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SEND Local Offer

SEND Local Offer for St Francis’ of Assisi Catholic Primary School, Skelmersdale


1.     Accessibility and Inclusion - what our school can offer


At St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, we believe that full access to learning is the right of every child in our school community. Our Mission Statement states that:


We love and grow in Christ

We live and learn in Partnership

We build and share together


All members of our staff are dedicated to full inclusion of all children, in line with the Catholic ethos upon which our school is based.


We offer an education in a modern school environment that is fully accessible and inclusive of all, including those with additional need whether they are physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional or cultural. The school has ensured that that all doorways and entrances to the school are on a single level and wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair if necessary. The school car park has a barrier operated by a key pad. Parents with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities are given the code to enable them to park at the main entrance.


The site is relatively new and accessibility was a consideration during the planning of the school.  The needs of pupils, parents, staff, governors and other users with physical difficulties and sensory impairments has been a priority when making further improvements and refurbishments of the premises. The furniture throughout the school is the correct size for the age of the children in each class, lighting, acoustic treatment, colour schemes, and more accessible facilities and fittings have been further developed. Accessible disabled parking spaces are available in the school car park.


The school has a range of ICT programmes for pupils with SEN in addition to I-PADs, headphones, adapted keyboards and mice, a new computer suite with improved accessibility and interactive whiteboards installed in every classroom.


The site is all on one level, all curbs are dropped for wheelchair and pram access.  There is a disabled toilet with changing bed and a shower which is accessible to children, staff, parents and visitors, as appropriate. Leading from the classroom doors into the playground, each classroom is fitted with an appropriate exit.


All of our relevant policies are available on our website and provision in other formats is available on request.  Displays throughout the school are accessible to all children and visitors as well as staff.  Children throughout the school are taught through Quality First teaching, using visual, audio and kinaesthetic aids where deemed necessary to push children’s learning on and allow at least good progress to be made each academic year.


2. Teaching and Learning - what our school can offer

 Staff at St Francis use Assessing Pupil Performance grids or PIVATs to assess every child in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science.  Religious Education is assessed termly through the Come and See assessments. Children have personalised targets in core subjects.

Termly Pupil Progress meetings are held with Class teachers the Inclusion Manager and the Head Teacher. Children’s progress is closely monitored, for any children who have not made the expected progress a provision map is put in place to map interventions and to monitor progress. 


Where progress is still not made, St Francis’ uses further Wave 3 personalised support and intervention, whether on a 1:1 basis or in a group with highly skilled Teaching Assistants or outside Specialist Teachers.  Within the classroom, teachers are able to personalise learning to meet children’s needs through differentiation of work and resources, visual aids, word banks, and also using ICT where appropriate. 


Children are able to access the curriculum and develop independent learning across all classes.  This may involve external agencies such as the School Nurse, Health Visitors, Doctor Asakpa, Educational Psychologists, Specialist Support Teachers and Inclusion Teachers. 


Diagnostic screeners for dyslexia and dyscalculia are used by the school with children who are experiencing difficulties acquiring skills in literacy or numeracy. The school employs a teacher with a Post Graduate Certificate in Specific Leaning Difficulties (Dyslexia Assessment/teaching & strategies) APC (Assessment Practising Certificate) and the National SENCO Award. Teaching assistants have all received inset training on working with children with dyslexia. In 2014-15, the school will be working towards the achievement of dyslexia-friendly status.


The school can request support and assessments by an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Support Teacher from the Inclusion and Disability Support Service Traded Team. The school employs a large number of skilled Teaching Assistants who support children in the classroom and deliver interventions.


 Children with Hearing Impairments, Visual Impairments and medical needs such as diabetes, allergies and eczema are supported by both NHs professionals and the IDSS. Staff training and medical advice, support and training is also provided by Paula Lawrence the school nurse staff have had training on administering inhalers and epi pens. Dr Asakpa consults regularly with school, providing advice and support.


Staff have received paediatric first Aid training. Our teaching assistants have had a wide variety of training for delivering interventions, speech and language programmes and PECS. Many have had experience working with children with Asperger syndrome, MLD, EBD, ADHD and dyscalculia.


The SEN provision map records the type of intervention a pupil is receiving. It also includes the duration of the intervention and the success achieved. Each term assessment data is entered into the School Tracker, progress of individual pupils and groups can be monitored and evaluated including those receiving the Pupil Premium and pupils with SEN.


The school employs a part time teacher to carry out 1:1 tuition with identified children. At various times in the year, staff will run booster and intervention groups to ensure that children reach their full potential. Where a child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health and Care Plan, appropriate levels of support, including that of an adult or aids in the classroom, are provided.


