Sturminster Marshall First School

Sturminster Master First School

Tel: 01258 857348        

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School Information Report 2018 - 2019

The new SEND code of practice (updated 2015) requires all schools and academies to publish information about their SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS and DISABILITY (SEND) provision. In Dorset, this forms part of a Local Offer, which provides information and guidance on services for children and young people, aged 0-25, with SEND. Information regarding education, health, social care, preparing for adulthood and leisure can be found on this dedicated website.

https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/local-offer

Who should I talk to if I think my child may have additional needs?

In the first instance it is always best to approach the Class Teacher with any SEND concerns. They will then pass these concerns to the Inclusion Leader via a ‘cause for concern’ form. However you can always arrange an appointment with the Inclusion Leader directly, through the school office if you feel your concerns are not being addressed sufficiently. 

If the school has a concern regarding SEND and your child then the Class Teacher will arrange an informal meeting with you to discuss any concerns at the earliest available opportunity. If necessary a further meeting will be arranged which may include the Inclusion Leader, Headteacher or an external agency.

Sturminster Marshall provides a range of opportunities for parents to consult with school staff.

Tel: 01258 857348

Email: senco@sturminstermarshall.dorset.sch.uk.

What support is available for children with SEND?

Mrs Charman is supported by Mrs Main (Specialist Teacher). We have 2 ELSAs, 2 Teaching Higher Level Teaching

She is supported by Mrs K Main who also holds the National Award for SEND Co-ordination and the OCR Level 7 Diploma in Assessing Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Our Inclusion Governor is Mrs P Barnes

Who are the people providing services to the children?

At Sturminster Marshall First School we have supported children with various Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. These have included Dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Hearing Loss and Down’s Syndrome. Over the last year we have been able to offer a range of interventions: First Class @ Number 1 and 2, Move to Learn, Benchmarking Reading Intervention, ELSA, Nurture, 1:1 Drawing and Talking Support, Individual Speech and Language sessions, Sensory Circuits and Teaching and Assessment including Dyslexia Screening. Assistants trained in First Class @ Number 1 and 2, a ‘Learn To Move’ trained Teaching Assistant, ‘Mosaic’ trained Teaching Assistants, ELKLAN trained Speech and Language Teaching Assistant and a member of Teaching Staff who attended the Early Bird training through Beaucroft School.

What support is available to parents of children with SEND?

At Sturminster Marshall First school we have supported children with different needs which include specific learning difficulties (dyslexia), speech and learning difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Condition, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), Social and emotional difficulties.

Over the last year we have been able to offer a wide range of support including:

- Booster groups including groups including maths, reading and phonics

- One to one phonics intervention

- Emotional literacy/ nurture groups. These groups are with a trained Teaching Assistant to provide emotional and social skills support including self-esteem, friendships.

- 1 to 1 drawing therapy

- Motor control groups for gross and fine motor skills support

- 1stclass@number 1 and 2 groups that are led with trained HLTAs.

- Relaxation sessions with Relax Kids.

-  Individual speech and language sessions

- Specialist teaching including early screening for dyslexia and specific learning difficulties

- ICT programmes including ‘word shark’

- One to one reading intervention using PM benchmarking

- Individual work stations 

How is extra support allocated to children with SEND?

Children are continually monitored and their progress is carefully tracked and reviewed using a school computer tracking system. Types of support will be allocated based on advice from external agencies and in consultation with parents, Class Teacher and the Inclusion Leader.

If a child is identified as having SEND support they will be placed on the SEND register. They will then receive an individual SEND support plan (SSP) which will detail any additional individualised support that may be required for them and their targets for the coming term.

If a child requires a higher level support than can be offered by school alone, then a request will be made for an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). These are issued by the Local Authority to children whose difficulties are felt to be severe, long term and complex. If it is felt that your child requires one of these plans then it will be discussed with yourself and professionals in a formal meeting. 

At the end of last year 12% of children at Sturminster Marshall First School were registered as having SEND and 0 children with an EHCP (June 2018).

How does the school review/ evaluate its SEND support? 

Teachers talk about the extra support that they are giving individual children each term in pupil progress meetings that take place with the Headteacher, Inclusion Leader and Assistant Heads. This is assessed against the child’s ongoing progress. Reading and Spelling ages are also used to check progress.

School support plan (SSP’s) are reviewed every term towards the child’s targets. Then either new targets are set,or if a target is not achieved a discussion takes place as to what additional support and strategies are needed to make it successful.

The Inclusion Leader also has termly exit points from any interventions that are taking place so that she can track the impact and progress of the intervention.

The Inclusion Leader also has regular meetings review meetings with ELSA and speech and language TAs to discuss the progress of the children being supported.

In addition the Inclusion Leader carries out SEND learning walks once a term as well as a work scrutiny. The SLT also carry out learning walks and work scrutiny. 

