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What are Additional Support Needs?

All children and young people need support to help them learn. Through good quality learning and teaching, staff in early learning and child care settings and schools are able to meet a diverse range of needs without additional support. Some children and young people will require support that is additional to, or different from, that received by children or young people of the same age to ensure they benefit from education, whether early learning, school or preparation for life after school. There are many reasons why children and young people may need support to help them learn. Additional support needs can be both long- and short-term, or can simply refer to the help a child or young person needs in getting through a difficult period. Additional support needs can be due to:


(Information taken from  https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/additional-support/what-are-additional-support-needs/ )

If you are concerned that your child may have additional needs, our SENDCo, Mrs Rachel Tichband, may be contacted via the school office: office@coldash.w-berks.sch.uk 

Dealing with Individual Needs at St Mark's

At St Mark's, we are committed to treating every child as an individual. Teachers plan lessons with a range of ability levels in mind. Within a class, therefore, work may often be carried out at different levels of ability within a common theme. A child with special needs is one who requires resources over and above this provision. Children’s needs vary from that of the high attaining child, requiring extension activities to that of children with specific learning difficulties.    

Provision for children with Disabilities or Special needs

The aim of any school is to be inclusive, providing equal access to the curriculum and wider activities and clubs in school for any child, regardless of any disability; St Mark's is no exception.  We have experience of integrating children with a range of medical needs and disabilities and are proud to have established strong links with outside professionals. Our Accessiblity Plan, which lays out how, over time, we will increase how disabled pupils can participate in our curriculum can be found here.

When a Child needs Additional Support

There are times in the week when Learning Support Assistants and/or other helpers are available to assist children with more specific needs whereby usual classroom provision is not sufficient. Children will sometimes be given specifically targeted work aimed at their needs to complete during these sessions.  Six-week intervention plans may be put in place, to enable accelerated progress.  Parents are notified before these sessions begin.

When children have specific, identified needs, the class teacher and SEND Co-ordinator in the school identify targets and activities to be carried out. Where appropriate we involve professionals from outside the school and, when needed, a Support and Achievement Plan (SAP), or in some cases an Education and Healthcare Plan (EHCP) is written to ensure progress. This states exactly what a child’s needs are and what the school must do to help the child. This process is always done in conjunction with the parents and agreed by the Local Authority. An EHCP brings with it some extra funding to support a child’s needs in school.

Further information about SEND provision at St Mark's can be found here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Sometimes, children need more time to talk and to work through their emotions than can be offered by normal day-to-day school procedures. We currently have one ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who is specially trained to help children to develop their emotional literacy. Teachers and parents may request this support. We are also currently participating in a pilot project with the Mental Health Support Team and they also offer support to children in school.

For more information about Mental Health and Wellbeing, please click here.

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