SEND Information

Thorndown Primary school

Parent Information

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Information Report


Meet the Team

The Special educational Needs Co-ordinating team is:

Mrs Amanda Fox (Special Educational Needs Coordinator, known as SENCo)

Mrs Jane Ainscow (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Governor)

Mrs Sara Harris (Pastoral Child and Family Support Worker)


Message from Amanda Fox:

My job as SENCo (Special Needs Co-ordinator) at Thorndown Primary School is to work with you, your child, your child’s class teacher and sometimes specialists to help your child access their learning. We want every child to thrive here at Thorndown and make the best possible progress they can whilst part of our school. Sometimes, some children need something a little bit extra to the high quality teaching every child receives, or maybe they need to approach learning in a different way. If you are worried about your child, for any reason, read the information on this page or better still please come and have a chat with me.

Thorndown Primary School

Hill Rise

St Ives

PE27 6SE

01480 375103



All Cambridgeshire Local Authority (LA) maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.


When considering the identification and specific needs of a child, they may fall into one or more of four broad areas.

  1. Communication and Interaction
  • Expressing themselves
  • Understanding others
  • Understanding or using the social rules of communication

2. Cognition and Learning

  • Making progress in reading, writing or maths
  • Understanding information
  • Concentration and attention
  • Retaining information (memory)
  • Dyslexia



3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties


  • Organising themselves
  • Managing their behaviour
  • Making friends or relating to adults
  • Managing anxiety 

4. Sensory and/or Physical

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Sensory seeking/avoidance


What is the Local Offer?

The LA Local Offer

The Children and Families Bill was enacted in September 2014. From this date Local Authorities (LA) and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) aged 0-25. The LA refer to this as the ‘Local Offer’.

The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.

What is the Special Education Needs Information Report?

The Special Education Needs Information Report

Schools utilise the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of SEND pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to provide. Schools refer to this as ‘The Special Education Needs Information Report.’


At Thorndown Primary School, we embrace the fact that every child is different; therefore, the educational need of every child is different; this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs.


Please find below the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning children who might need additional support for their learning.

How does the school know if the children need extra help? 


Parents know their children better than anyone else and the relationship between parents and school is crucial in making sure your child reaches their full potential.

We know when pupils need extra help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents, teachers or the child
  • Limited progress is being made
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress
  • We have received information from other agencies who may already be working with the child before they join us.



What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

  • The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns.
  • We can arrange for your child to be assessed either by ourselves, external partners who work with the school or by referral to external agencies who can provide a specialist assessment. (We will support you through this process and review provision to find out what works best for your child.)
  • You, and/or your class teacher, may want to discuss your concerns with the school SENCo, Mrs Amanda Fox.



How will school staff support my child?

  • On a day to day basis in the classroom, teaching is differentiated to meet the needs of every child.
  • Close marking and tracking of pupil progress indicates any child who may need extra help with their learning.
  • Extra help may include targeted intervention work.
  • Any interventions used are run by teachers, or specifically trained Teaching Assistants and are monitored by the SENCo.
  • The effectiveness and impact of any interventions and/or support is monitored regularly and shared with all those who have been involved.



How will the curriculum be matched to meet my child’s needs?

  • On a day to day basis in the classroom, teaching is adjusted to meet the needs of every child.
  • Where necessary adaptations are made eg larger print, ICT support, individual support in a variety of situations.
  • Some children need support from an adult in school
  • Some children need targeted interventions.
  • School also takes advice from specialist services.
  • Any support accessed will be fully discussed with parents/carers and carefully monitored.



How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?

  • Through discussions at Parent/Carer Consultations and written reports.
  • At times, extra meetings are held, initiated by either parents/carers or school staff.
  • On a day to day basis class teachers are marking children’s work and are aware if children have understood and met the learning objective for each session.
  • Through regular Pupil Progress meetings held with team leaders, teachers and fed back to SENCo.
  • Class teachers know their children well and notice when a child is behaving differently. They encourage the child to share their worries with an adult they trust.
  • Parent/carer learning events are held regularly.
  • School sets your child targets for their learning in Maths and English.
  • If external agencies, such as the Educational Psychology Service, Speech and Language Team etc are involved with your child, permission will be sought firs and meetings will be held with parents/carers and staff.



What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?


The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for all pupils and more specifically those who are encountering emotional difficulties. These include:

  • All children will take part in Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education activities.
  • A register is kept of children who have medical needs (See our policy on Children with medical needs)
  • We listen to ‘pupil voice’ ie the children’s wishes and opinions, we have a school council, worry boxes, a Buddy system, lunchtime club etc
  • Our Pastoral Child and Family Support Worker (Mrs Sara Harris), Head teacher, (Miss Vicci Godbold), Deputy Headteacher, (Mrs Claire Gerrard) and SENCo (Mrs Amanda Fox) all work closely with families who have many agencies involved with their child.
  • We offer a range of interventions run by very skilled teaching assistants for children who need to develop their social skills or anger management techniques.



What specialist services or expertise are available at or accessed by the school?


In consultation with parents/carers, it may at times be necessary to consult with external specialist agencies to receive their expert advice. The agencies currently used by the school and our families include:

  • The SEND Services, Specialist Teaching Team
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • The Educational Psychology Service
  • St Ives District Team
  • Family Support Workers
  • Social Services
  • Play Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Medical practitioners, i.e. GP, Visual Impairment Service, Occupational Therapists and the Community Pediatrician


Contact details for these agencies and further information can be found on the Authority’s Local Offer at:


How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • Activities and trips are made as inclusive as possible and available to all children. Discussions are held between parents/carers and staff to consider individual needs.
  • Risk assessments are carried out and reasonable adjustments made.
  • Thorndown has a variety of extra- curricular clubs that are available for every child to access regardless of need.



