How does school know if children need extra help?
At St Bonaventure’s we identify children as having special educational needs or needing additional help in several ways:
- Contacting previous schools or nurseries prior to the child starting school
- Pupil progress meetings every term where we identify children who are not making expected progress
- Monitoring interventions and support given to check progress is accelerated
- If the class teacher or learning support assistant raises concerns
- If parents raise concerns
- If an outside agency identifies special educational need
- If a doctor/school nurse identifies special educational need.
What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
If you think your child may have special educational needs firstly contact your child’s class teacher. They may carry out some assessment or observations, or may arrange for your child to have some extra support in a small group. If there are still concerns after this, you and the class teacher may wish to discuss your child’s difficulty with the school SENCo.
How will school support my child?
The SENCo oversees additional support for children with special educational needs.
The class teacher is responsible for the progress and development of the children in their class, including where pupils access additional support from teaching assistants and specialist staff.
There may be a learning support assistant working with your child either with a group of children or individually. How often these sessions happen will be explained by the class teacher when the support starts.
Class teachers will meet with all parents who have children with special educational needs at least three times a year, which may be part of parents' evenings. At the meetings we will set clear outcomes and review progress towards them and discuss the support that will help your child achieve these outcomes. As part of these meetings your child will be asked for their views.
Parents will have a chance to share their concerns and aspirations for their child. The SENCo can be contacted for further information.
There is also a governor who is responsible for SEN who meets regularly with the SENCo. The governor, head teacher and SENCo report back to the full governing body on progress. The SENCo produces an annual report for governors which details provision for SEN and its impact. The governors agree priorities for spending, with the overall aim that all children get the support they need in order to make progress. If a child needs additional funds in order to support them in class due to their high level of need, ‘top-up funding’ can be applied for from the Local Authority.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
When class teachers are planning their lessons, they think about the needs of all the children in the class. Learning is differentiated so that all children are able to make progress. Differentiation may take the form of:
- Individual or group support from a Learning Support Assistant or the class teacher
- Specific work which is targeted at the child’s ability so that they are able to work independently
- Peer support
- Regular, detailed feedback to children so they know what their next steps for learning are.
As a school we track progress of all children’s learning formally three times a year. We have pupil progress meetings to discuss children who are not on track to reach their end of year targets. Discussions then take place detailing how we can support children to reach their targets. This may take the form of differentiation in class or a specific intervention programme. If a child is put on an intervention programme, parents will be informed.
The class teacher continually assesses each child’s progress and provides feedback to the individual child for their next steps. This feedback and assessment provides evidence of where children are improving and making progress and where children need more support.
Parents are welcome anytime to make an appointment with class teacher or SENCo to discuss how their child is progressing. We can give advice about how to support your child at home with their learning. Each year group posts information about what they are learning in class on the class web page and the Mathematics and English pages contain information about how we teach the subjects and where you can find resources to support your child at home.
If your child is receiving ‘school support’ and has outside agency involvement they will have a Bristol Support Plan with specific individual targets. Support Plans are reviewed with parents and the progress made toward the previous targets is discussed. If progress has been made and the target achieved, a new target will be given. If a target has not been met then discussions will be around how this could be achieved either through a different approach or by breaking the target down into smaller more achievable steps. Discussions will also centre on how parents can support the targets at home. Children with Education Health Care Plans will have short term targets reviewed termly on IEPs (Individual Education Plans).
If your child has an Education Health and Care Plan there is also a required annual review. This is a formal meeting including input from the professionals working with your child to discuss your child’s progress and the views of parents and the child.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding staff team looking after our children.
The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class; therefore this is always a parent’s first point of contact. If further support is required, the class teacher liaises with the SENCo for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services, Educational psychologist or Bristol Autism Team
a) How does the school manage the administration of medicines?
The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site. This can be obtained from the school office. If your child has medical needs, they may have a health care plan. This plan may include administration of medication or medical techniques if these are an on-going need.
b) How does the school support behaviour and attendance?
As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour, with a clear policy and reward systems.
If a child has behavioural difficulties a Behaviour Plan may be put in place with relevant support and targets set for improvement. The school may also purchase support and advice from North Star or the Educational psychologist.
Attendance of every child is monitored by the Head teacher and Education Welfare Officer. Lateness and absence are recorded, monitored and followed up.
c) How will my child be able to contribute their views?
We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life. This is partly carried out through the School Council, which has an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised. Each class has a box in which they can submit any issues for the school council to discuss. We also run an annual pupil questionnaire in which children have the opportunity to comment about their experiences of school in general. Subject leaders also question children about their experiences of that particular subject. Children who have Support plans discuss and set their targets with their parent and class teacher.
What specialist services are available to the school?
Services in school include:
- Learning Support Assistants who support children with specific high needs 1:1 or take intervention groups
- Play therapy from an external expert provider
- External agencies include: Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Speech and language Therapy, Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), Primary Mental Health Specialist, School Nurse, GPs, Community Paediatrician, Social Services, North Star Learning, Bristol Autism Team, ADHD nurse, Visual impairment team, hearing impairment team
- Dyslexia training
- Speech, language and communication training
- Autism Spectrum Disorder training
- Downs Syndrome training
All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum, and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. On the rare occasion that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school is accessible to wheelchair users through the use of wide corridors and a lift to access the top floor. There are disabled toilets on both levels of the school and all doors are labelled with braille for the Visually Impaired.
How will the school prepare and support my child when joining and transferring from the school?
We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting, when they will meet their new teacher and have a tour around the school. For those children not starting in Reception, a member of staff meets with new parents prior to their child starting at St Bonaventure’s Primary School to discuss the child/ren's strengths and needs and any issues the family may be concerned about.
We liaise closely with pre-school settings, visiting these (wherever possible) before children start school. There is an evening meeting for all parents of new reception children in the summer term. Individual meetings with parents take place in September. When pre-school children are identified with special educational needs or disability, the reception class teacher and/or SENCo will make links with your child’s pre-school setting. We will meet with you to discuss your child’s needs and any way we can help your child settle into school.
When your child is due to move to secondary school, we will make links with the school so we can share information. Some children may benefit from enhanced transition where we can arrange additional visits to the secondary school, picture books, social stories, a transition meeting with the secondary school staff and smaller group preparation.
We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools, ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
When children move from one class to another at the end of a school year they will have opportunities to visit their new class and teacher and parents have an opportunity to meet with teachers in the summer term. Some children will require enhanced transition which may include photo books, extra visits to the classroom or teacher, pen picture for parents/child to complete or smaller group discussion around transition.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We ensure that all children who have special educational needs are supported to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. We have a team of Learning Support Assistants who are funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s or individual children’s needs. The school follows a graduated approach to supporting pupils based on their needs. Please see the policy for more detail.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The class teacher and SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. Different children will require different levels of support. There will be on-going discussions with the parents and child.
We know if the support has had an impact by:
- Looking at the child’s progress academically and identifying if the gap (where they are compared with where they are expected to be for their age) is closing
- Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and child
- Reviewing the Support Plan targets (if required) and ensuring they are met
We actively encourage parents to be involved in our school community. Each class has a parent representative who provides a link for the class teacher and parents.
We have an active PTFA who always welcomes new members. They arrange many events throughout the year to raise money for the school.
Class teachers welcome parent help for a variety of reasons through the school year, for example, hearing children read regularly, story time, help with trips
Who can I contact for further information or for any complaints?
- The first point of contact is your child’s class teacher
- You could also arrange to meet Mrs Kurzik, our SENCo, Mrs Woolley, our Deputy Head Teacher or Mrs Ballantine, our Head Teacher
- Look at the SEN policy on our website
- Contact Supportive services -see list below
- For parents considering St Bonaventure’s Primary School for their child: please contact the school office to arrange to meet the Head, Deputy or SENCo
- We are able to arrange interpreters for parents should this be necessary.
The school has a SEN Policy, an Access Plan and an Equality policy which you can access from the policies section of the website.
Bristol Local Offer (information in one place about what help and support there is in the local area for children and young people with special educational needs or a disability) can be found at
Support for parents can be accessed from: