St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School

Special Educational Needs

Mrs Erika Hughes is the Special Education Needs Coordinator at St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School.

Mrs Hughes works from Tuesday to Friday in school. You can contact her on 0121 464 2613 (option 2), or via email

She is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Special Education Needs. There are also a variety of questions below that may help you further.

Important Documents 



Special Educational Needs Information 

Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child's difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND)?

St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). Her name is Miss Hughes. Miss Hughes is in school from Tuesday to Friday each week. The best way to contact her is to phone St Martin de Porres directly on 0121 464 5500 between Wednesday and Friday. You can also speak to your child's class teacher about your child's needs. They are available after school or by ringing the school to make an appointment.

What kinds of different SEN does our school provide for?

Cognition and Learning

Children who find learning, thinking and understanding harder than most other pupils. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult include:

  • Taking longer to learn important skills.
  • Finding it difficult to remember things such as the important words for reading and their times tables.
  • Finding it hard to understand how to use letter sounds to read and spell words.
  • Needing more time to think about their answers.

Communication and Interaction

Children who find it difficult with interacting with the people and world around them. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Talking to other adults and or other children, especially when in a group.
  • Talking about a topic they haven't chosen to talk about.
  • Making friends or keeping friends for a long time.
  • Following rules made by someone else.
  • Dealing with noises, smells or other sensations around them.
  • Understanding what other people mean when they are talking.
  • Getting equipment and books organised - especially homework.
  • Changes to the normal routine.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

Children who find it difficult to manage their emotions and behaviour in a way that affects their daily life. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Following rules set by others.
  • Sitting still for very long.
  • Listening to and following instructions.
  • Understanding how they are feeling.
  • Making friends.
  • Dealing with their difficulties in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others.
  • Taking responsibility for the things they do.

Sensory and/or physical needs

Children who have a disability that may make it difficult for them to manage their everyday life without changes to the environment or support. This may be because of hearing or visual difficulties, physical disabilities or other medical needs. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Hearing what others in the classroom or school setting are saying.
  • Reading words on books, worksheets or whiteboards that are not made bigger or changed to help them.
  • Moving around without the aid of a walking aid or wheelchair.
  • Using pencils, scissors, knives and forks and other things that we need to use without changes or support.

What are the different types of support available for children with SEND at St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School?

Teachers adapt what they are teaching or the way that they are teaching to help your child to learn with the rest of the class at the appropriate level.

Extra support can be given in a small group by an adult to help your child to learn the things they are finding difficult.

Extra support can be given to your child by an adult for a short time during the day to support them to learn skills.

Individual targets may be set to help show what your child needs help with.

Advice from a specialist support teacher or other professional will be called upon if required.

Support can be tailored to a child with particular needs upon consultation with the class teacher and SENCo.

How can I be involved with my child's learning and progress?

By attending parents' evenings during the first two terms of the academic year.

Understanding and working towards my child’s target setting so that parents can see what their child is working on next.

By accessing important information on our school website including termly unit plans so I know what my child will learn each term.

Supporting with homework, daily reading and spelling practise with my child.

By attending any parent workshops that are available.

By being involved in parents' views on IEP or Annual Review documents.

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child's learning in school?

Contact will be via the class teacher in the first instance.

Scheduled Parents Evenings which are twice an academic year.

Termly review meetings and Annual Reviews (where needed).

Graduated approach to learning difficulties, using the 'Plan, Do, Review' model.

Through SENCo advice and coordination.

All children's progress, including those children with special educational needs and disabilities, is tracked using the school's assessment tracking system. Pupils are assessed regularly using teacher marking, observations and questioning as well as more formal assessments such as curriculum tests and standardised tests.

In Birmingham we also have access to the Birmingham Language and Literacy and Mathematics toolkits which support assessment when a child is making small steps of progress. In addition, for children with special educational needs we also set individual targets that are reviewed at least three times a year. This helps the school to monitor how well interventions are working.

What examples of provision are available at St Martin's for pupils with SEND?

In our school we make provision for pupils with all types of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

We know that some pupils will have difficulties in more than one area and we will always do our best to meet their needs. All children in school have support within lessons through differentiation and quality first teaching strategies. This means that activities are planned according to the level the child is working at. This can include a variety of adaptations including changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles as well as levels of adult support.

Members of staff have received training from the Communication and Autism Team so that we can implement practical classroom strategies and support children with social skills, organisation and communication.

We have specific classrooms, designed to support children with SEN. Children identified as having specific special educational needs, may have the opportunity to be taught in them in a much smaller group, with a higher ratio of staff. We also have a sensory room that children with sensory needs can access with adult support.

Staff have also had Occupational Therapy (OT) training so that all staff are aware how to support children with Social, Emotional, Mental Health difficulties, always taking a nurturing approach.

We also have a trained Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) who works to support children with speech language and communication difficulties in school each week.

Who are the other people providing services to children with SEN in this school?

Pupil and School Support (PSS)

The PSS teacher works with children with cognition and learning difficulties. They can also offer support, advice and training to school staff. All Birmingham schools have an allocated PSS teacher who visits regularly. Parents have to sign referral form if PSS may be working with your child. Our PSS teacher is called Kate Butcher.

Physical Difficulties Support Service

This service works with children with physical difficulties which impact on their access in the school setting. Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact for support and advice.

Communication and Autism Team (CAT)

The CAT team will visit school to work with children who already have a diagnosis of Autism or communication difficulties or whom may be on the pathway to a diagnosis. Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact. Our CAT worker is Sarah Rymill. Parental consent will be requested if we want the CAT to work with your child.  

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

The EP may work with children with additional needs. An Educational Psychologist will always be involved with a child who is referred for an Education, Health and Care Plan. St Martin de Porres has an allocated education psychologist who we will contact. Our EP is Dr Rachel Hunt.

Sensory Support

Children with a visual impairment or hearing impairment may need sensory support. Schools have an allocated hearing and visual support worker who we will contact. Our visual impairment worker is Alison Short.

School Nurse

For children with medical needs we have a school nurse who we can contact and seek advice and support on children’s needs. For all other health enquiries we urge parents to take their child to the GP.

Forward Thinking Birmingham

For children who may be suffering with social, emotional, mental health needs (SEMH) including anxiety, depression, post- traumatic stress disorder, eating disorder or OCD. A referral can be made by the GP or school or family to Forward Thinking Birmingham. Parental consent is always required if the referral is made via school.

How do we know that provision is effective?

We are always seeking to ensure that our SEN provision is highly effective and we ensure this by -

Using data to track where your child is on entry to school.

Tracking the attainment of your child’s progress made from KS1 baseline.

Using data and information from intervention records indicating progress linked to targets.

By using the Language and Literacy toolkit to track progress in smaller steps.

By gaining feedback from the Child, Parents, Teacher, Teaching Assistant, SENCo and outside agencies involved, which are always communicated honestly and openly.

How are the staff in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?

In our school we believe that all staff should be involved in supporting pupils with special educational needs, disabilities and medical needs so we make sure that staff have training to help them do this.

Staff training needs are reviewed on a regular basis dependant on the needs of our children and whenever a need arises. Recent training has included Safeguarding, Epipen and Asthma.

As well as this various members of staff have been trained for different aspects of special educational needs including specific phonics and reading intervention programmes including Precision Teaching and Toe by Toe.

How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEN?

Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child's needs are met.

Specially trained support staff can adapt the teachers planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.

Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.

Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child's learning needs.

How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

By analysing tracking and attainment of your child and their progress made from their KS1 baseline.

By using point to point entry and exit data from Interventions.

Ongoing feedback from your child, Teacher, Teaching Assistant, SENCO and outside agencies involved.

There are termly formal assessments and the school tracking system identifies progress termly.

How will we involve your child in decisions about their education?

While at St Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School, your child will be as involved as much as possible regarding decisions about their education.

This will take place by:

  • Involving the child in setting their own targets.
  • Self-assessment at the beginning and end of learning.
  • Having a range of equipment available for the child to choose to use.
  • Ensuring the child works with a range of different partners.
  • Ensuring the child has a designated adult to go to if they need help.
  • Membership of the school council.
  • Use of one page profiles.
  • Communication and visual symbols.
  • Visual timetables.
  • Prompt cards to promote independence.
  • Personalised work stations.
  • Facilitating learning breaks.

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

As part of our open door policy 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 that 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 and the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.

Your child's provision will be reviewed with your involvement each term.

Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child's individual needs.

We will signpost you to parent support groups and our aim is that once a term there will be a SEN support workshop or coffee morning held in school.

How is the whole school day made accessible to children with SEN?

Adjustments are made to the physical environment where necessary, integration assistants where applicable, specialist equipment, visual timetables, now and next boards, social stories, transition books, additional adult support where necessary are all examples of how the school day is made accessible to children with SEN. Children are also encouraged to have regular movement breaks, and will have the opportunity to work in smaller groups with a higher ratio of staff. Key adults also make contact with children throughout the day to support and advise if necessary. 

How will we support your child when they are leaving this school or moving on to another class?

We aim to make times of transition as easy as possible for the children and young people in our school.

If appropriate, when starting at our school we:

Meet with parents to talk about their needs and answer any questions about our school.

Meet with staff at the child's previous school or setting.

Provide the child or young person with a transition book that has photographs of the key staff and areas around school.

Read reports from people who have worked with the children.

Arrange visits to our school so the child gets to see it before they start properly.

Give any adults working with the child a one page profile describing the things that help to support them in school.

Identify any particular needs e.g. language, medical, physical, learning, and introduce appropriate staff who will support your child.

Based on needs, when moving to a new year group we:

Introduce the child to their new teacher and teaching assistant individually.

Provide the child or young person with an updated transition book that has photographs of the key staff and areas around school to look at during the school holidays.

Talk to the child and their family so we can answer any questions they may have about the new year group.

Give any adults working with the child a one page profile describing the things that help to support them in school.

When moving to a new school we:

Talk to key staff at the new school about things that help the child or young person to learn well and be happy at school.

Ensure that an updated one page profile is passed on.

Arrange extra visits to the new school with a member of staff from our school if that is what the child wants.

Talk to the child and their family so we can answer any questions they may have about the new school.

Ensure that all transition documents (IEP’s, one page profiles, reports, safeguarding information and letters) are transferred on to the child’s new setting.

What is the school's policy for SEN?

Our School SEN Policy can be found here. This is reviewed and updated annually.

How is the governing body involved with SEN provision?

At St Martin de Porres we have a governor who is responsible for special educational needs. Her name is Maree Munn. Her job is to meet with the SENCo and Headteacher regularly. In these meetings the SEN governor makes sure that children, young people and families are being supported by the right services from in and outside of school. In addition, the Headteacher and SENCo have to give a report to the SEN governor at the end of each term. This report is shared with the other governors so that the whole governing body is aware of how special educational needs are being supported in the school and how well this support is working. The governors will advise the Headteacher if appropriate provision isn't being made.

What can I do if I am not happy with the provision for my child?

If you are unhappy about the school's provision for your child which cannot be resolved with the class teacher or the SENCo, please contact the Headteacher, and we will do everything we can to address the issue.

Where is Birmingham Local Authority's Local Offer?

By law, Birmingham Local Authority has to provide information on a website detailing all services available in Birmingham for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This information is called The Local Offer.

Please click the banner below to access the Birmingham Local Offer website: