Our LearningDelivering a challenging and engaging curriculum
SEND Information Report
What is Larkspur’s Vision?
At Larkspur Primary Academy, our core values of care, honesty, determination, respect, responsibility and appreciation will permeate school life and enable our children to feel happy and confident within a safe and supportive community.
We will all work together: nurturing our children to be resilient and offering the very best education. By building a challenging and engaging curriculum, underpinned by a strong, positive learning culture, we will ensure that every child is able to become a lifelong learner, independently striving to succeed,
Larkspur Primary Academy is an inclusive school and we are committed to raising the achievements, aspirations of and expectations for all pupils including those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) so far as is reasonably practicable and compatible with the provision of the efficient education of other pupils. In meeting these responsibilities, Larkspur Primary Academy has due regard to the SEND Code of Practice 2014, The Equality Act May 2014 and the Disability Discrimination Act 2001.
How does this relate to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities?
We believe that making provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is a whole school matter and we aim to address children’s needs and support their development in the most appropriate way. As a ‘growth mindset’ school we believe in celebrating effort and determination as well as achievement.
All school staff have a responsibility for maximising the achievement and opportunity of all learners including those with special educational needs and disabilities. Staff are aware of their responsibilities towards SEND learners ensuring a positive and sensitive attitude is shown towards all pupils at all times. We work hard to support all of these children and we are fully committed to meeting the needs of this group as set out in the SEND Code of Practice.
What type of school is Larkspur?
Larkspur Primary Academy is a mixed year group, mainstream primary school from Nursery to Year 6. This forms part of a multi-academy trust (The Ivy Learning Trust) with schools based in both Hertfordshire and North London. The YMCA (Ash Valley Family Centre) is located on the school site.
What does Ofsted say?
Our latest Ofsted monitoring was in June 2018. The inspector’s report stated that,
‘Provision for pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities continues to be a strength of the school as identified in the section 5 inspection report. Pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities receive effective support designed to meet their needs. You have checked the skills and knowledge of teaching assistants regarding support for pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities. As a result, you have an accurate understanding of the training needs of staff and have begun to provide personalised training. ‘
How does Larkspur ensure that children/young people who need extra help are identified early?
At Larkspur we aim to identify children with special educational needs and/or disability as early as possible. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take in order to meet the needs of individual pupils, not to fit a pupil into a category.
Before children start Larkspur in Nursery and Reception, parents are invited to stay and play sessions whereby children and parents have the opportunity to meet the teachers and support staff. Members of the Early Years team carry out home visits to all pupils prior to them starting school. These visits provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns you as a parent may have about your child and if necessary begin the identification process. The school also has links with local playgroups and nurseries and we contact providers/visit settings if further information about children is required.
Across the school, regular monitoring and assessment of children’s learning takes place from which we are able to quickly identify pupils who may need additional help. This may be because a child is working at a level significantly behind their peers or because they are making much slower progress than pupils who started at the same baseline. We operate a “whole pupil, whole school” approach to the identification of special educational needs where we consider progress in all areas, not just the curriculum e.g. speech and language, social skills and behaviour.
Regular Pupil Progress meetings are held between class teachers and senior leaders to review the progress of all pupils. Within these meetings underachieving pupils are identified and supportive classroom strategies are agreed. Following these meetings, information is passed on to the Inclusion Team who may then carry out further observations/assessments , or implement specific interventions, following discussions and agreement with parents.
Staff can also raise concerns about a pupil at any time by making a referral to the Inclusion Team. This team, consisting of the SENCO, the Pastoral Support Lead, the Inclusion TA and Senior leaders, work together to ensure correct provision / support is put in place for the identified child/children.
Where there are early concerns for a pupil, teachers would be involved in early conversations with the child’s parents / carers. Together, school and home may explore whether there are any factors that may have caused / exasperated these early concerns. If concerns continue , the child would be identified as a pupil for whom there are ‘Initial Concerns’.
At this stage, relevant school staff would be expected to follow the Initial Concerns monitoring process which consists of the following:
- The class teacher completes an Initial Concern referral form which is shared with the SENCO.
