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Special Educational Needs

Special Needs Provision at Cranmore Integrated Primary School

What is meant by Special Educational Needs (SENs)?

The term ‘special educational needs’ is defined in the Education (NI) Order 1996 as ‘a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made’. ‘Special educational provision’ means educational provision which is different from, or additional to, the provision made generally for children of comparable age’.*

* From the Code of Practice on the identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs.

Currently we have 25% of our pupils on our Special Needs register. 

It is important to remember that any pupil can experience a difficulty at some point of their school career. Our teachers are quick to diagnosis dififculties, plan for focussed support, evaluate progess and discontinue. We look carefully at data and highlight underachievement as well as low attainments.
Support can take a great deal of forms

  • Sensory Room
  • Early Intervention Programme
  • Focussed Learning Support
  • Gifted and Talented Programme
  • Outreach Support
  • Confidence and self awareness support
  • Perpetetic teaching for Dyslexia
  • Booster Classes
  • Reading Partnership Programme
  • Toe by Toe Programme
  • Mathletics (an online support programme for Numeracy)
  • Counselling provided through Barnardos
  • PAPA Website Autism NI (PAPA) is Northern Ireland’s Autism charity

  • BDA Website The BDA is the voice of dyslexic people.

  • BELB Website BELB Special Educational Needs Advice and Information Service.

Where else can I get advice and information?

The BELB offer a Special Educational Needs Advice and Information Service for information on: · Specific Special Educational Needs · Regional and local support agencies and services · The statutory assessment process · Educational support for children with special needs

Advice and Information Officer Tel. 02890564058

As parents, how can we help?

When you meet with the teacher, SEN co-ordinator or Principal to discuss your child's progress and the school's Education Plan and targets for him/her we will discuss what specific support from you would be helpful.

In general, we ask you to do the following:

  • Encourage your child in his/her efforts
  • Celebrate his/her successes - however small they may seem compared to siblings' or peers'
  • Try not to show your child the anxiety you may have over his difficulties
  • Keep us informed as soon as possible about any medical, social, behavioural or educational difficulties

What help will he/she receive?

It may be that some strategies put in place by the class teacher are sufficient to combat your child’s difficulties. You will be asked to a meeting with the SEN co-ordinator to discuss what these strategies will be and how you can help. This is called Stage 1 of the Special Educational Needs Register.

If your child requires additional help he/she will be put on Stage 2 of the SEN Register. If in P2 or P3 he/she may be selected for Reading Recovery support in which case the Reading Recovery teacher will meet with you to explain what the programme entails. Alternatively, The Class teacher and the SEN co-ordinator (who is also the Learning Support teacher) meet and devise an Education Plan for him/her which includes some time with the Learning Support teacher on a one-to-one and/or a small group basis, usually within the class setting. Your child’s progress is reviewed termly and a new plan with updated targets set. Your child will be asked for his/her input and you will be invited to attend a meeting with the class teacher to discuss his/her progress and the proposed action.

If we consider that your child may require specialised or more intense remedial help we will discuss the matter with you and we will refer him/her to the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) Educational Psychology Service for informal assessment. This is Stage 3 of the SEN Register.

The Educational Psychologist assigned to the school will gather information about your child from the class teacher, the SEN co-ordinator and yourselves. She will carry out a series of tests and write a report which will include recommendations about how best the school and the parents can best help him/her. You will be given the opportunity to meet with the Educational Psychologist and give your input before she writes up the report.

You and your child may also be given an appointment to attend the School Medical Officer, usually on the school premises but sometimes at Cupar Street, Malone Place or Holywood Arches, depending on your address. This is a matter of routine and simply ensures that we, as professionals, have a fuller and up-to-date picture of your child's needs whether medical, social or educational or a combination of these.

At this stage of the SEN Register the SEN Co-ordinator will invite you to a meeting at the beginning of each term to discuss your child’s progress and the proposed action for that term.

If it is agreed that your child's difficulties are so complex that a Statutory Assessment may be required and, after a process of information gathering (Stage 4) a formal 'Statement' may be produced. This is Stage 5 of the SEN Register. A ‘Statement’ allows for a range of appropriate provision, for example, regular direct teaching by a peripatetic specialist teacher, individual support from a non-teaching assistant or a specialist peripatetic classroom assistant from Oakwood, Harberton Behaviour Unit, Outreach Service, Clarawood or a major piece of equipment. You will be included in discussions and decisions about your child's education, including an invitation to attend an Annual Review together with all the professionals involved with your child.

How will/was my child identified as having SENs?

At Cranmore every pupil’s progress is monitored and your child will have been /will be identified as possibly having SENs by the following:

  • Concerns expressed by the Principal or class teacher
  • Concerns identified within the pre-school setting
  • Standardised screening tests administered in Mathematics and English from Year Two onwards
  • Concerns expressed by the parents or pupils themselves
  • Standardised Non-Reading Intelligence Test administered in Year 3 and also Year 5.
  • Information obtained from other professionals (with your knowledge)

Further assessment may be done by the SEN co-ordinator or the Reading Recovery teacher.