Special Educational Needs Support

Full details for the provision for SEN support at Sawtry Village Academy can be found in our policy.

Accessibility arrangements and plans for students with needs

Accessibility Plan

The school SEN Information Report can be read here

SEN Information Report


1. The kinds of Special Educational Needs for which provision is made at the school
Sawtry Village Academy aims to make appropriate provision for the full range of students who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. We work successfully with pupils who have a range of learning difficulties including; speech, language and communication difficulties including those on the autistic spectrum and students with social emotional mental health difficulties. We have strategies in place to support those with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and provision has also been made for students with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, juvenile arthritis and epilepsy, as well as visual and auditory disabilities and wheelchair users.
2. Identification and assessment of pupils with SEN

At the start of the Summer term every year, information is gathered on incoming Year 6 students from our feeder primary schools, from families and agencies such as Educational Psychology, Hearing and Visual Support Services, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, Cambridgeshire’s Specialist Teaching Service and any other relevant agencies regarding pupils who are likely to have SEN. Information regarding these students is written up and disseminated to staff and additional visits to the school are planned for pupils with additional needs.

Students who transfer in mid-year are identified from previous schools’ records. These students will be referred to the SEN/D department for additional testing as well as further information being identified through school records and admittance interview.

Issues regarding individual students’ special needs raised by teaching and support staff, or families, are investigated.

Assessment of students’ literacy skills, especially Year 7 students are carried out on entry to identify students who need intervention in this area.  The Maths and English Departments carry out their own baseline assessments during the first ½ term to ascertain starting points. Students are all assessed regularly in individual subjects, and any concerns raised by these are acted upon by the relevant Head of Year and subject teachers who liaise with the Learning Support team.

3. How will we know if your child needs extra help?

When your child first comes to us we use information from:

  • Primary school teachers, end of key stage 2 levels
  • Baseline literacy, numeracy and science testing
  • Parents/carers, application form information
  • Subject teachers
  • Specialist colleagues, external agencies

As your child gets older we use information or referrals from:

  • Termly assessments
  • interim data
  • Subject teachers, tutors and Head of Years
  • Parental concerns
  • External agencies

4. Making provision for students with SEN

strong>a) How the school evaluates the effectiveness of provision for SEN students

Tracking of the progress of all students at SVA is a continuous process, in terms of both academic and wider aspects of development. Concerns regarding the progress being made by pupils with SEND can be identified by any staff working with them, by families, or by the student themselves. For the effectiveness of provision to be judged satisfactory, the student would be making at least expected progress in terms of academic achievement and would be socially integrated into their teaching and year groups.

b) The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEN

In addition to the tracking process referred to above, all students with a Statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC Plan and those who are currently on the SEN register as SEN support will have a student’s passport to learning written containing information about the student’s strengths, areas of concern, targets for them to work on and information for teachers on how best to support them. This process puts the student very much at the heart of the document and is drawn up after a discussion with the student about their views on their learning, what they want teachers to consider when teaching them. Additionally, all students with an EHCP have a named teaching assistant mentor who they meet with every half term. Targets are set and reviewed at these meetings. Their EHCP targets will also be reviewed at these meetings.

Feedback from staff on how pupils are progressing is requested regularly, before review meetings with parents and the student, if deemed appropriate. Students, not at the review meeting, will then meet with a member of the Learning Support team to ascertain their perspective on their progress, to share views of their teachers with them, and to update the Student Passport to learning.

Additionally, all students who undertake intervention programmes such as “SNIP” and “Catch Up Literacy” have literacy levels assessed at the beginning and end of the programme. Literacy levels of all students with SEN who undertake intervention sessions are assessed at the beginning of every term. The progress is then put on a spreadsheet which is ragged. The results are also put on SIMS. It Progress is written up on our provision maps for each student and their views recorded regarding the success and impact of the interventions. This conforms to the “assess, plan, do, review” process as advocated in the SEN Code of Practice 0-25. The Annual Review for students with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan is included in this process for relevant students.

c) The school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEN

SVA places students into ability groups for the Maths and English from the October ½ term of Y7, based on information from primary schools. Whatever their ability level, subject teachers retain responsibility for their education as all our teachers are teachers of SEN. Groups of more able students tend to be larger, those containing students with SEN smaller. Groups with SEN students tend to be those with additional adult support. Teaching Assistants (TAs) working with these groups often have particular expertise in the subject area being supported and/or with working with student(s) in the group. TAs work closely with teachers to deliver the curriculum effectively to students with SEN.  Attempts are made to ensure that work is differentiated in such a way that it is accessible to all students.

