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More than a school


SEN Contact: Mrs M Taylor



We are a fully inclusive mainstream school and we strive to ensure that all pupils achieve their potential personally, socially, emotionally and academically in all areas of the curriculum (regardless of their gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, sexual identity, physical ability or educational needs).This is not a bland general statement; children at Smith`s Wood regularly achieve above national average levels regardless of special educational needs or barriers to learning. This document is intended to give you information regarding the ways in which we ensure we support all of our pupils, including those with SEN, in order that they can realise their full potential. It may not list every skill, resource and technique we employ in order to achieve this as these are continually developed and used to modify our provision to meet the changing requirements for individual pupils. Importantly, we expect high standards of behaviour from all pupils at all times; every pupil has a right to learn.




Do you have children with SEND in your school?

We are a mainstream school and the many of our pupils exceed the learning goals for their age. A small number of our pupils do have special educational needs. Children are identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) when their progress has slowed or stopped either socially, emotionally or academically and carefully targeted interventions we put in place do not enable improvement.

What kinds of SEND do those children have?

Typically, children with SEND in our school have difficulties with speaking and language, learning (especially reading and/or writing), social or emotional development, or sensory difficulties. We also have children with physical and hearing difficulties.

How do you know if a pupil has SEN?





How will I know if my child is receiving SEN support?

Our class teachers closely monitor the progress made by all the children and ask advice from the SENCo as soon as they have concerns about any pupil. The SENCo helps class teachers to plan interventions to help the child. If these activities don’t help the child to make good progress, the SENCo might suggest other programmes or temporary additional support, or ask for advice or assessment from an external specialist service. If the child still does not make good progress the SENCo and class teacher will meet with parents/carers and together agree that additional SEN support will be put in place.

As soon as your child’s SEN has been identified as having additional needs we will contact you and invite you to come into school to discuss plans to help him or her make better progress. We will create an individual pupil profile at this stage and share it with you.



Where can I find information about the school SEN Policy?


Our SEND Policy and Parent Information Leaflet will give you the information you need about how we make provision for all pupils with SEN.

  • Click here to see our SEN policy..
  • Click here to see our SEN Information leaflet for

If you would like to discuss our SEN provision or find out more, please contact our SENCo.

Mrs. Mia Taylor




How do you make sure that the SEN support is helping pupils make better progress? How will I know that my child is making progress?


Class teachers, the senior management team and the SENCo closely monitor the progress made by our children with SEND. Half termly meetings are held to discuss progress made and to plan targeted interventions for those children who have not made the expected progress. Interventions are carefully monitored and impact measured half termly, using our School Intervention record.

Progress will be reported termly to Parents through parent-teacher consultations, written reports and review meetings with the SENCo.

At Smith's Wood Primary Academy, Children with SEND are expected to make as much progress as those children without additional needs. Children with SEND in our school make good progress each year, above national expectations.

Children with SEN have an individual pupil profile outlining the strategies that are in place to support their progress, and these are updated each term and shared with you. Your comments will be included in your child’s pupil profile.


SEN provision was graded as ‘Outstanding’ in our OFSTED inspection in 2017 and gin in 2023.

How do you check and review the progress made by pupils with SEN?


Parents and carers of children with SEND will be invited in to review their child’s progress with the SENCO and any other relevant professionals at least twice a year, in addition to their usual parent-

How will I be involved in those reviews? Who else will be there?

teacher consultations. Parents can make further appointments to meet with the SENCO as necessary alongside this and our SENCO is also easily accessible by phone. Families are encouraged to contact the SENCO as soon as they have concerns, so that we can work together to ensure the needs of the child can be met as effectively as possible.

The SENCO also holds termly coffee afternoons in which parents can informally ask questions, listen to guest speakers and become involved in the direction of SEND within our school.




How do your teachers help pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities to learn, including what they learn? How can I find out more about what my child is learning at the moment?


Our teachers have the highest possible expectations for all pupils in his or her class. All teaching is based upon building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand. Your child’s teacher/s will put in place different ways of teaching so that he or she is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve using a more practical approach or providing different resources adapted for your child. Teachers will also put in place specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or staff from outside agencies) to enable your child to  access the learning.


Each teacher carefully checks progress to monitor if any child has gaps in his or her understanding/learning and needs some extra support. He/ She will plan group or individual sessions for children if appropriate, with targets to ensure progress. Either a teacher or a trained teaching assistant working to plans made by the class teacher might lead these group activities.


