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School News

SEN Local Offer

St Peter’s London Docks Primary School Local Offer

Mental Health Assembly part 1

Anxiety Assembly

Belief and truth Assembly

Deaf Awareness Assembly

ADHD Assembly

Inclusion Assembly

ASD Assembly

Dyslexia Assembly

Our Local Offer describes the range of provision to support identified children as and when appropriate. This Offer is subject to change depending on budgetary constraints and policy review.

How we support children with Special Educational Needs and Disability

Our vision and how we hope to achieve it

The staff are proud that inclusion is at the heart of all our practice. We believe that an inclusive school is a successful, happy school.   We aim to provide an environment that is a safe, respectful and fun place for every pupil to learn. By staff ‘living’ the schools vision and values we ensure that all pupils are included in all aspects of learning and school life. Our values also inform how we work with parents and each other as a staff team.

“The thing I like most about the school is that every child is encouraged to have aspirations and is supported to achieve them”

(Year 2 parent July 2014)


About the school

St Peter’s is a one form entry inclusive, multi-cultural Church of England Primary School with a nursery with children aged 3-11 years old. We welcome children of all faiths and none.

“The thing I like best about the school is the sense of care and community” (Year 4 parent 2014)


Our Ofsted rating

Good (2014)


How we know if a child has special educational needs or disability needs (SEND)

Special educational needs & disability provision is that which is additional to or different from that made for other children of the same age. Special needs can be divided in four main areas. Children may have needs in one or more of these needs:


  • communication and interaction (attention, interaction, understanding & receptive language, speech & expressive language)
  • cognition and learning (language, memory, sequencing, understanding of number, problem solving, independent learning skills, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyscalculia)
  • behaviour, social and emotional well being
  • sensory and /or physical (fine and gross motor skills, specific medical conditions, visual / hearing impairment, physically accessing the building and resources, over sensitivity to noise, smells, light, touch or taste, toileting & self-care)

The school has rigorous monitoring and tracking procedures to identify children who require extra support. Meetings are attended by all staff working with the pupils and the leadership team (Head, Deputy, SENCO) three times a year. Parent meetings are held in the autumn and spring terms with and an optional meeting in the summer term after reports are sent out. Concerns which arise with children outside of these times are acted on immediately.

We use the knowledge gained through regular formal and informal meetings with parents to

listen to concerns from home about a child’s specific needs and share our observations about what is seen during the school day. We take parental concerns seriously and this process allows us to share information and identify the nature of a child’s needs. We then use a combination of in-school expertise or involve external agencies to write a ‘Learning Passport’ (individual education plan) and/or action plan if necessary.

In addition, staff teams meet regularly with the Head, Deputy and SENCO to discuss children’s progress and identify any potential barriers to learning. This information is also used to feed into plans of action to support children’s needs.


What we do to help children with special educational needs

We recognize that for some children additional support will be needed for a shorter period of time, which includes transitions into or out of school or offering support when pupils are going through significant changes at home. Other children will require support for longer periods of time to ensure they can access the curriculum effectively and be included fully in classroom learning and school events. Support will be planned by school staff and where appropriate by external professionals.

High quality teaching is provided in all classes. For SEND children, learning and/or the learning environment needs to be personalised to meet their needs. This may take the form of: presenting work in a certain way, additional adult support (one to one or small group) or involving specialist staff or support services. We see our role at St Peter’s as not only maximising these children’s learning but enabling their social interactions to flourish. We have had feedback from many professionals working at school that children with SEND develop meaningful friendships with their peers. Where this is not the case, appropriate action will be taken following consultation with parents.

