At St. Mary’s Island CEA Primary School we support all children to enable them to achieve at school. In order to do this many steps are taken to support them through their learning journey.

Quality teaching is vital; however for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their targets.
1. How does St. Mary’s Island CEA Primary School know if children need extra help?

We know when pupils need help if:
• concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers, teaching assistants or the pupil’s previous school;
• there is lack of progress;
• there are poor test scores;
• there is a change in the pupil’s behaviour;
• a pupil asks for help.

What should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress then contact your child’s teacher to discuss them or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Mrs Owen. The SENCO is as part of the Inclusion Team with Mrs Easton, Headteacher.

2. How will St. Mary’s Island CEA Primary School support my child?

• Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant (TA) in class.
• If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, maths & English skills, then the pupil will be placed in a small focus group. This will be run by the teacher or teaching assitant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need. The interventions will be reviewed regularly by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. The day to day running of these groups is monitored by the class teacher and the Inclusion Team.
• These interventions will be recorded on the pupil’s provision map/IEP, a copy of which will be sent home. If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or Inclusion Team.
• Pupil Progress Meetings are held three times a year. This is a meeting where the class teacher meets with the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher/ SENCO. Discussion may highlight any potential problems in order for further support to be planned.
• Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency such as the Children’s Therapy Team, Paediatrician etc. Referral forms are then completed in conjunction with parents/carers and forwarded to the most appropriate agency. After a series of assessments, a programme of support is usually provided to the school and parents/carers.
• The governors of St Mary’s Island CEA Primary School are responsible for entrusting a named person (Mrs Easton-Headteacher) to monitor Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures. This person is also responsible for the monitoring and correct administration of the Disclosure and Barring service procedures and the school’s Single Central record. In a support and challenge role, the governors ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible and treats all children and staff in an equitable way. They monitor and review the accessibility plan and all other statutory policies as defined by the DfE.

3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

• When a pupil has been identified with Special Educational Needs, their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily.
• Teaching assistants may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.
• If appropriate, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g. writing slopes, ‘sit and move’ cushions, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors.

4. How will I know how my child is doing?

• You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at parents’ consultations.
• Your child’s class teacher will be by the classroom door (Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1) or in the playground (Key Stage 2) at the end of each day if you wish to raise a concern. Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher or SENCO by visiting the school office.
• Every pupil is given a contact book in which messages can be exchanged between adults working with your child in school and yourself.
• IPM (Individual Provision Map) and IEPs (Individual Education Plan) are sent home three times a year. Targets are usually set by the class teacher. Parents/carers are encouraged to contribute their input to be included on the IEP.

5. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

• The class teacher may suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning through messages in the contact book or at parents’ consultations.
• Mrs Owen, SENCO, may meet with you to discuss how to support your child.
• The Inclusion Team may meet with you to discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s behaviour/emotional needs.
• If outside agencies or the Educational Psychologist have been involved, suggestions and programmes of study are normally provided that can be used at home.
• Families with children up to the age of 5 can be supported by our Sure Start outreach worker who visits the school on a weekly basis.

6. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties. These include:
• Members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants and Inclusion Team who are readily available for pupils wishing to discuss issues and concerns.
• Social skills group work run by teaching assistants. For some children individual programmes of support for social skills are more appropriate.
• Oasis, the lunchtime club run by the Inclusion Team for pupils who find lunchtime a struggle. Games and activities are made available to help provide pupils with social skill to enable them to form friendships.
• Sure Start (Brompton) support families with children under 5.
Pupils with medical needs:
• If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed medi-care plan is compiled by the Inclusion Team in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
• Staff receive annual epipen training or other relevant training for specific needs, delivered by the school nurse.
• Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school but only when a signed medi-care plan is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.
• If your child has an asthma pump, it is kept in the classroom with them.
• We ask that parents ensure the medicine is kept within its expiry date.

7. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. The agencies used by the school include:
• AAP (Attendance Advisory Practitioner)
• Autism Outreach Team
• CAST (Child & Adolescent Support Team)
• CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
• Child Protection Advisors
• Children’s Therapy Team (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy)
• Educational Psychologist
• Medway Hospital (Paediatricians)
• PASS (Physical & Sensory Service) to support pupils with hearing/visual impairment
• School Nurse
• Social Services

An Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. He/she would normally only work directly with pupils whose needs are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them.
This involvement is generally planned at the ISR (In-School Review).These are meetings held three times a year between school staff and where appropriate, other professionals. The aim of an ISR is to gain an understanding of and try to resolve a pupil’s difficulties.
In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed.
He/she will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.

8. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

All staff have received training related to SEND. These have included sessions on:
• General support for all learning difficulties and strategies to help.
• How to support pupils on the autistic spectrum.
• Positive handling behaviour training.
In addition, some staff have had training on:
• how to support pupils with emotional needs.
• specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.
• sensory needs.
• speech and language difficulties.
The Occupational Therapist also comes into school to model and advise staff on how to carry out the programmes they devise for specific children.
The Inclusion Team runs termly training for teaching assistants on aspects of SEN, strategies for support and specific interventions.

9. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

• Activities and school trips are available to all.
• Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.
• If a health and safety risk assessment suggests that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required, a parent or carer may also be asked to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual school staff.

10. How accessible is the school environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Facilities we have at present include:
• Ramps into school to make the building accessible to all.
• Three toilets adapted for disabled users.
• Lift for accessibility to the upper floor in Key Stage 2.
• Evac chair for safe exit down the stairwells in the case of an emergency.
• Wide doors in some parts of the building.

11. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining St Mary’s Island CEA Primary School or transferring to a new school?

St Mary’s Island CEA Primary School understands what a stressful time moving schools can be, therefore many strategies are in place to enable the pupils' transition to be as smooth as possible. These include:
• Information exchange between the previous or receiving schools prior to the pupil joining/leaving.
• Visits to the pre-school setting where appropriate for Foundation Stage intake.
• Transition afternoons where al pupils attend and spent time with their new class teacher.
• Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new class and a visual booklet is devised if appropriate.
• The Inclusion Team is always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining the school.
• Transition meeting are available for year 6 pupil to attend prior to joing their new secondary school. This provides them with the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have.
• Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school.
• The Inclusion Team is in discussion with SENCOs from the secondary schools to pass on information regarding SEN pupils.
• Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting is arranged with Mrs Easton (HT), Mrs Owen,(DHT/SENCO) the secondary school SENCO, the parents/carers and where appropriate, the pupil.

12. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

• The SEN budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs.
• The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at Pupil Progress Meetings, Provision Map Reviews or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year.
• If any concerns are raised on completion of assessments, the Inclusion Team may allocate further support or resources to your child.
• Individual Pupil Premium payments are used to support pupil’s learning through additional interventions and in class support.

13. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

• For Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP) we ensure the statutory requirements are met.
• When needs are identified, support is allocated by class teacher in consultation with the Inclusion Team. This support is closely monitored and progressed reviewed three times a year. Support will be adjusted accordingly to meet needs.
• Parents/carers of children with identified Special Education Needs will be able to see the support their child is receiving on an individual provision map (IPM), which will be sent home three times a year.

14. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. This may be through:
• discussions with the class teacher.
• during parents’ consultations.
• during discussions with the Inclusion Team or other professionals.
• annual reviews.
Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s IPM with any additional information or suggestions.

15. Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact one of the following:
• Your child’s class teacher. They are usually available after school or contact them through the contact book.
• If your queries are about SEN you may contact the Mrs Owen, SENCO ( through the school office)
• Mrs Easton–Headteacher (through the school office)
• The school website and e mail.

For further local information of services you may need to help support your child, double click on the link below:


St Mary's Island Primary School, Island Way West, St Mary's Island, Chatham, Kent. ME4 3ST
Tel. (01634 891050)  E-mail:

Return to Top