Special Educational Needs

SEN and Disabilities (SEND) Information

Our Local Offer

Portsmouth Council’s Local Offer: https://portsmouthlocaloffer.org/

Summary of the service we offer to children with Additional Needs.

At Penbridge School, we believe that all children deserve to be in a safe environment where all of their needs can be met to give them the best chance in life. Therefore, we work to ensure that;

  • There are high expectations for every child
  • Every lesson matters therefore they should be exciting and motivate children to think and learn
  • Every child is treated as an individual and with dignity
  • Children learn to play and learn together understanding moral values of mutual respect, tolerance and personal responsibility

We feel that quality first teaching methods are extremely important. However, some children need extra support in order for them to reach their full potential.

When this has been identified, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) will work with other staff in order to support children appropriately.

Penbridge School’s SENCo and Designated Teacher for looked after children is Mrs Filson:

“I am responsible for ensuring that all pupils with additional needs are met throughout the school, working closely with all teachers, support staff and outside agencies to strive for the best outcomes for these pupils. Part of my role is to ensure that all staff at Penbridge have the correct training to facilitate the inclusive ethos, which is valued so greatly. I am also responsible for working alongside staff to set appropriate targets, plan and review the use of interventions for children with SEND. Other SENCO responsibilities can be seen in the 2015 SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25).

Claire Filson

Assistant Headteacher – Inclusion 

Other members of the Inclusion Team:

  • Mr Greenaway – Child and Family Safeguarding Lead
  • Mrs Kerry Arnett – Attendance & Behaviour Manager
  • Mrs Sandra Carpenter – Attendance Officer
  • Miss Clare Selwood - Wellbeing & Behaviour Officer
  • Mrs K Jones - Wellbeing & Behaviour Officer
  • Mrs Webb – Headteacher
  • Mrs Perkiss - Admin SENco

Glossary of commonly used SEN acronyms

ADDAttention Deficit Disorder
ADHDAttention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
ASD or ASCAutistic Spectrum Disorder/Condition
CAMHSChild and Adolescent Mental Health Service
ChiNChild In Need
C&LCognition and Learning
C&ICommunication and Interaction
CPChild Protection
DCDDevelopmental Co-ordination Disorder
EALEnglish as an Additional Language
EHEarly Help (Replacing SAF/CAF)
EPEducational Psychologist
FSMFree School Meals
HIHearing Impairment
LACLooked After Child
LEALocal Education Authority
MLDModerate Learning Difficulty
ODDOppositional Defiance Disorder
OTOccupational Therapist
PPPupil Premium
PSPPastoral Support Programme
S&PSensory and/or Physical Needs
SEMHSocial, Emotional and Mental Health
SaLTSpeech and Language Therapy
SENSpecial Educational Needs
SENDSpecial Educational Needs and Disability
SENCoSpecial Educational Needs Co-ordinator
SpLDSpecific Learning Difficulty
TAFTeam Around the Family
VIVisual Impairment


Current SEN Updates

What is Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known an ‘Ever 6 FSM’). Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel. If you feel your child may be eligible for free school meals, please ensure you sign up for this in order for your child to receive the funding to help with their needs.

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.

In most cases the Pupil Premium is paid directly to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives free school meals. Schools decide how to use the funding, as they are best place to assess what their pupils need.

Schools are held accountable for the spending of Pupil Premium through the decisions they make. This is measured through the performance tables which show the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers. Schools are also held accountable through the new Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, in particular those who receive Pupil Premium funding.

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a ‘local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.’

What will it do?

The Local Offer will provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/carers and young people know how schools and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. The Local Offer Steering Group developed questions for schools, and trialled them with a small number of settings.

There are a series of questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests. These will be answered by agencies, schools and colleges to provide information to parents and carers to enable them to make decisions about how best to support their child’s needs.

Below are Penbridge School’s responses to these questions:

  1. How does Penbridge School know if children need extra help?
  • Concerns may be raised by teachers or teaching assistants
  • There may be a lack of progress
  • There may be a change in the child’s behaviour
  • Parents/carers may raise concerns
  • The child may not perform well in tests
  • A pupil may be frequently asking for extra help
  1. What should parents/carers do if they think their child may have Additional Needs?

Initially, make contact with the Class Teacher regarding your concerns.

Parents/carers can also make contact with Mrs Filson (SENCo).

  1. How does Penbridge School support children with SEN?
  • Class Teachers plan for each child in their class. They will differentiate their teaching in order to meet individual needs. This differentiation may be through extra support in a small group from a Teaching Assistant.
  • Interventions for specific areas of the curriculum will be planned for by the Class Teacher and monitored by the SENCo. Intervention groups will be run by the Class Teacher or the Teaching Assistant. These interventions could be for Maths, English, Handwriting, Fine Motor Skills, etc. Interventions are reviewed each half term (every 6-8 weeks). This allows staff to regularly monitor their impact and ensure that interventions remain appropriate. Interventions are recorded on a provision map, which highlights the provision available for individual children.
  • Pupil Progress Meetings are held each term. Within this meeting, the Class Teacher and the Senior Leadership Team meet to discuss the progress of all pupils. Further support and interventions are then planned from these discussions if necessary.
  • If it is felt that a child requires extra support from an outside agency, then the SENCo will make a referral to them. These agencies are listed in question 9.
  • Once this referral is made, the agency may observe or assess the child and then send a report to the school including recommendations. These recommendations are then shared with the Class Teacher who will put them in place for the child, as appropriate.
  1. How will the curriculum be matched to a child’s needs?
  • The Class Teacher will differentiate work to enable all children to access the curriculum.
  • Teaching Assistants may work with children in small groups or on a one-to-one basis to focus on specific needs of children.
  • Sometimes specialist equipment is provided for children in order to help them access the curriculum, for example pencil grips, writing slopes, wobble cushions, fiddle toys. 
  1. How will parents know how their child is doing at school? 
  • We have three parents’ evenings within the year. This is an opportunity to discuss children’s progress.
  • Parents can informally speak to Class Teachers at the end of the school day, but if parents require a longer meeting, they can arrange this with the Class Teacher directly or via the school office. In addition, parents can request a phone call from their child’s Class Teacher.
  • In some cases, home contact books are offered to parents. This can be used to exchange messages between home and school.
  • Learning plans are looked at half-termly. These include targets set by the Class Teacher in consultation with the SENCo which are then shared with both the child and the parents.
  1. How does Penbridge School help parents to support their child’s learning?  
  • Your child’s Class Teacher may suggest ways of supporting your child’s learning through messages in the contact book or at meetings or parents’ evenings.
  • Mrs Filson, the SENCo, or another member of the Inclusion Team may meet with you to discuss how to support your child’s learning at home or discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s behaviour/emotional needs.
  • If outside agencies have been involved, suggestions and programmes of study are normally provided that can be used at home.
  • Learning plans also detail a child’s targets and the strategies being used in school. This is shared with parents so that this support can continue at home.
  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? 

The school offers a variety of support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties. These include:

  • Members of staff such as the Class Teacher, Teaching Assistant, Pupil and Family Support Worker and SENCo are available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.
  • Social Skills groups are run in individual classes, where appropriate, for specific children.
  • There are six Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA’s) in school who work 1:1 and with small groups on processing their emotions and supporting them with coping mechanisms when they are finding certain situations difficult.
  • Early Help (EH) assessments are used to support the wellbeing of a child and their family, the child is invited to attend if appropriate.
  • Where necessary, Parents and carers are invited to Attendance Review meetings with the Attendance Officer, Ms Arnett, to improve attendance.
  • If a child has shown no progress, is significantly below target or has any other additional need impeding them from their learning, an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan may be applied for. If successful, the EHC plan will outline the child’s individual needs and be reviewed annually with all professionals and adults involved with that child, including parents, to target set for the following year. The EHC plan can follow them throughout their education up to the age of 25.


  1. What support will there be if my child has medical needs? 
  • If a pupil has medical needs, then a detailed Medical Protocol is compiled by Mrs Perkiss in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • Health Care Plans are reviewed each year or more frequently if needed.
  • The school nurse will come in to talk to parents or children as necessary and with the parents’ and carers’ agreement.
  • Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school but a form is in place to ensure the safety of both the child and the member of staff.
  • Key staff are first aid trained.
  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? 

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. The agencies used by the school include:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Queen Alexandra Hospital (Paediatricians)
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • MABS (Multi-Agency Behaviour Service)
  • EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service)
  • Southern Domestic Abuse Service
  • Barnardos
  • Portsmouth Special Educational Needs Support Service
  • Inclusion Team
  • Social Services
  • School Nurse
  • School Counsellor

An Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. He/she would normally only work directly with pupils whose needs are felt to be quite considerable and have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them.

In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed. He/she will offer advice to the school and parent/carer on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.

  1. What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEN had or are having? 

All staff have received some training related to SEN. These have included sessions on:

  • Positive Handling
  • Child Protection
  • Language for Learning
  • Staff delivering Occupational Therapy programmes in consultation with the Occupational Therapy team.
  • Supporting pupils on the autistic spectrum
  • Supporting pupils with social and emotional needs
  • Supporting pupils with speech and language difficulties
  • Supporting pupils with physical and co-ordination needs
  • Supporting teaching and learning
  1. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips? 

Activities and school trips are available to all.

  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.
  • If a health and safety risk assessment suggests that an intensive level of one-to-one support is required, a parent or carer may also be asked to accompany their child during the activity in addition to the usual school staff.
  • Some after school clubs are available to all ages and others are specific to year groups. If they are oversubscribed names are pulled out of a hat.
  • Breakfast Club runs from 8:00am with a selection of breakfast choices available at a cost of £2.
  1. How accessible is the school environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Facilities we have at present include: 

  • Two toilets adapted for disabled users.
  • A chairlift from the ground floor to the first floor. (Junior Site)
  • A medical room.
  • Shower room with disabled access and electric bed.(Junior Site)
  • Hygiene Room with an electric bed. (Infants Room)
  • Disabled parking space. 
  • Visual timetables are displayed in all class rooms.
  • An EAL Coordinator.
  1. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Penbridge School or transferring to a new school? 

Penbridge School understands what a stressful time moving schools can be therefore many strategies are in place to enable the pupil’s transition to be as smooth as possible. These include:

  • Phone conversations between the previous or receiving schools prior to the pupil joining/leaving. These phone conversations are shared with Class Teachers to ensure that they are aware of the needs of any new pupil.
  • Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting can be set up with Mrs Filson, the previous school’s SENCO and the parents/carers.
  • Mrs Filson is always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining the school or after they have started.
  • All pupils attend several transition mornings/days where they can meet their new class teachers, staff and explore the site itself.
  • Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school
  • Social stories are used for some children to help support them with change.
  • Reception Teachers meet with local nurseries to ensure we are aware of the needs of any new pupils.

Children joining at other times

  • Children who join Penbridge School at a later date are given a tour of the school by a member of the senior leadership team and the provision offered is explained.
  • Previous schools are contacted to discuss any concerns and information is shared.

Transition to a new class each academic year

  • Transition to a new class within Penbridge School is facilitated by several sessions to meet new class teachers and get used to a new class environment.
  • Pupils who may find this more difficult are given additional support where needed.

Children leaving Penbridge School to join other schools/moving to secondary.

  • Where notice is given, the SENCo can liaise with the new school to pass on information.
  • All paperwork is sent to the new school as soon as possible. 
  • If a child has an EHC plan, the SENCo from the next allocated school will be invited to attend the meeting.
  1. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?  
  • The SEN budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependant on an individual’s needs.
  • Resources are requested and ordered as necessary to support pupils’ learning.
  • Provision maps are used to track spending on each pupil.
  • Pupil premium payments are used to support these pupils’ learning, development and wellbeing.
  • The AAB/RGB is kept informed of funding decisions.
  • Resources may include deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances.
  • The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the Class Teacher at Pupil Progress Meetings or if a concern has been raised at another time during the year.
  • If any concerns are raised after assessments are undertaken, then further support or resources may be allocated to your child.


  1. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
  • When the children join the school support is allocated on the information provided by the feeder school. Class Teachers will allocate teaching assistants to deliver interventions or support in class to individuals or small groups of children.
  • During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged.
  • Decisions are made in consultation with class teacher and Senior Leadership Team
  • Decisions are based upon tracking of pupil progress and as a result of assessments by outside agencies
  • Every two weeks, the Inclusion Team meet to discuss recent developments. From these meetings, additional resources maybe allocated to individual pupils depending on need.
  • Parents/carers can request to see an outline of the support their child is receiving.
  1. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education. This may be through:

  • Discussions with the Class Teacher
  • Discussions at Parents’ Evenings
  • Discussions with Mrs Filson or professionals from outside agencies
  • Contact can be arranged with the SENCo or Home School Support Worker
  • Parents are also encouraged to attend a meeting and contribute to the Annual Review process for the EHC plans.
  • Learning plans are signed by the class teacher, pupil and parent to ensure continuity between home and school.
  1. Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s education, please contact one of the following via the school office on 0333 360 2190 

  • Your child’s Class Teacher
  • Your child’s Year Group Leader
  • Mrs Filson – SENCo
  • Mrs Cole – Assistant Headteacher
  • Miss Morris - Head of Infants School
  • Mrs Denton – Head of Junior School
  • Mrs Webb – Headteacher

Impact Statement:

At Penbridge School we have the following support in place for our pupils:

  • Reduced class sizes for year groups with higher additional needs.
  • In class Teaching Assistant support every morning.
  • Literacy and Numeracy support in a variety of interventions including FFT, Toe-by Toe, Numicon, Pupil Conferencing etc.
  • Lunch clubs run throughout the school to support learning and promote inclusion.
  • Counselling Service.
  • ELSA support.
  • Social Skills Groups.
  • Weekly MABS support.
  • Before and after school catch-up groups run by Teaching Assistants and Teacher.
  • 1:1 support for pupils with a high level of additional needs.
  • Learning plans to ‘plug-gaps’ in pupil’s knowledge that are reviewed half-termly by the teacher, SENCo, child and parents/guardians.
  • Life-skill lessons run for pupils with specific needs.
  • Targeted phonics group within guided reading classes.

How do we know if it has had an impact?

  • By looking at the progress pupils have made academically against national/age expectations.
  • By tracking the use and effectiveness of interventions throughout the school using provision mapping.
  • Verbal feedback from parents, teachers and the pupil.
  • Formal and informal observations of pupil’s engagement and progress.
  • Pupils moving off of the SEND register when they have made sufficient progress and are no longer receiving additional support.