Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Report

The Sylvester Primary School

SEND Information Report

   Children and Families Bill 2013


The Children and Families Bill underpins wider reforms to ensure all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. The Bill will reform the systems for adoption, looked after children, family justice and special educational needs.

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

A child or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or

  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Part of the SEN reform programme Local Authorities must publish their Local Offer, providing a comprehensive, transparent and accessible picture of the range of services available. Local partners, including schools are required to co-operate with the Local Authority in the development and review of their Local Offer.

All Knowsley maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

This document outlines our School Offer and the SEN Information required as stated in the SEN Code of Practice.

At The Sylvester we pride ourselves on the quality of our SEN provision. The provision was commented on positively by OFSTED in October 2013.

Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs…achieve well. The school has a steadily declining register of such pupils because it identifies problems very early and provides intensive support. As a result, many pupils are able to come off the register because their needs have been met.’ (OFSTED 2013)

‘Teaching assistants make a strong contribution to the learning of small groups of pupils working closely with class teachers or taking small groups on their own.’ (OFSTED 2013)

‘The deputy headteacher provides strong leadership for the support of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs so that these pupils achieve well and are making above-average progress.’ (OFSTED 2013)

  • How does the setting know if my child needs extra help?

  • All pupils are rigorously tracked in reading, writing, mathematics and science. If there are any concerns regarding progress or if any child requires extra support then this is identified by staff at the earliest opportunity and swiftly acted upon.

  • How can I let the setting know that I am concerned about any area of my child’s development?

  • If you are concerned about any area of your child’s development please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. They may be able to provide you with further information about what the school can provide.

  • The Sylvester Primary School has a ‘cause for concern’ sheet which teachers can use to refer pupils to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who will then decide the best action to take. The class teacher or the SENCo will then arrange to meet with the parent and discuss the next steps.

  • If your child is new to our school then progress will be discussed with the previous school or nursery.

  • If you think your child has Special Educational Needs and this has not already been identified by the school, then an appointment can be made to see the class teacher, SENCo or Head teacher and your child’s needs can then be discussed.

  • The school Governing Body oversee the effectiveness of SEN provision at The Sylvester. The policy for SEN is reviewed annually and there is a link SEN governor who regularly liaises with the school to ensure equality of opportunity.


  • How will teaching be matched to my child’s needs?

  • All teachers use high quality teaching and adapt activities to support all pupils within their classes.All teachers’ planning is differentiated to ensure every child can achieve and reach their full potential, this planning is monitored by Senior Leaders on a regular basis. Teaching Assistants are also placed within each class to support the needs of the children.

  • To support all children the school delivers the curriculum in different ways. This may mean small group intervention or individual support. These interventions may be daily or two or three times a week and will vary from ten minutes to approximately forty minutes, depending on the intervention. Teachers monitor the success of these interventions, judging their effectiveness by the impact on pupil’s progress.

  • We use a graduated response to ensure we meet the needs of all our children. Examples of this are the use of small intervention groups, specialist SEN teaching, additional Teaching Assistants placed in classes with vulnerable pupils, support from external services such as Educational Psychologist if required.


  • How will I be informed of my child’s progress?

  • We report to parents on an annual basis via a written school report. In addition to this, we also hold 3 parent’s evenings per year where parents have a pre arranged appointment to talk to their child’s class teacher regarding their child’s progress. As a school we also offer an ‘open door’ policy where parents can request to speak to a teacher after school.

  • In addition to the normal reporting arrangements, for children who are identified as having Special Educational Needs official reviews take place three times a year. At these reviews progress to targets on a child’s IEP are discussed and reviewed with any other additional support considered. Referrals to additional agencies may also take place.

  • As a school we follow a specific Plan-Do-Review cycle to support the progress of your child. More specifically this means: planning which involves discussing indepth the nature of the problem that your child may be experiencing and what specific support can be put in place. The doing aspect involves the school and any other agency (if required) carrying out an agreed intervention over a set period of time. A review will then be arranged between the school and parents and any other agencies that may be involved or are being considered to become involved with your child.

  • The impact of all interventions are measured and monitored closely.

  • If, following interventions a child’s progress continues to give cause for concern, your child’s class teacher and/or the SENCo will discuss next steps with the child’s parent/carer. If it is felt a child requires further additional support school will discuss with you the pathways to more specialist support/provision.

  • What support do you have for me as a parent to support my child?

  • We have 2 highly experienced Learning Mentors who offer support to many of our families.

  • We offer family learning opportunities where parents can come into school and work with their child

  • We invite specialist agencies into school to talk to you about how they can support you and your child.

  • We hold regular parents evenings for you to talk to your child’s teachers about their progress.

  • We are happy to offer individual appointments to discuss specific issues with you about your child’s progress.

  • We have an open door policy.


  • What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • We are fortunate enough to have 2 highly experienced Learning Mentor’s. These staff support children individually or in groups to ensure their needs are being effectively understood and also help provide them with skills to support their learning in school.

  • We have 6 staff who are first aid trained and all staff who are defibrillator trained. We also hold monthly drop in’s where parents can access our school nurse. All staff have up to date safeguarding training with support provided for personal care if required. A robust first aid policy ensures that the administration of medicines is carried out safely.

  • We ensure that we keep in close contact with you about your child’s overall wellbeing. To support the development of positive behaviours and friendship groups we have a Peer Mediators and Anti Bullying Ambassadors programme where pupils ensure that children are not isolated or bullied. We also have a ‘worry box’ in each classroom for children to write down any concerns they have about any aspect of their school life. Additionally, we use Circle Time to ensure that all children are listened to.

  • We have an active School Council for children to share their views and ideas

  • We have a clear policy regarding behaviour and expectations that all children adhere to. Where issues arise regarding behaviour initial liaison with the parent will be made by the classteacher. If the behaviour continues, the Deputy Head and or Headteacher will meet with the parent and child. The Learning Mentor may also become involved and offer some targeted intervention. If after a period of intervention the behaviour is still continuing and the child becomes at risk of exclusion a Pastoral Support Plan Meeting may be called.

  • One of our Learning Mentor’s is responsible for monitoring attendance. She carried out first response phone calls home and carries out home visits. She will lead on attendance panels with parents and also attendance and punctuality competitions.


  • What specialist service and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting to support my child?

  • Our specialist staff consists of:

  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) – Manages the SEN provision at The Sylvester, completes multi agency referrals, attends SEN planning and review meetings, supports the writing of IEP’s, tracks the progress and attainment of SEN pupils and liaises with parents

  • 2 Learning Mentors – supports the emotional well being of all pupils through individual, paired and group work, liaises with families and multi agencies

  • School Nurse – Monthly drop in’s available to parents (no appointment required)

  • Specialist SEN Teachers – part time staff who support via small group intervention children on the SEN register or who are working below age related expectations

  • SEN outreach teacher – part time teacher from Knowsley Central Primary School.

  • Specialist SEN Teaching Assistants – Full time staff and part time staff who support SEN children across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 via small group intervention

  • Educational Psychologist – commissioned by the school to support SEN/Vulnerable pupils

  • Knowsley Central School – commissioned by the school to provide part time places for children with Spld (Specific Learning Difficulties)

  • Stronger Families, Inclusion Support Workers, ASC Advisory Teachers, Speech and Language Therapy, CAMHS and Paediatricians (see LA Offer) – all provide support when required by children and families

  • The SENCo attends Local Authority Briefings and conferences to keep up to date with any legislative changes in SEN and the most up to date practise and provision. This is then shared with all school staff within the weekly staff meetings

  • The SENCo and support staff can access training through the Central Area Support team based at Knowsley Central School.

  • All staff in the school receive ongoing training to meet the needs of all the children attending the school at any point in time. This may include Speech and Language, Dyslexia Training, ASC awareness training, positive handling etc. Training provided responds to the needs of the children and staff at any given time.

  • The school’s SEN budget is allocated to meet the needs of the children on the SEN Register.

  • An Inclusion team meets every half term to discuss pupil progress and next steps.

  • The progress and attainment of all children is tracked and resources are allocated according to need.

  • The SEN budget is used to ensure that sufficient numbers of school staff are employed, qualified and trained to support your child and to purchase specialist help if needed. For example, we purchase a Service Level Agreement with Knowsley Central School to support children who have specific learning difficulties.

  • We also use the budget to ensure that children’s individual needs are met from specific interventions and programmes, where appropriate.

  • Our pupil premium allocation is allocated effectively to ensure that all pupils have the best possible change to achieve. Information showing how specific allocations have been spent is available on our school website www.sylvesterprimaryschool.co.uk


  • How accessible is your setting and how will my child be included?

  • Our setting is fully accessible with specific parking facilities, ramps to access the school building and classrooms, stair lifts and disabled toilet facilities. Further information regarding accessibility can be found in our school accessibility policy and plan.

  • If required, we will ensure that any family or child whose first language is not English will be supported effectively through specialist teachers. Correspondence to families will also be translated if required.

  • Our school governing body reviews our settings’ accessibility plan and policy on a termly basis to ensure that as a school we meet the needs of all our children.

  • Where possible, provision will be made for all pupils to access all areas of the curriculum including extra-curricular activities. We will always contact you before a planned activity if we think your child may require additional support to meet required health and safety standards. This may involve a specific risk assessment to identify any additional support needs your child may have to ensure full participation.


  • How will the setting prepare my child for transitions on to the next stage of educational and life?

  • On entry to Nursery, you will be invited to look around the school and meet significant staff. Your child will also be invited to a stay and play before they start.

  • We will ensure we contact any early years settings, or other schools you child has attended to gather information about their needs.

  • Where necessary, we will support pupils moving to new settings and Key Stages by making opportunities available to them to attend the new setting.

  • Where necessary we may develop a transition plan in partnership with you, your child, the new setting and specialist staff supporting your child to ensure that they enjoy a smooth transition.

  • For children in Year 6, a SENCO transition meeting takes place each summer term where information is passed to the receiving secondary school.


  • How are parents/cares/families involved in the setting?

  • Parent/carer and teacher meetings by appointment each term.

  • School staff meet and greet the children and parents/ carers each morning and likewise at the end of the school day.

  • Parents/carers are regularly invited to class/school assemblies, special celebrations and headteacher’s tea parties.

  • A variety of planned workshops throughout the year (see class information and our website regarding family learning)

  • Parents/careers are invited to join EYFS ‘Stay and Play’ activities.

  • All parents/carers are invited to join ‘FAST’ Friends of Sylvester Together. FAST arrange a number of fundraising events throughout the year and all new members are welcomed.


  • Who can I contact for further information?

  • For further information please contact Miss H. Brenchley Deputy Head Teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in the first instance.

The Knowsley Council SEND Information Report can be found on the Knowsley Council website http://www.knowsleyinfo.co.uk/

Additional Information:


Autistic Spectrum Condition


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service


Educational Psychologist


Individual Education Plan


Inclusion Co-ordinator – organises and monitors provision for children with additional needs, which includes SEN, English as additional language and child protection.


Learning Mentor- supports children with social/emotional/behavioural needs.


Quality First Teaching – an excellent standard of teaching, enabling all pupils to make progress.


Statement of Special Educational Need


School Action


Speech and Language Therapy/Therapist


School Action Plus


Special Educational Needs

SEN Code of Practice

The legal document, which sets out the requirements for educating children with special educational needs.


Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator- organises and monitors provision for children with special educational needs.

 A downloadable copy of the School SEN Information Report is available below:

School Local Offer – The Sylvester Primary School 2016