Castleside Primary School

  • SearchSearch Site
  • Translate Translate Page
  • Instagram Instagram
  • Facebook Facebook
  • Our Trust


Our SEN Information Report  provides details about how we support children and young people with Special Educational Needs in our school.

The SEN Information Report was reviewed and updated on 01/09/2022

SEND Policy (Information Report) 2022

At Castleside Primary School, we recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision that will enable them to achieve their potential. We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement and working in partnership with other agencies in order to provide a positive educational experience for all our pupils, including those with a special educational need or disability.

Our school recognises there are specific groups of pupils whose circumstances require additional consideration by those who work with them to support their SEND. At Castleside Primary School, we have a Designated Teacher for Looked after Children who is also the SENCO to ensure all teachers in school understand the implications for those children who are looked after and have SEN.

At Castleside Primary School, we ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs make the best possible progress.

This SEND Information Report should be read alongside the school’s SEND Policy, the Equalities Information and Objectives and the Accessibility Plan.

Key Contacts

  • Mrs Alison Spence – Head Teacher
  • Miss Stephanie Hughes – SENDCO
  • Mrs Denise Franklin – SEND Governor

SEND Admissions 

For information on the admission of pupils with a disability, please visit the School Admissions section of our website and view the Accessibility Plan in our School Policies section. If you would like to discuss your child’s SEN in more detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.  The full range of local support available for children/ young people with SEND and their families within and outside of school can be found in the County Durham Local Offer.

SEN that we provide for:

At Castleside Primary School, we have experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of needs, including:

  • Mild to moderate learning difficulties
  • Working memory difficulties
  • Speech, language and communication needs
  • Physical needs (vision and hearing impairment)
  • Social, emotional and mental health needs
  • ADHD
  • ASC

The school provides data on the levels and types of need to the Local Authority. This is collected through the school census. Primary needs are currently:

The full range of local support available for children/ young people with SEND and their families within and outside of school can be found in the County Durham Local Offer

Our approach to teaching children & young people with SEN

Inclusive education means supporting all pupils to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school life alongside their peers. Our curriculum includes, not only the formal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum / National Curriculum, but also a range of additional opportunities to enrich the experiences of all pupils.

The Curriculum also included the social aspects that are essential for lifelong learning, personal growth and development of independence.

Castleside Primary School prides itself in having a very inclusive, caring ethos and we will endeavour to support every child to the best of their ability, regardless of their level of need. Pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities and we also use PIVATS to track and target smaller steps of progress where needed. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented.

To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:

  • Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities.
  • Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
  • Ensure that pupil and parent voice is at the heart of our assess, plan, do and review cycle of support for children with SEND.
  • Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
  • Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
  • To work in partnership with parents/ carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional)
  • To make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
  • Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • To promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
  • To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
  • To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice

How we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for children & young people with SEN

Support for children with physical and sensory needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum where barriers to inclusion are removed.
  • Targeted children receive regular gross and fine motor interventions with daily activities taking place in our EYFS for all children.
  • Sensory toys and aids available in school such as ‘chew buddies’, ear defenders, weighted vests and gym balls.
  • Children allowed and encouraged to have sensory/movement breaks when needed and use of our sensory room.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Future Steps and Specialist Nursing staff from NHS.
  • Adaptations made to cater for children who are sensitive to noise, such as early dinner arrangements, quiet work area, the use of ear-defenders and sensory items in the class ‘calm box’.

Support for children with speech, language and communication needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum where barriers to inclusion are removed.
  • Daily Speech and Language interventions following advice from SALT team.
  • 1:1 interventions delivered in school from professionals from SALSP / SALT team.
  • ‘Time to Talk’ weekly programme run by member of staff to help develop social communication and interaction skills.
  • Three members of staff are trained in delivering Lego Therapy and groups take place weekly. Our EYFS teacher is trained in ELKLAN.

