Special Education, Needs and Disability (SEND)

Throughout their time in school, it is not unusual for children to, on occasion, require some additional help. This may be for a short period to assist them with a specific problem or it may be more long term.

Regardless of the needs of your child, at Woodthorpe we will always endeavor to provide them with the very best. If at any time you wish to discuss a concern you have about your child you can of course speak to their teacher.

If you would like further advice, Megan Clark is our Special Needs Co-ordinator.

An appointment to meet with her may be made at the school office.

Further information is available from the Sheffield Directory:
SEND – Local Offer: Support and services for children and young people.

Our latest SEND policy and Information Report is available to download at the end of this page.

Disabled Access

Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do. As a result we pride ourselves on being able to provide for the needs of all our community. The school is well equipped to meet the needs of all our learners including those with disabilities.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact school and ask to speak to:

  • Dave Smith – Headteacher, or
  • Karen Bister – Deputy Head

Our latest Accessibility Report is available to download at the end of this page.

Should you require a paper copy of any of the information on our website, please contact our school office.

What is the role of the SENDCO?

The responsibility for planning, assessment and provision for all children, including those with SEND is their classteacher. They should be the first person you contact in school with any queries or concerns about your child. The role of the SENDCo is to support teachers with the provision of SEND children in the classroom and ensure it meets the needs of all children at our school. The SENDCo also oversees any paperwork related to SEND and meets with other agencies to work collaboratively in the best interests of the child.

At Woodthorpe the SENCO is Miss Megan Clark.

What should I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress?

The responsibility for planning for and teaching children including those with SEND is their classteacher. For this reason, the classteacher should always be your first port of call if you are concerned about your child. If you have a query with cannot be answered by your child’s classteacher, you can contact the SENDCo or their Key Stage Leader.

What additional provision do you have in place to support children?

SEND provision is provision which is additional to or different from the core offer in the classroom. Where at all possible, this will be carried out in the classroom with your child’s regular staff. We offer a range of interventions to support those with additional needs or those who are working below age related expectations. These may change from time to time and responsive to individual children’s needs. We work with a range of professionals to ensure the support we offer is evidence based, current and appropriate to the needs of the children.

How do you support children with Communication and Interaction needs?

Currently at Woodthorpe 40% of our SEND cohort are those with speech, language and communication needs which includes: children with speech sound difficulties, receptive and expressive language difficulties, DLD or Autism. We work closely with a Speech and Language therapist who works in school weekly and provides assessment, targets and suggestions to provision for children with communication and interaction needs. Teachers might employ a range of different support strategies to use in classrooms such as visual timetables, communication mats, chunking instructions and providing memory aids, now and next boards to break learning into smaller steps and subject, verb object communication boards (SVO). We also make use of assistive technology such as Clicker software to support children.

How do you support children with Cognition and Learning needs?

Cognition and Learning needs include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, moderate learning difficulties and severe learning difficulties. Cognition and Learning needs may only impact on one specific areas such as reading, writing, spelling or mental arithmetic or can mean a child is working below age related expectations in all areas. For these reasons the provision in place to support children with Cognition and Learning needs will vary. Some examples of support include simple adjustments such as different coloured paper and overlays can be made available to children or a child might take part in Little Wandle phonics and reading keep up programmes or Maths Mastery’s Ready to Progress interventions which are targeted at closing gaps in learning. Your child’s class teacher will plan appropriately making use of robust assessment tools to ensure all of your child’s learning is accessible to them.

How do you support children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties?

Currently at Woodthorpe the second largest area of need within our SEND cohort is Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH) which currently sits around 20%. SEMH difficulties cover a range of issues such as anxiety, depression, frequent emotional dysregulation for a range of reasons, self-harming and eating disorders. In school, some examples of support for children with SEMH include supporting them to form positive relationships with familiar adults and peers, making adaptions to timetables, offering alternative/calm spaces for learning, regular check-ins, providing consistent boundaries and routines and emotional literacy support through The Zones of Regulation. We work closely with a range of different professionals to support children with SEMH needs including Educational Psychologists, Counsellors and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) where necessary to provide appropriate support. Our Behaviour and Engagement Lead, Mr Elliot Townsend, works also works closely with class teachers of children with SEMH needs to support these children to be engaged in their classroom learning.

How do you support children with Sensory and/or Physical needs?

Sensory and Physical needs include children who have: hearing loss, visual impairments, sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties, which may impact of their ability to carry out certain movements. We follow the guidance of any involved medical professionals such as occupational therapists (OT), Teachers of the Deaf or the Vision Support Service regarding how best to support these children in school. Some examples of provision/resources that are currently being used to support specific children include: sloped desk tops, wobble cushions, use of equipment such as standing frames and wheelchairs, radio aids, screen mirroring software for tablets etc.

Which professionals work with/within school?

At Woodthorpe we are proud to work with a number of professionals who support the Inclusion Team in ensuring our provision is appropriate and effective. Our Inclusion Team are:

  • Mrs Karen Bister – Deputy Head and Inclusion Lead
  • Miss Megan Clark – SENCO
  • Miss Lisa Bramhall – Assistant SENDCo
  • Mr Elliot Townsend- Behaviour and Engagement Lead

We also have a Speech and Language therapist and counsellors who work in school weekly.

The school brings in further expertise from outside agencies, including:

  • Autism Team
  • Educational Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Hearing Impairment Team
  • Visual Impairment Team
  • Specialist Nurse in ADHD
  • Acquired Brain Injury Specialists
  • Epilepsy Support
  • Wellbeing Practitioner from CAMHS
  • Family Intervention Service
What other services are there to support children and young people with special educational needs and their families?

We understand that additional needs can be a challenge to both individuals and their families. Listed below are details of services that offer additional support, training and resources that we would recommend you look at.

What are the handy acronyms for me to know?
  • SEND – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordination
  • ASC- Autism Spectrum Condition
  • SALT- Speech and Language Therapy
  • EP- Educational Psychologist
  • ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • EHCP- Education, Health and Care Plan
  • SEMH- Social, Emotional, Mental Health
  • FIS – Family Intervention Service


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