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Information Report

Beliefs and Values

Our school is here to provide a stimulating, secure and happy environment, where everyone aspires to excellence and our children can achieve their full personal potential in all they do. We promote the cooperative ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Our school is known as a place where children and teachers enjoy working together enthusiastically to achieve high standards in every area of life. The warmth of our welcome and quality of care will be matched by excellent academic, creative, sporting and social achievement.

Our children are eager to learn and proud of their school and their own success. They will be caring towards others; aware of their responsibilities; encouraged to make considered choices to promote their own and the community’s well-being. They have a voice and it is heard.

Our staff are dedicated to developing both personally and professionally, working towards the aims and vision of the school. Staff will provide challenging and stimulating learning opportunities, working together to ensure the children achieve their very best. They help pupils adjust to the expectations of our school and enable the smooth transition from class to class, and school to school.

Our Governors are committed to the continuing development of the school. They will be supportive, confidential and understanding; set realistic goals; monitor the school’s commitment to excellence; and celebrate the school’s success. They maintain an ethos of raising standards through consultation, collaboration and partnership working.

Our parents are a vital and valued part of school life. They will work in partnership with the school to promote and encourage their children’s learning and development. They will follow the home/school agreement and support the aims, work and endeavours of the school.

Achievement - Academic

We believe all young people have the potential to achieve great things. Intelligence can be developed regardless of emotional and social background, given appropriate teaching and bespoke, individualised support. Young people should be encouraged to develop autonomy and meta cognitive control (‘knowing what to do when they don’t know what to do’) in their learning and to gain inspiration from learning. They should be equipped with a crucial sense of possibility based on a well-developed self-awareness and ambition – ambition not only for themselves but for the communities in which they live and work.


Achievement - ‘letting your light shine’: 

All young people achieve things they can be proud of every day in addition to academic success and outside our school’s planned curriculum. We have a vital role in ensuring individuals develop their own talents and interests and have a responsibility to instil in them a sense of pride in who they are and what they achieve.

Achievement - relationships: 

Excellent relationships for learning are a prerequisite for all other achievements. Relationships that engender mutual respect between young people, and all other members of our school community will ensure learning can be fun in a disciplined and caring environment where the highest expectations are the norm. Our young people will be given every opportunity to develop an awareness and respect for spiritual and moral values and an understanding of other religions, races and ways of life.

Carmountside Primary Academy is a mainstream school and is committed to inclusion. We aim to maintain and extend the school’s culture, policies and practices of inclusion for all learners. We aim to strive for a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners taking into account their needs and experiences.  ‘The school accommodates all SEND in line with Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all 4 areas of need outlined in the Code of Practice 2014 (and updated in 2015).’


Who is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and how can I contact them?


The School SENCo is Mrs J.Cowden.  If you wish to speak to him then this can be organised by either speaking to the child’s class teacher or arranging a meeting directly with Mrs Cowden herself via the school office 01782 234676.


What kind of SEND does the school provide for?


The Special Educational Needs ‘Code of Practice’ 2014 (revised 2015) states that there are four main areas of need.  These are as follows:


  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical

The school provides for a range of needs within these areas.   Some pupils may have needs in more than one area and needs can change over time.


Carmountside Primary Academy will have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 (revised 2015) when carrying out its duties toward children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and will ensure that parents are notified if SEND provision is considered necessary for their child. This is because the Academy recognises that partnership with parents is important in enabling children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential and that parents have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of their child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities will therefore be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their child’s education.


Carmountside Primary Academy has a small parent working group for SEND which meet 3 times a year to discuss practice, procedures and Parent Voice.

Parents currently involved in the group: Miss A.Fairgreave, Mrs M. Tinsley, Miss K. Robertson, Miss E. Brown.  If you would like further information or support these parents are happy for you to approach


How does Carmountside Primary Academy know if children need extra help? 

We know when pupils need help if:

  • concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
  • limited progress is being made
  • assessments by the SENCo or other educational professionals
  • there is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress
  • medical diagnosis           

What should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?

  • The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns
  • If you have concerns then contact Mrs Cowden who is the SENCo.


How will Carmountside Primary Academy support children?

Your child’s class teacher will support your child through differentiated teaching styles and differentiated work that is aimed at your child’s next steps of learning and/or development.  Depending on your child’s needs they may then need access to one or more of the following types of support with their learning:

  1. Targeted small group work: This group work will be carried out as often as possible in your child’s classroom.  If the need for a quieter and/or less busy learning environment is needed for the group to be more focused, this work may take place outside the classroom.  The group will be supported by the class teacher or class teaching assistant.
  2. An intervention programme that is additional to any ‘catch up’ or ‘booster’ programme within the programme within the school.  The intervention will last for a limited period of time (usually 10-12 weeks) and then this will be reviewed to check the kind of impact this has had for your child.
  3. One to One support: if the school feels that your child’s still needs further support despite us having employed all the resources that are available to us, then we will provide one to one support.  If this kind of support in needed for more than 15 hours a week the school will start to consider making an application to the Local Authority (LA) for additional funding so that this kind of high level of support is maintained.


