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Pathfields, Totnes, South Devon, TQ9 5TZ

01803 864695

Totnes St John's C of E Primary School

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Totnes St John's C of E Primary School

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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Totnes St John’s CE Primary School SEN information report:

Totnes St John’s CE Primary School is a fully inclusive main stream primary school, as such we welcome pupils of all abilities and are committed to meeting their needs in a supportive and caring environment.

We have set out our SEN Information Report through a series of questions through which you can get more information. You may also wish to refer to our SEN Policy for further information.


1. How does Totnes St John’s know if my child needs extra help?

We know pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, previous settings or by teachers or the child.
  • Tracking data indicates that limited progress is being made.
  • There is a change in pupil’s behaviour or progress.

We currently have pupils with a range of special needs including physical and sensory difficulties, cognitive and learning difficulties, communication and interaction difficulties, including those on the autistic spectrum and pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. An overview of SEN can be found at

Totnes St John’s is an accessible site, we have a stair lift available to ensure access  between KS1 and KS2, an accessible toilet and changing facilities are available.


2. What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns. They will then consult with the SENDCO as necessary.

 Our school SENDCo is Ms Katie Mackle she assists our Headteacher Mrs Sarah Cate in managing SEND across the school.  

  • The SENDCO is responsible for the operation of the SEN policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual children with SEN.
  • The SENDCO will liaise with staff to monitor pupil’s progress and support the class teacher in planning further interventions where necessary.
  • The SENDCO has contact with a wide range of agencies who are able to give more specialised advice.


3. How are the Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

  • We have a governor Ms Hilary Price whose role it is to support the SENDCo, they meet regularly to discuss the current position of SEN in the school.
  • The SEN Governor  ensures that appropriate and rigorous questions are posed to the Governors to ensure SEN is well represented on every agenda. Details of Governor’s responsibilities are set out in the SEN policy.


4. How will teaching be matched to my child’s needs?

At Totnes St John’s we adhere to the SEN Code of Practice and we use a graduated response; assess, plan, do, review, to identify and respond to the needs of children with additional needs.

  • When a pupil has been identified with special needs their learning will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily.
  • Learning support assistants (LSA’s) may be allocated to work with a pupil in a 1:1 or small focus group to target more specific needs however it remains the duty of the class teacher to ensure their individual needs are met.
  • If a child has been identified as having a special need they may have their needs recorded in an individual educational plan ( IEP) or behaviour care plan (BCP). Targets will be set according to the area of their need. These will be monitored regularly by the class teacher and copies given to parents for review.
  • If recommended, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil, e.g. writing slopes.

We have a two teaching assistants  who specialise in pastoral care and supporting pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties,  Mrs Rachel Tucker and Mr Lee Smith. They use the THRIVE approach alongside other interventions to support pupils and work in our provision known as "The Look Out" this is currently located in the mobile classroom in the playground.


5. What additional support will there be for my child at Totnes St John’s CE Primary?

Senior leaders track the progress of all children across the school, and where needs are identified further assessment may be instigated and where appropriate in class support or specialist intervention put in place.

We work closely with outside agencies to ensure we are meeting specific needs effectively. We access some support services through Babcock LDP SEN services including, behaviour support team, the physical difficulties team, communication and interaction team, deaf and hearing impaired support team and  ICT and SEN support team. We also employ an Educational Psychologist Mrs Lyndsay Blair to work with identified pupils.

We access support for those children with speech and language difficulties through Health. We screen all children in entry to school using a programme called language link and refer those identified as needing this specialist support.

We may refer pupils to ICS to access support from CAMHS, an Occupational therapist or to make a referral to the Autism assessment pathway.

Each child’s needs will be carefully assessed and parents/carers will be fully involved and in any referrals made to outside agencies.


6. How will I know how my child is doing?

We provide regular opportunities to meet and discuss your child’s progress during their time at St John’s and encourage parents to support learning at home. Monitoring of SEN is ongoing, teachers regularly review the progress of all pupils in their care and the SENDCo and senior leaders use tracking systems to monitor carefully the progress of pupils with special needs.

  • You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at termly Parents evenings.
  • We operate an open door policy.
  • Additional appointments can be made to see the class teacher and/or SENDCo by contacting the school office.


7. What support do you have for me as a parent to support my child?

At St John’s we believe that as parents you know your child best and we will listen to any concerns you may have regarding your child’s needs, we pride ourselves on our strong relationships with parents and believe wholly in the importance of working together, we endeavour to support parents/carers so that they are able to feel fully supported and taken seriously should they raise a concern about their child. We want to ensure all parents/carers understand procedures and documentation are given opportunities to make their views known about how their child is educated and have access to information, advice and support about special educational provision.

  • The class teacher may suggest ways of how you can support your child.
  • The SENDCO  may meet with you to discuss how to support your child.
  • If outside agencies e.g. the Educational Psychologist have been involved suggestions are normally provided that can be used at home.
  • If your child has a THRIVE plan this will identify actions you can carry out at home.
  • We work closely with parents of children identified with special needs and also offer the support of our PSA, Mrs Sandra Maggs, who can work with parents and carers to and/or sign post them to other services and support networks. Sandra can be contacted on 07904491207 or email
  • Where appropriate children may be identified for further support through an Early Help assessment.This will be carried out with parents and a plan put in place to support your child at home and at school.
  • For those children with more complex needs an Education and health care plan (EHCP) may be actioned, (this replaces the statementing process.)
  • These processes are talked through with parents and we signpost to Devon information and advice service (formerly Devon parent partnership) for additional advice in providing an impartial and supportive service to parents and carers.


