The information below can also be downloaded here
Support for SEND and Vulnerable Families
At Minchinhampton, we recognise that all families can face times of challenge when they need support, sometimes to deal with a specific event or sometimes to manage a successful way through complex difficulties. We wish to reassure families that we have thought about this, un-dertaken training and organized a complete offer of early support in order to ensure a successful outcome. In order to ensure that we offer the very best support for families associated with our school, we have a range of provision available where needed, some of which is provided in house and some which is provided by other partner agencies and organisations.
We are committed to enabling every child to achieve the best they possibly can. We be-lieve that each pupil has individual and unique needs. However, some pupils require more support than others to achieve at school. We acknowledge that a significant proportion of pupils will have additional needs including special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) at some time in their school career. Many of these pupils may require help throughout their time in school, while others may need a little extra support for a short period to help them overcome more temporary needs. To help these pupils to achieve their full poten-tial, we must recognise these needs and plan accordingly. The school aims to provide all pupils with strategies for dealing with their needs in a supportive environment, and to give them meaningful access to the National Curriculum.
How do we identify need?
Early identification is essential because acknowledging learning differences in the first years of school is the most effective way to help. Through regular monitoring of teacher assessments and classroom feed-back, Teachers will already be recognising and identifying children that may have an ongoing difficulty with their learning difference. If a Class Teacher continues to have worries they will raise their concerns with the SENCO who will discuss the child’s strengths and needs. From this, if concerns surrounding learning differences still exist, we will move through a specific channel of identification and support.
If, despite all the support given, your child is still struggling to meet their expected targets, it may be your child has Special Educational Needs. Your child’s name will be added to the school’s SEN register. They will then begin their journey on the Gloucestershire Graduated Pathway. This will ensure your child is given specific short-term targets with identified steps to help achieve these. Additional support may be from the class teacher or from a teaching assistant (TA) working under the direction of the class teacher.
How do we support children with emotional needs?
At our school staff are Trauma Informed and recognise the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on children’s development. We follow the PACE and WINE approach when supporting children emotionally and use Zones of Regulation as a curriculum for emotional literacy and self regulation. Staff have under-standing of Polyvagal theory and believe strongly in the power of positive Relationships.
We are fortunate to have low arousal breakout spaces throughout school and two sensory rooms (alerting and calming) for children to access when dysregulated or for planned regulation time. This pro-vides additional emotional and behavioural support if needed. We also run a variety of SEMH interven-tions which are used to provide additional support for specific children with needs in these areas.
Where needed, we refer to outside agencies, such as Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Teens in Crisis (Tic+) for age 9 upwards. We have a range of therapeutic intervention prac-titioners who works with pupils and their families on an ongoing basis. These professionals are able to help with all aspects of well-being and general emotional support for young people through therapeutic intervention such as Play Therapy, Cranial Osteopathy, Sand Play.
What will my child learn to keep them safe, healthy, resilient and aware of the world around them?
The Minch curriculum concerned with wellbeing combines PSHE (Personal Social Health Education); SRE (Sex and Relationships Education); Education about Christian values and the Relationships Policy (together forming Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural) Education. This comprehensive curriculum covers many aspects of keeping young people safe, healthy, resilient and aware of the world around them so that they can make informed decisions. Where pupils have specific issues that need discussing or address-ing we will make their curriculum bespoke to them. Other specific topics helping pupils stay safe covered within the curriculum include (age appropriate content):
Sex education: Children in Y5 and 6 have formal Sex education – discussing puberty, changes, personal hygiene. (Gloucestershire health living and learning team (GHLL) resource).
The school aims to deliver the PINK curriculum taught throughout school:- Gender, identity and tolerance: preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying; preventing bullying of pupils from different types of families (e.g. same sex parents); avoiding anti-gay derogatory language; Gender identity – there isn’t such thing as a typical girl or a typical boy. Understanding and acceptance of others different than us, including those with different religions.
Drugs: Alcohol, Smoking and illegal drugs.
Keeping Safe: E-safety (Facebook and internet); personal safety (out and about); How to respond to an emergency. IN THE NET production – annually in Y4
Emotional well-being: Where to go for help if you, your friend or family member is struggling with emotional wellbeing/mental health prob-lems? What are the signs someone is struggling? What makes you feel good; How to look after you own emotional well-being; Personal strength and self-esteem; Being happy!
