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8. What teaching approaches are used and what additional provision might be available?

For pupils requiring SEND support, there are two areas that need to be considered when planning provision: 

  • High-quality class and/or subject teaching 
  • Targeted provision. 

High-quality class and/or subject teaching 

It is an expectation that the first step in responding to a pupil’s identified needs is for class teachers to provide ‘quality first’ (wave 1) teaching. Our teachers adapt the curriculum, learning environment and their practice in order to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The SENDCo supports the class teacher in determining the kind of adjustments to the teaching that would be most effective where necessary. 

At St. Agatha’s, teachers carefully plan lessons to build upon prior learning and take into account pupil strengths in order to maximise full learning potential and remove barriers to learning. Teachers make explicit links between previous and new learning, and ensure that all pupils know and understand the purpose of their learning through sharing clear learning objectives. Teachers break tasks down into manageable sizes using ‘steps to success’ and pupils discuss their progress against the learning objective. Opportunities are given throughout lessons for pupils to utilise a ‘talking partner’ in order to scaffold their understanding. Lessons are appropriately differentiated and activities are motivational, multisensory and offer alternative outcomes where suitable. Our teachers endeavour to boost pupil self-esteem and have high expectations for all pupils in their class. Due to this, the class teacher and TA will support and extend varying groups of pupils in their class as well as setting work that pupils can manage independently. All children are encouraged to be independent learners and to self-reflect upon their work, which may involve editing with a ‘Purple Polishing Pen’. Formative assessment of all pupils in each lesson informs the teacher’s future planning and raises their awareness of individual need. 

Learning environment adjustments are made, such as utilising reader friendly fonts and coloured interactive whiteboard backgrounds to reduce visual stress and glare. Classrooms are equipped with clearly marked and neatly arranged resources so that they can be found easily and classrooms are organised so that there is little movement around the room, which is kept as quiet as possible. When completing displays, teachers consider pupil accessibility and pupil work fully reflects the achievements of the range of learners in the class. Key Classroom areas have visual signs and labels, and English and Maths learning walls are relevant and referred to regularly. All classrooms display a visual timetable for each day in order to inform pupils of the day ahead. 

Pupils are provided with hands-on resources, such as Numicon, and vocabulary and topic word banks are provided in order to support pupil understanding. All class teachers consider individual pupil seating plans, both at the table and on the carpet. Pupils may be nominated a ‘peer buddy’ in the form of a carefully selected talk partner to enable the scaffolding of their learning. Teachers give pupils ‘think time’ to allow pupils to process verbal or visual information and they are expected to reduce memory load by, for example, using signal words. 

In some Physical Education (P.E.) activities, SEND pupils will be able to take part in the same way as their peers. In others, some modifications or adjustments need to be made to include everyone. Some pupils may require adapted, modified or alternative activities that offer an equivalent degree of challenge to the activities in the programmes of study and that enable the pupils to make progress. Other pupils may need specific support in order to take part in certain activities or types of movement, or careful management of their physical regime to allow for their specific medical conditions. Alternatively, for some P.E. lessons, a ‘parallel’ activity for SEND pupils may be provided so that they can work towards the same lesson objectives as their peers, but in a different way. Occasionally, pupils with SEND will have to work on different activities, or towards different objectives, from their peers. Just as with classroom-based lessons, P.E. is carefully planned and differentiated with careful consideration of individual needs. 

Further increased modifications to the learning environment may be required in order that a pupil can fully access their learning. The pupil may require equipment such as a wobble cushion, pencil grip, an individual sloped writing board, individual timers, individual timetables, sound field systems, workstations, weighted blankets, a nominated quiet area, or assistive technology that is provided by the school to aid access to the curriculum. The school is committed to the integration and inclusion of pupils with a wider range of physical needs, and has installed access ramps and toilet facilities to improve accessibility in accordance with the Equality Act (2010) and the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations. All other needs are discussed on an individual basis. 

Access Arrangements 

Some SEND pupils may require additional arrangements to be put in place so that they can take part in the end of key stage 2 tests. Access arrangements are adjustments that can be made to support pupils. Headteachers and teachers must consider whether any of their pupils will need access arrangements before they administer the tests. Access arrangements should be based primarily on normal classroom practice and they must never provide an unfair advantage. The support given must not change the test questions and the answers must be the pupils’ own. Access arrangements might be used to support pupils: 

  • who have difficulty reading 
  • who have difficulty writing 
  • with a hearing impairment 
  • with a visual impairment 
  • who use sign language 
  • who have difficulty concentrating 
  • who have processing difficulties 

Due to the diversity of pupils’ needs, the above list is guidance and does not list every circumstance where it would be appropriate to use access arrangements. Should you have concerns regarding your child’s ability to access the Key Stage 2 tests, please speak to your child’s class teacher or our SENDCos. 

Targeted Provision 

Targeted (wave 2) provision is provision that is additional to or different from that made for the majority of pupils in the school. It is overseen by class teachers. This provision is time-bonded and intended to accelerate pupil progress and enable a pupil to work at age-related expectations. It is available to all children based upon current needs and is not exclusive to those pupils on ‘SEND support’. Our teachers work closely with teaching assistants and specialist staff to plan and assess the impact of interventions.

Wave 3 provision is focused, specialist intervention that is usually delivered one-to-one by a trained specialist. Wave 3 work tackles fundamental errors, misconceptions and gaps in knowledge or understanding that are preventing a pupil making progress and is implemented following consultation with specialist staff and the SENCOs. This provision is reserved for pupils receiving ‘SEND Support’ and is monitored by the SENCOs and reviewed termly with parents/carers.  

Below are details of targeted provision often used to support our pupils:

Area of Need: Communication and Interaction Cognition and Learning Sensory and/or Physical Needs Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Wave 2

• Colourful Semantics Group  
• Narrative Group  
• Language for Thinking Group  
• Time to Talk (N) Communication Cookbook  
• School Start ‘Sound Awareness’  
• School Start ‘Language Group’  

• SMART English Target support  
• SMART Mathematics Target support  
• Home learning Club 
• Reading and Thinking 
Nessy Reading and Spelling  

• PenPals Handwriting Group  
• OT boxes  
• Sensory room exercises 

• Socially Speaking  
• Learning Mentor 
• ‘Tea and Toast’ morning nurture sessions  

Wave 3

• Language for Thinking 1:1  
• Think Social!
• Intensive Language 
• Colourful Semantics 1:1  
• Social Stories  
• School Start ‘Sound Awareness’  
• School Start 
‘Language Group’  
• Attention Autism  
• Lego Therapy
• Black Sheep Programme

• Specific Literacy Support
• Inference Training  
• Specific Maths Support  
• Memory Magic
• Preteaching   

• 1:1 OT programmes 
• BBC Dance Mat or Touch Typing
• Teacher of the Deaf/ Blind support package
• Sensory Room  

• ELSA  
• Nurture Group    
• Zones of Regulation
MHST 1-1 therapy support from an outside professional. Play Therapy from a trained therapist.