Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

At Stourfield Infant School, identifying and meeting individual need is central to our approach to Teaching and Learning and our approach to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is embedded in our Teaching and Learning practices.

Our Executive Special Educational Needs Coordinator is Mrs L Dixon who can be contacted via the school email office@stourfieldinfants.com or by telephone 01202 424585. 

From September 2014, the Government changed how children with special educational needs and disability are supported. These changes included:

  • A new SEND Code of Practice that gives children and young people with SEND in all educational settings the same statutory protection
  • Making sure that children, young people and their parents and carers are at the centre of any assessment and planning
  • Giving children, young people and their parents and carers the information and services they need
  • Making sure that education, health and care services work closely together with families
  • Replacing the statement of special educational needs (SEN) with a broader Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
  • Giving parents and young people the option of a personal budget to buy some of the support they need
  • Making sure local authorities, like Bournemouth Borough Council, publish their Local Offer which tells young people and parents about all the support and services available in their area

For information regarding Bournemouth's Local Offer, please click here.

For Stourfield Infants most recent SEN report, please click here (this report can also be found at the bottom of this page).

Finally, please find below a selection of Frequently Asked Questions regarding children with SEND, the answers to which we hope may allay worries.

What should I do if I think that my child has Special Educational Needs?

At Stourfield Infant School we want to work with you to support your children’s development from the moment that they join us to the time they leave.

If you have a concern and think that your child may have additional needs please initially talk about this with the Class Teacher.

Your worries, thoughts or questions will always be shared with the school’s Executive SENDCo, Mrs L Dixon or Miss L Tobin / Mr O Hodgman, our Assistant Head Teachers.  Further meetings will then be planned as appropriate.

Together we will decide and agree the next steps to support your child; be it planning different provision within the school or the need to involve another professional such as the Community Paediatrician. All these decisions will be documented and the school team will monitor your child’s progress.

If a teacher believes that your child would benefit from additional support, this will be discussed with you. Some children may need additional support for a short amount of time. For some children a period of additional support or regular alternative provision may be enough to meet their needs and ensure that they make progress. The school would put this in place but this would not necessarily mean that your child had Special Educational Needs.

If your child continues to require additional provision or advice from other professionals, such as the Speech and Language Service, then the school would recognise that your child has a Special Educational Need or Disability. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) would be written and shared with you.

The IEP will identify the main areas of Special Educational Need and the specific provision that would meet these needs. Please read the Twynham Learning SEND policy on the school website for more information.

Speech and Language Provision

Many children have Speech and Language support at Stourfield Infant School and IEPs are written by the school staff based on targets set by the Speech Therapists.  Staff provide regular intervention to support individual children in the development of their speech and language skills, when required.

The School’s SENDCo ensures referrals are made, parents are made aware of reviews in school, and meetings between the Therapist and parents are arranged when needed.

Provision for children with physical, medical or emotional needs

For some children who have physical needs, LSAs will provide individual support. The amount and type of support is always detailed on an IEP. If at any point it needs to be changed as needs require, then the IEP can be amended.

We also have staff skilled in supporting Physiotherapy and Occupational Health programmes and planning Sensory diets for individuals, which may take place within Sensory Circuit provision.

The school team is supported by the School’s Nursing Team and other Community Nurses and the community paediatrician service.

How will the school staff support my child?

All staff support our children in all areas of their development.

Our Class Teachers have the responsibility for ensuring that your child’s needs are meet,. Children’s progress is reviewed each half term and discussed with the Headteacher, members of the Senior Leadership Team and the SENDCo, where appropriate. Support is then reviewed and amended on a regular basis throughout the year.

Teachers also write and review the targets on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) if the child is on the Special Educational Needs and Disability register (SEND). Depending on the type of additional need(s) that your child has, the support may be as part of a small group or on a 1:1 basis. It may happen daily or less often and it will vary in length of time. This will all be written on the IEP and discussed with you.

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

At Stourfield Infant School we aim to plan exciting and engaging learning opportunities for all our children and to adapt our teaching to meet your children’s needs. Every Class Teacher will use pictures and visual prompts to support the spoken word. Every teacher will model the learning experience so that all children can see and understand what is expected.

Differentiation is an important way in which the teacher can plan for the children to be as independent as possible within their own learning during a whole class lesson. Differentiation is about personalising the learning;

  • Using limited language and providing additional visual prompts for a group or individual
  • Providing a writing slope or a pencil grip
  • Allowing additional time to think about an instruction or to complete a task
  • Providing an opportunity to practise a skill or learn a new word ahead of a whole class lesson
  • For some children with complex SEND, specific LSAs receive further training as required.
  • It may be a piece of equipment that supports your child to access the curriculum – such as a specific IT programme to develop writing

Additional learning sessions are provided when required to support the development of a range of skills.

How will both the school and I know how my child is doing, and how will the teaching staff help me support my child's learning?

If you have concerns about your child's learning, progress or development, you are welcome to make an appointment to see your child's class teacher at a mutually convenient time.

It may be helpful to you, if your child has more complex needs associated with communication difficulties, to have a Home School book in which we can write about what they are doing on a regular basis.

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

Your child’s safety and wellbeing; their personal and emotional development is at the heart of Stourfield Infant School’s nurturing ethos. All Class Teachers know that it is essential that your child feels safe and secure in order for them to be able to learn, and that on some days for some children this will not be easy.

We understand that there are some situations in life that will cause your child to worry or be upset and it is these worries that then become a barrier to their learning. If there is a worry we will always find some time and a quiet place for a chat.

In our school we have a range of different approaches in place which we hope will support your child in understanding their feelings and how to manage them. These include;

  • Whole class Circle Times which will encourage children to talk and listen to each other
  • Whole class PSHCE lessons which will focus on social and emotional learning themes
  • Bubble Time which is an opportunity to talk 1:1 with an adult to share thoughts or worries
  • Small group sessions to explore in more detail aspects of social and emotional learning relevant to the children in the group
  • Buddy Systems at playtimes
  • Alternative playtime and Lunchtime provision for those children who may find the playground overwhelming
  • A light sensory room

If further and more specialist support is required we can discuss this with you. If you feel that it is needed, please talk to us; your Class Teacher or Miss A Smith, the school’s Family Support Worker. 

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

At Stourfield Infant School we work with many specialist services from Health, Social Care, Education and the voluntary sector. Some we work with as a matter of routine, others work with us due to very specific individual needs. We will endeavour to access any service if it will help a child or their family.

  • A Speech and Language Therapist who visits weekly.  
  • We also work with Linwood and Tregonwell and their Outreach Team to develop strategies to support individual needs.
  • Poole CDC team - Physiotherapist and Occupational Health Team who will visit the school to advise on programmes and specialist equipment if necessary.
  • The school runs its own Sensory Circuit provision for children with specific physical needs.
  • The school can get advice from the School’s Nursing Team in relation to completing Health Care Plans if needed.
  • Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHs) – Nursing Team
  • BCP counselling services such as, ‘Listening Ear’ and ‘Think Bricks’.
  • The school regularly accesses Bournemouth’s Educational Psychology Service by making referrals to them directly
  • Southbourne and Pokesdown Children’s Centre Team work alongside school colleagues to support families and children
  • Vision and Hearing Support Service

There are many organisations available to support families, such as:

  • SENDiass (Special Educational Needs Information Advice and Support Service) - Providing Information, Advice and Support for Children & Young People with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) and Parents/Carers of Children with SEND
  • The Parent Practitioner Team who have hosted courses at the school and have supported families in our school
  • MOSAIC – Supporting Bereaved Children & Young People throughout Dorset
  • Coping with Chaos


How accessible is Stourfield Infant School's environment?

Our school environment is fully accessible. Significant parts of the school, including one classroom in every year group, are acoustically treated. These areas include the school hall and ICT room.

Disabled parking is available in the shared car park next to Beaufort Community Centre.

The school has two disabled accessible toilet facilities; one for an adult and one for a child with additional changing facilities. Additional adjustments have been made in other toilets including hand rails.

The school has also used the services of a translator to support families with English as an additional language. This has been to help with the understanding of specific letters and reports.

Any additional equipment that is necessary to support a child in their access is used as appropriate and as directed by specialists. This could include; hearing aids, walking frames and seating equipment.

See our school Equality Policy.


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

All our children are expected to be included in all our activities and day trips.  A risk assessment will be completed to ensure that reasonable adjustments can be made so that trips are fully inclusive and everyone is safe.

How will Stourfield Infant School prepare my child to start school and support them to move on to the next class and school?

We know that transitions and change can be a challenge for any child and their family, and we take great care to ensure that your child with SEND has a transition into school that is as smooth as possible. 

Joining us from another school or pre-school/nursery setting

  • An initial transition meeting at school or in the Nursery/Pre-school with you and the staff who currently support your child.
  • Key staff will visit your child in their current setting, with our SENDCo, if required.
  • The SENDCo will attend Annual Reviews in the term prior to starting school if your child already has an Education Health Care Plan and our school is to be named.
  • A short, simple “social story” can be written about our school and given to you and your child.
  • Arrange additional short visits to our school; perhaps just spending time in our playground playing on the Pirate Ship.
  • If appropriate arrange an accessibility visit with your child’s Occupational Therapist.
  • Discuss and plan for any appropriate training including medical training if necessary.
  • Ensure that any reports and/or records are transferred to the school.
  • Attendance at Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings where an EHA (Early Help Assessment) is open, prior to your child starting.

Moving classes within school

  • Information is always transferred onto the new Class Teacher by the previous teacher; this will include Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and any medical information.
  • Social stories describing what will change and what will stay the same can be written for your child.
  • Additional visits to the new classroom can be planned for some children and the new class teacher will meet them too.
  • The children will have a taster session in their new classrooms with their new teacher in the Summer Term before the holiday. You will also be invited to meet the new teacher before the end of term in the new classroom.

In Year 2 and moving to another school

  • Your child’s teacher attends a transition meeting with the teachers at Stourfield Junior School and discusses all information relating to your child in person.  
  • The Executive SENDCo, Mrs L Dixon, will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of the new school and in many cases a transition meeting can also be organised for you to discuss your child with them too.
  • Your child will visit the Junior School on a number of occasions over the course of the Summer Term to join different activities and to familiarise themselves with the school
  • Additional visits to the new school can be arranged supported by familiar staff and we will also arrange for key staff from the new school to visit your child in this school.
  • Social stories can be written with your child; perhaps using photographs that your child has taken on their visit to the new school and/or questions that your child may have about their new school.
  • If your child transfers to a new school at any point we will always contact the new school to speak to the SENDCo, organise visits if timely and ensure that records and information are sent to the key members of staff. We will always invite staff from the new school to visit your child here.
  • If your child has an Education Health Care Plan, an Annual Review will be held in Year 2. Key members of staff, including the SENDCo, from the new school are always invited and we hope that you and your child will take this opportunity to share your questions and thoughts about the move to the new school with them. We can then plan to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

How are decisions made about what type of support, and how much support, my child will receive?

Decisions about how much and what type of support is needed follows discussion and advice from professionals and through a process of ongoing review and will be amended accordingly. This will always be discussed with you and your child, where appropriate. As a result of these discussions you should have a good idea of the support your child will need in school.

If there are a number of professionals giving us advice about your child’s Special Educational Need or Disability we are likely to meet regularly to review how your child is doing.

If your child has complex, long-term needs which requires an Education Health Care Plan, then resources and support are discussed and written into the EHCP. These are reviewed every 6 months until your child turns five and then annually. The school is allocated a SEND Inclusion Officer from BCP and they will usually attend a child’s needs.

How are parents involved in the life of Stourfield Infant School? How can I be more involved?

At Stourfield Infant School parents have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of school life and we both welcome and encourage it.

  • We have an active Parents’ Association that organises successful community events throughout the school year.
  • Parent Volunteers support children within the classroom and accompany them on school trips and outings.
  • If you have a particular skill or talent don’t be shy, let us know and you may find yourself involved in enhancing our curriculum and making it even more exciting!

As parents/carers you are an important voice for your child, so please remember to keep talking to us.