Welcome to St Laurence-in-Thanet CE Junior Academy, where our commitment to inclusion is deeply rooted in our vision guided by the promise, 'With God, all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26). At St Laurence-in-Thanet CE Junior Academy, we believe in nurturing every member of our community to thrive both now and in the future, embodying the principles of The Lost Sheep parable from the Bible. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive educational environment where each individual is known, valued, and loved.

Our dedicated team is committed to providing the best possible educational experience for all our students, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Our approach is rooted in collaboration and open communication, involving parents, staff, and external agencies to ensure the well-being and progress of every child.

Identifying and Supporting Special Educational Needs

At St Laurence-in-Thanet CE Junior Academy, we maintain a vigilant watch over the progress and development of each child. Our teachers and teaching assistants actively participate in pupil progress meetings, and we employ a system of assessment to identify potential Special Educational Needs. This process is initiated if a child exhibits slower progress, behavioural challenges, or emotional difficulties relative to their peers.

We value the input of parents and encourage them to communicate any concerns they may have about their child's academic journey. In some instances, with parental consent, we may engage external agencies to provide specialised support and guidance.

Recognising that each child is unique, we employ diverse teaching strategies in our classrooms to cater to individual learning styles. This approach is adaptable to accommodate medical conditions or disabilities that may impact a child's educational experience. Our commitment to progress monitoring extends to ongoing assessments by class teachers, allowing us to implement targeted support measures when needed.

The reason we put children on the SEN register is because we believe that they need more than what the school offers in their universal provision, such as specialist support. Universal provision forms the basis for most support and interventions in school, providing teaching that is accessible to all students, using strategies, resources, and changes to the curriculum and environment to help students learn better. As an inclusive school, we are happy to provide extra support to any student who needs it, even if they are not on the SEN register. The SEN register is specifically for children who need support "additional to or different from" their peers and the school's universal provision. It's worth noting that students who are in the bottom 10%-20% academically may also be considered for placement on the SEN register, including children who need extra support based on their academic performance as well as their individual needs.

We understand that students have diverse needs, particularly those with conditions like Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) or Social, Emotional, and Mental Health (SEMH) challenges. We also know that it may not always be appropriate to set specific targets for these students and instead, we focus on creating strong support systems that meet their unique requirements. This means that a diagnosis doesn't automatically mean a student will be put on the SEN register. Our commitment to inclusivity means that we provide additional support, interventions, and accommodations to any student who needs them, regardless of whether they are on the SEN register or not.

Supporting Your Child's Learning

All work is tailored to a child's level to ensure they can access learning in accordance with their needs. Additional resources or equipment may be provided for support. If necessary, extra assistance in literacy, numeracy, speech and language, or social and emotional development may occur either in small groups or one-on-one with a teaching assistant. For children with specific needs, we provide an SEN Support Plan/Pastoral Support Plan outlining the additional steps to support their learning.

Parental Involvement and Communication

To stay informed about your child's progress at school, parents are invited to participate in parent-teacher meetings and review their SEN support plan. Regular reviews involving parents, external agencies, and, if appropriate, the child, ensure everyone is aligned on the educational journey. Parental involvement is highly valued, and parents are encouraged to actively participate in their child's education through regular communication, school activities, and supporting their child in
 managing school life.

Well-being and Holistic Development

At St Laurence-in-Thanet CE Junior Academy, we prioritise students' well-being and mental health. Our two ELSA-trained teaching assistants offer emotional support, and students have access to "The Ark," our nurture provision. The Pastoral Team is readily available to support children during challenging times, and various external agencies are collaboratively engaged to address specific needs.

External Agencies and Specialist Services

The school collaborates with various external agencies, including the Educational Psychology Service, Thanet Inclusion Support Service, Visual Impairment Team, Speech and Language Therapy, Paediatric Services, Family Support Worker, and Individual Healthcare Plans, to comprehensively address the needs of all our students.

Staff Training and Accessibility

Our staff, including the SENCO, undergo continuous training to ensure they are well-equipped to support students with diverse needs. The school is committed to making necessary adjustments to accommodate the needs of pupils, ensuring accessibility in the learning environment.

Further Information

For further information or concerns about Special Educational Needs, please reach out to the class teacher and/or the SENCO, Mrs Mountjoy. Appointments with any staff member can be arranged by contacting the school office.

This SEN Padlet has been curated for parents to access a variety of information, regularly updated with ongoing support and guidance. Visit https://padlet.com/smountjoy/st-laurence-send-department-lr73rp34f62rboo6 for the latest resources.