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Sandon Primary Academy

Sandon Primary Academy is a local academy situated within Meir that supports children aged 3-11 from Nursery through to Year Six.

The academy also has a swimming pool that is used to support and enhance the learning of its pupils as well as boasting many other outdoor learning opportunity areas such as an enchanted village, golf course, bug bay and BBQ hut. The Academy also has a trained forest schools teacher offering an holistic approach to learning in small group and whole class sessions. An established before and after school club is also offered at Sandon Primary Academy.

Findings from our most recent OFSTED report rated 'outstanding' July 2017 state that 'Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make high rates of progress and the additional support that these pupils receive is excellent.'

Who to contact

Contact Name
Lyndsay Colclough, Kate Burrows
Contact Position
01782 319097
Secondary E-mail

Where to go

Sandon Primary Academy
Harrowby Road
Stoke on Trent
Local Offer

Local Offer


Children may have special educational needs or disabilities either throughout, or at anytime during their school career. Sandon Primary Academy strives to ensure that curriculum planning and assessment for children with a special educational need or disability takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child and is adapted appropriately to support the child in the best way the academy can.

Contact Name
Lyndsay Colclough, Kate Burrows
Contact Telephone
01782 319097
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?

Sandon Primary Academy can support and provide for pupils with a range of special educational needs and disabilities. These are listed below:

  • Physical need
  • Hearing impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • Social and emotional need
  • Mental Health need
  • Cognition and learning need
  • Communication and interaction need
  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Bereavement/ Separation
  • Dyslexia.

The academy uses a multi-agency approach to guide them in creating personalised support for the pupils

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 Sandon, we recognise the importance of early identification of special educational needs and disabilities. There are a number of ways the academy may identify if a child needs additional help or support:

First of all, they may join the academy already considered to have a special educational need or disability. If this is the case, professionals from previous settings will liaise with the SENCO and relevant teachers, providing information on how to best support the child. 

Similarly, if a child joins the nursery setting at Sandon assessments will be undertaken as part of their entry into Early Years, including the Early Years Development Tool. This then enables us to identify potential special educational needs or disabilities from a young age.

Secondly, as a parent you may have a concern. If this is the case then it is advisable to make an appointment with the academy's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). During this appointment, you will have the opportunity to outline your concerns to the SENCO and the child’s class teacher.

Thirdly, your child’s class teacher may have concerns about the progress of your child or any difficulties they have noticed. If this is the case, an appointment will be made to see the parent of the child and SENCO to discuss any concerns and next steps.

Finally, the SENCO may identify that your child has some difficulties through the tracking of children’s progress across the academy or from observations. As a result, the SENCO would arrange a meeting with the child's parents and class teacher to discuss concerns and next steps.

Once concerns have been raised, the child is then placed on a special educational needs and disabilities concerns list and a graduated approach is followed to address the specific educational need/needs of the individual child. Initially, the SENCO will observe the child and make suggestions to the class teacher on how to support the difficulties the child is presenting with within the quality first teaching environment. This is then monitored for an agreed period of time, depending on the severity of the need. If the academy does not see improvements in the child after the agreed length of time, the child will be placed on the special educational needs and disabilities register. This will then allow the academy to consult with other professional agencies and experts on how to best support the child and will ensure that increased monitoring and support for the child is maintained.  

How will the setting support my child/young person?

At Sandon, the teachers will lead and support all pupils including those with a SEND. They are accountable for the progress and achievement of these pupils. The needs of pupils with a SEND are met, where possible, in the classroom through high quality teaching and personalised differentiation. The academy also has Teachers and Teaching Assistants trained in delivering a range of interventions within the classroom. Where necessary, outside agency support will be sought and the school will put in place any advice/ strategies that are made.

Every child with a SEND at Sandon will be provided with a pupil passport. This is written alongside the child and underpinned by views of the parents. It will outline how the child wants to be supported and what strategies, resources and interventions are being provided in the classroom in order for the child to access mainstream education. The pupil passport will be shared with parents and impact will be reviewed every term to ensure that the provision outlined in the passport continues to meet the needs of the child with a SEND.

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

Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class and will ensure that each child’s needs are met through differentiation. Specific resources and strategies will be used to support children individually or in groups.

The academy will have identified through a meeting with the SENCO, parents and where necessary outside agencies what the category of need is for the child with a SEND. Below outlines the curriculum and expertise available to support each area of need.

Physical and sensory: If your child has a physical need the academy will be supported by outside agencies and will be advised on how to best support your child within the setting. For example, the academy may call upon the expertise of physiotherapists and occupational therapists. These agencies can then advise the academy and check that classrooms and other areas of the academy are accessible for all pupils. Sometimes, the academy may need to purchase specialist equipment to support children with physical disabilities. Where possible the academy promotes independence for children with physical disabilities and does not want them to become dependent on adult support. 

Hearing impairment/ Visual impairment: The academy uses advice and support from the visual and hearing impairment team. The academy can be advised on how to support children in the use and maintenance of hearing aids, where to sit children in relation to the class teacher and even what font size and type to use when providing written resources.

