Ballifield Primary School Local Offer for SEND
What is the Local Offer?
Ballifield Primary School’s Local Offer for SEND Pupils details the provision and support that parents and carers can expect the school to provide for pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
Ballifield Primary School is an inclusive school and we aim to ensure that all pupils are included in all aspects of school life. We encourage all children to make the best possible progress in school. The school provides a high standard of teaching and learning and we aim to ensure that all children access a rich and diverse curriculum, in order to develop independent learning and the skills they will need for life, both within school and in the local and wider environment. To ensure that teaching and learning is at the appropriate level for the children’s individual needs, work is differentiated wherever necessary.
We aim to provide a safe, happy and supportive environment where children thrive in all aspects of their learning. We know that the most effective learning takes place when children are confident and enjoy their learning. We appreciate the importance of high self-esteem in the learning process. The most effective learning environment is where children believe in themselves and their own capabilities and Ballifield endeavours to reinforce these qualities in all our children.
The school provides support for a range of special needs which are put into four new broad categories. These are;
- Cognition and Learning
- Communication and Interaction
- Emotional, Behavioural and Social
- Sensory and Physical.
The level of support a child receives is based on their own individual needs, where some children only require minimal interventions and support; others need more additional support to raise the level of their learning. A few children, generally those who have existing Statements of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) require high levels of support.
How does the school identify children who may have Special Educational Needs and what should I do if I think my child has SEND?
At Ballifield the class teachers track individual children’s progress in the core subjects very closely through assessments and observations. This data is then presented in half termly pupil progress meetings with the class teacher, head teacher and SENCO, in these meetings children who are not making expected progress are highlighted and interventions or additional support are allocated depending on need. In addition if a more specific difficulty is suspected we have several members of staff who are able to screen children for these, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
We encourage parents to share information with us and to discuss and raise any concerns they may have as early as possible. In the first instance, parents should discuss any concerns with the child’s class teacher. This may then lead to a meeting with the class teacher and special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) to discuss next steps.
The Sheffield SEND section has devised a Sheffield Support Grid that allows the SENDCo to look at the needs and provision of each child on the special needs register. As part of the grid the SENDCo is able to give each child a band from 1-5 depending on the types of additional support they access. Any child who is identified as being at band 3 or above will now have a My Plan, which is essentially a pre EHCP and is the tool used to further monitor a child’s progress and apply for an EHCP, if that is deemed appropriate. The My Plan is first established during a meeting with SENDCo, class teacher, parents and any other professionals involved with the child. During the initial meeting all parties involved are able to say what works well for the child, what support the child would benefit from and short and long term outcomes are set for the child. During this meeting the child’s views are also included, either through their attendance or by completing a questionnaire with a trusted adult. Once the My Plan is set a review meeting will occur every term to look at progress towards outcomes and the opportunity to set new targets, if appropriate. At the review meeting there will also be a discussion as to whether the My Plan should be put forward for an EHCP.
How does the school adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of learners with SEND?
High quality classroom teaching and adjusted plans and resources for individual pupils is the first step in responding to children who may have special needs. For example, a child will be given the opportunity to record information in different ways such as using a computer or recording device. This type of teaching is known as differentiation and will enable the children to access a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum.
In addition to this class teachers are responsible for planning and writing Individual Pupil Passports for the SEND children in their class, these plans detail the children’s difficulties and allows the teacher to set them achievable targets which will help them make progress in their learning. The passports are overseen by the SENCO and they will be reviewed with parents/carers on a regular basis to ensure the plans are used and targets are met.
If some children are finding the routines in school hard to cope with we will adapt as much as possible to enable the child to feel happy and secure in school, for example we have allowed children to go to dinners early to avoid the rush and noise that may occur later in the dinner hour. We have a Nurture group that runs 5 mornings and 4 afternoons a week which supports children with emotional and social difficulties. We also have staff in school that are trained in social interventions such as circle of friends and social stories.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
There are a range of agencies that work with school offering more specialist advice and support these include: The Learning Support Service, Educational Psychology Service, Speech and Language Therapy Service, Autism Team, Hearing and Visual Impairment Teams, School Nursing Team and Multi Agency Support Team (MAST). If after reviewing with parents we feel that the children require additional assessments we are able to refer to these external agencies. We also work closely with Health services such as Ryegate and CAMHS where children may have been referred through GPs or other services. In addition to this we have staff members who have undertaken specialist training in interventions and working with pupils with specific difficulties.
What training has the staff received to support learners with SEND?
We have a rolling programme of training and support for staff, based on the needs of the pupils within school. Staff are sent on more individualised training if they are supporting a pupil with a more specific need.
Staff in school have received various training in order to support learners with SEND, this has included training to deliver interventions , specific training on difficulties such as dyslexia, autism and speech and language impairments, Nurture training and health issues such as epi pens.
We access specialist expertise from outside agencies such as the Autism Team, Speech and Language, MAST and the school nurse. Some staff are trained in the administration of medicines and due to the difficulties of some of our children some staff members have been trained in specific medical issues and personal care such as lifting and handling.
How are parents/carers involved in school and in their children’s learning and progress?
We have an open door policy throughout school for any daily information that needs to be shared between school and home. If there is anything of a more serious or private nature to be discussed a meeting can be arranged with Class teacher, Parent and SENCO.
A home school diary is used across the school from Foundation stage to year 6. We have parents evenings once a term where the parents have an allocated individual slot with their child’s class teacher. During these meetings parents are given information about the level children should be working at for their age and also about the expected rate of progress for maths, reading and writing. Outside agencies involved with some children provide reports and information about attainment and expected progress, such as speech and language and Learning Support Service.
Termly reviews are held with parents of all children on the SEN register and specific reviews are held at least twice a year with parents, class teacher and SENCO. For children with a statement or EHCP there will also be an annual review. During the reviews previous targets are evaluated and discussed and new targets are set. For parents with English as an additional language or for those with hearing impairments interpreters have been used to allow the reviews and parents evenings to go ahead as normal.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to learners special educational needs?
The school budget received from the Local Authority includes money for supporting pupils with SEN. The Head teacher and School Manager then decide on the budget for SEN in consultation with school governors and based on the needs of pupils in the school. The school may receive an additional amount of ‘top-up’ funding for pupils with higher level needs. The school will use its SEN funding in the most appropriate way to support children with SEND. This support may include some individual or small group teaching but this may not always be the best way to support your child. The funding may therefore be used to put in place a range of support strategies. SEND funding may also be used to purchase specialist equipment or support from other specialist support services etc. The Governing body is kept informed of funding decisions and receive regular reports on the monitoring and impact of interventions and SEN provision
How is the decision made about what type of and how much support my child will receive?
Each child is assessed individually according to the SEN Code of Practice and Local Authority guidance and a personalised support plan will be developed by the class teacher and overseen by the SENCO. All class teachers meet with the Head teacher and SENCO at half termly intervals during the school year to discuss pupils’ progress. We also look closely at the provisions that have been in place and their effectiveness and impact on the child’s learning. All intervention s are closely monitored by the SENCO and the effectiveness of the interventions is reported back to the head teacher and governors. Additional assessments from outside services, such as an educational psychologist, Learning Support Service, and speech and language therapist, will also help us decide what type of support and resources are needed.
What support does the school offer for a learners overall well-being?
Ballifield is an inclusive school and we believe that children’s high self-esteem is crucial to their emotional well-being and academic progress. For children who experience specific difficulties in this area we have a Nurture group that runs for 5 mornings and 4 afternoons a week. The Nurture group provides high quality tiered support for pupils with social and emotional difficulties, including supporting children through exit strategies to join the mainstream class. Boxall profiles are used to assess children on entry to the group and at regular intervals during their time in the group. The children are given targets and individual support based on the outcomes of the Boxall profile.
A school priority has focused on all aspects of diversity which is at the heart of the school vision statement. Disability awareness is covered in PSHE, circle time, use of persona dolls, assemblies and SMCE curriculum. For example Paralympic sports are included in sports day. Peer mediation, conflict resolution, circle of friends, cross phase playground friends and a friendship chair are all approaches that are well established in school.
We implement a whole school behaviour policy which involves a good to be green scheme. In addition to this each class has tailored class rules and codes of conduct with clear rewards and sanctions that are agreed with all the children at the beginning of the school year. For children who exhibit more extreme behaviour specific plans, risk assessments and interventions are put into place. Attendance initiatives are also in place such as weekly class attendance awards and 100% attendance rewards at the end of the year.
How does the school ensure that learners with SEND are included in non-classroom based activities?
When planning non-classroom based activities staff are always aware of the needs of all the children and choose the venue for the trip with all children in mind. Thorough risk assessments are carried out before any out of class activity. All staff use the evolve system to plan and approve trips which includes detailing all activities and full risk assessment for each part of it. Ratios of adults to children are always adhered to with additional adults involved if children with specific needs are included in the activity. Parents and carers are always consulted several weeks before an activity is due to take place and are invited to speak to staff if they are concerned about any element of the activity/trip.
How accessible is the school environment?
School has implemented a DDA plan as far as possible. However the majority of the site remains inaccessible to children and adults with mobility difficulties.
Visual timetables are used throughout school from Foundation stage to key stage 2.
We have disabled toilet facilities in school which are large enough to accommodate changing.
Through advice from speech and language and other professionals we have secured equipment through the school loans service to help our SEN pupils such as iPads and laptops. A SEN budget is allocated each year to enable the SENCO to buy additional resources and equipment.
The school site is fully secure with fences around all outside areas; gates are locked once the children are in school and reopened at the end of the day. We ensure that the learning environment is fully accessible and inclusive for all learners.
How will the school prepare learners with SEND to move from and within the school?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. The school has a robust transition programme in place for children both entering and leaving the school. This includes meetings and contact with both receiving secondary schools and outside feeder nurseries.
Transition meetings are held separately between SENCOs from our school and any secondary schools or private nurseries, with additional visits arranged for any vulnerable students.
When moving classes or key stages children with SEND are given extra visits to new classrooms and transition books are set up with photographs of key staff and the classroom for the children to take home so that over the holidays parents are able to discuss new teachers and rooms with the children.
How does the school consult with and involve learners in their own education?
Children are involved as much as possible in their own learning, targets are always discussed with the children and they have opportunities to help set their next targets and say what staff can do to help them achieve them.
We have a very active school council which has at least two children from each year group representing their class. They meet on a regular basis and are able to raise any issues that they or their class feel are important. The school councillor’s then feedback their discussions to their year group and discuss ways forward.
All lessons are planned with pupil voice in mind at all times. Children are encouraged to talk about their learning and are helped to do so with good use of talk partners. All adults in school are seen as advocates for the children and this is made clear to children through discussions in lessons and assemblies
Who can I contact for further information?
The class teacher is the first point of contact but parents are also welcome to contact the SENCO directly about any concerns.
Head teacher: Mrs A Smith
SENCO/Assistant Head teacher: Mrs C Roddis
SEN Link Governor: Ms G Birtles
Telephone Number: 0114 2697557
Other information can be found on Sheffield City Council website:
This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.