Additional Support Needs Policy

As the Insch School Vision states (see Appendix 1), the expectation is that:
At Insch School we celebrate diversity and inspire all our young learners to reach for the stars and achieve their very best. We strive to create an inclusive and nurturing learning community. Quality learning and teaching is at the heart of all that we do.

In Insch Primary School we aim to be a fully inclusive community to ensure the participation and highest achievement of all children. We recognise and value diversity and work collaboratively to ensure each learner is catered for.
The Additional Support for Learning Act (2004/2009) places an importance on supporting young learners and their families with additional support needs.
Children with additional support needs may include children who:

  • have motor/sensory impairment
  • are being bullied
  • are particularly able or talented
  • have experienced a bereavement
  • are looked after
  • have learning difficulties
  • are living with parents who have mental health problems
  • have English as an additional language
  • are not attending school regularly
  • have emotional, social or behavioural difficulties
  • are on the child protection register
  • are young carers
  • have a medical condition
  • need a nurturing environment
  • have developmental and social difficulties, i.e. Autism and ADHD

The above list is not exhaustive nor should it be assumed that a child with an identified need will automatically require additional support. Procedures are in place to effective identify those who would benefit from extra support.

Setting the Context

Getting It Right for Individuals

The Scottish Government (2012) A Guide to Getting It Right for every Child

At Insch School we endeavour to fully support all children to grow and flourish in to Successful Learners, Effective Contributors, Responsible Citizens and Confident Individuals in line with the Curriculum for Excellence.
To ‘Get It Right for Every Child’ we believe that all children should be:

  • safe
  • healthy
  • achieving
  • nurtured
  • active
  • responsible
  • respected
  • included

By taking this holistic approach we put the child at the centre, build partnerships with the child, parents or carers and where appropriate other agencies.
At Insch School we take pride in the school environment and look to develop nurture spaces outdoors and indoors, whilst ensuring there are quiet places in each classroom. We are also proud to be working towards creating a dyslexia and autism friendly framework in the school. Support for learning is the responsibility of all staff, parents and pupils in every class at each stage of their journey. Children will be provided with a fully inclusive, nurturing environment. The school is accessible for all children, including those with physical disabilities in accordance with the Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Pupils (Scotland) guidance.

Meeting Learners Needs
Meeting learners needs is the highest priority at Insch School. Early intervention is key to identifying and supporting difficulties. Class teachers are responsible for daily observations and assessments to build a clear understanding of individual’s strengths and areas of development. We encourage parents to liaise with teachers should there be any concerns. Support can be provided in different ways and it is a staged process. Initially class teachers can be guided and supported by the Senior Management team (SMT) and the Support for Learning team (SFL) where appropriate. Class interventions and adaptions are the first step towards removing barriers to learning.

The five roles of the SFL team
The Support for Learning team plays a vital role in the school. Their role may consist of:

  1. Consultancy
    Consultancy can take place informally or through planned meetings and reviews. Effective teaching and learning strategies should be discussed and developed. Conversations are usually focussed on an individual or group and in partnership new strategies and next steps are set to meet the requirements of the child(ren).
  2. Co-operative teaching
    Class teachers and SFL teachers will at times engage in team teaching opportunities. This is beneficial to further target a range of needs and learning styles in the classroom setting. Co-operative teaching is well planned prior to the session and has a clear focus. Children’s progress can be closely monitored to ensure progression.
  3. Direct teaching
    It is appropriate at times for individuals or groups to work with the SFL team outside of the classroom. This may be a short block of time to develop specific skills to transfer back in to the classroom and to real life situations. The SFL team and class teacher will work together to identify targets for the individual or group to be developed during these sessions. Interventions are monitored and decisions are made as to whether the individual or child require short term support or long term support.
  4. Liaison with partner agencies
    Where appropriate the SFL team will work alongside partner agencies to provide the best care and support for the child (see Supporting Agencies list for more detail).
  5. Staff development
    The SFL team are involved in the development of staff by contributing to whole school training. They also offer support to staff by introducing new resources and materials to further meet children’s needs. This can also take place through the consultancy role.

