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Special Educational Needs

Monkton Park SEN information for parents FAQ,  please click on the questions to see the answers.

What is 'The Local Offer'?

The local offer is where Wiltshire Council publishes information on all services and support for young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. As part of the Children and Families Bill 2014, all schools are required to make available information regarding services and support available to families with children who have a special educational need and/or a disability. More information on Wiltshire’s Local Offer can be found here.

What is SEND?

We use the definition in the 2014 Special Educational Needs and Disability  Code of Practice (June 2014):

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child…has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools

What is Monkton Park like?

Monkton Park Primary School is an average sized primary school with approximately 244 children on roll in nine classes.

There are on average 27 children in each class.

We currently have approximately 10% children with a special educational need or disability.

We have a lower than average number of pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.

What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

Start by speaking to your child’s class teacher. If you require more information, then an appointment can be made for you to talk to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Miss Jenny Roberts. You know your child best. It is vitally important that we work together with you as parents/carers so we can help your child to achieve his/her potential during their time with us.

How does the school know if my child needs extra help?

All teaching involves a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing. We monitor all the children’s progress through observations, class teacher assessment and Pupil Progress Meetings. If your child is identified as needing extra help during the school year, their class teacher will inform you and liaise with the SENCo to discuss the nature of their needs. We also use the Wiltshire Graduated Response to SEN Support (WGRSS) to ensure that when we identify pupils with SEND we are using the same criteria as other Wiltshire schools.  You may receive a letter or be invited in to school to talk in more detail to your child’s teacher about the support your child will receive. This is also an excellent opportunity to find out how you can help at home. Further information on our approach to teaching pupils with SEND can be found here in our SEN Policy.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school?

First and foremost, we will liaise with you as parents/carers to plan for a smooth transition to our school.

If your child is due to join our school at the start of September in Reception year we will also liaise closely with your child’s nursery/pre-school. If your child is due to join us during a school year, or at any other time during their school career, we will liaise closely with their previous school. We will also liaise with any other professionals who have been involved in their educational provision or meeting their additional needs such as health visitors, speech and language therapists etc.

These discussions will enable us to plan a suitable transition programme for your child, depending on their needs. This may include:

  • extra visits to our school before your child’s start date
  • meeting significant members of staff such as their class teacher or teaching assistant
  • taking photographs of areas of the school which will be important to your child e.g. classroom, hall, toilets and playground
  • ensuring the correct resources are available and reasonable adaptations to the school environment have been made e.g. installing extra hand rails on the stairs or a Soundfield system in your child’s classroom

How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new setting?  E.g. secondary school or a specialist unit in another school?

We have good relationships with all our local secondary schools and work closely in the lead up to the end of Year 6 to ensure that all children have a successful transition experience. Our Year 6 teacher routinely meets with the Year 7 Pastoral Support Team from the relevant secondary school. Our SENCO and the SENCO from your child’s receiving secondary school also meet in the summer term to ensure that any child with additional needs is discussed in depth and provision to meet those needs can be made.

If your child has a statement and/or EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan),  a Transition Review Meeting will also be arranged in Year 5, which you and your child will be invited to attend. If your child has a statement and you know which secondary school you would like them to attend, a representative from that school will also be invited to that meeting.

As with transition into Monkton Park (See section 6), we can arrange for your child to make extra visits to their new school, take photographs, ask questions and meet the staff, before they start. Secondary school staff may also visit your child here in Years 5 & 6 so that they have a chance to get to know them in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for your child.

How accessible is the learning environment?

Monkton Park is a single storey school, with all of our classrooms in the same building. Within the building itself, there are some short staircases (4-5 steps) leading from the main reception area down into the KS1 classrooms, and from outside the hall up to the KS2 classrooms.

Both the KS1 and KS2 playgrounds are accessible without having to negotiate either staircase and there are currently additional handrails attached to both sets of stairs.

We have a disabled parking space and a disabled toilet at the KS2 end of the school.

We have experience of adapting the learning environment for children with additional needs in a variety of ways. For example, we have installed Soundfield systems for our children with hearing impairments, adjusted PE equipment to ensure all children can take an active part in lessons and enlarged texts for children with significant visual impairments.

We are lucky to have several `quiet rooms’ which we use to work with individuals and small groups of children. Sometimes these rooms are used to reduce background noise and distractions for children who find the classroom environment difficult to work in. They are also used by visiting professionals for assessments and by the TAs running intervention groups.

We work closely with other professionals such as the Sensory Impairment Service to ensure that all reasonable adjustments are made to and that we have done all we can to make the learning environment as accessible as possible.

Who can I talk to if I am not happy about how my child is learning?

It is always advisable to talk to your child’s teacher first, as s/he is the member of staff who knows your child best. If you have further questions, please contact the SENCO or the Headteacher via the school office.

How does the school allocate resources to match children's SEND?

It is the Governing Body’s responsibility to ensure that resources in school are allocated to support appropriate provision for all pupils requiring it. These resources include learning materials/apparatus for the children, training for staff and staffing levels. It is important for children to have a balance of support from teachers, teaching assistants as well as opportunities to work with their peers and independently. The Headteacher, together with the Senior Management Team (Deputy Head, Foundation Stage 2, Key Stage 1&2 leaders) and the SENCo, meet regularly to review and monitor the provision across the school and to allocate resources appropriately.

What training have the staff had to be able to support my child?

Training for school staff has included:

  • Dyslexia Awareness
  • Autism Spectrum Awareness
  • Understanding and supporting children with ADHD in the classroom
  • Identifying and supporting speech and language difficulties

We are lucky to have an experienced team of TAs, all of whom have worked with children with additional needs across the school. They are also trained to deliver intervention programmes across a variety of year groups. Some of our TAs have particular experience with working with children with speech and language therapy needs, autism, deafness and visual impairment. We work closely with many of the specialists listed below taking their advice and ensuring our training is up to date so we can deliver the best support for your child.

