The importance of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

All of our pupils are assessed as individuals and their unique needs are planned for at St. Helen’s Church of England School. 

St. Helen’s Church of England School believes everyone has the right to be educated and to be part of our school community. We are committed to the promotion of equality and diversity. In so doing, we realise the valuable contribution, that all members of the school community make to our school.

In recent years approximately 15% of children within our school have been deemed to have a special educational need or disability of one kind or another. Children have a special educational need if they have a learning difficulty, which requires additional or specific provision to be put in place for them.


The curriculum and learning environment

Every child at St Helen’s Church of England School will access high quality teaching which takes account of pupil’s differing needs. We are proud of our creative curriculum throughout the school which allows children to learn in a variety of ways, become independent learners, thrive in areas of strength and gain confidence in areas they need to develop. Where appropriate, the curriculum will be adapted and reasonable adjustments will be made to meet the range of special educational needs and disabilities in our school. Where children are in need of additional support, this will be provided within the classroom setting to allow for full inclusion. It may also be given through small group sessions in addition to their usual classroom provision. Teachers and teaching assistants will provide a tailored and personalised approach in line with a child’s EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) or 'My Plan'. As a school we will endeavour to secure the special educational provision required by the child.

Additional support could include: 

  ~  Differentiated tasks 

  ~  1.1 support or small group support 

  ~  Language Link groups 

  ~  Phonics support 

  ~  Personalised learning programmes 

  ~  Adapted resources for learning

School trips are an important part of a child’s education we make every effort to provide these opportunities to every child in our school. Where necessary we will seek the support of parents or other appropriate adults to support children with SEND to take a full and active part in school trips, as well as extra-curricular activities. Arrangements will be made to ensure all children can fully contribute to every aspect of school life.

Trips to look forward to may include 

Theatre visits     Dartmoor    St. George’s Activity Centre

The Big Sheep          Beach visits / Cliff walks       Science days

Accessibility of our school

As a relatively newly built school, we are blessed with a readily accessible school. Our school has no stairs into the school building and is set on one level throughout, we have large doorways accessible by wheelchairs. We have a large changing and toilet facility as well as an accessible parking bay. Should any additional equipment or services be required, the SENDCo and Headteacher work together to secure this is put in place. Our outdoor area is largely accessible to people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.

At St. Helen’s we have a high proportion of pupils who are hearing impaired. These children have access to high quality Soundfield systems and radio aids to ensure they can access all the learning. All adults have had additional training to support these pupils. 

Disability is not always visible and this is certainly true for our pupils with ASD or those with social and emotional needs. St. Helen’s provides a very calm, consistent environment nurturing these pupils through any anxious situations. Pupils have safe calming areas where they can relax and then return to their classrooms when they are ready.

Supporting the overall well-being of children with SEND

Happy confident children is our goal for all our pupils. 

Children’s emotional well-being is vital to great learning in the classroom. All staff at our school work hard to support the well-being of every child. Within each classroom, we have a ‘reflective area’ where children can have a moment to themselves, reflect, pray, share concerns and worries with their peers or members of staff (either directly or through a ‘worry box’), we also ensure we develop caring and honest relationships with all children and ensure there are opportunities for children to talk to adults for support. Our staff are available every day to support parents in helping their children at school. The SENDCo will, where appropriate, share information with staff to ensure an holistic approach for children and parents.

Children in Care 

At St. Helen’s Children in Care (CiC) and Previously Looked After Children (PLAC) often need additional emotional support. 'Looked after children' or 'children in care' are children under 18 years of age who do not live with their parents or family. Many have suffered Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) or Trauma and the staff at St. Helen’s give these pupils extensive support and guidance. 

The SENDCO is the Children in Care Lead teacher and coordinates data and support for Children in Care, working closely with social services and foster families.

Social Emotional and Mental Health Issues can include:

    ~    Forming and maintaining relationships

    ~    Bereavement trauma

    ~    Attitudes to attainment

    ~    Attendance

    ~    Self-esteem

    ~    Life outside school

All students at St. Helen’s can access:

    ~    Quality first teaching with appropriate differentiation (including best SEND practice)

    ~    Access to assessment for identification of significant needs

    ~    Whole school values recognition system

    ~    Whole school policy for behaviour management

    ~    Transition support into new classes and next Key Stages

    ~    Anti-bullying policy

    ~    Dedicated and caring staff who ensure all children feel 'known and loved'

Support for targeted groups or individuals may include:

    ~    Lunchtime club for vulnerable pupils- Well-being Group 

    ~    Transition support arrangements – both on entry at four and in Year 6 

    ~    Intervention groups (behaviour/social skills/self-esteem/stress management).

    ~    In-class support in some lessons.

    ~    Additional outdoor learning opportunities 

    ~    1:1 mentoring

    ~    Bereavement groups or 1.1 support 

    ~    Outside agency input (e.g. Educational Psychologist, CAMHS, Social workers).

Extra support for Children in Care …

    ~    Reducing Exclusion in Devon Schools Team – REDS

Parental Involvement

The role of parents and carers is very important and we seek to support the partnership between school and home. Parents are encouraged to become involved, or are included in their child’s learning, in the following ways:

  ~  Learning that is sent home;

  ~  Regularly meeting with the class teacher and SENDCo;

  ~  Consultation with parents regarding targets and next steps for their child;

  ~  Attendance at, and contributions to, review meetings about their child’s learning;

  ~  Volunteering to support learning and activities within school, on school trips and through extra-curricular activities;

  ~  An annual report is provided on each child’s progress as well as two consultation meetings each year.

External Agencies 

The partnership with other agencies is very important for our SEND pupils. Many agencies work regularly in our school to provide support for the pupils and give additional guidance to the staff. The SENDCo will make referrals following consultations with parents. 

Agencies regularly working with St. Helen’s include

    ~    Deaf Advisory Teacher – H. Maiden 

    ~    Educational Psychologist – G. Newberry 

    ~    School Nurse – L. Mugglestone

    ~    SEMH team 

    ~    Autism advisory teachers 

    ~    Occupational therapists 

    ~    Speech and Language Team 

    ~    Early Years Portage advisors 

    ~    CAMHS team 

    ~    Social workers 

    ~    Early Help advisor 

Local Offer within Devon

St Helen's Church of England School is committed to ensuring all children have the best possible start to life, some children may need additional support through their education. To support schools and parents in Devon County Council provide a ‘Local Offer’ which can be found via the link below. The Local Offer website provides information and access to a range of services for children and young people between the ages of 0-25 years.

The Devon Local Offer

Devon’s SEND Local Offer is the education, health and social care services and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from birth to 25.

Who can I contact for further information?

Headteacher: Mrs C.S. Lewis

SENDCO: Mrs C. Dickinson

Lead Local School Committee Member for SEND: Mrs R. Fisher


St. Helen’s Church of England School – January 2020 data   On roll - 210 pupils 

Pupils on SEN register  44 pupils  20 % of our school 
EHCP pupils 4 pupils 

(3 more agreed) 

7/210 = 3% of school  7/44=16 % of our SEN register 
Deaf children  5 pupils–  2% of our school but 11% of our SEN list
Gender difference  30/44 pupils are boys with SEN at St. Helen’s  68% of SEN are boys