At Culgaith C of E Primary School we try to meet the needs of all the children in our school including those with Special Educational Needs and here we set out how exactly how we as a school meet the needs of children with SEND. We hope that it helps you make informed choices about our school and what we can offer your child.

We have a duty to publish information for parents/carers, carers and learners within our school about our policy for children with SEN. This information is updated annually. Schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible and wherever possible, and the needs of children with special educational needs are met in a mainstream setting, where families want this to happen.

What types of Special Educational Needs or Disabilities are provided for at Culgaith CE School?

We welcome all children who will benefit from an inclusive, mainstream education. We recognise the needs of the most and least able children and we know and understand that children may have special educational needs or disabilities throughout, or at any time during their school career.

If for any reason we feel that we are unable to meet the needs of a child, we work in partnership with the family and the Local Authority to find alternative provision that will be able to offer the support or specialist environment and skills required.

At Culgaith CE School we believe that all children are unique and special. It is every child’s right to feel valued, to experience success and to feel positive about themselves regardless of any Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

The purpose of identification is to recognise what action Culgaith C of E School should take, not to generalise or stereotype a child. Culgaith identifies the needs of each child by considering their specific needs as a whole.

How does the school identify and assess pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

Most of the children who attend Culgaith School start in our Nursery, which is part of our Early Years class. This means that the skilled team are able to identify children who may have special educational needs or disabilities before they start school. We also work closely with other settings and agencies (e.g. health visitors) if children have not been in our Nursery in order to identify children with additional needs and seek the settings/agencies’ advice on how best to meet each child’s individual needs. Liaison with parents/carers and skilled professionals is vital and we meet regularly as a team around a child so that we can gather up to date information and advice.

Our highly trained Early Years Team visit children in their home prior to children starting school which provides an excellent chance to talk to parents/carers and the child. Staff are aware of the different developmental stages and the fact that children have different rates of progress towards and through these.  The Early Years team has regular meetings where they discuss concerns and these are then discussed with the Head teacher/SENDCO and with parents/ carers.

Progress of all pupils is monitored regularly by class teachers and discussed and moderated by the staff team so that we can quickly identify when a pupil is not making expected progress in a particular area of learning. This is discussed with the parent/carers/class teacher and, when necessary, the SENDCO.  We can then plan for additional support and, if necessary, make a referral to the Local Authority’s SEND team for specialist help where a child meets the SEND criteria.  The school holds termly Open Evenings for all parent/carers so that individual children’s progress can be discussed and parents are welcome to make an appointment at any other time convenient for them and staff if they have concerns about their child’s progress or level of attainment.

If you have a concern about your child’s progress or level of attainment, in the first instance please speak with your child’s class teacher to discuss your concerns. The class teacher will then liaise with our SENDCO as appropriate 

How do we assess a child’s needs and inform parents/carers of their child’s progress?

Culgaith C of E School is dedicated to prompt identification of needs in order to meet the needs of children with SEND. Class teachers are accountable and responsible for the progress of all children in their class. Ongoing teacher assessments will provide information about where a child has made limited progress and consequently will then consult with the SEND Coordinator to reflect on what else could be done. Progress for each child will be achieved by focussing on classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and differentiation. If subsequent interventions do not lead to satisfactory progress, then the class teacher will consult with the SENCO to review interventions and strategies. This may lead to the conclusion that the pupil would benefit from additional Special Educational Provision. Unsatisfactory progress could be identified as

  • significantly slower than that of their peers who started from the same baseline
  • failing to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • failing to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • awidening of the attainment gap
  • failing to make progress with wider development of social or emotional needs
  • failing to make progress in personal and social skills

The teacher and SENCO will consider information about the child’s progress, alongside national data and expectations of progress. This will include formative assessment and summative assessments where we identify the child’s current attainment and achievements. This may involve taking advice from the SENCO and external specialists. Where external specialists are involved directly with the pupil, parental approval will be required first. The progress of the pupil will be reviewed termly. This review will form the basis of further assessment and planning.

Culgaith C of E School is committed to regularly meeting with parents/carers to discuss successes and concerns. Parents/carers will be involved at every stage of their child’s learning, through discussions with the class teacher and later the SENCO. Parents/carers are encouraged to be involved with target setting for Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and children if appropriate). Some home activities may be provided. Parents/carers of children with Education Health Care Plans will be invited to a yearly review, along with additional advisory personnel connected to the child.

The progress of all pupils is monitored closely by class teachers throughout the year. The SENDCO monitors the progress of children with special educational needs against their personal targets and teaching staff meet termly to analyse tracking to identify needs. Action is taken if pupils fail to meet the progress targets and expectations that are set for them. (Targets are based on individual performance and ability and judged alongside national expectations.)

Our provision map shows the range of interventions and support strategies in place in our school. Regular meetings take place between the SENDCO and the SEND governor to discuss children’s progress and the impact of any additional individual support of group intervention. Reviews of School Support Plans / Education Health Care Plans / Team Around the Family Action Plans take place on regular basis to ensure the school’s provision meets the needs of the child. Parents are actively involved in reviews and the views of both pupils and parents are valued. Specialist advice is always sought and directly informs reviews and the formation of any new School Support Plans.

We believe that the relationship between home and school is absolutely vital and that, together we can surround the children with the care and support they need in order to make the progress they deserve. We have a three term entry system for Nursery children. The term before children start, we invite them for a couple of induction sessions and we speak to their parents individually. This is also offered to children who start our school who have not attended in their Nursery years. Prior to entry into Reception we hold a welcome evening where parents are invited into school and the Head and the Early Years Teacher give information about the curriculum, routines and communication channels and opportunities for discussing progress and support. Our Early Years Teacher will visit you and your child in your home and this gives further opportunity for sharing information.

The Early Years team also make the children’s albums available for parents to see at regular intervals and parents/carers are invited to make comments about the albums and about what the children do at home.

The whole school has termly open evenings where progress and attainment in terms of age related expectations are discussed and children working within Key Sage 1 and 2 have termly Next Steps for reading, writing and maths which are set and reviewed with the children and shared with parents. For children with special educational needs, these targets would include the targets on their school support plan, or their Education and Health Care Plan. At these meetings we will also discuss any support that would be beneficial at home over and above the support already given.

When appropriate or necessary parents/carers may be contacted to discuss the support that the school are providing and how you can help your child at home at other times during the year. Some children who have lifelong medical or educational needs will require an Education Health Care Assessment which may be requested with advice and support from external agencies. When appropriate, parents/carers are signposted to relevant agencies within the community who can offer further support to you and your child. Multi-agency meetings may be held to help coordinate and review the support offered to vulnerable pupils and their families

Who is the SENCO and how can we contact them?

Thomas Armstrong (Head Teacher/SENDCO)
T: 01768 88655

Or alternatively please call in to visit us at:
Culgaith CE School, Culgaith, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 1QL

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of it’s provision?

Our tracking process provides a clear indication when children are not meeting their personal targets and when a child is not attaining at a level expected for their age.

Teaching staff assess in an ongoing way (Assessment for Learning) which monitors the progress of individual pupils and makes adjustments to their support plans based on how much progress is or is not being made. Staff check that progress made as a result of focused support is reflected in independent tasks. The SENDCO monitors the overall support provided for SEND pupils and identifies strengths and areas for future development. This may lead to the purchasing of resources, staff training or the sharing of good practice with other schools in our SENDCO Cluster.

Parents and pupils are consulted directly and their views are included in monitoring reviews. The Governing Body has identified SEND Governors who consult with the SENDCO and monitor the progress of SEND Pupils across the school using data from Raise on-line and school based tracking systems. They evaluate the impact that the support pupils receive has on their progress and general well-being. The SEND Governors then report back to the Full Governing Body.  When a child has met the criteria for SEND support after a referral to the local Authority, regular Team Around the Child meetings are held to which all who contribute to the support are invited. The team evaluate the effectiveness of the provision by discussing progress and well-being.

What additional support is available to pupils with SEND?

Each class teacher is responsible for the education of all children in their class, including those children who have special educational needs or disabilities. The school’s SENDCO offers support and advice where appropriate. Additional help or specific interventions may be offered in a small group or one to one basis. When school identifies the need for additional intervention to enable a pupil to make the expected progress, the parents/carers will be informed of the planned support and offered the opportunity to discuss this further if they have any concerns or queries. If the pupil meets the criteria for special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), a School Support Plan will be created detailing the support the pupil will receive,  the period of time the support will last for and the outcome that is hoped for. If pupils require high levels of support Education Health Care Plans are requested in order to enhance the support provided through specialist advice, assessment and additional funding.

How do we support our children with SEND with transitions to different schools?

When a child transfers to another school full records of their special educational needs, will be sent to the receiving school. On transfer to secondary school, the Year 6 teacher and SENCO will meet with the SENCO of the receiving school to discuss SEND records and the needs of the individual child. An invitation will be issued for a representative of the receiving school to attend the EHCP transition review meeting held in Year 5 or Year 6.

We work closely with our associate high schools (UCC, QEGS and occasionally Appleby Grammar). Annual visits by high school staff to us and by children in Y5/6 to the high schools are arranged. When staff visit us we pass on information about children and their needs and any programmes we have been using and our SENDCO meets with the high school’s SENDCO.  Discovery Day happens in the summer term and all children attend their High school for the day Where necessary additional visits are made for children with SEND.  These would be arranged depending on the needs of the individual child. We liaise carefully with any new schools to discuss children’s needs (e.g. if a family moves away). 

How do we adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for children with SEND?

Work will be differentiated by the class teacher for children with SEND to enable them to access the curriculum more easily. Class teachers are provided with specific information on the needs of individual pupils at the start of each year so that they can plan how best to meet the needs of the pupils in their care. They share this with other staff working with children in that class.

Our staff deliver high quality teaching, which is differentiated to meet the needs of individuals. We have a team of trained and skilled support staff who work alongside the class teacher to deliver specific programmes to groups of pupils or to an individual child according to the requirements of the School Support Plan or SEND Support Plan.

  • Teaching Assistants may be assigned to work with the child 1-1 or in small groups
  • Specific resources and interventions may be used.
  • Specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g., pen/pencil grips, easy to use scissors, sensory equipment etc.
  • Culgaith C of E School is all on one level thus ensuring easy access for wheelchairs or for children or adults with walking aides
  • Culgaith C of E School works closely with the relevant advisory services to ensure that disabled children are able to access the curriculum and Culgaith C of E School environment.

Our school is fully wheelchair accessible due to the fact that we are on one level with flat or ramped access to most exits and entrances. Any recent alterations or build are in line with Equality regulations. Risk Assessments are in place and any possible hazards or risks are identified and addressed through the school’s Building Maintenance and Accessibility Plans. Specific resources may be acquired to meet the needs of individuals, e.g. specialist seating. Lighting has been updated and signage is clear. We seek specialist advice where a particular need is identified and would try to meet this advice where possible.

How does the school teach pupils with SEND?

Each class teacher is responsible for the education of all children in their class, including those children who have special educational needs or disabilities. Teachers and teaching assistants apply flexible methods and strategies to best meet needs and enable access to learning.

  • Culgaith’s SENDCO, Thomas Armstrong, offers support and advice where appropriate.
  • Additional help or specific interventions may be offered in a small group or one to one basis if this is felt to be beneficial to meeting particular needs.
  • When school identifies the need for additional intervention to enable a pupil to make the expected progress, the parents/carers will be informed of the planned support and offered the opportunity to discuss this further if they have any concerns or queries.
  • If a pupil meets the criteria for SEND, a School Support Plan will be created detailing the support the pupil will receive, who and how the support will be delivered, the period of time the support will last for and the outcome that is hoped for.

How are staff trained and kept up to date?

The Senco regularly attends training sessions to keep up to date with SEND developments. Continuing Professional Development for TAs and teachers is valued at Culgaith C of E School and is viewed as an on-going process. As part of our annual Performance Management / Appraisal staff development is considered. Required training is then brokered or timetabled internally if we have the skills on our staff . Types of training undertaken recently include: Speech and Language Development, Epi-pen training, Behaviour management. Basic Moves (gross motor development). Most of our staff are trained first aiders with Paediatric First aiders in the Early Years class. Risk Assessments are produced to support pupils when necessary, these provide staff with additional guidance on how to handle specific situations.

How do we know if what we provide for the children is effective?

The effectiveness and suitability of all intervention and support programmes are monitored by the class teacher and Senco to ensure that appropriate progress is being made by the pupil. The Headteacher also closely monitors and tracks the progress of all children in Culgaith C of E School. We have a SEND governor who also monitors provision and progress of children with SEND. Regular discussions take place with the class teacher and teaching assistants to ensure provision and interventions are appropriate and effective for those children involved.

What activities are available for pupils with SEND in addition to those normally available in accordance with the curriculum?

Teaching Assistant support is given at lunchtime, playtimes and during trips outside of the classroom for those children who are identified as requiring this additional support. Parents are involved in discussions to agree how best to support their child on educational visits. Parents may even accompany their children on trips if all agree that this would be the best way to ensure safety and access, if parents/carers are able to do so. SEND pupils can attend after school clubs and breakfast club in the same way as other pupils. If additional adult support is required decisions will be made in partnership with parents and the acquisition of additional funding or volunteers may be necessary.

We are an inclusive school and Culgaith C of E School offers a variety of after school clubs which are open to all children but generally cover a range of interests such as sports, outdoor and arts based clubs. Where a child has specific needs, additional measures are put into place to enable them to participate as fully as possible. In such cases Culgaith School will link fully with parents/carers and support agencies if involved.

What support will there be for improving emotional and social development of pupils with SEND?

Culgaith CE School’s Statement of Intent, our Golden Rules and child centred approach provide a solid foundation of support and shared values for the whole school community. Our strong belief in the teaching of life- long learning skills through Resilience, Reflection, Resourcefulness and Relationship building helps children to celebrate their own and other people’s successes and identify where they might be able to improve.

The whole school understands the importance of communication. Children talk about what has happened, how they have done, staff provide feedback, ask questions and support children to solve problems themselves wherever possible. Older children are given responsibilities and have a share in the mentoring of children who might need more help. Each morning staff welcome parents and carers into school to help settle the children into their classroom environment. This provides parents with the opportunity to talk directly to staff about any little queries or to make an appointment.  We have a Guardian Angel system (a sort of Key worker idea) in place to support vulnerable pupils. At the end of the day staff will feedback to parents/carers when necessary at handover time. We actively promote Healthy Eating and Lifestyle and include this teaching in our planning.  We have a visit from the Life Education van every year. Their programme is entirely focused on Personal, Social and Health Education. It is making the right choices and why this is a good idea and the sessions are differentiated to meet the needs of children at different stages. Other areas of learning about developing relationships and changes linked to maturing which are appropriate for the older children are specifically taught in a sensitive way and we have a school nurse who delivers some of that learning. Parents/carers are always informed and individual children’s needs would always be considered. Circle Time discussions are used regularly to explore social issues, as a way to build self-esteem and confidence and to encourage an ability to be still, to reflect and develop a more spiritual way of thinking about the wider world and our own special qualities.

How do we involve and work with other professionals such as local authority support services to meet the needs of our children?

The Senco has established effective relationships with outside agencies, who may at times be consulted with to receive more specific knowledge. Parents/carers are consulted and permission is gained prior to referral. The views of Parents/carers is always respected. External advisors and agencies may include:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Specialist Advisory Teachers for Literacy/Autism
  • NHS Speech and Language therapists
  • Occupational Health
  • Health Visitors for Early Years
  • School Nurse

Parents/carers are informed throughout the whole process and where possible are invited to meet with a representative of the agency involved. Where this is not possible, the Senco will pass on reports.

How are Culgaith C of E School’s resources allocated to children with Special Educational Needs?

We ensure that all children who have SEND will have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.We have Teaching Assistants who are funded from School budget and deliver interventions designed to meet children’s needs. Funding, equipment and resources are allocated to particular children (and in some cases to a small group of children) depending upon the needs identified in their School Support Plan or Education Health Care Plan. For most pupils the amount of support provided by the school is dictated by their level of progress and attainment. Pupils with identified SEND will be allocated support based on their School Support Plans and Education Health Care Plans. Parents are actively involved in decisions and agreement about the support provided for their child.  A brief overview of allocation is set out in our SEND provision map.

How are pupils with English as an Additional Language who have SEND supported?

If a child requires support because English is additional language for them, this support is given outside of our SEND processes. However, if a child also has special educational needs or a disability they may require even more support and the specific problem may be more difficult to identify because of the language challenge, especially if English is an additional language for the whole family. Culgaith CE School staff would strive to find suitably qualified translators and professionals to assist in assessing the child’s needs. Once the issues are identified we will develop strategies and a programme of support to meet the needs of the child with advice from other professionals.

What should I do if I have a concern or complaint about the provision for my child?

Should a parent/ carer have a concern about provision made for their child they should in the first instance discuss this with the class teacher. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily parents/carers can then discuss concerns with:

  • SENCO/Headteacher

Any complaints with regard to SEND provision should in the first instance be discussed with your child’s class teacher and/or the SENDCO.  If you feel your complaint has still not been successfully resolved you should then then contact the Head Teacher, Thomas Armstrong.  Thereafter Cumbria LEA’s complaints procedure should be followed.

County Council’s Local Offer

The Cumbria County Council’s Local Offer will provide parents/carers/carers with information about how to access services in this area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to education, it will let parents/carers/ carers and young people know how school and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings.

The full local offer of services available in Cumbria can be found at or by contacting the Family Information Service Tel: 08457 125 737

More information regarding Special Needs at Culgaith can be found via Cumbria’s Local Offer.

What are the contact details for local services and support groups for families?