Special Educational Needs & Disability

Our Vision:

• Everybody is welcomed, respected and valued.
• We will help every child to achieve high standards in their learning in order to reach their full potential.
• We celebrate achievement and recognize success.
• We have high expectations of all.
• We have teaching and learning at the heart of all we do.
• We foster a thirst of learning and working together.
• We celebrate and embrace diversity.

The SEND Code of Practice (Department for Education 2014) states ‘All children and young people should expect to receive an education that enables them to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, and become confident, able to communicate their own views and ready to make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training.’  This is at the heart of our approach to all children at John Gulson, particularly those with SEND.


The key principles of the SEND Code of Practice are:

  • working with children, young people and their parents to participate in decision-making;
  • collaboration with partners in education, health and social care to provide support;
  • early identification of the needs of children and the focus on inclusive practices;
  • high quality provision to meet the needs of children with SEND.

General statement

At John Gulson School we believe all of our pupils, regardless of gender, ethnicity, ability, disability or sexuality, are entitled to a high quality education which will maximise their life chances.  We recognise some children find it more difficult to learn, and therefore may have a special educational need or disability (SEND).

This page is intended to answer any questions you may have regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and how we support children at John Gulson Primary School.

When are children classed as having SEND?

The majority of children at John Gulson are able to reach the learning aims for their age.  Pupils are identified as having SEN when they do not make the expected progress given their age and individual circumstance, or where a learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision.  Typically, children with SEN in our school have difficulties with speaking and language, learning generally (especially reading and/or writing), social or emotional development, and sensory difficulties with sight or hearing.

How do you know if a pupil has SEND and what support will they receive?

Making high quality teaching available to all children is key in our approach to SEND.  The graduated approach is then followed, which involves assess, plan, do, review.  Our class teachers closely monitor the progress made by all the children.  Group interventions are put in place for any children who need support in a particular area to meet national expected progress.  If teachers are still concerned, they will ask advice from the SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator).  The SENDCo helps class teachers to plan activities, such as small group work or special programmes, to help the child.  If the child still does not make good progress, the SENDCo and class teacher will meet with parents/carers and together agree what additional SEND support will be put in place, which may involve external agencies.  The child is central in every part of this process, and is kept informed throughout to ensure their complete inclusion in decision making.

A child may not make expected progress at any point during a child’s education.  In order to remove any barriers for learning, teachers put in place a variety of ways of teaching so your child is fully involved in learning in class.  This may involve things like using more practical learning or providing different resources adapted for your child.  Your child’s teacher will also put in place specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or staff from outside agencies) to enable your child to access the learning task. All children in school are able to receive this.

How do you identify if the SEND provision is effective?

The progress of all children is closely monitored throughout the school year. If children are identified as needing SEND support, specific outcomes are identified and additional support is given to the child. This usually entails a specific intervention over a set number of weeks, usually 6-8. A baseline assessment is taken at the start of the intervention, ensuring progress can be measured when targets are reviewed. If a child makes better than expected progress during the invention, they will complete the programme earlier; similarly if they are struggling, adaptations will be made so the pupil is given the best chance of succeeding.
Regular parent’s evenings ensure parents are kept up to date about their children’s progress towards targets. Personal targets are shared with parents/carers at this time. Parents are welcome to contact the SENDCo at any point throughout the year for updates, and some meetings may involve parents and the SENDCo. Meetings with external agencies and other professionals may also take place when a child has an assessment undertaken by a specialist support teacher (e.g. SMEHL (Social, mentalhealth, emotional health and learning); Educational Psychologist Service (EP); Complex Communication Team (CTT); Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS); School Nursing Team; Occupational Health Team and the Early Years SEN Referral Team

How is the school site adapted to the needs of all children?

The school site is specially equipped to support the needs of all children, including those with SEND.  All classrooms are equipped with sound fields to support children with hearing impairments; the site has been adapted for the use of wheel chair users and there is a hygiene suite on site.  The school building has also been adapted to support the needs of children with visual impairments so they can fully access the learning environment.  Staff receive regular training and support in dealing with a range of medical issues they may encounter such as asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.

At lunchtime and playtimes, the school uses trained play-leaders, coaches, learning mentors and TAs to support behaviour and target individuals who may have social and emotional difficulties.

In classrooms, children have access to a variety of equipment that is designed to support their learning e.g. specially adapted tools, braille machines, visual timetables etc.  Further details on accessibility are available in our Accessibility Plan from the link below.

How does John Gulson School support pupils’ social and emotional development?

Our school provides a number of opportunities to support children with social and emotional difficulties.  In class, activities are timetabled into the curriculum which include circle time lessons, assemblies, PSHE lessons and Circle of Friends groups.  Interventions which cater towards specific needs for particular children are also planned and carried out.

Playtime and in school social support is given by the school learning mentors, family support worker and play leaders.  Pastoral support is also provided by senior members of staff who work with specific year groups or children.

Outside support for school is provided by the Educational Psychology Service, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and LAWSS (Learning and Wellbeing Support Services) as well as other specialised services which offer counselling support.

How does the school aid transition between classes and schools?

At John Gulson, all transition to new classes and schools is carefully monitored.  Across the school, children are given the opportunity to spend time with their new class teacher before moving classes, as well as extra sessions for specific children.  Visual approaches are used, such as photos of new teachers, alongside class swaps.  Outside agencies such as LAWSS may be involved with 1 to 1 or small group work on moving classes, and our Learning Mentors also work with certain groups.

Year 6 children follow a detailed program of transition work to prepare them for moving to secondary school. This includes visits to and from the school, class work in school and visiting teachers who work with small groups to look at transition.

How is the school learning environment adapted for children with SEN or disabilities?

John Gulson Primary School takes all reasonable steps to adapt the environment to meet the needs of all children.  The school has a disabled toilet and a hygiene suite.  It is all on one floor, and accessible without the use of steps or stairs.

What training have the adults at John Gulson received?

The school has a school improvement plan which includes identified training needs for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND.  This may include whole school training on SEND issues or to support identified groups of learners in school, such as autism, dyslexia, etc.  Teachers and support staff also attend training courses run by outside agencies which are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. from LAWSS, or medical /health training to support staff in implementing care plans, as well as working closely with specialists from external support services.

Where can I find information about the SEND Practice and Policy at John Gulson School?

Our SEND Policy is available here: 

John Gulson SEN Policy 2018 (801 KiB)

Our Accessibility Plan is available here:

Our Medical Policy is available here:

Medical Policy 2014 (434 KiB)

Our Admissions Policy is available here:

Coventry Council Admissions Policy (226 KiB)

Contact details for support services are available:

Contact Details For SEND (108 KiB)

Our school SENDCo is Mrs Webberley Holmes.  If you would like any advice or information regarding SEND, please contact her on 024 76227791 or at senco@johngulson.coventry.sch.uk.

Our SEND school governor is Jane Friswell (Chair of Governors).  If you wish to contact her, please let the school office know.

Please also feel free to contact our school Family Support Worker, Jane Jacobs, and our Learning Mentors, Magdy Shebl and Jean-Pierre Mbarushimana if you have any concerns regarding your child’s wellbeing.

Who should I contact if I’m not happy with my child’s learning and/or progress?

If you are unhappy with any aspect of SEND support, please contact your child’s class teacher or the SENDCo.  If the issue is not resolved, please ask to meet the headteacher.  If this does not resolve the issue, please follow the school complaints procedure:

Other useful information

Acronym Buster (33 KiB)

Glossary Of Terms (282 KiB)