Special Educational Needs

Our School Contacts

Inclusion Manager and ACE Lead: Mr Steve Davies (part time - in school Thursdays and Fridays)

Pupil well-being lead and Senco in charge:  Mrs Claudia Miller

01233 770316

You can reach Steve by email: senco@smarden-tkat.org or Mrs Miller at any time:


Please do not hesitate to ring or email Mr Davies or Mrs Miller if you would like to discuss your child's progress at school or any worries you may have about SEN.  The most important message we have is that:

We are ALWAYS here to listen.

Speech, Language and Communication Support at Smarden

Our school works to support speech, language and communication with support from our NHS link speech and language therapist, Alice, as well as the specialist teaching service.  Your child may come into contact with Alice within their classroom or around school.  The Headteacher/Senco, Claudia Miller, will have regular meetings with Alice to discuss our school's provision.  If you have any concerns about your child's speech, language or communication skills, please speak to your child's class teacher in the first instance. If we have discussed a specific concern with you about your child's speech, language or communication, or you have raised a concern, we will decide together whether to discuss this with our link therapist.  You will be kept informed of any plans to support your child.

SEND Information Report - Smarden Primary School - Updated November 2023

Smarden Primary School is a mainstream primary school with Pre-School Provision. We recognise all pupils as individuals and are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment that removes barriers to learning and in which all pupils achieve their full potential.  

The School's admission arrangements are determined and implemented with its equality duties in mind, including the public sector equality duty (PSED).

Our school SEND policy can be found by clicking below: 

Smarden School SEN policy 2023-2024

At Smarden, the progress of all pupils is monitored regularly by class teachers and the Senior Leadership Team. So, when a pupil is not making expected progress in a particular area of learning, the school can quickly identify the need for additional support and plan appropriately. 

We aim to keep the time between identifying where support is needed and responding with the right provision to a minimum. Home and pre-school visits help with early identification and enable us to plan for future provision. As well as this, we liaise with parents, health professionals and early years settings (nurseries) to build a sound evidence base.

Once in school, your child will be assessed in a number of different ways, including class observation.  From these assessments your child’s teacher will be able to see what they are good at, where they need help and how best you can help at home.  

If parents/carers have concerns about the progress or attainment of their child, they should speak to the class teacher to discuss their concerns in the first instance. Mr Davies, the Inclusion Manager is also happy to be contacted by parents, but please note that he works part time (Thursdays and Fridays). Mrs Miller is also always available to talk through your concerns - ring her on 01233 770316 or email - head@smarden-tkat.org

Teachers may become aware of the need for additional support when:

  • there is little progress despite the targeted teaching;
  • there are difficulties in core areas;
  • there are persistent Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • where there are sensory or physical problems.

If your child’s class teacher is aware of an issue that prevents your child from accessing the curriculum, they will find different approaches and strategies to help your child e.g. using visual prompts or a worked example.  The teacher will talk to you about their concerns and suggest ways you can help at home.  During this time your child’s progress will be regularly monitored.

Children have Special  Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them. They may have:

  • a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
  • a disability that presents them from making full use of the educational facilities provided for children of the same school age.

If your child requires several interventions per day or 'A different or additional curriculum' to their classmates in order to make any progress, then we will suggest that your child is given 'SEN support'.  This means that we can track their progress more easily using a personalised provision plan.

 At Smarden, we are committed to meeting the needs of every child. The range of difficulties that are usually seen at Smarden are as follows:

Cognition and Learning

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Communication and Interaction

  • Autistic Spectrum condition (ASC) - can be high functioning (formerly known as Aspergers syndrome) or low functioning where learning is also affected.
  • Speech, Language and Communication difficulties
  • Social Communication difficulties 

Sensory and Physical Difficulties

  • Auditory processing difficulties
  • Sensory processing difficulties 

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs (SEMH) 

Some children have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. They often show inappropriate responses and feelings to situations.

  • Anxiety
  • Low self esteem

As soon as we are concerned about your child's progress, well-being or behaviour, we will get in touch with you and usually invite you in for a chat either with your child's class teacher or with their teacher and the Senco.  We suggest interventions and keep you updated of your child's progress.  We will ask you first if we think a referral to a doctor or an outside specialist is needed.  We will ask you first if we would like to seek help from the Local Inclusion Forum Team.  If we decide that your child needs SEN support, we will let you know in writing.  We will then invite you in and share with you your child's personalised provision plan (PPP) which we will invite you to contribute to.  We will review the progress your child has made towards the outcomes or targets of the PPP three times per year in December, March and July.  We will update the plan and have a meeting with you to share this three times per year in September, January and April.

The most important person who gets a say in their PPP is the pupil and the class teacher will always consult them when drawing up the plan.  We encourage all children at Smarden to reflect on their learning, and to take responsibility for their progress - what they think will help them best is probably where we should start!

September December January March April July

New PPP written

by class teacher,

shared with pupil,

Senco and parent.

Outcomes planned and 

targets set.

Meeting between parent,

Class teacher and Senco

Teacher evaluates

progress made

towards outcomes

based on assessment.  Shared with Senco

and copy sent home.

PPP is updated

by the teacher

and shared with the pupil.  Meeting 

between parent,

Class teacher

and Senco.

Teacher evaluates

progress made

towards outcomes

based on assessment.  Shared with Senco

and copy sent home.

PPP is updated

by the teacher

and shared with the pupil.  Meeting 

between parent,

Class teacher

and Senco.

Teacher evaluates

progress made

towards outcomes

based on assessment.  Shared with Senco

and copy sent home.