Staff are also advised by Specialist teachers and attend courses which may benefit the children in their care such as Talk Boost, ADHD and English as Additional Language courses. Staff who support children with SEN are supported themselves through our Senior Leadership Team and our Inclusion Manager.  


Arrangements for SATs tests are made in advance in accordance with government guidelines, as expressed on their website


3. Reviewing and Evaluating Outcomes - what our school can offer

Children, parents and outside agencies, as well as staff within school, are invited to annual reviews for children with Statements or EHC plans. Parents contribute to Annual Reviews and receive copies of all relevant paperwork concerning their child. Pupils are also asked to attend and to make a contribution to the review.


Pupils’ progress is monitored throughout the school and pupils with SEN are also monitored through the Provision Maps. Where a child’s SEN makes it difficult for a child to make expected progress PIVATs assessments are used to set targets and measure progress. Individual learning plans are produced termly or half termly depending on the circumstance they are progressive and monitored regularly to ensure progress. The school operates an ‘open door’ policy with regards to any concerns a parent may have.


 Termly pupil progress meetings analyse the progress of identified groups. Our SEND provision ensures that all vulnerable groups are monitored for their rate of progress and that where progress has not been made, interventions are put in place to ensure progress will be made.

4.   Keeping Children Safe - what our school can offer

The school provides a secure environment throughout the day. Access gates are locked after registration and opened just before the end of the school day. All access to the school throughout the day is via the main entrance, which provides a secure waiting area, with restricted access to the school.


Monitoring of Health and Safety is on-going, involving the Headteacher, Site Supervisor and all staff. Any issues are immediately reported to the Headteacher, Site Supervisor, or School Business Manager. The Site Supervisor and Governor with responsibility for Health and Safety conduct formal termly surveys of the environment.


Health & safety risk assessments are reviewed annually by staff.  

During the planning stage of any trip it is risk assessed by our Trips Coordinator any requirements for medical training will be identified and carried out in the planning stage. Class teachers who lead any trip have the responsibility to carry out a risk assessment with support from school’s coordinator.


All parents sign a form and name adults who can collect their child at home time.  Parents of children with additional needs are given the car park barrier code so their child can be dropped off and picked up from school via the main entrance. 


The head teacher and a learning mentor supervise the entrance gate every morning. The head teacher normally supervises the dining hall each lunch break in addition to Lunchtime support staff who also supervise children in playtimes and lunch times.


Support is available in every class but some classes have additional adult support if required. Learning mentors provide regular support for children with social, emotional and behavioural needs and are available to supplement supervision during playtime and lunch break.


Internet access is available through Lancashire’ Local Authority’s filtering system. Children are provided with regular guidance about how to stay safe online. Permission is sought before photographs of children are posted on the school website.


 If school has concerns regarding the safety of a child with additional needs outside the classroom then will be discussed between SENCO & SLT resulting in appropriate measures put in place if deemed necessary.  An anti-bullying policy is on the school website & parents can request hard copies from the school.


5.   Health (including emotional health and wellbeing)

All emergency medicine is recorded in a medicine file and kept in a safe along with details of dosage, parents sign to grant authorisation to the school to administer to their child.  


If care plans are required, parents will be directly involved in creating the care plan alongside the SENCO and with advice from the doctor or health professional. This information is usually relayed to school through a letter sent by the child’s doctor. 


If we are informed of any allergy by parents, it is good practice to contact the School Nurse to ask for advice about setting up a care plan. In case of a medical emergency, school procedure is to call 999 first and then parents after.  Information about how to conduct medical emergencies is displayed in the school office by the telephone


Care plans are passed on to the relevant Class Teacher and kept in an inclusion file which is made available to Teaching assistants and or supply teachers. The master copy is kept in SEN records. Photographs and information about children with medical conditions are displayed in the staff room.


All support and teaching staff are kept regularly up to date with First Aid Training to ensure staff are familiar with what action to take in the event of an emergency.


For those staff involved with children who have allergies or asthma, annual training is provided for epi pens and inhalers by the school nurse. Our school has a fully trained pastoral care team, led by our Behaviour Coordinator who is a trained counsellor. This invaluable resource allows children to express concerns they have in a caring environment and also allows children to feel safe and happy at our school, with emotional issues being resolved quickly and sensitively. Learning mentors also provide bereavement clubs during play and lunch times.


Parents can access the Policies for school on the school website.


6.   Communication with Parents

At St Francis’ we operate an “Open Door” policy.  Parents are invited in for meetings with teachers on a termly basis and progression is discussed at these meetings written reports are sent home annually.