Support for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum where barriers to inclusion are removed.
  • We have recently introduced ‘Zones of Regulation’ to use with all children from year 2 upwards with a ‘worry box’ in each classroom.
  • Sessions can be arranged and made available in school from a specialist counsellor.
  • One member of staff trained in Therapeutic story writing and weekly groups take place.
  • SENDCo has completed level 2 counselling training.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. CAMHs, EWEL team.
  • School operates a ‘Buddy’ system for learning and social activities. Younger children supported by older children.
  • The school is part of ‘Educate and Celebrate’ and we are a Rights Respecting silver awarded school – we celebrate, teach and promote diversity, equality and respect for all people.

Support for children with cognition and learning needs:

  • Quality First Teaching, accessing a broad and balanced curriculum where barriers to inclusion are removed. Work differentiated and matched to the needs of the children.
  • Maths and English specific interventions to support working memory difficulties and mild learning difficulties such as Precision Teaching and Lexia.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service
  • Differentiated materials.
  • Our teaching assistants are not solely assigned to a classroom but support and undertake interventions for children with SEND throughout school where needed

Staff undergo regular training and CPD throughout the year and this is systematically fed back to staff and practitioners through weekly staff meetings. All teaching and support staff are given opportunities to improve their practice and develop their understanding of SEND issues through a comprehensive system of staff training. Staff training is driven by the particular needs of our children and this helps us to meet them as fully as possible.

Some training is carried out within school during staff meetings and Professional Development Days and other training is external. The school also accesses shared training provided by the Community of Learning.

The school’s SENDCO regularly attends the Local Authority’s SENDCO Network Meeting and local COL meetings to share good practice and keep up to date with local and national updates in SEND

More details on how we adapt information, our environment and curriculum can be found in the Accessibility Plan which you ca find in the School Policies section of our website.


How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

Early Identification of Need

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we listen very carefully to the views of parents, staff and the child themselves. Often, children may join Castleside Primary with parents having a clear understanding of their child’s needs and as a school, we see parents as partners in their child’s educational journey. Sometimes, however, school staff may initially identify a concern. If this were the case staff would liaise with the parents at the earliest opportunity to discuss such concerns and agree ‘next steps’ on a Short Note. For some concerns, we may discuss the involvement of specialist support, for example, Education Psychology, SENDIASS (support for families) or Occupational Therapy. It is important to understand that the involvement of professionals does not always seek to ‘label’ or ‘diagnose’ children but to seek advice or strategies to help them to reach their full potential.

SEN Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

As part of this approach, every child with SEND will have an individualised SEND Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs. Parents’/carers’ and child/YP’ (where appropriate) views are integral to this process.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

A SEND Support Plan: the school oversee children and together the school and parents initiate, review, amend and cease support for children whose needs are seen at ‘SEND Support Plan’ (school) level.

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP): An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs. Children at this level have their plans initiated and ceased by the Local Authority but are reviewed and monitored by the school and parents at least annually. This is then broken down into termly targets on a SEND support plan.

We respect and value the contribution that parents can make to their child’s education and both school and home must work hard at this important aspect of school life. Parents and carers are always welcome to call in and see how their child is progressing and you are encouraged to contact the class teacher or SENDCO if you have any concerns or would like to discuss your child’s needs, provision or progress at any time.

For children who are in receipt of a school ‘SEND Support Plan’, we hold meetings at least termly to review children’s progress towards their outcomes and to devise new outcomes. The ‘SEN Support Plan’ is a working document- staff may find that outcomes are met before the meeting. In this instance they may invite parents into school early to review and set new outcomes or adapt outcomes to match the ongoing needs of the child.

If a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) parents will also attend an additional parent’s meeting each year. This is a child centred’ ‘Annual Review’ for all pupils with an Educational Health and care Plan

How are children involved in the Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach?

