Special Needs Information

Our Approach to Teaching Learners with SEN

At Ocean Lodge Independent School (OLIS) we ensure that all pupils in our school are equally valued by having equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is differentiated to meet individual needs and abilities.

  • We have effective management systems and procedures for SEN, taking into account the current Code of Practice (2014).
  • We have successful communication between teachers, children with SEN, parents of SEN children, intervention group leaders and outside agencies.
  • We acknowledge and draw on parents’ knowledge and expertise in relation to their own child.
  • Through a conferencing approach the children are encouraged to take an increasingly active role in their review cycle, in line with their readiness to do so.
  • We work to develop our successful cluster work with the Local Authorities to develop provision and practice.
  • We are committed to developing the knowledge and skills of all staff to manage the challenges of the range of needs in the school, and to ensure that all support is of high quality.
  • We have an effective review cycle (I’m on my way) that allows us to monitor, review and plan for next steps of development.
  • We ensure that consideration of SEN crosses all curriculum areas and all aspects of teaching and learning.

Identifying the Special Educational Needs of pupils

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice 2014 defines SEN as follows: “A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or

b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. Where pupils’ progress is significantly slower than that of their peers, or fails to match their previous rate of progress, despite high quality teaching targeted at specific areas of difficulty, it may be that the child has SEN.

Information will be gathered, including seeking the views of parents and the pupil, as well as from teachers and assessments. There can be a many reasons for learners ‘falling behind.’ These may include absences, attending lots of different schools, difficulties with speaking English, or worries that distract them from learning. The schools understand that children who experience these barriers to learning are vulnerable. This does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEN. Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEN.

100% of our pupils are identified as having SEN linked to SEMH (including such as ADHD, ADD, Attachment Disorder, Eating Disorder, anxiety and depression.

Support for children with Special Educational Needs

Assess – this involves taking into consideration all the information from discussions with parents or carers, the child, the class teacher and assessments.

Plan – this stage identifies the barriers to learning, intended outcomes, and details what additional support will be provided to help overcome the barriers. Decisions will be recorded on an Intervention Plan and will form the basis for termly review meetings with, held as part of Parent/Teacher Consultations and Children/Staff Conferences.

Do – providing the support – extra assistance for learning or learning aids

Review – measuring the impact of support provided, and considering whether changes to that support need to be made. All of those involved – learner, their parents or carer, teacher and pastoral lead – contribute to this review. This stage then informs the next cycle, if necessary. Meetings with staff to discuss progress of learners are held weekly, as well as termly Pupil Progress Meetings with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This additional support, ‘intervention’ will be tailored to meet the child’s needs, and will target the area of difficulty. This support may be provided in class or in another area of the school, on a 1:1 basis or as part of a small group of learners with similar needs. These ‘interventions’ may be run by a teacher or trainee teacher The support provided, and its impact in class, will be monitored closely and shared regularly with the child and with their parents or carers. For a small number of learners, their needs may require access to technology e.g. Modified ICT equipment, recording devices etc. While the majority of learners with SEN will have their needs met in this way, some may require an EHCP needs assessment to determine whether it is necessary for the Local Authority to make provision in accordance with an EHCP plan.

Assessing the Impact of Intervention

The interventions used will be those that are proven to make a difference for most learners. A baseline assessment will take place at the beginning of their time with us – this will provide the point of reference for measuring progress made by a child – and a target outcome set. Regular reviews will take place to ensure that the intervention is having the intended effect. Should progress be less than anticipated, consideration will be given to adapting the frequency and/or intensity. The termly reviews will involve children and their parents or carers, as well as class teachers, and a record kept of agreed actions. Where difficulties persist despite high quality interventions and appropriate adjustments, advice and support may be requested from other professionals, with the parent’s consent. This might involve: Speech & Language Therapy services, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, an Educational Psychologist or health services such as a Paediatrician.

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), there will be an annual review held in addition to the termly review meetings, taking into account the views of the child, their parent or carer, and all other professionals involved with the child.

Opportunities for Enrichment

At OLIS we believe all learners are entitled to the same access to extra-curricular activities, and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure participation for all. Please contact us if your child has any specific requirements for extra-curricular activities.

Preparing for Next Steps

Transition is a part of life for all learners, whether that involves moving to a new class or moving to a new school. We recognise that transition is an important time for all children, but especially so for a child with SEN. Consequently, we work closely with parents, children and staff to ensure these transitions run as smoothly as possible. Planning for transitions will be planned according to individual need.

Have Your Say

If you have any comments, please contact Mrs Michelle Booth at

Linked Policies:

  • Curriculum