At the start of every school year, parents are invited in for induction sessions, during which they can meet the children’s Class Teacher and receive information about expectations and routines.


 Parents can give feedback to school through speaking to the class teachers, the office or the Head teacher.  If at times there are concerns, the class teachers will arrange appointments for extra parent meetings.


Staff wear name badges to make themselves visible to visitors and parents. Parents views are sought during induction meetings, open evenings and through questionnaires which are then analysed.


The website contains details of all staff currently employed by the school and the School Prospectus also provides this information.


7.   Working Together


Everything we do in school flows from our Mission Statement “We love and grow in Christ, we live and learn in partnership, we build and share together.” We seek to build our community by involving as many stakeholders as we can.


St Francis’ has a School Council for pupils to contribute their own views. Two children from each year group are elected to represent their class’s views at our School Council.  The school councillors are involved in decision making processes, OFSTED / RE Inspections and staff appointments, by welcoming and showing visitors around the school and answering their questions. 


Parents are welcomed into classrooms through an open door policy to discuss their child’s education. Each class teacher produces a weekly update on the back of the school newsletter.


This informs parents what children in their class have been learning that week, it also contains a section for parent comments, to be returned to the teacher. The newsletters are published on the school website.


There are currently two parent governors on our Governing Body.  We have a named governor for SEN.  


Parents can have their say about their child in Parent Evenings, annual reviews and provision map evaluation. Parents are also asked to sign a home school agreement.


8.   Help and Support for Families

There are two learning mentors in school who offer help and support for families. Through the mentors or the Inclusion Manager, families can access CAHMS, the school nurse, the school doctor, social services and social workers.


There is a Community Notice board at the main gate and a board in the reception area which contains additional information of upcoming events or general useful information.

The school has a weekly newsletter to keep parents informed about up and coming events, this is always updated and available on the school website.


If parents are in need of any assistance with filling out forms etc., we are only too happy to help.  Our School Office staff are available on the telephone to make appointments where necessary.  Our school website is updated on a regular basis and contains all information about topics, units covered and policies. 


Our website is available at   We promote walking to school through assemblies and classroom activities.


9. Transition to Secondary School

 The majority of children in year 6 transfer to Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic High School. Teachers from the High School regularly come into school to take groups and classes of children in years 5 and 6. They teach a range of subjects including mathematics, art, science and design technology.


The year 6 teacher holds meetings with the heads of year 7 for all the feeder secondary schools. Information is shared about children’s medical needs and friendship groups along with information about special educational needs. Throughout the year the children are involved in a range of sports and drama activities provided by the high school.


Children in year 5 visit Our Lady Queen of Peace during the summer term. Year 6 attend several information and open days throughout the year. Information about feeder secondary schools is displayed in the school porch and also put onto the weekly newsletter.


For SEND children’s transition- depending on the child’s needs a separate transition plan put into place to allow the move to be as smooth as possible. The SENCO at the secondary school may be invited into school to meet the child, attend the annual review meeting (for children with a statement of SEN) The transition plan will addresses any possible barriers that may arise throughout the transition period, resources and strategies will be put in place, such as a map of school, visual timetable and home school liaison book.


The Inclusion Manager will support parents by making referrals to external support such as Parent Partnership.


 For parents who need help with form-filling or appeals arrangements, we are happy to provide help and support. Staff in the school office will make appointments where necessary. 


10. Extra-curricular Activities

St Francis has a Breakfast Club which runs from 07:45 – 08:45, when children are then escorted by a member of staff to their classroom to start the school day.  The cost is £3.50 per session. Children need to book places in advance, in order to ensure that necessary staffing is in place.


Learning mentors also run a free Breakfast Club from 8.30 for any children who have missed breakfast.


The school runs an After School Club which provides a wide range of activities and is available to all children from 3.15 to 5.30 and costs £6.50 per session.


Children in year 5 and 6 have the opportunity to go on a residential holiday for two nights in the summer term. This is subsidised for pupil premium children.


We offer a variety of after school clubs for children from Reception upwards. Staffing is provided to make all out of school activities inclusive. 


Clubs offered include: baking club, art & craft, maths, gardening, chess, choir, dance and a wide range of sports. These operate during time and after school and are all free.


 Everyone is invited to clubs appropriate for their age and provision is put in place for any additional needs. 


KS1 & KS2 children have the access to Holiday Clubs through the local cluster of primary schools called SHARES. The Holiday club takes place in every school holiday except Christmas. The charge is usually £40 for 5 days. 


When new children join St Francis’, they are welcomed by a class buddy who will support them in finding their way around and settling into routines. Our learning mentors run a range of lunch and break time clubs to help children develop social skills and build friendships.