Alexandra Infants' School
The Governors and Staff of Alexandra Infants’ School would like to welcome you and your child to our school.
Serving the communities of Normacot, Dresden and Longton we have a very committed and caring staff that, along with the governors, hold your child’s social development and academic progress as their prime concerns. We hope that when you visit the school you will be aware of the pervading atmosphere of fun and happiness which makes it a natural environment for young children to learn and to develop.
At Alexandra Infants’ we believe in all learning and working together in order to become the best we possibly can be.
Who to contact
Where to go
Stoke on Trent
- ST3 4PZ
- Local Offer Age Bands
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
The school accommodates all SEND in line with Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas:
Cognition & Learning
- Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
- Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)
- Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)
- Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
Communication & Interaction
- Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
- Children who experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties, which manifest in different ways
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
- Physical Disability (PD)
- Visual Impairment (VI)
- Hearing Impairment (HI)
- Multi-sensory Impairment (MSI)
Here it is the belief that all children have an equal right to a full and rounded education which will enable them to achieve their full potential. We use our best endeavours to secure special educational provision for pupils for whom this is required, that is ‘additional to and different from’ that provided within the differentiated curriculum to better respond to the four areas of need identified in the Code of Practice (September 2014).
- 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?
We know when pupils need help if:
- concerns are raised by parents/carers
- concerns are raised by teachers
- concerns are raised by the pupil’s previous school
- limited progress is being made
- there is a change in the pupil’s behaviour/progress
- the pupil asks for help.
Children that join us are assessed at the start of the year. This baseline assessment allows us to identify children that may need extra help. These children are monitored and the class teacher and SENCO may decide to offer that child extra school support. Pupils that join us part way through the school year are assessed on entry and then monitored for 6 weeks before reassessing. A decision about possible additional needs is then made between the class teacher, parents and the SENCO.
The class teacher is the first point of contact to discuss your child’s needs. In addition if you have concerns then you may also wish to speak to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Miss Lindop, the Assistant SENCO Mrs Phillips or the Head of School Mrs Lupton.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
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. Parents/Carers are invited to a parent/carer meeting once a term where they are able to talk about the support that is offered. The school operates an open door policy and appointments with the class teacher or SENCO are available upon request via the school office.
If a pupil has needs support related to more specific areas of their education or social skills, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy & literacy skills etc. then the pupil will be offered additional support. This can range from small group support, extra teacher support, extra reading with an adult, cued articulation, ELS, direct phonics, booster groups and language programmes. We also run a language club to support children who are learning English as an additional language. This will be run by the teacher or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need but will generally be for a term. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.
If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or SENCO. Interventions will be recorded on a Pupil Passport which will be drawn up by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs, setting individual targets. A copy of the targets will be given to parents. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class or use of particular resources (e.g. a writing slope.)
Pupil Progress Meetings are held four times a year. This is a meeting where the class teacher meets a member of the school 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.
Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support form an outside agency such as the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services, Speech and Language therapy, School Nurse, Paediatrician 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.
The Governors of Alexandra Infants’ and Junior School are responsible for entrusting a named person to monitor SEN provision across the school. This is currently Mrs Claire Powell and Mrs Sally Adams. In a support and challenge role, Governors ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible and treats all children and staff in an equitable way.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
If appropriate specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, concentration cushions, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors. Teachers plan based on children’s needs, against age related expectations, differentiating work to closely match children’s ability and learning needs.
When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be further differentiated by the class teacher to remove barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum more easily. If a child is identified as having a special need, they will be given a Pupil Passport. Targets will be set according to their area of need. These will be monitored by the class teacher weekly, reviewed by the SENCO regularly and formally reviewed three times per year. Teaching assistants may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parent’s Evenings. Your child’s class teacher will be available at the end of each day if you wish to discuss your child’s progress. Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher or SENCO by visiting the school office. Pupil Passports are sent home each term. Parents/Carers are asked to sign a copy of the Passport to acknowledge they have received it and that they are in agreement with the targets. Parents/carers are encouraged to contribute with their views and concerns, which can be included on the Pupil Passport.
The class teacher will suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning on a regular basis through homework, parents evenings or by arranging a meeting with you. The SENCO may meet with you to discuss how to support your child. Staff, including the class teacher, SENCO, deputy or head of school may meet with you to discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s social and emotional needs.
If outside agencies or the Educational Psychologist have been involved suggestions and programmes of study are sometimes provided that can be used at home. If the Educational Psychologist is involved with your child you will be invited to regular meetings between the SENCO and the Educational Psychologist to support you and review the provision recommended.
Various parent/carer coffee mornings and workshops are arranged, which aim to help you to support your child’s learning. These take place throughout the year and encourage an open and relaxed forum where advice and ideas can be exchanged. Mrs Naveed and Mrs Adams, the home school link workers, are available for informal discussions and advice.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
The school offers a wide variety of support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and mental health difficulties. These include members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants, SENCO and Home School Link Worker who are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
Social skills, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and anger management group work can be run by experienced teaching assistants. For some children individual programmes of support for social skills are more appropriate.
Pupils who find lunchtimes a challenge are able to join the lunchtime club which is organised by experienced teaching assistants. Fun games and activities are made available to help provide the pupils with social skills to enable them to form friendships. A pupil led Peer Mediation service is available every lunch time. Children and young people can be more comfortable talking to someone their own age who understands their concerns and their perspective. During peer mediation trained pupils listen to others’ points of view and offer advice. Peer mediation can provide a safe structure for children and young people to solve their problems and learn to negotiate.
We are also able to consult outside agencies such as the school nurse, SEND services, the Educational Psychologist or Younger Minds counselling service if more specialist support is required.
