Special Educational Needs


To assist parents in the very important decision of choosing an appropriate school for their child, the school and governing body have put together some information about the provision we offer children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at St James’ Church of England Junior School.

We hope that the following information will be helpful to parents when making a choice. We would always encourage prospective and current parents to contact the school to arrange a visit to talk to members of staff and view the provision at our school.

St James CE Junior School - SENCO Mrs Victoria PIckering 

We aim to through our school vision…

To create a culture of achievement where it is a joy to learn and where all can fulfil their potential.

We will achieve our vision within the spirit of Christianity.


How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think a child/young person may have special educational needs?   Teachers and support staff will quite quickly, through their experience, training and observations, be able to detect if there is a concern with a child and how they learn. As part of our daily observations we carry out informal assessments and look carefully at how each individual child interacts with others and meets the targets that have been set for them; this will help us decide if a child is having difficulties or needs additional help and support. We work extremely closely with parents and carers and communication is key within our school. We would encourage all parents to speak to the class teacher if they have any concerns as they are your first point of contact. The class teacher can then discuss any concerns with the school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Mrs Victoria Pickering, who will be able to contact and work alongside outside agencies to support the child. Parents will be fully informed and involved with all decision making and planning for the needs of their child. Other agencies and referrals would only be made if parents, teachers and the SENCO felt this was necessary.

How will school staff support my child/young person? Your child’s class teacher will work very closely with you as parents, the SENCO and Headteacher to ensure that a manageable and achievable plan can be put into place in school for you child. The needs of your child will be clearly identified and outcomes and targets will be set and reviewed regularly with the child, parents and professionals (within school and from outside agencies). These will be in the form of an individual plan and a class provision map as appropriate. Depending upon the support and resources needed, your child may be working with support staff who are trained in specific special needs areas. We can then access your child’s skills to help them to progress and be fully included in school life and the curriculum. As decisions are put into practice they will be discussed with you as parents/carers. We have a range of interventions that can be put into place if required for example; reading intervention, maths recovery, project X and supported groups working within the classrooms. If it is deemed necessary we will contact the Local Authority for additional funding to provide extra support for your child.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs? We feel it is vital to ensure all children can achieve and succeed in a happy and safe learning environment. All children will have work set for them by their class teacher that will be differentiated in a variety of ways from activities set, to resources used to meet their individual needs. We aim to be inclusive in all areas of our curriculum, however from time to time children who require additional support may work on a specific designed programme of study to help boost their understanding of reading, writing and number work. This is sometimes delivered in small groups or one to one and can be taught within the classroom or in smaller working areas in school. This can help a child grow in confidence and give them the skills they may need to assess the rest of the curriculum successfully with their peers.

To achieve this, a cycle will be implemented whereby an intervention will be planned and pre-assessments made, carried out with observations and notes being made on progress, interaction and suitability, assessments will be carried after the intervention programme has been delivered and a review of children’s needs will be undertaken with next steps being reported.

How will I know that my child / young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? The class teacher will always be on hand to speak to you at the end of the school day and where possible first thing in the morning. However, as this can be a busy time you may feel that this time is not appropriate as other parents may be present and also need time with the teacher at this part of the day. Therefore, you can always request an appointment if more time is required to discuss concerns at length. You can do this by contacting the school office by telephone or email (01946 695311 or admin@stjamesjun.cumbria.sch.uk). We feel that communication and working together with our parents is vital in order to give our children the best opportunities to learn in a joyful environment where all can fulfil their potential.

All children will have targets set for them in reading, writing and numeracy. Behaviour and personal development targets can sometimes be set for them if the class teacher and parents feel that this is an area to develop. These targets will be reviewed within the class and are shared with parents at parent meetings during the Autumn and Spring term and via the end of year report. Children are continually assessed as part of classroom best practice, but they will also be discussed with all teachers within school and the headteacher. Our findings are tracked and monitored closely and this enables all children are making good progress irrespective of their starting point. If we have a concern regarding your child’s attainment and progress the class teacher will contact you following these half termly assessments to keep you fully informed. You may be contacted earlier if you child is having difficulties in meeting their individual targets that have been set for them within the classroom.

If a specific learning programme is being used within school or a specific resource for example Project X reading children may be withdrawn from their classrooms and information will be shared with you so you can help your child at home.

If your child needs medication during the school day then you must share this information with the class teacher. You will be contacted and asked to complete a health care plan and a permission form to allow a member of staff (usually Mrs Maiden or Miss Blakeney) to administer the medication. The health care form and permission slip must be returned to the school office. Any medication must be brought into school and will be stored in a secure safe place.

Where there are distinct medical needs agreements made with school and parents on administering medication via Health Care plan and will only be administered after training by a health care professional. Health care plans will be reviewed annually and training updated as required. Please check the date on the medication as it is your responsibility to ensure that this is replaced once the medication has expired.

What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall well-being? Our curriculum is designed to support children to know how to keep themselves safe from harm and lead healthy lifestyles. We see each child as an individual who has their own talent to offer our school. Through strong Christian values we aim for our children to develop a love of learning and a deep rooted respect for themselves, others and the world around them. Children behave well in our school and standards and expectations are high. Support is immediately offered if a child is finding aspects of behaviour management and social situations difficult. We have an excellent support team as well as class teachers to help a child grow in confidence and develop the skills they need to become a responsible young person who is able to make the right choices. If we feel that we have an issue with either behaviour or attendance then we will ask you to arrange a meeting with the headteacher or SENCO to discuss strategies to support you and help you child.

The school strives to provide excellent pastoral care and our learning mentor works regularly with children to provide support and strategies to children are experiencing social and emotional barriers. As a minimum all staff have Level 1 safeguarding training and have regular updates in this area. The Safe guarding lead and deputy provides professional support to children and families to support where they can and reach out to external agencies as required for extra support.

We will always ensure that your child is at the heart of all our care. Our holistic approach is something we pride ourselves upon and total involvement with our St James’ parents. Each child’s must have a voice, and in all our work, be it education or pastoral, we will listen to your child’s views and concerns and take these into consideration when planning an individual care or education plan.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? The SENCO at St James’ CofE Junior School is Mrs Victoria Pickering. She is a Year 5 teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. A governor is allocated responsiblity for SEND and can be contacted via the school office. We have many support staff who specialise in reading intervention, delivery of phonics, maths recovery, behaviour management, pastoral care and working with children having speech and language problems or Autistic Spectrum Condition. If we feel that our strategies have not met the needs of a child in our care, we access specialised skills and support from the Local Authority where possible when we begin to plan for a child with a specific special educational need.

We work alongside Educational Psychologists, Special advisory Teachers, CAHMS, School Nurse and have members of staff who can offer advice and strategies for specific learning difficulties linked to literacy. When required we work closely with health and social care.

What training have staff completed to support children/young people with SEND? We have a comprehensive staff development programme which allows our staff the chance to share information, train and keep updated with the current educational developments. We also network across our own consortium to keep our professional knowledge current and share expertise.

In conjunction through our safeguarding updates we now work closely with the Howgill Centre, social care and the GP to ensure that our children and families receive the most support and ensure we are constantly thinking about our own practices within school.

How accessible is the school environment? We have a scheme in place whereby disabled visitors can ring the school beforehand to enable us to pride additional support as required as there are parts of the building which are not wheel chair accessible, although the majority of the building is. There are ramps and slopes outside to enable users to access the main building and a disabled toilet is available. There is a plan in place for improvements to accessibility which is reviewed by the headteacher and governors with next steps noted.

We would also work closely with the LA (Local Authority) to obtain advice for and carers or families whose first language is not English and how best to support them.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life? If your child is moving to our school we ask their current school to provide us with all data, paperwork, targets, medical history, care plans IEP’s etc. before your child arrives. Often the teacher will contact the child’s former teacher to receive a full briefing on the child and their progress and development. As children transfer from infant school to our school this transfer process is embedded and teachers will additionally meet children prior to entry. To ensure that this process is as smooth as possible we have written a joint KS1 to KS2 transfer / transition policy. To support transition to secondary school we will arrange meetings with the SENCO at the receiving school to discuss the needs of your child and what provision needs to be in place to ensure that transition runs smoothly. A member of support staff will visit the new school with your child, so that any worries or concerns can be addressed. It will also help to ease anxieties about the new school. Our curriculum also supports your child’s personal and social development. Our residential trips encourage your child to develop independence. All this will support them on transition into secondary school and the world beyond.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs? School’s resources are allocated based on the priority of needs of the children in our care. The school follows the Department for Educations’ Code of Practice 2014, to ensure that we meet our statutory duties for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It is our duty of care to use funding allocated by the Education Funding Agency and the Local Authority to meet the targets and objectives outlined in the Individual Education/Health Care Plan. Children with a Statement of Educational Needs and/or a Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) will be prioritised first, as outlined in the Code of Practice with school now have a duty to fund the first 11 hours of these. We will endeavour through our extensive provision to provide a range of resources and provision to support all needs of all children.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive? The governing body in conjunction with the SEND governor discuss and agree the budget with regards to SEND. The decision will be made based on the needs of each child, the funding available, parental and child’s views and the professional opinions of the agencies involved with providing support for the child. Identified children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities will be allocated funding and resources as recommended in their Statements or EHCP. This may manifest in many ways e.g. additional support in class, physical resources to support learning or specialists working alongside the child and family. All parties including parents and children will be part of a review process to ensure appropriate support is allocated. The impact of provision is evaluated regularly using not only academic factors but also pastoral and social ones. These questions discussed above are not an exhaustive list. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school and speak to Mrs Victoria Pickering our SENCO.


Useful contacts for parents:

Autism Education Trust: www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk

The communications Trust: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

Dyslexia – SpLD Trust: www.eldp.talkingpoint.org.uk

Early Language Develpoment Programme: www.eldp.talkingpoint.org.uk

Preparing for adulthood: www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk

Achievement for all www.afa3as.org.uk

Early Support: www.ncb.org.uk/earlysupport

National Network of Parent Carer Forums: www.nnpcf.orh.uk

National Parent Partnership network: www.parentpartnership.org.uk


Please find below our full Special Education Needs Policy and our SEND Information Report which contains all of the above information in a downloadable format:

Files to Download

Contact Us

Please direct all enquiries to Mrs H Maiden at the school office:

Telephone 01946 695311 or email admin@stjamesjun.cumbria.sch.uk

Headteacher: Mr Andrew Beattie

St James' Church of England Junior School. Wellington Row, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 7HG