Support for pupils at Smarden is personalised to meet the needs of each individual.  We support all pupils as necessary to transition to their next class with ease.  This may mean that pupils have extra transition sessions 1:1 with their next class teacher, or come into the Year R classroom with their parent for some time on their own.  We also provide all pupils in the school with a transition booklet in the last two weeks of the summer term.  This includes pictures of their new teachers and TAs, and classroom routines e.g. PE, homework days.

We prepare pupils for adulthood by developing their independence.  We believe in empowering pupils to overcome their barriers.  We also believe that the best way to prepare pupils for adulthood is to teach them to read.  We pledge to do everything possible to ensure that every pupil reaches ARE in reading by the time they leave Year 6, no matter their special educational needs.

At Smarden, we are committed to inclusion.  We endeavour to make every effort to achieve maximum inclusion of all pupils whilst meeting their individual needs as learners.  So pupils with SEND are taught within the same classroom as their mainstream peers by the class teacher.  High quality inclusive teaching within mainstream lessons is a key factor in helping pupils with special educational needs make good progress alongside their peers. Inclusive teaching draws on a repertoire of teaching strategies and techniques that are closely matched to the specified learning objectives and the particular needs of the children in the class. This, alongside the provision of relevant equipment and strategies, adaptation in the classroom and regular progress reviews, all help pupils overcome some barriers to learning.

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice lies at the heart of our school’s SEND policy. It describes a graduated approach to supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Where children need additional support, the school works closely with outside agencies to identify barriers to learning and access further support.  If a child has significant barriers to learning and needs more intensive support in class, the Senco will make a high needs funding request for additional TA support in class.  If a pupil continues to need support in order to make any progress, despite all available help being offered by the school, the pupil may need an Education and Health Care Plan  (EHCP) which the school will apply for if necessary.

Teachers use different strategies to ensure all pupils make progress.  For pupils with SEND, this may include using a variety of resources for example using visual prompts or makaton to communicate.  They may adapt a task or encourage a pupil to use a chrome book for an extended piece of writing.  They may reduce the sensory demands of the classroom by providing a chill out space or ear defenders.  They may make the classroom a 'dyslexia friendly environment' by changing the background colour of the interactive whiteboard, using buff coloured paper and a range of other measures.  The curriculum can be tailored to suit an individual pupil, for example by continuing with phonics when most other pupils have mastered this.

The Senco is a specialist leader of education for SEND pupils and has a specialist teacher qualification in literacy difficulties (dyslexia). She is also a Youth Mental Health First aider and a Senior Mental Health Lead.

A continuous programme of training is in place for all staff and may be delivered by school staff or other professionals, depending on the subject. Training may be delivered to all staff or individuals, depending on their role and the needs of the children they support. We access training from Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support Service and Outreach services from our local specialist provisions.

Sometimes, additional  advice from outside specialists is needed, which could include advice from specialist teachers, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists or physiotherapists. In this case we work alongside parents and professionals to carry out further assessments and form an individual provision plan.

The SEND governor meets with the headteacher for SEND monitoring at least twice a year, and at least once a year meets with SEND pupils for pupil voice interviews.  We ask parents for feedback on our provision for pupils with SEND at least once per year.  We ask pupils with SEND for feedback on a regular basis and their views feed into their provision plans.  We look carefully at the progress that pupils make towards outcomes on their provision plans at least three times per year and report this to parents.

We always ensure that pupils with SEND are given equal access to clubs, trips and sporting activities.  This might mean that we need to send an extra TA to the club with the pupil or make alternative arrangements to ensure every pupil can enjoy the opportunities that Smarden offers.

We use a range of strategies and interventions to ensure that pupils feel nurtured and supported with their emotional needs.  This support is personalised to every pupil's needs.  This may mean that the pupil comes into school in a different way, or eats their lunch in 'The Haven' a quieter room of 20 or so pupils who prefer less hustle and bustle than the busy school hall which runs daily.  Some pupils may need a 'Key Worker' or need their Year 6 buddy to help them come into school in the morning.  Staff may use emotion coaching as an approach to make a pupil feel understood.  We also run interventions such as Drawing and Talking, Lego Therapy, Social Stories, Circle of Friends and friendship groups to support pupils.  We are currently working with Nurture Uk on the Nurturing Schools' program and we are also working towards gaining  an award from the Carnegie School of Mental Health for our work supporting pupils and staff with their mental health and wellbeing.

We build up a relationship of trust with pupils and regularly ask them about their provision.  Support at Smarden is done with the pupil, not to the pupil.  All pupils with SEND are invited to contribute to their provision plans and pupils with an EHCP will be invited to their annual review. The SEND governor meets with SEND pupils for pupil voice interviews at least once/year.

The Local Authority (via LIFT) offers a range of specialist support and outreach. Specialist teachers can come into school and observe pupils, then suggest strategies or interventions to improve progress. We can also refer pupils to a range of professionals  including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, CAMHS, and the Neuro-disabilities team for a diagnosis of ASC, ADHD and ADD.

We encourage parents to speak to us if ever they are unsatisfied with arrangements for their child. This allows us the chance to listen to all involved (including the child) and the opportunity to make changes or put things right. However, if at any time you have a complaint about the provision your child is receiving please refer to the school complaints procedure policy.

The SEND local offer is a guide for children with special education needs or disabilities and their families regarding the support services that the local authority believes to be available in the local area.

The Kent SEND local offer the can be found at https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/spe...

Report to Governors on the Impact of SEN Provision December 2023

SEN Governors' Report December 2023


Smarden School Whole School Provision Map 2023-2024

Smarden Primary School SEN Whole School Provision Map 2023-2024


Sensory Processing - Parent Guide

Parent guide sensory processing - SEN