Social and emotional and mental health needs: The academy uses counselling services and CAMHS services available to children by referring children if deemed necessary. If a child is in need of counselling this will usually take place at the academy. The academy also uses outdoor and animal nurture through the use of the trained forest schools teacher and reading dogs. During these sessions, children build up self-esteem, responsibility and trusted relationships with peers and adults in the academy. If the academy feels that domestic circumstances are causing difficulties in this area an Early Help or further assistance for the family may be provided through the use of the school’s Safeguarding Team. All staff have received training from the Educational Psychologist on children’s mental health enabling them to become confident in recognising and effectively supporting mental health needs. The academy also has a mental health policy and mental health lead teacher to guide and support best practise. The social, emotional and mental health interventions used in the academy are listed in the mental health policy on the academy web-page. 

Cognition and learning difficulty: Most class sizes are small (1:20) promoting the principle of quality first teaching. Within these small classes, teaching professionals will use a range of interventions and supportive strategies to provide a personalised and differentiated curriculum for these pupils.  The academy also has trained Teachers and Teaching Assistants in a number of interventions which will accelerate pupils progress and help them to catch up with peers.

Communication and interaction difficulties: When this area of need is identified, the academy has trained staff to complete communication and interaction interventions (Talk Boost) enabling them to provide daily interventions to the children identified. For children with a more severe communication and interaction need, support and advice from outside agencies will be sought and where necessary referrals can be made to the local authority speech and language team for an individualised care plan to be completed.

Autistic spectrum disorder: The academy will use the expertise of outside agencies to diagnose and support pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Outside agencies will advise and support staff in providing the right environment and learning methods to overcome difficulties in this area. The academy will not label any child with 'Autistic Spectrum Disorder' unless diagnosed by a medical professional. Children diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder will have a personalised provision map. 

Dyscalculia/ Dyslexia: The academy will use the expertise of the Specific Learning Difficulty Team to both diagnose and support learning within this area. Children with these difficulties will be able to access additional resources to support them within class and the academy can offer interventions for both areas of difficulty.

ADHD/ ADD: The academy will use advice given by outside agencies to support children with this difficulty. The forest schools initiative is also used as a calming mechanism and a way of channeling excess energy through physical activity.

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

Every term, the SENCO will check the progress of pupils with a SEND by looking at academy progress data, standardised testing, intervention baselines and assessments and through discussions with class teachers. This will then be shared with parents as part of a SEND review meeting. This meeting will take place every term and will give parents chance to ask questions about how they can further support their child at home. During the meeting, each child’s pupil passport will be updated so parents can see how school will support them during the following term. Meetings with parents form part of the asses, plan, do, review cycle.

The academy also holds an open door policy-with class teachers and senior leaders being available at the start and end of each school day to discuss any concerns with parents or arrange meetings if required. 

Throughout the academic year, parent workshops are also held in all year groups, inviting parents to come into the academy and work alongside their child in a lesson. 

The academy also used Class Dojo to enhance parental engagement in their child's learning. This programme allows parents to receive pictures and messages relating to their children's work as well as watch their child reach new heights with goals and rewards. 

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

A key part of the academy ethos is 'Learn to be happy be happy to learn'.

The academy tries to use small class sizes (classes of 20) to allow staff and pupils to build strong, nurturing relationships. Regular observations of teaching check that nurturing environments are strong in all classrooms.

The academy promotes pupil voice and will ensure that all children with a SEND take part in setting their own targets and discussing how they want to be supported with the class teacher when pupil passports are completed and during SEND reviews.  

A broad curriculum is also delivered that aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to enhance and develop their emotional and social well-being through the fortnightly teaching of R.S.H.E.

All pupils are supported to access Physical Education sessions that are led by a qualified teacher and sports specialist. These sessions are differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils and run alongside weekly swimming sessions of 40 minutes for every child- also led by qualified instructors. 

Forest school sessions are delivered to small groups of pupils and whole classes both within the academy day and after school to provide an holistic learning experience. 

The Academy uses Dojo to instantly share positive learning experiences and behaviours with parents in the form of messages and photographs-keeping parents at the centre of their children's learning and allowing success to be shared and celebrated. 

Where needed, asthma care plans are completed for individual children alongside parents and shared with the class teacher. 

Regular risk assessments are completed for onsite and offsite activities. 

All staff are up to date with safeguarding, fire safety, prevent training and first aid training. 

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

The academy has access to and is supported by a range of outside agencies. These are listed below:

  • SENDS (Special Educational Needs Disability Services)
  • Social Care 
  • Educational Physiology Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Stoke Speaks Out Speech Therapists
  • Stoke Speaks Out Reading Champions
  • Hearing and Visual Impairment Service
  • Family support
  • Early Help
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Reading Therapy Dogs
  • SENMAS (Special Educational Needs Monitoring and Assessment Services)
  • SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs Information Advice and Support Service)
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).
  • School Nurse.
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

If a child attends school with a specific need then training will be arranged to support provision and understanding of that need.

The academy has two qualified teachers who are the Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinators (SENCO). The SENCOs have undertaken initial SENCO training provided by the Local Authority and are experienced in teaching children with SEND, enabling them to provide support to other teachers and develop SEND practice across the academy. The SENCO will also be undertaking the SENCO Award accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Based on the needs of the children at Sandon, identified staff members have received professional training to enable them to support children with additional physical and medical needs such as diabetes and allergies. We also invite a nurse into school to help write care plans for individual medical needs.

We have trained staff in specific communication and interaction programs and screenings and staff have been to observe speech and language therapists in clinic to ensure that we can mirror best practice. 

Staff have also received professional training in the area of children’s mental health and attachment due to the increased prominence of this area of need within our local and wider community. The SENCO has also undertaken additional Mental Health training alongside CAMHS professionals to ensure that we have an up to date understanding of the services available in the local area to support mental health as well as additional training in emotional literacy, supporting children for whom English is and additional language and occupational therapy training to enable the SENCO to make referrals directly. Due to cognition and learning being our main area of need across the academy and the priority that we have placed on supporting children's reading as an academy, a SENCO undertook training with Educational Psychologists on accelerating reading skills. A SENCO has also taken on the lead in the implementation of Read, Write Inc Phonics and Spelling, a synthetic, systematic approach to teaching phonics across the academy. 

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

We are a fully inclusive academy and children join in with all activities/ trips with reasonable adjustments in place to support their needs. For example, this might mean that an additional member of staff might attend the trip to specifically support the child with a SEND or an additional resource might need to be taken or purchased. 

The academy uses robust risk assessments to determine if activities are safe enough for all children to attend. 


How accessible is the environment?

The academy is not fully accessible to wheelchairs at present but the academy has an accessibility policy and plan which outlines the next steps that the academy is taking to make it more accessible for wheel chair users. This can be found on the academy's website. All new building additions and updates to the academy have disabled access. All children with a physical disability will also have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) completed to ensure that the academy environment can meet their needs and ensure their safety.



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

The academy will arrange additional transition meetings and sessions with high schools or a change of school for pupils with a SEND. Information regarding individual children’s needs will be passed onto new class teachers and a meeting will be held to discuss the support and interventions that are in place with parents and children being included in the process from start to end.

All children are prepared for the next stages of education regardless of additional needs through the use of the academy's bespoke facilities such as the forest schools, gardens and kitchen.

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

Support staff are allocated to need not just to match classes. If there are several children in a class with high need then more support staff will be allocated to that class. Class arrangements are fluid to change with the needs of the children. Advice on the best provision for pupils is sought from agencies involved and parents. Resources can then be allocated and additional resources purchased if needed from the academy's special educational needs and disabilities budget.

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

The academy will liaise with parents and outside agencies depending on the needs of the child and follow advice given from a range of sources. Support is monitored carefully to ensure that provision provided and suggested is supporting the child appropriately through parent review meetings, assessments and in class observations.

The academy uses a graduated approach to supporting children with a SEND. In most cases, the academy will use up to 15 hours of support to try and meet the needs of pupils. Sometimes, there may be times when 15 hours of support is not enough, at this point the academy will seek advice from outside agencies such as an Educational Psychologist. This may then result in application for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

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

The academy uses pupil passports to map out the additional support each child will receive. The support is put in place after consultation with parents and outside agencies. The pupil passport is then written by the class teacher and the child with a SEND. The pupil passport is child centered and given a theme which is chosen by the child. The passport covers a range of sections all focused around the child. It looks at the child's strengths, sets SMART targets and most importantly identifies how they want to be supported by the class teacher. By asking these questions, the academy is able to equip staff with a full understanding of that child. This allows them to provide a personalised curriculum for the child which is focused around the child’s interests. 


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

The academy understands that parents and carers know their child best. Their views and expert knowledge of their child are vital in ensuring that the right provision is provided for the pupil. The academy will meet with parents at least once per term to gather their views and share how the academy is meeting the needs of their child. If at any point parents would like to talk to somebody about their child or raise concerns, the academy has an open door policy where staff and senior leaders are out on the yard at the beginning and end of the day. 


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

The academy encourages parents to maintain strong communication links through diaries, Dojo, parent workshops and at the start and end of the school day. Parents will be expected to complete additional home learning to support the needs of the child fully.

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

Sandon Primary Academy strives to meet the needs of all pupils with a SEND but there may be a time when you think that this is not the case. If you would like to complain about the support of your child, there are several ways you can do this depending on the severity of the complaint. You can make an appointment with a member of the academy's Senior Leadership Team by calling the school office on 01782 319097.

SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service) can support you in your appointment and you can contact them on 01782 234701 or 01782 234847 or email

We hope that all complaints can be resolved through school however if this is not the case then alternatively you can contact the Sandon Trust by writing to

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

Parents can access further support through Early Help and Family support. This can be accessed by contacting the academy's safeguarding lead Lizzie Kiddle o the Deputy Safeguarding Lead Mel Lear on 01782 319097.


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