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SEN at South Norwood


At South Norwood Primary School we believe that all children should have equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum which provides opportunities for them to achieve and succeed to their full potential. We recognise that children learn at a different rates and in different ways.

South Norwood Primary School, with a focus on care and guidance, is proud to provide a safe, stimulating and inclusive learning environment where every member of our community is valued and respected. We believe that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have the greatest need for excellent teaching and are entitled to a provision which supports achievement at, and enjoyment of, school. Our aim is to support staff to do this by providing them with relevant continuing professional development and the skills needed to make the biggest impact possible.

What is SEN?

At different times in their school life a child may have a Special Education Need (SEN).  The code of practice defines SEN as follows:

‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for a special educational provision to be made for him/her.  A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.’

Types of SEN

In the Code of Practice, SEN and provision falls under four categories:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional andMental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical

This includes a wide range of needs such as:

  • Moderate learning difficulties and global delay
  • Autism and social communication differences
  • Specific learning differences e.g. dyslexia and dyscalculia
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Visual or auditory difficulties
  • Anxiety, anger and depression

How is SEN identified?

When a child is making significantly slower progress than their peers or is struggling to achieve their predicted potential they could be considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN).

In partnership with the Class teacher, SENCO and parents we will look for any barriers to learning. 

Barriers could include:

  • Absences or lateness
  • Changing schools or moving house
  • Difficulties in speaking English
  • A temporary illness or injury e.g. broken arm
  • Worries or concerns such as a family bereavement
  • Being a young carer

We know that children who experience these types of issues may be vulnerable students but this does not mean they would be identified as a child with SEN.

The learning of all children at South Norwood Primary School is regularly and rigorously assessed.  School leaders check books, observe lessons and monitor the achievement of the children. 

We also use formal assessment to monitor progress:

  • Phonics screening in Year 1
  • SATs in Year 2 and Year 6
  • Salford Reading Assessment
  • SALT assessment
  • Boxall Profile

After collecting information on progress and attainment and following agreement with parents; a child experiencing long term and complex barriers to their learning will be placed on the SEN register. 

Provision for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

The Pioneer Academy Trust Mantra confirms the commitment to ‘Putting children first’ and ‘enabling all children to make excellent progress’. This is translated into practice at South Norwood. 

All pupils are given quality first teaching. This means that class teachers are well trained; lessons are well planned, exciting and differentiated to ensure that all pupils can access the learning at their own level. 

For pupils with SEN this could mean that they are given a slightly different task to achieve or are using visual clues or equipment to help them complete their task. Some may require additional support from the class teacher or teaching assistant as part of a small group, pair or individual. 

Croydon Local Offer

Please click on the link below to read Croydon's local offer


Croydon Locality SEN support

Our school has joined an exciting new initiative by Croydon Council to improve support for children with special needs or disabilities who live in Croydon.

Along with several other schools in our area, we’ve will be given funding to provide earlier and better targeted help and support to SEND youngsters. This will enable our special needs staff to work closely with our partner schools to quickly get the necessary support and help for students who are beginning to demonstrate that they have additional needs which can’t be met through our own school SEND resources.

This early help which may be in the form of advice, school to school support, referral to specialist services, or additional resources can be put in place rapidly without unnecessary delay. This is because our group of schools hold the funding between us so we can direct this to the most suitable children in an efficient targeted way.

The initiative is called “Locality SEND Support” and will run throughout this academic year. Presently the scheme is only for Croydon residents and will not impact on students who already have an Education & Health care Plan or those in Enhanced Learning Provisions.

If you want to learn more about this scheme please contact our SENDCO and we will be happy to send you further details.

Outside Agencies

The use of outside agencies very much depends upon the individual needs. However, some are frequent visitors to school.

1. The Educational Psychologist

Our school Educational Psychologist is Nora. Nora visits Fairchildes regularly and is available for advice. Children are referred to Nora if they are not making the expected progress given the amount of support that they are receiving. Nora observes and assesses the pupil and then, in consultation with the parent, helps the school decide the best way forward for the pupil.

2. Speech and Language Therapy

We are visited once a fortnight by a qualified speech therapist from Words First. Parents and staff can refer children to this service. The children are assessed and a care plan is written. This care plan has actions and targets for the individual. These actions are carried out by the school speech and language team. On occasions the speech therapist themselves may work directly with the pupil.

