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Special Educational Needs

Our SENCo - Marie Donoghue

My name is Marie Donoghue and I have been a teacher since 2008. I am in a wonderful position in that I benefit from working in two schools!  I am the SENCo at Colliers Green and also work as an Assistant Headteacher, Class Teacher (job share) and SENCo at Goudhurst & Kilndown CEP School, so just down the road!  I love to learn and have been fortunate to attend a wide range of training courses, particularly focusing on supporting children with SEN – I am currently completing a course with Dyslexia Action which I am really enjoying and recognise that many strategies support all children, not just those with SEN.  In June this year, I was awarded the title of Specialist Leader in Education, an accolade I am proud to have.

Outside of school, I am very proud to have two grown up children who are making their own way in life, a patient husband and a rather gorgeous, and thoroughly spoilt labradoodle called Riley.  We are a family who likes to keep fit so can often be found at the gym (the coffee is very good!!) or running around Dunorlan Park (often with Riley too!). 

 

Inclusive Teaching and Learning

We are committed to inclusion.  We endeavour to make every effort to achieve maximum inclusion of all pupils whilst meeting their individual needs as learners.

What do we mean by Special Educational Needs?

Children have Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them. They may have:

  • a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
  • a disability that presents them from making full use of the educational facilities provided for children of the same school age.

They may have difficulty with one or more of the following:

  1. Communication and Interaction
  2. Sensory/ Physical
  3. Cognition and Learning
  4. Behavioural, Emotional and Social

We know that children learn and develop in different ways so we use different teaching styles, resources and plan different levels of work, along with many other approaches.  This is called Quality First Teaching.

How do we identify children who need extra support?

We aim to keep the time between identifying where support is needed and responding with the right provision to a minimum. Home and pre-school visits help with early identification and enable us to plan for future provision. As well as this we liaise with parents, health professionals and early years settings (nurseries) to build a sound evidence base.

Once in school, your child will be assessed in a number of different ways, including class observation.  From these assessments your child’s teacher will be able to see what they are good at, where they need help and how best you can help at home. 

What happens if your child is identified as needing support?

If your child needs support in one of the four areas mentioned, the class teacher, together with the SENCO will decide the type and level of support, which may change throughout their time at school.  We will always keep you informed and part of the process.

What does the SENCO do?

SENCO = Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

If your child needs support, the SENCO will:

  • Ensure the right support is put in place together with the class teacher.
  • Advise other teachers on how to help your child.
  • Work closely with you regarding your child’s needs and listen to any ideas or concerns you might have.
  • Work with professionals (if necessary) who may be able to help your child.

What could the support look like?

The support could be within class, as part of a small group or one to one help.  The class teacher and SENCO will best assess which type and level of support needed.

For your child this action will be enough to help them to overcome any difficulties and help them make good progress.

Sometimes, additional advice from outside specialists is needed, which could include advice from specialist teachers, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists or physiotherapists. In this case we work alongside parents and professionals to carry out further assessments and form an individual provision plan.

Along with many other approaches.  This is called Quality First Teaching.

How do we identify children who need extra support?

We aim to keep the time between identifying where support is needed and responding with the right provision to a minimum. Home and pre-school visits help with early identification and enable us to plan for future provision. As well as this we liaise with parents, health professionals and early years settings (nurseries) to build a sound evidence base.

Once in school, your child will be assessed in a number of different ways, including class observation.  From these assessments your child’s teacher will be able to see what they are good at, where they need help and how best you can help at home. 

What happens if your child is identified as needing support?

If your child needs support in one of the four areas mentioned, the class teacher, together with the SENCO will decide the type and level of support, which may change throughout their time at school.  We will always keep you informed and part of the process.

What is an Individual Provision Plan?

This is essentially what your child’s class teacher and the SENCO plan to do to help your child.  It will include short term targets, extra support detail (i.e. how often the support is being given) and when the school will next look at progress.

These plans are reviewed throughout the year and then discussed with parents at Parent’s Evening.  Your child would also be discussed at regular Pupil Progress meetings throughout the school year.

Contacts

If you have a concern about your child’s learning then your child’s class teacher is the first person to talk to as they plan for ways to give support in class, whether that support be one to one or in a group.

You can also contact our SENCO Marie Donoghue @ senco@colliers-green.kent.sch.uk