Special Educational Needs

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In ‘Special Educational Needs - A Guide for Parents’, a child is considered to have learning difficulties “if he or she finds it much harder to learn than most other children of the same age”. This can be due to:-

  • a physical disability
  • a problem with sight, hearing or speech
  • mental disability
  • emotional or behavioural problems
  • medical or health problems
  • difficulties with reading, writing, speaking or maths work

Approximately one in five children have a learning difficulty at some time in their school life, but with help, most of them get over their difficulties.

Early Identification

At our weekly staff meetings any child who is causing concern is discussed. The teacher who has expressed concern will ask other members of staff who teach the child if they too are worried.

Action Records

Stage 1

The teacher records areas of concern and talks to the parents.

Stage 2

An ‘Individual Provision Map (I.P.M)’ is written which will set goals and targets to help rectify the problem. Parents are consulted and asked to help.

Stage 3

If the child does not show improvement, the school, with the parent’s consent, may seek specialist advice from, for example, an Educational Psychologist, or a Learning Support Teacher. On the basis of the advice received from the professionals, a new Educational Plan will be written.

In some cases, if a child still does not make satisfactory progress, the Principal might decide to advise the parents to request a Statutory Assessment by the L.E.A. Parents will be given advice and support by the school to help them make their request.

Once the L.E.A. have collected all the advice on your child’s Educational Needs they will decide whether to make an ‘Educational Health Care Plan’ (EHCP) for your child. This is a document that sets out your child’s needs and any special help he/she should have. NB. Statements are currently being phased out.

At this school we have many dyslexic students. The school is one of the few that teach systematic phonics (the only successful way for a dyslexic child to learn to read and spell).

In the past, we have had pupils with EHCP’s (formerly Statements) for a variety of reasons,  including:-

 1) Specific learning difficulties (Dyslexia)

 2) Health problems

 3) Speech and hearing difficulties

 4) Visual impairment

 5) Attention deficit disorder

 6) Ataxia

 7) Aspergers Syndrome

 Because of the structure of the school building, we cannot accommodate pupils with severe physical disabilities.

 For children who are experiencing learning difficulties with maths or literacy skills, extra lessons are available.

The Principal, Mrs Laffeaty-Sharpe, is a member of the Reading Reform Foundation, a qualified teacher for dyslexia and a trained screener with the Irlen Institute for Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, a visual disorder that affects a large number of dyslexics, and which can be corrected with the use of coloured overlays and specially tinted spectacles.

The school does not have a selective entry policy and pupils are often transferred from other schools because they are experiencing difficulties.

It is our policy to help each child to reach their maximum potential, whatever problem they may have, and to make sure that they take part in a wide curriculum alongside their peers.


The school has been very successful in the teaching of dyslexic pupils. Individual plans of study for each child include recognised remedial measures to teach dyslexic pupils a variety of strategies including phonics, word attack, recognition of the most common sight words, and look-cover-spell check. Computers are used for diagnostic spelling tests and specialist programmes are structured to help overcome specific difficulties. Pupils are taught word processing and touch-typing.

For more information, please speak to the School Principal, Mrs E. Laffeaty-Sharpe.