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Inclusion & SEND

At Stepney Park Primary School, we believe that the best way to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) is with excellent teaching in an inclusive classroom. This is often referred to as 'Quality First Teaching'. As such, our universal offer is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of learners.

Even with Quality First Teaching, some children will need targeted support, whether this is pastoral or to support with their learning. At Stepney Park, we offer a range of targeted support interventions to ensure all children receive the best possible education in our school. This includes counselling, speech and language therapy, 1:1 reading and phonics interventions among others. We are aware that time in interventions means time away from whole class learning and as such we are careful to ensure interventions are time-limited and impactful. Wherever possible, we schedule interventions to take place at the same time as whole class learning in the same area to avoid these children receiving a narrowed curriculum.

A small number of children will require highly specialised provision to meet their specific needs. These children may be classed as SEN support if their needs can be met by the school. If additional funding is required to meet these needs, the SENCo (in collaboration with the class teacher and external professionals) will apply to the Local Authority for Statutory Assessment of the child to seek an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).

Use the tabs below to read more about the range of support on offer at Stepney Park.

Quality First Teaching

We believe that children with SEND are best served in class through quality first teaching wherever possible. This not only ensures these children are included in the classroom but also benefit other children who may not have SEND. Quality first teaching can include a wide range of strategies, but at Stepney Park it may include some of the following:

  • Emphasising key words and displaying these in the classroom

  • Pre-teaching vocabulary to children before they start certain pieces of work

  • Breaking down instructions into manageable chunks

  • Writing frames and sentence starters to structure writing

  • Giving children access to practical resources

  • Using pictorial notes and clues to support learning

  • Prompt cards

  • Clear demonstrations from teachers

Targeted Support

We have a wide range of interventions that aim to meet children’s specific needs where these require more support than that which can be offered by the class teacher alone. Some of these target particular areas of learning in which children are not making the level of progress we would expect. In addition, our provision includes a range of interventions to support children with specific Special Educational Needs. These include:

  • Speech and Language. A speech and language therapist works with a number of children with these needs. This includes Lego Therapy, Word Aware and Colourful Semantics. Other members of staff, including TAs, support children to benefit from these programmes by using elements of them in the classroom.

  • Social and Emotional Support. This is provided by a qualified counsellor, a play therapist, a yoga therapist and Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) to children identified as likely to benefit from this support. Some children also benefit from structured play opportunities during break and lunchtimes.

  • Sensory and Physical Support. Some children need extra support to develop gross and fine motor skills. We offer sensory circuits and programmes including Funky Fingers and Fizzy Skills to these children. We have also developed two multi-sensory rooms to offer this support.

  • Support for children with the highest additional needs. We are proud of the way children with significant additional needs, including autism and Down's Syndrome, are included in our provision. To support this inclusion, we offer programmes such as Attention Autism, Fun with Food and See and Learn Speech Sounds.

Forest & Meadow Classes

We have two specialist classes named Forest and Meadow. These provide small group teaching and targeted additional support for some of the children in the school with the most significant needs. With support from the outreach teacher from Phoenix Specialist School, Forest and Meadow classes are taught by a dedicated teacher, with additional dedicated supported from quality SENCOs and a large team of support staff who receive specialist training.

Children in Forest and Meadow classes have highly impaired communication skills so the provision is designed to support their learning of early communication skills with significant support from our Speech and Language Therapist. The children benefit from a highly bespoke curriculum and timetable to meet their particular needs. Where possible and beneficial, children return to class to join in with learning alongside their peers. It should be noted that children in Forest and Meadow Classes are significantly below the level of attainment expected for their year group so learning in class is highly differentiated and focussed on social interaction and inclusion.

Raising Concerns about SEND

If you are concerned about your child’s progress or believe they may have a Special Educational Need of which the school is unaware, the first step is to discuss your concerns with your child’s class teacher. Following this discussion, the class teacher may choose to refer this to the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO, Nathalie Palacio) or another appropriate leader in the school. 

The school will then consider the next steps, including various means of support in school, how we can work in collaboration with parents to support your child and, where it is deemed necessary, make a referral to an outside agency, including one or more of the following:

  • Educational Psychology Service

  • NHS Early Years Speech and Language Therapy Service

  • Blossom Tree Speech and Language Therapy

  • Phoenix Outreach Service (for children with autism)

  • Stephen Hawking Outreach Service (for children with profound or multiple needs)

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

  • Behaviour and Attendance Support Service (BASS)

Additional support for parents of children with SEND can be found on the website of the Tower Hamlets Local Offer.