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Who is qualified to lead SEND at THIS SCHOOL?

Staff Member Role & Responsibility University & Qualification Year of completion
Mr Daniel Constable-Phelps Executive Headteacher University College London (UCL) Institute of Education - PGCE NASENCo Award 2012 - 2013
Mr Tristan Benfield SENCo and Assistant Head for Inclusion Chichester University - PGCE NASENCo Award Currently completing
Mrs Davina Ashbolt-Smith Deputy Head for Inclusion (Valentine, St. Mary's and Mason Moor) Winchester University - PGCE NASENCo Award 2015 - 2016


We firmly believe that all children have an entitlement to be educated alongside their peers in their local community. As an inclusive community, we are deeply committed to removing the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. Equality of opportunity is a reality for all our children within school and our dedicated inclusion support team work relentlessly to ensure that all children have the right to a fulfilling learning experience, regardless of their social background, ethnicity, academic ability or health. This includes support to all our parents, through informal coffee mornings, workshops, courses and drop-in meetings, as we understand the vital role our families play in the well-being and development of their children and the importance of working together as a team.

Our team ensures that children receive personalised interventions and pastoral care, whether it be for their social and emotional needs, special educational needs, disabilities, behaviour, mental health or medical needs. We support teachers and parents to identify and meet the needs of every child, providing opportunities for real-life learning and working with other agencies to ensure the best possible provision for our vulnerable pupils.

Co-Production - Parents & Carers

It is absolutely paramount that our relationship with the parent/carer affords us the ability to help the child succeed. Pre diagnosis, co-production will involve parents and carers meeting to consider the wider needs of their child. Background information is vital to understanding the child and their presenting barriers - including birth and medical profiles. As this progresses, co-production may become the support needed to complete educational, health and care applications alongside planning meetings with external agents (educational psychologists, doctors etc). Co-production continues throughout a child's school life at Valentine.

Assess, Plan, Do, Review - The Graduated Approach

The Graduated Approach ensures that we maintain a high-quality curriculum for pupils with SEND at our mainstream school.

The Graduated Approach SEND Code of Practice 
ASSESS Paragraph 6.45: In identifying a child as needing SEN support the class teacher, working with the SENCo, should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil's needs.
PLAN Paragraph 6.49: All teachers and support staff who with with the pupil should be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required.
DO Paragraph 6.52: The class teacher should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the interventions involve group or one-to-one teaching away from the main class, they should still retain responsibility for the pupil.
REVIEW Paragraph 6.54: The impact and quality of the support and interventions should be evaluated, along with the views of the pupil and their parents.

Children working well-below the level of the National Curriculum

It is vital that every child at Valentine has a 'pathway' to success - a route that will support the child on their journey beyond primary education.

Our aims for pupils with SEND are just as high (if not higher) than those for their peers. To achieve this, we must have an accurate understanding of:

  • The pupil's need(s);
  • The pupil's current academic performance and where this sits in relation to their chronological peers;
  • The barriers to learning that exist.

Some pupils may be working at a different stage to their peers - for example a Year 4 child with needs may be working at national curriculum objectives for Year 1. Where this is the case, teachers will work alongside the SENCo to ensure that the provision matches the child's needs. Further, staff will seek to ensure that there is accelerated planning to diminish the gaps in learning between the child and peers.

Some children will be working significantly below their peers. For these children - the Lion Pre-Key Stage 1 pathway enables the school to ensure that there is relevant and suitable knowledge and skill content delivered to enable the child to successfully implement the building blocks to learning. We call this the 'engagement model'.

Nurture Group Provision

Nurture groups are a short-term, focused intervention for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties which are creating a barrier to learning within a mainstream class.

Each group consists of between 5 to 6 children, normally from Years 1 to 5, led by a nurture group leader and classroom assistant. Children attending the nurture group remain an active part of their main class, spending appropriate times within the nurture group according to their need, and typically return full time to their own class within two terms.

Nurture groups assess learning and social and emotional needs and give help that is needed to remove the barriers to learning. The relationship between the two nurture staff is always nurturing and supportive, providing a role model for children.  Food is shared at ‘breakfast’ or ‘snack time’ with much opportunity for social learning, helping children to attend to the needs of others, with time to listen and be listened to.

As the children learn academically and socially they develop confidence, become responsive to others, learn self-respect and take pride in behaving well and in achieving.

"The way we talk to our children becomes their INNER voice"

Parent SEND Support Groups

SEND Support Group: PARENT Forum 

Each half-term (every 4 weeks) our Headteacher and SENCo hosts the 'SENCo forum' - which is an opportunity for parents and carers of children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) to meet to understand SEND provision adaptations made by school to learning environments and within the curriculum to develop inclusivity.

Note: this isn't an individual pupil surgery. Appointments can be made to meet the SENCo separately. Overall, it's to help parents to understand the provision that exists within the school and how we can tailor this to meet the needs of individuals. We share ideas of classroom provision adaptations, show parents some of the concrete materials and resources we use - to help you to understand what resources exist within our school.

Meeting dates are published in our termly calendar and in the weekly newsletter.


Dates for parents to come in: Focus for the Forum:
Spring 2: SEND Provision at Valentine
Summer 1: Speech and Language

Southampton City Council

Southampton SENDIASS (Special Needs Advisory Service) is a resource for signposting parents and carers to organisations to help you in Southampton.

Southampton City Council - The SEND Local Offer. A directory to seek support, to find information related to SEND, EHC (Educational Health and Care Plans) and to locate contact information related to the SEND Team.

Useful SEND websites TO HELP YOU!

  • – A useful site for free, legally based Special Education advice
  • – The National Autistic Society website, the main UK charity for supporting people with ASD and their families (contains lots of useful advice and resources)
  • – For more information on Attention Autism and how you can support your child to develop attention and turn-taking skills
  • - Symbol resources for different topics and areas of life, including resources for fire safety and about visiting the doctors/dentists
  • – An information directory for parents and carers
  • – Advice and support for parents of children with SEN
  • – Lots of information on ASD
  • – Advice and support, including booklets to help with independent toileting, sleeping and managing behaviour
  • – A comprehensive site, with a useful resource library
  • - A really useful set of social stories to share with children, covering topics ranging from coping with a new baby in the family to getting a haircut to making friends. The National Autistic Society website also provides guidance on writing your own personalised social stories

Fun websites with highly visual games for using with children to consolidate early skills: