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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

We live, learn and grow in the light of Christ

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Mrs Aitken is our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).  If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact her or your child's class teacher.

phone: 0191 2573097


SEND Link Governor:  Mr V Turner


St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the children living in our local area. We believe that all children, including those identified as having a special educational need or a disability (SEND) have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life.


We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School aims to include everyone and values diversity. We want all of our children to do well through having access to appropriate, high-quality education. When our children struggle with learning or experience difficulties it can be very frightening and confusing. Parents and carers often worry about how they will make sure their child gets the right services and support.


This section of our website aims to help by providing an outline of what we can offer at St. Joseph's.


What does SEND mean?  Children are all different and make progress at different rates. They have different ways in which they learn best. Our teachers take account of this in the way they organise their lessons and teach. Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.


It is important not to assume, just because your child is making slower progress than you expected, or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that your child has special educational needs.


SEND Code of Practice (2014): A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they: 

(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or 

(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. 


A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them 


The Code of Practice (2014) also identifies four broad areas of SEN

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical. 


What do we offer at St. Joseph's?  St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is committed to inclusion. We aim to promote a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties.


This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners.


Quality First Teaching: For all children we consider the Graduated Approach.  This is a four-part cycle of action: ASSESS, PLAN, DO and REVIEW, where each stage is continuously revisited, refined and revised. At the centre of this cycle is the child, parents/carers and class teacher, with the SENDCo to  advise and support. This is part of our commitment to Quality First Teaching for all children. Every child is different and needs different things to help them succeed, and this means that the things we put in place need to be different for each child, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.


 All children at St. Joseph’s Primary School benefit from high quality teaching which includes an appropriate curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners, including those who need support or extension.  Teachers use a variety of teaching styles and a wide range of materials, and are highly aware of the needs of each student in their class. Assessment methods and materials are tailored to the needs of individual pupils so teachers are able to monitor the progress of all of our children very carefully. 


Support: Sometimes children need additional support to make good progress. There are lots of ways to do this.

Additional support might include:

  • small group support in class
  • individual support in class
  • tailored interventions 
  • access to specific resources (use of technology, accessible materials, specific aids)
  • emotional, social and behavioural support programmes
  • specifically differentiated materials


After-school and Enrichment activities: All children are able to apply to take part in after-school clubs and activities.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not a barrier to participation. However, attendance at after school clubs is dependent on making appropriate behaviour choices in school. Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are included in all educational visits and experiences, and appropriate support will be provided.


Transition from other settings:

Before a pupil starts St Joseph’s, parents are invited to bring their children for Nursery visits and any special concerns about particular needs will be brought to the attention of the SENDCO. St Joseph’s has developed good relationships with feeder nursery schools and relevant information is shared prior to transition so that appropriate adjustments can be made.


When children join from another school, the teacher and SENDCO will gather relevant details about SEND from the parents and the previous school. Children transferring from St Joseph’s to a new school will have their SEND records sent on.


At point of transfer to secondary school, information is shared regarding vulnerable pupils and SEND records sent. When children with SEND move from one year level to the next information is shared between current teachers and the next in the summer term on a transition document and a face to face meeting. The SENDCO will also arrange meetings with class teachers to discuss children on the SEND register early on in the new autumn term.