Riverside Primary Academy | Special Educational Needs Report

Special Educational Needs Report


Riverside Primary Academy is a mainstream school for pupils from the ages of 3 to 11.


The school caters for pupils with various needs.


The SENCo is Mrs J Sumner who can be contacted by telephoning the school or email at info@riversideprimaryacademy.org.uk.


Identifying Needs


All pupils follow a broad balanced curriculum that is appropriate to their age and stage of development which is personalised to take into account their needs and abilities. In order to identify a pupil’s special educational needs we use all of the information about the pupil’s progress including teacher assessmentand SAT’s tests, reading age tests, The Phonics Test and regular Read Write Inc assessments and compare it with the progress of other pupils in the school and against national performance information.


If a pupil is not making the progress that would be expected, their parent/carer will be involved as soon as possible. We will discuss our concerns with the parent/carer and pupil and get their views about:


• the pupil’s strengths and areas of difficulty
• concerns that the parent/carer and pupil has
• agreed outcomes
• agreed next steps


Following discussions with parents/carers and the pupil, we will then agree outcomes that the pupil will be working towards and the support or interventions needed to meet these outcomes.
Concerns are not always based on academic progress but could also be linked to the social and emotional development of the pupil. Any concerns that school staff or parents raise in this area may lead to further investigations by the Inclusion Leader.


Assessment, Monitoring and Review


Each pupil’s progress is continually monitored by their teacher and the SENCo in a number of ways, including additional educational testing completed within school. The SENCo oversees any additional support the pupil may need and at the beginning of the new academic year, data is analysed and tracked to get a clear indication of which pupils need support with their academic work.


Progress is discussed in regular staff meetings, tracked closely by staff and is reviewed every term. The pupil is given an academic level in English and Maths which is shared with parent/carers through the school reporting system. If the pupil is not showing progress within National Curriculum levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and shows smaller but significant steps of progress. As well as National Curriculum Levels other test are used to monitor progress, such as tests which give a reading and spelling age or a standardised score. These tests and levels will also be discussed in detail, along with staff comments within the review meeting.


The level of support given to each pupil and depends on their additional needs and any other factors that may improve or hinder their progress. When a pupil has been assessed and is not making progress against their outcomes with the help that they have been given, we can refer pupils to a number of different services for more specialist assessment and advice.


Depending on the pupil’s needs, referrals can be made to the Special Educational Needs Improvement Team (SENIT), the Educational Psychology Service within Gateshead Council, health services such as speech and language therapy, school nursing service, occupational therapist, Emotional Wellbeing Team or Children and Young People’s Service or social care teams such as SEND social workers or the Family Intervention Team. We might suggest completing a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form in order to get a team of professionals (Team around the Family (TAF)) together to work with the pupil and their family but this will only be done with the parent/carers agreement.


If the pupil does not make progress with support that has been suggested by specialist staff, we can make a referral to the Local Authority (LA), for an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (called a Single Plan in Gateshead). This is a legal process, which is carried out by the LA which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for the pupil.


Involving Parents/Carers and Pupils


Parent/carers can contact school with any concerns about their child by telephoning, writing or coming into the office and requesting a meeting or speaking to staff at the start and end of the school day.


Parent/carers will be kept informed through home/school books/diaries, school reports and phone calls. Staff will contact parents/carers to discuss issues, concerns or progress of individual pupils as soon as additional need is identified.


We hold regular parent evenings for all parents/carers. If your child has special educational needs, parents/carers and the pupil are involved with regular termly review meetings to discuss progress outcomes and setting outcomes for the future.


Annual Reviews are held for pupils with Education Health Care Plans. These reviews focus on achievements, the progress made, support and future plans and are held with parents/carers, the pupil and any other agencies involved.


Pupils are encouraged to share their aspirations and views in review meetings.



There are a number of people in school who are responsible for special educational needs in school:


The Head Teacher is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including support for pupils with SEN.
  • Making sure that your child’s needs are met but they will share this responsibility with the SENco and class teachers.
  • Making sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEN.


The SENCo is responsible for:

  • Coordinating all the support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEN Policy to make sure all pupils recieve a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Ensuring that parents/carers are:
    • involved in supporting their child’s learning
    • kept informed about the support their child has
    • involved in reviewing how they are doing
    • involved in planning for their future.
    • Contacting other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning for example, an Educational Psychologist.
    • Making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
    • Provide specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school, so they can help pupils with SEN in the school make the best possible progress.
    • Writing Pupil Learning Plans (PLPs) with teachers that specify the strategies they will use to allow full pupils access to the curriculum.
    • Ensuring that all staff working with the pupil in school are helped to deliver the planned work/programme so the pupil can make the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.


The Class Teacher is responsible for:


  • Making sure that all pupils have access to excellent classroom teaching (this is known as quality first teaching) and that the curriculum is adjusted to meet your child’s individual needs (this is called differentiation).
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and providing any additional help your child may need and discussing this with the SENCo know if necessary. This could be things like targeted work or additional support.
  • Following the PLPs developed with the SENCo. These will be shared and reviewed with parents at least once each term.
  • Implementing whole school inclusive practice strategies throughout all teaching.
  • Planning for the pupil’s next term based on their progress.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEN Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEN.


The Teaching Assistants work with the class teacher to identify areas of support for pupils with SEN. They:


  • Support pupils to access the curriculum
  • Help to implement differentiation and specialist support strategies in the classroom
  • Keep pupils focused on learning activities during lesson
  • Attend all training opportunities related to SEN and differentiation.
  • Are mainly classroom based, however many of our Teaching Assistants are able to deliver specific programmes outside of the classroom. They may also provide support during social time and unstructured parts of the day
  • Help pupils to develop effective ways of becoming independent learners
  • Pass on any concerns regarding progress/emotional and social development to the SENCo


The SEN Governor is responsible for:


  • Making sure that the school has an up to date SEN Policy
  • Making sure that the school has appropriate provision and has made necessary adaptations to meet the needs of all pupils in the school.
  • Making sure that the necessary support is made for any pupil who attends the school, who has SEN.


The Speech and Language Teacher – works with pupils who have been identified by the teachers and SENco or Speech Therapists as needing intervention with physical speech or their or ability to understand language or to express themselves.




School staff are trained in specific areas where there is a current SEND. The SENCo/Inclusion Leader collects information on areas for development through appraisals and staff meetings and asks the appropriate professionals to deliver it as whole staff or individual training. Training is also provided for staff when pupils are admitted to school with a SEND that no-one in school has experience of. Leaders of Literacy and Numeracy areas find appropriate specialist support training and enrol staff on courses.


Staff within school have different levels of expertise in order to support pupils with special educational needs:


Awareness – this is basic awareness of a particular type of SEN. All staff who come into contact with the pupil will have this level of training and it will be carried out by the SENco, SENIT, Educational Psychologist or other specialist service.


Enhanced – this level of training will be carried out by staff working with the pupil regularly, such as class and subject teachers, and will focus on how teaching and learning can be adapted to meet the pupil’s needs. The training can be carried out by SENIT, Educational Psychologist, staff from special schools or other specialist services.


Specialist – this is in-depth training about a particular type of SEN for staff who will be advising staff who support pupils at an enhanced level. This could be a specialist SEN teacher or a SENCo if they had appropriate qualifications.


At Riverside Primary Academy, staff have had awareness training in dyslexia, dyspraxia, immature brain development, attachment issues, ADHD, receptive and expressive language difficulties and enhanced training in dyslexia, attachment issues, receptive and expressive language difficulties and Autistic spectrum.



