Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy
Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy is a mainstream school.
We are part of the Newman Catholic Collegiate as with all schools within the Collegiate our school is centred on the presence of Jesus Christ.
At Our Lady & St Benedict we recognise and respect the uniqueness of each and every individual in our family. We aim to provide a happy, safe and secure environment where our children can grow to reach their potential and develop their relationship with God.
Inclusion recognises differences, meeting the needs of individuals and taking positive action so that every member of our family has equal access to the educational opportunities on offer. Every single member of our school community is regarded as being of equal worth and importance and we strive to ensure that all pupils have access to a rich and aspirational curriculum.
We regularly assess and monitor the individual progress of all pupils and work hard to ensure that they are given the appropriate support that enables them to succeed in all aspects of our curriculum and achieve their potential.
Who to contact
Where to go
- Our Lady and St Benedict Catholic Academy
Stoke on Trent
- ST2 8AU
- Local Offer Age Bands
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Academy accommodates all SEND pupils in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas of need as outlined in the 2015 SEND Code of Practice. These categories are;
Cognition & Learning
This includes children whose learning difficulty could result in them learning at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs and includes, for example, children who have Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) and children who have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) which encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. These children may need additional support in some areas of the curriculum.
Communication & Interaction
This may include children who have a Speech, Language and Communication Need (SLCN) where children have difficulty saying what they want to or understanding what is being said to them and children who do not understand or use social rules of communication. This includes some children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH)
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. They may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging behaviours along with children who may have disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder. We work with CAMHS and other appropriate agencies to support these children.
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
This includes children who require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided. This includes Visual Impairment (VI), Hearing Impairment (HI), Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI) and Physical Disability (PD). We work with specialist services to access appropriate support to enable these children to access their learning.
As these needs can be often inter-related we understand that many children may have more than one of these needs. The appropriate support will be given to support all areas of a child’s 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?
Concerns in relation to a special educational need can be raised by parents, carers and staff at school.
Our Lady & St. Benedict Catholic Academy is committed to quality first teaching for all pupils. Class teachers monitor all pupils on an ongoing basis in order to identify pupils that are not making expected progress as early as possible. Staff have regular pupil progress discussions with senior leaders to strengthen identification.
Concerns may be raised by the teacher through observations and analysis of data. Staff will liaise with the school SENCo and parents/carers. If children show no/little evidence of progress then additional standardised tests and assessments may take place.
Observations and assessments may indicate that a pupil has a need in one of the four areas outlined in the SEND Code of Practice;
- Communication & Interaction
- Cognition & Learning
- Social, Emotional & Mental Health
If you have concerns about your child’s learning needs, please discuss these first with your child’s class teacher.
Your child’s class teacher will then liaise with the SENCO if this is appropriate.
The SENCO, Graeme Rathbone, can be contacted through the school office.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
Through quality first teaching; every teacher in every class plans for the children’s needs. Our staff work hard to develop an holistic understanding of all pupils in their care and use a range of strategies to ensure that pupils can make progress against the curriculum.
However if your child requires specific support then this can be targeted through an individual pupil passport, where you and teacher discuss ways which may be best to support your child. Your child’s views and ideas will also contribute significantly to the creation of the pupil passport. Together you will agree upon a small number of SMART targets to help your child make progress in school. SMART targets are targets that are;
Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-Based
That means that your child’s targets will be relevant to their needs and attainable within a term by putting in place the agreed on support detailed in the passport.
This may be through making adjustments in class planning and resources, or through additional group work or support on a one to one basis with an adult. Additional intervention programs may be also used to support your child’s learning.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
All teachers at Our Lady & St Benedict plan to meet the child’s individual needs through quality first teaching, detailed planning and carefully scaffolded activities. This is delivered in a classroom environment that is stimulating but conducive to learning for all learners and delivered with adult support.
All pupils receive equal access to a full curriculum that will help them build knowledge and skills and develop cultural capital and achieve their full potential.
Pupil Passports are used to inform any member of staff working with your child of their specific needs and tailored SMART targets for the term. These will be used to help inform planning and ensure that provision is effective.
One to one support will be supplied where it is deemed necessary, for example if your child requires constant adult input to ensure their own or others’ safety.
Ongoing assessments and monitoring ensures that staff can provide a well differentiated curriculum for your child. Those pupils with greater needs are given additional support in line with their difficulties.
You and your children will also contribute towards your child’s individual pupil passport which will outline specific needs and will identify teaching strategies, different ways of presenting learning and use of relevant resources to help your child meet the curriculum.
Below is a range of interventions and strategies used in school to support your child to access the curriculum.
Visual timetables, pre-teaching of strategies concepts and vocab, use of ICT.