- 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:
- SEND Services
- Educational Psychologist
- CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- EWO (Educational Welfare Officers)
- Social Services
- Children’s Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- School Counselling services (Younger Minds)
- SAVANA Counselling
- School Nurse
- Health visitors
- Early Years Forum
- Stoke-on-Trent Safe Guarding Board,
- Hearing Impairment services and Visual impairment services.
In addition an Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. He/she would normally only work directly with pupils whose needs are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them. This involvement is generally planned by the SENCO with the permission of parents/carers. In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed. He/she will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.
- 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:
- General support for all learning difficulties and strategies to help.
- How to support pupils with early reading and Phonics
- The teaching of spelling
- Differentiation for SEND pupils
- Accelerated reading
- Maths differentiation and reasoning and applying
- Managing challenging behaviour training and the schools behaviour policy
- SEN code of practice and SEN reforms
In addition some staff have had training on:
- Better reading partnerships
- Socially speaking
- Leap into listening
- Asking More Specific Questions
- Talking Partners
- Kinetic handwriting
- Direct phonics
The SENCO ensures staff regularly attend training on aspects of SEN, strategies for support and specific interventions, depending on the current needs of the school.
The SENCO has also completed the National SENCO Training Award.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
Activities and school trips are available to all, and all children are encouraged to participate. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. If the school, parents/carers or a health and safety risk assessment suggests that a child requires 1:1 support due to their particular needs the school are able to provide this.
- How accessible is the environment?
Our school is fully accessible with a ramp on entry and no stairs within the building.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting is arranged with the SENCO, the previous school (if appropriate), the parents/carers and where appropriate, the pupil.
In year transfer:
- Currently we give all children a tour of the school with their parent/carer
- All children joining Alexandra Infant school have a home visit
- Introduce children to their new teacher and show them where they will put their coats etc
- They will be assigned a buddy from their new class
- Complete an induction form with basic details
- If appropriate a translator is used to ensure accurate information sharing, Agree the start date.
- In certain circumstances such as the child not having attended school before special starting arrangements may be agreed
- Contact the previous school for the child’s records. Where there are concerns the SENCO will be contacted by phone.
Transition to Alexandra Junior School from Alexandra Infant School:
- Information exchange between the previous school prior to the pupil joining
- All pupils attend a Transition afternoon where they spend time with their new class teacher
- An additional programme of visits in the summer term is arranged for pupils starting in September
- Parents/carers are invited to a meeting at the school so that they know what to expect and are encouraged to share any concerns with the school
- The school is always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining the school
- Where a pupil may have more specialised needs
- a separate meeting is arranged with the class teacher, the SENCO, the parents/carers and where appropriate, the pupil
- Having a joint SENCO across the Infant and Junior School helps aid transition
- some shared staff across both the Infant and Junior School also supports transition
Transition within the school:
- All pupils attend a transition session where they spend time with their new class teacher
- Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new class or time with new teachers
- The school is always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining a new class.
We understand what a stressful time moving schools can be, therefore many strategies are in place to enable the pupil’s transition to be as smooth as possible.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The SEND 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 discussion with the class teacher at Pupil Progress Meetings, meetings with specialist services or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year.
Further resources may be allocated to your child following assessments by school staff or outside agencies (e.g. children’s occupational therapy). Resources may include the deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances. Funding may be used to buy in specialist support (e.g. Dyslexic assessment) Pupil Premium funding may also be used to support pupil’s learning through additional interventions and in class support.
- 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 previous setting or from baseline assessments on entry. Usually, in consultation with the class teacher, the SENCO will allocate teaching assistants to individuals or small groups to support in class or in other focus groups tailored to the pupils’ needs.
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 discuss the support their child is receiving with the class teacher or the SENCO at either parents evening or by dropping in at the end of the school day or by requesting a meeting.
Occasionally we may seek the advice of a specialist advisor or Education Psychologist. This may result in an increase in the amount of support a child receives. If this support goes over 15 hours then the school may apply for an Education & Health Care Plan for your child. As a parent you would be very involved in this process and consulted at every stage.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
At various times of the year pupils complete questionnaires about their learning.
Children who have an EHC plan will have a pupil passport and they will discuss their targets with their teacher. They will be involved in reviewing their own targets three times a year.
If children are withdrawn from class for intervention groups the TA running the group will explain what it is about and what the aims of the group are. Children will be asked to review at the end of each session and at the end of the intervention programme.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
At various times of the year parent questionnaires are sent out. At the start of the school year parents are asked to sign a home school agreement.
Parents are given time to express their thoughts at 3 parent consultation evenings a year. We also have an open door policy, where parents can call into school at the end of the day to see either the class teacher or the SENDCO to discuss your child’s learning.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
We have an open door policy, where parents can call into school at the end of the day to see either the class teacher or the SENDCO. 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 Miss Lindop, Mrs Phillips or other professionals.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
We hope that complaints about SEND provision will be rare, however, if there should be a concern the process outlined in the school’s Complaints policy should be followed.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact one of the following:
- Your child’s class teacher
- Miss Lindop, Assistant Head teacher and SENCO
- Miss Smith, Assistant Head teacher
- Mrs Lupton, Head of School
- Mrs Walmsley-White, the Chair of Governors
Outside of school there are a variety of people who you can contact for further help and support:
The Safeguarding Board – 01782 235100
Your health visitor
School Nurse – 03001240362
SEND Services – 01782 232538
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, local offer information; www.stoke.gov.uk/localoffer
SENDIASS (Formerly Parent Partnership) 01782 234701
Social Care – 01782 235100
Parent Engagement Group in Stoke (PEGiS) - 07935 557380
Appointments can be made with any of these people by speaking to the School Office.