d) How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEN

As mentioned earlier, teaching staff differentiate work to suit the ability level of the pupils they are teaching. While all students in Key Stage 3 follow a common curriculum, teachers consider such aspects as the readability of written material, the range of activities to be undertaken, the manner in which lessons are delivered and the explicitness of explanations and instructions. Writing frames, for example, are often made available to support written work. Teaching is, wherever possible, delivered in a multi-sensory way, so that students have visual as well as oral material to support their learning. Work is broken down into manageable chunks for students. Literacy development is a cross curricular issue at the Academy, with work taking place on vocabulary development, spelling and effective writing in all relevant departments, providing a supportive learning environment for students with literacy difficulties, including dyslexia. Numeracy development has also been introduced into all subject areas to raise the profile and importance of number skills.

For students who require more of a bespoke curriculum Willow Horizons offers access to a small class groups where learning is managed in a highly supportive environment. Pupils here access mainstream courses and lessons where these are appropriate.

In Key Stage 4 a wider range of optional subjects has been made available. In terms of the learning environment, adaptations are made in response to the needs of students. Appropriate seating arrangements are made for students with hearing or visual impairments, and those who have difficulty with concentration.

In Key Stage 5 students with SEN are catered for by individualised timetables to reflect their needs.

e) Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEN

As mentioned earlier, the school regularly deploys additional adults to work in groups containing students with SEN. These adults, usually TAs, are often able to give more individual support to those who need it. Many subject areas offer after school support to those who need it. The Learning Support Department runs regular literacy intervention sessions. They provide a “safe haven” for vulnerable students during unstructured time; offer a weekly, afterschool homework club on Wednesdays to those who wish to have help and an appropriate environment in which to work. A small number of students who come in with below average National Curriculum levels and have difficulty with literacy are given a bespoke curriculum come to the HUB for supported study sessions. These supported study groups (SSG)have proved effective in improving not just basic reading and spelling skills, but also comprehension, confidence and motivation.

Touch Typing courses have been arranged for students who experience visual impairments and/or fine motor difficulties, handwriting pens/laptops (where appropriate) are made available to some students with illegible handwriting.

f) How the school enables pupils with SEN to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have SEN

All students at SVA have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of school life, often through the steps referred to earlier. Responses to individual needs are made on an individual basis, by, for example, carrying out additional risk assessments and increasing staffing levels to ensure the successful inclusion, health and safety of students involved in activities away from the school premises. For students who struggle with PE, often a TA will oversee alternative activities with a small group under the guidance of the PE staff. Students who require physiotherapy have often used the equipment in the fitness room in the Sports Hall as part of their programme under the guidance of the Physiotherapist.

g) Support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with SEN

SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) type activities take place during form time and RE sessions to help all students in the school to develop socially and emotionally, as well as activities in such curriculum areas as English and Supported Studies groups in the Hub. SVA enjoys the benefits of having a room where vulnerable students with medical or emotional needs can go if they require some time out of lessons. Students with various other needs can also go there, should they also need time out of lessons. This room is situated in the Hub and staffed by members of the Learning Support team. They support the students’ work through any issues they may have and help reintegrate them back into lessons. If a student is struggling, they can be referred through the SEN department and have a counsellor assigned to see them weekly for a period of time. These confidential sessions are 1-1 and support students through their problems. Students are also able to access the school nurse.  Where it is felt that problems are beyond the scope of the school, students can be referred on to other agencies, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

5. Name and contact details of the school’s SEN Coordinator

SENCO: Julia Jones
Contact Number: 01487 830701 ext

In the absence of the SENCO please contact:
Mary Rayner – Executive Director of SEND/V for CMAT
Email: MRayner@cmatrust.net

6. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with SEN, and about how specialist expertise will be secured

Information on the way in which SEND provision is made in SVA is included in the induction programme for all new staff joining the school. This includes explanation of where to find information regarding individual students, their levels of attainment and ways in which they can be supported. Information for staff is provided and available on the school’s computer system, on a range of areas of difficulty students are likely to experience, and how they can best be supported.