Carefully scaffolded tasks and planning for quality first teaching, Precision Teaching, Switch On Reading, Inference reading, Talking Partners, Write From the Start, Paired reading, Bug Club Phonics boosters, additional reading and writing targeted support before school in EYFS & KS1.
Precision teaching, Power of 2, Catch Up Maths, visual and practical resources such as Numicon.
Speech, Language & Communication
Nuffield Language, Time to Talk, Talking Partners, visual timetables and aids, speech and language programmes set by SaLT, access to weekly Mable Therapy sessions.
Further scaffolding of physical activities (both fine and gross motor).
Social, Emotional and Mental Health
Playground Leaders, Reward Systems, Family Support sessions, outside agency support.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
Our class teachers or support staff can be spoken to at the beginning and the end of the day. A member of the Senior Leadership Team will be on the gate at the beginning of the day. The SENCO can arrange meetings with you to discuss your child’s progress.
Parent’s Evenings take place twice a year and a third opportunity to visit with the class teacher in school will be supplied in the Summer Term. A report will be written by the class teacher and supplied at the end of the year.
Pupil Passports will be reviewed each term and these will give you details of the progress that your child has made in their areas of need and give you the opportunity to discuss next steps with their class teacher.
If your child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) this will be reviewed at least once a year with yourselves, the SENCO, the child (where possible) and any representatives of involved outside agencies that are necessary.
The school welcomes involvement from outside agencies such as Speech & Language Therapists or Educational Phycologists and will share their reports and recommendations with you.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
As we are a Catholic school we have a strong Catholic ethos where children are given the social and moral support which they require through our caring environment. Our Lady & St Benedict Catholic Primary Academy believes in developing the whole child and all pupils are supported through the PSHE and RE curriculum which offers a foundation for pupil’s spiritual, emotional, mental and social development. All staff support pupils within class to improve pupil’s wellbeing. We have two learning mentors who often works one-to-one and in small groups with children who need extra social, behavioural or nurturing support.
Those children who need extra medical support will have a Health and Social Care plan where your child’s needs are specifically identified. Our school works closely with the nurse who can support the needs of your child.
Our positive behaviour policy is effective in supporting children in making the right choices. We believe it is extremely important for our children to contribute their views and we support children in doing this through student council, peer mediators and pupil interviews 3 times a year.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
The school works alongside Speech & Language, Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, a range of health care professionals, Hearing and Visual Impairment support workers.
We have access to a range of on-going CPD opportunities from SEND services.
The school works with Mable Therapy to provide speech and language support for pupils as well as working with the NHS SaLT team to support pupils with Speech and language needs.
The Newman Collegiate has access to an additional Educational Psychologist along with being able to access these services from the Local Authority.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
Members of staff, both teachers and support staff, all have a wealth of experience and have undergone training.
We provide access to regular, on-going CPD from SEND services with regards to a wide range of needs, specifically those present in school.
Staff are encouraged to join bought in SaLT sessions and receive appropriate training to deliver the recommendations in class.
Staff can be and are trained to use specific resources such as hearing aids or nebulisers when this is needed.
Regular training is given to all staff who work with any pupils with medical needs.
All staff have received up to date training on the SEND code of practice, the Stoke Matrices of needs and current EEF guidance.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
We try to ensure that wherever possible all pupils can access the educational visits planned by staff.
All educational visits are staffed with the appropriate ratio of adults to children. Pupils with SEND are carefully considered and where it is necessary a one to one member can join them.
We carry out risk assessments for educational visits and for any additional activity where there is some form of risk anticipated.
An appropriate ratio of adults to staff go out for playtimes in the playground to ensure the safety of all pupils.
In EYFS the outdoor environment is used all year round and is a key area for learning, with planned activities taking place in the playground. Staff plan for safe and inclusive activities that can be accessed by all.
Parents can speak to staff on a daily basis at the beginning and end of the day, this provides time to share any concerns and also ensure smooth transition in and out of school.
All areas we visit are wheelchair friendly.
- How accessible is the environment?
Senior Leadership annually review our accessibility plan to ensure that all areas of school can be accessed safely by all pupils.
A ramp and new entrance to the school building provide accessible access to the school for all people. Access to the Year 6 classroom can be gained via the ramp in the Key Stage 1 and 2 playground.
A disabled toilet facility is available for all in the entrance to school. While a disabled toilet for pupils and staff can be found opposite the EYFS classrooms.
We ensure, wherever this is possible, that equipment used is accessible to all pupils regardless of needs.
Any staff working with pupils with specific physical needs will receive the appropriate training to support them.
After and before school provision is available to all pupils from Reception up.