Transitions can be difficult for a pupil with SEN and we take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

  • Pupils with Education, Health and Care Plan (Single Plans) will have a review in the Autumn term before they move to secondary school to discuss the transition. You will be told by 15th February of the year that they transfer which secondary school they will attend in September.
  • Before your child moves to Secondary School, staff will visit them at our school. We will arrange for your child to visit their secondary school to meet their new teachers and classmates. Comprehensives often invite all parents to an open evening once their secondary placement has been allocated. They will also speak to parent/carers of children with EHCP before their child begins at the school. Through discussions with you will develop a personal transition plan for your child with their secondary school.
  • If your child is moving to another school we will contact the SENCo at the new school and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. We will also make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible. Where possible your child will visit their new school before they start and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in our school. When your child moves to secondary school, staff from Riverside Primary Academy will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCo of their secondary school.
  • Information is available for staff from the school’s records so staff will be aware of your child’s needs when they move class, staff also have transition meetings to discuss the children they are handing on to the next teacher. Pupils with a greater level of need are identified to all staff as appropriate.


Please note – if your child has a an EHCP they must have an annual review before they move to a new school.



All pupils receive excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching. For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This involves things like using more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies are in place to support your child to learn.
  • If your child’s teacher has decided that your child has gap in their understanding/learning after carefully checking on your child’s progress they may receive some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

All pupils have this level of support but other types of support are available for pupils with SEN:

  • Specific work with a small group of pupils.

This type of support is available for any pupil who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning and will be put in place if the SENco thinks that they need extra support in school. The group, sometimes called Intervention groups by schools, may be:

  • Run in the classroom or as additional small groups in school.
  • Planned and overseen by teachers and are often run by our Teaching Assistants who have been trained to deliver various interventions using teacher’s plans.
  • Will work with specific targets to help your child make more progress. The targets will be identified in advance and need to be achieved within a specific time period.

The progress made with the intervention is tracked and monitored closely to decide whether any additional support is needed for your child.


Specialist groups run by outside agencies

This type of support is available for pupils who are not making progress through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups and means they have been assessed as needing some extra specialist support in school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority services such as the Special Educational Needs Inclusion Team or an Educational Psychologist.
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service, Occupational Therapy, Emotional Wellbeing Team.

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by their teacher and SENCo as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked for permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional eg a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s needs better and be able to support them better in school.

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class eg some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise
  • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional eg a social skills group
  • A group or individual work with outside professional
  • The school may give your child some individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.


Individual support

This is usually provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (known as a Single Plan in Gateshead). This means your child will have been identified by a specialist professional as needing a higher level of support than the school can provide from their SEN budget. This is a legal process, which is carried out by the LA, which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child. School will discuss with you if they think that this is required.


Emotional and Social

As well as providing academic support, school can also provide emotional and social support for pupils. This can include:

  • Peer mentoring/buddy systems involving older pupils.
  • Social skills/nurture group interventions – provided by both internal staff and external agencies
  • Self-esteem interventions – ranging for the use of sport/music/drama to speech and language interventions
  • A Pastoral system which allocates support from Teachers and Teaching Assistants, as well as SENco
  • Anti-bullying policies and teaching within PSHE curriculum
  • Administration of medicines


Accessibility In School


The school is fully accessible to pupils with physical difficulties.

The following facilities are available for pupils and their parents/carers with physical difficulties:

  • Disabled parking bays
  • Ramped access to buildings
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible break areas
  • Accessible dining area
  • A private room for administration of medication

A risk assessment carried out and personal evacuation plan will be drawn up for all pupils with physical difficulties. All staff working with the pupil will be made aware of the plan.

We have an Accessibility Plan which is available here.


Outside of School

Pupils take part in school visits throughout the year. A risk assessment is completed for all school visits. The Senior Leadership Team, overseen by the Headteacher, makes decisions based on whether it is safe for a pupil to leave the premises, taking into account the emotional needs of the pupils.



Parent/carers should contact the SENco with any complaints about the provision that the pupil is receiving at school. If the complaint is not resolved, the school has a complaints procedure.

Parents/carers can contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information and Advice Service which is run by Barnardos in Gateshead (tel 0191 4784667). This is a free, confidential service for young people who have SEND and their parent/carers. The service is available whether or not the young person has an EHCP.

Gateshead Council has developed a Local Offer which provides information about education, health and social care support for children and young people with SEND in Gateshead.