Special Educational Needs (SEN) at St Michael's

Special Educational Needs at St Michael’s Junior Church School

At St Michael’s Junior Church School we believe that every child should have an equal opportunity to achieve success in school, whatever their learning needs. We endeavor to nurture the children’s thirst for knowledge and promote learning as being a lifelong opportunity. Our children’s learning does not begin or end at St Michael’s.  Embedded within our ethos is an increased focus on successful life outcomes and high expectations for a healthy journey into an adult life. We seek to see our children grow into happy and successful adults who make valuable contributions to society.

The desired outcomes for our children are that they are able to access the curriculum and reach their full potential academically.

Promoting a positive attitude to learning is embedded within our ethos, however, many other practical steps are taken to support our children through their learning journey

The children are assessed in reading, writing, and maths as soon as they arrive at St Michael’s.  Assessment results, along with any other information from the child’s previous school, helps the child’s teacher plan a differentiated curriculum to address the child’s learning needs.

As well as differentiated lessons, practical resources and equipment may also be used in class to support the children with their learning. For example, pencil grips, reading rulers and writing slopes are often used to support the child with reading and writing.

For some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets.

Alongside the work taking place in the classroom we have a number of small intervention groups focusing on key skills taking place throughout the school. These interventions are managed by the class teachers and their teaching assistants.

Our Speech and Language interventions are led and managed by an experienced and dedicated Language Support Assistant Wendy Gillum. Our Language Support is based in The Rainbow Intervention Room.

These interventions have a particular focus on literacy and can help narrow the achievement gap between the child and age related expectations in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  

To support us with our Speech and Language interventions we have our Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Mr Stuart Cook based in The Learning Centre on a Friday.  

The SEN Team consists of:

Special Educational Co-ordinator           Ms Jo Cuthbertson

Speech and Language Support               Mrs Wendy Gillum


We also have a workforce of strong and dedicated Teaching Assistants who are there to support our children on their learning journeys.

Mrs Angell & Mrs Gillum             Year 3           

Mrs Grizzell        Year 4

Mrs Angell    Year 5         

Mrs Lewington   Year 5/6

Mrs  Pile  Year 6

Mrs Price our HLTA works across all classes but is in Year 5 on Fridays.



If you have any concerns regarding your child’s academic progress please contact your child’s class teacher or Ms Cuthbertson.      



Pastoral Care at St Michael’s Junior Church School

There can be many barriers to learning throughout a child’s lifetime. These can be difficult situations which we as adults can also struggle with. For example, bereavement, loss of earnings and family breakdown can have a deep impact on our mental health. These are also the kind of events that can make it difficult for the child to settle in school and we endeavor wherever possible, to address the child’s needs holistically. Alongside parents, we work to address our children’s emotional needs and put support in place to help our children through their difficulties. 

At St Michaels we are lucky to have a dedicated and passionate team within our Pastoral Care Department.



Gwen Kearley        Chaplain

Gwen is based in the Sanctuary Room at St Michaels’ Junior Church School. She is available to support the children and families connected our school. Gwen can provide a listening ear when it is needed and support our children and parents through any challenging times.

The Chaplaincy also offers a drop in service for our children during a lunch time.

If you would like to speak to Gwen about anything please contact to school office on 01225 421888.

Safeguarding & Attendance Officer

Miss Andrea Smith


Children and Families Bill 2013

The Children and Families Bill takes forward the Coalition Government’s commitments to improve services for vulnerable children and supporting families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background.

The Government transformed the system for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), including those who are disabled, so that available services consistently support the best outcomes for them.

It takes forward the reform programme set out in Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability by:

  • Replacing statements and learning difficulty assessments with a new birth- to-25 Education, Health and Care Plan, extending rights and protections to young people in further education and training and offering families personal budgets so that they have more control over the support they need;
  • Improving cooperation between all the services that support children and their families and particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work together;
  • Requiring local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing provision for those with special educational needs and to publish a ‘local offer’ of support.

What is the Local Offer?

  • The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information sets out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.”


  • There are 14 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect concerns and interests you may have regarding your child.  
  • Below are St Michael’s Junior Church School’s responses to these questions.

1.1. How does St Michael’s Junior Church School know if children need extra help?

  • Concerns are raised by Parents/Carers’, teachers, teaching assistants, Pastoral team or the pupil’s previous school
  • The pupil has been identified as needing extra support based on their baseline assessment scores in Year 3.
  • There is lack of progress despite Quality First teaching interventions and differentiation.  
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour
  • A pupil asks for help

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

  •  If you have concerns then contact your child’s teacher or Jo Cuthbertson the SENCo.
  1. 2. How will I know how St Michael’s Junior Church School supports my child?
  • Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class.
  • If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy or literacy skills etc, then the pupil will be placed in a small focus group. These intervention groups will be planned by the teacher and monitored by the SENCo, and our Language support staff based in The Rainbow Room.
  • 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 ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.

