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Tonbridge, Kent

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Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)


Our school

St Stephen’s Primary School welcomes all children and is committed to helping every pupil achieve their best from both an educational and a developmental perspective. Teachers ensure that their lessons are differentiated to engage and challenge, whatever the ability or learning style.

Every child’s development is carefully monitored through Pupil Progress Review meetings six times a year. ‘Gifted and Talented’ students are identified by the teachers and reviewed annually. We endeavour to nurture these pupils both in class and also through local initiatives such as Judd Aspirations, the Maths Challenge at Tonbridge Girls Grammar School and courses for Able Writers. Some students have additional educational needs and require extra support and specialist teaching resources. Our experienced and dedicated staff deliver the following:

·         The Diamond Lunchtime Club is an opportunity for children to enjoy games and activities in a small social group, plus have access to quiet areas for reading and art.

·         Social Skills programmes such as ‘Ginger’ encourage confidence and the ability to interact appropriately and speech and language interventions help children develop the speech, language and communication skills they need to achieve their potential. We use Makaton in the school - a language programme using signs and symbols to support spoken language and aid communication.

·         We follow the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme through whole school assemblies and in lessons. Circle Times are an opportunity to share, explore and address issues as a class. We also have a School Counsellor who provides a vital role supporting pupils as needs arise.

·         For those with literacy difficulties we provide phonics booster groups, the Better Reading Partnership to improve reading accuracy and comprehension skills, handwriting support and the Beat Dyslexia, SNIP and Toe by Toe multi-sensory spelling and reading programmes.

·         We use practical resources including Numicon to support our Maths teaching and for those that need additional tuition, we provide small group or one to one interventions such as the multi–sensory Maths+1 and Power of 2 programmes.

·         Pupils with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder often respond positively to a visual approach to learning. Therefore all classes use the same pictures for their visual timetables and labelling. We endeavour to address sensory difficulties and provide quiet workstations as necessary.

Children with English as an additional language (EAL) sometimes require specialist resources or support from a Teaching Assistant to develop their written and verbal English skills.

We screen for speech sound or vocabulary difficulties using Speech Link and Language Link. Pupils are screened for dyslexia during Year 3 and for dyscalculia as required.

If you would like to discuss your child’s additional educational needs, please do not hesitate to contact the Class Teacher or the school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).

St Stephen's SEN & D Policy.


Additional Education Needs information

The Kent County Council Website has information regarding special educational needs and disability, and the support available in Kent. Please see:


Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK) (formerly Kent Parent Partnership Service)


IASK offers support and advice about special educational needs so children, young people and their parents can make informed decisions about education. They can be contacted by phone, email or meet with parents face to face. For more details see contact IASK.


IASK HELPLINE: 03000 41 3000


Address: Shepway Centre, Oxford Road, Maidstone, ME15 8AW

Office telephone: 03000 41 2412




Apps to support students with additional Educational Needs





A Code of Practice for the support of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)


Changes in Special Educational Needs and Disability Support

On the 1st September 2014, the government introduced new arrangements for the support of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  The Children and Families Act 2014 heralded the most significant change in special educational needs for thirty years. The new law means that professionals from different services will have to work more closely together to give children and young people the support they need. Children and young people will also have more say over what support and services are offered in their local area and more help will be available for young people as they prepare for adulthood.

Below are links to a number of documents which will help to explain these changes.


Link to a letter to parents from Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, outlining the key points in the new 0 to 25 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice

Link to the Kent County Council webpage which details the SEND services available in our area- otherwise known as the ‘Local Offer’.   

Link to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Guide for Parents and Carers August 2014


Linda Walker - SENCO

September 2015