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How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

Early Identification of Need

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we:

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils
  • Consult with relevant external agencies
  • Use assessment tools & materials
  • Use observations
  • Use Short Notes

SEN Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “AssessPlanDoReview”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs through the class teacher and SENCO carrying out observations and discussions with parents.
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes through producing a SEN support plan outlining the additional provision that we will make, with agreed outcomes.
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes for example a Social Skills Intervention programme.  Sometimes this will be in the form of an extra group time, with a small group of children. Sometimes it will be some individual support for short periods of time
  • Review the support and progress through class teacher and SENCO making an observational assessment, use of assessment schemes and discussions with parents/carers.

As part of this approach, every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs.  Parents/carers and child/YP (where appropriate) views are integral to this process.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The purpose of an EHCP is to make special educational provision to meet special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education (SEND Code of Practice p.142). It is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs.

For more detailed information see the Local Offer

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN

At The Dales Partnership, we assess children’s progress against national expectations and age related expectations. Assessment is an ongoing part of the teaching process with teachers and teaching assistants noting achievements, areas for further development and next steps in learning.

We formally assess Reading, Writing and Maths each term. Individual targets are set for children and their progress is tracked from Baseline on entry through to the end of Year 6. The results are reported to parents at the end of each Key Stage – EYFS, Year 2 and Year 6.

A pupil progress meeting is held each term and if a child is not making the expected progress towards their targets, further support is discussed. When a child’s support plan is reviewed progress towards their targets is monitored and if they are not on track the targets will be reviewed and if necessary adjusted such as breaking the target down into smaller steps or taking a different approach.


The Dales Partnership has Nursery provision which ensures that teachers know children and families well by the time they start in Reception. If a child has not attended Woodland nursery, we liaise with their nursery provision and welcome parents and children on school visits before the child starts in September.

On entry we carry out baseline assessments and identify the children’s strengths and any areas for development.

If a child is performing below age related expectations this will be discussed with the class teacher and SENCO and further observations may be carried out.

Where issues such as behavior or confidence are impacting on performance these issues will be raised.

We have an open door policy and as well as regular formal meetings, there are informal opportunities for parents/carers to raise concerns.

We have speech and language support and any child causing concern will be assessed with parent/carer agreement. The school runs a movement programme for children with fine and gross motor skills difficulties. We also work closely with the school nurse, the educational psychologist, occupational therapy, CAHMS, and the behavior support team.

How we ensure access to appropriate high quality teaching, differentiation and intervention.

At The Dales Partnership, all our teachers and support staff are very experienced and regularly access training to further develop their practice. Through quality first teaching teachers plan for all individuals and groups within their class, ensuring that the needs of each child are met. In addition to carefully differentiated class teaching, the teachers plan high quality interventions for children to ensure that they are bridging any gaps in their learning.

How the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle is incorporated into SEN provision.

The ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle (ADPR) is incorporated into SEN provision through formative assessment on a day-to-day basis and through more formal reviews of pupil progress and progress towards support plan targets. These are discussed with parents/carers in regular meetings as well as on a more informal basis through our open door policy.

How parents and pupils are involved in the APDR cycle.

Parents/carers and pupils are involved in the ADPR cycle through both informal and formal meetings. There are regular opportunities for parents to discuss progress informally with the class teacher and formal opportunities in SEN review meetings and parents evenings. Children’s targets and progress are discussed with them at an appropriate level. Children know what they are working on and are involved in evaluating and celebrating their successes

Planning for Learners with SEN

At The Dales Partnership, our experienced staff have worked to support children with a wide variety of needs. The planning for in class provision and individual targets is tailored to each child’s needs. This is achieved through quality first teaching and carefully planned interventions. Where further advice is needed we work with a wide range of external agencies to ensure that a child receives the right provision

A Holistic Approach

We ensure that there is a holistic approach in addressing all needs by considering all the factors, which might be impacting on a child’s progress. At Woodland School we value all children for their individual abilities and talents in all areas and celebrate these.

Individual Support

The Dales Partnership has a range of approaches to supporting children with SEN needs. All children benefit from quality first teaching in the classroom, which caters for their individual needs and supports all children to make good progress. Work is differentiated for different groups and individuals. Where children need additional support they will in the first instance be on a short note to address their needs.  Sometimes this is enough to ensure a child is on track but sometimes a Support Plan will be needed with individual targets and strategies to work towards achieving them. This will be put in place in discussion with parents/carers and where appropriate the child. This would mean additional work with a child on a small group or 1:1 basis to carry out specific interventions to support a child to meet their individual targets.

How do you evaluate high quality teaching with differentiation & personalisation and interventions?

We evaluate the high quality teaching including differentiation, personalisation and interventions through the monitoring of the impact and pupil progress. As a school we also carry out lesson observations, learning walks and work scrutinies. These are supported by our Educational Development Partner and other specialist staff. We also carry out pupil and parent surveys which cover the quality of teaching and learning and use the feedback from these to inform our future planning.

Behaviour Policy

We have high expectations of behavior from all our children. We work with children and families to support any concerns regarding behaviour which could impact on learning and social interaction. As well as individual support, we have systems in place to support children with their behavior including reward systems, group work and peer support. We are able to access the Behaviour Support team if further intervention is required.

How do you make adjustments/ adaptations? Are they reflected in the Accessibility Plan?

The Dales Partnership accessibility plan is available to view. We have an all access toilet and access to the building via a ramp. We are always willing to discuss particular accessibility needs for children or parents/carers.

How do you enable pupils with SEN engage in activities with pupils who do not have SEN?

The Dales Partnership are 3 small schools with a family atmosphere where all the children and staff know all the children. Everyone is treated equally and where there might be challenges to accessing activities, all reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure that all children can engage with all the activities we offer.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are used to identify and minimise risk in all aspects of school life. They are used to ensure that staff and children are aware of potential risks and how we would reduce them. Risk assessments are carried out where a child has a particular need and measures put in place to minimize the risk.

Arrangements for pupils with SEN undertaking tests and exams.

Where a child is able to access the SATs tests a number of additional arrangements can be put in place to support them:

  • Additional time
  • Rest breaks
  • A Reader
  • A scribe
  • Use of a laptop
  • Adapted papers

These additional access arrangements will be discussed with parents/carers in advance of the tests.

What is in place to ensure all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have?

The Dales Partnership are 3 small schools with an inclusive approach and a desire to provide the best education possible for all our children. We are committed to the inclusion of all our children in all aspects of school life alongside their peers. In addition to the requirements of the EYFS and National Curriculum, we seek to enrich the experience of all our pupils through a range of additional opportunities. We have a strong focus on developing independence, self-esteem and resilience alongside skills, abilities and knowledge to ensure that our children are engaged in their learning and prepared for life.

Some of the ways we achieve this are:

  • Supporting all children to achieve their potential despite any difficulty or disability they might have.
  • Adapting the curriculum to meet the needs of individuals.
  • Ensuring that all staff in school is aware of and sensitive to the needs of all children.
  • Making appropriate provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain access to the curriculum.

How does your setting ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs?

All staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of individual children and are aware of approaches which are most suited to a child. We have staff training on aspects of SEND and the SENCO works with staff to ensure that all children are well catered for and able to make good progress towards their targets

How is suitable provision for children with SEN made to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum?

At The Dales Partnership,  all our children are offered the opportunity to participate in activities outside of the classroom. We make reasonable adjustments to make this possible. These include the level of adult support, the use of suitable transport and carrying out risk assessments to ensure that activities can be safely accessed

For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.