Additional Learning Needs.
Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol.
The ALN Reform Bill
There are changes being made to the way that Special Educational Needs (now referred to as ‘Additional Learning Needs’) will be carried out in schools from 2023. In readiness for this, we at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar are already making changes, e.g. in the way that meetings with parents and pupils are held. You will be informed of the changes and how they affect your child by your child’s class teacher and/or your schools, Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo): Miss Sara Marsh.
ALN at Ysgol Gymraeg Aberdar
Here at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar we have a fully inclusive ethos, and firmly believe that all children deserve to have the very best opportunities to achieve their full potential. All staff encourage and support pupils to reach their full potential and promote positive self-esteem and success.
Many children, at some time in their school career, will have an additional learning need of some kind. Some children will need help and support for all of their time at school, whilst others will need support for a short time.
We follow a Graduated Response approach to support all children, and work closely with parents/carers and outside agencies to maximize learning.
Pupils who meet our criteria for having ALN will be supported by class teachers, teaching assistants other adults and their learning environment. As a school we identify support for Pupils under the following areas:
- School Action (SA) - Support for Pupils identified as School Action lies within our School. This may be in the form of school based interventions or differentiated tasks in class. There would be no involvement or support from any external agencies
- School Action Plus (SA+) - Those who are identified as School Action Plus will have the additional support and/or advice of external agencies such as Speech and Language, Behavioural Support or Educational Psychologist.
- Statement - Pupils with statements are provided with provision to meet their needs by the Local Authority, who take responsibility for this Statement. The school will fully engage with the statement process.
Individual Education Plans (IEP's) are written and reviewed with children on a termly basis, looking at individual targets and needs, and are shared with parents/carers. One Page Profiles and Team Around the Child meetings are used to support Person Centred Planning (PCP).
Children who have an IEP are put on our SEN register, this is a flexible register and the number of children on it fluctuates according to needs.
Some of our children have a statement of special educational need. These children have full access to the National Curriculum within their own class and where necessary through individual and small group support.
We have many types of interventions to support children's needs, including:
- Rapid maths
- Tric a chlic
- Read, write inc
Person Centred Practices. (PCP)
We at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar aim to be person centred in the way we think and teach. We believe that each child is an individual and that learning should be personalised. We use a range of person centred thinking tools during circle time and wellbeing sessions. These tools help staff get to know the children on a deeper level and understand their needs. PCP Tools includes;
- Relationship circle
- What's working/not working
- Good day/bad day
- 4 plus 1 question
Using these tools helps form a One Page Profile.
One Page Profiles.
A One Page Profile captures all the important information about a person on a single sheet of paper under three simple headings: what people appreciate about me, what’s important to me and how best to support me.
Each child will have a One Page Profile.
Questions and Answers about ALN
The term 'Additional Learning Needs' encompasses not only weak learning characteristics but also issues surrounding communication and interaction, behaviour and social and emotional difficulties or physical and sensory needs. It also refers to our More Able and Talented pupils.
FAQs about ALN
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We have rigorous monitoring in place that tracks the progress our learners make in all areas of the curriculum. Our staff are vigilant at supporting and raising any concerns. We use data and other forms of assessment to identify additional needs and work hard to support these children.
Parents/carers are encouraged firstly to speak to the class teacher about any concerns they may have.
How will school staff support my child?
Our governors’ play an active role in monitoring the quality of our special educational needs provision as does the Head Teacher, senior leadership team and Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo). All interventions we put in place are research informed and evidence based and are measured to monitor their impact against expected rates of progress. When we feel something isn’t working, we respond by making alternative arrangements. All additional support programmes are overseen by the ALNCo and all our teachers take responsibility for supporting all children within their class, regardless of ability.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
Differentiation is embedded in our curriculum and daily teaching practice. This may take the form of different work being set or additional resources being provided. Regular pupil progress meetings are held between the headteacher/class teacher to monitor individual children and plan next steps of development. The ALNCo and class teachers meet each term to monitor progress of specific children. All our teachers are clear about expectations of whole school provision and their lessons and books are monitored regularly by the senior leadership team.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?
We regularly share progress feedback with our children and their parents/carers. Teachers meet with parents and carers at least termly and more frequently when there is a cause for concern. At these meetings we clearly share what can be done by families to support their children with their learning. Regular updates are made to the curriculum and shared via our school website and via the Seesaw app.
What support will there be for my child's overall well-being?
Every child has an adult who they can talk to should the need arise. Staff are regularly reminded of our policies (including safeguarding policy) and these are updated in a timely fashion. Children are able to work collaboratively through the school council and raise issues that concern them. We have trained ELSA's (Emotional literacy support assistants) that work closely with individuals.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEN had or are having?
Our ALNCo is a qualified and experienced teacher of 17 years with over 7 years ALNCo experience. We invest time and money in our ALNCo to ensure we are continuously working to improve universal provision delivery and to enhance skills and knowledge of children with additional needs through additional/enhanced interventions. Our teaching staff are regularly updated on ALN matters. All teaching staff meet with the ALNCo every term to discuss, track and monitor ALN pupils. Our LSA support team meet regularly with the ALNCo to update skills and share good practice. Where necessary, training is offered throughout the school year. We make good use of services offered by Learning Support teams and other local organisations. Teachers are encouraged to ask for support as and when they feel it is needed.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Quality teaching and learning is clearly demonstrated in our school and there are expectations that all staff will deliver this. Regular testing and teacher assessments, (along with additional testing if appropriate), form the backbone of decisions made. Should additional support be required, this is undertaken after consultation with the relevant staff, child and parent/carer. Intervention programmes may be used, these include small group work, additional resources or 1:1 work. Support may be felt appropriate for academic progress and also to strengthen social skills. All interventions are monitored for impact, and outcomes are clearly defined at the start of the intervention. The senior leadership team and the ALNCo oversees additional support and regularly shares updates with the governing body.
Who can I contact for further information?
In the first instance parents and carers are encouraged to speak to the class teacher. Depending on the support being required, they may contact the school office where they will be directed to the most appropriate member of staff.
Outside Support agencies.
Our Additional Learning Needs Coordinator is Miss Sara Marsh