Ongar Primary School

Lessons full of challenge, inspiration and real life learning.


What provision do you make for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEND) at your school?


We aim to deliver differentiated, inclusive Quality First Teaching to all pupils in the first instance. Where learning difficulties arise, we follow the graduated approach to identify the nature of the needs in order to provide support to pupils using a variety of strategies, interventions and resources. At Ongar Primary School we have a SENCO and a SENCO Support, who work closely with Specialist Teachers, Educational Psychologist, Behaviour Support and Speech and Language specialists in order to provide the best service that we can for our pupils. Our LSAs have targeted time in the afternoon to take children with learning difficulties out of class for intensive bursts of twenty minutes working on individual targets and a Learning Mentor works within school helping children who might have emotional or social difficulties.


How do you identify and assess pupils who are thought to have Special Educational Needs?


We use a whole school approach to assessing, monitoring and evaluating pupil progress. This helps to identify those children who are making slow progress. The class teacher is responsible for adjusting ‘Quality First Teaching’ in the classroom to enable all pupils to access the curriculum. Using the graduated approach and involving parents and pupils in the process from the start allows us to identify needs and attempt to remove barriers to learning in collaboration. Where needs are more complex or difficult to address, the class teacher and SENCO would look at using Additional School Interventions and strategies to support the pupil’s learning. The pupil would then have a personalised SEN Support One Plan. When the pupil has life-long learning difficulties or significant and persistent learning difficulties despite access to appropriate learning opportunities and support, the school or parents can request that additional support and funding is applied for from the Local Authority. This would require a Statutory Assessment to be made and the Local Authority would decide whether to initiate an Education, Health and Care Plan. Standardised assessments, screening tests and observations are also undertaken to identify needs and provide information for future planning and targets.


How do you support pupils with Special Education Needs?


Class teachers aim to deliver differentiated, inclusive Quality First Teaching to all pupils.  Where progress is slow, class teachers may adapt their teaching methods, activities, targets or method of recording outcomes to enable pupils to learn.  Peer and adult support may be employed to boost confidence and self-esteem.  Visual or written aids may be employed to support the learner.  Where the needs of the child are more complex or persistent, specific interventions and strategies involving individual or small group work may best support the pupil.  If the pupil has significant, complex needs or life-long learning difficulties, their Education, Health and Care Plan may provide additional Local Authority funding for specific resources, specialist advice and/or support to be provided in school.


Parents and pupils are involved in the agreement of personal targets and provision from the outset and a close link between home and school is encouraged.  Measurements of progress are taken at strategic points in the intervention process and the effectiveness of these interventions are monitored and recorded.  This allows the class teacher and/or SENCO to adapt or change the intervention to maximise progress.  Termly assessments are undertaken by all pupils in each year group from Year 1 – 6 and the results and analysis of these tests inform class teachers and Senior Management about pupil progress related to National Curriculum age related expectations.


Parents and pupils are invited to termly meetings with either the class teacher and/or SENCO to inform them about their child’s progress and to discuss new targets.


The SENCO regularly updates her knowledge around a variety of pupil needs and is available to share this information with staff.


All classrooms have a visual timetable to assist pupils. In some classrooms, workstations and comfort zones are created to meet the needs of pupils who require these resources.  The curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of the pupil. Differentiation is planned for and activities are tailored to develop the skills that the pupils need. Inclusion with peers in the classroom is promoted but, where necessary, some pupils may be withdrawn for small periods of time to focus on particular skills such as reading, writing or number work. Where pupils work with the support of another adult either inside or outside the classroom, we endeavour to relate the activity or skill being practised to the theme being taught to peers. This allows for the pupil to later practise those relevant skills or provide information in the classroom with their peers.


The school uses a variety of resources to support pupils with Special Educational Needs from practical aids, screening tests to standardised assessments. Wherever possible, these resources are used to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses, support learning, encourage self-help and independence and assist day to day interaction and involvement.


We have a team of six Learning Support Assistants  who are deployed according to pupil needs in classrooms, across year groups and to address specific individual pupil skills.


Pupils with Special Educational Needs are included wherever possible in the life of the school.  Extra-curricular activities include pupils who have additional needs.


Who would I speak to if I thought that my child might have Special Educational Needs?


Initially, it is best to raise your concerns with your child’s class teacher.  If you are still concerned or have questions about their needs then the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator at Ongar Primary School is Mrs Susan Beardsmore.


If my child requires specialist equipment or facilities, how can the school get these?


If pupils require specialist equipment and facilities, the Local Authority Occupational Therapy Team provides these.  This equipment is on loan to the school for as long as the pupil needs it.  Occupational Therapists visit the school and train staff how to use equipment.


What training do the staff have with respect to Special Educational Needs and how can specialist expertise be consulted?


All our teachers are teachers of all children, including those with Specialist Educational Needs.  Training and courses are available to staff and the SENCO regularly attends these along with SENCO update meetings and national conferences.


Our school has access to a variety of Specialist Teacher support and should the class teacher, SENCO or parents require information, advice or support for their child, the SENCO can contact the relevant specialist teacher for this.  Specialist Teachers are regular visitors to our school and have expertise in a variety of special needs including Language and Learning, Physical and Neurological Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Speech and Language.  We have contact with an Educational Psychologist, School Nurse, Occupation Therapists and Counsellors.


How will I be involved in the education of my child with Special Educational Needs?


It is our aim to involve parents and pupils right from the outset with identifying and providing for their needs.  We appreciate and encourage support from parents in their child’s education and firmly believe that home and school should work in partnership.  Class teachers are the initial contact for parents regarding their child’s needs.  At all stages of the graduated approach, parents will be consulted about the progress of their child and how best to support them at home and in school.  The SENCO will speak with parents if they have concerns or questions about their child’s progress that they wish to discuss.  Termly Parent/Teacher Meetings are held for all pupils including those at the early stages of support.  When the child moves to SEN Support One Plan, Statement of Education Needs for Education or Health and Care Plan these meetings are replaced with longer, more detailed meetings to review and set targets involving the parents, pupil, class teacher, SENCO and possibly specialist teachers or outside professionals.  If your child has a Statement or EHCP, the Local Authority requires that this be reviewed annually.  A date for these meetings will be arranged with parents and available professionals.


Can my child be involved in the meetings?


We actively encourage pupils to be involved in their learning and want them to experience success.  By attending part of the meeting with parents, the class teacher, SENCO and other professionals, the pupil may feel empowered by the support network around them and adopt a ‘can do’ attitude to areas of learning that are problematical.  Their attendance underlines the collaboration between all parties and the importance of their views in the decision making process about their learning.  Pupils will be asked to comment on their progress and set themselves new targets.


How do I make a complaint?


The school has an ‘open door’ policy.  We aim to resolve any issues swiftly and in person, often coming to mutual agreement and understanding.  A parent’s first port of call is to arrange for a meeting with the class teacher.  If necessary, they would then go to the SENCO.   In the unlikely event that the matted is not concluded, the complaints procedure can be read on the school website, or a copy is available in the school office on request.


How do the Governing Body involve other agencies such a Health and Social Services to meet the needs of pupils with Special Needs?


The Governing body demonstrates good financial management, thus the building and resources are fit for purpose and fully inclusive.  The SENCO signposts, recommends and instigates the links to services to meet identified needs.  The SEN Governor visits the school and reports back to the Governing Body along with the Headteacher. 


Who can I contact if I need more support with my child with Special Educational Needs?


SNAP – www. - 01277 211300
FACE – Families Acting for Change Essex – - 
Local GP – Ongar School Nurse – contact via the school
Parent Partnership – - 01245 436036


Where can I find the Local Authority’s Local Offer?


The Essex Local Offer can be found on the website or from SENAEN, Goodman House, Harlow, Essex 01279 404502. “The purpose of the local offer is to improve choice for families by providing information about services available for children and young people aged 0-25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The local offer will also provide a comprehensive resource for professionals to understand the range of services and provision within their area. The local offer must include provision that supports young people:-


·      who have education, health and care plans, and who may request an assessment;

·      who do not have a plan but who need support through universal services;

·      who require specialist support;


Within the local offer Essex County Council is required to include information about:


·      Support for children and families;

·      Education

·      Health Care

·      Social Care

·      Preparing for adulthood

·      Leisure

·      Travel and transport