“Calm , loving and nurturing environment. School doesn’t teach ‘academics ‘only but emphasis is put on values, social and cultural development. Lots of exciting trips and activities”

(Year 1 parent)


Staff Roles

  • The SENCO Phillipa Noronha is the teacher responsible for the management and provision of all pupils with SEND. The SENCO coaches and support teachers and support staff to enable them to provide appropriate assessment and deliver focused provision for these pupils. Teacher observations, note keeping and gathering of evidence from a variety of sources are all vital in fully assessing a pupil. The SENCO runs weekly training session for TAs and LSAs.
  • In addition both the Head and Deputy have experience of working as SENCOs and therefore the leadership team has a high level of expertise.
  • The school has two HLTAs (high level teaching assistants). Charlotte Gray leads on maths interventions at KS2.
  • Two Elkan (speech therapy) trained TAs, work with children who have additional language and communication needs.
  • Children with statements work with learning support assistants at different times during the day. The teaching focus is on supporting children’s learning but also encouraging these children to gain increasing levels of independence.
  • Teaching assistants work with classes to support individuals and groups by delivering intervention programs.
  • Support staff are line managed by the Head Teacher, Deputy and SENCO, so that the needs of specific children can be discussed and support planned.Three times a year whole school assessments are carried out. The results are discussed in depth at meetings for each class with the Head, Deputy, SENCO, class teacher, teaching assistants and learning support assistants . The success and impact of interventions are carefully analyzed for effectiveness. We recognize from experience however that, the effectiveness of many interventions such as daily reading, Toe by Toe and First Class at Number for example are cumulative and might not be evident immediately.“I have been doing Toe by Toe since year 3, it helped me with my spelling and phonics unbelievably!” (Year 6 child)The effect of provision for children with SEN is monitored by tracking progress, gaining feedback from children and tailoring interventions to the needs of children. Where children aren’t making expected progress, tough questions are asked and plans put in place.Our end of key stage 2 results show that children on the SEN register make good progress.


How we adapt our teaching for children with special educational needs

The schools priority is on excellent quality first teaching by the class teacher with well differentiated lessons. Part of this process involves the use of specific teaching and learning strategies discussed with the leadership team and sometimes outside professionals.


Teachers plan lessons based on the most recent assessment of each child’s learning to make sure it is appropriate to learning needs. The SENCO observes lessons and looks at the work in pupil’s books to check this is happening. She also looks closely at the progress data for children with special educational needs at termly pupil progress meetings.   Where necessary plans are changed to find a more effective approach.


Learning difficulties

  • AFL (assessment for learning) ensures we constantly feedback next steps for learning to children
  • Small group in class support for English and maths
  • Children from Year 1 upwards receive spelling and reading homework.
  • The school employs a literacy consultant, Nina Birch to support all aspects of literacy teaching in school with the literacy co-ordinator. The school uses a scheme called ‘Dramatic Improvement’ for the teaching of literacy lessons. This has a strong focus on teaching through drama so that children orally rehearse their thinking before committing to paper. It uses personal, social, moral and environmental themes as its basis.
  • Daily one to one reading for targeted children with TAs and reading volunteers.
  • Business partners from the local community listen to readers who require additional support weekly
  • Book clubs run by the librarian.

Specific learning difficultly (SPLD) support: 5 minute literacy and numeracy box, Toe by Toe, Direct Phonics, phonics into spelling work and one to one or small group work with the SENCO. In Key stage 2 books are available which are high interest, but with a lower reading age. These have proved very popular with our reluctant readers. Exercise books with coloured paper for writing and coloured acetates for reading are available.

  • Children who are not making expected progress in reading may receive additional support during guided reading or in a small group outside of class.
  • The Deputy Head oversees maths teaching to ensure it is always high quality.
  • The school follows the Primary Advantage maths scheme. This is very effective and children make rapid progress on this scheme.
  • Children from Year 1 upwards receive regular maths homework in the form of number facts (including number bonds and times tables)
  • Maths interventions : first class at number 1 and 2, Success at Arithmetic and Numicon
  • One to one tuition in English and maths at key stage 2
  • Stephen Hawking outreach team support children with complex needs.

Communication, speech and language

  • Programmes are identified for children where concerns are identified. For example speech therapy (individual and group work) is provided by our Elkan trained TAs, Speech bubble in Year 1,2,3 (a year-long intervention run by the Half Moon Theatre), Spirals communication programme(EYFS), oral to narrative KS 2 pack and Language for Thinking programme.
  • Children with more complex difficulties have a learning passport that outlines key strategies to be used in class.
  • Children with statements or personal education plans which indicate a communication, speech or language need receive additional assessment from the local authority speech and language therapy service, who plan for these children and train staff to deliver programmes.
  • Children with other speech and language difficulties may also be referred to the speech and language service for assessment by the SENCO where staff and / or parents have concerns. The school will endeavour to put into practice any advice given.
  • Teaching memory techniques to help children to follow instructions and build on the information they know
  • Pre-teaching vocabulary to understand the language of books and curriculum subject language

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Where concerns are raised about the possibility of a child having ASD, a referral will be made for assessment.
  • When a child is identified as having ASD, the school works in partnership with the Phoenix Outreach Team. Phoenix staff support children in accessing the curriculum, meeting their personal, communication and care needs and they provide training for staff.
  • Social stories are written to support children in establishing routines and behaviours and with changes at home and school (such as trips and new teachers).
  • Resources available: visual timetables in every classroom and for individual children, use of emotions boards and now, next and then sheets to help children organise and follow learning.

 Social emotional and behavioural difficulties

  • Extensive PSHE –personal social and health education- with circle times, circle of friends and assemblies
  • Seasons for Growth (small group programme for children who have experienced loss and change in their lives), home school books, music therapist, Reach Out – a mentoring charity working with Year 6.
  • Parenting programme (Strengthening Families) run by two trained teaching assistants.

Where difficulties persist, referral may be made to CAMHS, Tower Hamlets behaviour support team or the Cherry Trees Outreach Team.


Medical needs

  • Children with identified medical needs such as asthma, epilepsy and diabetes have health care plans drawn up by the school nurse.
  • The school nursing team train staff where necessary.


Physical needs

  • The school is on one level, has ramps and disabled toilet / shower access. It is fully wheelchair accessible.
  • Children may be referred to the occupational and physiotherapy services. The school will endeavour to put into practice any advice given.
  • Where children have identified physical needs, we work with the local authority specialist support teacher to support children in accessing the curriculum, in meeting their personal care needs and providing training for staff.
  • Identified children may work in a small adult led focus group or one to one for part of the time.
  • Movement programme in the early years (INPP)
  • Handwriting and touch typing programmes


Sensory difficulties

  • Where children are identified as having a hearing and visual impairment, the school works alongside the teacher of the deaf / teacher of the visually impaired to support children in accessing the curriculum and providing training for staff.
  • Identified children may work in a small adult focus group or one to one for part of the time.


How we decide what resources we can give to a child with special educational needs

The SENCO and Head Teacher use assessment and observation evidence to decide on what additional resources are needed for children in the school who have additional needs. Where needs are complex or have a major impact on a child’s learning, development or ability to access the curriculum, then parents will be closely involved in deciding precisely what will enable their children to thrive. The school may also draw on the advice of other professionals such as the educational psychologist and specialist services.


How we check that a child is making progress and how we keep parents informed

Children’s progress is monitored on a daily basis through marking and feedback and more formally (as previously described). Children’s special needs progress can be communicated to parents throughout the year, as the need arises. Formally however progress is communicated at parent teacher conferences. Parents are helped to support their child’s learning through these meetings. Rationale for provision is explained and ways that the parent can support their child at home in partnership with the school.

Children with statements have a ‘child centred’ annual review. The child, parents, schools staff and other professionals are fully involved in this process, with the views of the parents, child and their peers sought. The review looks at the effectiveness of provision and makes changes where necessary, including referrals to other services.

School uses the ‘Grow’ model to facilitate solution focused thinking, which enables us to work in a way that encourages creative thinking to find solutions to issues. Where difficult conversations occur (which come from either parents or the school) we sit with parents/carers to find solutions.

Parent workshops are offered by the English and maths subject leaders to help parents understand how we teach their children in these areas.

“When I had concerns about my child’s progress it was dealt with promptly by the teacher and SENCO. I feel that the school genuinely cares about the progress of every individual child and I think it feels like an incredibly supportive environment”

(Year 2 parent 2014)

Children’s well being

Children’s well-being is integral to our SEN provision, consequently we place considerable emphasis on supporting pupils in this area.

