Learning Support and SEN - FAQs


Do you offer Learning Support?

As a small school, we are able to both scaffold and support as well as strengthen and stretch pupils academically within the classroom. We do offer one to one LS for a small number of children that may need additional support in English or Maths. 

How does the Early Years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
Because of the small size of the classes and the staffing ratio, staff in the Early Years setting are able to get to know individual children and their needs well. If there are any concerns, staff can raise concerns through the referral process to the Learning Support Department. This would then lead to observation, assessment and planning processes to ensure the needs of the child are adequately met. If parents are concerned, they can raise them with members of staff directly or with the Headmistress.  


How will Early Years setting staff support my child?

The Early Years setting staff will work closely with the Learning Support team to develop an appropriate programme for your child as necessary. This will be a personalised approach so will very much depend on the need identified. The Head of Learning Support will work closely with staff to implement and review the programme. Regular meetings with parents take place in order to monitor progress and effectiveness. This will be explained by the Early Years setting staff, the Head of Learning Support or the Headmistress. 

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Because of small class sizes, effective differentiation can be carried out. If necessary, a personal learning plan can be developed. Extra literacy and numeracy support in the early years can be provided by the Learning Support team.

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Staff are available at the beginning and end of the day to discuss progress with parents. Formal parents’ evenings are held every term to discuss progress. Regular contact is by a home/school book, and suggestions are made for homework and reading. Reports on progress are sent home once a term. Regular reading mornings and phonics training are offered to parents.

What support will there by for my child’s overall well-being?

Each class is assigned to a Lead Tutor who creates the link between staff and pupils. They are available at the start and end of each day for parents to discuss the well-being of their child, and they update the other staff accordingly. 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the Early Years setting?

The school’s Head of Learning Support has specialist qualifications in the assessment of Specific Learning Difficulties, and the Learning Support Teacher has specialist teaching qualifications in specific learning difficulties. If it is felt that other referrals are necessary, such as Occupational Therapy, then parents can be put in touch with the relevant professional via the school.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

In-service training includes safeguarding and first aid.

Staff have attended phonics training within the school setting and this is regularly updated. Staff are advised by the SEN Department about how best to meet the needs of each child.

Further training will be provided regularly via INSET and in-house.

How will my child be included in activities outside the Early Years setting, including school trips?

Parents are informed of upcoming activities via letter and email. The expectation is that all children are included in all external activities, including swimming and school trips.

How accessible is the Early Years setting environment? (indoors and outdoors)

The Early Years setting environment has its own play area, which is available at all times for the EY pupils. Each classroom is furnished and resourced with equipment appropriate in age and function for this age group.

How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the main school or transfer to a new setting/school?

Prospective pupils can come for a ‘taster day’ to see if they enjoy the school. Parents are encouraged to meet with key staff and the Headmistress to discuss their child’s particular needs. All relevant information can be transferred to the new setting as appropriate.

How are the Early Years setting’s resources allocated and matched to the children’s special educational needs?

All support, whether small groups or one-to-one, is provided as part of the cost of school fees. There are no extra charges for these additional methods of support.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Each child is considered on an individual basis and any concerns are raised with the Headmistress or the Head of Learning Support. If concerns are raised, children are referred to the Learning Support Department, which then carries out observations and plan interventions as necessary. If it is felt that the child should have specific targets, an Individual Education Plan can be drawn up, which is reviewed every six months. This is drawn up in consultation with the class teacher and will include specific targets and areas of support.

How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?

Parents are invited to attend a number of events relating to the education of their child, including parents’ evenings, information sessions and individual meetings with the Headmistress as necessary. All teachers involved with the child will be available at the beginning and the end of the day should parents wish to discuss anything.

Who can I contact for further information?

The first point of contact would be your child’s teacher or key worker. You can also contact the Headmistress– Mrs Emma Smyth – for further information. Our learning support teachers, Mrs Jo Gear and Mrs Serena Reynolds can both be contacted via the main school phone number **01730 813243** or email admin@conifersschool.com FAO Jo Gear or Serena Reynolds.