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

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

Work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils

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 a review of a child’s SEN Support Plan or the Annual Review of their Statement of SEN or EHC Plan.
  • Building relationships with the families and young people
  • Quality information-sharing between settings and home
  • Offering or signposting to family support if needed
  • Supporting family learning
  • Providing opportunities for families to make suggestions about service development.

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 targets, discussing them with the class teacher/SENCO.   The children have regular meetings with support staff to discuss their progress and support.

Consult with relevant external agencies

The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families, particularly when a child is demonstrating further cause for concern or their learning need is more complex and persistent.

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

These include:

Use assessment tools & materials

Formal and informal assessment is part of a teacher’s role: if a pupil is not making progress in line with expectations, then this will be flagged up by the school’s assessment system as a cause for concern and this will be discussed with parents/carers.

Use observations

Observations made by staff and parents are discussed and if it is required, the observations will be collated into a ‘Short Note’.

Use Short Notes

A ‘short note’ of early discussions with parents/carers is added to the pupil’s record and monitored on a regular basis in partnership with parents/carers.


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

As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN 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 the 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.

An EHC Plan is appropriate if the child has a significant learning difficulty and progress is not being made despite the interventions agreed in the Support Plan. Evidence of the significance of this learning difficulty is agreed by parents/carers, teachers and other professionals such at Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Paediatricians, CAMHS etc.

For more detailed information see the Local Offer

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN

In identifying a child as needing SEN support the class teacher, working with the SENCO, will carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil, their previous progress and attainment, as well as information from the school’s core approach to pupil progress, attainment, and behaviour. It should also draw on other teachers’ assessments where relevant, the individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data, the views and experience of parents, the pupil’s own views and, if relevant, advice from external support services.

At Ropery Walk Primary School we:

  • involve the EPS, SALT, Occupational Health, CAMHS and other agencies to help assess pupils and identify SEN and the area/s of need;
  • record academic progress in Reading, Writing and Maths each term so that our system flags up pupils who are at risk of falling behind;
  • encourage members of staff and parents can refer pupils to counselling at Place 2 Be, if they feel pupils have a social, emotional or mental health concern or pupils can also self-refer;
  • Encourage parents/carers who have concerns, to speak with the class teacher or SENCO directly. After discussion the child may be monitored or referred directly to another service for further investigation of their needs.

All pupils are given access to Quality First Teaching which ensures differentiation and a curriculum tailored to the children’s needs. Teaching and learning is monitored closely so that all children are able to reach their full potential; intervention is tailored to meet the needs of individual pupils (See Teaching and Learning Policy and curriculum maps); At Ropery Walk we:

  • Plan the structure of the day in order to give individual and group help as appropriate
  • Use visual supports where possible
  • Match child and task very carefully
  • Build success into task to give confidence and reduce any risk of failure
  • Introduce new skills in small stages and use a concrete approach first
  • Proceed in steps from the ‘known’
  • Use practical demonstration where possible
  • Ensure generalisation of skill to other tasks where appropriate
  • Make sure attention has been gained before trying to teach a new skill
  • Keep careful records to ensure continuity and progression
  • Set realistic time targets for completing work
  • Praise and reward often – make rewards relevant to the child
  • Provide feedback immediately and in a positive way
  • Evaluate and review the work set and the achievement made
  • Accommodate different learning styles

Each term, following assessment, pupils have a support plan written in collaboration with parents/carers. The plan is implemented and then reviewed at the end of term.

Parents and pupils are involved in the planning and reviewing stages of the cycle so that outcomes are agreed.

Teachers ensure that planning matches the needs of pupils with SEN and that support is given as needed.

Support Plans are reviewed each term against the outcomes agreed and set by teachers and parents/carers. New outcomes are set to move learning on. Support Plans are evaluated against criteria set by the county council.

Pupils are supported in a variety of ways: one-to-one support may be given by a teacher or teaching assistant or other adult; pupils may also be supported in group activities or by peers e.g. Perfect Partners or Buddies. Sometimes pupils may be offered intervention programmes to support their learning. This might be a social skills programme such as Lego Therapy, a Movement Programme, a life skills programme, or a catch-up literacy or numeracy programme. We choose interventions and strategies for a specific purpose (linked to assessed needs, outcomes and agreed measures of success). Support packages based on barriers to learning are developed, reviewed and revised at an individual level. They are delivered by trained staff with need, focus, delivery and desired outcomes all being clearly understood. We monitor progress and impact and ensure minimal withdrawal from and disruption to mainstream learning.

Teaching is monitored by the Head Teacher and the SENCO so that we can ensure high quality teaching with differentiation and personalisation and interventions are evaluated each term so that they are effective in supporting pupils’ needs.

Progress is measured in the EYFS against the Good Levels of Development criteria. In other year groups progress is measured against National Curriculum expectations.

We look after pupils’ social, emotional and mental health through our school’s commitment to Place 2 Be and Place 2 Talk. We recognise that pupils’ behaviour is dependent on a range of circumstances. See Behaviour Policy for information about how we support pupils’ behaviour.

We make adjustments/ adaptations as appropriate to meet the needs of our pupils. (See the Accessibility Plan) We create quiet spaces where pupils can go if they need to be away from the whole class. This may be as part of pre-planned strategies for managing behaviour, to aid concentration and learning, or to receive individualised support. Considerations for seating include:

  • Make sure the child can hear instructions clearly, without interference
  • If hearing is better in one ear than the other sit them with that ear towards the teacher
  • Ensure children can see your face – even when you move position
  • Check children have a clear view of the board, worksheets and visual aids
  • Ensure lighting is adequate and minimize glare and reflections
  • Minimise distractions (from other children, outside, or anything else in the classroom)

We ensure equality of opportunity for all our pupils and currently hold the EQualities Award.

Risk assessments are used to safeguard our pupils and to ensure access for all.

Pupils with SEN who are undertaking tests and exams are supported in line with their needs, for example, they may be given extra time or a scribe or reader. In some cases, pupils may be disapplied from tests as appropriate.

We ensure all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have; our Governing Body makes sure we comply with this.

The curriculum may be modified to meet individual needs. Some children may have a personalised curriculum, for example, pupils are timetabled for sensory diets and life skills sessions.

The SENCO ensures that 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. The SENCO will give advice and support to make sure this is the case.

For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.