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Westerhope Primary School

Reach the stars through learning - Everyone is special and unique

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How we identify, assess and review children with special education 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

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

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils
  • Consult with relevant external agencies
  • Use assessment tools & materials
  • Use observations
  • Use Initial Teacher concern forms
  • Record initial concerns on our CPOMs system


SEN 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


At Westerhope Primary School termly assessment is carried out by staff. The school uses a tracking system to analyse data and to identify gaps in children’s learning and to plan appropriate intervention when required. Different children require different levels of support to diminish the difference and to achieve age related expectations.


Children/young people may join Westerhope Primary School with parents having a clear understanding of their child’s needs and as a school we see parents as partners in their child’s educational journey. In this case we work together with parents/carers and young children/person and education, health and social care professionals to design an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs.  Parents/carers and child/young person views are integral to the this process.


School staff may initially identify a concern the class teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and a meeting with parents/carers and/or the child/young person would be arranged at the earliest opportunity. During this meeting a Teacher Initial concerns form would be completed with agreed outcomes for the child/young person and next steps. The next steps may require the involvement of specialist support or advice. It is important to understand that the involvement of professionals does not always seek to label or diagnose but to seek advice and strategies to enable a child/young person to reach their full potential.


As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes and provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child/young person 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). The purpose of an EHCP is to make special educational provision to meet special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education (SEND Code of Practice p.142). It is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. For more detailed information please see the Newcastle Local Offer.


Details of Assessment and Review process for children with special education needs

How do we assess and review progress?

If your child has SEN, it is important for us to carry out formal assessments to identify their strengths and identify their needs accurately. To do this, we will use a range of methods depending upon their needs. When your child enters our school, their current attainment is assessed to give us a ‘baseline’ from where they will progress. In addition to the assessments that all children take part in  and depending upon their needs, other assessments may be needed. These could include:


Communication and interaction (SLCN, ASC) 

  • Speech Therapy Assessments – which may focus on sound production, language understanding, or other relevant assessments of your child’s needs
  • Classroom observations 


Cognition and learning (MLD, PMLD, SLD, SpLD) 

  • Classroom assessments 
  • Education Psychology Assessments – which may include memory, understanding, reasoning, logic, and general skills assessment.
  • Learning Screenings
  • Reading Age and Spelling age
  • Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning scores
  • Memory tests


Social, Emotional and Health Difficulties 

  • Specialist in school Nurture provision
  • Boxall assessment
  • Assess through observations of pupils


Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties 

  • Occupational therapy assessment 
  • Handwriting and copying skills assessment


Your child will be assessed against age related expectations for children who are working on the National Curriculum (i.e. the same as the majority of other children in their year group), or they may be assessed against other measures for children who are not ready to work on National Curriculum Levels (i.e. the steps before the National Curriculum) using the Newcastle Assessment Tool created by Sir Charles Parsons School.  Aspirational targets are set for all children to ensure that all children make good progress, including those not ready to access the National Curriculum. The outcomes of all assessments are shared with parents and carers at our Parent Evenings and in your child’s School Report. If other agencies are invited to work with your child, you will be invited to attend a meeting where the outcomes of these assessments and their next steps will be shared with you. If parents have any concerns then these can be shared with the class teacher and or SENCo who will arrange a meeting to discuss and resolve any difficulties.


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

The class teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. SEN is discussed each week at the staff meeting to allow staff to share concerns or ideas as to how we can help the child. Teachers use assessments and observations of children to identify, review and evaluate their needs and gaps in their learning. We look at what we can provide to meet the child’s needs and we discuss and measure the effectiveness of the interventions the children have undertaken that term. Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expectations which could be on a one to one basis, with a group, run by a teacher or teaching assistant or through peer support and in or out of class. Throughout the process, we keep an on-going dialogue with yourselves as parents.


At Westerhope Primary School, we currently have children with a variety of needs in school and provide the following interventions to meet the needs of our children:


Support for children with physical needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Gross Motor Skills interventions.
  • Fine Motor Skills interventions.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Occupational Health


Support for children with speech, language and communication needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Speech and Language interventions.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapy


Support for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Children in Key Stage 2 engage in an Anti-Bullying programme.
  • Work with our Designated Mental Health Lead 
  • Lego therapy group
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Kalmer Counselling


Support for children with cognition and learning needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum
  • Maths and English specific intrevnetions
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service
  • Specific individual support for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and what this means for your child e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia
  • Range of teaching and learning styles;
  • Lexia 
  • Differentiation


For all our provision and interventions, please see the whole school provision map.


How do we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision?

At  Westerhope Primary School, we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision by reviewing provision maps and SEN support plans as part of the Graduated Approach of Assess, Plan, Do and Review. We currently evaluate the effectiveness of SEN across the four broad areas of SEN provision in the following ways as outlined in the assessments


How are resources made available to support children with SEND?

The resources we use to support children with SEN depend upon their needs and they are allocated on an individual basis. Once your child has been identified as SEN, their needs will be assessed and targets and outcomes will be identified. It is the responsibility of the SENCO to ensure that the resources that are required are made available and that staff are aware of their individual needs. We are very flexible in our approach and we constantly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions and the provision that we provide. Staff Training varies each year depending upon the needs of the children.