SEND Information

At St Thomas CE Primary School we aim to meet every child’s needs to make sure that all of our children achieve to the best of their ability. As parents there are many questions you may have about what our school is able to do to meet your child’s needs when choosing a school for your child. We aim to answer many questions about how school will contribute to the Local Authority Local Offer as possible here but should you have any other questions please contact Mrs Fairclough in school. Further detail about our provision for children with additional needs can be found in our Inclusion Policy

Local authority offer - LINK


What will school do if children need extra help?

Class teachers complete assessments daily, weekly and at the end of each unit of work and plan the next steps for children at each point. If the class teacher is concerned that a child is not making as much progress as quickly as expected then they would speak to Mrs Fairclough (SENDCo) whose role is to oversee all additional needs work in school. Together, with yourselves as parents and your children, we would make a plan of how to support your child and would set a date to meet again to talk about the progress the child has made and the next steps for him or her. Depending on the progress your child makes it may then be decided to identify your child as receiving SEND Support.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs and needs extra help?

Firstly, talk to the class teacher and share your concerns or worries. The class teacher will share information about how your child is doing and any support he/she is getting at the moment. If appropriate then the class teacher will arrange a meeting with you as parents, class teacher and Mrs Fairclough to talk about next steps for your child.

How will school staff support my child?

If after discussion with school staff and you as parents we feel that your child does have an additional SEND need that requires additional support that is additional to or different from that received by most children in school, a plan will be made with clear timescales and outcomes. The plan will be completed by school staff and shared with parents and then overseen by Mrs Fairclough. The curriculum will be tailored to meet the needs of your child by making sure that your child has chance to make steps in learning with activities that suit his or her needs and learning styles. As part of the plan your child may complete intervention activities specially designed to support the parts of learning that he or she finds difficult. These activities may be in small groups or on a one to one basis with an adult. A decision will be made by the SENDCo about how much support your child will receive. This will be reviewed termly or more frequently if needed. Alternatively, the plan may take the form of technology or resources to help your child access the curriculum. Sometimes the plan may include both support and interventions provided by staff and a range of resources to help your child progress with his/her learning. At this point we may choose to gain expertise and advice from outside agencies i.e. TESS (Targeted Education Support Service), SALT, OT. If progress is not made school will consider gathering evidence and making an application to the Local Authority for consideration of an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). A keyworker would support the family through the process and a panel of professionals would decide if support through EHCP funding was appropriate to meet the child’s needs.

What support is there for my child’s well being?

Mrs Fairclough and all the staff in school work closely together to plan and deliver support to meet children’s emotional, social, mental health and medical needs. As parents you know your child best and we value our discussions with you where you can share the knowledge that you have about your child with us in order that we can support them effectively. At St Thomas’ we aim to ensure that all our children develop the skills needed in order to get along with other children.  We follow the SCARF program for PSHE.

At St Thomas’ we have a high ratio of staff to children at lunchtime and playtimes and each day there are a number of supported activities such as i-pads, chess and sport that children may join in with to make use of their time effectively. If a child finds managing their behaviour at playtimes difficult then a plan of support can be made to help them. At St Thomas’ we feel that exclusions are only used where all other avenues of support have not been effective. 

If your child has a medical need then please speak to Mrs Fairclough who will complete a health care plan with you in order to support your child. Medicines are given in school if it is essential for a child’s health for it to be administered at a specific point during the school day  

How does school support children moving into Reception class and onto Year 7?

Our Foundation Stage work closely with all the pre-school settings that send children to our school and share information which will help children make progress as they move from Nursery to Reception class. This information sharing is within a “transition meeting” and liaison is carried out with staff from that setting alongside yourselves as parents. In addition to the information sharing, school hold a series of transition sessions where you and your child can share activities in school.

Our Y6 children transfer to a number of different high schools which have different transition programmes. We recommend that when choosing a high school for your child that you and your child have a discussion with the high school SENDCo  where you can ask any questions you may have about how the school will help to meet your child’s needs so that you can make an informed choice of where your child will thrive best. Close liaison between staff at St Thomas’ and the receiving high school takes place. In these meetings we share information such as what helps and does not help your child to learn best. Once you have chosen a high school your child will take part in a carefully planned transition program to meet his/her needs.

Mrs Fairclough shares general information about how well children with additional needs are doing at St Thomas’ at the Governors’ meetings each term so that Governors know how well our children are making progress and how effective the support in place is. There is a named Governor, Mrs Carol Whiting, who liaises regularly with Mrs Fairclough about the work of the school in this area.

How will I know how my child is doing?

At the termly parents evening the class teacher will meet with you to talk about how well your child is doing in relation to the targets and the next steps for him or her. The targets set act as stepping stones to make sure that your child achieves at least as well as expected by the end of each phase of learning. This is summarized in an end of year report,  Mrs Fairclough is available by appointment to discuss any child receiving SEND support. As part of the plan- making discussions we will talk about how you can help your child at home. We aim to support our parents in helping their children and there are a range of activities held in school and in the Children’s Centre that can support families in helping their children.

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

Staff in school are trained in a variety of interventions that support pupils’ learning, social, emotional, mental health and medical needs. In addition, there are staff that have specialist qualifications in meeting medical and physical needs and children who may have Dyslexia. School has access to a range of specialist support including CAHMS, learning support, behaviour support, Speech and language therapy, Specialist sensory education support, Occupational and physiotherapy, physical disability support, Educational Psychology and sensory support team.

How accessible is the school?

St Thomas CE Primary is located on a single site. The building is fully wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet and a hygiene room. Some classrooms are fitted with a sound field system and the majority of the flooring in each classroom is carpet. The environment has been developed to be accessible to children with a visual impairment.

School can support children whose first language is not English. School are able to access interpreter support via the EMAS team to support with induction visits for example. In addition, staff have access to technologies including Google translate and talking pen software to translate key concepts in everyday conversation to parents’ first language in order to communicate more effectively with a child’s family.

A range of specialist equipment is used to support individual needs. Generally this is stored securely in school. If it is identified, as part of the child’s plan, that specialist equipment is needed to support with homework, following completion of a parental loan agreement, arrangements can be made for this to be loaned for this purpose.

We liaise with parents when making provision for pupils’ needs when planning additional activities and school visits to ensure that all pupils are included. Individual needs will be identified and adaptations to activities made to ensure pupil inclusion as required.

In addition to the curriculum provided within school hours, St Thomas’ offers a wide range of extra curricular activities to our pupils. Any additional resources and/or staffing required to enable children to access these activities is considered on an individual basis. A range of outside organisations such as Wigan Council’s Leisure for All programme, Wigan Leisure Culture Trust, Wigan and Leigh Embrace and Wigan Youth Zone all offer extra curricular activities for children with additional needs. Some activities are provided for children with additional needs and their siblings.


Who can I contact for further information?

Mrs Fairclough is the SENDCo and welcomes discussions with any prospective parents or parents who may have a concern regarding their child’s additional needs. In addition there are a range of agencies listed below who parents can contact for advice, information and support. The link above for the Local Authority offer will provide furhter information.

St Thomas CE Primary SENDCo- Mrs Fairclough: 01942 201107

Embrace Wigan and Leigh Parent support:  01942 233323

Family Learning Courses- 01942 489713

St Thomas's CE Primary School
Hodnet Drive,
Ashton in Makerfield,
Wigan WN4 8PQ
Main Contact: Miss Suzanne Burgess
SEN Contact: Mrs Fairclough