St James' Church of England V.A. Lower School
We aim to provide an exceptional quality of education and a safe and happy learning environment to develop the full potential of every child through a caring Christian ethos which will enable them to make a positive contribution to the global community.
We are a caring, Christian school where we show respect and take responsibility for each other so that we all feel safe and happy. We enjoy working hard and finding out about the world so that when we grow up we can help to make our world a better place.
How we support your child's learning
We aim to make our curriculum and teaching accessible to all parents and carers. Parents and carers should have a clear view of what their child is learning and the progress they have made. At St James we ensure communication between home and school through:
• Weekly school newsletters
• Half termly curriculum newsletter and planning overview from teachers
• An 'Open Door' policy - this means we try to be available for parents who may have a concern or query
• Informal class assemblies for parents
• ‘Book blinks’ - regular opportunities for parents and carers to look at their child’s books
• Home learning projects
• Parents’ forum
• Parental consultation evenings Mid year and end of year written reports
• Parent workshops e.g. Supporting phonics and reading at home
If your child has an EHCP or individual provision map there will be formal meetings arranged with parents and appropriate external agencies (at least annually) where their needs are reviewed and individual targets set. For children with an EHCP this will be the ‘Annual Review’ meeting. For children who have an individual provision map, this may take the form of a review meeting alongside an external service such as Speech and Language Therapy. These review meetings allow for parental and pupil voice.
Parents can request a meeting with the SENDCo at anytime during the academic year.
Accessibility of our service
St James is a single storey school. It is wheelchair friendly with ramps around the buildings and 2 disabled toilets.
How we identify SEN
All children are carefully tracked and their progress, attainment and wellbeing monitored continually. Children with additional needs or SEND may be initially identified through concern raised from parents, baseline assessment on entry, teacher referrals and when a lack of progress has been made through Wave 1 and Wave 2 provision.
Where children are not making the expected progress we will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail. We may plan future support during this meeting and review whether referrals to outside agencies (such as those listed in section 7) are appropriate.
If you have concerns about your child’s progress or wellbeing please speak to your child’s class teacher initially. The SENDCo or Headteacher are also available if you have ongoing concerns regarding your child.
Early intervention and identification of SEND is important. On entry to school in Reception all children are assessed on a baseline assessment. During our thorough transition programme, emerging individual needs or difficulties can be identified and discussed with parents and provision adapted accordingly. For pupils in EYFS, we follow the same procedure outlined above to identify, resource and review your child’s needs so they can make the best possible progress towards the Early Learning Goals.
How we support your child/young person
In all year groups the class teacher is responsible for targeted teaching and learning that matches the needs and stage of development of all children, this is known as ‘Quality First Teaching’ or Wave 1 provision. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants know the children very well. Planning, teaching and learning builds upon what the children already know, can do and can understand.
If a child is demonstrating a specific difficulty or is not making good progress the class teacher may implement further (Wave 2) strategies. This may include 1:1 or small group work outside of the classroom run by teachers or trained Learning Support Assistants. These interventions are closely monitored by the classteacher and SENDCo and are set up in liaison with parents and carers.
For pupils who have been identified as needing further specialist support, this will be discussed with you through an initial meeting (outlined in section 3) and referrals to external agencies (section 7) can be made.
If your child has an EHCP a review will be held annually to look at the progress made against your child’s identified targets. All of the professionals involved in your child’s care will be invited to attend this meeting. In addition, should you have any concerns or questions throughout the year, you are welcome to arrange an appointment with your child’s class teacher, the SENDCo or Headteacher.
How we match the curriculum to your child's needs
We provide a highly structured continued professional development programme which focuses upon Quality First Teaching. We focus strongly on a research based approach which reflects current research and pedagogy. Learning environments are designed to provide a communication friendly space that reflects the children’s individual needs and stage of development.
Teaching and learning for children with additional needs is personalised through individual provision maps. This document outlines individual targets, approaches to learning, group and/or 1:1 work and specific resources. Support for children is developed and planned cooperatively with parents and carers.
The support we give to your child's well being
At St James CEVA Lower School, we are proud of our distinctive ethos and our caring atmosphere, where everyone is encouraged to feel part of a strong family, all working together to meet the needs of all our children. We aim for all our pupils to grow into well-rounded, happy and curious learners in an environment where they feel safe and well supported.
We use the rainbow to illustrate our commitment to our children and to each other. In the Bible, God sent Noah a rainbow as a sign of His promise. We believe that God loves each of us, and it is our promise that we will love, look after and care for our children in the best way possible. We ask our children to 'show the rainbow' by looking after and loving one another in the best way they can. Underpinning this are our Christian values: love, hope, peace, joy, forgiveness, compassion, honesty, patience, perseverance and koinonia (community).
Our values are shared and celebrated in many different ways, and are central to our key policies and procedures. Each week, Rainbow Moments are celebrated in our Friday assembly and in our weekly newsletter. Parents and carers are invited to share their Rainbow Moments from home with the school; all of these are collected together each term and displayed in our 'Rainbow Moment' book. Collective Worship themes focus on core values regularly throughout the year.
The expertise we have access to
Within the staff team there are specialisms such as Dyslexia, Autism and Social Communication difficulties, and Speech and Language development. All teachers and most LSA’s are trained in Read Write Inc which underpins the delivery of phonics teaching in our school.
We are able to access support from the following external agencies
• Autism Outreach Service
• Educational Psychology
• Education Welfare Officer
• Early Help Service
• School Nurse
• Safeguarding MASH team
• Intensive Family Support
• Occupational Therapy
• Child Development Clinics
• Speech and Language Therapist
How we include your child in extra curricular activities
All children are included in trips and visits off site. Staff and the SENDCo liaise fully with parents to ensure the level of support and strategies before and throughout the trip lead to a safe and enjoyable experience for your child. This process is also in place for extracurricular clubs run by staff during lunchtimes or after school.
St James’ has a strong family ethos, where individuals are cared for and valued. Staff are vigilant in their duty of care for our children and families. Child safety and wellbeing are prioritised above all. There is a high proportion of staff with paediatric first aid training.
The before and after school care club is run by an external company: Dawn till Dusk, who operate a fully inclusive policy. It is open to all children regardless of additional needs. The school works closely with this service to ensure children’s needs are met throughout their day.
How we prepare your child to join us or transfer to another setting
We know that the first transition into school is fundamental in its effect (either positively or negatively) on further transitions within school and throughout adult life. It is imperative that transition into school is smooth, that all children feel safe, secure and ‘at home’ when they arrive. In order to ensure a positive experience to starting school we:
• Visit children in their nursery or pre-school
• Offer a home visit for parent and child
• Invite children to come for a Stay and Play visit in school
• Invite parents to an information evening at which they visit the classroom and outdoor area
• Receive written information/ transition report from the nursery, pre-school or child minder
• Offer a staggered start to school with children arriving in small groups and initial part time attendance for the first few weeks.
For all families, the induction meeting, visits to school and home enable opportunities for us to discuss and understand your child’s needs, and any additional concerns about their transfer to school.
For some children with SEND transitions can be particularly difficult. Meeting with parents, staff and SENDCo to discuss and plan the transition into school is important. This transition programme can be adapted and changed to suit individual needs. For example by extending or repeating visits to school or the home, increase period of part time attendance, a transition book including photographs of their classroom and key staff.
When a pupil with SEND is preparing to transfer to another school, we will put transition activities in place. This may involve additional visits to the new setting and an opportunity for parents to meet with relevant staff at the receiving school so that specific needs can be planned for. The transfer to middle school has its own managed programme which every child accesses. Staff from the receiving school visit the children to discuss and answer their questions.
SEND paperwork, such as the Education Health and Care Plan, and most recent provision maps are given to and discussed with the member of staff responsible for the pupil’s support in the receiving school. Where possible a planning meeting with the receiving school’s SENDCo would take place. We encourage staff and SENDCos from middle schools to come and see the Year 4 children in their setting and discuss individual needs of pupils with staff. All children will have induction visits at their Middle School shortly before the end of the summer term. We are able to liaise with middle schools to set up additional transition visits for pupils we feel are more vulnerable during this process of change.
How we match our resources to your child
The school budget, received from Bedford Borough, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Headteacher and Governors decide the annual budget for SEND on the basis of needs within the school and the School Development Plan. This process includes consideration of:
• The children receiving additional support already
• The children needing additional or further support
• The children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected
The Headteacher and SENDCo audit resources and identify training/support needs for staff. The SEND resources (including staff skills and training) are reviewed regularly and adapted to meet the profile of needs across the school.
Specialist or specific resources needed for individual children are outlined and put into place through the provision map, EHCP and during the ‘Annual Review’ process.
How we involve parents
At St James we ensure communication between home and school through a range of different routes (also outlined in sections 1 and 9) Class teachers send out curriculum news, detailing planned learning and enabling parents to support this at home. Parents are invited to come to school for information evenings (such as ‘meet the teacher’ ‘Starting school’), curriculum workshops (e.g. ‘Supporting Phonics and Reading’), informal class assemblies, open mornings, shows & concerts, and parent consultation evenings. This enables us to build strong relationships with parents and support learning across home and school consistently.
For children with additional needs we tailor home-school communication to enable a more detailed regular feedback. For example using Home-school communication books to ensure regular dialogue and feedback, regular meetings (at least termly) with parents and teacher/SENDCo to review progress and plan provision.
All parents are welcome to become involved further in day to day school life. You can:
• Become a member of the Parent Staff Association
• Take part in Parent Forum
• Become a Parent Governor
• Ask to speak to staff to express your ideas and/or concerns
How we include your child in the planning of their support
Pupils are given the opportunity to comment on their support, how they learn best, likes and dislikes. They are also able to set personal targets that they would like to achieve. This takes place during the review of their provision map and, for children with an EHCP, also during the Annual Review process
General Contact Information
For children already attending the school, your first point of contact if you have concerns regarding your child is the class teacher.
If you have further questions or concerns or your child is not currently at the school contact: SENDCo – Sarah Morton Head teacher – Maria Soulsby
Useful support services:
Contact for more information
- Natasha Bailey
- Main Road, Biddenham, Bedford, MK40 4BD
- 01234 352721
- SEN Link:
Record Last Reviewed On: 29/03/2016