3. Occupational Therapy

Parents and staff can refer a child to this service. The pupil is assessed and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out both in lessons and in additional OT sessions e.g. Funky Fingers and Gross Motors Skill group.

4. Physiotherapy

Parents and staff can refer a child to this service, the pupil is seen by a physiotherapist and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out as required.

5. Music Therapy

We are visited weekly by Claire our music therapist. Parents and staff can refer a child to this service. The pupil is assessed and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out both in lessons and in music therapy sessions. 

6. Equine Therapy

We have established a relationship with local stablesParents and staff can refer a child to this service. The pupil is assessed and a care plan is written. The care plan has actions and targets for the individuals which are carried out both in lessons and in horse riding sessions. 

Additional Support for children at SN

Additional Literacy Support: 

  • We have a team of well-trained Teachers and Teaching Assistants who work with small groups of children and provide individual support.
  • Children have access (at home and school) to the Bug Club programme to develop their literacy skills.

Additional Maths Support:

  • We target small groups of children throughout the school, giving them additional number work.
  • My Maths and TT rock stars is available for children to reinforce their skills and thoroughly embed their learning.

Occupational Therapy: 

  • We run a Funky Fingers fine motor skills groups for pupils who have a care plan from an Occupational Therapist or who have been selected by their teacher to receive additional support. Time is spent on cutting, threading, writing, sticking etc. Anything to get those fingers working!
  • Some children may require additional apparatus to help them achieve; we take advice from our occupational therapist to ensure that our children have the correct pencil grips, writing slopes, chairs etc.       

 Speech and Language: 

  • We have regular visits from the NHS speech and language therapist who shares her care plans with our speech and language team.
  • We have regular visits from the Wrods First speech and language therapist who shares her care plans with our speech and language team.
  • We have an additional speech and language TA who supports children’s speech and language needs.
  • Any difficulties in communication are identified quickly and the appropriate support put in place.

1:1 Teaching Assistant Support 

Some children might need short term individual support to help them achieve academically or to help them manage their physical needs. 

Pastoral Support

We know that a child cannot learn unless he or she is ready to do so emotionally. We are fortunate to have a family worker as well as our own counselling service (PLace2Be) to support our children's emotional needs.

Enhanced Learning Provision (ELP)

We provide 14 places for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD).  All the children who attend the ELP have an Education Health and Care Plan and admission is through the Croydon SEN panel.

Children who attend the ELP will be taught in small groups with a higher adult to pupil ratio.  Whenever possible, children will access their mainstream class with support.

The ELP is an integral part of the provision offered by South Norwood Primary School.  While the admission process is different and the children in the ELP may experience a modified curriculum; we have the same high expectations and they enjoy the equality of opportunity that the mainstream children enjoy.

How skilled are the staff?

We have an extensive staff at South Norwood who continuously look to develop their practice and extend their expertise.

An ongoing programme of training is in place to ensure that teachers and support staff have appropriate skills and knowledge. This includes:

  • Literacy strategies
  • Maths strategies
  • Autism
  • Makaton
  • Phonics
  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding

Our staff also engaging in outreach support from local special schools.

We have regular staff meetings where all members share ideas to promote successful learning strategies. 

The SENCO (Miss Maher) attends local authority SENCO briefing meetings as well as being part of the SENCO cluster. 

How will I know if my child is making progress?

South Norwood has an open door policy. Parents and carers are welcome to make an appointment to discuss their child’s progress at any time. Class teachers are available after school to speak to parents.

Parents can see the SENCO or member of the inclusion team at any time.

Formal parents' evenings are held three times a year. At these meetings the parents of children with SEN will be given a copy of their child's Individual Education Plan (IEP). This is an opportunity to discuss your child's progress and to help make new targets for the coming term.

Each child receives a written report at the end of the school year detailing his/her progress.

The progress of pupils at South Norwood is monitored very closely. We aim for all of our pupils to make outstanding progress:

  • Teachers meet with SLT each term. Children's work is scrutinised and levels of progress recorded.
  • SLT and class teacher meet with the SENCO to discuss the type of intervention that a child might need.
  • The SENCO monitors the progress in each intervention provision and meets regularly with the leaders of provisions to discuss individuals and any necessary changes that need to be made to provisions.
  • The SENCO meets with the Inclusion Governor to discuss specific provisions and provides data to show their impact.

See the SEN policy here: https://thepioneeracademy.co.uk/croydon/primary/south-norwood/site/pages/letterspolicies/policies