The Willows Primary School
We are a happy, caring and friendly school where all children are encouraged to do their best. All of our pupils are encouraged to develop as individuals, so that they can fulfil their highest possible potential in all areas of school life. We believe the best chance of success for each child comes when there is a partnership between home and school and therefore we look forward to working with you to achieve this.
Who to contact
Where to go
- The Willows Primary School
Stoke on Trent
- ST4 7JY
- Local Offer Age Bands
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
The school has a Resource for Hearing Impaired children.
- How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
At The Willows we use our best endeavours to make sure that all children get the support that is needed for them to reach their full potential. (6.2 of the new code)
Before our children join the nursery, we carry out home visits to meet all the children and their families. This can identify at the earliest point if a child may have additional needs before they enter our setting so that we can plan for them appropriately. (6.14) We communicate with the day nurseries and other agencies to find out about any child who has been identified as having additional needs and will carry out observations in nursery or home environments to gather information to help make their transition into our school as smooth and successful as possible. Once a child is part of The Willows, their progress and development is tracked half termly and any concerns about a child are raised and discussed with parents, relevant staff and the SENCo.
Appropriate intervention and provision is then planned to meet each child’s needs. If a child, who has additional needs, joins The Willows mid-year, we ensure discussions are held with the previous setting to gain as much information as possible to help them settle and make progress. If you are concerned that your child may need extra help, speak to their class teacher in the first instance. If after discussion with the class teacher there are still concerns, please speak to the SENCo. Together we can discuss any additional intervention or support that your child may need.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
Your child will be supported from the day they arrive at The Willows to be happy and successful throughout their school life with us. They will be encouraged to pursue and develop any interests and/or talents they display and will be supported to overcome any difficulties or barriers they experience. At The Willows we aim to develop the whole child and work closely with our families to achieve this so that the children will achieve their best and become a more confident individual. (6.1) We provide a rich, vibrant, exciting curriculum where the children have opportunity to take part in performing arts; a whole range of sporting activities and events; outdoor teaching and we give regular opportunities to develop our pupils’ creativity. We aim to provide the opportunity for all children to reach their full potential.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
Our curriculum is planned and personalised to meet the needs of all our children whether or not there is a learning difficulty or disability ( 6.15, 6.24). Additional support by the class teacher or teaching assistant may also be given according to the pupil’s individual need and we make any reasonable adjustments where necessary. (6.9)
If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, mathematics or english etc. specific interventions will be used to support them. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.
The Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Assistant Head Teacher and class teacher regularly hold progress monitoring meetings to discuss each pupil’s progress. This will often highlight any areas of potential problems and to discuss further support that may be needed. (6.5)
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
We use a range of strategies to report to parents about how their child is doing. Children are formally assessed each term against National Curriculum targets in reading, writing and maths. We also use standardised assessments to measure the impact of any additional interventions that your child has been involved with.
The Home/School Planner or Home/School Reading Diary offer you a daily opportunity to communicate with staff and we expect that these will be used by all involved with your child. Parents are invited to Parental Consultations, currently twice a year, to share children’s progress in all areas of their development. We are keen that if you need to discuss your child at any point in the year, we will arrange this through whichever is the most convenient form of communication whether it is face to face meetings, telephone conversations or notes home.
If your child has any additional support for their Special Educational Needs, you will be informed and they will have their progress reviewed three times a year and the SENCo (Mrs Harrison) will be involved in these reviews. We are keen to support families as a whole, and to meet regularly with you if there are any areas of support that you feel you and your child would benefit from. (6.8)
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
All staff at The Willows give above and beyond to ensure that the health and wellbeing of your child is paramount.
The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and mental health difficulties. Our pastoral staff include: Mrs Ball (Inclusion Manager), Mrs Harrison (SENCo), Mrs Scott (assistant SENCo), Mrs Ellis (safeguarding officer) and Mrs Taylor (learning mentor). They are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns. During the school week there are various social groups that children can access at lunch times. Pupils may also seek guidance from our trained peer mentors with any issues that may occur during lunch or playtime.
Senior Management and Mrs Harrison (SENCo) regularly review how the expertise and resources are used to address SEN within our school in order to build the quality of the whole- school provision as our approach to school improvement. (6.3)
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
There is a wealth of subject expertise within our school and we also have close links with outside agencies that offer a more specialised area of expertise. The outside agencies that may be accessed by the school are as follows: Safeguarding Children Advisors, Inclusive Learning Services (ILS) (previously known as SENDS), the Educational Psychology Service, School Nursing Service, CAMHS, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and the Children’s Centres.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
All staff have received training related to SEND. These have included sessions on how to support pupils with emotional needs, how to support pupils on the Autistic spectrum, how to support pupils with Speech and Language problems and how to develop their social skills. Furthermore, recent whole school training was delivered on attachment, dyslexia, compass for life and medical needs, including asthma, anaphylaxis and epipens. In addition, individual staff completed training on areas specific to their roles. These included: practical skills for supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, ASD training and Switch On. In addition individual staff have received more specialised training which they have used to train and support other staff. Where a child has a very specific special educational need, staff allocated one to one will be supported with the relevant training.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Your child will be included in all activities. Reasonable adjustments will be made wherever necessary and we will work with the families and specialists to enable this to happen. Every situation is dealt with on an individual needs basis.
