01206 322242

Parsons Field, Colchester, Essex CO7 6BZ




Dedham Church of England Primary Information Report

September 2022

SENDCo:  Mrs Katie Smith - ksmith@dedham.essex.sch.uk


Our School Ethos

Dedham C of E Primary School is committed to providing a high quality and inclusive education for all children. We consider that Christian values are important in encouraging happy and well-motivated learners. We believe that through trust and respect, children feel safe to develop individual strengths while showing care and understanding for others.

We believe that the following values are essential in developing strong and successful young people:

Confidence & Perseverance

Honesty & Forgiveness

Appreciation & Gratitude

Friendship & Teamwork

Respect & Responsibility

Compassion & Service

We aim to encourage a sense of community and belonging, believing that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners to reach their potential and celebrate their achievements.

This document aims to answer some of the key questions that parents might have about what our school offers children with SEND. 

Who do I talk to if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Prospective parents are welcome to visit the school to find out how we work and our arrangements for admission. Please contact the school office in the first instance to arrange a visit and meet the headteacher. If you think it would also be beneficial to meet with the school’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) at this time, this can be arranged for you.

We listen closely to the views and comments of parents as we believe partnership is central to understanding the needs of our pupils. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns and recognise that sometimes parents may need more contact with us. Initially, the class teacher is the first point of contact, followed by the SENDCo, Mrs Smith, or indeed the headteacher, Mr Larner.  The school also has a designated governors for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Mr Matt Barnett and Mr Ed Cartwright.

Please feel free to drop in and see us or call the office on 01206 322242 to make an enquiry or an appointment.

How does Dedham C of E Primary School know if children need extra help?

The school regularly observes, assesses and records the progress of all children to identify those who are not progressing satisfactorily or who may have additional needs. This information is collected from:

-          Baseline assessment results

-          Wellcomm Speech and Language Toolkit

-          Progress measured against the objectives in the National Curriculum

-          National Curriculum descriptors for the end of a key stage

-          Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

-          NFER Tests

-          Progress measured against the P level descriptors

-          Standardised screening and assessment tools

-          Concerns raised by parents, teachers or teaching assistants

-          Observations of social and emotional development

-          An existing Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

-          Assessments by a specialist service, such as an Educational Psychologist.

-          Another school or LA which has identified or has provided for additional needs

What is the process for identifying my child’s needs?

Based on the school’s observations and assessment data and following discussion between the class teacher, SENDCo and parent, the child’s needs will be explored and the teacher will complete an 'Initial Concerns Form' (ICF) on the pupil. The form will outline the child's needs and the measures put in place to address those needs. This form will be shared with the child's parents or carers.

In the first instance, this might mean differentiated curriculum support within the class. Where more individual needs are identified the child may require “SEND Support”.  If a child is identified as requiring SEND Support, a Pupil Profile and an Action Plan will be written in consultation with the teacher, the parents and the child. This planning process will identify appropriate outcomes for the child and how they can be achieved.

If a pupil’s needs are more complex, an assessment of their needs may be undertaken by the Local Education Authority and if necessary an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) created for the child.  This is developed in collaboration with the child, parents and other relevant professionals.

Further details of the school’s criteria for assessing pupils’ additional needs are available in our SEND policy.

How will Dedham C of E Primary School support my child and match the curriculum to my child’s needs?

The school is committed to “Quality First Teaching” and ensuring that lessons meet the need of all pupils. Our teachers are trained to differentiate lessons and break down any barriers to learning that may be causing difficulties for the child.  Teachers use a variety of different approaches including visual, aural and kinaesthetic methods. Lessons are rigorously planned to encourage all types of learners to participate and reach their potential.  Teachers and teaching assistants work with children with SEND regularly each week as well as encouraging all learners to work independently and take responsibility for their learning.

We currently employ two Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) who support in classes, lead interventions and work with individual pupils. Each class teacher is supported every morning when the learning focus is English and Maths by a teaching assistant. In the afternoon, teaching assistants run interventions for groups and individuals.

Pupils will be supported to achieve the outcomes on their Action Plan by their teacher, teaching assistant, special resources and their parents.  Support from outside the school may be requested if necessary. Each term progress towards the outcomes will be reviewed at a meeting with the SENDCo, parents, pupil and teacher.

The school has a range of intervention strategies available to support children who are falling behind age appropriate expectations. These can include the organisation of teaching staff, teaching assistants, resources and evidence-based interventions.

 How will I be involved in making decisions about my child’s education?

Parents are invited to regular “One Planning” meetings to discuss any concerns and investigate ways to best support their child at home and at school.  Prior to the meeting, parents are sent person-centred tools that provide opportunities to express any concerns they may have about their child and are requested to bring these to the meeting.  Pupil Profiles and Action Plans are shared with parents and all relevant adults in the school.   Pupils are supported to contribute to their planned support either through conversations with familiar adults prior to the meeting or by attending their “One Planning” meeting.

 How will I know what my child is doing?

The school reports formally to parents/carers about their child/children through:

-          An annual written report

-          Parents’ Evenings in the Autumn and Spring Terms

-          Termly “One Planning” meetings with the teacher and SENDCo

-          Pupil's Action Plan

-          Annual reviews of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

-          Reports from specialists

The school reports informally to parents/carers about their child/children through:

-          Face-to-face or remote meetings, phone call, email, home/school (reading) diary

-          Celebration events

-          School newsletters

-          Class events

 How will you help me support my child’s learning?

-          The class teacher may suggest ways you can support your child with home learning activities.

