Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

How We Support SEND

At Ouston Primary School, we pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment for all and will endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need, disability or background.  All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times, when appropriate, modifications to the curriculum are implemented.

In supporting our pupils, we:-

  • Regularly review policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.
  • Ensure early identification of any special need (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional) to support our pupils.
  • Work in partnership with parents/ carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Make suitable provision for pupils with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
  • Matching activities to the ability / need of each child (differentiation)
  • Adapting learning materials such as equipment and activities to suit each child’s needs
  • Offer structured intervention programs to small groups of pupils or 1:1 as appropriate.
  • Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
  • Ensure that all teaching staff are aware of, and sensitive to, the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs by using a variety of teaching styles and approaches.
  • Support pupils in building their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Promote self-worth, enthusiasm and resilience by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
  • Give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.

Types of SEND

At Ouston Primary School, we have experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of need which fall into four specific areas:

Cognition & Learning
Communication & Interaction
Social, Emotional, Mental Health
Physical and Medical

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

Academic year 2020/21 Academic year 2021/22
Cognition & Learning 31% 39.5%
Communication and Language 6% 5.2%
Social, Emotional, Mental Health 20% 26.3%
Sensory 0% 0%
Physical & Medical 40% 29%

Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

At Ouston Primary School, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers.

Our ‘Curriculum’ consists of all the planned activities that are organised in order to promote learning, personal growth and development.

This includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of additional opportunities that the school organises in order to enrich the experiences of our children. Our curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning.

For further information you can view the Teaching & Learning Policy in the School Policies section of our website.

How we identify and assess children with special educational needs

At Ouston Primary School, all staff work together to promote our ethos of an inclusive environment in which all pupils can achieve. In doing so, our staff are very supportive and quickly build relationships with all children. This is essential for the early identification of any special educational needs.

If staff have any concerns about any pupils they will share their concerns and observations with the class teacher or the SENCo. Concerns will be shared with parents/carers and progress monitored.

Likewise, if parents/carers have any concerns, we do encourage you to speak to your child’s class teacher and, if necessary, strategies will be put in place and concerns monitored and reviewed.

Step 1 – Quality First Teaching

When parents/carers or school staff have concerns about a child’s development, progress or experience of school life, a meeting is held to discuss the concerns, agree future actions and plan a review date. This support takes the form of Quality First Teaching (QFT). A QFT form is completed to document the meeting along with details of additional outcomes and the provision we will offer to support children in achieving the outcomes. This step involves the pupil, parents/carers and the child’s class teacher.

Quality First Teaching strategies may also be implemented for social, emotional and mental health outcomes.

Quality First Teaching provision for special educational needs may only be in the short term and may quickly allay any concerns. When concerns continue after a number of reviews, the SENCo will then become involved.

Step 2 – Quality First Teaching with a detailed Support Plan and SENCO involvement.

When concerns continue, despite the implementation of Quality First Teach strategies and support and guidance from the class teacher, the SENCo will become involved and a more detailed Support Plan written to detail additional outcomes and the provision offered to support children in achieving the outcomes. Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process.

At Ouston Primary School, we follow a graduated support approach which is called “AssessPlanDoReview”.

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

Support Plans include:

  • Learning outcomes for the child which are linked to their needs
  • Details of how outcomes will be met – support, intervention programmes, parental support, child’s promise
  • Teacher Assessment levels
  • Details of strategies the child feels have been effective
  • How and when the school will look at the child’s progress again (usually at least three times a year)

Copies of our Quality First Teaching Note and Support Plan can be found below:

Quality First Teaching Form
Support Plan

Support plans will be reviewed termly to assess if outcomes have been achieved or need to be continued.

The special educational needs for most children will be met successfully through Support Plans and Quality First Teach strategies used within the classroom provision.

For some outcomes, children may need to be withdrawn for small group or individual intervention. Interventions are monitored and reviewed as part of the support plan reviews.

At times, it may be necessary to refer to outside agencies specialising in particular areas. The referrals involve parent/carer meetings, observations, assessments and feedback meetings. The feedback of findings informs the outcomes and provision detailed in the subsequent support plans.

Step 3 – Educational Health Care Plan

A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties may have needs that cannot be met through modified classroom practice as in Step 1 and Step 2. In such cases, when needs are very complex and/or severe we may ask the Local Authority to carry out an Education, Health and Care Assessment:

This is a very detailed assessment of each child’s needs. Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide written reports.

  • At the end of the assessment phase the Local Authority will consider these reports to help decide whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan for the child.
  • Parents/carers also have the right to ask the Local Authority to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if you can do this with the support of the school.
  • Education, Health and Care Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. Your school SENCO or the Parent Partnership Service will be able to advise you about this.

Full details can be found on the Durham County Council Local Offer.

Staffing and any Specialist Qualifications/Expertise

At Ouston Primary School, our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is:

Mrs J. Wise      Batchelor of Arts (Hons)
Master of Arts (Education – SEN)

If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.

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