Our school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is Mrs K Johnston. Appointments can be made with Mrs Johnston through our school office or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At St Matthew’s CE School, we recognise that all children are individuals and not everyone learns at the same pace. All children may experience some difficulties in learning from time to time during their school life. At St Matthew’s CE School, we aim to provide equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum for all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
As a school we consider early identification of pupils with additional needs, ensuring that all pupils are given the best opportunity to access the differentiated curriculum. All our teaching staff are involved in the learning and development of pupils with SEND. The first step in supporting all pupils, including those with SEND, is high quality teaching which is differentiated for individual pupils.
When a child is not making expected progress or is identified with an additional need, the class teacher or the Special Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) will speak to the parents. Parents and carers are involved at all stages and are part of the discussions and decisions about the support for their child.
We ensure we make reasonable adjustments to help them overcome their difficulties and ensure that they engage in all activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND. At times this may include some additional support. This support may take place in the classroom, in a small group or on an individual basis. We will then continue to closely monitor the child’s progress by placing them on the special needs register.
It may be necessary to carry out additional assessments to understand the child’s needs. In some cases we may feel we need to seek further advice from outside agencies such the speech and language therapist or an educational psychologist.
What is ELSA?
There will always be children in our school facing life challenges that detract or distract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others.
ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.
Miss Conway is our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA). She has been trained by Educational Psychologists to support children in the development of their emotional literacy.
What is emotional literacy?
Understanding and coping with the feelings about ourselves and others.
Developing high self-esteem and positive interactions with others.
Being emotionally literate helps children focus better on their learning.
How does ELSA work?
Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Head teacher or the SENCo. With the programme aims in mind, we then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively.
The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills.
Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft. ELSA sessions take place in 'The Nest' which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.
Some of the areas we work on in ELSA sessions are: