Orchard Park Primary School has an inclusive attitude towards learning. If additional support, interventions or adaptations are necessary these are made to the best of our ability in order to provide our children with the opportunity to fulfil their own personal potential. Currently we cater for children with a range of specific learning disabilities such as ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Global Development Delay, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment and Dyslexia. We also have the facilities and accessible environment to be able to support children with physical disabilities, if required.
We are currently recruiting for the SENDCo position at Orchard Park.
Our SENDCo is more than willing to discuss concerns that parents/carers may have about their children’s learning along with the progress that they are making following receiving support or intervention programmes.
Support and Intervention
All pupils at Orchard Park are regularly assessed both formally (through assessments such as Rising Stars and SATs) and informally (through teacher and teaching assistant observations, conversations with children and the marking of work done in lessons). These assessments help to build up a picture of the progress that each child is making. Each term meetings are held between each class teacher, the Headteacher, the Deputy Headteacher and the SENDCo. At these meetings the progress being made by every child in each class is discussed, with a focus on those making less progress than expected. Ways to support these children’s learning are then investigated and later implemented.
If a child’s lack of progress is a concern, the class teacher will always inform the child’s parent/carer and when appropriate the child themselves, discussing how the school aims to provide additional support or intervention and how parents/carers can help at home.
Support or interventions at school might include adapting the curriculum, providing additional learning resources within the classroom or receiving support or a planned intervention, either on an individual basis or as part of a small group. Some support may take place within the classroom to enable the child to access the lesson that is being taught. Planned intervention groups usually require children to be withdrawn from the classroom for between 10 minutes and an hour (depending on the intervention) for a specific period of time, to boost the children’s learning and to try to close the gap between their level of achievement and that of their peers. Parental help can range from hearing their child read daily, with a focus on whether the child has understood the text, to playing games to learn the pairs of numbers that make 10 (number bonds).
At Orchard Park we believe in educating the whole child, which means that support is not only just focused on academic areas. If a child is in receipt of Speech and Language Therapy, time is provided for them to work either individually or in a very small group with a teaching assistant on the targets and activities set by the Speech and Language Therapist. Equally if a child has social or emotional difficulties help is also provided.
If a parent/carer is concerned about the progress that their child is making, they are encouraged to contact school to arrange a telephone call in order to discuss this with their child’s class teacher or the SENDCo. If the need for additional support is agreed then this will be provided as soon as reasonably possible. If it is felt that outside professionals should be requested to consult, assess or work with the child then the SENDCo will complete the relevant paperwork in partnership with the parents/carers. Outside professionals who may work within school are: the Speech and Language Therapist, Specialist Teachers, the Educational Psychologist, Blue Smile Therapists or the School Nurse. Other professionals who may become involved with a child outside of school are the Community Paediatrician, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Doctors from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Currently due to the restrictions in relation to COVID-19 the involvement of outside professionals is via virtual meetings online or through telephone calls.
The support and intervention groups that are currently offered at Orchard Park are:
Better Reading Partners (BRP)
1:1 Literacy Tuition
5 Minute Literacy Box
Stareway to Spelling
Personalised Literacy Curriculum
1st Class Number 1
1st Class Number 2
Success@Arithmetic Year 3 / 4
Success@Arithmetic Year 5 / 6
1:1 Maths Tuition
Third Space Maths
5 Minute Number Box
Personalised Maths Curriculum
Support for Social/Emotional Difficulties
Blue Smile therapy or mentoring
Mental Health and Support Team
Silver Seals social skills groups
Red Hen Family Workers
Support for Children with Physical Difficulties
Write From the Start
Pupils with a Special Educational Need or Disability
All children in receipt of additional support or interventions work towards achieving group targets. If a child is deemed to have a ‘High Need’ for SEND support they will also have a Pupil Passport on which personalised targets are written. These targets are reviewed and new ones are set twice a year with the parents/carers and the child.
Children with specific Special Educational Needs or disabilities will be monitored by the SENDCo to ensure that any support or interventions provided are having a positive impact on their learning. This is done by ensuring that specific, relevant assessments are made at the beginning and end of any support or intervention groups in order to determine whether the additional help was beneficial for the child. The SENDCo will also ensure that staff working with a child with an identified need are aware of their barriers to learning. Staff training about specific Special Educational Needs and disabilities will be sought where necessary to enable the teachers and teaching assistants to deliver intervention programmes, make appropriate adaptions to the curriculum and learn about strategies that are proven to best support the learning of children with that particular Special Educational Need or disability.
If, despite receiving additional support and interventions, a child continues to make little progress, and advice from outside professionals suggests that the child is in need of further support, the SENDCo will apply for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). This is the replacement for Statements of Special Educational Need. If a successful request is made, the EHCP will enable additional funds to be made available to help support the child even further – such as enabling a teaching assistant to work with the child on a 1:1 basis. If a child with an EHCP requires specific equipment to enable them to learn more effectively, further requests for this can be made to the Statutory Assessment Team and if agreed, funding will be provided to enable this to be purchased. Currently at Orchard Park there are five children with Education and Health Care Plans.
