Garden Fields JMI School | Townsend Drive, St Albans, AL3 5RL | 01727 890440

Garden Fields JMI School | Townsend Drive, St Albans, AL3 5RL
01727 890440

GFS Logo

Garden Fields JMI School

Growing Hearts and Minds

Building children’s confidence, igniting a love of learning and creating wonderful memories

Part of the Alban Academies Trust
Sharing Educational Excellence

GFS Logo

Garden Fields JMI School

Growing Hearts and Minds

Building children’s confidence, igniting a love of learning and creating wonderful memories

Part of the Alban Academies Trust
Sharing Educational Excellence


Garden Fields JMI School

(Complies with SEND Code of Practice 2015, Children and Families Act 2014 & The Equality Act 2010)

“The governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of academy schools must publish information on their websites about the implementation of the governing body’s or the proprietor’s policy for pupils with SEN. The information published should be updated annually and any changes to the information occurring during the year should be updated as soon as possible.”

Ms Palmer is our Inclusion Co-ordinator and Miss Orviss is acting SENDCo. They can be contacted via the main school number – 01727 890440.

Questions and Answers for Parents/Carers

1. Who are the best people to talk to at Garden Fields School about my child’s difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disability?
2. How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning, special educational needs or disability?
  • Pupil progress meetings are held each term where any progress concerns are highlighted and discussed in-depth with the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Your child’s class teacher may initially speak to you at the beginning or the end of a normal school day and arrange a further time to discuss the concerns.
  • The class teacher may also talk to you about any issues at a parent/teacher consultation meeting.
  • The school SENDCo /Inclusion Co-ordinator may contact you and arrange a meeting to discuss your child’s difficulties with learning or emotional well-being and any possible support strategies the school might be considering.
3. How will the school consider my views and those of my child with regard to her/his difficulties with learning, special educational needs, emotional well-being or disabilities?
  • At Garden Fields school we believe it is very important for parents/carers to be involved in all areas of their child’s learning and we actively encourage discussions.
  • We believe that the child’s voice should be sought where appropriate to understand their views on any difficulties they may be experiencing with their learning / emotional well-being.
  • If your child has an identified special educational need they will be added to the SEND register.  As part of regular parent consultations, parents of children on the SEN register will be given additional time to co-create a draft indiviual support plan where current progress, support strategies to be used and expected outcomes will be discussed. The Inclusion Co-ordinator may also attend this meeting.
  • If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) you and your child will be able to share your views at the Annual Review.
4. How does Garden Fields ensure the teaching team is appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs, emotional wellbeing and/or disability?
  • We regularly review the school training schedule and professional development for all teaching and support staff to ensure there is the appropriate expertise to support children with special educational needs.
  • Training is provided for all staff. The school is able to access training programmes from different organisations including Hertfordshire for Learning, Outreach teams, Local Partnership Teams and in-house CPD.
  • Garden Fields is proactive in ensuring that the teaching teams and where possible, all staff, have been trained in the needs of the current cohorts attending the school. We also have programmes running in the school to support specific needs, for example, Drawing and Talking and Protective Behaviours to support emotional well-being.
  • Specialist individual training from outside agencies is arranged when necessary.
5. How will the curriculum and the school environment be matched to my child’s needs?
  • Your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality first teaching delivered by her/his class teacher and the teaching team.
  • We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, ability and needs of all children.
  • The class teacher will adapt lesson planning and teaching to match your child’s special educational needs and/or disability.
  • It may be appropriate to adopt different strategies or resources and adapt outcomes to meet your child’s learning needs.
6. How accessible is the school environment?
  • Garden Fields regularly reviews its Accessibility Plan to ensure that all children have the fullest access to the curriculum and the school site as possible.
  • Specialist advice is sought when appropriate and, when necessary, accessibility aids and technology may be used to support your child’s learning.
  • As not all classrooms are at ground level, the needs of each child would be considered when allocating classroom spaces.
  • The school has disabled toilets accessible to all pupils.
7. What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?
  • Our education provisions will match the needs of the four broad areas of need as defined in the SEN Code of Practice 2015 (last updated 30th April 2020);
    • Communication and interaction
    • Cognition and Learning
    • Social, emotional and mental health
    • Sensory and/or physical needs

    At Garden Fields school we have a 3-tiered approach to supporting a child’s learning.

    1. Universal – this is the quality first teaching your child will receive from her/his class teacher and the teaching team and may include some very minor adaptations to match learning needs.
    2. Targeted – it may be appropriate to consider making additional short term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning.  This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of:
      a) assessing your child’s needs, b) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention, c) providing this intervention and d) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes.
      Specific targeted one to one or small group interventions may be run outside the classroom. These will be limited to a number of weeks to minimise disruption to the regular curriculum. You will be kept informed of your child’s progress towards learning outcomes.
    3. Specialist – it may be necessary to seek specialist advice and regular long term support from a specialist professional outside the school in order to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for your child.

    The current interventions provided at Garden Fields may include:
    RWI 1-1, Fine Motor Skills, Drawing and Talking, Protective Behaviours, Counselling through Vista or DSPl7, Mentoring 1-1 and Speech & Language.

8. What specialist professionals and services can be accessed by the school?

The following are some of, but not exclusively, the specialist services that we routinely access:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • The Collett School Outreach Service
  • Specialist Advisory Service for Speech and Communication and Autism
  • Specialist SEND Family Worker
  • NESSie – Supporting Mental Health in Schools
  • LINKS Academy Outreach Service
  • St Albans Plus – VISTA
  • NHS Speech and Language Service, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
  • The school may need to prioritise referrals to these services. However, for a very small number of pupils access to these specialists may be through an EHC Plan.
9. How will you support my child to reach his/her learning outcomes?
  • When planning lessons, teachers consider the individual needs of children and make reasonable adjustments to enable them to access the curriculum, such as task boards/checklists, personalised word lists, sentence openers. Pupils may be supported to use accessible technology, for example, talk to text or text to talk, word processing.
  • When appropriate and necessary a pupil may be taken out of class for a specific and targeted intervention. This is always managed so as to have the minimal impact on their class-based learning.
  • The Individual Support Plan, strategies and progress will be reviewed termly. The class teacher and other staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals.
  • External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and advise on adaptions to classroom planning to meet the child’s needs.
10. What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for one for my child?

An education, health and care plan (EHCP) is a legally binding document that:

  • describes all of the special education, health and care needs of the child or young person which relate to their disability
  • sets out all of the extra help and support they will need to overcome barriers to learning
  • identifies meaningful education and other outcomes they would like to achieve as they prepare for adult life.

You, your child (where appropriate and aged 16 and over) and/or the school, usually the SENDCo, Inclusion Co-ordinator or Headteacher, can request that the local authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. This may lead to an EHC Plan.

11. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
12. How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?
  • When allocating money from the SEND budget, we carefully consider the needs of the children in our school and regularly review the impact of this.
  • The Head teacher and the Inclusion Co-ordinator discuss the effectiveness of the school’s current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs. 
  • Each year group has Teaching Assistants allocated to them for varying amounts of time each week. We believe their role in the classroom is fundamental in supporting the children’s learning; they support the main class teaching, work with groups of focus children in close liaison with the class teacher and provide additional intervention support for identified children. The Class teacher plans for intervention carefully to support the
    children in the class through pre and post teaching activities or specific focus activities.
  • This process is reviewed regularly to ensure the best possible intervention is provided to those children who require additional support to learn.
13. How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?
  • Your child’s progress will be assessed both in terms of his/her regular learning within the class and with regard to specific intervention programmes.
  • The impact of the support given is carefully measured to ensure that the learning outcomes have been achieved and if not, what adaptations are necessary.  It may be decided that a further period of support would be beneficial for your child.
  • Your child’s progress will be reviewed at parent consultations or pre-arranged meetings. 
  • There is continual open dialogue between staff and children as part of quality first teaching, this feeds into planning.
14. What support will there be for my child’s happiness and well-being at Garden Fields school?

At Garden Fields school we believe that the happiness and well-being of all our pupils is paramount.  All members of staff take this aspect of school life very seriously.

  • Your child’s class teacher, the teaching assistants, phase leader, SENDCo and the Inclusion Co-ordinator are available to provide support to match your child’s needs.
  • We encourage you to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing.  She/He will then liaise with the teams mentioned above and you may be invited to a further meeting to discuss possible support for your child.
15. How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school?
  • Garden Fields is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.
  • School clubs, educational visits and residential trips are available to all children.
  • When necessary the school will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities.
  • Please contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.
16. How will Garden Fields support my child in transition stages?
  • We liaise with and where possible visit the school or nursery your child is transferring from.  We are able to discuss with the relevant staff any individual needs and how best to support your child in school.
  • While at Garden Fields we take care to ensure that during transition points (between classes each year and at the end of Key Stages) all staff are aware of individual pupils needs, learning progress and best support strategies. Where transition may be difficult for an individual we make sure that a programme is in place for support.
  • Garden Fields makes arrangements to ensure there is a smooth transition when your child transfers to his/her secondary school of choice by close liaison with the inclusion team at the new setting.  All supporting documents will be passed on.
  • If your child has an EHC Plan, we will facilitate its review in sufficient time prior to him/her moving between key phases of education. You will be kept informed of these arrangements and asked to attend the reviews.
  • If appropriate, and needed, a social story will be created and shared with your child to support any transition.
17. If I have any other questions about my child at Garden Fields, who can I ask?
18. Where can I find out about the local authority’s local offer of services and provision for children with SEND?

Outside Agencies who may work with children at Garden Fields

  • Speech and Language therapist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Advisory Teachers
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Visually Impaired
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Multi-Sensory Impairment
  • Speech, Language and Communication
  • Moderate Learning Difficulty
  • Occupational Health therapist
  • School Counsellor
  • School Nurse

Support in Hertfordshire for Special Need

Angels Support Group – Angels is a parent led voluntary organisation and Registered Charity set up in North Hertfordshire to support parents and carers of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

ADD-vance – ADD-vance is a constituted voluntary organisation set up in Hertfordshire in 1996 to support and empower adults, children and families with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related conditions in Hertfordshire.

National Support for Special Needs

New SEN National Advice Service – The new SEN National Advice Service is part of Contact a Family’s integrated Helpline/Online service for families. It is staffed by experienced SEN advisers and is a one stop shop for parents and other family members caring for a child with special needs, on all education issues.

Dyscalculia & Numeracy Support

Scoptopic Sensitivity & Visual Perceptual Difficulties

Congenital Malanocytic Naevus (CMN)