The Inclusion Leader presents a termly SEND update report to the Governing Body and meets with the SEND governor – Mrs P Barnes.

Who are the people providing services to children with SEND?

Within school we have:

- 2 qualified SENCOs

- Specialist Teacher with a Diploma in Teaching and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia/ Specific Learning Difficulties

- Emotional Literacy Support Assistant

- 2 HLTAs trained to deliver 1stclass@number 1 and 2

- ELKLAN trained speech and Language Teaching Assistant

- Move to learn trained Teaching Assistant

- Teaching assistant with mosaic training and attachment training

- Members of staff have undertaken level 2 CACHE in mental health and well- being, specific learning difficulties and ASC. These were awarded by Milton Keynes College.

- All staff are supported with the needs of new children with SEND entering the school. This can include trainingfrom specialist agencies, as well as from the SENDCo or other staff with relevant experience. Over the last year staff have completed training on a range of SEND topics such as attachment training, zones of regulation, sensory difficulties, ASC.

We have also been supported by the following external agencies:

- Educational Psychologist

- Speech and Language Therapist

- Behaviour Support Service

- Dorset Family Partnership Zone

- Occupational Therapist

- School/Nursery Nurse

- Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service- CAHMS

- Pediatrician

How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including trips out? 

Every child at Sturminster Marshall First School is included in all aspects of school life. Any educational visits whether day or residential, are fully inclusive. A risk assessment is made and if any adaptations are needed this will be discussed with the child and parents.

What support is available to parents of children with SEND? 

We have a range of practical resources within the school that can be shared with parents to support them in the home such as reward charts, visual supports and social stories. We also have close links with several services that support parents. These include: 

- Family Partnership Zones (offer family support, home visits and parenting advice) 

- Dorset Family Information Service (offer information and guidance to help children, young people and their families, including information about schools.) 

- Dorset SENDIASS (offer independent information and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs.) 

- Dorset Parent Carer Council (run by parents of children with disabilities for parents).

- Dorset Families Matter Programme (support for families who experience many complex challenges to help them improve their wellbeing). 

Please see the website for details.

How is my child involved in this process?

All children create their own ‘one page profile’ where they can share their likes and dislikes and how they can be supported. 

Wherever appropriate we share targets from the school support plans with the children and ensure that they are aware of the support they will receive in school.

We complete child voice questionnaires on interventions the children have received to seek their views on what they feel has been helpful.

How is the school accessible to children with SEND?

Sturminster Marshall First School adheres to an Accessibility Plan which sets out how the school will increase access to the curriculum for disabled pupils, improve the physical environment of the school to increase access for disabled pupils and make written information more accessible to disabled pupils by providing information in a range of different ways.

Within school, each child’s needs (depending on severity) will be individually assessed and catered for appropriately wherever possible, to ensure that they can achieve their best in all aspects of school led. We have previously been able to accommodate children with hearing difficulties. We have a wheelchair accessible toilet and shower room, ramps (although all areas of the school are ground floor and wheelchair accessible) and acoustic paneling within some classrooms to reduce peripheral noise.    

For more information please see our accessibility policy.  

How does the school support children with transition to another class/school/setting?

- Specific transition meetings or children with SEND are hold within the school amongst the teaching staff.

- Paperwork is held centrally and overseen by the Inclusion Leader and passed on confidentially.

- Additional visits take place between the classes and different schools.

- Meeting with Early Years settings, observations and stay and play sessions.

- Social stories and ‘passports’ to the nest class that are shared with parents/carers.

Who should I speak to if I have a complaint about the SEND supporter for my child? 

At Sturminster Marshall First School we strive to do our best for every child with SEND. However, if a parents is unhappy with the support being offered then it is always best to first speak to the class teacher, as it may be that can be quickly resolved. If a parent is not satisfied with the outcome of this conversation or continues to have concerns then it is best to make an appointment to speak with Mrs Charman, our Inclusion Leader. If a parent wishes to make a formal complaint then they will need to speak directly with the Headteacher either in person, by telephone or writing.

For more information please see our complaints policy.


Sturminster Marshall First School is a mainstream school. We respect individuals and differences but maintain high expectations for all pupils. We strive to help all children to achieve their very best at school.

Special educational provision is education or training that is additional to or different from that made for others of the same age. This means provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality, personalised teaching. The school may identify a child with special educational needs through a variety of ways. These might include:

  • communication with a child’s previous setting
  • identification that a child is performing below age related outcomes
  • communication with parents
  • concern raised by teachers
  • communication with outside agencies and health professionals

The type of intervention required to cater for a child’s need will be identified so that the child can access the additional support. This may be monitored through an individual education plan by the school and reviewed with parents. The school has a range of experienced and qualified members of staff that support each other by sharing current training and providing advice on meeting a range of needs. Teaching Assistants attend regular meetings about SEN provision as well as sharing training experiences. When more specialist guidance is required the school will consult advisory teams or specialist settings to support the work we do.