How will the curriculum be matched to children’s personal needs?

Class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching.
For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical or visual resources.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

All children in school should be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed.

Depending on your child’s needs they may access one or more of the following types of support with their learning:

  1. Targeted small group work:
    Alongside Quality First Teaching, this group work, often called intervention group work, may be
  • Delivered in the classroom or outside in a quiet area.
  • Delivered by a teacher or most often a Learning Support Assistant who has had training to deliver this type of intervention learning.
  1. School based Special Educational Needs support
    (which means your child has been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school in addition to intervention group work)

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have a Personalised Development Plan.
  • He/ She will engage in individual work and/or group sessions with specific targets to help him/her to make more progress. Supported by the Teacher or Teaching Assistant.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.

  1. Specialist SEN support

    (which means that your child has been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school (of less than 20 hours in school). This may be from:
  •  Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy Service or the Early Years Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT or EYSLES).

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo (or you will have raised your concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of, or in addition to, quality first teaching, School Action provision and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward to aid their progress.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g.  a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
  • The specialist professional will work with your  child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
    • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
    • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
    • A group delivered by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
    • A piece of group or individual work with an outside professional
  • The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school. School will discuss with you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
  1. Support provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

This means that your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo/specialist professional as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching (more than 20 hours a week), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.

Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Access to Learning Team – behaviour support team
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.
  • Paediatrician

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to require a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus.
  • After the reports have been submitted to the Local Authority they will decide if your child’s needs require more than 20 hours of support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support at School Action Plus and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • The Statement or EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the Local Authority and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put into place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
  • An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, deliver individual programmes or carry out small groups including your child.
  • A specialist teacher may be employed to work with your child if recommended in the Statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC Plan.

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and require more than 20 hours of support in school.


How will I know how my child is doing?

You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parents’ Evenings, termly SEND support review meetings or annual reviews.

Your child’s class teacher will be available at the end of each day if you wish to raise a concern. Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher or SENCo by visiting the school office.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning? 

  • The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.  Programmes of study are normally provided that can be used at home.
  • PDP’s will be reviewed with your involvement and will include pupil feedback each term.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.


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. It is important that all children have a sense of belonging and feels safe, develop strong relationships with others, enjoy, respect, believe and achieve.  This is done through a variety of ways, such as:

Pastoral Support

Pupils at the school are supported in many ways.  Mrs Degg is our family support coordinator as well as having a team of Teaching Assistants who are on hand to deliver small group or 1:1 interventions aimed at developing social skills, emotional well-being, confidence, attention and listening, language, anger management and self-esteem which is all co-ordinated by our SENCo Mrs Cowden. These sessions take place throughout the day on either a timetabled basis or as is required following an incident. Our Family Support Coordinator also works closely with pupils and their families to provide appropriate support.


Behaviour support

The School uses a wide range of rewards to engage pupils including; regular praise from staff, stickers, certificates, Dojo’s. It is hoped that through consistent routines and clear expectations of behaviour that all pupils will make the right choices.

A range of strategies are in place to support pupils who are struggling with their behaviour. Class teachers will meet regularly with parents to discuss triggers and possible interventions that may be needed. Pupils may have individualised targets set for behaviour which are linked to rewards that can be earned. Pupils who are refusing to follow instructions and who are making poor choices may be given time out in order for them to calm down. This is where a child may need to spend time in a different classroom/environment with work set by their own class teacher.

Pupils with medical needs

  • If a pupil has a medical need then a referral will need to be made to the school nurse hub to support us in implementing a care plan in consultation with parents/carers. This is then discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • Staff receive epipen and asthma training delivered by the school nurse.
  • All medicine administration procedures adhere to the LA policy and the DfE guidelines included within Statutory.  Guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.  Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed medicine consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.
  • All staff have first aid training and there is a number of staff that hold paediatric.

Members of staff such as the class teacher, Family Support and SENCo are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.


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
  • Children and Young People’s Services
  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • EWO  (Educational Welfare Officers)
  • Physical & Sensory Service  to support pupils with hearing/visual Impairment
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Service (SEND)
  • Vulnerable Children and Corporate Parenting Intervention
  • Children’s Therapy Team (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy)
  • School Nurse
  • Early Years Forum

An Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. He/she would normally only work directly with pupils who needs are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them. This involvement is generally planned at the ISR (In School Review).These are meetings held three times a year between school staff and where appropriate, other professionals. The aim of an ISR is to gain an understanding of and try to resolve a pupil’s difficulties.

In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better; the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed. He/she will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.  Our Educational Psychologist is Dr Charlotte Cockroft.


What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?           

The staff at the school have regular training opportunities to support their work with pupils with special educational needs. The training offered takes full account of the many and varied needs of the pupils we teach and forms part of the rolling programme of quality continuing professional development for all staff. Additional training for specific needs can be accessed from the local authority SEND service.