We try to ensure that any extra-curricular activities can be accessed by all of our pupils.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
Transitions can be particularly difficult for some pupils with SEND and we take the following steps to ensure that any transition can be as smooth as possible.
Moving classes in school:
Teachers have a detailed transition meeting before pupils move from one class to another. The needs of your child will be discussed in a thorough handover meeting. This includes sharing Pupil Passports and discussing targets for the coming year.
Transition visits with their new teacher will take place before the end of the summer term, giving the children an opportunity to meet and familiarise themselves with the staff who will be working with them next year.
We will contact the school SENCO to ensure that they know in advance about any additional needs or support for your child.
We will pass on all records about your child as soon as possible.
We will seek specialist agency support where this is appropriate.
The SENCO and Year 6 teacher will discuss any specific needs your child has with the SENCO from their secondary school.
Your child will also have the opportunity to visit the new school and meet and familiarise themselves with key members of staff before the end of Year 6.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
We use money from the SEN budget, that is allocated to us by the Local Authority every financial year, to provide additional resources and support for pupils with SEN.
We ensure that the needs of all children with special educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the available funding. This may include the allocation of additional TA support in small group or 1:1 situations, additional intervention input or the use of specific resources bought in to meet individual needs.
Children with the most complex needs are given the most support and this will often involve additional support from a teaching assistant.
Parents are involved in the decision-making process through consultation with the SENCO in the development of Pupil Passports.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
All children are unique and individual. As such we work hard to deliver the highest standard of teaching for all pupils, with carefully planned and scaffolded work to help ensure all pupils can reach their full potential.
If a child needs additional support the SENCO will work with the class teacher and all stakeholders, including parents and outside agencies, to ensure that appropriate support is put in place for that child.
As we regularly check progress against Pupil Passports, we may alter the provision put in place for a child throughout the year to best ensure that they are receiving the most appropriate level of support for them.
We liaise with any previous settings or outside agencies who are involved when a child first joins us in school.
Before starting EYFS staff will conduct home visit interviews and will ask if parents have any concerns regarding potential SEND.
- How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?
Teachers will regularly give pupils feedback about their work and the progress they are making and discuss with them what next steps are needed for them to make further progress against our curriculum. This enables pupils to develop as reflective learners and helps them to close the gaps between what they can currently do and what we would like them to be able to do.
Pupils with a Pupil Passport will also be given termly opportunities to share their thoughts and feelings about how they have done working towards their targets and what they feel they need to continue to work on.
Pupils with an EHCP may be invited to join in the review process.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
All parents of pupils in school are invited to attend Parent’s Evenings. These will provide an opportunity for you to share in discussion about the progress your child is making in class and discuss next steps and how you can help them to achieve this at home. Annual reports are sent out at the end of the year.
Teachers are also available to speak to parents before and after school and the school SENCO – Graeme Rathbone – can be contacted through the school office.
Parents will be consulted each term when Pupil Passports are being drawn up to ensure that all stakeholders are happy with the targets and strategies for learning being put in place by the school to support pupils.
Parents of pupils with an EHCP will be invited to an annual review to discuss how the child is making progress towards the goals set out in the EHCP.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
As discussed above you will be involved in the Pupil Passport Review cycle of meetings with your child and class teacher. Additional to this there are opportunities throughout the year for parents to join their pupils in learning workshops or activities.
If you are interested in being involved in the wider aspects of school then feel free to come in for a chat about what you feel you could offer the school.
- What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?
If you are not happy about a decision or something that is happening in school, please ask to speak to your child’s class teacher initially. If you require further assistance then please request to speak to the SENCO. If you are still not happy then you can speak to the Principal or the Academy Committee member for SEND who will do their best to help you with your concerns.
The process for making a complaint is available for parents to see on the school website. Alternatively a written copy can be provided.
- What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?
Within school there are people to help, your first contact should be your child’s class teacher or the school office. Other people in school who are available to help include:
Principal – Mrs Clowes
Vice Principal - Mrs Exon
SENCo – Mr Rathbone
Safeguarding Officers – Miss Franklin, Mrs Howard and Miss Ward
Below is a list of the contact services outside of school available to parents and carers of a pupil with a SEND need. Some of these services are accessed via the school so talk to your class teacher to help sign post you further.
The Safeguarding Board - 01782 235100
School Nurse - 03001240362
SEND Services - 01782 232538
SENMAS - 01782 231863
SENDIASS - 01782 234701
Social Care - 01782 235100
Your Health Visitor
IPSEA (Independent Parental Specialist Advice) www.ipsea.org.uk
NSAAA (North Staffordshire Asperger Autism Association) - 01782 627002