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Information Report

Carmountside Primary School

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Report 2024-2025




Our SEN Information Report provides details about how we support children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) in our school and forms part of the Stoke on Trent City Council local offer:

The aims of our policy and practice in relation to special educational needs and disability in this school are to:

  • Encourage the participation of children, their parents or carers, and young people in decision making;
  • Focus on the early identification of children and young people’s needs and early intervention to support them;
  • Collaborate between education, health and social care services to ensure the best possible outcomes for all pupils;
  • Ensure that pupils with SEND have access to high quality provision to meet their learning needs and other identified areas of need;
  • Maintain a focus on inclusive practice and on removing barriers to learning;
  • Support pupils as they reach transition points in their education.

The school recognises that a child or young person has a special educational need if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age.
  • Require provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.
  • Have a disability which prevents them or hinders them from making use of the facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream school.

This is defined in the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25 years (2015). The school makes provision in accordance with the SEN code of practice (2015); The Equality Act (2010); The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) and the Children and Families Act (2014).

There are four broad areas of special educational need defined in the SEN Code of Practice (2015). These are:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

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

The relevant school policies which underpin this SEN Information Report and can be viewed on our website are:

  • SEND Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy (Reviewed and updated November 2023)
  • Behaviour policies
  • Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Accessibility Plan


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


Early identification of SEN and early intervention are the key to ongoing success for our pupils. We place high importance on speech, language and communication needs and see these as fundamental skills for learning. Therefore, during the pre school, nursery and reception year, all pupils are assessed and where there are concerns, offered a referral for detailed speech and language assessment and subsequent therapy if needed, by NHS qualified speech and language therapist.

In key stage one and two, we assess children’s progress against national and age-related expectations. We use target tracker to track and monitor that all our pupils make progress in line with, and above, their starting points. Where there is a concern, parents are notified and are invited to meet with the class teacher and/or the SENCO.

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we:

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers and pupils
  • Use assessment tools and materials
  • Use observations
  • Consult with relevant external agencies

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of Assess, Plan, Do, Review. This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs. This would include assessment by the teachers supported by the SENCO. This may include observations and assessments carried out by external agencies.
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations, needs and agreed outcomes. Additional or different provision is planned by the class teacher with support from the SENCO and at times external advice. Outcomes are discussed and agreed at one planning meetings with parents/carers and the child (where appropriate).
  • Do what we planned. We put the provision in place to meet those outcomes. This may be strategies we have agreed to use in the classroom or interventions that will take place during the day.
  • Review the support and progress. The impact of any strategies or interventions is reviewed with teachers, parents/carers and the child, looking at progress towards targets and next steps.

As part of this process every child with SEN will have a PDP that describes the child’s strengths, needs, outcomes and provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child’s views are integral to this process and this is reviewed termly.

A small percentage of children with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan. An EHC assessment would be carried out where the current levels of support and intervention are not leading to improved progress for the child and where further support might be needed to ensure the needs of an individual child are fully me


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


Most children at our school will have their special educational needs met through excellent classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching (wave 1 provision). Teachers set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Lessons are planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement. Such planning will mean that most pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum.

Where the class teacher identifies that quality first teaching is not meeting the child’s specific learning needs, additional observations and assessments are undertaken and discussed with the SENCO. If required, the child is given Additional School Intervention Support (wave 2 provision) which is ‘different from and in addition to’ our differentiated curriculum. After discussion with parents/carers and where appropriate the child, a PDP would be developed with individual targets and strategies to work towards achieving them. This would mean additional work in a small group or on a one-to-one basis to carry out specific interventions to support a child to meet their individual needs. The SENCO works alongside class teachers and support staff to oversee SEN provision and monitor the progress of any child requiring additional support.

Examples of additional school interventions at Carmountside Primary Academy

  • Maths Support
  • English Support - RWI/ Fresh Start
  • Daily Reader
  • Better Reader
  • Times Tables Rock Stars
  • Nuffield Speech Programmes
  • RWI Booster Sessions
  • Precision Teaching and Monitoring
  • Handwriting Intervention
  • Fine Motor Skills Intervention
  • Time to Talk
  • Talk Boost
  • Sensory breaks
  • Zones of Regulation/Restorative Practice Skills
  • Lego Therapy

A child who, despite having extra provision is still failing to make significant progress, may be identified as having Higher Needs (wave 3 provision). Where appropriate, other agencies will be asked to work alongside the school to assess a child and plan for their needs. At all stages parents/carers will be involved in the process. This level of intervention is for pupils with more complex and/or enduring difficulties and may include:

  • Speech and Language Therapist involvement
  • Educational Psychologist involvement
  • Occupational Therapist involvement
  • Paediatrician involvement
  • School Nurse or Health Visitor involvement
  • SEND team - Assessments and monitoring to ensure appropriate intervention and access to learning


Specialist equipment and site adjustments

We are committed to ensuring that children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage with activities available with children in the school who do not have SEN. The school has a range of equipment to ensure access to both the curriculum and the school site. There are disabled toilets, ramps and writing aids. In accordance with the Equality Act (2010), we will make reasonable adjustments to prevent disabled children being put at a substantial disadvantage. More information can be obtained by contacting the SENCO.



Transition between phases of education

The school works closely with parents and other schools to ensure that transition meets the needs of the pupils in our care. A number of strategies are in place to enable pupils’ effective transition into our school and on to secondary school.

A planned induction programme is delivered in the summer term to support transfer for pupils starting school in September. Parents/carers are invited to a meeting at the school and are provided with a range of information to support them in enabling their child to settle into the school routine. The SENCO meets with all new parents of pupils who are known to have SEN to allow concerns to be raised and perceived challenges to be anticipated prior to entry. If pupils are transferring from another setting, the previous school records will be requested immediately and a meeting set up with parents to identify and reduce any concerns.

To support transition to key stage three, secondary schools provide a number of opportunities for pupils and parents to meet staff in the new school. These opportunities are further enhanced for pupils with SEND and identified on the secondary schools’ websites. The annual review in Y5 for pupils with an EHCP begins the process where parents are supported to make decisions regarding secondary school choice. Parents will be encouraged to consider options for the next phase of education and the school will involve outside agencies, as appropriate, to ensure information provided is comprehensive but accessible. Accompanied visits to other providers may be arranged as appropriate.



We take the issue of bullying very seriously and always endeavour to address any issues of this nature as soon as they arise. Children with SEN may find it more difficult to seek help if they are unhappy at school or if they feel they are being bullied. For this reason, teachers incorporate less formal teaching sessions such as circle time or ‘talk time’ to encourage children to discuss their worries.

Children may also report concerns to their class teacher or another member of staff with whom they feel comfortable – this can be done verbally. Staff may seek support from the Safeguarding team if they feel a child has a worry or concern that they are not readily sharing.


Support for Emotional and Social Development

At Carmountside Primary Academy our work is underpinned by our school values:

  • Respect
  • Believe
  • Achieve

As part of our PSHCE curriculum, our assembly and P4C programme, children learn about making friends, strategies for problem solving and coping effectively with their emotions. This is reinforced by the ethos of the school and classroom practice.

The children have opportunities to contribute and share their ideas as part of the school junior governing body. They learn about democracy, working as a team and supporting their peers. Children also take part in a pupil survey where they have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about all aspects of school life and make suggestions for how the school could further improve.

We have a positive approach to managing behaviour with reward systems in class, a school values and a celebration assembly every week to mark the academic, sporting and social achievements of the children.

Where children struggle to regulate their emotions and/or social development, we can implement additional interventions, including zones of regulation and Restorative Practice skills.

We work in partnership with a wide range of external agencies to access advice to support the emotional and social development needs of our SEN children. This includes educational psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, school nurses, CAMHS, social services, medical professionals and the Family Support team.


Arrangements for pupils with SEN undertaking tests

Where a child is able to access the SATs tests a number of additional arrangements can be put in place to support them:

  • Additional time
  • Rest breaks
  • A reader
  • A scribe
  • Use of a laptop
  • Adapted papers


Looked After Children with SEN

We have a Designated Teacher for looked after children (LAC) who works to ensure all teachers in school understand the implications for those children who are looked after and have SEN. We work closely with the Virtual School who are there to ensure effective systems are in place for LAC. Some children may not be diagnosed when they are first looked after and we work with carers to address any concerns and assess and address any SEN needs.

Looked after children with SEN are supported in school and have a one plan which is regularly reviewed. All LAC have a statutory Care Plan which is drawn up by the local authority. The Electronic Personal Education Plan (EPEP) is a legal part of the care plan and is a statutory requirement for LAC in education. We ensure that LAC have a PEP which is also reviewed every term. The one plan and PEP should work together. If a LAC with SEN requires further assessment for an EHCP this will be done in a timely manner.


How we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision

We evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision through monitoring impact and pupil progress. As a school we carry out lesson observations, learning walks, book looks and talk to pupils. We also carry out pupil and parent voice during PDP reviews and at parents evening capture parents voice with a survey. Feedback is used to inform future planning.


Working in Partnership with Families


Building relationships with parents is a key part of our working practice. Parents may access professionals in the school at any point through dojo, telephone conversations and arranged meetings. Parents are able to discuss issues with teachers informally after school, at two formal parents’ evenings and an informal celebration evening. Parents/carers of children and young people with SEN will have contact from the school at least once per term to ensure that their child’s progress is understood and the ways to support their child are decided and clear. We encourage parents to contact the school at their earliest convenience if they have any questions or need some information.

Our pupils are at the heart of what we do and we ensure that their voice is paramount in what we do with and for them. We use a range of techniques to enable our students to tell us what their issues are and the best ways we can help and support them. Meetings with the SENCO are based around person centred techniques, meaning that the child’s views are listened to and valued. The school is committed to working with parents to ensure the needs of our pupils are met.


There are many other agencies that parents can access for support, including:

SEND Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS) - Tel: (01782) 234701
E-mail: iass@stoke.gov.uk, Website sendiass-stoke.co.uk

SEND Services - Tel: (01782) 232538 Jane Plant, E-mail SEND@stoke.gov.uk

 Special Educational Needs Assessment and Monitoring Service (SENMAS) - Tel: (01782) 231863, E-mail: SENMAS@stoke.gov.uk

 Stoke on Trent Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offers -

SEND Local Offer – SEND Local Offer (stoke.gov.uk)


Stoke on Trent Safeguarding Board- Tel: (01782) 235100, Web: www.safeguardingchildren.stoke.gov.uk/



The SEN Team


The Special Education Needs Team at Carmountside Primary Academy is made up of the Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCO), Mrs Cowden who is assisted by Mrs Degg.

Mrs Cowden and Mrs Degg can be contacted on 01782 234676 or by email at office@carmountside.org.uk

Mrs Cowden is a qualified teachers and is also the Deputy Headteacher and a Lead Practitioner for the trust. Mrs Degg is our Attendance Officer and Family support worker. Mrs Cowden and Mrs Degg work closely with our team of qualified teachers and Learning Support Assistants who provide SEN support. Staff training is ongoing and focuses on areas that the school, staff, pupils and parents have identified.

Our Governors regularly monitor the progress of all groups of learners. Mrs Elaine Preston is the link governor for SEND and meets regularly with the SENCO. The SEND governor reports back to the governing body along with the Headteacher.

We endeavour to ensure that our service to parents and pupils is the best we can provide. However, if you feel this is not the case we operate an ‘open door’ policy. We aim to resolve any issues swiftly and in person, often coming to mutual agreement and understanding. A parent’s first port of call is to arrange a meeting with the class teacher. If necessary, they would then contact the SENCO, after which, the matter would progress to the Headteacher (Mrs Challinor). In the unlikely event that the matter is not concluded, the complaints procedure can be read on the school website, or a copy is available in the school office on request.


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