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St James' Catholic Primary School'Where we belong, believe and achieve'.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator - Miss S. Lee

Why I am passionate about supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities...


My name is Miss Lee and I am the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) lead at St James’.


I have always been passionate about supporting the needs of our most vulnerable children. All children have the ability to learn and should be equally valued whether or not they have SEND. Inclusion is most likely to be achieved when their diversity is recognised and regarded positively. All staff are responsible for inclusion.

Children are entitled to receive a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. We recognise that appropriate advice, support and resources are required to achieve this for some pupils in the mainstream curriculum.

All children and their parents/carers are entitled to be treated with respect and have their views taken into account.

If we stumble across any barriers along the way, I see it as my job to find a solution. The job can sometimes be challenging but it is also very rewarding. Seeing children with SEND develop socially, emotionally and academically is the highlight of my job! I strongly believe that listening to the child is important; their voice is our priority and is always valued. I want to help the children to be the best they can possibly be. 


Overview of SEND

The four areas of need as stated in the Code of Practice are:

Area of Need




Communication and interaction


Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication.



Speech & Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) including Asperger’s Syndrome.

Cognition and learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning.


Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social, emotional and mental health difficulties. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging or disturbing behaviour. Other young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.


Mental Health Difficulties (anxiety, depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders) Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Attachment Disorder (AD)

Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. Many children and young people with will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning.


Vision Impairment (VI), Hearing Impairment (HI), Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI), Physical Disability (PD)



‘Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, understands the power of connection and insists they become the best that they can possibly be.’ - Rita Pierson


'I know that any teacher will help me if I am struggling' (Year 6 child)


'I often access nurture support. It gives me time to talk about how I am feeling.' (Year 5 child)


'My teachers know how to help me.' (Year 3 child)


'I enjoy talking to Ginger the bear about how I am feeling.' (Reception child)


'The SEN support at St James' is excellent. They always go above and beyond in supporting and including my child and making him feel a valued part of the school. I am always kept up to date and included in all aspects of his learning, making it easy to work together to achieve the best outcomes. (Year 1 parent) 



St James’ Catholic Primary is an inclusive school that recognises and celebrates pupils’ diverse talents and interests. Every child is unique and it is our job to help them become resilient, confident and self-assured learners who develop at their own pace and in their own individual ways.

Our intention for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) is to ensure that all children receive a high-quality and ambitious education regardless of their need or disability. We believe that it is vital that our pupils are equipped with the tools needed to become independent, inquisitive learners both in and out of the classroom.

Through our high quality planning, teaching and provision we:

* Pride ourselves on early identification and intervention for SEND to ensure that progress and opportunities are capitalised on.

* Ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that is adapted to enable children to progress at their level.

* Provide an accessible learning environment which is tailored to the individual needs of all pupils.

* Develop children’s independence and life skills.

* Regularly monitor the progress of children with SEND, using a child-centered approach.

* Provide good quality and relevant training for all staff members supporting children with SEND.

* Work in partnership with parents and carers.

* Work closely with external agencies and other professionals to develop and enhance our provision for children with SEND.


At St James’ Catholic Primary School, every teacher is a teacher of SEND. Consequently, inclusion runs through every area of the school and is enhanced by collaborative relationships between senior leaders, teachers, support staff, external agencies, parents and most importantly, the child.


At St James’ Catholic Primary School, pupils with SEND will:

* Be included in all aspects of the school day.

* Be provided with high quality first teaching, adapted if necessary to their needs.

* Be respected and their contributions valued and acknowledged.


At St James’ Catholic Primary School, pupils with SEND may:

* Have specific 1:1 or small group intervention to support their Phonics, Maths or Literacy learning.

* Take part in social and emotional support interventions such as ELSA, Time to talk or Hello Happy.

* Have access to additional support from our pastoral support worker Mrs Allan either in the classroom or within our Nurture room.

* Work alongside external agencies such as an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or specialist teachers to develop specific targets/programmes tailored to the child’s individual needs.



As a result:

* Children at St James’ Catholic Primary School will feel happy, safe, respected and a valued member of our school community.

* Behaviour at St James’ Catholic Primary School is excellent and diversity is celebrated.

* Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities, developing their speaking, listening and social skills in all areas of the curriculum.

* Children with SEND make good progress at St James’ Catholic Primary School from their starting point due to the resources and interventions put in place to meet the needs of the pupils.

* When leaving St James’ Catholic Primary School, children with SEND have developed good independence and life skills and are prepared to face the next stage in their learning journey.



A child has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty, behavioural difficulty, physical difficulty or medical problems which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.


Children have a learning difficulty if they:


  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;

  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age. This may relate to impairments in communication and interaction, cognition and learning, behavioural, emotional and social development, or sensory or physical needs.

Special educational provision is that which is additional to or different from the educational provision made generally for children of their age.


Useful Websites;

Lancashire County Council's Local OfferInformation for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.


Independent Parental Special Education Advice– Provides free, legally based Special Education advice.


National Autistic Society – The National Autistic Society website, the main UK charity for supporting people with ASD and their families.


Widgit Symbol Resources – Symbolled resources for different topics and areas of life, including resources for fire safety and about visiting the doctors/dentists.


Special Needs Kids – An information directory for parents and carers.


Autism UK –Contains lots of information on ASD.


Autism Speaks – A comprehensive site, with a useful resource library.


One Place for Special Needs – A really useful set of social stories to share with children, covering topics ranging from coping with a new baby in the family to getting a haircut to making friends.


Winston's Wish – A fantastic website full of information to support children and young people after the death of a parent or sibling.  

What is ADHD?

Short animation explains ADHD through the eyes of amazing ADHD'er Molly aimed at school children to help them understand the condition beyond the misconceptions that most adults have these days. It is important to note that everyone's experience is different and medication does not work or may not be an option for everyone.

Amazing Kids - Autistic Spectrum Condition

Curriculum Assessment for SEND

St James' will be using the new PIVATs 5 materials from Lancashire to assess and support all pupils with SEND and also to establish the small steps of progress which the children are making.


Please see below information about PIVATs for assessment of our children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)




Raising standards of achievement within an inclusive education system is an essential expectation for all pupils. All young people in our school have the right to receive an education of the highest quality which is appropriate to their needs.

PIVATS provides a structured approach to assessing, planning for learning, tracking and measuring small steps in attainment, focusing within the PIVATS structure on small steps within the P scales up to the revised national curriculum Y4 age related expectations.

Using PIVATS we recognise achievement and aim to close the gaps in pupils’ attainment. When assessing attainment, tracking and setting learning targets for pupils whose performance lies outside national expectations, certain principles should underpin the process.

Schools have the key role in the assessment of attainment and the setting of appropriate and challenging targets for all pupils and therefore it is important to consider both the attainments of individual pupils and standards across the school. The main aim for all schools is to ‘add value’ to pupils’ progress.  This can be demonstrated in the data, but should also be evident in pupils’ work and in discussions with pupils.


What is PIVATS for?

PIVATS is not aimed at providing for pupils who are underachieving – it is aimed at supporting pupils who are working well below national expectations for their age, due to aspects/attributes of SEND.

  • A key purpose is to provide supporting material for teachers, TAs and SENCos, in assessment of attainment and achievement, and planning for subsequent learning support. It should also provide support in term of subject knowledge regarding small steps in learning for each aspect.
  • It provides criteria for establishing starting points of an initial attainment judgement. This can then be used to aid in measuring future and further progress. Progress may be in very small steps for some pupils due to their needs.  Over time it should aid staff in setting appropriate learning targets for individuals.
  • It will also provide a basis for judgements to be more consistent, with staff being able to use the indicators to support internal and external moderation, and for use when explaining small steps of achievement to parent and carers.
  • It will then provide the basis for evidence of progress for senior leaders and others – backed up by other evidence such as learning journeys, portfolios, etc.

Please see an example of the PIVATs 5 assessment below. There is only one section for number, writing and reading due to copyright issues.