The school environment is accessible to children with a range of disabilities. All internal accommodation is on a single level, radiating from the main hall area, and is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a disabled toilet, changing room and shower facility.
The main school policies are held on the school’s website which has recently been reviewed and updated.
Where necessary, reviews are made of individual children’s requirements for specialised equipment/furniture, with support of the Occupational Therapy services.
The school has regular Pupil Progress meetings, where individual children are reviewed and any special needs are identified. Because the school has a small number of children there is constant assessment/review of children with special needs.
Additional support is provided by teaching assistants in the classroom but children are encouraged to become independent learners. All children have access to a laptop within the classroom and the school has also recently purchased Ipads, which will further promote individual research and independent working.
SEN training is planned to meet the needs of individual children or groups. Most recently, training on autism was delivered to all staff by a teacher from a local specialist school.
One teaching assistant is sign language trained; one of our former pupils was profoundly deaf.
During tests/SATS adjustments are made to meet the needs of individual children (eg. providing extra time, reading the questions)
Because we are a small school we are able to ensure that the appropriate level of support/resources is targeted to meet the needs of children with specific needs.
Because we are a small school we are able to develop close links with parents, making it possible to review and assess outcomes on an ongoing basis. Currently individual education plans (IEPs) are agreed with parents on a half-termly basis, allowing progress and the effectiveness of specific interventions to be monitored.
Risk assessments are an integral part of school life and we have a comprehensive set of risk assessments for all curriculum areas, recently updated as part of a recent Health and Safety Audit. Risk assessments are undertaken for all school trips by the individual class teacher, as part of the Lancashire County Council Evolve process.
At the start of the school day, a member of staff is in the school playground from 8.45 am to ensure handover from parents to school. At the end of the school day all children meet in the hall to ensure appropriate handover to parents, After-School Club or after-school activities. During playtimes there is always a member of staff on duty to supervise children in the playground.
Risk assessments are made to meet the individual needs of children.
Because we are a small school there is a relatively small number of staff, making lines of communication much clearer. Teaching staff are available at the start or end of the school day to discuss concerns; appointments may be made for more detailed consideration of an issue.
Parents are kept updated of their child’s progress through a report at the end of the school year and a Parents’ Evening in the autumn term. An Open Day is held early in the school year. Parents can provide feedback via regular questionnaires carried out by the school.
Children have an opportunity to have their say via the school council. Parents are always welcomed in the school to provide additional support (e.g. reading, displays, and local press reports). Parents are fully represented on the Governing Body.
Where necessary, specialist support from other agencies (e.g. social care, health) will be obtained by the school to meet the specific needs of a particular child. This is obviously tailored for individual children.
As a small school our philosophy is to work closely with parents and to share responsibility for the education of each individual child. It is envisaged that because of the nature of this relationship between home and school, parents would be comfortable approaching us for information, guidance and advice as necessary. Similarly, we would endeavour to provide all the support we can.
Good links exist between this school and the Special Needs department at St. Cecilia’s R.C. Secondary School. Children in years 5 and 6 attend a range of events organised by the secondary school; these include taster sessions on different sections of the Key Stage 3 curriculum but also aspects of emotional health and wellbeing. (e.g. internet safety) Children with special educational needs are welcome to make separate visits for extra familiarisation with the site or to discuss individual needs.
The school offers a comprehensive range of after-school activities, which are regularly reviewed and updated to meet changing demands. We have an active Gardening Club, and several sporting activities including football, netball and multi-sports. Where possible sessions are organised to meet the requirements/wishes of children within the school; views on this are obtained via the school council. In the past activities have included a Film Club, Dance sessions, Global Wise awareness, Badminton, Cookery and Arts and Crafts to name but a few.
A significant proportion of these sessions are provided free of charge or for a nominal amount, to cover film costs for example. If a specialist is brought into school to provide a specific activity a charge is made; these vary according to the body organising the events.
On a weekly basis a music specialist comes into school, offering children the opportunity to learn one of a vast range of instruments.
Activities and clubs are inclusive for all children. The small number of children involved makes it possible to make any necessary adaptations.
Before and after school childcare is provided by the Chipping Children’s Community Alliance (CCCA). Children are escorted to and from this facility.
At St. Mary’s children make friends with children from different year group, making them very accepting of children who may be viewed as “different” in a larger school. This is one of the unique and special features of this school.
SENCO – Mrs Mary Morris