SEN policy and information report
Springfield School is a primary-age (3-11) Special School which caters for pupils who have a wide range of learning difficulties including a small proportion with profound and multiple disabilities. A number of the School's population have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and significant behavioural, social, and emotional difficulties. Many of the pupils have additional communication difficulties. With a school population of approximately 50 children, Springfield is located in Leek and serves families predominantly from North Staffordshire.
Springfield School converted to an academy on 1st October 2016 and we became part of the Manor Hall Academy Trust.
Springfield School is a member of the Staffordshire Special Schools Company – a partnership network of Staffordshire’s 23 Special Schools; and a strategic partner with the Leek Educational Partnership (LEP), a collaborative partnership of the Mainstream and Special Schools in the Leek and Moorlands area.
The teaching approach of Springfield is based around the core principles of structured education found in the TEACCH approach. A structured approach to the delivery of the curriculum has been proven to be particularly effective for children with ASD and learning difficulties. It is an all-day learning process.
Our School’s wide ranging provision includes:
Primary-aged phase, from pre-school through to transition to secondary provision at 11.
Provision for a wide range of learning needs from complex, profound and multiple sensory learning through to attainment commensurate with mainstream settings
o Speech and Language Therapy
o Occupational Therapy
Extended school: including residential trips and holiday play schemes
Springfield School’s profile enables us to provide a holistic and developmental curriculum for children with learning difficulties, and social and emotional communication needs from pre-school right through to the point of transition into high school. We place a huge importance on the relationships we establish with our children and their families and this is reflected in our ethos.
1. How does your school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Children attending Springfield School generally have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan identifying a learning or behavioural need(s), and often associated communication difficulties. Some children may be placed at Springfield School on an assessment placement pending a Statement or EHC plan. All admissions are controlled by the Local Authority
Children attending Springfield undergo continuous assessment during their school life. Their learning, social and emotional and communication needs are monitored continuously, and provision is adapted as their needs change and evolve.
2. How will your school staff support my child/young person?
The school is divided into Key Stage departments, with each Key Stage led by qualified teachers, and a comprehensive team of Teaching Assistants (TA), including a Higher Level TA. All children access the statutory National Curriculum, but this is adapted (differentiated) according to the learning needs of the children.
There is significant emphasis on the holistic needs of the child. All professionals work closely with other agency professionals, such as Speech and Language Therapists to ensure that the wider needs of our children and families are met.
Each child has a class teacher. This person is the main contact between school and family. The Head of School and leadership team have an ‘open door’ policy to children and parents, and value the relationships we build with families.
School Governors work very closely with the Leadership Team and middle leaders to ensure they understand the effectiveness of Springfield’s specialised provision, and work through committees to ensure that the strategic objectives and school aims are achieved.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?
What are the setting’s/school’s/college’s approaches to differentiation? How will that help my child/young person?
Springfield School has two age-phase departments:
Early Years Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 – ages 3-7
Key stage 2 – ages 7-11
The teaching approach of Springfield recognises each pupil’s holistic needs and learning styles and differentiates learning activities to meet these throughout the day. The School has ensured all staff are skilled in bringing all parts of the child’s development into an active learning environment. Problem-solving skills, study skills and physical skills are also major areas of priority for each child, and each child has objectives to develop these important skills which are integral to all lessons and activities in the school.
4. How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s/young person’s learning?
The relationship between family and school is an important part of our ethos. Parents share a continuous dialogue with the class teacher through regular home/school communication – such as home-school diaries. We encourage an on-going and active dialogue with parents, so that we can be responsive to your child’s needs as they change.
On a formal basis, parents are invited to meet with class tutors termly in order to review progress and reflect upon the physical, social and learning needs of their child. This can take the form of a personal meeting over coffee, or a more formal consultation when evaluating progress made against the child’s Statement or EHC plan.
Parents work with class teachers and the leadership team to agree the priority needs for learning and to agree priorities for physical and personal development.
We track pupil progress in detail in a number of key areas. This includes progress against the National Curriculum, social emotional development, and in Early Years – against the EYFS profile. Targets are agreed with children and parents in a range of key areas, and reviewed regularly. Progress is compared to progress made in previous years, and where appropriate, against national trends.
