At South Hetton Primary School we recognise how important a successful transition is to our pupils with additional needs.
If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.
It is incredibly important to us that our school provides a positive learning environment for all children and particularly for children with SEND who may find certain aspects of school difficult or daunting. One area that can be particularly difficult for children with SEND is transition. Transition occurs at many stages throughout school and transition procedures are put in place to support the children, not only on entry and exit, but also within the school.
Early Years Foundation Transition for children with SEND:
Before starting Nursery some children with SEND will have a Portage worker. Their Portage worker will work with them in the home environment to support parents and develop their play skills. Once the child is ready to start Nursery, and after the child’s third birthday, the Portage worker begins transition with the family. The Nursery teacher will do a home visit whilst the Portage worker is at the house. This enables us to see the child in the home environment, chat to parents about choice of Nursery and any needs or concerns they have. The Portage worker will also suggest if the child will need any additional support in the Nursery setting – if so Nursery will have to apply for an Outreach worker who will work with the child for a specific amount of time to meet their needs. If Outreach is applied for the child will not receive an Outreach worker until the term after their third birthday. On the home visit, relevant information will be gathered for the Outreach application, once the application is submitted Durham County Council allocate whether the children are awarded any additional support and for a specific time allocation. Once the child starts Nursery the Portage worker will visit the child in the Nursery setting and will sign the child off. If the child receives an Outreach worker they will attend the Nursery session, take part in whole class activities that can be accessed as well as having specific 1:1 or small group activities to specifically met that child’s needs. Once the child has settled in their Early Years Foundation Baseline assessment will be completed and then a Support Plan will be created stimulating the child’s SMART targets. Any child on a Support Plan will have a Target Book; this will show how targets are being met and a piece of work will be added each week. In preparation for school, a discussion will be held regarding the school parents choose and whether that setting will be right for the child. If parents choose a Special Needs school, relevant specialists and applications will be gathered to apply for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If the child will remain in mainstream school but the parents and school feel that the child will still need additional help an EHCP may be applied for as they will no longer receive Outreach.
Children Entering Nursery
Generally, children will receive many visitors from the Health Visitor before starting Nursery; sometimes these will raise concerns about development, speech or other needs. The Health Visitor will then support the family to receive help for the specific needs and then these will continue to be supported in Nursery. Sometimes this does not happen and Nursery raise concerns about specific challenges the child is facing. Once the child has settled their Early Years Foundation Stage Baseline will be completed. If this shows the child is generally working “below” age related expectations in most areas then the child may be highlighted as a cause for concern and given a passport; this will make staff members aware of needs and ways to support this child. In some instances, It may be felt that the child would benefit from addition to the SEND Register and will be put on a support plan detailing specific targets to help the child reach their full potential and progress in Nursery. Nursery will then apply to any outside agencies to receive additional help for the child. Any child on a Support Plan will have a Target Book showing how targets are being met and a piece of work will be added each week.
Transition to Reception
New starters for Reception children are provided with the following opportunities:
- Parent Open Information Event
- Children’s visits to Reception class in the Summer Term
- Pupils and Parents invited for School Lunch
At South Hetton Primary School we have a flexible approach and additional visit opportunities or multi-agency meetings can be organised if required.
Change can be daunting for any child but more so for a child with SEND. Children who have attended our nursery already have an awareness of their new teacher in Reception as staff members are regularly in and out of the Nursery environment and interact with the children. Along with this, transition days will be carried out to prepare children for their new class. Transition books will be provided for children with SEND over the summer holidays to remind children of their new teacher and classroom. Additional trips to the classroom will be arranged to increase familiarity, confidence in the new environment and to decrease any anxiety. Once children begin Reception, they will gradually build up to full days to prepare them for longer times at school. The Nursery will create Passports and Support Plans ready for the child starting school so that their new teacher is aware of targets, next steps and needs. Their Target Book will be passed up to their new class and will follow them throughout school.
Transition between year groups and key stages
Transition from each Year Group is supported so that the children have met with their new teachers and are familiar with the new classroom environment and organisation.
Transition between key stages can be a particularly daunting event for children with SEND. Transition between key stages includes transition from Reception to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2. Each child with SEND is treated as an individual and their transition needs can vary greatly. Steps to support transition can include, but are not limited to, transition books which are sent home over the Summer holiday detailing new routines, new staff and the new learning environment; additional visits to their new classroom and work sessions with their new teacher, an older ‘buddy’ may be encouraged to support the child in their transition and a ‘tour’ of their new learning environment, including the location of coat pegs, toilets etc. Support Plans and Passports are written by the child’s current teacher in July to provide the child’s new teacher with clear targets and details of that child’s specific needs. Handover meetings are carried out between teachers which provides an opportunity to clearly discuss the needs of individuals and to share any specific characteristics, likes or dislikes.
Transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3
We work in partnership with our feeder secondary schools to provide an enhanced level of transition for those who we feel would benefit from this. This may take the form of additional visits for pupils, one to one / small group working with secondary school staff or pupil mentoring from secondary schools. The period of transition depends on the individual needs of the pupil. If it is felt appropriate secondary school colleagues will attend Annual Reviews to meet the current class teacher, parents and most importantly the pupil. We have found this strategy particularly useful in easing any worries or concerns parents and pupils may have. We are particularly keen to involve parents/carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to secondary school. School staff will take opportunities to work alongside parents/carers to visit secondary schools in advance of secondary placement applications being submitted to the Local Authority.
This ensures parents/carers can make the most informed placement decision for their child. When a secondary school has been allocated to the child, parents are fully involved and consulted at all stages of the transition process.
Transition up to key stage 3 is a difficult time for all pupils but can be particularly difficult for a pupil with SEND. Standard transition procedures from year 6 to their new secondary education setting are already very thorough and include visits from secondary staff to meet with the year 6 teaching team to discuss the needs of all children on an individual basis and transition visits by the children to their new schools. For children with SEND, a meeting will be carried out between the year 6 teaching team and the SENCo at that child’s new education setting. At this meeting, all SEND paperwork and Target Books will be handed up to the new school. In some cases, additional transition days are deemed necessary. The structure of these transition days will be dependent on the child and the new school. In all circumstances, the child will be accompanied by a member of staff from South Hetton Primary School on any additional transition days. Every effort will be made to ensure that this member of staff is one whom the child is both familiar and comfortable with. In the case of a child moving to a specialist provision, transition procedures will take place over several weeks and will include visits to South Hetton Primary School by staff from the new setting to see the child and will also include several transition days for the child within their new school. The exact structure of these transitions is dependent upon the needs of the child and the nature of the new educational setting.
Mid-year transition into South Hetton Primary School from another setting
In some cases, a child may join South Hetton Primary School part way through the academic year. It is important that children are made to feel safe and comfortable when joining our school and this is particularly important in the case of children with SEND. Where a child joining the school has been previously identified as SEND, the SENCo will then contact the SENCo at the previous setting directly to discuss the needs of the child. The child’s SEND file should be shared with the school soon after the child has joined South Hetton Primary School. This file should then provide the SENCo and the class teacher with clear details on outside agency involvement, academic attainment and progress and the specific targets in place to meet the needs of that child. Prior to joining, the parents of the child will be invited in to school to meet with the class teacher and the SENCo to discuss any particular needs that their child may have. During the child’s first weeks at South Hetton Primary School, they will be observed by their teaching team and the SENCo both within class and in the outside environment to assess their needs. Time is taken to become familiar with the child and then, as soon as possible, the class teacher will generate a Support Plan for the child detailing their individual SMART targets and, where appropriate, referrals will be made to any necessary external agencies to identify any areas of need and ensure appropriate support is put in place.