with secondary schools to set up additional transition visits for pupils we feel are more vulnerable during this process of change.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

Decisions regarding resource allocation are made by the school’s Senior Leadership Team. The school has a number of staff with specific SEND training 

We are able to seek advice from external services who will support in advising appropriate resources for pupils with SEND training for staff.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

The school budget, received from Bedford Borough, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Headteacher and Governors decide the annual budget for SEND on the basis of needs within the school and the School Development Plan.
This process includes consideration of:
The children receiving additional support already
The children needing additional or further support
The children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected

The Headteacher and SENDCo audit resources and identify training/support needs for staff. The SEND resources (including staff skills and training) are reviewed regularly and adapted to meet the profile of needs across the school. Specialist or specific resources needed for individual children are outlined and put into place through the provision map, EHCP and during the ‘Annual Review’ process.

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

At St James we ensure communication between home and school through a range of different routes. Class teachers send out curriculum news, detailing planned learning and enabling parents to support this at home. Parents are invited to come to school for information evenings (such as ‘meet the teacher’ ‘Starting school’), curriculum workshops (e.g. ‘Supporting Phonics and Reading’), informal class assemblies, open mornings, shows & concerts, and parent consultation evenings. This enables us to build strong relationships with parents and support learning across home and school consistently. For children with additional needs we tailor home-school communication to enable a more detailed regular feedback. For example using Home-school communication books to ensure regular dialogue and feedback, regular meetings (at least termly) with parents and teacher/SENDCo to review progress and plan provision.

All parents are welcome to become involved further in day to day school life.

You can:
Become a member of the Parent Staff Association
Become a Parent Governor
Ask to speak to staff to express your ideas and/or concerns