The school strives to be as inclusive as it possibly can be, welcoming all children and families. Our high expectations for all pupils extends to just that – ALL pupils. Every child is different – every child is special.
For some children, arrangements must be made that go beyond the core offer to all our pupils in order to include them as much as possible in all that the school can provide. As such, we need to employ the skills of our inclusion team, led by Mrs Donna Lee (SENCo/Inclusion Leader). The guidance for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) changed in 2014 and this page reflects not only these changes but the response to need that the school offers.
We do not tend to stick to the term ‘Special Needs’, as this can include all manner of reasons for a pupil being vulnerable at any given time. Instead, we refer to this simply as ‘Inclusion’.
To contact our Inclusion Leader (SENCo – Special Needs Coordinator), Mrs Lee, you can use any of the ways listed on the CONTACT page, or email directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about our Inclusion offer:
What needs do you cater for?
We have a wide range of needs in school. To put it simply, we cater for children. We will do everything we can to ensure that Listerdale is the right place for every child. On extremely rare occasions, a child may physically need a different environment than the one we offer at Listerdale. We will work solidly with the child and the family on ensuring needs are met at Listerdale in the first instance. We are proud of our inclusive ethos and proud of all our children.
How do you identify that a child has additional needs?
The school will in the first instance contact parents/carers if we have any concerns about a child. Equally, parents/carers can contact Mrs Malton or the class teacher if they have concerns of their own that they would like us to look into. It is almost always through these discussions that needs are identified. Partnership with parents/carers is ESSENTIAL to the successful support of the child.
What are the arrangements for working with parents/carers?
We welcome constant communication for any child. For children with additional needs of any nature, we positively encourage it. We are experts in education but you, the parents/carers, are experts in your child. Each pupil who has been identified and recorded as having an Additional Need against the new SEND Framework will have at least an additional review meeting, in addition to the termly pupil reviews that all children have. We tend to make meetings fit the situation, though, rather than stick to the bare minimum and rigidity of a framework. This may mean weekly meetings for a while or it may mean that a far less intense structure will do the job. Each child and each case is different. What we do promise, though, is that children and parents/carers will be worked with throughout any time that the child has been identified as having additional needs and, if it is agreed that an extra meeting needs to be called, then an extra meeting will be called. Some children have needs that require an Education Health Care Plan (EHC). This replaces the term ‘Statement of Special Educational Needs’ from the old framework. This requires an annual review. We may, though, have more reviews as needed. We will never offer less than your child’s entitlement but will always offer more.
What are the arrangements for consulting with the children?
Children are consulted along the way, through gaining their views. We are the ONLY mainstream primary school in Rotherham who currently offers Pupil Centred Reviews. This is a model that we are rolling out across our entire Inclusion work and are actively spreading the word to other schools. PCRs are rooted in the views and needs of the child; review meetings take place with the child present and are about ensuring that the adults around that child are there to support that child’s development and well-being.
What will happen as my child starts Listerdale School?
We will work with a child’s current setting, whether nursery, special or other mainstream primary to develop a transition to Listerdale that gives your child the best possible start in school. This can be over a year in advance of the move, if necessary – whatever is best for the child. If your child has identified needs or you have concerns and your child is due to start at Listerdale in the future – no matter how far away that is, feel free to talk to us.
What will happen as my child leaves Listerdale School?
We begin transition to a new school as early as they will engage with us (and we actively and strongly encourage the new school to do that). Our transition for pupils with Additional Needs to Wickersley School is very strong indeed, with transition work beginning over a year in advance of pupils leaving at the end of Y6. Again, each child is different, so each child is considered on a case-by-case basis. The child will be at the centre of everything we do – not the school or the parent.
How will a child with additional needs be taught?
We will ensure that as much of your child’s needs are met within the classroom environment and standard everyday practice (called ‘Quality First Teaching’). Where a child has additional needs that require additional input, there may be group-work or even additional learning delivered by one of our qualified staff.
What expertise is there on the staff team?
Our staff all have qualifications (whether teacher or support staff) that form a wide basis of expertise to maximise the support that we can offer pupils on-site as part of quality first teaching. We have experts in many common additional needs: Speech and Language, Dyslexia, Basic Skills, dyspraxia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc. If a new child presents a need that we do not have the skills to meet, then we ensure that staff are identified and trained accordingly.
How effective is Listerdale School’s provision for children with additional needs?
Again, we are proud of our pupils’ achievements, and the progress that they make in all areas – not just the core areas. We have had children who could not talk or make eye contact when they entered school go on to perform Shakespeare before they left us, children who have flourished in sport, art, drama, etc. We are proud of them all.
How included are children with additional needs?
Each child is as much a part of the school as another. Reasonable adaptations to activities will be made to ensure that no child is discriminated against because of a disability. Children will not be excluded from trips or residential visits and will have full access to the curriculum, even if adaptations need to be made in order to include them. Where a child would like to take part in an extra-curricular activity that requires such adaptions, we will consult with the child, parents/carers and providers (if needed) to ensure that measures are taken to include the child.
Some children with additional needs can be very vulnerable. What will Listerdale School do to care for them?
We do not tolerate bullying at Listerdale in any form. We have a carefully planned curriculum that celebrates diversity and actively promote this through everything we do. We have trained THRIVE-FTC practitioners who can deliver emotional and well-being development interventions. All children are celebrated for their accomplishments. We make arrangements to ensure that all children can safely access the school and the learning that takes place. Please see the accessibility policy on the policies page.
How does the school work with other agencies?
We have close working relationships with Learning Support Service, Behaviour Support Service, Educational Psychology Service, the Autism Communication Team, Speech and Language therapists, and Health. Through having a Family’s Centre as part of our school, we are well-placed to offer family support, key-working, family learning and adult learning, including parenting classes and nurture groups.
What happens if I’m not happy with the way things are going for my child?
Please tell us!
Normally, you should speak to the class teacher first. If that doesn’t resolve the situation, then please ask to speak to Mrs Bothamley, the School Business Manager via the school office or one of the senior staff (Mrs Malton, Mrs Hodges, Mr Roberts, Mrs Lee or Mrs Woodward), who will ensure that your concerns are then passed on to the best person to deal with them. We try to ensure that every single issue is dealt with as soon as is reasonably possible and by the right person.
If you have followed these steps and still have, given time-scales set out in the Issues Concerns and Complaints policy on the POLICIES page, still no resolution of your issue, then formal complaints should be made to the Business Manager (Kerstyn Bothamley) – available through the school office. If her response still does not answer your query or difficulty, which will contain a final decision on behalf of the school, then you can appeal to the Governing Body, through the Clerk, Mary Richards (again contactable through the school office). Details of this will be included in your response from school. We very much hope that we can deal with all issues and concerns before they escalate. Partnership with Parents and Carers is very important to us and to the wellbeing and success of the children.
If these FAQs do not answer your questions, please do CONTACT US.