Additional Learning Needs

Introduction

Marshfield Primary School caters for pupils between the ages of 4 and 11. The catchment area of the school covers the six villages of Castleton, Coedkernew, Marshfield, Michaelston-y-Fedw, Peterstone and St. Brides.

The ALN Policy details how Marshfield Primary School will do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has additional learning needs and those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them. The school will use its best endeavours to ensure that the teachers in the school are able to identify and provide for those pupils who have additional learning needs.

Definition of Additional Learning Needs

Children have additional learning needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for additional provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
  • have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age, in schools within the same local authority;
  • are under compulsory school age and fall within the definitions above or would do so if additional educational provision was not made for them.

(Section 312, Education Act 1996)

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language In their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

  • Marshfield Primary School aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children's diverse learning needs. A minority of children have particular learning and assessment requirements that could create barriers to learning.
  • These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having additional learning needs. Teachers in Marshfield Primary School try to take account of these requirements and make provision where necessary to support individuals or groups of children and thus assist them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities.
  • Children may have additional learning needs whether throughout, or at any time during their school career. This policy ensures that the curriculum planning and assessment of children with additional learning needs take account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.

Provision for pupils with additional learning needs is a matter for the school as a whole. In addition to the Governing Body, the school's headteacher, the ALN Co-ordinator and all other members of staff, have important day-to-day responsibilities. All teachers are teachers for children with additional learning needs. Teaching such children is therefore a whole school responsibility.

Aims

The aims of the school are:

  • to create an environment that meets the additional learning needs of each child;
  • to ensure that the additional learning needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for;
  • to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
  • to identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children's additional learning needs;
  • to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum.

Educational Inclusion

Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:

  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
  • require different strategies for learning;
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.

Teachers respond to children's needs by:

  • providing support for children who need help with communication, language, literacy and numeracy;
  • planning to develop children's understanding through the use if a multi-sensory approach whenever possible and practical;
  • planning and assisting for children's participation in learning and in physical and practical activities;
  • helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
  • helping children to manage their emotions, particularly trauma and stress, and to take part in learning.

Marshfield Primary School aims at all times to work within the terms of The Disability Discrimination Act 2001, thereby providing protection for disabled pupils and prospective pupils by preventing discrimination against them for a reason relating to their disability.

 

Identification, Assessment and Provision

Early identification is vital

The class teacher, learning mentors and / or the ALN Co. assess and monitor the child's progress in line with existing school practices. These include formative and summative assessments such as:

  • assessment for learning including observation, dialogue, marking, etc.
  • baseline assessment for children entering school in reception;
  • NFER Progress in English 5 - 14;
  • NFER Progress in Mathematics 5 - 14;
  • NFER Non-Verbal Reasoning Years 3 and 5;
  • concern from parents.

The school's system for observing and assessing the progress of individual children will provide information about areas where the child is not progressing satisfactorily.

The class teacher informs the parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.

The ALN Co. and class teacher may decide that the child needs help over and above that which is normally available within the class. The key tests of the needs for action is evidence that current rates of progress are inadequate as compared to peer group and target level.

 

School Action

When a class teacher or ALN Co. identifies a child with learning needs, the class teacher will provide interventions that are additional to those provided as part of the school's usual differentiated curriculum. This will be called School Action. The triggers for intervention will be concern underpinned by evidence for a child who:

  • makes little or no progress when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child's area of weakness;
  • shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematical skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas;
  • presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school;
  • has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment;
  • has communication and / or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

In some cases, outside professionals for Health or Social Services will already be involved with the child. Where these professionals have not already been working with the school staff, the ALN Co. may contact them if the parents agree. The ALN Co. will support the further assessment of the child, assisting in planning future support for them in discussion with colleagues and monitoring action taken. The child's class teacher will remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering the individualised programme. Parents will always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome of this action.

 

Nature of Intervention

The ALN Co. and the class teacher will decide on the action needed to help the child's progress in the light of their earlier assessment. This may include:

  • differentiated learning materials;
  • small group or individual support with Learning Mentors;
  • additional adult time to devise the nature of the planned intervention and to monitor its effectiveness;
  • staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies;
  • access to LA support services for a one-off occasional advice on strategies or equipment.

Individual Education Plans

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded within an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will include information about:

  • the short term targets for the child;
  • the teaching strategies to be used;
  • the provision to be put into place;
  • when the plan is to be reviewed;
  • outcomes - to be recorded when the plan is reviewed.

The IEP will only record that which  is additional to, or different from, the differentiated curriculum and will focus upon two or three individual targets that match the child's needs and have been discussed with the child and the parents. The IEP will be reviewed at least twice a year, but usually termly, and parent's views on their child's progress will be sought. This will take place in October and February with a full review at the end of the summer term. Wherever possible, the child will be consulted during the review process and be involved in setting and monitoring targets.

 

School Action Plus

A request for support from external agencies is likely to follow a decision taken by the ALN Co. and class teacher in consultation with the parents at a review of the child's IEP. At School Action Plus, external support services will usually see the child so that they can advise teachers on new IEPs with fresh targets and accompanying strategies, provide more specialist assessments to inform planning and the measurement of a pupil's progress, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials and in some cases, provide support for particular activities.

The triggers for School Action Plus will be that, despite receiving individualised support under School Action, the child:

  • continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a measured period of time;
  • continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age;
  • continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematical skills;
  • has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child's learning or that of the class or group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme;
  • has sensory or physical needs and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service;
  • has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

When the school seeks the help of external support agencies such as educational psychologists or specialist support teachers, these services will need to see the child's records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have been set and achieved. The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity or provide additional specialist assessment, or be involved in teaching the child directly. The resulting IEP for the child will set out fresh strategies for supporting the child's progress. This will be implemented, at least in part, in the normal classroom setting. The delivery of the interventions recorded in the IEP continues to be the responsibility of the class teacher.

 

School Request for a Statutory Assessment

Where a request for a statutory assessment is made by the school, the child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern. The LA will need information about the child's progress over time and will need documentation in relation to the child's additional learning needs and any action to deal with those needs, including any resources or special arrangements put in place. The school will provide this evidence through School Action and School Action Plus. This information will include:

  • individual education plans for the pupil;
  • records of regular reviews and their outcomes;
  • the pupil's health including the child's medical history where relevant;
  • National Curriculum levels of attainment in literacy and mathematics education and other assessments, for example from an advisory specialist support teacher or / and educational psychologist;
  • views of the parents and child;
  • involvement of other professionals such as health, social services or education welfare service.

Statutory Assessment of Additional Learning Needs

Statutory assessment involves consideration by the LA working co-operatively with parents, the school and, as appropriate, other agencies as to whether a statutory assessment of the child's additional learning needs are necessary.  A child will be brought to the LA's attention as possibly requiring an assessment through a request by the child's school, from a parent or a referral by another agency. Where the evidence presented to the LA suggests that the child's learning needs have not responded to relevant and purposeful measures taken by the school which cannot be reasonably provided within the resources normally available to mainstream schools, the LA will consider the case for a statutory assessment of the child's additional learning needs. The LA may decide that the degree of the pupil's learning difficulty and the nature of provision necessary to meet the child's learning needs is such as to require the LA to determine the child's additional learning needs provision through a statement. A statement of additional learning needs will include:

  • the pupil's name, address and date of birth;
  • details of the child's learning needs;
  • identify the additional learning needs provision necessary to meet the pupil's needs;
  • identify the type and name of the school where the provision is being made;
  • include relevant non-educational needs of the child;
  • include information on non-educational provision.

All children with statements of additional learning needs will have short term targets set for them that have been established after consultation with parents and child and will include targets identified in the statement of educational need. These targets will be set out in an IEP and be implemented, at least in part and as far as possible, in the normal classroom setting. The delivery of the interventions recorded in the IEP will continue to be the responsibility of the class teacher.

 

All statements must be reviewed at least annually with the parents, the pupil, the LA, the school and professional involved, to consider whether any amendments need to be made to the description of the pupil's needs or to the additional learning needs provision specified in the statement. The annual review should focus on what the child has achieved as well as any difficulties that need to be resolved. At the review in Year 5, the aim should be to give clear recommendations as to the type of provision the child would require at transition in secondary education. It will then be possible for the parents to visit secondary schools and to consider appropriate options within the similar timescales as other parents. The ALN Co. of the receiving school should be invited to attend this and the final review of pupils with statements, to allow them to prepare for the transfer and to plan an appropriate IEP to start at the beginning of the new school year and enable the pupil and the parents to be reassured that an effective and supportive transfer will occur. 

The role of the ALNCo. In mainstream primary schools

The ALN Co. responsibilities may include:

  • managing the day to day operation of the school's ALN Policy;
  • co-ordinating provision for children with additional learning needs;
  • liaising and advising fellow practitioners;
  • overseeing the records of all children with additional learning needs;
  • contributing to the in-service training of staff;
  • liaising with external agencies including the Las support and educational psychology services, health and social services and voluntary bodies.

The role of the governors

A named governor is appointed to take responsibility for the ALN within the school. The headteacher reports to the governors about ALN within the school.

At Marshfield primary School, Mrs. Pearce (ALN CO-ord. / Pastoral Mentor), Mrs. L. S. Goss (Headteacher), and Mrs. Bowen Herbert (Governor with responsibility for ALN) will act as a team and will meet regularly to regulate all aspects of ALN as laid down in the Code of Practice.

At all stages of the ALN process, the school keeps parents fully informed and involved. We take account of the wishes, feelings and knowledge of the parents at all stages. We encourage the parents to make an active contribution to their child's education. We provide training for some aspects of support. At Marshfield Primary School, we have regular meetings to share the progress of ALN children with their parents. We consult the parents on any outside intervention and we share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with ALN.

 

The role of the child

Pupils of all ages must be given information about their needs in a way they can understand. The support available must be explained and the children should, as far as possible, be involved in developing their IEPs and setting targets in reviews. This ensures that they are a part of the assessment process and are actively involved in self evaluation.

 

Resources

Catch-Up programme                                                                    Springboard Mathematics

Nessy                                                                                                    Direct Phonics / Jolly Phonics

SNAP                                                                                                     WRAT

BPVS                                                                                                     NFER

SSRT     

Criteria for evaluating the success of the ALN Policy

In Marshfield Primary School, the effectiveness of the ALN Policy is linked to careful monitoring and evaluation achieved through standards, dialogue with all partners, and external verification.

 

Complaints procedure

It is the aim of the school that any problem should be resolved through discussion with the Headteacher and other staff. This is detailed in the Parent's Handbook.

 

Should you require further information please contact the Headteacher on 01633 680303.