What is SEND?

A Child or young person aged from 0 to 25 years has special educational needs or disability (SEND) if they: 

  • have a learning difficulty or disability which makes it much harder for them to learn than other pupils of the same age
  • they require special educational provision to be made for them
The 4 areas of need according to the SEND Code of Practice

If your child has a SEND, their needs will fall into one or more of the following 4 areas:

  1. Communication & interaction 
  2. Cognition & learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental health difficulty
  4. Sensory and/or physical needs
SEND Curriculum Intent: 

Code of practice:  Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from their peers. This is special educational provision under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Schools and colleges must use their best endeavours to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it. Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less. 
Excellence and enjoyment: Great teaching is about sensitivity and adaptation, about a warm interaction between a teacher and a student, and about adjusting to the here-and-now circumstances of the classroom & child’s needs.  

What SEND teaching means at St Thomas: 

Children with SEND will be identified quickly, supported fully & access lessons which are differentiated to enable & challenge each child to meet their full potential in their progression to adulthood.  

Nurture Provision 

Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class.

Here at St Thomas, Nurture groups normally consist of between 6 to 10 children, normally from Years 1 to 6. Children attending nurture group provision still remain an active part of their main class, spending appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need, with the aim to typically return full time to their own class within two to four terms.

Nurture staff assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove the barriers to learning. The relationship between the staff and children is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for children. There are many opportunities for social learning, helping children to learn skills in order to attend to their own and the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.

As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving. However, Nurture support is not limited to the nurture room, we aim to embed the nurturing principles and practice at a whole school level, providing appropriate support for all pupils attending our school.

A QUB evaluation found clear evidence that ‘nurture groups are having a consistent, significant and large effect in improving social, emotional and behavioural outcomes among children who previously had difficulty learning within a mainstream class’. 

The Six Principles of Nurture Groups
  • Children's learning is understood developmentally.
  • The classroom offers a safe base.
  • Nurture is important for the development of self-esteem.
  • Language is understood as a vital means of communication.
  • All behaviour is viewed as communication.
  • Transitions are viewed as significant in the lives of children.
Identifying SEND

If concerns are raised about a child, either through the school’s monitoring and review systems, or where parents have raised their own concerns about their child, we would begin to monitor the child more closely.  Common reasons for this would be:

  • Failing to make expected progress despite quality first teaching and intervention.
  • Struggling to meet learning milestones.
  • Struggling to adhere to school and classroom boundaries.
  • struggling with social, emotional and mental health issues.

Please see our school pathway below for the steps all staff would take alongside the Head teacher and SENDCo (Mrs R Webster).

The SEND Local Offer in Rotherham aims to provide you with information you may need, or want to know, about resources, services, support, activities and events for Rotherham's children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their families.  Information is arranged according to age from pre-school through to early adulthood.

What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP)?

An Education, Health & Care Plan or EHCP is a document which sets out the education, health and social care needs of a child or young person aged up to 25, and the support that is necessary to help them achieve their outcomes.

Who needs an EHCP?

EHC plans are for children and young people (age 0-25) who have a special educational need or disability that cannot be met by the support that is already available at their school or college

Most children and young people with special educational needs will have help given to them without the need for an EHC Plan. This is called SEN support.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them.

How do I get an EHCP?

An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment. At the end of that process, the local authority has to make a decision to issue an EHC Plan or not. For this assessment to take place there must be evidence that a graduated response has already been put in place by the school or setting (for example appropriate assessment and interventions including support and resources available through the local offer). 

The local authority must complete the assessment within 16 weeks and if it decides to issue an EHCP, do so within 20 weeks of the original request.

Useful Websites

Accessibility Plan can be found on the school policies web page.