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.”

Mrs Kemp-Robertson is the school SENDCo and Ms Palmer is our Inclusion Co-ordinator. 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, where appropriate, that it is essential to understand your child’s views on any difficulties they may experience with their learning and emotional well-being.
  • You will be able to share your views and discuss your child’s progress at regular meetings with the class teacher and others.  These can be arranged through the office or a regular timetable of meetings can be drawn up in consultation with the Class Teacher and SENDCo / Inclusion Co-ordinator.
  • If your child has an identified special educational need they will be added to the SEND register and you will be invited to a termly ‘assess plan do review’ Support Plan meeting with the class teacher and SENDCo to discuss current progress, support strategies being used and expected outcomes and the impact of these. 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?
  • At Garden Fields we believe that 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 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.
  • Effective and comprehensive CPD is provided for all staff. The school is able to access training programmes from different organisations including Hertfordshire for Learning, Outreach teams, and Local Partnership Teams.
  • 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 teaching groups to support emotional well-being.
  • Specialist individual training from outside agencies is arranged when necessary.
  • All training and programmes are responsive to the needs in the current cohort.
  • As well as being a qualified SENDCo, Mrs Kemp-Robertson is also an SpLD Level 7 qulaified teacher.
5. How will the curriculum and the school environment be matched to my child’s needs?
  • At Garden Fields we believe that 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.
  • Additional 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?
  • This really depends upon the nature of your child’s needs and difficulties with learning. But 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, Mentoring 1-1, 1:1 or small group SpLD phonics, small group mediation, Lego Therapy 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, pupil’s 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 class teacher and other staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals. The ‘assess plan do review’ Support Plan, strategies and progress will be reviewed termly.
  • External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and adapt their planning accordingly.
10. What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for one for my child?
  • The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special education provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and, as he/she gets older, prepare for adulthood. An EHC Plan will contain;
    • the views and aspirations of you and your child
    • a full description of his/her special educational needs and any health and social care needs
    • establish outcomes for your child’s progress
    • specify the provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes

    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?
  • If your child is on the SEND register then they will have a Support Plan, which forms part of the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ process, as advocated by the SEND Code of Practice, 2015. As a parent you are invited to a termly Support Plan meeting so that you can be involved in the setting of your child’s targets. During these meetings you can ask for any support you require, and advice may be given around your child’s needs.
  • There may be suggested strategies or activities for you to do at home to support your child’s learning.
  • Workshops for parents/carers are run in school to help you understand the strategies used in school.  In addition, we may be able to offer you individual training in specific support strategies relevant to your child.
  • The SENDCo and Inclusion Co-ordinator may also support you with strategies, resources and ideas for supporting your child’s learning at home.
  • Meetings may be arranged with other professionals involved in supporting your child eg educational psychologists, speech and language therapists etc.
  • At any point during the academic year, you are welcome to contact the office via email or call 01727 890440 to ask for support from the SENDCo and INCo
12. How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?
  • Mainstream maintained schools and academies are notified each year of a clearly identified but notional budget, within their overall budget allocation, towards the cost of fulfilling their duty to use their ‘best endeavours’ to secure that special educational provision for their pupils with SEN. (The notional SEN budget for mainstream schools: operational guidance, February 23, GOV.UK)
  • For pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) there can be additional High Needs Funding (HNF). How much HNF a pupil receives is dependent on the pupil’s needs identified by an EHCP.
  • If a pupil does not have an EHCP, but is identified as needing additional funding to be able to support their needs then the school can apply for Local High Needs Funding (LHNF). A panel will decide whether the application meets the threshold for funding to be allocated.
  • The Head teacher, in consultation with the School Governing Body, decides how to allocate the budget for SEN provision on the basis of the needs of the children in the school.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You and your child will be kept informed and encouraged to be actively involved at all stages of this support.
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.
  • You can be confident that your child’s class teacher, the teaching assistants, year group lead and phase leader, SENDCo and the Inclusion Co-ordinator are available to provide support to match your child’s needs.
  • You should feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.  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.
  • All staff have been trained in the Therapeutic Thinking Approach to Behaviour. It is an approach which prioritises the pro-social feelings of everyone within the dynamic. It is a whole school – whole system approach to supporting children with their behaviour.
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.
  • You should also feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.
16. How will Garden Fields support my child in transition stages?
  • We liaise 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.
18. Where can I find out about the local authority’s local offer of services and provision for children with SEND?

Relevant Policy Documents

  • SEND policy
  • Equalities Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Curriculum Policy
  • Pupil Premium Policy
  • Complaints Policy and procedure

These can all be found on the Policies page of the website.

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)