8.How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

  • Funding for SEN in mainstream schools is mainly delegated to the schools’ budget. It is the expectation that schools provide support to their pupils with SEN from their SEN budget. We ensure that all children with special educational needs are provided for to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
  • Quality first teaching should support the needs of all pupils, senior leaders monitor this closely to ensure all children receive a high standard of learning opportunities differentiated to meet their needs.
  • We use resources to have a team of learning support assistants, a specialist teacher and teaching assistants, part of their responsibility is to deliver programmes designed to meet individual or groups of children’s needs.
  • Where a pupil requires an exceptionally high level of support  the school can make a request for Statutory Assessment. The school will need to be able to demonstrate how it has supported a child so far, how any resources to date have been used and the impact of this, as well as demonstrating why any additional support and any further  funding would be used to support a pupil. If the application is successful an EHCP may be issued.
  • Personal Budgets are only available to pupils with an Education, Health and social Care Plan (EHCP) or pupils who are currently under-going a needs assessment for an EHCP. Funding can be made available to parents/carers as a personal budget for them to commission their own provision for their child under certain conditions. Parents/carers who would like to enquire further about using the personal budget should speak in the first instance to the SENDCO.


9. What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the school to ensure my child’s overall well-being?

At Totnes St John’s everything we do is grounded in our values and we are very proud of this ethos which supports everyone within our school community:

  • The school entrances are staffed with adults who greet and welcome pupils and their families each morning and ensure everyone is safe and secure at the end of the day. Systems for collection ensure all pupils are safeguarded appropriately. This ensures a smooth transition between home and school each day.
  • The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this should be your first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the SENDCo/senior managers for further advice and support. This may involve working with our PSA or alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services, and/or the Behaviour Support Service.
  • Children with eating difficulties are encouraged in school to try different types of food. If necessary children are supported in the dining room. Children are not rushed to eat their food and individual dietary requirements are well catered for.
  • As a nurturing school, all our vulnerable pupils are known to staff and their needs are also highlighted to new staff, students or supply teachers.


10. How does the school manage the administration of medicines and personal care?

We have a policy regarding the administration and management of medicines on the school site:

  • Parents need to contact the school office if medication is recommended by Health Professionals to be taken during the school day.
  • The school office staff administers medicines. If a child requires medication on a regular basis, this will be managed through an individual care plan written by the school nurse in conjunction with parents.
  • Staff have updated training as necessary regarding medical conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff can manage medical situations if the need arises.
  • If a child requires personal hygiene care this will be managed through an individual care plan.


11. What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

  • We have a positive approach to behaviour management with a clear Behaviour for Learning policy  that is followed by all staff and pupils. We are an inclusive school and we make every effort to include all pupils in learning sessions with their class. We also take every opportunity to include pupils socially at break and lunch times.
  • We recognise that some children have specific needs that mean they may need alternative provision or support, these needs are accessed using THRIVE and a programme of support is drawn up using the Thrive planning tool
  • The attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the administrator responsible for attendance. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported to the Head Teacher and Governing Body who meet on a regular basis with the Education welfare officer (EWO) Lia Eleftheriadou.
  • After any serious behaviour incidents we will inform you about what has happened. We would then expect the child to reflect upon their behaviour with you; this helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour.
  • If a child is at risk of exclusion a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) is written with the child and parents to identify the specific issues and reflect the relevant support and targets in place.


12. How will school prepare my child for joining Totnes St John’s or moving to the next stage of education?

We offer enhanced transition into school for any children with additional needs, and work alongside our pre-school providers to ensure this works effectively, this might include extra visits to school, team around the child meetings, pre-prepared booklets or photo stories.

At transfer to secondary school we aim to do the same and to start as early as possible in trying to ensure this transition is smooth for everyone, this is particularly important for those children with special needs.


13.  What training have the staff supporting children with special educational needs, had or are currently having?

  • All staff have undergone PIPS training.
  • All staff in Foundation stage, KS1 and lower KS2 have been trained in Sounds Write.
  • The SENDCo and Pastoral Support Lead TA have undergone training to manage children with Autism Spectrum and children who have insecure attachments. They are also both THRIVE trained, we have three additional trained in Thrive and are  currently training two more LSA’s in this approach.
  • We are currently whole staff training programme with EH4MH ( looking at positive mental health outcomes for Primary aged pupils.
  • We have a continued professional development programme for all staff responsive to current needs of pupils and changes in practice and procedure.
  • Our SENDCo regular attends conferences and updates provided by Babcock LDP.


14. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including day and residential trips?

We aim for all children to be included on school day trips and residential stays. We will provide the necessary adaptations, having consulted with you, 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.


15. Who can I contact for further information?

If you require more information or have any specific questions regarding SEN or how your child’s needs might be met or are being met at St John’s please email  or  call 01803864695 to talk to our SENDCo or arrange an appointment.

Devon County Council is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have a good start in life. Some children and young people have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and these differing needs mean varied levels of support may be required at different times. More information about Devon’s local offer can be found at;