The school uses a ‘Stay on Green’ behaviour management system across the school and offers a restorative justice approach where necessary for solving issues between pupils.

We have a learning mentor full time in school, supporting children’s learning and behaviour. Lunchtime staff and TAs (teaching assistants) have been trained to help all children gain the most from their break times.

The SENCO runs Seasons For Growth groups to support children who have had loss or change in their lives, to help given them strategies to come to terms with this. The SENCO and TAs also run Circle of Friends for children who need support with friendships.

“My son was talking about a sunflower, with a friend in the car. They mentioned that planting it was part of their Season’s group. My son said, “We always have changes and some of them are good and some of them not so good”. To which they both agreed. My son then said “And this is a good change now as you are coming to my house”.

(parent of Year 2 child whose parents had separated who attended an 8 week Season’s group with the SENCo)

“Before I had really much trouble finding friends”.

(year 3 child at end of circle of friends group)

Two TAs are qualified to run the Strengthening Families parenting course which runs over … weeks. It is run with a local primary school.

Parents can attend our weekly coffee mornings on Fridays. Throughout the year outside agencies offer training to parents on issues such as: anti-bullying, volunteering in your child’s school, drug and gang awareness and explaining the changes to housing benefit.

“My son was talking about a sunflower, with a friend in the car. They mentioned that planting it was part of their Season’s group. My son said, “We always have changes and some of them are good and some of them not so good”. To which they both agreed. My son then said “And this is a good change now as you are coming to my house”.

(parent of Year 2 child whose parents had separated who attended an 8 week Season’s group with the SENCo)

“Before I had really much trouble finding friends”.

(year 3 child at end of circle of friends group)


Two TAs are qualified to run the Strengthening Families parenting course which runs over … weeks. It is run with a local primary school.

Parents can attend our weekly coffee mornings on Fridays. Throughout the year outside agencies offer training to parents on issues such as: anti-bullying, volunteering in your child’s school, drug and gang awareness and explaining the changes to housing benefit.

Children’s health.

The school has achieved the ‘Healthy Schools’ award. Fruit is provided at morning break for all pupils. School lunches are freshly prepared on the premises and run like a ‘family dining table’ with food served on each table from platters by pupils. A cookery club is run at school for parents to promote healthy choices.

The school nurse writes care plans or notifications with parents for identified children with ongoing medical needs. Asthma lists for children requiring inhalers are kept in school. Parents must bring an asthma card (signed by a doctor) to school and are responsible for bringing new asthma pumps to school once old ones expire.

We have high number of staff who are trained as first aiders, so that if a child is unwell or has an accident there is someone qualified on hand. Medical notes are sent home following accidents and parents informed by phone if necessary.

Our policy is that only medicines prescribed by doctors, with a signed letter can only be given to children.

Professionals working with the school to support children’s health and well being :

  • School social worker who works with the school every Tuesday morning. She carries out invaluable work with all members of the school community, supporting parent/carers with any issues they may have relating to parenting. Parents either self-refer or are referred by the school.
  • Educational psychologist
  • Social workers, psychotherapists and psychologist from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)
  • School nurse
  • Behaviour support teacher
  • Music therapist
  • Reach Out (mentoring charity)

Specialist external services we use when we think extra help is needed

We work alongside professionals allocated to meet children’s specific needs: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, CAMHS, Stephen Hawking School Outreach teachers (Tower Hamlets special school), Phoenix Outreach teachers (Tower Hamlets school for children with autism) ,Cherry Trees Outreach (behaviour specialist school), visually impaired support teachers, teachers of the deaf and the Language and communication teaching team, disability advisory teachers and business partners (Societe Generale and AON).

The SENCO makes referrals to these services as needed.

