How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have SEN?
The school uses the ‘Language and Literacy Toolkit’ designed by Birmingham Local Authority Access to Education to assess children’s needs in relation to areas such as spelling, punctuation and grammar, listening and understanding, vocabulary, reading fluency, phonics and understanding of reading as well as through tracking children’s progress and attainment through the National Curriculum. The school uses the Maths Framework designed by Birmingham Local Authority Access to Education to assess children’s needs in relation to areas such as number, shape and calculations. Children who are SEND but with little literacy, language and or mathematical difficulties are identified through medical assessments via Doctors or assessments made by outside agencies.
If a parent or guardian thinks their child may have SEND they are encouraged to book a time to come and discuss the matter with the child’s teacher or the SEND team.
What kinds of special educational needs do we make provision for at Thornton?
SEND pupils at Thornton have a wide range of needs. We have children who are on the Autistic Spectrum, have visual or hearing difficulties or have cognition and learning needs. Provision is focused on the child and supported by information and guidance from professionals.
How will school staff support my child?
Children at Thornton are supported through Quality First Teaching from class teachers as well as in class support provided by teaching assistants where necessary within the classroom environment. Some children with a high level of need may be supported through small group or one to one interventions taking place outside of the classroom environment. Where necessary some children will work with people from outside agencies both within the classroom and in other areas of the school.
How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to my child’s needs?
The curriculum will be differentiated (adapted) to allow access for children with SEND, this may be through providing extra resources, such as cubes when completing maths activities, support from adults in the classroom or changes to the learning objectives of a lesson.
Where possible the school adapts the learning environment to include pupils with physical needs and ongoing improvements to the school building is improving access for pupils with additional needs. Reasonable adaptations will be made, such as the provision of visualisers to support children with visual impairments within the learning environment.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to review and support my child’s learning?
During Parent’s Evenings you will receive feedback about your child’s learning three times a year. If your child has a One Page Profile or an Education and Health Care Plan and outside agencies involved then you will have a termly review meeting with stakeholders in your child’s learning attending. If you require any extra information on your child’s learning through the year please feel free to book a meeting with your child’s teacher or the SEND team. The effectiveness of provision for SEND pupils is assessed based on children's progress in achieving objectives from 'One Page Profiles' as well as from our whole school tracking system. The impact of individual interventions is assessed based on children's progress and feedback from intervention staff and class teachers.
How will my child be involved in their own learning?
Your child will discuss their targets with teaching staff and the SEND team and some children will complete pupil ‘one page profiles’ which inform adults working with them what works well and what they would like more support with. All children at Thornton have the opportunity to self-assess and let the teaching staff know what they think of their own learning.
How do you check support is working?
We check the success of interventions through progress on the Language and Literacy Toolkit, the Maths Framework, as well as the school assessment system.
Outside agencies may check that support is working by performing assessments before support starts and then after to give a clear picture of any progress.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
Thornton applies a holistic approach to education, looking at the whole child. The SEND team provide social groups and pastoral care as required based on referrals from staff and/or parents. Where needed referrals to outside agencies such as 'Forward Thinking Birmingham' are made so that our children can access suitable mental health resources. The school also works with an agency called Malachi, who support identified families to improve emotional well being.
Please refer to whole school policies regarding PSHE and School Councillors for further information about children’s well-being please see the school’s website.
What specialised services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
We are able to access a range of resources via outside agencies which include:
Communication and Autism Team,
Physical Difficulties Support Service,
Speech and Language Therapist,
Malachi - family support,
Pupil and School Support teachers,
Sensory Support – Visual Impairment Teachers and Hearing Impairment Teachers,
What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had/having?
Staff at Thornton have had training in the following areas - epilepsy, diabetes, interventions, Autism, supporting children with physical needs, hearing impairment and visual impairment.
Michelle Easthope has achieved the National Award for SENCOs in 2013.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Thornton has a policy of inclusion for all children. Reasonable adaptations are made where necessary to allow all children to access activities. We seek the support of outside agencies, when required, to help us identify needs and solutions to any accessibility concerns. Our pupils with physical needs receive additional adult support, where needed, on school trips so that they can access the same experiences as their peers.
How accessible is the school environment?
Thornton has some accessible areas, however currently many of the classrooms have steps into the rooms. There is a lift for access to the first floor classrooms and there are toilets with adaptations to support those with physical needs.
How will the school support and prepare my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
At Thornton we hold transition meetings with future schools to discuss transition and children and parents/guardians will be invited to these meetings, if people from outside agencies work with the transitioning child then they will be invited to attend. In some cases pupils will work with the SEND team to develop pupil profiles or passports which contain ‘need to know’ information about a child for their new teachers. We go on visits to children’s schools when needed before they attend Thornton.
How are the school’s resources (equipment and facilities) allocated to children’s SEND?
Resources are allocated as required, on discussion with parents, class teachers and the SEND team and outside agencies. Children for whom the school receives additional funding for have resources purchased based on recommendations from outside agencies and based on the needs of the child, for example a child with a visual impairment may require a laptop for touch typing.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Support in English and Mathematics is allocated through the progress of children in whole school tracking. The support which other needs receive is decided upon by discussions with the SEND team, class teachers, teaching assistants, parents and at times, outside agencies.
Who can I contact for further information?
You can speak to your class teacher or Mrs Michelle Easthope - Assistant Head and SENCO.
Who can I contact if I need further information or support?
Birmingham Local Offer and Information -
SEN Parent Partnership Service
SEND Information, Advice & Support Service
SEND Information, Advice & Support Service
The POD, 28 Oliver Street
Nechells, Birmingham B7 4NX
Telephone Number: 0121 303 5004
Who do I contact if I have I am not happy?
If you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, please contact Mrs Easthope via the school office. Alternatively, please follow the school complaints procedure located in the 'Parents' section of the school website.