What are our approaches to teaching children with SEND?

‘High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children need educational provision that is additional to or different from this.  Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less.  (CoP 1.24 page 25)

Otterburn Primary School provides three levels of support:

Level 1: Quality First Teaching (QFT)

Children receive inclusive quality first teaching (QFT) which may include the provision of differentiated classwork. Some children at this level may be on a monitoring list, their progress being carefully tracked and reviewed.

For your child this would mean that:

  • The teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • All teaching is building on what your child already knows, can do and understands.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCO or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

Level 2:  School Support

Continued or increased concern may lead to children receiving additional, time-limited and targeted interventions to accelerate their progress to age-related expectations. School support can often include specific group work or specified individual support. The SENCo and class teachers will work closely with any support staff to plan and assess the impact of the support and interventions and to link them to classroom teaching. At this stage input from other agencies may be sought.


For your child this would mean:

  • He/ she will engage in fixed term group sessions with specific targets to help him/her make more progress.  This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning and may be:
  • Taught inside or outside the classroom
  • Taught by a teacher or a Learning Support Assistant who has had training to run these groups

Level 3:  High Needs

Where a child continues to make less than expected progress, despite interventions, they receive highly personalised interventions to accelerate their progress and enable them to achieve their potential. When appropriate, a specialist outside agency may support this. The SENCo and class teachers work with specialists to select effective teaching approaches, appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions in order to support your child’s progress.

If this support is not impacting on progress and there is still significant concern, the school, after consultation with parents and other professionals, may request additional funding and / or an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment from the Local Authority. Parents can also request an EHC Needs Assessment.

This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher/ SENCo/Head Teacher as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching which cannot be provided from resources normally available in school.

Sometimes your child will also need specialist support from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the SEN Support Team (HINT), Visually Impaired Service and Hearing Services.
  • NHS services for children such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service, physiotherapy.

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child has been identified by the class teacher/ SENCo/Head Teacher (or you may have raised your own concerns) as needing specialist input instead of, or in addition to, quality first teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g a Speech and Language Therapist or educational psychologist. This will help the school and yourself to better understand your child’s particular needs and be able to support them more effectively in school.
  • The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
*Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them more effectively.
*Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise.
*A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional.
*The school may suggest that your child needs some agreed individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

Please also see the school Accessibilty Plan, which sets out adaptations we make to the school environment to remove barriers to learning.

You can find out more at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25 page 99