The School Offer
How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
All pupils who attend Southfield School will already have been identified as having special educational needs. They will have a statement or EHC Plan. In rare circumstances (for example when a child has recently arrived from overseas) they may join the school whilst they are being assessed for an EHC Plan.
How will school staff support my child?
Children at Southfield require different types and amounts of support depending on their strengths and needs. Support is given to make sure that pupils make good progress by participating in the full range of learning opportunities that we offer. We work hard to ensure that our approaches and organisation enable all pupils to make good progress
- Children are supported by a curriculum which is differentiated to take account of their needs e.g. by being delivered at an appropriate pace with lots of visual support, in small steps and through hands on and multi-sensory activities, and taking account of pupil’s personal interests.
- Staff are aware of the communication needs of all pupils and work very closely with the Speech and Language Therapy Service. We use a variety of strategies e.g. PECS, Makaton signing, communication aids and Communication Passports to make sure that all pupils can understand and communicate as confidently and easily as possible.
- We have a high adult to pupil ratio. This enables staff to get to know pupils as individuals, to set challenging but achievable targets, to identify the priority ‘next steps’, and to use approaches which best meet each child’s needs.
- We work with families to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which gives details of the targets that we agree are important for each individual child and the strategies that we will use to help them to achieve their targets. These targets are then shared across departmental teams. This means that all staff are aware of the needs of each child. Targets are shared with pupils where possible so that pupils are aware of the things that they can do to make progress in their learning.
- We encourage parents and carers to share with us anything that will help to support their child in learning.
- We work closely with other services who provide support to pupils including NHS staff (through the school nursing service, Paediatric Clinics, OT and Physio) ISL (Hertfordshire Integrated Services for Learning) e.g. Educational Psychology and Advisory Teaching Services such as Autism Advisory or Hearing Impairment Teachers and Social Care services e.g. Social Services or Thriving Families.
How will I know how my child is doing?
- We use a home school communication book so that we can keep you updated about your child on a regular basis.
- We will offer you a meeting to plan together and discuss progress at least once a term.
- We will provide a detailed written report on your child’s progress each year at Annual Review.
- We will provide a detailed Record of Achievement or Learning Journal for Early Years pupils for every child each year. This document contains photos, video and examples of work so that you can see how your child has been making progress.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
- Once a child has been at Southfield for six weeks, we will use PIVATS to make an assessment of their current attainment in line with the ‘P Levels’ (or Hertfordshire Steps for pupils who are attaining within the new National Curriculum). Specific targets for priority areas of learning will be established. These targets will be specific and measurable and will give details of the differentiation and support which pupils will require to make progress.
- Staff will differentiate the curriculum for pupils by pace and content, and will use a variety of strategies and support to ensure that the provision meets pupils needs e.g. using TEACCH approaches to encourage independent learning, ensuring pupils have processing time when responding to questions or instructions, providing a sensory diet for pupils who have sensory processing difficulties to ensure that they are able to attend to and access their learning.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
- Small pastoral groups ensure that children know the adults they are working with.
- Small group sizes enable adults to get to know the pupils they are working with well. This enables them to respond to any changes that they observe which could indicate a problem. Staff respond rapidly to any changes which indicate that pupils could require specific support.
- Pupils are well supervised throughout the school day to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
- The Governors and SLT regularly audit and review Health and Safety and Safeguarding provision within the school.
- Interventions such as drama therapy and music therapy provide extra support for pupils.
- The school has robust policies and procedures to support positive behaviour and to prevent bullying.
- Staff provide opportunities for enrichment and social activities e.g. lunchtime clubs and after school social activities such as themed family events.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
- We work closely with professionals from a number of other services for example Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Educational Psychology, the School Nursing Service and Autism Advisory.
What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having?
- All staff receive induction training shortly after they are appointed, which ensures they have an awareness of the approaches and procedures used at Southfield.
