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Leavesden Green JMI School and Nursery

Special Educational Needs

SEND School Information Report

School Report - Reviewed September 2023

What if my child has special needs in learning?

The School’s Special Needs Policy helps us to identify pupils needs as early as possible and provide an appropriate programme. If you think your child has special needs the first point of contact is your child’s class teacher and/or our Inclusion Co-ordinator, Anna Seidler.

Nearly all children have times when they find new learning difficult and in most cases these problems can be overcome quickly. If a problem persists, however, and either you or we feel that your child is still not making progress we can refer him/her to the Educational Psychologist or other support agencies. Pupils with Special Needs are, whenever possible, catered for within the mainstream with group and individual help for pupils as appropriate.

What is Delivering Special Provision Locally (DSPL)?

DSPL is a Hertfordshire-wide partnership approach where parents, staff in early years settings and schools, further education colleges, local authority officers and representatives from other agencies, work together as part of an Area Group, reviewing and developing the range of provision and support services available to their local community that

  • Meets the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), aged 0-25, as close to home as possible.
  • Improves outcomes for wellbeing and attainment
  • Widens choice for children and parents/carers
  • Removes barriers to learning
  • Uses resources more effectively

Supporting your child with SEND:

Sending any child into school and handing over the trust to the school to support and nurture your child is a big leap for any parent, however if your child is struggling and may have a learning difficulty then this leap is greater and may come with increased anxieties.

If you have any concerns with your child’s learning, then please firstly contact your child’s class teacher and ask to arrange a meeting with them.  If these concerns continue then please contact Anna Seidler the school’s SENCo (anna@leavesden.education), so she can attend those meetings too.

The links below will hopefully support you in learning more about specific types of SEND and give some useful suggestions on what you can do at home to support your child.

Specific Learning Difficulties

Many children go through stages throughout their school life where they may be struggling in either reading, writing or maths and their learning may dip, however in many cases with reasonable classroom adjustments they pick up again.  It does not mean that your child has dyslexia or dyscalculia.

However, if these difficulties continue for a long period of time, despite reasonable adjustments, then your child may need a small group or 1:1 intervention.  If your child is not progressing despite the intervention after one to two terms, then we may need to refer to Hertfordshire’s Advisory Team for Specific Learning Difficulties for further support. Below are Hertfordshire’s Guidance for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia:

Guidance on identifying dyslexia & supporting children/young people

Dyscalculia guidance

Speech & Language

Speech and language is an essential skill that we often take for granted.  We are seeing more and more children starting school with a Speech and Language Difficulty, most of which are overcome throughout their schooling.

As a school, we focus a lot on speech and language as soon as they start school, our whole Early Years Team is continuously working on language development throughout their practice.  We use a programme called WellComm, which is recommended by Hertfordshire, it is an Early Years Communication Package designed to support the development of speech and language.  This is implemented through whole class teaching or small groups.

We are very lucky to have Mrs West, a highly experienced Speech and Language LSA, who helps oversee the WellComm Programme and works 1:1 with specific children, mostly with an EHCP.   If you have any concerns with your child's speech and language, then please contact your child’s class teacher first. 

To contact Mrs West please email her on: charlotte@leavesden.education

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Anyone, at any point in their life can suffer from low mood or have anxieties.  It seems that now more than ever our children face many extra difficulties and pressures in their lives, due to COVID with the huge uncertainties associated with it, fear of loneliness and isolation or the internet and constant exposure to social media.

At Leavesden we look at all behaviours as a way of the children communicating with us.  We put in place a range of strategies to support the child, this could be through:

  • Classroom adjustments, like special jobs, time out space, check ins with their chosen adult, social stories..
  • Carefully selected and monitored interventions with our School Based Family Support Worker (Mrs DeBono), their class based LSAs or SEMH Lead in the school (Leslie Murphy).
  • Time in the Nurture Room
  • Risk Reduction Plans - RRP. to ensure all adults and children are aware of their expectations and what steps are put in place to support the child in being successful.

If you are at all concerned about your child’s mental health please come into school and talk to your child’s class teacher first.  If your concerns continue then speak to Vicky DeBono, Leslie Murphy or Anna Seidler, who will meet with you and the class teacher.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term that describes a wide spectrum disorder.  It is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how people experience the world and interact with others.  People with this condition generally experience difficulties with social interaction and communication, they can see, feel and hear the world differently to other people.  They can also display behaviours such as rigid thinking, obsessive interests or sensory difficulties.  People living with this disorder will also experience a range of mild or significant areas of difficulty in one or more of the associated attributes.

As every child / person with this disorder can present themselves differently, it is important that as a school we get to know the child well.  This is done by spending time with the child, observing them and talking to them and their parents about the things they like and love doing, their motivators, but also the things that cause anxiety or upset, like changes in routine, noise, smells.  We are currently developing a passport that will then move with the child throughout the school, being continuously developed and added to, to ensure that all adults working with your child have a clear understanding of your child’s needs.

If you are at all worried about your child, then please first talk to your class teacher about your concerns.

As a school, we work very closely with Hertfordshire Advisory Teachers for Communication and Autism, they come into school once a referral has been made to help support the school in putting in place adjustments and support for the child.

Hertfordshire Local Offer, offers support to parents and carers with children who have or are awaiting a diagnosis of ASD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental condition that can present with:

  • Inattentiveness,
  • Hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

It is a neurological condition which affects the person's brain chemistry.  People with this condition can seem restless, they may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.

Symptoms of ADHD generally get noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstance change, for example they start school.  In most cases the child is diagnosed between 6 and 12 years old.  The symptoms of ADHD generally improve with age.  People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.

ADHD is a persistent pattern of Inattention AND/OR Hyperactivity and impulsivity.  The symptoms need to happen most of the time and have an impact on social, academic or occupational function.  Around 70% of people diagnosed with ADHD have a combined presentation of both Inattentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive, which is harder to diagnose.

At Leavesden, like with all SEND needs and behaviours we look at the behaviours that the child is displaying and put in place strategies to support them.  This information needs to be gathered by knowing the child and talking to the parents.

Inattentive behaviour Hyperactivity and Impulsive behaviours
  • Pre teaching
  • Task planners
  • Always cueing the child in using their name and touch
  • Instructions broken down into small chunks
  • Fiddle toys, chew toys, wobble cushions and elastic bands around chair legs,
  • Movement breaks
  • Instructions broken down into small chunks
  • Seating in class

If you have any concerns with some of the behaviours your child displays, then please first of all discuss these with your child’s class teacher. If these behaviours still persist then a meeting with the class teacher and SENCo will happen.

Useful Links

Hertfordshire Local Offer

Support Groups In Hertfordshire

The ADHD & Autism trust

Autism Information and Support