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SEN at Rivacre Valley Primary

Identifying the Special Educational Needs of Pupils

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need.  The Code of Practice 2014 defines SEN as follows:

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

  1. Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or
  2. Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Children may ‘fall behind’ for many reasons.  At Rivacre Valley we understand that children may have other barriers to learning.  These can include absence, attending a number of different schools, having difficulties speaking English or having worries that may distract them.  This can make such children vulnerable.  However, this does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEN.

Where pupil’s progress is significantly slower than that of their peers, or fails to match their previous rate of progress, despite high quality teaching targeted at specific areas of difficulty, it may be that the child has SEN.  Information will be gathered, including seeking the views of parents and the pupil, as well as from teachers and assessments.  Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEN.

Responsibilities for ensuring that Policies and Procedures are followed lie with:

The Headteacher:                     Mrs K Docherty

The AHT/Inclusion Manager:      Miss J Hughes

The SEN Governor:                  

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress, please speak to your class teacher in the first instance.

Support for children with Special Educational Needs

The four broad ‘areas of need’ with regard to SEN are;

Communication and Interaction,

Cognition and Learning,

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, and

Sensory and Physical Needs.

If a learner is identified as having SEN, Rivacre Valley will provide support that is ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ the Quality First Teaching that is already provided.  That is, the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements routinely part of the school day.  This alternative support is monitored through half termly Target Sheets devised by the class teacher supported by the Inclusion Manager.  Children’s Targets are shared with all relevant members of staff who work with the child.  In order to provide support that is ‘different from’ or ‘additional to’ we follow a four stage model outlined in the SEN Code of Practice:


Consider all the information from discussions with parents/carers (these can be informal, at parents evenings or through formal appointments), the child, the class teacher and assessments.


We look at the barriers to learning, what we would like the child to achieve and what additional support can be put into place in order to overcome the barriers.  Targets will be set and recorded on the child’s Target Sheet.


We will then provide the support as detailed on the Target Sheet.  The support will be tailored to meet the child’s needs and will target a particular area of difficulty.  Support may be provided in class or in another room, on a 1:1 basis or as part of a small group of learners with similar needs.  It may be delivered by a teacher or a trained teaching assistant.


Each half term the class teacher will measure the impact of the support provided and record it on the Target Sheet.  We will consider whether changes to the support need to be made and will act accordingly.

If parents/carers or school feel that despite high quality interventions and appropriate adjustments, progress is limited, advice and support may be requested from other professionals.  With parents/carers consent, this might involve: Speech & Language Therapy Services, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Educational Psychologist, Paediatrician, School Nurse/Doctor and Health Department.

The majority of children having this type of ‘SEN Support’ will have their needs met in this way.  A small number of children may require an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment to determine whether it is necessary for the Local Authority to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan.

Where a child has an EHC, there will be an Annual Review taking into account the views of the child, their parent or carer and all other professionals involved with the child.

Monitoring Progress

Our most recent OFSTED report of March 2017 states


• Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities receive clear and focused teaching to support their learning.

As part of our review process children are assessed formally on a termly basis.  Support is given in the form of readers, small groups and the assessment materials given.  As a school we feel the need to ensure a nurturing environment through this process and children are well prepared.

We officially report to parents through our online Tapestry and Earwig programmes. In addition to this we have three parent's evenings – September, March and a drop in visit in July enabling parents to come in and review their children’s work. During these parent's evenings a child's targets will be discussed.

Parents are also able to make both informal and formal appointments to discuss their child’s progress with their Class Teacher, Inclusion Manager or Headteacher.

SEN Progress

Click on this document for information:

SEN attainment and progress information 2018




We believe all learners are entitled to the same access to the curriculum and broader activities including clubs, trips and residential visits.  Where a child has a Special Need we will always discuss those needs with parents prior to the child taking part in any activity.  This will ensure that needs are being met fully.  If parents are concerned about their child taking part in an activity, we ask them to come and discuss it with us rather than withdraw the child from the activity.


The school building is fully accessible with disabled and wheelchair access to all learning areas.  We have disabled toilets and shower facilities.  Our Accessibility Plan is regularly reviewed.  We have a sound field system operating in school for children with a hearing impairment.


We are fortunate to have a very skilled team of Staff.  This includes a dedicated Speech and Language Therapist employed by school. We currently have two fuly trained ELSA specialists and will be fortunate to train another in the coming academic year. Classes are supported by at least one Teaching Assistant. Although the following list is not exhaustive, Staff have received training in the following:

  • ASD
  • ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support)
  • Dyslexia Support
  • First Aid
  • Phonics
  • Supporting children with reading and writing
  • Supporting children with number
  • Speech and Language Support
  • Precision teaching
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • ADHD

During the academic year 2017/2018 staff attended courses covering ASD, Phonics, Supporting Literacy and Numeracy, Paediatric First Aid and Managing Medical Conditions, Precision Teaching and Mental Health First Aid, ELKLAN and ADHD. Upcoming training for 2018/2019 already includes, First Aid, Elsa, Managing Medical Conditions, ELKLAN, ELSA and Supporting Literacy and Numeracy but this will not be the final list.


Joining Rivacre Valley

We work with parents/carers and the previous school or nursery to ensure that any Special Educational Needs already identified are met and continued.


Moving to the next class

During the summer term class teachers and teaching assistants meet and share information about the needs of each child in their class.


Transition to a New Setting that is not High School

When a child moves to a new school mid Key Stage, we will ensure that all relevant documents are forwarded.  We will also discuss with the new school systems that we have in place for the child that support their learning.  We would also encourage parents to make an appointment with the member of Staff responsible for SEN at the new school.  We are also able to hold transition meetings with parents and the new school to formulate an Action Plan for Inclusion.


Transition to High School

Discussions are held and information is shared during the Summer Term of Year 6 with the prospective High School for each child. Action for Inclusion meetings are sometimes held to ensure smooth transition.  Other relevant agencies such as Health, Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language are invited.

Where a child has an EHC plan a meeting will be held with parents, school and the Local Authority when the child is in Year 5 to discuss parental and child preference for High School.

Supporting the Whole Child

As well as gaining knowledge and skills in all areas of the national curriculum, the children are encouraged to grow in confidence and self-reliance, learning to make decisions and developing their ability to articulate ideas and feelings. If children are identified to need support in the area, they can access our ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support) programme. We also consider it very important that the children develop socially, encouraging them to have a healthy respect for others, in and out of school.

We run Life Skills sessions for children who need support in this area.  These can include tying shoe laces, writing and posting letters, telling the time and getting the bus to their prospective High School. We follow the Autism Team's Transition Programme.

Children with SEN are encouraged to take part and represent their class on the School Council.  This enables them to contribute both their own and class views.

All children and staff play a part in the excellent behaviour and safety of the school. There are clear boundaries set and we operate a reward and consequence Traffic Light system. When incidents do occur in school, they are dealt with swiftly. On occasion, some children will need more support to work within these boundaries. The high staffing level and the support of their peers can help them with this.

Medicines and Personal Care

Both the school’s Administration of Medicines and Intimate Care Policies follow the Local Authority guidelines and can be found in the Policies by following this link

Parents are asked to give written permission before a member of staff can support Intimate Care and administer medicines. 

Complaints Procedure

If parents have any concerns, the first port of call should be the class teacher.  However, we recognise that, on occasion, parents may not feel that a situation has been resolved by speaking to the class teacher.  In these circumstances an appointment should be made to talk to the headteacher.  A full copy of the School’s Complaints Procedure can be found by clicking here: 

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