St Bridget's CofE School - Whitehaven
St Bridget's CE Primary School would like to welcome you and your child to our school. We share the wish that your child achieves their academic potential, whatever their starting point, whilst showing an understanding of, and respect for, moral values. Our school motto is 'Letting our Lights Shine' and our aim is for all pupils to shine at St Bridget's.
Within the safety of the school and in small, well-staffed classes, we aim to bring out the best in all our pupils. In addition to creating a classroom environment which stimulates and challenges the children, there are many enrichment activities, such as a wide variety of cross-curriculum visits. By the time our pupils leave, we aim to ensure they are well equipped, both socially and academically, for the next phase of their education. We work very hard to create close working relationships with the children and their families and pride ourselves on the strong partnerships which exist between staff, parents, pupils, governors and the local community.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Ruth Colley
- Contact Position
- 01946 592940 01946 592940 01946592940 01946592940
- St Bridget's CofE School, Whitehaven
- Scan to visit this website
Where to go
- St Bridget's CofE School - Whitehaven
CA28 6NYView CA28 6NY on a map
At St. Bridget’s we endeavour to provide for children with SEND and are committed to providing an inclusive education in our school. Any application for entry from a parent or carer, where a child has SEND, will be assessed and, wherever practical, arrangements will be made to accept the child. However, the school has not been specially adapted to cater for certain physical disabilities e.g. there is no wheelchair access in the school and there are multi-levels both in and outside of the building. The school has an up to date accessibility policy.
- Contact Name
- Mrs Ruth Colley
- Contact Telephone
- 01946 592940
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
Schools Extended Local Offer Response
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
On entry into the school, all children are assessed using information from the parent or carer and from any previous settings, together with initial teacher observations. Where a special need is identified, procedures will be put in place to support that child. Teachers and support staff monitor all children’s progress throughout the year by doing both formative and summative assessments. If a child appears to be making little or no progress through the high quality teaching, including normal differentiation, other suitable interventions will be explored to support the child. This will be done in consultation with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). If these approaches are not allowing the child to make progress, then advice from relevant professionals will be sought in consultation with the parent or carer. These may include Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and/or Occupational Therapists. This will enable the school to provide more specialised support for the child.
Parents or carers are encouraged to communicate any concerns they may have about their child’s progress. In the first instance, this should be discussed with their teacher either in the termly meeting or earlier through an appointment with them. Should the teacher have identified possible areas where progress is not being made at a rate comparable with their age, they will consult the parents or carers at the termly meeting or by requesting an earlier appointment with them. At the meeting, an overall picture of the child’s development can be discussed and decisions made on how best to intervene. Depending on the needs of the child, the SENCO may also be present and can be requested by the parents and carers. Both staff and parents or carers can ask for additional advice to be sought from external professionals. All children receive an annual written report on their achievements in different subjects together with suggested future targets. Parents or carers are encouraged to respond to these reports.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
High quality teaching provides all our pupils with opportunities to learn, however, sometimes this does not lead to all children making the expected progress. At this point, if a child has not made the expected progress, they may need to be referred on to the graduated approach of Assess, Plan, Do and Review as required by the Department of Education (DfE) SEND Code of Practice (2015). Children with additional needs are added on to the SEND register and staff will create a provision map which is reviewed by class teachers and the SENCO termly.
Both formative and summative assessments that have been collated for a child will be used to identify any gaps in learning or understanding and levels of progress will be gauged. This will form the basis of planned support. Both parents or carers and the child will be given the opportunity to express their opinions and concerns in a meeting with the class teacher (and SENCO when required or requested).
Using the assessment, the suitable interventions and other support will be planned for within the classroom using resources from the school. These may include targeted short term programs to allow the child to then work effectively alongside their peers. The use of small group work, within and out of the classroom, may be appropriate. These decisions will be made on an individual basis.
The planned actions will be carried out within the time frame that has been decided.
During and after the interventions are in place, the impact they are having on the child’s learning and understanding will be reviewed. At the end of the intervention or after a given time period, the overall outcomes will be assessed and a joint decision made with both staff, parents and pupils as to how to proceed will be made. Adjustments can be made to the plans as required, if they are proving not to be having the desired impact.
This process may be repeated using different or extended provisions to enable to the child to make significant progress. All children in the school are involved in setting and reviewing their targets (next steps). Should a child be assessed as having SEND, there may be a Provision Map (PM) put in place for them, which will be carried out in consultation with the child and their family. Completed provision maps are sent to parents along with a google form to sign when they have read it. If parents disagree with anything on the provision map, they can speak to the class teacher and SENCO.
Should the support and interventions put in place, be seen not to have an impact and it is thought that the child require further help, the advice of outside professionals may be asked for. This can be requested both by parents or carers and staff, although the parent or carer’s consent must be sought before this proceeds. In some instances, this may be done as part of the first assessment. If, after the school has taken every relevant and purposeful action to support the child and the expected progress has not been made, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) needs assessment may be requested from the Local Authority (LA). Again, this can be done by either the parents or carers or by the staff, in consultation with the parents or carers. If the assessment is deemed necessary, the LA will ask the school, parents, where appropriate the pupil and all professionals involved, to write a report outlining the areas of need.