What specialist services and expertise are available for my child?

We have excellent relationships with a variety of services including:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Special Educational Needs Support Service
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • School Nurse
  • Social Care
  • Sensory Impairment Service

These services advise and support our staff by delivering training, assessing and monitoring children individually and by recommending support programmes for children with additional needs.

More details about these services can be found on these pages.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

When a child starts at Monkton Park, the SENCo will note any SEND which has already been identified and liaise with any previous settings they may have attended. If your child has had support from other services, the SENCo will also liaise with them.

During their time at Monkton Park, we will monitor your child’s progress through observations, class teacher assessment and Pupil Progress Meetings. (Please also see `How does the school know if my child needs extra help?’).

If your child has a statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan (sometimes called a `My Plan’ in Wiltshire) we will use the information contained in this document, together with any additional  information from you as parents/carers, other services and previous settings to ensure the appropriate support is in place when your child starts at Monkton Park.

How are parents/ carers involved in the assessment and review of their child's needs?

If your child has a statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), your views will have been sought by SEND Lead Worker and other professionals during the assessment process. You will also be involved in the review processes and kept informed of any developments noted by the services involved with your child. This could include being invited to review meetings, completing questionnaires or just discussing your child with the professionals who help to support you and them. Your views are very important!

If your child has been identified at school as having additional needs and he or she has worked with other services (such as those named above) you will be invited to attend assessment and review meetings with the school and these services.

If the school is the only service working with your child then your child’s class teacher and sometimes the SENCo will meet with you either at parents’ evening or at another other mutually convenient time to discuss your child’s needs and your views about how they are progressing. 
We also use one page profiles with our children with additional needs and we have found these an excellent way of capturing both you and your child's views about what is important to and for them.

How will my child be involved in the assessment and review of his/her progress and needs?

We encourage all children at Monkton Park to be aware of themselves as learners and where their strengths and needs lie. We also use one page profiles for children with additional needs. These profiles are one way of providing children with the opportunity to think about what they are doing well, what helps them to learn and what support they may need. These are updated at least annually and they provide your child with the opportunity to express their views about their progress, as well as hearing about how other people (including you!) think they are doing.

If your child has a statement or an Education, Heath and Care Plan (EHCP) or `My Plan’ their views about school and their progress will always be sought and recorded as part of the annual review process.

How will my child be included in activities and events outside the classroom e.g. school trips?

We want all the children at Monkton Park to have the same educational opportunities and to feel included as part of our school community.

Every effort is made by the whole staff to ensure that all children are integrated into all aspects of the school.

If your child has his or her own Teaching Assistant working 1:1 with him/her, then they will accompany your child on school trips. We may also increase adult to child ratios on trips where we feel the children in a particular class would benefit from more adult support.

We also have a School Council which consists of representatives from each class in the school from Year 1 upwards. The School Council is voted for their classmates and school staff ensure there is a broad range of abilities, strengths and personalities represented. Members of the school council also visit the younger classes to talk to them about whole school issues such as playground equipment and reward schemes.

What types of SEND do you provide support for?

We support children with a wide variety of needs at any one time. The list below is not exhaustive, but is designed to give you an idea of the range of needs we work with:

  • Hearing Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Physical Impairment
  • Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • ADHD
  • Speech and Language
  • Social and Emotional Needs
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia

We also acknowledge that some children may have learning needs which may not have a label or diagnosis, but who still benefit from having extra support in school. We aim to treat each child as an individual and respond to their needs accordingly.

How do  you support children to develop socially and emotionally?

Our whole school PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) programme is supplemented by support from our School Nurse and by a Time to Talk Counsellor. The Time to Talk Counsellor is in school once a week and is open to all Year 5 and 6 pupils (with parental permission). Younger children can also be offered this support, if required. 

We have a strong behaviour policy, with lots of individual and class rewards, as well as targeted support for children who have additional social and emotional needs. This can include social skills groups, games and support at playtimes.

Our Anti-bullying Policy has been written in `child-speak’ in conjunction with the School Council and is reviewed annually. Please see the section entitled ` How will my child be included in activities and events outside the classroom?’ for more details.

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children with SEND?

Towards the end of each new term (six times a year) the Maths and English subject leaders, Key Stage Leaders, SENCo and Head teacher meet with each class teacher individually to review the progress and provision made for all pupils, including those with SEND. These meetings are called Pupil Progress Meetings. The SEN Policy is also reviewed annually and contains further information on how the school monitors the effectiveness of provision. The interventions we use to support children with SEND are evidence based and we monitor their effectiveness through our school tracking system and Pupil Progress Meetings. We monitor progress not just through academic data, but also through behaviour and pastoral information for example improved attendance, a more positive attitude towards school etc. As a result of these meetings, provision van be adjusted and varied to meet individual needs on a very regular basis.

Who can I contact for further information and how?

In the first instance, please speak to your child’s class teacher. If you are a prospective parent please contact the school office (  0r 01249 652395) to arrange a tour or to speak to the Headteacher Steve Rafferty or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator Kerry Haines.

We hope you have found the answer to your questions about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Monkton Park Primary School here, but if we have missed something, please let us know and we will do our best to answer any further questions you may have.

For the full printable question and answer sheet please click on the following document.

Monkton Park SEN Information for Parents.pdf

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council


Wiltshire Independent Support Advice

Short Breaks

 Lots of play opportunities, sports, holiday clubs, youth clubs, pony days, pumpkin carving, halloween trails and much, much more are all available in Wiltshire in the October holiday so get out there and enjoy!

Monkton Park School, Sadlers Mead, Monkton Park, Chippenham, SN15 3PN
01249 652395