- How accessible is the environment?
We are happy to discuss any individual access requirements. Facilities that we have at present are:
- Most of the classes are accessible to wheel chair users except for two classrooms which have 2 steps to access. Please be aware that we have four classrooms (two mobile classrooms and two in The Mount) which are accessed by either a ramp or steps.
- We have a number of disabled toilets
- We have accessible corridors and doors
- All rooms, except two mobile classrooms and one of The Mount classrooms, are fitted with sound field systems to assist children with any hearing impairment.
- Designated parking spaces are available for the disabled.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
We take transition very seriously and do as much as we can to make it as smooth and comfortable an experience as we can. Home visits are carried out before your child starts in our nursery and a number of stay and play sessions are offered to all the children and their parents to introduce your child to the staff and school during the Summer Term before their Autumn start. A series of transition sessions take place each year to new pupils in nursery and reception.
For children in Key Stage 1 and 2 during the Summer Term transition sessions take place which enable the children to move to their next teacher and classroom as smoothly as possible. For children for whom this move may be more of a concern, additional sessions are planned in to build relationships with key members of staff.
Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school. All children will have a transition day at their chosen high school and any child who has additional needs or may find the move more difficult will have specific additional sessions planned. Discussions are held between key staff in our school and the high schools to share all the relevant information about your child to ensure their individual needs are met.
This process is also followed for anyone who joins, or leaves, our school mid-term or mid-year.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
Teachers are given a class budget to cater for the general needs of the children in their class and all subject leaders have a further budget to enhance their area of responsibility. Training or specialist services purchased aim to meet the needs of each individual child whether that involves buying specially adapted furniture, training for staff in a particular area of SEND or programmes to support the provision for our children.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
All of our children receive quality first teaching which is rigorously monitored and evaluated every term. Where this is not enough for an individual child, additional support or intervention will be planned to address your child’s needs initially by the class teacher. If this is still not having the impact required, discussions will be held with the class teacher, parent, SENCo and an additional layer of support will be planned. This may involve requesting advice from one or more of the outside agencies mentioned above.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
All children are given the opportunity to be involved in the planning of the topic work. In addition, they are regularly given feedback on their progress and areas to develop. They are included in target setting and efforts are made to ensure that they are fully aware and fully understand the next steps needed in order for them to achieve their targets.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
Parents are invited to attend consultation meetings with school staff twice a year. At these consultations there is the opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s progress and to raise concerns or to ask questions. In addition, all parents, including those whose children have additional or special needs, have the opportunity to meet the SENCo.
A third consultation, in the Summer Term, includes the child’s annual report.
For those children who have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan regular meetings are arranged. These could be annually or six monthly. The aim of the meeting is to review in detail the child’s progress and to evaluate whether the EHC continues to meet the child’s needs. This meeting may also suggest changes for future development and education. Parents are invited to attend these meeting and are encouraged to submit their views.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Parents are involved daily through the use of the Home/School Planner and/or Home/School Reading Diary. Should parents wish to discuss any concerns relating to their child staff are available, on the doors, each morning and at the end of the day. In addition parents may contact the school office at any time to arrange appointments with the relevant members of staff. Teacher's email addresses are made available to parents, and often parents, who may not get the opportunity to physically see the teachers on a regular basis, use this method of communication.
We hold parent’s evenings twice a year. Parents are also encouraged to become part of the PTFA or the Governing Body. If this is something you are interested in please contact the school. There are also opportunities throughout the year for parents to be involved with trips and visits. Parents are invited to come into school and to celebrate their child’s achievements through Awards’ Day and Class Assemblies, performances and concerts.
At times throughout the year parents are invited to attend training sessions covering a range of topics and subjects, for example, phonics, teaching your child to read, and teaching mathematics.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
If, after speaking to the class teacher, your concern or problem has not been resolved and you feel that it is necessary to make a complaint please contact a member of the school office who will be able to help you contact a member of the senior leadership team.
The complaint's policy is on our school website. If you cannot access this a copy can be obtained from the school office.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
Special Educational Needs Assessment and Monitoring Service (SENMAS)
Tel: (01782) 231863
SEND Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS)
Tel: (01782) 234701 or 234847
Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Team
Tel: (01782) 235100 option 3
Advice and Access Team
Tel: (01782) 232200
Tel: (01782) 235100 option 1
Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board
Further information can also be found on the school website and the Local Authority Local Offer page.