These have included sessions on:

  • How to support pupils who are on the autistic spectrum.
  • How to support pupils who have dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies.
  • How to support pupils with social and emotional needs.
  • How to support pupils with speech and language difficulties.
  • How to support pupils with physical and co-ordination needs.
  • Being an effective LSA for children with SEND 

Mrs Cowden is an experienced SENCo and has taken a role in supporting the previous SENCo to gain the schools ‘Dyslexia Friendly Status’ and has successfully completed ‘The National Programme for Specialist Leaders of Behaviour and Attendance.’


How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips? 

It is the aim of the School that all pupils will have opportunity to access a full range of activities both in and outside of school, including school visits. Where difficulties may arise in this, the School staff will liaise with parents to minimise issues and to reduce risks. We will always aim to make reasonable adjustments to ensure all pupils can fully participate.

Activities and school trips are available to all.

  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.
  • Appropriate staffing ratios to meet identified barriers.
  • However, if it is deemed that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity.


How accessible is the school environment?             

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.             

Facilities we have at present include:

  • Ramps into school to make the building accessible to all.
  •  A toilet for disabled users.
  •  Portable ramp to gain access into all room where necessary within the school.
  • Access to curriculum


How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Carmountside Primary Academy or transferring to a new school?              

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

  • If your child is joining our school:
  1. We will contact the previous school/setting to discuss your child and any special arrangements or support that they were receiving.
  2. We will obtain all records about your child and request they are transferred as soon as possible.
  3. Transition visits can be arranged if appropriate with feeder school.

On starting the Nursery class, Carmountside staff make home visits during the Summer Term before they start in September.  This allows for positive transition work including discussions with parents and organising visits to our setting.

  • If your child is moving to another school:
    • We will contact the school SENCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that has been made for your child.
    • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
  • When moving classes in school:
    • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher IN ADVANCE and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All PDP’s will be shared with the new teacher/Support Staff.
    • Transition mornings take place from Easter where the children will visit and work with the staff, share work and build relationships before the new academic year.  Those pupils with additional needs will be able to access greater level of transition as best meets their needs.
  • In Year 6:
    • The SENCo and a member of staff from the year 6 class will attend the Primary Transition Day to discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCo of their secondary school.
    • Your child will take part in focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
    • Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child at Carmountside Primary Academy.  Regular visits and meetings are planned into the curriculum time to enable pupils to experience their new school/staff and to get to grips with some of the big changes that face them.


How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Needs?

  • The school budget, received from the Education Funding Agency (EFA), includes money for supporting children with SEND. The SEN budget is allocated each financial year, allowing us to provide Learning Support Staff for each class.
  • The Head Teacher and Governors decide annually the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities on the basis of needs in the school or additional support and resources dependant on an individual’s needs.  This includes ICT resources, additional staff and any other equipment.
  • The Head Teacher and the SENCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
    • the children getting extra support already
    • the children needing extra support
    • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected

And decide what resources/training and support is needed.

  • All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

If the school have used all the resources available to them, then they will consider making an application to the LA for receiving additional funding through a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for your child. www.localoffer.stoke.gov.uk


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

These decisions are made in consultation with class teacher, SENCo and the Headteacher.  These decisions will then be agreed by the SEND advisor for our school and you as parents will be informed via your child’s class teacher.

Decisions are based upon termly tracking of pupil progress and participation in class.  These decisions can also be made as a result of assessments by outside agencies.

 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.


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

 All parents and children are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education.

 This may be through:

  • School questionnaires
  • discussions with the class teacher
  • tapestry or class dojo mailing system
  • during parents evenings
  • during discussions with Mrs Cowden (SENCO), Mrs Degg (family support lead) or other professionals
  • PDP’s will be reviewed with your involvement each term.  Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s PDP with possible suggestions that could be incorporated.
  • You can support your child with homework tasks and discuss findings with the class teacher at a mutually convenient time.


Who can I contact for further information?             

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the SENCo or Head teacher.


How are parents involved at Carmountside, How can I be involved?

  • Open door policy
  • Coffee morning
  • Family learning sessions
  • SEND Parent Group


What other support is available to parents and how can I contact them?

Since September 2014, every Local Authority has to publish information about services they expect to be available in there are for children and young people from birth to 25 who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, (SEND).  This is known as the ‘Local Offer’.  To go to Stoke on Trent Local Offer website click here.  If you do not have access to the internet then speak to the school SENCo who will invite you into school, show you the Local Offer and help you to find services that are appropriate for your child and family.


What other support is available to parents and how can I contact them?

SEND Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS)                                             

Tel: (01782) 234701 / 234847
E-mail: iass@stoke.gov.uk


SEND Services

Tel: (01782) 232538 Jane Plant

E-mail: jane.plant@stoke.gov.uk


Special Educational Needs Assessment and Monitoring Service (SENMAS)

Tel: (01782) 232740

E-mail: SENMAS@stoke.gov.uk


Face 2 Face

Tel: 07921046511

E-mail: denise.deakin@scope.org.uk


Stoke on Trent Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offers


Stoke on Trent Safeguarding Board

Tel: (01782) 235100

E-mail: co-operativeworking.enquiries@stoke.gov.uk

Web: www.safeguardingchildren.stoke.gov.uk/

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