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St Matthew’s Academy

All schools in Stoke on Trent have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Education Needs and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

As our school is the smallest in Stoke on Trent we are fortunate to offer small class sizes in EYFS and KS1, with experienced full time Teaching Assistants, to help all abilities to progress, to the very best of their ability.

Our lessons are fully differentiated, ensuring that all children are stretched throughout the lesson, no matter what their ability, and are very interactive and fun.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Paul Mitchell
Contact Position
Head Teacher
01782 394890

Where to go

St Matthew's Academy
Lightwood Road
Rough Close
Stoke on Trent
Local Offer

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
4-11 years

Schools Extended Local Offer Response 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

The school caters for:



Attention Deficit Disorder


Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder


Autistic Spectrum Disorder


Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties


Developmental Co-ordination Disorder


English as an Additional Language


Hearing Impairment


Moderate Learning Difficulty


Speech, Language, Communication Needs


Specific Learning Difficulty


Visual Impairment

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?

St Matthew’s Academy knows that a child needs extra help if;

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers, teaching assistants or the pupil’s previous school
  • There is lack of expected progress or attainment
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour
  • A pupil asks for help.

The school has Pupil Progress Meetings every half term; this identifies any children that are not making expected progress. These children will then be part of intervention groups within the classroom setting. If progress has not been noticed from these children (during the next PPM), an IEP will be put into place: discussing targets in small steps, so that parents also have their part to play in their child’s progress and meeting their targets.  


If you have concerns then please contact your child’s teacher or the SEND Lead Mrs Thomas.

How will the setting support my child/young person?

·         Each pupil’s education programme will be thoroughly planned by the class teacher and HLTA. It will be thoroughly 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 spelling, handwriting, numeracy & literacy skills 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.

·         Progress Meetings are held each half term. The Headteacher and class teacher will discuss each pupil’s progress. This discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support to be planned which will be discussed and implemented by the SENd Lead and Class Teacher.

·         Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support form an outside agency such as the SEND team, EP etc. Referral forms are then completed in conjunction with parents/carers 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.

·         All intervention groups are monitored every 3 weeks by the relevant subject lead, to ensure that impact is being seen from the intervention.

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

·         When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum.

·         Teaching Assistants may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.

·         If appropriate specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors.


·         The school’s curriculum is matched to the class cohort, their interests and academic needs, whilst ensuring that all areas of the curriculum are carried out in a highly productive setting, with high quality teaching and learning taking place

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

·         The school - Pupil Progress meeting are carried out at least ½ termly, discussing every child’s progress for Reading, Writing, Maths and attitude to learning. If progress is not being made due to the child’s academic ability, parents will be contacted to discuss how we can move their learning forward. If it is due to the child’s attitude to learning, again parents will be contacted to discuss measures that we can put into place to improve it. Termly parents evening takes place, to discuss individual child’s progress. In addition to all of the above, the school operates an open door policy; if parents have any queries, worries, concerns they are always welcome to come in and speak with their child’s teacher.  IEPs (Individual Education Plans) are sent home each half term. Targets are usually set by the class teacher. Parents/carers are encouraged to contribute their input to be included on the IEP.

·         Parents - You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parents Evenings.  Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher or SEND Lead by visiting the school office.


·         If outside agencies or the Educational Psychologist have been involved suggestions and programmes of study are normally provided that can often be used at home.

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

The 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, teaching assistants, Welfare Officer and SENd Lead are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.

Pupils with medical needs

·         If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled in consultation with parents/carers and any other agencies that might be involved such as the school nurse, occupational health or physiotherapist. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.

·         Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school but only where a signed Medication agreement in line with the medication policy is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.

Christian Distinctiveness


·         The school has Outstanding SIAS, which shows the wonderful Christian ethos the school has. This can be seen: when the older children are mentors to the younger children, the caring and friendly attitude of all of the children towards each other, the Christian Values that are seen throughout the school: Respect, Trust, Friendship etc., which can not only be seen but be ‘felt’ when you walk into the school.

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

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise.

The agencies used by the school include:

·         SENDS (Specialist advisors including Autism, Specific learning difficulties, Visually and hearing impared)

·         CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)

·         Social Services

·         Children’s Therapy Team (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy)

·         Paediatricians

·         Behaviour Support Service

·         Occupational Health Service

·         Physiotherapy Service

·         Educational Psychologist; an Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. They would normally only work directly with pupils who needs are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them. If a case is opened with the Educational Psychologist, specific assessments are carried out. They will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.


The school has a qualified SENCO (which is the Principal), and 4 extremely experienced Teaching Assistant (3 being a Higher Level teaching Assistant) and a very qualified Support Assistant for a Statemented child.

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

All staff at St Matthew’s Academy have received some training relating to SEND. This could be through specific intervention programs or general SEND.

·         BRP – Better Reading Programme

·         Precision Teaching for spellings

·         IEP training

·         Autism awareness

·         Dyslexia friendly


All staff complete a SEND Teacher Self Review every year to identify any specific training staff need.

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

All children, no matter what diagnosis they may or may not have, are fully included in every activity, both in and out of the school

·         Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.

However, if it is deemed that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity.l.

How accessible is the environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.

Facilities we have at present include:

·         The Front entrance is on level ground, therefore a ramp is not required.

·         The school is situated mainly on one level.


·         Disabled toilets.

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

The school has an excellent transition from Nursery to EYFS, via 6 open mornings for both parents and children to be part of and a parents evening for new parents. Within school, if the school feels that certain children will need more time to adjust to their next teacher, the school will work with the child and TA by going into their next teacher’s class for several weeks before the end of term to help with their transition. Also, the whole school has a change over afternoon, where the teachers will get to know the children, and so that the children are less anxious in September.

·         Meetings between the previous or receiving schools prior to the pupil joining/leaving. Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school.

·         Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school.


·         Meetings between teachers, SENd Leaders from the secondary schools to pass on information regarding SEN pupils.

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

The school’s resources are allocated to needs. If anybody requires any resources they have to fill out a form explaining what they need and what impact that will make to the child/ren’s education.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

·         When the children join the school, support is allocated on the information provided by the feeder school. The Head Teacher (also the SENd Leader) will allocate teaching assistants to individuals or small groups to support in class or in other focus groups tailored to the pupils’ needs; however we also need to ensure that all children are given opportunities to be independent learners.

·         During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged.

Parents/carers will be able to see the support their child is receiving on a provision map. A provision map is a record of support that the pupil is receiving including the impact it is having on the pupil’s learning. 

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

 Every SENd child will have an Individual Education Plan.  The targets on the IEP are discussed with both the child and parent every 6-7 weeks.  The discussion is around how all stakeholders can help and support the young person to progress further in their studies.  Support from parents is paramount, which is why we devise the IEP together. 

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

Parents are asked to contribute to their child’s IEP, as parental support is vital.

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

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education.

This may be through:

·         Discussions with the class teacher.

·         During parents evenings.

·         During discussions with SENd leader, or other professionals.


Also, we welcome parents to come into the school to help with readers, stick work in books (however parents are not allowed to help out in their child’s class), help out with functions, weekly Celebration Assemblies, Mass etc. As stated above we have an open door policy and if parents want to help out, the more the merrier!

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

The school’s complaint’s policy and procedure is on the website, if parents would like a hard copy the Office will print one off for them.

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


The Local Authority SEND website offers many organisations that will help and support you, however you can always ask Mrs Thomas for any information regarding the agencies. Leaflets are placed in the front entrance for parents to access:, Families and Young People in Partnership, Aiming Higher Together are some of the leaflets available at present.


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