-          Weekly home learning and information about learning in school shared on Seesaw/Tapestry platforms.

-          The SENDCo, Mrs Smith, may meet with you to discuss how to support your child at home and provide advice about opportunities beyond the school.

-          Meet the teacher evenings at the start of the year.

-          Parent workshops on specific topics.

-          Your child’s Action Plan will provide information on the areas your child is working on and practical strategies to support them.

-          The school website can be used to access resources, policies and links that will provide further support.

 What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had?

Our staff are qualified to work with all children and have had the appropriate checks.

The SENDCo attends regular updates about SEND which share developments in Special Needs Education and Inclusion.  In-house training is provided through staff meetings by the SENDCo or visiting specialists.  Where a training need is identified either for an individual pupil or whole class level, teachers or TA’s are matched to appropriate courses. Staff Training is matched to targets on the Priority Improvement Plan (SDP).

Mrs Smith holds the National SENDCo Award.

 What specialist services and expertise can be accessed by the school?

An Educational Psychologist (EP) visits the school when necessary and following discussions with the SENCO decides on the focus for each visit. The EP uses a variety of methods to assess pupils which can include undertaking observations of pupils, talking about concerns with teachers or undertaking a variety of assessments before offering advice.

Our Inclusion Partner can be requested to provide specific information, share resources and provide in-service training.

Teachers from the Sensory Impairment Team are available to work in school to support children, both with and without EHCPs, who have vision or hearing impairment. 

The SENCO liaises frequently with a number of other outside agencies, for example:

-          Child and Family Wellbeing Service (School Nurse)

-          Community Paediatricians

-          Speech Therapy

-          Physiotherapy

-          Occupational Therapy

-          Educational Psychologist

-          Emotional Well-being and Mental Health Service (EWMHS)

Parents/carers are informed and their consent is given if any outside agency is involved.

 What support is available for my child’s overall well being?

Members of staff are available for pupils who wish to discuss any issues or concerns.  Where appropriate parents may be invited in to school to discuss concerns and plan further support. As a school we are committed to using the 'Thrive Approach' and all staff are trained. Our Thrive Practitioner works with pupils on a 1to1 basis and sometimes with groups.

Other provision may include:

-          Intervention support-Time to talk, Friendship Terrace, Smart Thinking etc

-          Whole school approaches to Growth Mindset

-          Individual or class approach-The Zones of Regulation

-          Designated areas for reflection in school

-          Jigsaw PSHE Scheme of Work

-          Guardian Angels approach


How will my child’s medical needs be met?

The school has members of staff who hold a current Paediatric First Aid qualification.

Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school but only where a signed medical consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both the child and staff member.

If a pupil has a medical need then a care plan is compiled with support from parents and in consultation with medical practitioners where appropriate.  These are shared with all staff who work with the pupil. Where necessary pupils with medical needs that may require an immediate response for example asthma, have a medical profile which is accessible to all members of staff working with the pupil.

 How accessible is the environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. The facilities we have at present include:

-          The school site, which is accessible to all users

-          A purpose built accessible toilet and wet room facility

-          A hearing loop fitted in the school hall

-          Coloured overlays and the ability to enlarge text where necessary

-          Consideration during tests for learners with additional needs

The school also has an accessibility policy.

 How does the school prepare and support my child when joining Dedham C of E Primary School or when transferring to another school?

Periods of transition can be unsettling for some children.  We understand that children need to be supported through this time and treat each child as an individual. Transition arrangements are planned around their needs.

For all children entering the school there is a structured programme of induction which includes pupils visiting the school, the reception teacher visiting the preschool, phased entry, welcome packs and meetings for parents. Further arrangements will be made for children who have SEND, this may include the parents meeting with the SENDCo and the reception teacher to discuss the needs of the child, extra visits and a transition plan.

We recognise that the move to secondary school can be quite challenging for some children. During year 6 all children will be supported with this change.  Children who might be more concerned about the transition will be supported through a variety of activities that prepare them for the secondary school of their choice.  These may differ depending on the secondary school they choose.  Generally transition activities might include school visits, extra activities, making books about their new school and meeting with members of the pastoral team at their new school etc.

 How are the schools resources allocated and matched to the children’s special needs?

The SEND budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources to children on our SEND register.  The amount and type of support they receive is dependent on each individual pupil’s needs.  Pupils with an EHCP will often require more support and extra funding is provided to support with this.

 Who can I contact for further information?

The SENDCo, Mrs Smith is responsible for coordinating provision for children with SEND within the school. Her role is to manage the arrangements for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Mrs Smith is a fully qualified teacher with experience of teaching KS1 and KS2 in a variety of schools and has worked alongside children with many different needs. She holds the National SENCO Award. She is fully supported in her role by the headteacher and deputy headteacher and is a member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  To make an appointment to see Mrs Smith please contact the office.

 Complaints Procedure

If you have any concern relating to the school’s SEND provision for your child please speak to the Headteacher or the SENDCO.  We aim to resolve any concerns in person. If a complaint is made and cannot be resolved, the parent can submit a formal complaint to the Headteacher in writing.  The Headteacher will reply within 10 working days.  Any issues that remain unresolved at this stage will be managed according to the school’s Compliments and Complaints Policy.  This is available, on request, from the school office.

Other related policies:

-          SEN and Inclusion Policy

-          Accessibility Policy

-          Pupil Premium Policy

-          Admissions Policy

-          Attendance Policy

 We hope these key questions have answered any queries you may have but do not hesitate to contact the school if you require further information.