At Orchard Park we like all of our children to take part in as much as the curriculum as practicably possible. This means that at times adaptations or specialist provision may need to be made. This extends to taking in part in sporting activities such as swimming and going on school trips; children with a specific Special Educational Need or a disability may need additional adults to accompany them or to be provided with separate transport to the coach on which the rest of the class are travelling. If it is possible to accommodate the necessary adaptations or provision, then we are prepared to do so to enable the child concerned to participate along with their peers.
Support at Points of Transition
Points of transition such as starting Nursery, moving into a new class or Key Stage or leaving Year 6 to go onto secondary school, can be emotional or difficult times for any child. However this can be particularly hard for children with a Special Educational Need or disability. We invite parents/carers of children with a Special Educational Need or disability who are due to start Nursery or move into Reception to transition meetings in the Summer Term before any transition takes place, asking about their concerns and how they feel their child can be best supported. Currently due to the COVID-19 restrictions these meetings are taking place virtually on an on-line platform. At this meeting the parents may meet with the SENDCo, other members of school staff and a Specialist Teacher if they are already involved. If it is deemed necessary, the child can make additional short visits to help familiarise them with the school, although with current restrictions due to COVID-19 this is only available via appointment outside of operation hours. Transition booklets will be created for the child to look at during the summer holidays. Additional support for those children who find changing from one class to another within the school difficult will be made during the Summer Term. Again this will be in the form of transition booklets and although not currently available due to the COVID-19 restrictions, additional visits into the new classroom to familiarise the child with the classroom layout and the new teacher can happen. When children move onto secondary school, staff at Orchard Park meet with the new school’s SENCo/ SENDCo, carefully explaining any areas in which a child with Special Educational Needs or disability may need additional support, along with how they have been supported during primary school.
Find out more
Parents/carers can also find out more information about Special Educational Needs and disability at Orchard Park by looking at the Special Educational Needs Policy on the school website.
Parents/carers may also like to look at the Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and disability in Cambridgeshire which details Special Educational Provision within the county as a whole by following this link: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
If Parents/carers would like advice about Special Educational Needs or disability the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (previously known as the Parent Partnership Service) is also a good source of information and can be reached by following this link: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
Should any parent wish to register a complaint concerning the Special Educational Needs and disability provision made for their child this should be made in the same way as any other complaint, following the procedures set out in the Complaints Policy which can be found on the school website.
Local Authority SEND Support
Local Authority Parent and Carer Survey (PASS)
Pinpoint, SENDIASS and the Local Authority have worked together to create a short questionnaire for parents and carers to tell us what you think about the support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Cambridgeshire. We will use the information to develop, improve and celebrate good support for children with SEND. We will share the survey results with parents, carers, schools and settings twice a year. ‘PASS’ is now on the SEND Information hub - SEND Information Hub
Local Authority/NHS Waiting Lists
We continue to have good links with Specialists in the Local Authority, however the waiting lists for support are long. We know that it is challenging waiting for this support. Mrs Parker (SENDCo) and Mrs Gilhart (INCo) are able to support teachers and parents to meet the needs of children whilst external support is sought through the APDR process.
Reception and Year 6 – Waiting time of 18+ weeks; All other years 68+ weeks.
Speech and Language
We have a new therapist linked with our school and we hope the list will reduce to 12 weeks for assessment.
Once agreed these should be received within 20 weeks, however due to high numbers of requests this is now close to 30 weeks.
Requests for support from the Specialist Teaching Team are discussed with Mrs Parker on a termly basis. These requests come from the class teacher. If you have concerns about the progress of your child in school, and haven’t yet talked about it with school, please discuss these with your child’s teacher at parent’s evening.
Medical Needs Policy
We have updated our medical needs policy to reflect national policy and our local approach - Cambridgeshire Medical Needs Policy
New School Special Schools
In August, the government announced formally the establishment of two new free school special schools.
Details of these schools:
The pre-registration window closes on the 22nd September with a formal announcement due in March 2024.
On-line conversation on Children’s Mental Health
For the first time, the NHS is launching a month-long online conversation on children and young people’s mental health, with a focus on gathering learning and ideas on how we can improve waiting times and make services more accessible. Using the Solving Together platform, the team will be inviting partners involved in the children and young people’s mental health pathway, professionals, children and young people and their families, to have a say about this critical issue – with a focus on collecting ideas and best practice for ways to make our NHS services better in the future. The team then plan to work with teams across the country to prototype and test the most promising ideas.
This will run from 9th October for around a month.
Further details, and to join in the conversation, can be found at Solving Together
Supporting your Autistic Child
New materials for the 'Supporting your Neurodiverse Child'.
Supporting your child through Autistic Burnout
For more information please select on the document you would like to access: