Our School Offer
At Alma Primary we welcome all children including those who have different cognitive profiles and may be identified as having Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). We have high expectations for all children in our school and will work to ensure that they all make progress in academic aspects of school, as well as in social and emotional development.
Inclusion is at the centre of our schools aims and values. We believe that inclusion is successful when attitudes are welcoming, positive and empathetic, as well as when there is sufficient and appropriate support for the child, the parents and the school, ensuring the establishment of good links. Our priority is to ensure that every child with special educational needs has access to the right support and to this end we will work hard to maintain links with parents and health, social care and education professionals. Our offer below is set out as a series of questions with answers in the drop down boxes.
Please contact the school office for more information.
1. How does the school decide whether a child has special educational needs and what extra help they need?
At Alma Primary children are identified as having special educational needs through a variety of means including the following:
- Exploring concerns raised by parents/carers;
- Discussion with outside pre-schools, nurseries, previous school and other educational organisations;
- Monitoring children’s work, including tracking of progress and attainment across the years as well as detailed observations and assessments
- Concerns raised by teacher, including behaviour or self-esteem;
- Liaison with external agencies including Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language therapists, doctors and other practitioners;
Where children are identified as needing extra help, staff will identify what strategies need to be put in place to support their learning. Support will be put in place by the class teacher and the Inclusion Leader and will be reviewed with you after a set time period.
The school’s provision for its pupils includes:
- High quality teaching adapted to the needs of individual pupils;
- Small group interventions designed for pupils who are not working at age-related expectations;
- Small group interventions for pupils with Special Educational Needs;
- In-class support to access the curriculum;
- Advice from the Inclusion Leader
- Support and advice from outside agencies such as Early Years Inclusion Team, Southover Partnership, Speech and Language Service etc.
2. What should I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress or special education needs?
We know the importance of building positive relationships with parents and aim to ensure that this happens. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us.
If you are concerned about your child’s academic progress and wellbeing, please contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Your child’s teacher is the best placed person to discuss your concerns and explore any support. The class teacher may include the Inclusion Leader who will help to ensure that appropriate provision is put in place.
If there are concerns, the school will support your child by adapting teaching and introducing interventions, where appropriate and monitor progress.
If your child requires additional support and different provision, you will be asked to discuss appropriate support with the teacher and Inclusion Leader.
3. What happens once my child has been identified as having Special Education Needs?
After the SEN support identification process has been completed, a decision will be made whether to repeat the process or to move to the next stage. This will be discussed with you at the review meeting.
If your child has been identified as having individual needs, they might have an Individual Support Plan (IEP) that normally include individual and/or group outcomes and your child’s name will be placed on the SEN register.
You will be asked to take part in a termly review discussion of this plan. We have a child centred approach whereby we aim to include children in the development and evaluation of the their own plans, where appropriate.
Appropriate support will be planned by considering practice which has been found to be effective (nationally, locally or within school) or that has been successful for your child. This may include the use of additional adults, where appropriate.
As a school, we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school. In discussion with you, we may also make referrals to outside agencies for advice and strategies to support your child.
If your child has complex learning needs, then the school may apply for an Educational Health Care plan (EHC). The EHC process is when the school applies for extra funding from Barnet to support your child. If the request is refused, the information gathered will be used to make further suggestions to the school and parents.
If the request is accepted, assessments will be finalised and the level of funding required will be considered.
4. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We believe that children benefit most when parents and school staff work in partnership together, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly. This is true for all our children but particularly so if your child has complex needs.
You are welcome at any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or Inclusion Leader and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
Learning journey meetings are held regularly, which include a focus on strategies and curriculum areas to enable parents to support their child at home.
If your child has a Sen Support Plan then when this is reviewed, comments are made against each outcome to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the outcome, the reasons for this will be discussed. The outcome may then be adapted into smaller steps, or a different approach may be tried to ensure that your child does make progress.
5. How will my child be involved and consulted in their education?
At Alma Primary we value and celebrate each child, enabling them to express their views on all aspects of school life. There are opportunities for children to express their view about their learning and the school environment, through self-assessment activities and Pupil attitude surveys which are conducted at regular intervals. We also have a School Council and children with special educational needs are encouraged and supported to be part of this.
All children in the school have targets that they work towards ‘Next steps’. Your child will be involved in reviewing their own work with an adult, to identify their strengths and areas for development.
If you child has identified Special Educational Needs then they will be able to share their views on the way in which they learn best and how they feel about their progress.
6. How do Alma staff assess and review my child’s progress?
As a school, we measure children’s progress using our own assessment levels and compare progress against national, local and age-related expectations, where this data is available.
Our Inclusion Leader oversees the support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.
Social and Emotional wellbeing is measured through:
- Observations by members of staff
- Monitoring of playground behaviour
- Monitoring of learning behaviour
- Pupil discussions and self evaluation activities
- Review of impact of provision such as Nurture groups
Academic progress is measured through:
- On-going observations and assessments within lessons
- Regular formal assessments of Reading, Writing, Maths and Ivrit (Hebrew)
We track children’s progress from entry at Reception through to Year Six, using a variety of different methods including Development Matters and our own assessment approach. We also use a range of evidence to inform our understanding of the child’s learning experiences.
Tracking of groups and individuals is analysed through termly progress meetings for each year group with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. In this meeting, a discussion takes place to assess why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.
If your child is included in any interventions, we will share this information with you at regular meetings and you will also receive copies of any SEN support plans.
The class teacher will meet with you at least twice during the academic year to discuss your child’s needs, support and progress.
If your child is on the SEN register and has a EHC plan, an Annual review meeting will be required to review the support that has been put in place and the progress across the year.
7. How is the teaching at Alma Primary adapted to my child’s needs?
At Alma Primary our goal is to ensure that all children are exposed to high quality teaching to enable them to excel. We therefore try to ensure that all work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access the curriculum according to their individual needs. This might mean that in a lesson there may be different levels of work offered, depending on the needs of the children.
Whole class teaching is adapted to meet individual needs through:
- Planning: tasks are adapted to allow pupils to better understand or participate.
- Teaching: staff will use a range of inclusive strategies and will adapt questioning and methods which have been identified as useful for individual pupils.
- Support: the teacher will plan pupil groupings and adult support
- Challenge: the teacher will ensure that all pupils are challenged to develop their skills and knowledge.
- Marking: teachers will adopt the school marking system which informs, supports and includes the pupil in evaluating and developing their learning.
- Tools and equipment: general tools will be provided in the environment for particular lessons to support the pupil’s participation and learning. Any specific tools or equipment required will be used on an individual basis.
- Additional adults may also be used to adapt teaching.
- Whole school and classroom organisation is also taken into account when looking at the needs of individual pupils.
8. What support is there for my child’s emotional well-being?
Alma Primary is an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that high self-esteem is crucial to children’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children. We also recognise that emotional wellbeing is pivotal to good learning and therefore we ensure that children have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and feeling in a safe environment.
The Inclusion Leader together with the head teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in the school. However the class teacher is responsible for the progress of children in their class. If further support is required, the class teacher will liaise with the Inclusion Leader for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as CAMHS, Health Services or Southover Partnership.
Social and Emotional wellbeing is provided through:
- The school curriculum that explicitly provides opportunities for the development of emotional and social skills.
- The core Jewish values which enable children to develop an understanding of the wider world, an appreciation of British Values and understand of their role as global citizens.
- Philosophy for children and circle time sessions which allow children to explore specific issues which may be a challenge e.g. making friends
- Targeted intervention which are used to help children to address areas that they may find challenging within school or home life.
9. How do we promote positive behaviour?
At Alma Primary we have a positive approach to all types of behaviour with clear recognition and sanctions system that are followed by all staff and pupils. We encourage all children to understand that they are in control of their behaviour and to make positive choices.
Attendance of every child is monitored, on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported to the Head Teacher.
We have a range of strategies for promoting positive behaviour some of which include:
- Teacher praise and recognition, which enables all children to see the positive contribution that they make
- Alma Certificates of Honour to publicly reward achievement and which are given out in our Friday assembly (Kabbalat Shabbat)
- Class reward systems
- A restorative justice approach to resolving conflict
In the unfortunate event of unacceptable behaviour, we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. In some cases the child may be taken out of their own class in order to give them time to calm down and reflect on their behaviour.
We recognise that some children may need extra support in displaying positive behaviour and therefore we would address these cases on an individual basis, as required.
For more information please see our behaviour for learning policy, available from our school website.
10. What training and specialist skills do the staff supporting children with SEND have?
Our Inclusion Leader has undertaken the NASCO qualification.
All of our staff have regular training in delivering the curriculum and interventions which focus upon the different areas of the curriculum.
Any training needs identified in the monitoring and evaluation process are addressed through the whole school training programme or group/ individual training.
As a school, we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school.
11. What do you do to make the school environment and curriculum assessable for all children, including activities outside of the classroom or school?
All children are included in all aspects of the school curriculum, including school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity, to ensure health and safety is not compromised on an activity. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities, which cover the same curriculum areas, will be provided.
We ensure that our school is as accessible as possible for all pupils, staff and parents.
We endeavour to ensure that children have the resources that they need in order to access the curriculum and make good progress.
We have a range of resources including ICT equipment that enable all children to develop.
12. How will the school prepare my child to join the school or transfer to a new school?
Prior to starting the Reception class, staff visit any pre-school setting (with parental permission) and will also arrange to visit the child and parent/s at home. The home visit gives us a full opportunity to understand your child’s needs prior to starting school.
For some children with individual needs, we may also arrange an opportunity for them to visit the school prior to the start of term.
When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to Secondary education, we arrange additional visits. Many secondary schools run a programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable pupils which Alma staff will support.
We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools, ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
13. What specialist services from outside does the school use to help meet the children’s needs and how do you work together?
The SEN support process is a cycle and on occasions we may not be able to deliver the specialist resources that some children may require and therefore we will be using a range of outside agencies.
Services that we regularly work with include: CAMHS, CAMHS in School, 0-19 Practitioners, Health Services (SLT, OT and PT), Barnet advisory teachers (Autism, Complex needs, Physical needs, Hearing) and Southover Partnership.
We may also use services from community organisations, such as Norwood.
Where these services may be required, you will be involved in meeting the specialists and discussing concerns that you may have in addition to those that the school may have raised. We will work together to ensure that your child has the best possible provision to make good progress in all areas of their learning and development.
14. What will you do if my child has medical needs?
As a staff we have regular training and updates about conditions and medication affecting individual children, so that all staff are able to manage medical situations
Parents need to contact the school office if medication, on recommendation of Health Professionals, needs to be taken during the school day.
The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site. Please refer to this.
15. What should I do if I am unhappy with my child’s support or progress?
If you are unhappy with your child’s support or progress please let us know, by booking a meeting via the school office. We believe in working in partnership to enable your child to develop with the best support possible.
You can contact your child’s class teacher or alternatively you may want to speak directly to our Inclusion Leader.
We are an inclusive school and aim to work with you to ensure that we find the best outcome for your child, however, in some cases where you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you may wish to raise a complaint and these details can be found in our Complaints policy.
16. Where can I go for further advice and support?
If you have concerns about your child, then your first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher.
You can also contact the school office to arrange an appointment with the Inclusion Leader.
You can find out about Barnet's local offer from here.
You can download a Government guide for parents and carers from here.