SEND and Inclusion

Welcome to SEND at Layston

Layston First School is an inclusive school and one of our primary aims is to offer all children a high quality broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum. We believe that every pupil has individual and unique needs. However, some pupils require more support than others to access the curriculum and achieve the five outcomes of Every Child Matters (ECM). We acknowledge that a proportion of pupils will have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) at some time in their school career. Many of these pupils will require help throughout their time in school, while others may need a little extra support for a short period to help them overcome more temporary issues. Their needs may be due to a physical or learning difficulty or an emotional and social difficulty. To co-ordinate this provision we have a Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), Susie Betley. She is also the Mental Health Lead for the school.

To help these pupils to achieve their full potential, we plan strategically to provide them with the best possible education. Our approach is to actively monitor all children so that any difficulties are identified early and provision made to enable them to make good progress. We adopt a graduated approach to our provision. We provide all pupils with strategies for dealing with their needs in a supportive environment and give them meaningful access to the National Curriculum by breaking down barriers to learning, developing their independence and self-confidence within a nurturing setting.

We recognise parents as the first and foremost educators of their children and appreciate the unique knowledge they hold about them. Through termly parent’s evenings and SEND planning meetings and less formal contact with teachers, we aim to develop a relationship where information is shared as fully as possible in order to personalise learning and support the holistic development of our children.

The SENDCo liaises at least half termly with class teachers about the pupils in their class with SEND. These children are identified on the SEND register so that the SENDCo and Headteacher can closely monitor their progress, attainment and access to the curriculum. All children will have access to high quality class teaching with modifications and support. For pupils with SEND, where more specific support is required, the SENDCo will liaise with the class teacher, parent, pupil and external professionals to produce an individualised intervention plan, which sets out the specific targets required to move learning forwards and the provision and support we will provide to enable this (SEND Planning document). This is reviewed with parents at least termly.

Identification & assessment

At Layston pupils are identified as having ‘special educational needs’ if they have “significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age,” or have “a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age” (Code of Practice 2014). This means that the child’s needs are “additional to or different from” (Code of Practice July 2014) what is provided for the majority of children of that age. This extra provision is planned across the school by the Special Educational Needs &n Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo). We take a graduated approach, starting with high quality teaching in the classroom delivered by the class teacher and supported by teaching assistants and a range of learning resources. We deploy teaching assistants and other adult helpers in a range of ways to promote independence and support resilience, curiosity, reflection and collaboration. We conduct all our teaching in an atmosphere of trust and respect for all.

When necessary we provide planned interventions in small groups or one-to-one. Enquiries about an individual child’s progress should initially be addressed to the class teacher, who knows the child best. Other enquiries can be addressed to the SENDCo via the school office.

The progress of every child is monitored formally at termly pupil progress meetings. Where a child is identified as not making progress even with high quality class teaching, ideas on how best to support them are discussed with the SENDCo and Headteacher. Class teachers are continually following the ‘assess-plan-do-review’ model, and we aim for effective and early identification of any barriers to learning. The SENDCo and class teacher will work together to identify causes and engage appropriate strategies to support the child with parental support and pupil involvement. This does not always mean that the children will be identified as having special educational needs, sometimes children’s barriers to learning can be overcome relatively simply. If a child is under achieving it does not necessarily mean they have special educational needs.

Parental requests relating to concerns over their child’s learning are also taken seriously and will be investigated by the class teacher, and where necessary the SENDCo. Often concerns can be addressed at the level of good quality whole class teaching. If this is not the case, the child may be placed on the SEND register and referred for support through external professionals. The education of all children, including those with special educational needs is a collective responsibility.

My child is on the SEND Register

Some pupils with significant needs will always be on the SEND Register because they will always need help. Other pupils may only need help for a short amount of time and if they no longer need any help, then they will be removed from the SEND Register in consultation with parents/carers.

Layston work closely with a range of external professionals to support the needs of SEND children, including Thorley Hill Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) Base in Bishops Stortford, the Educational Psychologist, Speech Therapists, Child Development Centre, Occupational Therapists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Rivers Behaviour Support and the East Hertfordshire Primary Support Service based at Amwell View School. Other services may also become involved according to individual needs. Parents and their child are consulted at all stages to ensure their views and knowledge are taken into consideration.

We are working to support the local authority’s ‘Local Offer’, which sets out the services available to support young people in schools. Many children will, at some time in their school life, require some extra support. We recognise that this can be stressful and worrying time for the child and their parents. Therefore, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s particular needs, please speak to their class teacher or the SENDCo.

Therapeutic Responses to Behaviour

Layston School is proud to be a Step On trained school, with 2 members of staff trained as Step On trainers. Steps is the Hertfordshire preferred response to supporting pupils with difficult and/or dangerous behaviours. All behaviour is seen as communication. We do not punish children for anti-social behaviours but teach them how to reflect upon their behaviour choices and support them in building pro-social responses instead. We teach emotional literacy and regulation through our PSHRE curriculum and interventions. We use the Steps models of Anxiety Mapping and Roots and Fruits to explore why children are behaving the way they are, respond therapeutically and teach effective communication of emotions. This does not mean there are no consequences to difficult or dangerous behaviours, but means that the consequences are not about punishment but are about reflection, reparation and rebuilding healthy relationships.

SEND Network

Support and information groups for parents of children with SEND

Impartial Advice and Support Service

Click the links below to download:

Herts for Learning – SEND Toolkit



-Reasonable endeavours leaflet:

External Service Offers: