Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Barnabas Oley Church of England School prides itself on being an inclusive school where we endeavour to ensure that all children will have access to the highest quality teaching which will be adapted to meet the needs of all learners.  Children are taught by highly qualified class teachers. If additional support is needed to enable children to make progress and meet their individual learning goals a ‘graduated response’ is employed to provide targeted assistance as recommended by the Local Authority and detailed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014). Early identification of children with Special Educational needs and disabilities is necessary in order to provide the correct support. At Barnabas Oley, we think it is important to involve the child and their parent (s) as fully as possible discussing the child’s needs and agreeing next steps. The ethos fostered in the school is to value all children and to enable them to participate fully in the life of the school and reach their full potential – being the best they can be.

For further information please refer to following:

Key Information

SEND Co-ordinator

Mrs Michelle Downes

Telephone: 01767 677294 email: office@barnabasoley.cambs.sch.uk


School Governor for SEND

Mrs Cathy Davis

Termly SEND visits and meetings take place between the school SEND co-ordinator and SEND governor.

Reports of these SEND visits and meetings can be found here

Our Commitment

  • To have the highest expectations and aspirations for every child.
  • To ensure that all children identified with SEND have equal access to a broad, balanced, creative and challenging curriculum.
  • To ensure that barriers to learning and achievement are identified as early as possible and robust steps are taken to secure progress.
  • To ensure progress and attainment is closely monitored.
  • To listen to children, take their views into account and include them at all stages of planning their education.
  • To ensure all children are aware of their next steps in their learning and are involved in target setting.
  • To work in close partnership with parents and carers to determine the most effective level of support.
  • To ensure that all professionals including those in school and outside agencies work closely together to secure the best outcomes for children with SEND.

Every teacher knows the needs and abilities of the children in their class. Rigorous assessment, monitoring and target setting procedures ensure that every child’s progress and attainment is continually monitored. Each term the class teacher meets with the Head teacher to discuss the progress and attainment of every child in their class and to identify where a child’s attainment and progress is not at expected levels. If this is the case addition support and /or targeted interventions are put into place through our schools detailed provision map drawn up by the School SEND Co-ordinator.

At Barnabas Oley we recognise and value the close relationships we develop with parents and carers. We will share any concerns about your child’s progress through scheduled parents meetings throughout the year or extra meeting as and when we feel the need. Parents along with the child, class teacher and SEND Co-ordinator are involved in reviewing children’s progress that are on the SEND list and setting new targets through termly meetings. If you have any concerns about your child we would encourage you to share these with your child’s teacher in the first instance. The teacher will be happy to arrange a meeting with you to discuss your concerns and agree a course of action. Following this meeting if you still have any concerns then you should contact Mrs Downes, the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SEND Co) who will be happy to arrange a meeting with you.

Communication between parents/carers and school is vital if children are to make the best progress they can. In addition to the twice yearly parent consultation evenings parents/carers of children with SEND will be invited into school to review the progress made towards individual targets and to contribute to the target setting process for their child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). In addition, appointments can be made to have more detailed discussions with class teachers via the school office.

Our SENCO, Michelle Downes has 17 years’ experience in this role, holds the National Senco Award and is Headteacher.

The school fully supports the continued professional development of all staff. Training to support pupils with special needs is on-going and is provided for both teachers and teaching assistants, both in house and from external providers. By raising whole school awareness of SEND issues and developing whole school knowledge, many strategies have become established features of classroom practice, for example dyslexic friendly classrooms and visual timetables.

Where a child has a specific need, staff will attend training to ensure they are best able to meet that child’s needs. Future training needs are identified through the school SEND Provision Map, the school development plan and professional development meetings. Where a child needs very specific support then the SEND Co ensures relevant services are accessed by the school. These include health, Occupational and Speech and Language therapy and social care services. Family support and paediatric support are also initiated through school and the SEND Co.