Staged Approach
Following class intervention children may be referred to the SFL team for direct teaching. Referrals may also be made to the educational psychologist for specialised support from other agencies. The school would then work collaboratively to plan appropriately for the child. This may include the following:

Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
ILPs may be written for pupils who require planned intervention in a small group context. The pupils are aware of their targets and will contribute to the setting of these targets to increase ownership.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)
IEPs may be written for pupils who require significant planned intervention and where their access to the curriculum is significantly different to others. Class teachers and the SFL team work with the child and parents to identify appropriate targets. Children will create a child friendly version with support to ensure ownership for overcoming the targets. IEPs are shared with parents and reviewed on a regular basis.

Managing Accessibility Plan (MAP)
A MAP may be used for pupils who require significant planned intervention or who have significant medical issues to ensure they have full access to the environment. MAPs are shared with the parents and all staff who work with the child.

Multi-Agency Meeting and Action Plan (MAPPM)
Where more than one agency is involved, multiple agencies join together to meet and plan for a child’s needs.

Risk Assessment
Risk assessments may be carried out for children with development and behavioural difficulties to ensure their safety and accessibility at all times. Risk assessments are shared with all staff who work with the child and where necessary these are shared with the parents.

Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP)
This level of support is put in place for a child who requires a high degree of co-ordination and support. In the case of a co-ordinated support plan it is to meet the complex needs of an individual where often the significant support from other agencies.

Supporting Agencies
Planning meetings will always be held with agencies and parents to ensure individual pupil needs are met. This may be a Formal Consultation, School Review, Single Agency Planning meeting or a Multi-Agency Planning meeting. The aim of all meetings it to ensure a collaborative approach is maintained with supporting agencies, school and parents.
Supporting agencies may include the:

  • School nurse/Doctor
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Visual Impairment Service
  • Police Liaison Officer
  • Social Work
  • English as an Additional Language support service
  • ASPECTS (Aberdeenshire Special Technology Service)
  • Children’s Hearing Impairment System
  • Child and Family mental health services.
  • Pupil Support Worker

This list is not exhaustive.

Additional Support Groups
Children who are referred by class teachers may attend one of our support groups which aim to build particular skills. . Once a teacher has made a referral, the teacher consults with the SFL team. If it is recommended that a support group would best meet the child’s needs the parents will be contacted firstly by phone and then by letter. Parents will be informed of their progress on these groups.

Accessing the physical environment
Insch Primary School is a ground level building. There is a ramp leading to the Nursery entrance and most entrances, including the main entrance, are accessible for all including wheelchair users. A disabled toilet is located in the Nursery with a changing facility nearby. There is also a disabled toilet located in the school’s extension. The playground has appropriate surfacing and lots of space for all children. Games are run by our Young Leaders
and PSA staff to include all.
Widget symbols are used across the school to represent areas of the school and resources. Aberdeenshire Council encourages the use of these symbols to create consistency across the school. This ensures that all children can access resources and areas in the school by the symbols.
To facilitate full inclusion, Risk Assessments will be carried out to ensure the requirements of the individual and their safety needs are met.

Transition can be a challenging time for some children and therefore we place a great focus on ensuring there is adequate preparation for the transition of pupils. It is recognised that transition can take place at any time and not necessarily during a change in primary year. We aim to work with parents to efficiently identify areas of transition that may be causing concern.
This could look like the transition from:

  • home to Nursery/School
  • Nursery to Primary 1
  • Primary 7 to Secondary 1
  • Each stage/ to a new teacher
  • Class to the lunch hall/playground

In these circumstances our transition arrangements can be tailored to support the individual.

Communication is key to ensure effective partnership working. At Insch School it is our vision to create a community with a friendly and welcoming ethos. Communication may take place in a variety of ways and this will be adapted according to the situation.
Formal and informal methods of communication include:

  • Parents evening
  • Scheduled meetings with parents
  • The creation of individual plans
  • Review Meetings
  • Phone calls/ emails
  • Pupil Support Assistants linking home and school
  • Homework diaries for non-confidential notes
  • Reports

Closing Statement
As stated in the vision it is our priority to ensure every learner reaches their full potential and that barriers to learning are removed. We aim to encourage an open and honest culture where diversity is appreciated and understood. Children’s achievements inside and outside of school are celebrated. There is a great focus on praising the process and not the product to motivate our learners even when they may find it challenging.

References – Reasonable adjustment acts