How do you know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have SEND?

At Sturminster Marshall First School the progress, attainment, emotional and physical needs of all pupils are reviewed regularly at which time provision maybe adjusted to meet the identified need. If there are concerns, arrangements will be made for parents to meet the class teacher to share information and to make a plan for further support. If a parent has any concerns then a meeting should be requested with the class teacher as soon as possible.

How will your staff support my child/young person?

If a need is identified, concerns will be discussed and an individual education plan will be formulated to meet a child’s specific need. The SEN coordinator (SENCo) and class teacher will oversee the educational programme. This will be reviewed at least termly. It may take the form of small group work with targeted support or a 1:1 programme to be delivered by a teaching assistant or a specialist teacher.

The Governors have overall responsibility to ensure that all children receive the appropriate education including children with special educational needs.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's young person's needs?

All pupils in school receive quality first teaching. This means that a range of teaching and learning styles are used and that appropriate learning objectives are set for all children with a curriculum matched to their needs. All our classes receive differentiated tasks and are supported by teaching assistants. Pupils are also offered additional 1:1 tuition, small group work or catch-up programmes where needed. If a child has a specific individual need then they will receive an appropriate individual education plan.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

Parents would normally be informed about a child’s general progress and targets through twice yearly Parent’s Evenings and annual report. Information will also be given about how well your child has done in statutory tests such as the Year 1 Phonics Test and the end of key stage assessments. If your child has an individual education plan then you will be invited to contribute/support the plan with guidance from the class teacher. Plans are reviewed with parents at least once a term when opportunities for regular contact can be established through meetings, home-school books, e-mail or telephone conversations. Meetings and training can be organised when felt to be necessary.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing? 

Class teachers and teaching assistants meet regularly to discuss children’s emotional needs and well -being. The school has a trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant who is able to support individuals/small groups of children who have been identified to have a specific need. Parents should speak to the class teacher if they have concerns regarding their child’s well-being. There are policies for the management and administration of medicines and provision of personal care.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your setting?

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Mrs N Charman, Headteacher, who organises the provision of SEN in the school.

Mrs K Main holds the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and provides up to date SEN support throughout the school. She undertakes specialist assessments and provides detailed programmes/interventions for individual pupils.

The trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Mrs S Pudwell. Mrs P Barnes is the school governor responsible for Special Educational Needs.

The school has direct access to an Educational Psychologist provided by the Local Authority.

The school may also commission specialist support from other agencies such as the Behaviour Support Service, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Outreach/Inreach support from Special Schools.

What training do staff supporting children and young people with SEND have?

To ensure our staff have the skills and knowledge to support children with SEND, there is ongoing training both in school and on courses provided by outside agencies. Recent courses include training in Autism, Speech and Language and Emotional Needs. Staff are then able to share specific expertise and knowledge with the key adults working with particular children.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the setting including trips out?

Every child at Sturminster Marshall First School is included in all aspects of school life. Any trips, whether day or residential, are fully inclusive. A risk assessment is made and if any adaptation is necessary, this would be discussed with children and parents.

Parents are often invited to support groups of learners on the trip.

How accessible is the setting environment?

We ensure that the needs of all children with SEND are met to the best of the school's ability. The school building has been adapted for wheelchair access and every classroom has been acoustically adapted to support hearing impaired children. There is a disabled toilet and washroom including a shower.

The Accessibility Plan is reviewed regularly by the Governors and includes the procurement of any equipment or facilities needed to support children with special educational needs.

How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person moving to the next stage of education/life. How will you increase their independence?

Sturminster Marshall First School recognises that transfer of all children to the next stage of education should be as smooth as possible. We will contact the school or SENCo to ensure that any special arrangements or support needed will be in place. We will make sure that all records regarding each child is passed on as soon as possible. All children will visit the school and learn about aspects of transition to support their independence and understanding of changes ahead.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

We try to ensure that the needs of all children with SEND are met to the best of the school's ability with the funds available. The SEND budget is allocated each financial year to provide additional support or resources on a greatest needs basis. We have a range of assessment tools, interventions and support programmes that are allocated according to need.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Decisions are made in consultation with class teacher and SENCo based on internal and external assessments. If required, the appropriate type of intervention will be identified. Children will require different levels of support and time allotted. Parents are involved in the decision making process throughout.

How can I be involved?

Sturminster Marshall First School values the support of parents. We recognise the importance and impact of parental involvement. Parents are encouraged to support learning which is highlighted in termly class booklets. Parents of each child with an individual education plan are invited to attend regular meetings at the school. Contributions to target setting, transition planning and individual education plan reviews are very welcome.