How accessible is the school environment?

  • The school is fully compliant with DDA requirements.
  • The school is on a split-level with easy access and double doors and ramps.
  • The front desk has a wheel-chair height section and is DDA compliant.
  • There are two disabled toilets, shower area and changing facilities.
  • We ensure where ever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After-school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEN.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEN.


  • Thorndown has the following special facilities:
  • Easy access for all into school.
  • Hygiene room
  • Lowered sinks, hand-dryers and toilets
  • Four specially designated toilets for the disabled
  • Disabled parking slot
  • Inclusion room
  • Lift to the first floor (has its own power supply)
  • We ensure where ever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After-school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEN.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEN.


The new building conforms to the latest Disability Act (2005)


How will Thorndown prepare and support my child to join the school or transfer to a new school?


Thorndown prides itself on having many strategies in place to ensure all pupils’ transition is as smooth as possible. These include:

  • Transference of records and other communication between schools/settings prior to the pupils leaving or joining. Often the SENCo will phone the school/setting to have a conversation about the child and what needs to be in place.
  • Home visits by school staff.
  • School staff visit pre-schools to observe your child in a familiar setting and have a discussion with the pre-school staff.
  • Transition meeting with parents/carers.
  • New parents/carers information meetings.
  • Extra transition visits to secondary schools.
  • Secondary school staff visit our school to speak with children and take lessons.
  • SEND discussions between SENCos.
  • Move-Up Days.
  • Transition booklet to introduce one of our pupils to a new school.



How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

  • Assessment of a child’s learning and well-being takes place in school every day with ongoing, regular discussion between teachers, children and parent/carers.
  • If a child is not making expected progress, discussions are held between parents/carers, the child, and school staff to ascertain the problem i.e. a learning barrier, a medical needs, a gap in your child’s leaning that needs to be closed or a stressful situation that might be affecting their learning. As part of the discussion, the most appropriate type of support which could be used will be decided.



What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with SEND?




The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school, so similar strategies can be used.

  • The SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly or, where this is not possible, in a report.
  • Personal learning plan targets will be shared and reviewed with you every term.
  • Homework may be adjusted as required to suit your child’s individual requirements.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
  • There is a list of further contacts that might be useful to parents at the very end of this document.



How will Thorndown support your child’s emotional and social development?


We recognize that some children have extra emotional and social needs that need to be developed and nurtured. These needs can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including behavioural difficulties, anxiousness, and being uncommunicative.

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing of our pupils is very important to us. We have a robust Child Protection Policy, Anti-bullying Policy and Behaviour Policy which are actively followed. All classes follow a structured PSHE (Personal, Social and Health education) curriculum to support this development. However, for those children who find aspects of this difficult we offer:

  • An inclusion programme, run by our parent and child pastoral support worker.
  • Lunchtime and playtime support through planned activities and groups.
  •  A Lego club for both Key Stage one and Key Stage two that is run by a trained Teaching assistant and encourages turn taking and cooperation.
  • Music therapy
  • Play therapyThe SENCo, Mrs Amanda Fox, is our Mental Health Champion. She has undertaken The Mental Health Foundation Module, Introduction to CBT and Attachment Training, all of which help her to offer advice and signpost parents to the best help available. She can make referrals to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and CHUMS Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service offers support to children and young people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and low mood, as well as those with significant emotional wellbeing difficulties arising from life events, such as bereavement and bullying.
  • If your child still needs extra support, with your permission and involvement, the SENCo will access further support through the EHA process.

What school policies are there for making provision for pupils with special educational needs?


The following policies are available on our website.

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
  • Administration of Medicine Policy
  • Safeguarding and child protection policy
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Intimate care policy
  • Positive Behaviour policy
  • Attendance policy
  • Anti-Bullying policy



Who can I contact for further information?


School Staff:

SENCo – Amanda Fox 01480 375102


Class teachers can be contacted via Mrs A Cook in the school office 01480 375102


Parent and Child Pastoral Support Worker: Sara Harris 01480 375103




Cambridgeshire’s SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers who have a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or have concerns that their child may have special educational needs.

Tel: 01223 699214




An independent information, support and involvement network in Cambridgeshire run by parents for parents, giving you the chance to meet with parents and share experiences and knowledge.

Tel: 01480 499043


The Statutory Assessment Team (SAT)

For questions and information relating to a child’s Education and Health Care Plan.

Tel: 01480 372600

Email :


St Ives Children’s Centre

Children’s Centres offer the chance for families with children aged 0 to 5 to have fun, play, learn and grow together. Mums, dads, carers and parents-to-be can access the information, support and services they need.

Address: Wheatfields Primary, Wheatfields, St Ives, PE27 3WF

Tel: 07776 494100




District Early Help Team

This team offers support and advice to parents/carers on issues such as children’s challenging behaviour, establishing routines, raising self-esteem, increasing confidence and improving family relationships. Support and advice may be offered through individual support and/or a range of parenting courses. Individual support can be delivered in the home or at other locations agreed with the worker, including schools, Children’s Centres and early year’s settings.


District manager: Thabang Thacker

Address: Huntingdon Youth Centre, Sallowbush Road, Huntingdon, PE29 7AF

Tel: 01480 379454


School Nursing Duty Desk

The School Nursing Duty Desk will manage and co ordinate all referrals and queries into service, provide 1:1 support and, where necessary, signpost callers to appropriate services.

Contact details:

Tel: 0300 029 5050




The Local Authority’s Local Offer for SEND can be found here:



Click HERE for a Glossary of SEND acronyms and abbreviations