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St Edward's Roman Catholic Primary School

St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Primary School positioned on the outskirts of Darwen, Lancashire.

The school serves the Catholic population of the northern half of Darwen. The school is provided by the Diocese of Salford and is maintained by Blackburn with Darwen Local Education Authority as a Voluntary Aided School.

St. Edward’s Roman Catholic School seeks to provide high quality academic education for all pupils according to their needs, and to develop attitudes of mutual respect and responsibility. We aim to give high priority to the spiritual development of the whole school community in a Christian environment.

At St. Edward’s the emphasis is on whole school approach. All staff accept responsibility for providing children with realistic learning goals in a broad-based, appropriate curriculum.

We believe in nurturing and developing the educational, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual aspects by curriculum design and teaching approaches.

The National Curriculum Council stated that participation in the National Curriculum by pupils with special needs is most likely to be achieved by encouraging good practice for all pupils and that the majority of pupils with learning difficulties simply require work to be suitably presented and differentiated to match their needs within the classroom.

Everyone at St. Edward’s is committed to providing the conditions and opportunities to enable any child with SEND to be included fully in all aspects of school life. As a catholic school all staff should seek to be witnesses for gospel values as advocates for the poor and marginalised within our school community. The Special Needs policy at St. Edward’s supports the stated ethos of the school that:                                                                               

“We aim for success for all.”

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs L Turner
Contact Position
Deputy Headteacher & SENCo
01254 701616

Where to go

St. Edward's Roman Catholic Primary School
Blackburn Road
This service is part of the Local Offer

Local Offer


• St. Edward’s school is all on one level and all entry points in to the building are sloped.
• There is also disabled access to toileting areas.
• A shower facility is available.
• Visual timetables are on display in classrooms and basic communication cards are worn at all times by all staff.

Contact Name
Mrs V Knowles (Headteacher) & Mrs L Turner (Deputy Headteacher & SENCo)
Contact Telephone
01254 701616
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
5-11 years
Parents & carers
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the school/setting?

We work closely to form a team around the child accessing advice from the following professional services available to our setting:
• Educational Psychologist (EP)
• Paediatric Consultants (Doctors)
• Speech and Language Therapists (SALT/NHS)
• Occupational Therapists (OT)
• Behaviour Specialists (SEBD/ADHD)
• School Nurse
• Sensory Impairment Services.
• Service for Ethnic Minority Achievement (SEMA)
• Autistic Spectrum Disorder Services (ASD)
• Specific Learning Service Specialists (Dyslexia)
• Early Years Foundation Services (EYFS)
• Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)
• Child and adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS)

What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?

St. Edward’s employs a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), Mrs M Young, for five mornings per week. St. Edward’s also employs five special support assistants to work with children on an individual basis funded both from the school budget and the local authority special needs budget. All classes in the school have at least five mornings and three afternoons’ classroom support, as well as fulltime teachers.
• The Head teacher is the continuing professional development co-ordinator for class teachers and the SENCo is the CPD co-ordinator for special support assistants. Both roles ensure that the staff have the skills in order to support pupils with additional needs.
• Skills audits are carried out through termly staff development talks.
• In house training is organised by Mrs M Young regularly either as a full inset day, twilight sessions and external professional development courses, provided by the borough or other external agencies. This training takes place termly to ensure all staff are aware and specifically trained in all areas of SEND.
• Medical training to support pupils with medical care plans (Epi-Pen Training) is organised annually.

How do you know if my child/young person needs extra help?

We have a number of methods to help us identify whether a child may need further help. These include:

• Information from your child’s pre-school/nursery setting or previous school.

• Class Teacher/staff observations and ongoing assessments.

• Baseline assessments during the Reception year.

• Year 1 phonics test (national tests to ascertain level of early reading skills).

• Year 2 teacher assessments compared with national expectations. 

• Ongoing teacher assessments throughout Key stage 2.

• Year 6 teacher assessments and national tests compared with national expectations. 

• Close discussion with parents/carers on a regular informal basis.

• Additional tests carried out by the SENCo and other professional services e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapists, Audiology.

What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

In the first instance, you will need to speak to your child’s class teacher. Your concerns will always be taken seriously as your views are very important to us. There are two parents’ evenings per year (Autumn term and the second in Spring term) but if you have concerns that you feel need to be addressed before then, you should telephone the school to make an appointment to speak with your child’s class teacher. The class teacher will then liaise with the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) to discuss any concerns and any further action directly related to these concerns will be carried out with parental permission.

How will staff support my child/young person?

• Your child’s needs are always of paramount importance to us. Initially, your child’s needs will be met within their own class, supported by high quality, first class teaching including modified lesson planning that takes in to account the needs of each child.
• The progress of all children is reviewed on a regular basis and all information is shared with parents. There are two planned parent’s evenings per year, in the autumn and the spring terms as well as a written report in the summer.
• If the class teacher is concerned about a child’s progress then he/she will discuss these concerns with the school SENCo. A Monitoring Progress Form will be completed and discussed with parents; a signed copy is kept for school records.
• Within a term, the SENCo, Class teacher and parents will review the child’s needs/progress and decide whether an individual plan with specific targets will need to be completed and used in class to ensure progress is maintained and monitored.
• Reviews of learning targets set out in the child’s plan will be reviewed three times a year by the class teacher and SENCo. This information will be relayed to parents at this time. New programmes, interventions or support may be organised as necessary either within groups or for specific individual, 1-1 tuition leading to personalised learning.
• Should a child need extra support, further advice will be sought from specialist services. The school may also request additional assessments to be carried out from outside services, or they will be conduct in house by the school SENCo. All plans and referrals will be discussed with parents/carers and will only go ahead with parent’s permission. St. Edward’s endeavour to do all they can to meet the needs of their pupils in partnership with parents and external agencies to ensure they achieve.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

All lessons at St. Edward’s include differentiated activities for children, this means that although children in any given class will be learning the same concept or skill, the task they will be given will be tailored to their ability based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child’s prior learning. Children identified as having special educational needs will have the whole curriculum modified after discussion between the class teacher, SENCo, other senior teachers (as appropriate), and parents. Modification of the curriculum means that children may be given different tasks (than their peers), additional materials or resources, including staff. Furthermore, the size of group children work may also be modified and the size will be chosen specifically with the child in mind (groups of six, four paired or even 1-1). All specific targets that are set to support children’s individual needs are evaluated and updated termly and this information is communicated to the parents in written and verbal form at various times throughout the year.

How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child/young person?

Teachers at St. Edward’s are aware that children learn in a variety of ways. For example some children learn best with visual prompts, some need to have concrete (real) apparatus to assist them and most children can clarify their own understanding through discussion with their peers. Each teacher has been trained in these strategies and approaches which are applied to their everyday teaching. The variety of approaches to learning are clearly visible in each teacher’s weekly plans and are employed as necessary, to support each individual child. 

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing?

The parents of all children at St. Edward’s have the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher at planned meetings in the Autumn and Spring Terms. All children receive an end of year written report in July. Children identified as having special educational needs will receive three, termly, written Individual Education Plans (IEPs).  All children also receive specific curriculum targets in grammar and maths at the parents’ meetings. If a child has specific difficulties in literacy the target may coincide with a target on an IEP.  Parents can also use the home/school reading record as way of communicating with the class teacher, all class teachers use this as a system to provide information on reading development. Parents of children who receive additional support other than that provided by the class (for example the involvement of a speech therapist) will receive an additional invite to discuss their child’s progress with the school SENCo during the Summer Term. However, St. Edward’s advocate an open door policy and encourage all parents/careers to approach school should they wish to discuss any issues or concerns as soon as they arise.

How will you help me to support my child/young person's learning?

Parents can arrange informal discussions as and when necessary with their child’s class teacher and/or with the school SENCo. All information about your child’s progress is communicated through parents meetings, end of year report, home/school targets and IEPs.  SMART pupil centred targets are set to support specific individual needs. These are regularly updated and amended (three times a year) and discussed with parents.  If school receive additional funding to support an individual pupil a formal annual review meeting will take place to which parents are invited to attend. Parents will also be encouraged to provide a written record of their thoughts about their child’s progress and provision. Advice about specific resources a child may need is readily available from school to help parents provide further support at home at all times.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

Pupil’s emotional health and well- being is always an overriding concern to all staff at St Edward’s. There are many overlapping systems to ensure that no child in need is left unsupported: these include close liaison between the Headteacher and the teaching staff (including written records); the Headteacher and the dinnertime staff (including at least 2 senior teachers on duty every dinnertime); the Headteacher and the Pupil Premium Mentor – again with written records and the Headteacher and the Curriculum Committee. The school SENCo is part of the school senior leadership team and discussion of the progress and well-being of children identified as having special educational needs is a standing agenda item for the weekly leadership meetings. St. Edward’s pride themselves on a zero tolerance approach to any form of bullying; physical, emotional, verbal or online. We conduct several assemblies along this theme as a reminder to pupils throughout the year. Any pupils that are considered to be vulnerable are highlighted to the appropriate staff members to ensure that they are well supported.

What activities will be available for my child/young person?

All children are given equal opportunity to take part to take part in all physical and extra-curricular activities. If it is deemed necessary additional support may be put in place for these activities, this may be provided by the school or the parents. There are a wide range of school trips planned during the year to correspond with topics covered in various year groups. These trips can be local area visits or trips further afield. In addition to this each pupil is invited to attend the whole school trip during the Summer Term. There are also a variety of after school clubs which run throughout the year including, dance, football, cricket, netball and rounders to name but a few.

How will you prepare and support my child/young person during transitions?

During the Summer Term the Headteacher and Reception Class Teacher visit all the nursery settings of the children who are due to start at St. Edward’s in the following September. The children are all offered the opportunity to attend St. Edward’s for at least half a day to spend time in what will be their new classroom and to meet the staff. All parents are invited to a meeting with the Headteacher in the June before their child starts at St. Edward’s. After this meeting they are also invited to view the Reception Class and meet the staff. Children starting in a year group other than Reception are invited to a meeting with Headteacher or a senior member of staff to view the school, and if possible meet children and staff.  At the end of each year all children will be given the opportunity to meet with their new class teacher and spend time in their new classroom. At the end of Year 6 school staff will meet with staff from the child’s chosen school (mainly St. Bede’s High School) and the children are given leave to visit their chosen high school for three full days. If it is deemed that any child needs additional time at the new school or extra time to meet staff from this setting then this is given priority during their final summer term – or longer if necessary, as well as a transition booklet containing photographs of the new environment and key staff and social stories linked to new routines and systems the pupil may encounter.

How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child's/young person's needs?

All classes have a minimum of twenty three hours additional support from a classroom assistant. In the first instance, the responsibility for the allocation of these resources is delegated to the class teacher. All the teaching staff at St. Edward’s are highly trained and experienced at modifying the curriculum and organising specific resources to assist pupils in their classes succeed. There is a wealth of resources available for all subjects as well as SEN resources maintained by the SENCo. When children are identified as having special educational needs the SENCo ensures that, if necessary additional resources are allocated to individual children and this is recorded on a child’s IEP. On occasions the specific nature of a child’s need may require further involvement and additional resources from outside agencies. The school SENCo co-ordinates this involvement with parental permission to build a team around the child to ensure the child’s needs are met and the right resources are provided.

How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

The decisions regarding the support your child receives will be made by us in collaboration with you. Most children are supported in school through school systems. We will hold regular meetings to discuss the strategies and support surrounding your child. This support is recorded on IEPs and monitored by the school SENCo.  Every IEP that is written is evaluated and parents are given the opportunity to comment on the success of the plan. If a child’s needs are significant the school SENCo can apply to the local authority for extra financial resources. This is very much an evidence based process and additional funding is only issued when an independent Education Health Care Panel agrees that the child’s needs cannot be met through the school’s budget alone. If this is approved then the panel will decide how much support they feel your child needs based on the information submitted by parents, school and any other external agencies involved in your child’s journey. This will then form the basis of an Education Health Care Plan which will be reviewed regularly in collaboration with parents, school, outside agencies and the child ( where possible).

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