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Heron Cross Primary School

Heron Cross has a unique and creative environment where everyone works in partnership to maximise the life-chances for all pupils. We have a stimulating and inspiring learning environment with lively and imaginative teaching. Our school is an exciting place for children to learn. We believe that children who enter our school family should feel happy, cared for, safe and nurtured.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs Gemma Willdigg
Contact Position
Head teacher
01782 233565
Secondary E-mail

Where to go

Heron Cross Primary
Grove Road
Heron Cross
Stoke on Trent
Local Offer

Local Offer

Contact Name
Victoria Hardy
Contact Telephone
01782 233565
Contact Email
Secondary Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
0-4 years
4-11 years

Schools Extended Local Offer Response 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, speech and language difficulties.
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia, moderate learning difficulties.
  • Social and emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy.
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?

When children have been identified with Special Educational Needs before they start with us, we work with the people who already know them and use the information available to plan to meet the needs of the child.

If parents, carers or staff think a child has Special Educational Need we will investigate the concerns raised by meeting with the parents, completing an initial concern form, carrying out observations, looking at their work in books, carrying out assessments and tracking progress of individual children. With parents’ permissions, children identified as having additional needs will be listed as having Special Educational Needs. 

When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.

How will the setting support my child/young person?

We have an open door policy so you will be involved in all decision making about your child’s support.

All pupils will be provided with quality first teaching that is differentiated to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Pupils with a disability will be provided with ‘reasonable adjustments’ in order to increase their access to the curriculum.

Assessments and observations will be completed where concerns are raised regarding a child’s progress. (Assess) Using the observations and assessments, additional support will be planned (Plan) and implemented (Do) to increase the rate of progress and support the child in their learning. 

Progress will be reviewed and if further support is required, parents will be informed that their child needs SEND support and will be placed on the list of children with SEND (Review). SEND support will be recorded on a pupil passport that will identify a clear set of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely outcomes. Progress towards these outcomes will be tracked and reviewed termly with parents and the pupil. Pupil passports will be reviewed three times a year. 

If a child continues to make minimal progress, despite the delivery of high-quality teaching and interventions, advice will be sought from external agencies regarding strategies to meet the specific needs of a pupil. For example; Inclusive Learning Service, Educational Psychology, Speech and language therapist and the Mental Health support team. This will be done with parent permission. 

If following the assess, plan, do, review cycle, a higher level of support is required, a request will be made to the local authority for an assessment for an education, health and care plan. If the assessment indicates that additional support is needed for a child, the local authority will provide an education, health and care plan. 

Pupils with an Education, Health and Care  (EHC) Plan will receive additional support as stated in their plan and their progress tracked every term through pupil progress meetings. For children over 5 years old with an Education, Health and Care plan, an annual statutory review will be held in collaboration with parents and in consultation with parents. Statutory reviews for children under 5 years of age will be bi-annual.

How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?

Heron Cross Primary School have high expectations of all pupils. We aim to provide an inclusive, creative curriculum to develop the whole child. Teachers plan using pupils’ achievement and they differentiate lessons so that every child is able to learn at their own pace in their own way. When a pupil has been identified as having a special need, their work will be further differentiated by the class teacher to remove barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?

At Heron Cross Primary School, teachers check how well a child understands and makes progress in each lesson through ongoing assessments and evaluations.

The Senior Leadership Team monitor the progress of all children every term at pupil progress meeting, tracking pupils against National Curriculum Age Related Expectations (ARE). We discuss what we are doing to make sure that they make good progress including those with Special Educational Needs. The targets from the Pupil Passport will be reviewed every term, to make sure that your child is receiving the most appropriate forms of intervention. You will be invited to a meeting to discuss progress and to set targets for your child according to outcomes. Standardised tests carried out at the beginning and end of the academic year enable pupil's progress in reading, spelling and understanding of language to be accurately monitored.

Any concerns regarding the progress of your child can be discussed with the class teacher and/or the Senco at any time, either by visiting the school, via a phone call or email.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

The staff at Heron Cross Primary School put the wellbeing of our children at the forefront of their education. Everyone works in partnership to maximise the life chances for all pupils and we promote a positive ethos to celebrate achievements in all aspects of school life. We work hard to ensure that our pupils feel safe in school. The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils. 

If staff are concerned about the wellbeing of a child they will discuss this with the mental health wellbeing lead or other members of the senior leadership team. Where appropriate, this will then be discussed with parents and a plan of support implemented.

Where needed, meetings are held with school nurse and parents/carers of children with medical issues, to establish the child’s needs and to devise a care plan. With permission from parents/carers, important medical information concerning the child’s condition and medication is circulated to all relevant staff.

Regarding behaviour, the school employs a graduated response with parents being involved at every stage. There is consistent management of behaviour throughout the school, staff drawing on the advice given by the Senco, if required. Further support and advice is given by the Inclusion Service and Educational Psychologist.

Our Education Welfare Officer works closely with our Home School Links Worker, Mrs Rowley, and parents to address any problems with attendance.

Families can be supported through the Early Help framework, and we can meet regularly with you to assist in any problems.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

If school need advice or support to meet the additional needs of a child, the SENCO will seek advice from external agencies regarding strategies to meet the specific needs of a pupil. For example; Inclusive Learning Service, Educational Psychology, Speech and language therapist, physiotherapist and the Mental Health support team. This will be done with parent permission. School will follow recommendations and set programs from external agencies where they will meet the needs of the child. In school support and advice from specialist teachers or support staff is provided to support children with visual, hearing and physical impairments or difficulties. 