If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or SENCo.

In addition to interventions, St Michael’s Juniors offers focused teaching for Literacy and Numeracy for children who are significantly below or above the other pupils in their class.

  • Pupil Progress Meetings are held regularly. This is a meeting where the class teachers meet with their teaching assistants.  This shared discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support our pupils.
  • Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency such as an Educational Psychologist, Pediatricians, specialist Behaviour Support or Speech and Language Therapist.  Referral forms are then completed in conjunction with parents/carers and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a programme of support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers.
  1. 3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
  • Matching the curriculum to your child’s needs will be addressed through clear differentiated work matched to suit the child. This differentiated work should enable your child to access the curriculum more easily.
  • In class, Teaching Assistants may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.
  • If appropriate, specialist equipment is given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, concentration cushions, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors.
  1. 4.             How will I know how my child is doing?
  • You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parents Evenings or through discussions with the class teacher.
  • Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the SENCo by visiting or phoning the school office.
  • IEPs (Individual Education Plans) are sent home each term. Targets are usually set by the class teacher.
  • How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
  • The class teacher may suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning through messages, at parents’ evenings or if you are requested to attend a meeting.

Ms Cuthbertson, the SENCo may meet with you to discuss how to support your child and a referral to the Parent Support Advisors will be made. The PSA or another member of the Pastoral Team may meet with you to discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s attitude to learning, behaviour or emotional needs at home.

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

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties.

These include:

  • Members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants, SENCo, are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
  • In house mentoring and the school’s Chaplaincy is available. The school’s Chaplaincy offers a drop in session during the lunchtimes for pupils who find lunchtimes a struggle. They are also able to join in with the Fun games and activities in the Sanctuary. This support is to help provide the pupils with social skills to enable them to form friendships.


  • Pupils with medical needs
  • If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled by Ms Cuthbertson and the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • All staff will receive basic First Aid training in addition to those that are already fully trained.
  • Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in school but only where a signed Medication agreement in line with the medication policy, is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.

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

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise.

The agencies used by the school include:

  • Autism Outreach Team from Fosseway
  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Social Services
  • Children’s Therapy Team (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy)
  • RUH (Pediatrician)
  • Learning Support Services
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • Play Therapy
  • Theraplay
  • Mentoring services
  • Black families Support
  • Sensory Support
  • Occupational therapy

7. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had?

All staff have received some training related to SEND.

These have included sessions on:

  • How to support pupils on the autistic spectrum.
  • How to support pupils with emotional needs.
  • One of our teaching assistants has achieved the Language for Learning Award and delivers Speech and Language programmes written in consultation with the Speech and Language Therapy Team at St Martins Hospital.


10. How will the school prepare and support my child when transferring from the Infants or a new Secondary school?

St Michael’s Junior Church School understands what a stressful time moving schools can be therefore many strategies are in place to enable the pupil’s transition to be as smooth as possible.

These include:

  • Meetings between the previous or receiving schools prior to the pupil joining/leaving.
  • Ms Cuthbertson and our learning support assistants where appropriate, attend the infant feeder schools so that we can prepare for the children’s individual needs before they arrive.  The frequent visits also mean that staff become a familiar face to identify with before they start.
  • Year 2 pupils attend several Transition Days where they spend the day with their new class teachers.
  • Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school.
  • Staff at St Michael’s Junior Church School are always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining the school.
  • On occasion, St Michael’s will employ Learning Mentors or consult with outside agencies to run extra transition sessions for vulnerable year 6 pupils before transition; and with year 2 due to join us in the new academic year.
  • Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school.
  • Meetings with the SENCo from the Infants and Secondary schools are held to pass on information regarding SEN pupils.
  • Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting is arranged with the secondary school SENCo, the parents/carers and where appropriate the pupil. 

11. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

  • The SEN budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional  support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs.
  • The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year.

 . 12  How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

  • When the children join the school support is allocated on the information provided by the feeder school and the baseline assessments carried out at St Michael’s Junior Church School. If you child has a Statement of Special Educational Need, or Education and And Health Care Plan, the SENCo will allocate a teaching assistant to them.  Support in class or in other focus groups is tailored to the pupils’ needs.


  • During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged. 

13. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. There is an expectation that parents help their children with their homework and read with them on a regular basis.  The staff at St Michael’s are always willing to discuss a child’s educational progress.

This may be through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher.
  • Discussions during parents evenings.
  • During discussions with Ms Cuthbertson (SENCo) or other key professionals.
  • Comments in the homework diaries and Home and School Communication book if your child has one.
  • Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s IEP with possible suggestions that could be incorporated.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

I hope these have answered any queries you may have but do not hesitate to contact the school if you have further questions.