- All staff working directly with pupils receives core training in Hertfordshire Steps Step On (Positive Behaviour Management) and Step Up (Positive Physical Intervention); Autism Awareness, Safeguarding, an overview of Sensory Processing Difficulties and supporting pupils with language difficulties.
- Staff meetings have a focus on school development and a regular focus on aspects of professional development.
- There is a continuous programme of CPD for staff which is driven by appraisal and the school improvement plan. This means that staff skills are updated to enable the school to continue to develop and improve provision. Some examples of staff development opportunities include;
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
10 week Autism Course
ELKLAN (communication and language for complex needs)
SCERTS (a multidisciplinary framework to address the core challenges faced by people with ASC)
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- The Individual Education Plans that we set in discussion with parents will contain details about strategies which will help pupils to achieve these targets, and we will discuss shared approaches with you. We will also provide support e.g. symbols, schedules and social stories which can be used at home.
- We will send home suggestions for homework activities which will be based around the topic themes which are used to deliver aspects of the National Curriculum.
- We will send home reading and spelling activities where it is appropriate for pupils.
- We will invite parents in to school for workshop activities to share strategies to support pupils with their child’s learning.
- We will offer you a parent consultation at least once a term, where you will be able to talk to us about ways to support your child.
- We will send a home school diary on a daily basis so that you can contact us regularly about your child’s learning.
- We will publish information about our curriculum on the school website.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
- Individual Education Plans are written jointly with parents.
- There are termly Parent consultations to plan and discuss children’s education.
- Annual Review meetings provide a joint opportunity to review progress and plan next steps
- Staff can be contacted by phone or through the home school diary, and meetings can be arranged at mutually convenient times where extra discussion is needed.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
- All pupils are invited to participate in school trips to enhance their learning.
- All pupils take part in a range of out of school learning throughout the year including swimming, trips to local amenities, trips to enrich the curriculum, sporting competitions, inclusion activities with local schools.
- Our purpose built building facilitates outdoor learning, with designated outdoor learning spaces for all classes as well as the availability of our spacious grounds.
How accessible is the school environment?
- The school is purpose built. All accommodation is on one level without stairs. Corridors and doors are wide. The play areas are mainly flat and can all be accessed by ramps. All classrooms have a Soundfield system which is beneficial to pupils with HI or sensory processing difficulties. There are high levels of symbol signage throughout the school. There are disabled access toilet facilitates in all areas of the school.
Who can I contact for further information?
- Initial enquiries can be made by contacting Linda Dyball the school secretary on 01707 276504. She will ensure that enquiries are forwarded to the relevant member of the team.
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
- Once a place has been identified at Southfield School, we will discuss with parents and the child’s current school, the transition process which will best meet the needs of the child. Transition plans are based around individual need and may include visits to the school and a phased transition, or a single transition from one setting to another supported by symbols and social stories.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
- The school has a range of resources which are available to all pupils. These include a well differentiated curriculum, multi-sensory approaches, high levels of adult support and access to specific resources such as the sensory room and soft play. For the majority of pupils, support such as Speech Therapy is integrated into this universal class provision.
- A number of pupils require other support based on audited need. This includes sensory circuits and a sensory diet and specific small group or individual interventions e.g. play therapy or an individual positive behaviour support plan.
- A small number of pupils may require individual support as their needs cannot be met through our universal class provision. Their needs will be supported through access to a more individual timetable, with support from external services such as the Autism Advisory service and interventions or approaches devised by the Educational Psychology team. In the main these interventions and approaches will be time limited, as the aim will always be to integrate pupils back into the universal provision which forms the core of Southfield’s provision.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
- Decisions about support are based on audited need. These decisions will be made by the school’s Senior Leadership Team and external services in conjunction with parents. They will be based on detailed observations made by classroom staff.
How can I find information about the local authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?
Information about Hertfordshire’s Local Offer can be found by visiting www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer.
Information about resources available in the Welwyn Hatfield area can be found by visiting www.dspl-welhat.org.uk