Relationships: How to make and maintain friendship; family relationships; different types of families; (SEAL)
Healthy Living: Taking responsibility for manag-ing your own health; Importance of sleep; The main components of healthy living (diet, exercise and wellbeing); Focus on breakfast; Managing health and wellbeing when you are unwell.
How do we promote positive behaviour?
Through our Relationships policy we promote relationships most conducive to learning and wellbeing. As a school community we aim to model respect for and a sense of responsibility towards others in all our relationships: between adults and pupils, between adults and between pupils. This defines meetings, les-son management and the many opportunities we offer to children to take on responsibilities around school. It defines how we respond when people make mistakes: how we expect everyone to be honest and take responsibility for their actions; how we expect people to forgive each other when things go wrong.
When there is conflict, ‘Restorative Practice’ focuses on building, maintaining and restoring relationships and giving people agency in their own lives using the method of REFLECT – REPAIR – RECONNECT .We do believe in school wide reward and sanctions, however, if your child is struggling with their behaviour the teacher will discuss this with you, our SENCO or Headteacher to help decide whether the following may be needed:
- Individual Reward Systems
- Use of a report card system
- An Individual Behaviour Plan
- Additional adult support
- A personal Risk Assessment
- A Pastoral Support Plan
- SEMH behaviour interventions
- SEMH screening tools
- Involvement of other professionals such as the Education Inclusion Team, Educational Psychologist or Advisory Teaching service.
What are the next steps?
Most children with SEND make progress in their learning or be-haviour if their school and family work together.
However there are a few children, who despite a lot of extra sup-port make less progress than they should in their learning or struggle to modify their behaviour. In this case, the SENCO will request advice and support from various outside support agen-cies. These children may then begin their journey on the Glouces-tershire Graduated Pathway and be given a ‘My Assessment’, ‘My Plan+’ or possibly an EHC Plan.
Please see the “Minchinhampton Identification Procedures Flowchart” for more information of next steps.Download the Minchinhampton Identification Procedures Flowchart here
What is an Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP)?
A few children will have complex SEND needing significantly higher levels of support. If this happens our SENCO will make a request to the Local Authority to undertake a full assessment of the child’s needs. The Local Authority may then work with the academy to draw up an EHC Plan for the child which may provide top up funding to the school. The EHC Plan will ensure long term support for your child, includ-ing when transitioning from one school to another, and will be reviewed annually or earlier if needed. Parents and children will be involved in the whole process.
The EHCP Assessment process can be emotionally challenging for all involved. Minchinhampton staff are there to support parents throughout this journey, however there are other agencies that also offer support.
How is additional support funded?
Every school has a delegated budget, within which is an allocated amount for SEND. Where a child re-quires additional support to progress with their learning or behaviour, the first £6,000 will be funded from this school budget. Where further support is still needed, we can consult with you to consider re-questing an EHC Plan and top up funding from the Local Authority.
What training are our staff offered?
All our staff receive ongoing training to support children with additional needs. Training and resources are provided in response to specific children’s needs as well as whole school initiatives. Staff have access to resources for particular needs, such as Dyslexia, at all times as well as additional materials, knowledge and resources held by our SENCO.
What other Support Services are there?
To further help your child, our SENCO may request advice from a variety of services. The list is not exhaustive with the school actively seeking additional/alternative support when needed;
• Advisory Teaching Service, Educational Psychology Service, Education Inclusion Team, , Speech & Language Therapy, School Nursing Team, Paediatricians, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Families First Team.
Our SENCO is available to support and guide families who may be going through a difficult time and recognises the need to support the whole family in order to meet the child’s needs. Our SENCO will sign post families to further services if further support is required, organisations and charities such as these below.
We also run a Nurture Breakfast club for identified and invited children that we feel would benefit, which is generously funded by Ecotricity. The aim of nurture breakfast is to support students to have a positive start to their day. It is a time where child-to-child and child-to-adult relationships are positively fostered and reinforced. A healthy, well-balanced breakfast is provided following Ecotricity’s pledge to be more sustainable and vegan in their choices. This is a time to prepare students mentally and emotionally for the day ahead and can include:
- Reinforcement of routines and class values through the sharing of a meal
- Preparation for transitions
- Soothing, calming activities and games
- Topical discussions and celebrating successes
It also enables staff to have the chance to intervene with any worries or anxieties the student is experiencing before they start their school day.
We have preloved uniform and also support the Minchinhampton Community Pantry, having dry foods for those that need a little extra help feeding their family.
To find out more information please speak to our SENCO who will be happy to support you.