Parents can also meet with a member of the leadership team so that you can be sure that we are meeting your child’s needs appropriately. We are always happy to listen to your concerns so that we can work with the appropriate teams to ensure that our provision is focused on the needs of your child. Progress in education and learning is important to us as a school, but we place equal importance to the quality of personal care, and to the physical and emotional needs of your child.
5. What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?
At Springfield, we place great emphasis on the care and holistic wellbeing of our children. It is important to us that children feel safe, and that their personal care and emotional wellbeing take priority. We work closely with our team of a qualified nurse, physiotherapists and other agencies to ensure that our pupils’ wider physical, medical and emotional needs are properly supported. Children with more complex needs will have Individual Health Care Plans drawn up in partnership with the whole school team and other healthcare professionals.
We take particular care to nurture the trust and relationships between staff and children, so that they feel able to freely express their concerns and worries. This enables our staff to respond quickly to their needs, and to deal quickly with any issues that may develop.
We have a strong "student voice" that gives many opportunities for students to contribute to school improvement. The Student Council meet regularly and feed back to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) any issues that require consideration or action.
We have a zero tolerance of bullying, and are proud of our ethos that encourages cooperation and mutual care and support between children. We work closely with parents and children where behaviour may require adjustment. We adopt models that promote positive behaviours. We work closely with other agencies and professionals where appropriate, such as Education Psychology, Learning Disability Teams and CAMHS.
All students, where appropriate, are involved in agreeing their personal goals and targets, and are able to give their views at the annual review of their Statement. Again – we encourage an ‘open door’ policy so that students are able to speak to any staff to share personal concerns.
The school has an Intimate Care Policy in place which recognises that some pupils need assistance with their personal care needs within the school. Intimate care includes such activities as feeding, oral care, washing, changing clothes, toileting, first aid and medical assistance, comforting and support, and supervising intimate self-care that may be required to meet the personal needs of a child. We endeavour to develop independence in every child but on those occasions when children need assistance they must feel safe, have personal privacy, feel valued, be treated with dignity and respect, and be involved and consulted about their own intimate care. All staff receive training in Child Protection or Safeguarding, First Aid, intimate care procedures, and moving and handling.
We believe that we promote good behaviour by creating a happy caring positive school environment where everyone feels valued, respected, secure and free from all forms of anti-social behaviour.
We encourage pupils to achieve in a learning environment where self-discipline is promoted and good behaviour is the norm. We believe pupils will achieve their full potential in a happy, stimulating school environment.
The School’s Safeguarding policy ensures that any and all disclosures or concerns are considered and acted upon in an appropriate manner. The School’s Safeguarding policy is available to view on the school website or by request.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your school?
Springfield School works closely with our medical, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy colleagues and other agencies to ensure that we provide the appropriate support for each child. This ensures that each child can access a relevant and challenging education curriculum while making sure that their wider holistic needs are also being met.
Qualified and experienced teachers in every area of the school. Teachers are also Middle Leaders, and have responsibility for the management of resources in their class, and curriculum subject leadership.
There is a qualified and experienced Higher Level Teaching Assistant who works across the school.
Qualified and experienced teaching assistants assist children with learning, personal and social support and physical programmes as appropriate.
School-based physiotherapy team ensuring that all children receive appropriate physical programmes in partnership with class teams as required.
Weekly input from Speech and Language Therapy teams. Our teams work with Speech and Language Therapists to support the delivery of adapted and augmented communication methods, development of speech and language skills - (dysphasia), and assessment of ‘eating and swallowing’ skills - (dysphagia).
7. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
Members of staff receive regular training in mandatory areas such as safeguarding, lifting and handling, behaviour management, health and safety, and first aid. Where required, staff also access training for specific areas appropriate to the children’s needs.
We continuously review and adapt our teaching and learning strategies, and monitor the quality of teaching to ensure we strive for continuous improvement.
8. How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Springfield has a strong belief that education in the community and environment forms an essential aspect of learning, and of being able to use and apply their formal learning in real contexts. We actively encourage our staff teams to take class groups off-site – into towns and their local community – to engage and communicate with people in shops, services and businesses.
Our older students have the opportunity to attend a residential visit to Bendrigg Trust outdoor adventure centre near Kendall, in Cumbria.
9. How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Springfield School is a fully accessible environment. It is fully wheelchair accessible, and has fully accessible classrooms, therapy areas and personal care facilities.
The curriculum is adapted to ensure that all students can access appropriate learning, including SATs.
We work closely with the Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment specialists to make sure that any child with a hearing or visual impairment can access the appropriate support and resources. This may include communication support, and adapted teaching and learning resources such as large print, audio and tactile equipment. We use translation services when required, to support parents for whom English may not be their first language.
Any specialist equipment required in school for a child will be assessed and agreed with other professional agencies and parents as necessary, and purchased by the school where the equipment is generic, or purchased by the Health Authority where the equipment is prescribed and unique to the child. Equipment can include specialised seating, access to standing, walking and lying, or specialised work stations or desks.
10. How will your school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, or transfer to a new setting, school or college or the next stage of education and life?
Starting a new school at any age or moving on to another setting can be a very challenging time for parents and children. This process of transition is very important to us at Springfield School, as we work hard with parents to make this as worry-free as possible. We encourage all new children and parents to visit us, where we give a tour of our facilities and give an opportunity for parents to meet the other children and staff around the school. The needs of any new child are discussed in detail to ensure that they are appropriately met from the first day. We offer a friendly and flexible approach to induction which can include phased or part-time induction where appropriate. Children are assessed during their first half term, where any adjustments to provision may be discussed and agreed with parents.
As long as we have places available, children can join Springfield at any age where our provision is deemed to be the most appropriate for meeting their physical and learning needs.
Transition out of Springfield and onwards to the next provision can be equally worrying, and again, we have a comprehensive transition plan for students moving on to new schools. We work closely with other agencies and providers, and parents and students, to ensure that families are properly informed and supported through this process.
Our aim is to equip our students with the confidence and skills to become advocates of their own futures and valued members of our society. To this end we identify pupil needs with respect to what we call ‘Learning Skills’, identify key targets and track progress in these areas each term.
11. How are the setting’s/school’s/college’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s special educational needs?
Springfield School is funded through a pupil needs-led formula. The school is modelled and resourced to meet wide ranging physical, medical and learning needs of children aged 3 to 11.
Individual assessments of need are made so that wherever specialised and personalised resources are required (that are reasonable and practicable) then these are provided.
Some children qualify for additional funding through Government Premium scheme. These funds are allocated appropriately to ensure all vulnerable groups identified across our school population have their needs appropriately met.
11. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
As described earlier, parents are involved at all times in agreeing the priority needs for their child. Springfield School is resourced and structured to provide for the widely different needs of our students, through careful group structuring and input from our specialist teams.
In more complex situations, detailed assessments are made to determine whether additional resources are required to meet your child’s needs. This can be a medical continuing-care assessment, or an Exceptional Needs assessment. Where children meet criteria, additional support is provided.
This is balanced against our ethos of encouraging and developing personal independence, self-advocacy and mobility as relevant to individual needs.
13. How are parents involved in your school? How can I be involved?
There are many ways in which parents can help and support the school, and to become engaged in school life. Parents’ Open Evenings, termly Pupil Progress Meetings, the child’s Annual Review meeting, sporting events, Christmas concerts, social events and fairs are held regularly throughout the year. All parents are invited to attend.
The school has an active Parents, Teachers and Friends Association which arranges regular meetings and events throughout the year. This association has charity status. A home/school agreement with each parent is in place to further develop the School’s partnership with parents.
We have an ‘open-door’ policy and welcome parents to meet and discuss their child’s needs with staff or the leadership team members.
Our School’s governing body also has a committed representation of Parent Governors, playing a vital role in ensuring Springfield School’s strategic role is focused on the needs of children with complex needs and their families.
If you would like to help or have a special area of expertise that you would like to offer us, we would be glad to hear from you.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
For parents of children already attending school, then the day to day point of contact is with the class teacher.
Senior leaders and the Headteacher are also easily contactable to discuss aspects of provision. We welcome any discussion that ensures your confidence that your child’s needs are being fully met.
We are always happy to receive compliments to share with others, but also have a robust complaints procedure and policy should you have any concerns you wish to raise with us. We treat such matters very seriously to ensure our service to you and your child meets the highest of standards.
For new admissions, and information regarding places at Springfield, parents should contact the Head of School, Mrs Diane Finney to discuss your needs or to arrange a visit.
Telephone – Main reception: 01538 383558
Office email: email@example.com