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Staff receive training from both the Senco and external agencies. Training takes place throughout the academic year during staff meetings, INSET days, online or at training courses. 

All education staff are trained to identify children who might need extra support or may have with additional needs. They have received training on the four areas of need, and the categories of special educational needs that fall under the four categories. 

As a whole school, staff have received training on raising SEN concerns, the school SEN policy, procedures and the SEN information report and setting targets on pupil passports that meet the needs of all children and how to evaluate these. We have received training on strategies to support children with autistic spectrum condition. All teaching assistants are trained in delivering precision teaching intervention. 

Individual members of staff have attended training on Nuffield Early Language Intervention, supporting struggling readers, switch on reading, strategies to support dyslexia and writing and white rose maths. 

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

We have a number of after school clubs, which are open to all children. We offer a range of day trips and residential visits. All children are included in our educational visits and when, for example, theatre groups come into school. Any additional support required for your child’s full inclusion is provided.

How accessible is the environment?

We have ramps to each building and disabled toilets including changing facilities in key stage 2 and nursery. We use a range of software to enable children to access subjects that they find difficult. This helps them to become independent learners. Children have access to visual timetables, workstations, cues and countdown timers if needed. We act upon the Speech and Language Therapy Service advice and deliver any programmes provided. Physical needs will be assessed individually and equipment will be provided on the advice of the Local Authority Inclusion Services. If required, an interpreter can meet with parents who have English as an additional language.

How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?

Children coming into our Nursery may receive a home visit in the summer term before they start in September. Any information regarding Special Educational Needs can be discussed at this visit so that the necessary support can be put into place when the child enters school. Extra visits can be arranged for any child who may find the transition between home and school difficult. A child may also need to begin to attend school on a part time basis to ensure a smooth transition between home and school.

Meeting will be arranged for children already known to the Early Years Forum to ensure that the correct support is in place.

Each class spends at least a day with their new class teacher at the end of the summer term. Children with ASD receive additional visits and a social story may be written to prepare them for their new class.

Children visit their new secondary school at least once during the summer term prior to leaving. Children with Special Educational Needs may have additional visits to get to know their learning support assistants. The Senco from the secondary school will meet to discuss children coming to them and their future needs.

How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

All schools are provided with funding to support those with additional needs. Our school’s budget funds any additional day to day resources and provision, and those targeted at specific groups such as the pupil premium. Additional funding will be allocated if the assessment of a child’s needs identifies that a child needs an education, health, care plan.

We provide support, equipment and facilities to support pupils with SEND through:

  • In class support from teachers or teaching assistants;
  • Small group support from teachers or teaching assistants;
  • SENCo support for teachers and teaching assistants;
  • Specialist support from teachers or teaching assistants e.g. 1:1 or small group interventions;
  • Support bought in from external agencies;
  • Learning aids and resources such as laptops, iPads, adapted resources;
  • Purchase of resources for programme delivery for specific needs; and
  • Continuing Professional Development/training relating to SEND for all education staff.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Class teachers make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and the first response is high quality teaching of work targeted to support the child’s area of need/difficulty. If the class teacher feels that this does not meet the area of need/difficulty or progress continues to be less than expected, the class teacher, working with the Senco will assess whether the child has a Special Educational Need and requires further support. Interventions to support the child will then be planned and put into place and the outcomes monitored by Senco and class teacher. We will involve parents and pupils and ask their views.

How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?

When writing pupil passports, where possible, teachers ask the child to contribute to their pupil passports to find out about their likes and dislikes and to capture their voice about what they like and how they learn best.

The Senco completes an annual pupil voice with SEN children from all year groups to capture their feelings and wishes about their education.

In class, children have access to a range of resources that they can choose to use to support them with their learning. 


How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

At Heron Cross Primary School, we aim to keep parents fully involved and updated on the decisions made about their child's learning. This is done through:

  1. Having an open-door policy;
  2. Holding regular reviews of progress that will be shared with parents;
  3. Having termly parents evening meetings;
  4. Writing annual reports for all pupils that will be sent out towards the end of the Summer term with information about progress and attainment;
  5. Encouraging parents to discuss concerns with the class teacher at a convenient time;
  6. Encouraging parents to contact the SENCo via the school office to discuss concerns;
  7. Consulting parents if outside agencies need to be sourced to support individual children and share any written reports;
  8. Ensuring the school website includes information and links to support parents;
  9. Organising SEND parent information sessions and/or workshops throughout the school year; and
  10. Where appropriate, using home school link diaries as a method of communication between home and school.

 Parents views will be gathered regularly through conversations. Formal views will be gathered during pupil passport review meetings. 

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

Our school has an open door policy. Class teachers and the Senco are available to discuss any issues and concerns that you may have. If you have a child with Special Educational Needs, you will be invited to meetings each term to discuss your child’s progress. 

What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?

The first point of contact for parents is their child’s class teacher.

Parents are always welcome to contact the Senco or Mrs Willdigg, Head teacher, to discuss any concerns they may have.

If problems cannot be resolved, the governing body can be contacted via the school office.

Finally, the Local Authority needs to be informed of major unresolved issues.

What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?

Stoke local offer 



  • Extreme Demand Avoidance (EDA) 



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