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What is SEN?

At different times in their school life a child may have a Special Education Need (SEN).  The code of practice defines SEN as follows:

‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for a special educational provision to be made for him/her.  A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.’

Types of SEN

In the Code of Practice, SEN and provision falls under four categories:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional andMental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical

This includes a wide range of needs such as:

  • Moderate learning difficulties and global delay
  • Autism and social communication differences
  • Specific learning differences e.g. dyslexia and dyscalculia
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Visual or auditory difficulties
  • Anxiety, anger and depression

How is SEN identified?

When a child is making significantly slower progress than their peers or is struggling to achieve their predicted potential they could be considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN).

In partnership with the Class teacher, SENCO and parents we will look for any barriers to learning. 

Barriers could include:

  • Absences or lateness
  • Changing schools or moving house
  • Difficulties in speaking English
  • A temporary illness or injury e.g. broken arm
  • Worries or concerns such as a family bereavement
  • Being a young carer

We know that children who experience these types of issues may be vulnerable students but this does not mean they would be identified as a child with SEN.

The learning of all children at Woodcote Primary School is regularly and rigorously assessed.  School leaders check books, observe lessons and monitor the achievement of the children. 

We also use formal assessment to monitor progress:

  • Phonics screening in Year 1
  • SATs in Year 2 and Year 6
  • NTS Rising Stars Tests 
  • SALT assessment
  • Boxall Profile

After collecting information on progress and attainment and following agreement with parents; a child experiencing long term and complex barriers to their learning will be placed on the SEN register. 

Provision for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

The Pioneer Academy Trust Mantra confirms the commitment to ‘Putting children first’ and ‘enabling all children to make excellent progress’. This is translated into practice at Woodcote Primary School. 

All pupils are given quality first teaching. This means that class teachers are well trained; lessons are well planned, exciting and differentiated to ensure that all pupils can access the learning at their own level. 

For pupils with SEN this could mean that they are given a slightly different task to achieve or are using visual clues or equipment to help them complete their task. Some may require additional support from the class teacher or teaching assistant as part of a small group, pair or individual. 

Croydon Local Offer

Please click on the link below to read Croydon's local offer


Outside Agencies

The use of outside agencies very much depends upon the individual needs. However, some are frequent visitors to school.

1. The Educational Psychologist

Our school Educational Psychologist is Jo Riordan. Children are referred to Jo if they are not making the expected progress given the amount of support that they are receiving. Jo observes and assesses the pupil and then, in consultation with the parent, helps the school decide the best way forward for the pupil.

2. Speech and Language Therapy

We are visited regularly by a qualified speech therapist from Croydon. In addition, we have two trained Speech and Langauage Teachign Assisatnts who support out children. Parents and staff can refer children to this service. The children are assessed and a care plan is written. This care plan has actions and targets for the individual. These actions are carried out by the school speech and language team. On occasions the speech therapist themselves may work directly with the pupil.

3. Occupational Therapy

Parents and staff can refer a child to this service. The pupil is assessed and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out both in lessons and in additional OT sessions e.g. Funky Fingers and Gross Motors Skill group.

4. Physiotherapy

Parents and staff can refer a child to this service, the pupil is seen by a physiotherapist and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out as required.

Additional Support for children at Woodcote

Additional Literacy Support: 

  • We have a team of well-trained Teachers and Teaching Assistants who work with small groups of children and provide individual support.
  • Children have access (at home and school) to the Lexia programme, Monster Phonics and Spelling Shed to develop their literacy skills.
  • We have just introdcued L'Explore which identifies children's reading strengths and difficulties. 

Additional Maths Support:

  • We target small groups of children throughout the school, giving them additional number work.
  • My Maths, Numbots and TT rock stars is available for children to reinforce their skills and thoroughly embed their learning.

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA):

Staff have had specialist training from Educational Psycholgists to support the emotional needs of children and their development. ELSAs help children understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them.  

Occupational Therapy: 

  • We run Dough Disco and other fine motor skills groups for pupils who have a care plan from an Occupational Therapist or who have been selected by their teacher to receive additional support. Time is spent on cutting, threading, writing, sticking etc. Anything to get those fingers working!
  • Some children may require additional apparatus to help them achieve; we take advice from our occupational therapist to ensure that our children have the correct pencil grips, writing slopes, chairs etc.       

 Speech and Language: 

  • We have regular visits from the NHS speech and language therapist who shares her care plans with our speech and language team.
  • We have regular support from the Love to Communicate.
  • We have two additional speech and language TAs who supports children’s speech and language needs.
  • Any difficulties in communication are identified quickly and the appropriate support put in place.

1:1 Teaching Assistant Support 

Some children might need short term individual support to help them achieve academically or to help them manage their physical needs. 

Pastoral Support

We know that a child cannot learn unless he or she is ready to do so emotionally. We are fortunate to have a learning mentor as well as our own counselling service (Place2Be) to support our children's emotional needs.

How skilled are the staff?

We have an extensive staff at Woodcote who continuously look to develop their practice and extend their expertise.

An ongoing programme of training is in place to ensure that teachers and support staff have appropriate skills and knowledge. This includes:

  • Literacy strategies
  • Maths strategies
  • Autism
  • Phonics
  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding

Our staff also engaging in outreach support from local special schools.

We have regular staff meetings where all members share ideas to promote successful learning strategies. 

The SENCO, Mrs Hannan, attends local authority SENCO briefing meetings as well as being part of the SENCO cluster and Locality. 

How will I know if my child is making progress?

Woodcote has an open door policy. Parents and carers are welcome to make an appointment to discuss their child’s progress at any time. Class teachers are available after school to speak to parents.

Parents can see the SENCO or member of the Leadership Team at any time.

Formal parents' evenings are held three times a year. Meetings the parents of children with SEN will be given a copy of their child's Personalised Learning Plan (PLP). This is an opportunity to discuss your child's progress and to help make new targets for the coming term.

Each child receives a written report at the end of the school year detailing his/her progress.

The progress, and well being, of pupils at Woodcote is monitored very closely. We aim for all of our pupils to make outstanding progress:

  • Teachers meet with Leadership each term. Children's work is scrutinised and progress recorded.
  • Leaders and class teacher meet with the SENCO to discuss the type of intervention that a child might need.
  • The SENCOs monitors the progress in each intervention provision and meets regularly with the leaders of provisions to discuss individuals and any necessary changes that need to be made to provisions.
  • The SENCOs meets with the Inclusion Governor to discuss specific provisions and provides data to show their impact.

SEND Information Report 2023

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