Welcome to the SEND information page

Special Educational Needs Information

At Waterside Primary School, we strive to support all children to enable them to achieve at school.

In order to do this, many steps are taken to support them through their learning journey.

Quality teaching is vital; however, for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets.

Meet the SENDCo

Mrs Joinson-Spencer - SENDCo

Mrs Louise Willis - Inclusion leader, BA (Hons) in Primary Education PG Cert Special Educational Needs 

Mrs Joinson Spencer  is responsible for overseeing the management of educational provision and progress of those children across the school identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability.  

It is our aim at Waterside to be as fully inclusive as possible for children with a variety of learning and developmental needs as well as physical disabilities.

If you wish to book an appointment with either Mrs Joinson-Spencer or  Mrs Willis, please contact the school office. 

Accessibility Policy

Updated: 11/09/2023 259 KB

SEND Policy

Updated: 11/09/2023 169 KB

What can Waterside Primary School offer your child? (Reviewed September 2023)

Some pupils may need additional support or help at some point during their time at school.

We know if pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/ carers, teachers or the child
  • They are working significantly lower than age related expectations
  • Their progress has slowed over a period of time
  • The gap has widened between them and their peers
  • They may be at age related expectations but have a specific difficulty
  • Show behavioural problems with an unidentified need

To identify children with SEND, we follow a 4 step approach to ensure that children receive the most appropriate intervention to support their individual needs.

Step 1: If concerns are raised, children are placed on cause for concern. Class teachers will then set in class targets and children are given quality first teaching. Parents and Carers are informed and their views and their child's views are recorded.

Step 2: If further support is needed, children will be then supported through a Closing the Gap intervention. These interventions are used to support the child in the area where they are having difficulties. An assessment will be carried out as baselines and small group interventions will take place. These are reviewed after 6 weeks.

Step 3: If progress still is not being made, with parents permission, children will be placed on the SEN register. Targets and interventions are planned for and are reviewed at least every 6-7 weeks. These targets are small steps to enable the children to meet their milestones. The child will receive bespoke and often 1:1 interventions.

Step 4: If additional support is unsuccessful, children may be referred to an outside agency including but not limited to CAHMS, Educational Psychologist and SEND services.

If you feel that your child needs additional support or you have any concerns regarding your child's behaviour or learning, please do contact Mrs Joinson-Spencer or Mrs Willis who will be more than happy to help.

Following the SEN Code of Practice, at Waterside we follow a graduated approach when meeting the needs of children with SEN. For many children, simple changes to the way that the curriculum is delivered can make a significant impact on removing the barriers to their learning.

If you believe that your child is struggling or requires additional support please using the following steps:

  • In the first instance make an appointment to speak to your child's class teacher. The class teacher will be able to discuss with you any concerns that you might have and share any information about the child.
  • The teacher might feel that it would be helpful to have the SENDCo attend the meeting or to arrange an additional meeting with the SENDCo at a later date

At Waterside we closely monitor all of our children with special needs and at the meeting we may feel that we do need to put in place some strategies and interventions to try and remove your child's barriers to learning. If this is the case you will be informed of this and any targets that have been set for the child.

Following our 4 Step approach, if we feel that your child is in need of additional you will be informed by school. It is essential to support children in school, that we work closely with parents and carers. In the initial meeting, you may be made aware of the support that the school propose, and the school will sought from you yours and the child's views. If your child is placed on the SEND register then you will have the opportunity to meet regularly with the class teacher and SENDCo to review your child's targets.

At Waterside we strive to ensure that all children have access to a well-balanced and purpose curriculum. For most children slight adjustments to teaching or providing additional prompts will enable to access the curriculum. However some children may need additional support and where needed interventions will be put into place.

  • Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class.
  • If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spellings, handwriting, memory, reading skills etc. then the pupil will be placed in small focused groups. This will be run by the teacher or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need, but it will generally be for a half term. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. These interventions will be recorded on a provision map (this is the recording of the intervention, timings and impact of the intervention) If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or the SENCDo.
  • Pupil Progress Meetings are held each term. This is a meeting where the class teacher meets with the Senior Leadership Team to discuss the progress of the pupils in their class. This shared discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support to be planned. If a pupil is showing that they have made progress, they will then be monitored to ensure that they do not need any further intervention. However, sometimes children may require further support through 1:1 with a teaching assistant.
  • Occasionally a pupil may need extra expert support from an outside agency. A referral will be made, with your consent and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a programme of support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers.
  • In a support and challenge role, the governors ensure that the school is inclusive and treats all children and staff in an equitable way.

For most pupils they will be bale to access the curriculum alongside their peers. However for a small majority additional changes may need to be made.

  • When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be scaffolded or differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum.
  • Teaching assistants (TA’s) may be allocated to work with the pupil 1:1 or in a small focused group to target specific needs.
  • If a child has been identified as having a special need, they will be given an Individual Learning Plan. Targets will be set according to their area of need. These will be monitored by the class teacher weekly and by the SENDCo each term. When a child is given an Individual Learning Plan, parents will be informed and will be offered the chance to meet with the class teacher and the SENDCo discuss the child’s strengths and areas for development.
  • Children placed on an ILP will receive bespoke interventions to help them achieve their targets. These may take place during the school day, before school or after school.
  • If required, specialist equipment or learning resources will be given to the child to aid with their learning.

Communication with parents is essential and it is important to use that you know how well your child is doing in school.

  • You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at parents evening
  • You will received a report home each term
  • You have the opportunity to meet with the SENDCo each term
  • If you wish to speak to the class teacher then you are able to on Friday from 3.30 - 4 at parent drop in
  • If you require an appointment with the class teacher or SENDCo appointments can be made through the school office

As part of the school's offer, at Waterside we are able to offer regular parental support in varied ways.