- The pupil may then be placed on a short term ‘Initial Concern Monitoring Cycle’ which follows a shortened cycle of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ (APDR). Reasonable adjustments are put in place for the child.
- Following this short term cycle, discussions are had between the child/parents/teachers/SENCO where it is discussed whether the child needs to stay on the Initial Concerns APDR cycle for a bit longer; whether no further support is required; or whether a child requires further support and would benefit from receiving SEN support.
What are the common barriers to learning experienced by children at Larkspur Primary School?
At Larkspur we have experience of supporting children across a wide spectrum of needs, encompassing all four areas of need as described in the Code of Practice: Communication and interaction; Cognition and learning; Social, emotional and mental health difficulties and Sensory and/or physical needs. We have children in school with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and a number of pupils who are on the pathway for an Autism Assessment. As a school, we have seen increasing numbers of pupils with Neurodivergent conditions. As such, we have received the following whole school training this academic year:
- Level 2- Hertfordshire Autism Training for Schools- 21st October 2022 (full day training, school staff)
- ADHD Training for Schools- 22nd November (2 hours training, whole school staff)
As well as these recent whole school training courses, individual members of the school teaching and support team are offered external training based on the needs of the pupils for whom they support. This includes Social Stories training, Autism and Anxiety and Autism in Girls.
Below, is the current figures for SEN at Larkspur and how this compares with Hertfordshire and nationally.
England: (January 2022)
The percentage of pupils
The percentage of pupils
with a statement or EHC plan
The percentage of pupils
having SEN support
The four SEN areas of need with the highest percentage at Larkspur, are listed below (correct as of October 2022)-
Speech, Communication & Language Needs (SCLN): 27.2%
Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC): 18.1%
Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD): 13.6%
Social, Emotional & Mental Health Needs (SEMH): 13.6%
What does Larkspur do to help children/young people with special educational needs?
As an inclusive school we aim to unlock the potential of each child and remove barriers to learning. We work in partnership with parents, the child and, where appropriate, external agencies to make high aspirations a reality. There are many different staff involved in supporting pupils with additional needs across the school and these include; the SENCO, Pastoral Support Lead, Teaching Assistants, Specialist Teaching Assistants.
We strive to ensure that every child’s needs are met by operating a graduated approach to SEND. We ensure that we provide support to pupils with SEND that is additional to and different from the provision made for other children.
At Larkspur, we have a number of highly successful intervention programmes to meet the individual needs of children. These are outlined in the whole school and individual class provision maps which highlight the support and interventions that we as a school provide.
- Speech and language programmes, including WellComm and NELI (Nuffield Early Language intervention)
- Reading groups
- Lego therapy
- Barrier games to support social skills
- Protective Behaviours
- Phonics support
- Place2Be (Counselling service)
- Shine English and maths intervention
We carefully monitor the impact of these interventions through our impact analysis and final assessment data relevant to the intervention.
For those children who require higher levels of support we design and agree a programme of support that is carefully targeted to meet the area of need or difficulty. Working in co-production with the child, parents /carers, staff, and the inclusion team they develop and set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic and time specific) targets. These are recorded on a Learning Support Plan (LSP) which sets out what the school will do and how we will do it so as to support a child to make progress. These plans are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are effective. Any additional support is recorded on the provision maps, which are regularly evaluated to ensure that all planned provisions are having a positive impact upon the child’s progress.
How do teachers match the curriculum to an individual child/young person’s needs?
There are children with SEND throughout Larkspur and therefore all teaching staff have a duty to provide quality first teaching to all pupils. All staff play a vital role in facilitating the full integration of pupils with SEND and ensuring that all children have full access to the broad and balanced school curriculum. We utilise our Accessibility Plan to ensure we create effective learning environments, provide equality of opportunity, use appropriate assessments and set SMART targets. We focus on individual progress as the main indicator of success.
At Larkspur we have developed a range of strategies to support children with special educational needs or disabilities. These may include:
- Quality first teaching strategies and resources for support in class
- Adapted curriculum support strategies for SEND in class
- Access to additional interventions for SEND
We advocate quality first teaching for all children at Larkspur where high quality teaching, adapted for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have ‘initial concerns’ . Working in partnership with pupils, parents and also with external professionals (where appropriate) we ensure that we plan learning that meets the needs of the child with SEND.
Careful and regular assessment of SEND learners means that teachers can pinpoint exactly where a child is on their learning journey and plan for appropriate next steps. Children with special educational needs are taught alongside other children but lessons are adapted to accommodate all learners.
Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of the children in their class. This means that learning is scaffolded or adapted to meet an individual learner’s needs. This may include; small group work or 1:1 either inside or outside of the classroom with an adult, adjusting the lesson content, adjusting the teaching style or pace of learning, providing alternative recording methods, using practical apparatus or by expecting different outcomes.
All classrooms are supportive environments with adaptations made to support learners with additional needs. This includes; the use of working walls, labelled resources, word mats, 100 squares, visual timetables, individual resources, number lines, coloured reading rulers, phonic prompts, now and next boards, personalised timetables, prompt cards, quiet work stations and the use of colourful semantics.
Children with disabilities may not have SEN but all teachers ensure they are able to participate as fully as possible in all aspects of the curriculum.
How are Larkspur’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s special educational needs?
At Larkspur part of the overall school budget is delegated to provide support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This is a fixed amount and we use the money as cost-effectively as possible to ensure we help all the children who need it.
The majority of the SEND budget is spent on resources for support and interventions, which includes staff, equipment and staff training. The staff ratio in KS1 is higher with additional teaching assistants allowing us to provide early intervention for pupils who may need support. In response to the needs identified in the school we have specialist teaching assistants trained to deliver specialised interventions such as the NELI speech and language programmes, specialist pastoral support and support for pupils with sensory needs.
Decisions about which support programme is best for a child are made in pupil progress meetings or as part of the Learning Support Plan process. This could reflect advice sought from other professionals, in conjunction with the Inclusion Team, the class staff and parents /carers. All support is recorded on a provision map where we monitor progress and attainment of pupils alongside their intervention to ensure it is proving to have the maximum impact and be cost effective.
This September (2022) we successfully secured a grant through a local education charity which enabled us to purchase some new resources targeted at supporting learners with SEND.
How do you monitor a child/young person’s progress and how do you communicate with parents about their child’s progress?
At Larkspur we work hard to develop effective partnerships between school and home in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for pupils. Class teachers will liaise with parents informally through discussions, telephone conversations, newsletters and communication books and also more formally through structured conversations, parent/carer consultation meetings and annual reports.
For some children, including those with special educational needs, we have a Learning Support Plan review each term with parents/carers. This review will be arranged as far as possible at a time that will allow them to attend. As part of this process, school staff offer strategies that parents can do at home to support their child.
The SENCO arranges a meeting with parents of every child with SEND at the start of each new academic year. Further follow up meetings with the SENCO throughout the year can also be arranged. The SENCO also regularly phones parents for informal conversations regarding pupils with SEND.
At Larkspur we are fortunate to have a pastoral support lead, who is able to work with families and often act as the first point of contact when parents have a problem or concern. We also operate an open door policy and staff are always available to meet with families to discuss their concerns. Our school website, alongside other school communication directs parents of children with SEND to local training events and support services.
What support does Larkspur offer for young children and young people’s overall health and well-being?
At Larkspur we are firmly committed to ensuring our children feel safe, confident and ready to learn and our core values are central to this ethos. The values underpin our positive behaviour expectations and support the development of effective and supportive relationships. All staff, including volunteers, are fully committed to helping safeguard children and play a full and active part in protecting all of our pupils from harm.
Pupils with significant health/medical needs have a personal healthcare plan that is written in co-production with parents, staff and healthcare professionals where necessary. This outlines the support needed and necessary steps required should an emergency arise. This information is shared with staff on a need-to-know basis.
All pupils are encouraged to talk to any member of staff if something is troubling them and the school also have a worry box if pupils do not feel confident at voicing their concerns. Further, we have adopted an approach called ‘Network Hands’ where pupils identify 5 key people at school who they can turn to when they need someone to talk to.
As a member of the Ivy Learning Trust, Larkspur are thrilled to be running an in-school counselling service called ‘Place to Be’ which is delivered by a trained counsellor. Pupils are selected for counselling due to their needs identified by the inclusion team with parental permission. we ‘Place to Talk’ is run alongside this provision whereby children are able to express concerns that will be addressed by the counsellor.
Larkspur has a pastoral support lead, who supports pupils who may have social, emotional or behavioural difficulties through the use of social skill/friendship groups. There is also ‘chill out’ space at playtime
The Inclusion Team, which includes the SENCO, Pastoral support Lead, SEN Teaching Assistant, and senior leadership team, meet regularly to discuss pupils who may require additional support because of pastoral, medical, behavioural or social needs and they decide which support/ action that the school needs to take.
For pupils with behavioural difficulties the school works closely with the parents to draw up Individual Support Plans. This may also require the pupil to be referred to the Behaviour Support Service and/or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to seek further professional advice and guidance. Any recommendations are then incorporated into the individual plan and followed closely to avoid exclusions. Pupils at risk of exclusion will have a Pastoral Support Plan which is drawn up in a multi-agency meeting and regular Team around the Family meetings are then held to review progress.
The schools pastoral lead and officer administrator monitors attendance daily and raises concerns about individual pupil absence or punctuality with the Headteacher and this is discussed at the Inclusion Team meeting if relevant If the school has concerns about attendance or punctuality parents are informed via a phone call in the first instance and then subsequently through letters and meetings. Where attendance is seen to be a more serious concern we will involve the Hertfordshire Education Welfare Officer.
Pupils are actively encouraged to share their views and this can be done through their school council representative, regular class discussions and pupil questionnaires. Pupil voice is also gathered through book talk , on Learning Support Plans, through fast feedback conferences and, if a pupil has a Statement or an EHCP, through the annual review process
What arrangements are in place to support children/young people who are ‘looked after’ and SEND?
Mrs McEwan (Headteacher) is the designated Teacher for Looked After Children (LAC). If pupils are LAC and also have SEND we will use a multi-agency approach to link the Personal Education Plan (PEP) with the Learning Support Plan (LSP) to ensure that staff are all working together to support the SEND and pastoral needs of the pupil. Funding that arises from the PEP will be carefully targeted for identified areas of need to ensure the best possible outcomes for LAC pupils.
Within Larkspur Primary Academy we have a number of specialist services and staff working to support pupils:
- Pastoral, Family support Lead
- ELKAN/WellComm qualified specialist speech and language assistant
We also have access to the following services from the Local Authority:
- Educational Psychology Services
- DSPL3 Behaviour Support Team
- Amwell View School Outreach Support
- Communication and Autism Team
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Children and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS)
- Occupational therapy
- Physiotherapy services
- Hearing Impairment Team
- Visual Impairment Team
- School nursing service
- Health Visiting Team
- Children’s Services
- Parent Support Service – SENDIASS
- Family Support from Ware Children’s Centres (for pupils aged 5 and under)
For your child to be seen by any of the local authority services mentioned above, a referral must be made. The decision to make a referral is a team decision made in consultation with parents and key staff.
What training have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities had?
At Larkspur we have a firm belief in ‘lifelong learning’ and our wide-ranging professional development programme promotes this principle.
Staff training on SEND is delivered to the whole staff through staff meetings and INSET days. The school also buys back into the County’s more specialist SEND training. The amount and type of training is linked to the targets as set out in the schools single plan and is also personalised to meet the needs of individual staff and the pupils . Staff are also able to request training to support their professional development needs.
Staff have received training in the following areas
● Positive behaviour management-managing emotions
● Supporting pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties and Dyslexia
● Autism Spectrum Disorder and strategies to support
● ELKLAN speech and language
● WellComm Speech and Language programme
● Structured Conversations
● The SEND Code of Practice
● Mindfulness and supporting emotional wellbeing
The most recent SEND training received this academic year are as follows:
⮚ Level 2- Hertfordshire Autism Training for Schools- 21st October 2022 (full day training, school staff)
⮚ ADHD Training for Schools- 22nd November (2 hours training, whole school staff)
⮚ Valuing SEND in Hertfordshire- 8th November (SENCO)
⮚ Social Stories- 8th November (one to one Learning Support Assistant)
How does Larkspur include children in activities and educational visits?
At Larkspur we are committed to meeting the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND and or disabilities so that they can access a full and varied curriculum. This may mean that for some activities and trips additional support or travel arrangements may need to be made for some pupils and this will be arranged in consultation with staff, the SENCO and parents. Extra-curricular and sports clubs offered at Larkspur are monitored to ensure that these are being accessed by pupils with SEND.
An individual risk assessment may be required and will be carried out well in advance and will be agreed by parents/carers.
How accessible is the school environment?
Our school site is across one level and we have wheelchair accessibility throughout the site.
There is an accessible toilet available for pupils, staff and visitors. There are changing facilities available for pupils if necessary. We have a separate Accessibility Plan detailing this.
In school we have a range of equipment designed to support the development of children’s coordination and motor skills but if any child requires additional equipment we will get this through specialist services. For example Occupational Therapy.
How are children prepared for joining and leaving Larkspur?
Transitions are important in a child’s life and so invite parents and children joining the school in Nursery and Reception to meet their child’s class teacher during the Summer term before the child starts school. In addition to this, key staff will visit children who are new to Nursery at home to support transition into school.
Pupils who arrive at Larkspur mid-year will have a welcome meeting with a Senior member of staff. This provides the pupils and families with the opportunity to share information about their child. The children and families will also visit their new classrooms and tour the school. We also ask parents to let us know if their child has a disability or if they feel their child has any special educational needs, so that we can make sure the right support is in place for their child.
At the end of the summer term teachers are given hand-over time to discuss their new class with the current class teacher; a class file with key pupil information is updated throughout the year to support this transition process. Children also have the opportunity to spend time with their new class teacher in their new classroom where possible.
Pupils who may need more help with transition are identified early in the summer term and their transition is longer and more carefully managed. With the support of school staff they complete an individual transition book, entitled ‘My Moving Up booklet’ that will carry on over the summer holidays to help with a smooth transition back to school in September.
Sometimes pupils with SEND leave school before they reach Year 6, often to go to a school more suited to their individual needs. The SENCO will liaise with the parents and all external agencies to find the most suitable placement and the transition will be carefully managed. If a pupil with an EHCP is transferring to specialist provision, then a member of staff from the new school will be invited to attend Annual Review meetings and any transition meetings.
To help older children prepare for the transition into Year 7 we encourage families to visit local secondary schools to support their choice. In the summer term teachers from local secondary schools visit the children in order to support the transition process. Pupils will experience a ‘Moving Up Day’ (typically in July) when they will spend the day at their new secondary school. Pupils with SEND are likely to be invited to attend additional transition visits and activities to support the settling in process. Larkspur staff liaise with local secondary schools to ensure that important information is shared. This also happens when children leave Larkspur at other points in their school career.
How parents are involved in school life?
At Larkspur we understand that children learn best when home and school work in collaboration..
We work hard to build good relationships with families and have an ‘open door’ policy whereby parents are able to contact their child’s class teacher, the SENCO or a member of the Senior Leadership Team should they have any concerns about their child. Parents are represented on the school’s Governing Body.
We hold a parents’/carers’ evening twice a year and all parents/carers receive a report about their child’s progress once a year. For pupils with SEND we have regular LSP review meetings.
Across the course of the school year we host a number of events to involve parents and families in the life of school, including class assemblies and concerts and often hold curriculum information evenings.
Should families require a translator we will endeavour to arrange this.
Who to contact for more information or to discuss a concern
The child’s class teacher is the first point of contact for any questions or concerns. Other people that can be contacted are:
- Ciara O’Connor- The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)
- Kerry McEwan (Headteacher)
- A member of the Senior Leadership Team
Who to contact to complain
If there are any complaints relating to the provision for children with SEND these will be dealt with in the first instance by the class teacher and SENCO, then, if unresolved, by the Senior Leadership Team.
The governor with specific responsibility for SEND may be involved if necessary. In the case of an unresolved complaint the issue should be taken through the Governors complaints procedure.
Our offer to children with special educational needs and disabilities was prepared:
October 2022 (updated version)
It will be reviewed annually: October 2023