There is more information about the school curriculum on our website


How have you made the school buildings and site safe and welcoming for pupils with SEN or disabilities?

As a new building, Smith`s Wood Primary is 100% accessible. A feature of the school is the specialised group and individual support provided. Considerable effort has gone into devising additional group support areas to provide further support for children.

The site itself is very secure with electric gates, CCTV surveillance and controlled access during the school day.

Additional staffing is utilised at break times and lunchtimes to further support pupils. Smith`s Wood is a bright and original place for pupils to learn.

Is there any extra support available to help pupils with SEND with their learning? How will I know if my child is getting extra support?


At Smith's Wood Primary Academy we have a part time Speech and Language Therapist, on site supporting  the speech and language needs of our learners.


We also have a Play Therapist on site who works with children and their families, a full time  behaviour specialist and two family support workers.

Alongside these staff, we have two child counsellors at the school, offering one to one ongoing individual sessions to support the social, emotional and mental health of our children. Each class has teaching assistant support and adult to child ratios are very high. Learning mentors  are also present in classes where appropriate.

We have access to external support from Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapy, SOLAR (Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health) Specialist teachers in the areas of Social, Emotional and Mental Health, visual Impairment, Hearing impairment, Sensory needs, Physical Impairment, Communication and learning, Autism and paediatricians, amongst others.

Our SENCO is accredited in educational testing and is an accredited Dyslexia Specialist.


What social, before and after school and other activities are available for pupils with SEND? How can my child and I find out about these activities?


Breakfast Club is available for children who need a softer start to the school day. A learning mentor and family worker is available in these sessions to help children settle in to the school day, while they have something to eat and drink.

A variety of free extra curricular clubs are available and accessible to all our children, including those with SEND. These change on a regular basis, but usually include cookery, choir, Science Club, netball, football, dance and art and craft. Not all these clubs will be available to every year group, but when a new activity is beginning, families will be informed with a letter and invited to apply for a place. We aim to accommodate as many children as possible.




How does your school support pupils’ emotional and social development?


Smith’s Wood Primary Academy offers Play Therapy and family support to help with the emotional and social development of our pupils. Learning mentors at the school play an active role in classrooms, supporting those children who need additional help emotionally, with self-esteem or social issues. We also have two trained mental health first aiders on site.

We also have a counsellor at the school on two days a week, offering one to one ongoing individual     sessions to support the social, emotional and mental health of our children.

All children access the Character Education curriculum and programmes such as Circle of Friends, Time to Talk, Jigsaw and peer mentoring groups are delivered and accessed as necessary. We also run Forest School, children’s yoga and gardening clubs, all which help develop children’s mental health.

We have an accessible sensory garden to provide an area of reflection and peace as well as an indoor sensory room.

Our focus is on positive praise, always focusing on what the children can do, rather than what they find difficult. Children are rewarded and praised on a daily basis, but also through weekly celebration assemblies.






Who should I contact if I want to find out more about how the school supports pupils with SEND?

My name is Mia Taylor and I am the SENCO at Smith's Wood Primary Academy. I have been teaching for over 25 years, and have specialised in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities for the last 15 years. I have specialist qualifications in the assessment of pupils with additional needs and am a qualified Dyslexia Specialist. I work with children from Nursery to Year 6 alongside the class teachers, ensuring that children who require additional support are able to reach their full potential through carefully planned, delivered and assessed interventions using an ‘Assess, Plan, Do’ approach. Our children with additional needs make good progress at Smith's Wood Primary Academy in all subjects. I work closely with the Pastoral team here, including a Play Therapist, Behaviour Specialist, Family support workers and counsellors, to ensure that children’s emotional and mental health is given as much priority as their academic learning. We also have a Speech and Language Therapist in school who assesses and works with children on a one to one basis. Our aim is to work closely with families, to ensure a rounded, joined up approach to helping children progress emotionally and academically, reaching their full potential.



How are the adults in school helped to work with children with an SEND and what training have they had?


The school follows a school development plan that includes identified training needs for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues or to support identified groups of learners in school, such as autism, dyslexia, etc.

Whole staff training to share knowledge, strategies and experience, & ensure consistency of the school’s approach for children with a SEND.

Teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. medical /health training to support staff in implementing care plans.

If you would like to hear about current or past training undertaken by school staff, please speak to the Principal or SENCo.

The SENCo and teacher work closely with specialists from external support services who may provide advice or direct support as appropriate.

