St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School
St Thomas Aquinas is a single-form entry mainstream primary school and part of the Christ the King Catholic Collegiate, educating children aged 3-11.
Who to contact
Where to go
Stoke on Trent
- ST4 7DG
- Contact Name
- Kelly Hellawell
- Contact Telephone
- 01782 234919
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
At St Thomas Aquinas we aim to provide high quality support in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas of need outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.
- Cognition and Learning
- Communication and Interaction
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health
- Physical or Sensory Needs
- 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 St. Thomas Aquinas teachers and staff assess children on an ongoing basis and will use this assessment information to decide if children may need extra help. Teachers also ask the school’s SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) for further advice on appropriate interventions for individual children. If you think your child has special educational needs then please share your knowledge of your child with your child’s class teacher and school SENCo.
St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School is committed to quality first teaching for all pupils. Class teachers monitor all pupils in order to identify pupils that are not making expected progress as early as possible. Any concerns will be discussed with parents/carers.
We have an open door policy and parents who think their child may have special educational needs are encouraged to speak, in the first instance, to the class teacher. Appointments with the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or the Senior Leadership Team can be made via the office. We hold a Parents Evening during the Autumn and again in the Spring term where you can discuss your child’s progress and appropriate next steps.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
If needed for your child we will…
- Use the Assess, Plan, Do, Review graduated approach to support their needs and talk to you about your child's difficulties so we can understand their needs.
- Continue to make regular assessments on your child’s learning to inform next steps
- Develop a personalised one-page profile for your child with personalised targets
- Liaise with the SENCO for support and advice.
- Liaise with outside agencies such as an educational psychologist, SENDs team, advisory teacher, speech and language therapist or health colleague if appropriate.
- Have a range of programmes to help your child in an area of their learning or development that they need further support in.
- Check on your child’s progress frequently and inviting you to a meeting to discuss that progress at least once a term.
- Discuss with you any involvement with outside agencies, their recommendations and any further advice we need to seek such as an Educational Health Care Plan.
- Advise you on how to get in touch with Parent Partnership Services who can offer advice and support.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
All pupils will access a broad and balanced curriculum and learning is planned according to needs and interests of all pupils. All children have a right to quality first teaching and access to high quality learning opportunities. Adjustments will be made to meet a child’s needs at all levels, whether this is providing support or equipment in class, in group work or on a 1:1 basis. Planning will consider all level of abilities and work matched to the needs of all the children whilst still ensuring high expectations.
The SENCO may liaise with external agencies if additional advice is required to meet 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?
Children’s progress is monitored closely and the effectiveness of the support in place is considered alongside this. Children’s individual targets are considered as well as data and test scores.
The progress your child has made will be fed back at learning passport meetings, parents evening, termly progress reports and a more formal end of year school report. We try to work closely with parents so that any concerns may be shared at the earliest opportunity so that we can work together in the best interests of your child. We welcome parents in school to share termly class assemblies, masses and regularly provide opportunities for parents to observe or take part in areas such as Speaking and Listening, PE, Science, Phonics.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
At St. Thomas Aquinas we believe in developing the whole child and we recognise that some children have extra emotional and social needs that may need to be developed and nurtured. As a Catholic School we primarily do this through nurturing and developing relationships with God. Additionally all classes follow a structured PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic education) curriculum to support this development. In addition to the classroom activities such as circle time and PHSE lessons, Mrs Johnson from Father Hudson provides support for the children on a 1:1 basis and in groups; she is available to help support children and families who may be experiencing a variety of difficulties.
Health care and Asthma Care plans are provided in conjunction with the School Nurse and alongside parents for those requiring medical care.
We have a variety of pupil led groups where pupil voice is at the heart of our provision these include School Council, MAC Council, Science Ambassadors, Play Leaders, Prayer and Liturgy Support and Eco-Warriors.
All staff have completed training in Fire Safety, Asbestos Awareness, Safeguarding and asthma awareness.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Where parents and staff feel it would be beneficial, the school will liaise with external agencies. Parents/Carers are always consulted before external agencies are sought. Currently the agencies we work with include, SEND services, Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Paediatricians, CAHMs, Speech and Language, School Nurse, Health Visitor services, Virtual School and Early Years Forum.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
Regular and ongoing training is received by all staff in school. Support staff are trained in delivering specific interventions and have the opportunities to observe others who are more experienced within specific skills/interventions.
