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What are Special Educational Needs?

Where a child has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than their peers, or a disability that prevents or hinders a child from making use of our facilities, we will endeavour to make that provision. In all cases, early identification and intervention can significantly reduce the need for more intervention at a later stage. Pupils are identified as having special educational needs if they continue to make inadequate progress once they have experienced interventions, adjustments and good quality personalised teaching. The purpose of identification at our school is to work out what action we can take to remove barriers to learning, not simply to fit the pupil into a category.

Children’s special educational needs are generally thought of in the following four broad areas of need:

Communication and interaction (includes speech, language and communication needs, autistic spectrum disorder, social interaction difficulties)

Cognition and learning (can include general learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia)

Social, emotional and mental health (includes challenging, disturbing or difficult behaviour, attention disorders, attachment disorder, depression and anxiety)

• Sensory and/or physical needs (can include hearing or visual impairment, physical disability, some medical conditions)

These areas give an overview of the range of needs that we plan for. However, individual children often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children with an Autism Spectrum Condition may have needs across all areas. The special educational provision that we make for a child is based on an understanding of their unique strengths and needs and we seek to address them all, using well-evidenced interventions targeted at areas of difficulty and, where necessary, specialist equipment or software. This will help to overcome barriers to learning and participation. We aim to provide family-centred support whenever this is appropriate.