Recent SEND whole staff training includes Autism Awareness (Level 1, 2 and 3 AET training), Positive handing techniques, Anxiety in children and Attachment Disorder.


What happens if my child needs specialist equipment or other facilities?


If specialist equipment is required, the SENCO will work alongside the specialist and health services to ensure appropriate provision is made. The school is fully accessible for wheelchair users, and auxiliary aids and services will be provided as appropriate in consultation with the Local Authority.




How will I be involved with planning for and supporting my child’s learning?


Who will help me to support him/her at home?


If your child has SEND, the class teacher is still your first port of call to discuss daily issues, If a question or issue is more specific, or can’t be answered by the class teacher then you should make an appointment to see the SENCO. The SENCO is available before and after school as well as during the day, for informal discussions about issues as they arise. You will be invited to a more formal review of your child’s progress with the SENCO at least twice a year, in addition to your written report and parent consultation evenings with the class teacher. Next steps will be discussed and shared with you at these meetings.


Family support and information is available through Paula Kirk and Laverne O’Reilly, our Family Support Workers, who are in school full time, and through Chris Ingram our Play Therapist.

Parents are also encouraged to contact Mr. Hobbis, Head of Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes, in relation to any  concerns regarding Social, Emotional or Behaviour issues.

How is my child involved in his /her own learning and decisions made about his

/her education?


Pupils are at the centre of their own learning at Smith’s Wood Primary Academy. They are involved in planning activities from the beginning of a topic, based around their own interests. The children are expected to respond daily to comments and ‘feed forward’ marking from their teachers in their school books. This ensures they have read and understood the feedback, and also have

completed the next step in their learning.

Children’s individual targets and strategies are shared with them and kept accessible for them to refer to. Children will be invited to attend their SEND reviews if appropriate, but if they don’t attend in person their comments will be sought prior to the meeting.



Who should I contact if I’m not happy with my child’s learning and / or progress?


Your first step should be to make a complaint directly to your child’s class teacher or SENCo. If your complaint isn’t resolved by the teacher or SENCo you can then ask for a meeting with the Deputy Principal or Principal. If this still doesn’t resolve your complaint you can write to the governing body to take the matter further.


Click here to see our complaints procedure.

Who else provides services in school for children with SEN or disabilities?


How can my family get support from these services?



Click here to see the table of Provision at Smith’s Wood Primary Academy



Who should I contact to find out about other support for parents and families of children with SEN or disabilities?


Solihull SENDIAS

A service for parents of children with Special Educational Needs

Their aim is to enable parents/carers to make informed decisions about their child’s education, by ensuring they have the advice, information and support to make those decisions.

Telephone: 0121 5165173


Face2Face Solihull


A support service available to parents of disabled children recognised as having additional needs living in Solihull. It is a free and confidential service, which links parents of disabled children with local parent befrienders.

Telephone: 0808 800 3333


Signpost Inclusion

Parent to parent support offering groups and drop in sessions in a friendly environment. Early Support Training and capacity building. A growing resource base with books and sensory resources. Signposting to relevant services.

Telephone: 07534 352 754 Or email:


National Parent Partnership Network

Supports all parent partnership services across England. NPPN works under the guidance of the Council for Disabled Children and is funded by the Department for Education


Tel: 0207 843 6058


Carers UK

The voice of carers, and is the only carer-led organisation working for all carers. Carers Line: 0808 808 7777


Autism West Midlands


We offer a range of support services to families and carers of children with autism including an information helpline, family outreach workers and support groups

Telephone: 0121 450 7582


How will you help my child make successful move into the next class or secondary school or other move or transition.

The transition between year groups, classes or schools can be a stressful time for children with SEND. At Smith’s Wood Primary Academy we aim to make this process as smooth and stress free as possible. Children are given opportunities to spend time in their new class with their new teacher towards the end of the summer term so that they can become familiar with their new surroundings. For those children who require additional support, to ease transition they will be given a transition book containing photographs of the new staff, resources and learning areas that they will be encountering in the new school year.

All nursery children are given frequent informal visits to the reception classrooms in the summer term.


When the children leave us to move on to a different school, transition meetings are held with the staff from the new school. The SENCO meets with the SENCOs of feeder school to ensure strategies, targets, social groups and other relevant information is passed on effectively so that the child’s needs can be continue to be met.

Further meetings will be held as appropriate for families to meet the new staff, and for extra visits to the new setting.

Where can I find out about other services that might be available for our family and my child?

The Solihull Local Offer website has information about the services that are available. Click here to go to and view the Solihull Local Offer