The SENCO is currently awaiting confirmation of her application on the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination. (NASENCO)
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, we ensure that all children are fully included in all aspects of the wider school life. Through your knowledge of your child, you may advise the school on what your child may need in certain activities outside the classroom or school. Depending on your child's need, an individual risk assessment may be developed to ensure we provide the best support and resources for your child to access and enjoy the activities.
- How accessible is the environment?
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School we value and respect diversity in our setting and do our very best to meet the needs of all of our learners.
- Our school has been made accessible via a number of ramps.
- The school has disabled toilets.
- Additional risk assessments are carried out if a child has specific needs.
- Parents meetings take place through face to face meetings.
- Letters with enlarged font is available from the office if requested
Further information can be found on our Accessibility plan, which can be found on the school web site.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
The following takes places to aid a smooth transition:
- Meetings between the Yr6 teacher and the high school teachers
- Opportunities for children to visit the high school for lessons and workshops
- Opportunities for the high school teachers to teach the children within our school
- Meetings between the SENCO and the high school SENCOs
- MAC masses
- Transition days for other classes to move up to the next teacher
- Home School visits
- Pre-school visits
- Induction evenings
- Play and Stay Sessions.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The SEN support across the school is entered into a provision map to help ensure that support is allocated appropriately. SEN resources are located in school so that they are accessible to all.
Staff are able to request resources if they are not available in school.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Support will always come in the form of class teacher input, via excellent targeted classroom teaching known as Quality First Teaching. If through the tracking of progress and analysis of individual data, children are deemed to be not making progress, then interventions will be put into place to support learning.
Support can take the form of; working one to one with an adult, within a group of children or with an additional adult in the classroom. The type of intervention will determine the amount of support, for example, interventions can run on a daily basis for 5 minutes or twice per week for 20 minutes. If interventions are not having the expected impact the SENCO may seek to liaise with external agencies for additional advice. Specialist support agencies may then have an input on the type and level of support your child receives. The interventions and advice sought will be included on your child’s pupil passport.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
Children are encouraged along with parents to help to complete personalised pupil passport where the voice of the child is actively sought. Children share information that they would like others to know about themselves, their likes, dislikes and future aspirations. The pupil passports are reviewed regularly with the children and adapted accordingly to match the needs of the child at that given time.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
Each term you will be invited into school to review and update your child’s learning passport alongside the class teacher. We also have an open-door policy so that at any point you feel you would like to discuss your child’s learning and progress, staff are available to do so. Parents Evenings are held twice a year to discuss your child’s current progress and targets. Interim reports are provided at the end of Autumn and Spring term and a more formal report detailing any statutory test scores at the end of the Summer term.
Parents are often requested to complete annual questionnaires either during the Parent Evening or via an online link.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
We understand that parents have a unique knowledge of their child and it is in partnership with you that we can best meet the needs of your child and help them to reach their goals. We draw on your knowledge of your child to help us make decisions about the types of support that may be needed. We will provide strategies for you to support your child at home. We are open to various levels and ranges of involvement.
In addition to this, parents may be involved through: meetings, workshops, half termly newsletters, assemblies and Masses. Parents are frequently asked to support school events such as discos, Summer Fayre, cake sales and within our fundraising work. Parents are encouraged to join our governing body at set times within the academic year. Parents/Grandparents are welcome to volunteer to support in school and should you wish to do so please contact the school office.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, we operate an ‘open door’ policy. In the first instance, parents and carers are encouraged to speak with their child’s class teacher if they have any concerns. If necessary, the class teacher will work with the SENCO to provide support and resolution. If parents feel that their issues have not been resolved, then they can make an appointment with the Deputy or Head teacher. If the matter remains unresolved then parents should reference the complaints policy which can be found on the school website.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
For further information about St Thomas Aquinas please contact the school office on 01782 234919. Our school prospectus is available on request and our website has a wealth of information about us and our community.
Parents can contact:
Special Educational Needs and Disability Monitoring and Assessment Assessment Service - SENMAS
01782 231863 or SENMAS@stoke.gov.uk
Stoke SENDIASS - Special Educational Needs and Disability Independent Advice Service for confidential, impartial information and advice on topics such as education law on disability, health and social care to help parents/carers, children and young people in making informed choices enabling them to play an active role in relation to educational decisions. They can offer support if you have concerns with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan in place for the child or young person. All contact details can be found on the SENDIASS website www.sendiass-stoke.co.uk
More information and support can also be found by contacting the Local Authorities:
Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority
Tel : 01782 234234
Staffordshire Local Authority
Staffordshire: 0300 111 8014