After the request has been made to the LA, they will decide whether they think the child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided) require an EHCP assessment. If the LA then agree to an EHCP, they will compile the plan, in conjunction with all parties, which will clearly outline the support the pupil should receive, and what strategies must be put in place, in line with the child’s desired outcomes. If they do not think the child would benefit from an EHCP, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Quality first, inclusive teaching with ambitious expectations are integral for all our children to make significant progress and we ensure this for all pupils, regardless of their abilities. Teaching is built on what a child already knows, can do and can understand, being differentiated for all abilities. The teaching staff carefully check on progress and will decide on any gaps in pupils understanding/learning which will need addressing. Different teaching methods are used so that the children are fully involved in their learning, for example using concrete resources to support the child's learning. Specific strategies may be put in place where appropriate. Small group work and/or one to one activities either within or outside the classroom may be used to further children's learning.
If an EHCP is in place, the specific provisions will be put in place for your child. Any additional adult assistance may be used to support the child with whole class learning, run individual programs or teach small groups including the child with SEND to allow for social interaction with their peers. The funding may also be used to source additional educational resources and staff training to aid the pupil’s learning. This will be specified on the EHCP and must be carried out by school.
Children with SEND are encouraged to take part in all aspects of school life, including extracurricular activities such as sport and visits.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?
All parents/carers are offered a termly consultation with their child's teacher to discuss their child's educational development. Where a child has a Provision Map in place, this will be discussed and amended appropriately and shared with the family. In between these consultations, we encourage families to be in contact with staff on a regular basis about general school information. Staff are available to speak to families about any SEND issues and should be approached to make an appointment so that any discussions are given the due time and confidentiality.
If families require any additional support, the SENCO can signpost them to various outside agencies who can offer different services.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
All pupils receive Religious Education, Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship sessions as part of their weekly timetable.
Children and parents are encouraged to approach any member of staff if they have a particular concern and any issues are dealt with swiftly to avoid them escalating, this includes pupils with SEND. All staff are available to listen and support children should there be any more complex issues that need addressing. If required, children can be taken out for small group or 1-1 work to help support any issues that may arise.
- What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
As and when needs arise, the school can ask for advice and interventions from outside agencies. We have a good working relationship with LA educational services, various therapy services and other health and social care services. The requirement for these services will be assessed on an individual basis and they will then be contacted, in consultation with the parents or carers. A specialist autism advisory teacher for the county visits school to work with SEND children regularly and is available for advice if staff require it.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
Annually, teachers and support staff’s development needs are identified and they are encouraged to attend LA or nationally recognised course and conferences to enhance and update their knowledge. Should a particular need arise, staff are able to access appropriate training additional to this. Staff regularly attend autism training in order to support pupils with ASD.
As well as training taking place away from the setting, LA advisory services, such as educational psychologists, social services or other special needs practitioners, may give in house support to staff to meet specific needs.
The school’s SENDCO has recently completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-coordinators (NASC), which is a statutory qualification as set out in the SEND Code of Practice (2014). The SENDCO attends regular cluster meetings and new to SENCO training. The school also has a county advisor for SEND who is available to offer advice when needed.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
All children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that is appropriate to their age and abilities. Activities are differentiated and resources are provided to allow all children to take part. If specialist equipment is required, the school will endeavour to provide this where possible. Support staff are deployed depending on their expertise and this may mean that a child works with a variety of adults. Children with EHCPs have 1-1 support.
- How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?
The school has made adjustments, such as providing a changing room with adjustable changing mat and adding lower handrails for the main staircase. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access in the school as there are multi-levels both in and outside of the building which make the addition of a lift impossible. The school recently (January 2024) had an accessibility review.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
If there are concerns about a child's needs before they join the school, the SENCO will liaise with the family and any other professionals involved to ensure that there is a smooth transition into the school. Any arrangements, as far as possible, will be put into place ready for the transition. The transition can involve various scenarios depending on the individual's requirements, such as preliminary visits and a staggered start. Beginning these discussions at the earliest opportunity is beneficial.
When moving between phases within the school, all children are given the opportunity to spend some time in their new environment before the end of the academic year. For some children with SEND, this may need to be extended and this will be done on an individual or small group basis. It may involve spending short periods of time in the new classroom with a member of staff that they are most comfortable with. All children leaving our school are encouraged to make use of visit days provided by the secondary schools or other settings. It may be necessary for children with SEND to make extra visits to give them time to orientate themselves both with the new building but also with the resources available there. The SENDCO and class teacher will liaise with the children, families and staff from the new setting, in order to provide a smooth transition. Information regarding the needs of the child will be discussed prior to changing schools, so that suitable provision can be put in place immediately.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
The school allocates resources, including staffing and equipment, according to the individual's needs. This is costed against the Provision Map.
Should the school and family feel that extra funding on top of the school's SEND budget is required to support the child effectively, an EHCP can be applied for from the LA. There is an assessment procedure that is followed and it is at the discretion of LA as to if an EHCP is required, and if so, how much funding will be allocated. Parents have a right to appeal their decision and parents requiring Information, advice and support with this or other SEND issue SEND IASS, details of which can be found on our website.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The decision as to the type and much support is received is made between the child, their family, school staff and, where appropriate, any outside agencies involved. This will be done following the 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' cycle and will be dependent on the strengths and needs of the child.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
Families are encouraged to play a part in the school life. The PTA offers regular fundraising events which families are encouraged to take part in. When appropriate, families are asked their opinions on various aspects of school life and these feed into the overall school evaluations and future actions. Events in school are shared through secure social media and an online sharing tool is used in Early Years to engage with families about their child's early development. The early years offers family craft sessions on occassion which families are encouraged to attend.