Oakley Cross Primary School

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SEND Information Report


Our SEND Information Report – which is part of Durham County Council’s Local Offer – provides details about how we support children and young people with Special Educational Needs in our school.

​The SEND Information Report was reviewed and updated February 2023.

​At Oakley Cross Primary, we recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision that will enable them to achieve their potential. We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement and working in partnership with other agencies in order to provide a positive educational experience for all our pupils including those with a special educational need or disability.

This SEND Information Report should be read alongside the school’s SEND Policy, the Equalities Information and Objectives and the Accessibility Plan.
Key Contacts
Headteacher: Mrs Sian Atkinson can be contacted on 01388 833186 or by email oakleycross@durhamlearning.net.

SENCO: Mr Andrew Howe can be contacted on 01388 833186 or by email oakleycross@durhamlearning.net.

SEND Admissions

For information on the admission of pupils with a disability, please visit the School Admissions section of our website and view the Accessibility Plan in our School Policies section.

If you would like to discuss your child’s SEND in more detail, please contact the school to arrange an appointment.

The full range of local support available for children/young people with SEND and their families within and outside of school can be found in the County Durham Local Offer. 

Our SEND Provision

There are four broad areas of special educational need, these are:

Communication and Interaction 
This area of need includes children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those with speech, language and communication needs

Cognition and Learning
This includes children with specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
This includes any pupils who have an emotional, social or mental health need that is impacting on their ability to learn

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties
This area includes children with hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.

The kinds of SEND that are provided for:

At Oakley Cross, we have experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of need including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Speech, Language or Communication Needs
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Literacy difficulties including Dyslexia
  • Numeracy Difficulties including Dyscalculia
  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Visual impairments
  • Gross and Fine motor difficulties

​The school provides data on the levels and types of need to the Local Authority. This is collected through the school census. 

Our approach to teaching children & young people with SEND

Inclusive education means supporting all pupils to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school life alongside their peers. Our curriculum includes, not only the formal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum / National Curriculum, but also a range of additional opportunities to enrich the experiences of all pupils.

The Curriculum also included the social aspects that are essential for lifelong learning, personal growth and development of independence.

At times, children may require additional support which is above that of quality first teaching. When this is the case, the child is placed on our SEND register.  As a child on the SEND register, a support plan will be created in consultation with SENCO, class teacher, parents/carers and the child. The SEND register is regularly reviewed and the needs of children will be assessed in order to ensure that the support given is suitable.

If your child has Special Educational Needs our SENCO will:

  • Ensure the right support is put in place for each child.
  • Advise other teachers and teaching assistants on how to help each child and ensure they have an up to date Special Education Needs Support Plan detailing how their needs will be met in school.
  • Arrange training for staff so they understand each child’s needs.
  • Work closely with parents on a regular basis to talk with them about their child’s needs and listen to any ideas or concerns they may have.
  • Work with other professionals (if necessary) who may be able to help individual children, e.g. speech and language therapist /medical professional/ educational psychologist.

SEND Support Plans will include:

  • Short term targets for the child which are linked to their needs – these targets will be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound)
  • Details of any extra support the child will get
  • Who will give the child help
  • How often the child will get help
  • How and when the school will look at the child’s progress again
  • When they will be formally reviewed (usually each term – three times per academic year)

How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

Early Identification of Need

A special educational need can be a number of different things. For example, a child may be having problems with academic work or behaviour, which can be helped by providing extra support at school and by working in partnership with parents/carers. Problems may also be due to a disability which makes it more difficult for a child to use the same educational facilities that the school provides for the majority of children. For some children this may be a temporary difficulty, while others may have a long-term need for specialist help.

Types of special educational needs can include:

  • General Learning Difficulties
  • Social and Emotional Difficulties
  • Cognition and Learning Difficulties
  • Communication and Interaction Difficulties
  • Speech and Language Difficulties
  • Delays with gross or fine motor skills
  • Other Physical or Medical Needs/Conditions

All of our children’s needs are identified and met as early as possible through:

  • A cycle of Assess, Plan, Do and Review which may include observation, assessment, target setting and monitoring
  • listening to, and following up parental concerns
  • listening to and taking into account the child’s views, wishes and feelings
  • the analysis of data including baseline assessments linked to EYFS to track individual children’s progress over time
  • reviewing and improving staff understanding of a wide range of needs and effective strategies to meet those needs
  • liaison with schools and other settings at mid/end of year transfer
  • exchanging information from other services across education, health, care and the voluntary sector
  • involving an external agency, and the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) as a minimum, where it is considered that a special educational need may be significant and long term and may require more in-depth and frequently reviewed cycles of assess, plan, do and review 
  • discussions on progress and which interventions are needed

How we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for children & young people with SEND

We adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND by:

  • Changing the way activities are planned and delivered
  • Matching activities to the ability / need of each child (differentiation)
  • Adapting learning materials such as equipment and activities to suit each child’s needs
  • Offering small group support to promote skills identified in the child’s SEND Support Plan
  • Including movement breaks for children who need them
  • Providing visual timetables, prompt cards and other resources, where needed
  • Seeking advice from or enlisting the help of outside agencies and professionals e.g. Educational Psychology Service, Speech and Language, Emotional Wellbeing and Effective Learning

More details on how we adapt information, our environment and curriculum can be found in the Accessibility Plan which you can find in the School Policies section of our website.

SEND Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need, we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

As part of this approach, every child with SEND will have an individualised SEND Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child/YP (where appropriate) views are integral to this process.

​A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

​Children with complex difficulties in any/more than one of the four areas MAY be eligible for an EHCP assessment. This should be discussed in detail with the SENCO. The process of applying for an EHCP takes up to twenty weeks and requires a vast amount of evidence to be submitted to the LA. Currently, we have two children with an EHCP. An EHCP does not mean the child receives one to one support in school, but some children do need extra support across the day including unstructured times. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis.

​For more detailed information see the Local Offer.

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEND

If teachers have a concern about a child, this is recorded on a short note.

​A short note is shared with parents who can respond to the teacher’s concern and add their own (if applicable).

​If children receive more than one short note across the year, it is discussed with parents whether they may need a SEND Support Plan.

How we respond to parental concerns

We always encourage parents to come in and discuss any concerns with us face to face. Children who are working with a number of agencies will have termly reviews, even if they don’t have an EHCP so that parents have a chance to discuss any concerns about the provision their child is receiving. All parents of children with SEND are invited to parents review meetings – these take place each term (three times per academic year).  We strive to ensure access to appropriate high quality teaching, differentiation and intervention for all of our SEND children.  Rigorous monitoring by the SLT and subject leaders takes place across each term to ensure high standards for all of our learners, including those with SEND.

How children with SEND engage in all activities?

We enable all children to engage fully in all aspects of school life. To do this, we:

  • Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities.
  • Ensure every child has the entitlement to a sense of achievement.

How we evaluate the effectiveness of SEND Provision

We continuously ensure the provision has a positive impact on the outcomes for all of our children/young people. We do this in a variety of ways, including:

  • Robust evaluation of policy and practice
  • Book scrutinies of SEND children
  • Pupil Interviews
  • Annual report to Governors
  • SENCO/SLT/Governor monitoring
  • Learning walks by the SENCO and SLT
  • End of Key Stage data
  • Internal data and Pupil Progress meetings
  • Performance management objectives

Support for Emotional & Social Development

At Oakley Cross we have developed a number of partnerships and consult with a wide range of agencies in order to support our children with pastoral, medical and social needs.

At Oakley Cross we believe that a child’s education extends beyond subjects covered by the National Curriculum and Religious Education. PSHE helps give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. It encourages children to develop their emotional intelligence, build their knowledge of factors contributing to a healthy lifestyle and develop respectful relationships with others.

Our policy therefore, seeks to embed PSHE firmly within the school curriculum and requires it to be part of the explicit as well as the hidden curriculum. All children are encouraged to recognise and express their feelings and learn to contribute to whole class discussions. Some children may access small group intervention if they require extra support in developing these skills. We have worked with our children, including those with SEND, to educate them in recognising what bullying is, how to report it and strategies to support themselves and others. Our Anti-Bullying Policy gives further details. We believe that children have a right to work and play in a safe, nonthreatening environment.

We provide support for children with social and emotional needs at a school based level in the following ways:

Looked After Children with SEND

We have a Designated Teacher for Children Looked After and SENCO (Mr A Howe) who works to ensure all teachers in school understand the implications for those children who are looked after and have SEND.

The designated CLA teacher reviews the child’s progress through the PEP (Personal Education Plan) process with the relevant Local Authority and carers.

If the child also has a SEND Support Plan/EHCP this can be reviewed at the same time and should complement the targets on the PEP.

SEN Transition

At Oakley Cross we understand the importance of a smooth transition for all children, as well as those children who may require extra support. We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

Transition into Nursery is based very much upon an individual child’s needs. We want all children to feel safe, secure and happy at Oakley Cross and for that reason starting nursery may look different for many children. Each child will be welcomed along to nursery, with family members, prior to starting nursery. While children play, supported by a member of staff, parents have the opportunity to ask any questions and receive key information about their up and coming days at nursery.

Transition into Reception class is supported throughout a child’s time in nursery. Staff frequently visit Nursery to engage with the children, and the children often go into the Reception to talk to staff and interact with the children. Additional transition time is arranged in June and July when nursery pupils attend Reception for their usual nursery session. This is also the case across the rest of the school where all children participate in a ‘Move Up Day’ and spend the day in their new class.

It is sometimes necessary to provide children with a transition booklet including information regarding their new class teacher and photos of their new classroom environment. Additional arrangements may also be made to ease children’s anxieties during the transition process.

For any in-year transfers, we work closely with the child’s previous school to make sure the correct support and intervention is in place for the child as soon as they begin. The SENDCO attends all relevant transition meetings for the new child and will meet both the child and parents/carers before their admission date.

We work in close partnership with our secondary schools to provide an enhanced level of transition for those who we feel would benefit. This may take the form of additional visits for pupils or one to one or small group working with secondary school staff. The SENDCO ensures that all relevant paperwork is received by the next school.

The period of transition depends on the individual needs of the child. If it is felt appropriate, secondary school colleagues will attend Annual Reviews to meet the current class teacher, parents and most importantly, the pupil. We are particularly keen to involve parents as much as possible in their child’s transition to secondary school. When a secondary school has been allocated to the child, parents are fully involved and consulted at all stages of the transition process.

SEN Specialist Expertise

Our SENCO, Andrew Howe, has a Bachelor of Education Degree (BEd) has the NASENCO award. He can be contacted via phone on 01388 833186 or via e-mail at oakleycross@durhamlearning.net

External Specialists and Other Bodies

The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children and young people with SEND.

The external specialists may:

  • Act in an advisory capacity
  • Extend expertise of school staff
  • Provide additional assessment
  • Support a child directly
  • Suggest statutory assessment is advisable
  • Consult with all parties involved with the child

At Oakley Cross we work in partnership with the following people:

How We Secure Specialist Expertise

Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEND.

This is used to support children and young people with SEND by:

  • Buying time with outside agencies to provide advice and support
  • Buying recommended resources and equipment

If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes.

Our notional budget for financial year 2024/25 is £95,571

At Oakley Cross Primary School, we provide the following additional support to our children with SEND:

  • Small group and individual targeted intervention work with a Teacher or TA
  • Talkabout (social communication)
  • Lego Club (Social Communication)
  • Power of 2 (a maths enhancement programme)
  • Toe By Toe (reading support programme)
  • Speechlink
  • Language Link
  • 1-1 speech and language support including specific programmes provided by Speech and Language Therapy
  • Memory fix
  • Jungle Journey – Early Fine and Gross Motor Skills
  • Blast – Speech and Language resource

A Costed Provision Map will be developed in liaison with the child, young person, parent or carer.

Consultation with Children and Young People with SEND

Teachers/SENCO and Support Staff will work with children and young people to identify the support needed to meet agreed outcomes. The provision is planned and interventions are allocated to individual needs. The children take an active role with setting their outcomes and discussing them with the class teacher/SENCO. The children have regular meetings with staff to discuss their progress and support. We involve children through:

  • planning their own activities and encouraging them to share what they would like to learn and participate in;
  • extending any resources that they show a preference for;
  • motivated and make good levels of progress throughout their time in school.

Consultation with parents and carers of children and young people with SEND

We are committed to working with parents and carers to identify their child’s needs and support. Parents and carers will be involved throughout the process. There is a range of ways this can be done, for example:

  • Termly parents/ carers evenings;
  • Ongoing discussions with a class teacher and/or SENCO;
  • An ‘open-door’ policy, where parents and carers are welcome to come into school to discuss any concerns they may have;
  • Through regular reviews of their child’s SEN Support Plan/ EHC Plan.

Compliments, Complaints & Feedback

We are always seeking to improve on the quality of education we provide for children with SEND and are keen to hear from parents about their child’s experience.

We would also like your views about the content of our SEN Information Report. If you would like to comment, please complete the online form in the Contact Us section of our website.

Disability & Accessibility

We are committed to providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual and emotional needs. We are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

What we do to prevent pupils with disabilities from being treated less favourably:

Oakley Cross is situated on one level and can be accessed to by wheelchair. We also have a disabled toilet. Any other resources needed for access may be assessed by OT and Physiotherapy in order for us to ensure ease of access and safety for all.

The facilities to assist access are outlined in our Accessibility Plan which you can find in the School Policies section of our website. 

Our Accessibility Plan and the short, medium and long term actions, will be reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis and a new Accessibility Plan will be produced every three years.

The Accessibility Plan contains relevant actions to:

  • Improve access to the physical environment of the school, adding specialist facilities as necessary.
  • Increase access to the curriculum for pupils with a disability. This covers reasonable adjustments within teaching and learning, specialist aids and equipment and the wider curriculum of the school, such as after school clubs, visits etc,
  • Improve the provision of information to pupils, staff, parents and visitors with disabilities.  All information will be made available in various formats within a reasonable time frame.