Many teaching staff have accessed Autism training. A member of the Learning Support staff has also undertaken training in adolescent mental health. TAs in the school have accessed a range of courses, speech, language and communication training, training to support Modern Foreign Languages and how to teach dyslexic students effectively. A number of our TAs have completed the Higher Level Teaching Assistant training. Staff training on aspects of SEND takes place as necessary and appropriate.

Outside agencies, including Educational Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing and Visual impairment specialists and other professionals from the Health Service are called upon to provide advice as and when necessary.

7. Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people will be secured

Where young people with SEN have a Statement of SEN or an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), issues regarding equipment and facilities they need will be identified at the Annual Review meetings and raised with the Statutory Resource Team (START). Where students do not have this protection, discussion regarding provision of equipment and facilities will be discussed with the Principal and the Finance Manager.
8. The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child

During the term prior to transfer into Year 7, there is an open evening where the Senco is available. SEN students who require specialist transition are identified by the primary schools. This information is passed on to the SENco. This transition will be discussed with the parents and the primary schools. Parents/Carers are contacted after ½ term in October about those students whom the SENCo feels need extra interventions. Staff are informed of individual difficulties via the school’s computer system.

A tutor session is held around ½ term for parents to come in and discuss how their child has settled in. Review meetings are arranged between parents and the SENCo and the Head of house where we feel that progress is not being made and Action plans are generated with input from parents, teachers, student and the SENCo.  Work will take place on the targets set in the Action plan with parents’ input where practical, by, for example, ensuring that homework is carried out, reading with their child and helping with the learning of tables or spellings. The date to review these targets is made at the initial meeting, usually ½ termly or termly depending on the needs of the individual student. Parents then attend the review, discuss the child’s progress, consider teachers’ assessments, and contribute to future plans. Parents are made aware that they are welcome to contact the SENCo at any time. They are also able to discuss their child’s progress with the SENCo who is available at each year groups’ annual parents’ evening.

For all year groups we welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress. We do this through;

  • The Academy newsletter
  • Information on the website
  • Parents’ Evenings
  • Notes in planners
  • Email
  • Telephone calls
  • Appointments with individual teachers
  • Annual reviews (for those with a Statement or Education Health & Care Plan


The school provides information for parents through:

  • Open evenings
  • Letters home
  • Information evenings
  • Termly progress reviews

9. Arrangements for consulting young people with SEN about, and involving them in, their education

At SVA we encourage students to share their views, in discussion, about their education. They are always present at Annual Reviews and mostly present at their Progress profile reviews and Support plan reviews.  Their teachers’ perceptions regarding their attitude, application and progress are shared with them, with any concerns raised by students being fed back to teachers concerned. They are involved in setting their targets for the future, and are invited to suggest ways in which school can support them more effectively.

10. Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEN concerning the provision made at school

The school has a formal complaints policy which can be found on the website under Policies or can be accessed here.

In the first instance, contact the student’s Tutor. If the complainant is not satisfied by the outcome, the complaint will then be passed on to the Principal and then the Governors.

11. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEN and in supporting the families of such pupils.

The work of the Learning Support Department is overseen by the Trusts Executive Director of SEND who meets regularly with the SENCo. The SENCo is responsible for ensuring that outside agencies are involved when necessary. The Executive Director for SEND liaises with the Governors through regular meetings.
12. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with SEN, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 of the new Code of Practice

Contact details of support services can be found in Cambridgeshire’s “Local Offer”, found at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/SEND

13. The school’s arrangements for supporting students with SEN transferring between phases of education, or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

Arrangements for students transferring to SVA at phase transfer are referred to in section 7. In addition, students with SEN often have extra visits to the school as well as the normal “taster days” experienced by the whole cohort.

During KS4, all students undertake work around their post 16 options. All. Pupils who need support will be helped to write their personal statements for post 16 providers. They will be offered taster days at providers, with TAs to accompany and support where this is deemed necessary. For students with statements or EHC Plans, representation, from post 16 providers they are interested in, will be invited to Annual Reviews.

During KS5 the procedure is similar to that of KS4 with visits arranged to various open days at universities. Staff also help students complete their UCAS applications to ensure they meet the deadline.

14. Transfer Arrangements

All documentation about special needs included in a student’s record is transferred between schools. The SENCo deals with specific enquiries.

The SENCo attends all Year 6 transfer reviews for students with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an EHC plan, when invited.

Additional induction days are arranged, as required, for all students with SEND / vulnerability factors.

The records of students who leave at the end of Year 11 are forwarded to Post 16 placements once these have been confirmed.