At Waterside each term you will have the opportunity to:

  • Take part in our 'Seeing is believing workshops' where you can learn how your child is taught.
  • Attend parental consultation where you will be given reports on how well your child is doing
  • Assemblies to see what learning your child has been taking part in.

Each week at Waterside we also offer drop in sessions.

  • The class teacher may suggest ways of how you can support your child at home
  • Mrs Willis may meet with you to discuss how to support your child with strategies to use

Outside support

If outside agencies are involved, they may send suggestions and programmes of study that can be used at home.

Waterside primary school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties.

These include:

  • Members of staff such as the class teacher, the SENDCo (Mrs Joinson-Spencer) and the Inclusion Leader (Mrs Willis) are available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
  • Our lunch time club ‘Ripples’ is available to children who need additional support with friendships or who may find lunch times a challenge.

At times, some children, without SEND, may need additional support with emotional or social issues. At Waterside we ensure that 'all' children have access to our Nurture provision. In school children are sign posted to key members of staff who they know they can talk to if the need to. We also have a worries post box for those children who wish for an adult to come and speak to them. One of the core values at Waterside is friendship. Children are encouraged to interact with each other, we have play ground leaders who can facilitate games, adults on duty will check that all children are happy and safe and encourage play.

Pupils with medical needs:

  • If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled with support from the school nurse in consultation with parents and carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • Staff have received epipen training delivered by the school nurse.
  • The school has designated first aiders.

The Inclusion Leader and Head of School (Mrs Willis) has completed the accredited National SENCO Award, and liaises with many specialist services and outside experts, to ensure provision for our pupils is appropriate and meets all needs. The school works closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual students’ needs, including:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • School Nurse
  • Speech and Language therapy
  • CAMHS ( Child and adolescent mental health service)
  • Social Services, child protection teams, family intervention programmes
  • SEND services - hearing impairment, physical disabilities, communication and language,
  • Health – GPs, school nurse, paediatricians, , occupational therapists.

All staff in school receive weekly training across the curriculum, inclusion training and bespoke training and all teachers and TSAs receive regular updates on new initiatives. Alongside of our bespoke Waterside training, all staff have the opportunity to attend CPD sessions that are run by external agencies, they have the opportunity to attend other settings to look at provisions and receive regular online training.

SEND training takes place as stand alone sessions or with the CPD training across the curriculum.

These have included sessions on:

  • Reading and better reading
  • Quality first teaching
  • CPD on new code of practise
  • Online dyslexia and autism
  • Nurture training
  • Safeguarding
  • G&T classroom provision
  • Precision and SOS teaching
  • Vulnerable groups
  • E PEP
  • Speech and language
  • Teaching talking training
  • Talk for Writing
  • Support vulnerable groups in reading

At Waterside we provide children with hands on learning experiences and real life opportunities to support them in their learning. Each term we run a wide selection of After school clubs and lunch time sports.

All activities and trips are accessible to all children at Waterside. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put into place to enable all children to participate. If it is deemed that an intensive 1:1 support is required, additional staff members will be asked to participate to enable children to attend. If parents are concerned about the activities that their child is taking part in then opportunities are available for you to speak to the class teacher who can reassure you of the procedures and policies.

Waterside is an accessible for all school. We are accessible to anyone with physical needs including wheelchair access.

Facilities at school at present include:

  • Ramps into school to make the building accessible to all.
  • 2 toilets for disabled users
  • Wide doors and corridors
  • Lift to second floor
  • Disabled parking bays
  • We have a small dedicated medical room in order to enable a safe place for insulin testing and injections.
  • A nurture room is available for all pupils to talk to our Lead Learning mentor
  • An accessibility plan describes actions the school has taken to increase access to the environment, the curriculum and to printed information.
  • Signage around the school is clear and reviewed annually
  • Our school complies with the Equalities Act 2010.
  • We have recently installed fire doors that can remain open to ensure that access around the school is suitable for wheelchair users

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Specific health and medical requirements will be discussed on an individual basis. Parents are welcome to enquire or visit at any time to discuss any concerns.

Many strategies are in places to ensure that children have a smooth transition to other schools and settings. We ensure that discussions between the previous or receiving school take place prior to pupils joining or leaving the school. All pupils across school attend transition sessions where they spend time with the class teacher. We invite all new children to our FS to take part in stay and play sessions and we offer parents’ home visits. Secondary staff liaise with the SENDCo and the Year 6 teacher to pass on information regarding SEN pupils. The SENDCo is available to meet with parents regarding transition prior to their child joining the school.

The SEN budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs. The additional provision may be allocated after discussions with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year. Resources may include deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances. Children who have a EHC plan, will receive support and resources to meet there individual needs.

These decisions are made in consultation with class teacher and Senior Leadership team. Decisions are based upon termly tracking of pupil progress and as a result of assessments by outside agencies. During their school life, if further concern are identify due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged. If the school requires additional support or guidance they will call upon the allocated educational psychologist. The EP will be able to advise the school on the specific needs of the child and the level of support that is required.

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. For children who require additional support parents will be invited in each half term to discuss their children’s targets. They are encouraged to comment on these targets and contribute towards their next targets

If you have any concerns regarding SEN matters, do not hesitate to contact us. If you wish to contact the SENDCo (Mrs Joinson-Spencer) or Mrs Willis, please contact the office to arrange an appointment on 01782 234630

Do you want to find more out about the services offered throughout Stoke-on-Trent?

Visit the Stoke-on-Trent Local offer website

Stoke-on-Trent local offer

Information for families