As with everything related to any child in our school – they have an opinion and voice that is valued and listened to. At child centred reviews (for children with statements and EHCPs) the child is invited to the review and can join in the discussion, sharing views about their learning and progress. Sometimes, the SENDCo will talk with children before a meeting takes place in order to voice their opinions on their behalf, if that is more appropriate. Children at the Support Plan phase are actively involved in reviewing their targets and have the opportunity to add their comments to the plan as it progresses. At Castleside Primary School, we build effective relationships with our children, which means that we have regular conversations and catch-ups, leading to a very clear picture of what our children enjoy, works best for them and what they need. One-Page Profiles are updated termly to capture pupil voice for all our children with SEND and show current support plan targets. These are shared with staff and kept in classrooms, providing a quick and helpful reference for all teachers and support staff.

Throughout the SEND support process, we also invite advice and opinion from any outside agencies also in contact with the child.  If parents and professionals involved with a child feel that further support is needed to meet the needs of a child currently on a support plan, it may be felt that an EHC assessment is required. Professional and parents will work very closely together at this stage to ensure that any relevant interventions and targeted support is used effectively to help to meet needs

For more detailed information see the Local Offer

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN

As well as listening carefully to the views of parents and class teachers, the SENDCO will record and monitor the termly assessments and half termly teacher assessments of all children with SEND. This is to ensure that progress is being made. If there are children not making the expected level of progress, the SENDCO along with the Head teacher and class teacher will meet to discuss the reasons for this. Parents will be invited to meet with staff to help review and address targets and interventions on the Support Plan, to address any concerns.

The SENDCO will carefully monitor the progress of children on ‘SEN Support Plans’ or Education, Health Care plans. Termly assessments carried out by the teacher will be monitored and progress will be evaluated.

The SENCO routinely carries out learning walks and book scrutiny to monitor the support given to children and the progress that is made. The SENDCO will observe teaching to ensure that the teaching styles are meeting the needs of all learners.

Staff will record information about interventions being carried out, in order to assess their efficacy. Assessments will be made at the start and end of any intervention to help to identify its impact.

Teachers will be responsible for planning activities suited to the needs of all children. Class teachers are responsible for planning an activity which is suitable for the needs of children with SEND and this is monitored.

Teaching assistants are responsible for supporting groups of children and, in some cases, individuals. They will spend time on individual or group interventions and will use this knowledge to help inform the teacher’s planning and liaise with the SENDCo.

Assessments of progress will be made on the Target Tracker assessment system. This allows progress and attainment in all areas to be recorded and monitored.

Staff in school understand that all children are individual and unique. We recognise the efforts and abilities of all children and praise them for their successes, whatever their ability level. Praise and pride in personal achievements is our prime method of motivation.

For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.

How children with SEN engage in all activities?

We enable all children to engage fully in all aspects of school life. To do this, we:

  • Ensure that any barriers to learning and achievement are removed for all activities to enable children to enjoy and achieve.
  • We ensure that our curriculum is tailored to the needs of the children. The Nurture room allows us to individualise learning and provide the extra support that will be needed by individual children.
  • We ensure that all children feel safe, happy and proud of their achievements. Our positive reward policy helps us to celebrate the achievements of all children. The Class Dojo system also allows us to share these achievements with parents and carers

How we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN Provision

We continuously ensure the provision has a positive impact on the outcomes for all our children. We do this in a variety of ways, including:

  • Robust evaluation of policy and practice- The SENDCO regularly attends training to ensure up to date knowledge and practice.
  • File and Book scrutiny- The SENDCO and Head teacher regularly monitor assessments, books and Support Plans to ensure progress.
  • Learning walks- The SENDCO, Head Teacher, SLT and Governors regularly carry out learning walks to observe high quality teaching and provision.
  • Performance management- The SENDCO is held accountable for the progress of the children with SEND. She regularly meets with the Head Teacher, SLT and staff to talk about progress and provision for children with SEND.

New College Durham Academies Trust

The focus on Excellence underpins all that we do whether in learning areas, working within the communities we serve or governing and leading our Academies.

Visit Site