The school is fully accessible and has an access ramp at the front of the school and to the mobile classroom. There is a specially designed toilet in school to allow wheelchair access and mobility support. Specific materials and equipment provided for individual needs are stored in the child’s classroom. Where specific equipment is required the SEND Co, through the advice of professionals involved, will work with other services to secure this provision and ensure advice and training on its use is delivered.

Children entering Barnabas Oley will be visited in their preschool environment prior to starting in the September. Information will be gathered regarding any SEND and any necessary support put in place on their entry into school. Additional visits beyond normal transition to school are encouraged for those children who may find transition difficult between home and school.

Meetings will be arranged for those children who are already known to Early Years SEND services or other agencies to ensure school is aware of their needs to ensure the correct support is in place.

When children leave Barnabas Oley Primary to attend secondary school, meeting are arranged between schools to speak to the children, SEND Co’s from each school share information. Extra visits to the next school are also put in place. All SEN records are passed on to the child’s secondary setting.

In year transition is supported with extra visits to their new class. For children with ASD resources can be made to show a visual representation of their new room and teacher.

Some children with SEND within school require support from professionals and organisations outside of school. These may include: Occupational therapy, Speech and Language therapy, Visual and hearing Impairment teachers, Physiotherapy or an Educational Psychologist.

Schools are also supported by the Local Authority Specialist Support Team. The SEND Co and Head teacher also support parents to access the Paediatric service, Family support and CAMH. We have a family worker who visits school every six weeks to run face to face sessions with parents – you can book these via the school office.

Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of SEN, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties

  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia

  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy

  • Moderate/severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties

Our Approach to Teaching Pupils with SEN

Adaptive curriculum– Quality First teaching

All pupils have access to quality first teaching. This ensures that all pupils have access to a balanced and broadly based curriculum with appropriate learning opportunities. If a class teacher has a concern about a child, in the first instance, this will be discussed within the teaching team and differentiation of teaching, classroom support and/or behaviour strategies will be applied. Some pupils in our school may be underachieving but will not necessarily have a special educational need and in order to make progress, may only require appropriate adaptions. This may involve modifying the learning objectives, teaching styles and access strategies. The pupil may also be provided with ‘pre-teaching and post teaching’ or a ‘booster’ group. Booster activities focus on a particular area e.g. phonics, reading, social skills and the pupil works in a small group for a time limited period to ‘catch up’ with peers. These interventions are considered to be a differentiation of the usual school curriculum and not special interventions for pupils with Special Educational Needs.

School Support

Quality first teaching and ‘booster’ groups enable the majority of pupils to ‘catch up ‘in an identified area. However, some pupils require more specific School Support for them to make progress. These pupils may show signs of difficulty in literacy and mathematics, may present with persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties or may have a communication and/or interaction difficulty. The names of these pupils are recorded on the schools SEND list at the level of School Support and they are provided with something ‘additional to and different from’ what is provided for the majority of pupils. These interventions may be individual or small group programmes. This additional provision is recorded on the schools Provision map. The progress of the children is monitored, accessed and reviwed. If a childs needs higher level targeted support then an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be put in place. Meetings for these take place termly involving the teaching team, Send co, Child and parent – here targets are set and strategies / interventions put in place. This is known as the Graduated approach - it draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles: Assess, Plan, do and review.

The school adopts the local authority's admission arrangements. Please see our Admissions page.

We aim for a close working partnership with parents and if a parent is anxious or unhappy about any aspect of their child’s education we ask them to approach the school. We would ask where possible that In the first instance, parents are encouraged to speak with their child’s class teacher if they have any concerns. If, however, parents feel that their issues have not been resolved then they can make an appointment with the SEND Co-ordinator / Head teacher or a senior member of staff. If the matter remains unresolved then parents should reference the school's Complaints Procedure for Parents Policy.

Reading and Phonics

  • All children in Reception and Key Stage One are taught phonics and reading skills through Twinkl phonics.

  • A Twinkl Phonics catch up intervention is used in KS2

  • Extra group reading and 1:1 reading sessions are used for those children that need to catch up as well as a buddy system that pairs younger children that are struggling with older pupils.

  • Clicker 5, an ICT based child-friendly writing tool that enables pupils of all abilities to significantly develop their literacy skills.

  • For older children extra comprehension groups are in place.


  • Targeted writing groups working on specific aspects of writing.

  • Clicker 5, an ICT based child-friendly writing tool that enables pupils of all abilities to significantly develop their literacy skills.

  • Writing booster groups

  • 5 minute box, structured literacy programme to develop maths concepts on a daily basis.

  • Handwriting interventions


  • Numicon, a multi-sensory intervention programme to raise achievement in maths.

  • First class@number, an intervention programme for children in Year 2 who struggle with the concepts of place value.

  • First class@number2, an intervention programme for children who need support in maths in Years 3 and 4.

  • Small Group Tuition, targeted support and booster groups for children.

  • Pre and Post tutoring, the concepts for the week’s maths lessons are gone over in a small group on a Monday morning prior to the maths lesson to give those children struggling a head start. At the end of the week the small group meet again to reinforce and check understanding.

  • 5 minute box, structured maths programme to develop maths concepts on a daily basis.

Other Interventions

  • Sensory Circuits, a programme to develop focus and concentration skills through a series of short sensory motor activities.

  • Social stories, these direct the child as to what the desired behaviour would be in the social situation.

  • Social skills groups, structured programme to help groups of children focus on aspects of social situations they find difficult.

What do the acronyms used for SEND mean?

ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Pupils who may find it difficult to understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication
Asperger's syndrome Pupils on the autism spectrum, higher functioning
BDA The British Dyslexic Association
BESD Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulty. Pupils whose behaviour or social needs present a barrier to learning
CAF Common Assessment form used by all professionals to ensure all the child’s details are in one place. Needed for referrals to services outside of school.
CAMHS Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service
CF Cystic Fibrosis
DCD Development Co-ordination Difficulty. Also termed Dyspraxia
Dyscalculia Pupils having difficulty in acquiring mathematical skills
Dyslexia Pupils having a marked and persistent difficulty in learning to read, write and spell, despite progress in other areas
Dyspraxia Pupils with impairment of gross and fine motor skills
EAL English as an additional Language
ECHP Education, Care and Health Plan, legally enforceable document that de-scribes the special educational needs of the child and how these needs will be met
EMASS Ethnic Minority Achievement Support Service
EPS Educational Psychology Service
EWO Educational Welfare Officer
HI Hearing Impaired
ISP Individual support plan
Inclusion School provides flexible curriculum and increased capacity to meet needs of all pupils
LEA Local Authority
MD Muscular Dystrophy
MLD Moderate Learning Difficulties. Pupils whose attainments are significantly below expected levels in most areas of the curriculum
MN Medical Needs 
MSI Multi-Sensory Impairment. Pupils with complex visual and hearing difficulties
NASEN National Association for Special Educational Needs
P Scales Performance descriptors. A common basis for measuring the progress of pupils working up to level 1 in all subjects of the National Curriculum
PD Physical Disability
PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Pupils with complex learn-ing needs and other significant physical difficulties
SA School Action
SA+ School Action Plus
SALT Speech and Language Therapist
SEND Code of Practice Practical guidance to LEAs and the governing bodies of all maintained schools
SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SEND CO Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator
SENDIST SEN & Disability Tribunal
SLCN Speech, Language and Communication Needs. Pupils may have difficulty in understanding and / or making others understand information conveyed through spoken language
SpLD Specific Learning Difficulties. A descriptor covering Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia
SLCN Speech, Language and Communication needs
Statutory Assessment Multi-disciplinary assessment by the LA of a child’s educational needs
SSS Specialist Support Service
STS Specialist Teaching Service
TA/LSA Teaching Assistant/Learning Support Assistant. Interchangeable terms for support staff
TES Traveller Educational Service
VI Visually Impaired