What do we mean by special needs?

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities’ describes the needs of children who have a difficulty or disability that makes it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age.  

SEND can cover a broad range of needs that includes:

  • Cognition and learning
  • Communication and interaction
  • Social and emotional
  • Physical and sensory

Disability is a term used for a recognised condition experienced by the child.

The Code of Practice 2014 defines SEND as follows

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or

b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”


How/When might a child be identified with SEND?

A child has a special need if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  They may require extra support or different help than their peer group e.g. modified tasks, additional equipment, extra time or breaks in formal assessments.

At Sevenoaks Primary we aim to help most children overcome their barriers to learning relatively quickly and easily. However, a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.

This means that they may have difficulty with:

  • Some or all of their learning in school;
  • Reading, writing or mathematics;
  • Understanding information;
  • Expressing themselves;
  • Understanding others;
  • Organising themselves;
  • Personal care;
  • Sensory perception or physical mobility;
  • Managing their behaviour;
  • Making friends or relating to other people including adults;
  • Understanding and meeting the expectations of the school.

They may also have a sensory or physical health need which may affect them in school.


Who should I contact to discuss concerns or needs of my child?

 Class Teacher or Phase Leader

If you have any concerns about your child you should speak to your child’s class teacher or Phase Leader first. 

Your child's class teacher and Phase Leader are responsible for:

  • Providing high quality teaching and learning which is differentiated and personalised responding to the strengths and needs of all pupils;
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional support required to support progress in the classroom;
  • Developing SEND Personalised Plans to prioritise and focus on the next steps required for your child to make progress in learning;
  • Discussing ways in which you can help your child at home;
  • Applying the school’s SEND policy.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) - Mrs R Bye

 Our SENCO is responsible for:

  • Managing the SEN register of those children with high need.
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEND along with class teachers
  • Liaising with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties
  • Providing specialist advice to ensure that all staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.
  • Hold the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

What outside support does the school use for my child?

The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met. These include:

Specialist teaching and learning service

Speech and language therapists

Educational Psychologists

Family counsellors



What is the Kent SEND offer?

Kent SEND Offer


How will teaching be adapted to meet my child’s needs?

At Sevenoaks Primary, all pupils in school receive quality first teaching. This means that a range of teaching and learning styles are used and that appropriate learning objectives are set for all children with a curriculum matched to their needs.

Teachers are highly skilled at adapting teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class. Teachers plan thoroughly, in collaboration with their year group team, to ensure lessons can be accessed by all children, including those with individual needs and requirements. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.

Teachers refer to the Kent Mainstream Core Standards, a document which outlines barriers children may face in school and strategies that teachers use to support them in class.

Some children with SEND need something additional to or different from that which is provided for the majority of children. We provide interventions in collaboration with the well-being team such as outlined in the SPS Offer document.


SEND information report

Please see our policy and information for detailed information on our schools approach and offer.

How do I find out how my child is doing?

Ongoing assessment takes place by class teachers. The progress and attainment of all pupils is reviewed every half term by the Senior Leadership Team and class teachers, at which time provision may be adjusted to meet identified needs.

Following further assessments and after discussions with key staff and parents, additional support may be put into place to help overcome any difficulties.

This additional support is documented and tracked by the school through class Provision Maps. Personalised Plans are used for those with high or complex needs. Interventions are used to address key areas of learning. The teacher and SENCO make every effort to involve the child and the parent in the SEND support plan process. Where external agencies are involved, their advice and recommendations are included in this planning. Actions agreed take into account each pupil’s strengths as well as their difficulties.  Parents are kept informed of the support their child is receiving at the termly Consultation Evenings where a copy of the provision map or personalised plan should be offered by the class teacher. If your child continues to make little or no progress, an EHCP may be requested. 

Further details about this process is published in the Local Authority’s Local Offer. 



For information on the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) available for Sevenoaks District please see STLS Information for parents and carers leaflet.

More information can be found on the Kent SEND Offer website and the SEND strategy can be found here.