The training our staff have had or are getting

At St Peter’s, staff training is considered crucial to informing and developing the practice of every member of staff in the school so that we can better meet children’s needs. In terms of SEND we train staff to understand the children they are working and encourage staff to be proactive in suggesting courses which will help their professional development. Staff have been trained internally and by outside course providers in :autism, phonics, dyslexia, restraint, behaviour, epilepsy, diabetes, 1st Class at Number 1 and 2, Success at Arithmetic, Primary Advantage maths, the development of middle leaders and NVQ3 in complex needs.

The school have an equalities working party.

‘I am much more confident about what I am doing and why I am doing it. The course tutor and SENCo supported me throughout.’

TA attending a NVQ3 course (Specialist support for teaching and learning ins school)

How we include children in activities and school trips

Educational visits are given high status at St Peter’s School, these are carefully planned for children with additional medical, physical or learning needs   Risk assessments are carried out for classes and individual children.

Parents of special needs children are invited on some trips. To prepare children for trips the SENCO and class teacher might meet with parents. The use of a visual timetables and social stories supports this process. Pre-visits for residential trips are arranged if possible for children who are worried about staying away from home and ‘support groups’ offered to children where they meet with the SENCO to chat through any concerns they might have before residential visits.

Our school environment

The building is fully wheelchair accessible and we have a disabled changing area, toilet and shower in the early years and Key stage 2 corridor. There are areas around school for children’s specific resources to be stored.

Equipment to support children with special needs is purchased via their statement funding or via physiotherapy e.g wheelchairs and walkers. The SENCO is responsible for ensuring these are in good condition and correctly functioning.

Please see the schools Single Equalities Policy.

How we prepare for children joining our school and leaving our school

When children with SEN join the school parents/carers are met by the Head and SENCO to discuss the child’s needs and provision. It is important that we gain as much information as possible from parents, so that we understand their child’s specific needs. We liaise with children’s previous childcare settings and schools if a child has been identified as having special needs and plan transitions both for children entering and leaving the school. The SENCo and class teacher visit the child in their current setting initially, followed by the child visiting our school.

We believe in positive goodbyes at St Peter’s, whilst acknowledging we will be sorry to see children move on. The SENCO liaises with the next school and plans visits if necessary to ensure that children with special needs are well prepared for their transition. Year 6 children with statements attend independent travel training in Tower Hamlets.

“We are so grateful to St Peters school for the support they provided our son and us during the period we relocated – our son, struggles so much with change and St Peters school assisted us when we moved.”

(parents of adopted child)

How parents are involved in school life

We have an open-door policy and work in close partnership with parents. Parents who have concerns can make an appointment to see the class teacher, SENCo, Head or Deputy. Our in-school parent support partner, Mrs Zahri is available for parents who need someone additional in school to talk to if they think their child has additional needs.

St Peter’s gained the Leading Parent Partnership Award in July 2014. This reflects the value we place on parental engagement. The school formally consults parents once a year via questionnaire and feed the findings from this into the school development plan as required.

We organise many different activities to involve parents in the life of the school. For example we run volunteering in your child’s school courses, organise parent child days out (seaside, Olympic Park), curriculum workshops and a weekly Friday coffee mornings. We have Bengali speaking staff who are available to translate for our Bangladeshi parents.

We are fortunate to employ a school social worker Shahanz Choudhury, who works in school every Tuesday morning. She offers parenting advice and supports parents with other issues which they may require help with.

Tower Hamlets Parents Advice Centre (30 Great Orex Street, Whitechapel, E1 5NP tel: 0207 364 6489) is accessed by parents who require additional support.

Who to contact for more information or to discuss a concern

If parents wish to discuss an issue about their child they can make an appointment with the class teacher. We ask this because teachers are usually busy settling their classes at the start and end of the school day, so this is not a convenient time to have discussions. If matters are pressing a member of the leadership team Mrs Dickson (Head) or Ms Noronha (Assistant Head and SENCO) are available at the start and end of the day.

The SENCO Phillipa Noronha will answer any questions parents may have, talk through concerns with new or existing parents, make referrals to outside agencies and apply for statutory assessment. Appointments can be made to see the SENCO or she is usually in the playground at the beginning and end of the day, should you need an informal chat. Please contact her via the school office on 0207 4883050.

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