The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

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Special Educational Needs

A child may have special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has difficulty coping with aspects of life in the classroom.

This could be for lots of different reasons, such as problems with learning, behaviour or communication, or because of some social, emotional, physical, visual or hearing difficulty.

Equally we recognise that there are children who are gifted or talented who also need additional to ensure they are appropriately challenged.

The SENCO role:              

SENCO stands for ...

"Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator".

A SENCO is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy. All mainstream schools must appoint a teacher to be their SENCO.

The SENCO will co-ordinate additional support for pupils with SEN and liaise with their parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved with them. The SENCO has responsibility for requesting the involvement of external services. Their work also includes general SEN assessments, administration and parental support. The SENCO works closely with the Head and teachers to try and develop ways of overcoming barriers to a child's learning and ensuring that they receive effective teaching through assessing the child’s needs and setting targets for improvement.

Support at Dymchurch

All children are valued, respected and welcomed to the school whatever their additional educational need.

We will support their learning and ensure they are fully included in all school activities, making full use of externally provided facilities where appropriate.

Dymchurch has a part time SENCO, Mrs Caroline Boorman, who would be happy to discuss any needs your child may have.

We also encourage new parents to Dymchurch to contact us as soon as possible prior to your child starting if you believe they may need extra help, or has a social, emotional or medical problem.

Please contact the school office on 01303 872377 should you wish to arrange a meeting.

Information, Advice and Support Kent (IASK) also offers support and advice for parents - and families of disabled children - and children with SEN.

SEND Report

What types of SEN do we provide for?  

The school will provide for pupils with SEND including:

Speech and language difficulties

Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia,

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),

Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy

Moderate/severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulties, such as Dyslexia

Please also see the Special Educational Needs policy which can be found here.

How do we identify and assess pupils with SEN?

We will assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, which will build on previous settings and Key Stages, where appropriate.

Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and identify those whose progress:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap
  • This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs.

Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEN.

When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.

Who is our special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and how can he/she be contacted?

Mrs Caroline Boorman

Dymchurch Primary school: 01303 872377

What is our approach to teaching pupils with SEN?

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class.

High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEN. This will be differentiated for individual pupils. The use of Kent Mainstream Core Standards are used as a guide to ensure Leaners SEND needs are met, where possible, by in class Quality Teaching.

We will also provide the following interventions:

  • Black Sheep Narrative
  • Pixl
  • Toe by Toe
  • Talk for Thought
  • Precision Teaching
  • Bespoke maths & English teacher led interventions
  • Play therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Fizzy
  • Clever Hands/Fingers
  • Working Memory programmes

How do we adapt the curriculum and learning environment?   

We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:

  • Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
  • Adapting our resources and staffing
  • Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
  • Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
  • Class curriculums adapted to the strengths and areas for development of the individual cohort

How do we enable pupils with SEN to engage in activities with other pupils who do not have SEN?          

The school overcomes all potential barriers by planning events and activities carefully in advance to ensure all children can participate.

All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before-and after-school clubs.

All pupils are encouraged to go on our all school events and excursions.

No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

How do we consult parents of pupils with SEN and involve them in their child’s education?     

We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision.

These conversations will make sure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty
  • We take into account the parents’ concerns
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are
  • Notes of these early discussions will be added to the pupil’s record and given to their parents.

We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEN support.

How do we consult pupils with SEN and involve them in their education?          

We will discuss with children their education and how the school can best support their need

What helps you learn best?

This might be part of an individual discussion, group discussion or discussions with the child and their family. Children will have regular opportunities to speak with their class teacher about what they enjoy doing and where they may need additional help.

How do we assess and review pupils’ progress towards their outcomes?

We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.

The class or subject teacher will work with the SENCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs.

This will draw on:

  • The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil
  • Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour
  • Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
  • The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
  • The views and experience of parents
  • The pupil’s own views
  • Advice from external support services, if relevant
  • The assessment will be reviewed regularly as part of the school monitoring systems.

All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress.

How do we support pupils moving between different phases of education?

The school holds transition days between year groups in order for teachers and pupils to become familiarized with expectations and new classrooms.

Where appropriate, additional transition days, experiences and/or additional resources will be planned for to ensure a smooth progression to the next year group and phase. Transition plans which may include visual support may be used where suitable.

For secondary transfer, we will share information with the school, college, or other setting the pupil is moving to. We will agree with parents and pupils which information will be shared as part of this. Typically children will be offered at least a day’s transition to familiarize themselves with the environment. The school will work alongside the secondary school to plan activities which match the needs of the pupil.

How do we support pupils preparing for adulthood?

The school has a range of curriculum adaptations and interventions, such as Play Therapy, which seek to support children in becoming independent learners.

Recruitment fairs and assemblies prepare children for a work life and provide opportunities to find out about career paths they are interested in. Homework supports independent learning so that they can organize and schedule their own work time. School council meetings support children in understanding democracy and all British Values.

How do we support pupils with SEN to improve their emotional and social development?

Include information about extra pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of pupils with SEN and measures to prevent bullying.

We provide support for pupils to improve their emotional and social development in the following ways:

  • Pupils with SEN are encouraged to be part of the school council
  • The FLO works with families to provide additional support through in school counselling and therapy services as well as access to Early Help
  • The whole school curriculum (including PSHE and Digital Literacy curriculum) takes into account the development of emotional and social development

What expertise and training do our staff have to support pupils with SEN?

Our SENCO has 20 years’ experience in this role and has worked in a variety of schools.

They are allocated three mornings a week to manage SEN provision.

We have a team of 9 teaching assistants, including 3 higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) who are trained to deliver SEN provision.

In the last academic year, all staff have undertaken training.

We use specialist staff for Pixl, speech and language programmes and the therapy sessions available. Specialist training is always provided for staff supporting child/ren with specialist needs.

How will we secure specialist expertise?

Should there be a need for identified specialist expertise then the school will work with the Local Inclusion Forum Team to identify and allocate the most suitable specialist teacher within the area.

In addition to this, the school makes use of referrals for paediatrician support, Speech and Language therapists, Mental Health support, Occupational Therapy, school nursing and other available, external agency support services.

How will we secure equipment and facilities to support pupils with SEN?

If adaptive equipment and facilities are required the school will quickly follow the recommendations set out by the assessing professional purchase/rent/loan and allocate the equipment required.

The school works closely with the leading professional in order to ensure the appropriate equipment is in place as and when it is needed.

How do we involve other organisations in meeting the needs of pupils with SEN and supporting their families?

The school will work with a range of outside agencies to support pupils with SEN and their families.

Typically these will include:

  • Early Help referrals,
  • Inclusion Support Services,
  • Attendance services,
  • In-school Family Liaison Officer,
  • Outside charitable organisations.

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our SEN provision?

We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEN by:

  • Reviewing pupils’ individual progress towards their goals each term, often using a Personalised Provision Plan
  • Reviewing the impact of interventions after 6 weeks
  • Using pupil questionnaires
  • Monitoring by the SENCO
  • Using provision maps to measure progress
  • Holding annual reviews for pupils with statements of SEN or EHC plans
  • Parent meetings and providing Inclusion Passports which set out the support for individual children

How do we handle complaints from parents of children with SEN about provision made at the school?

Complaints about SEN provision in our school should be made to the class teacher and/or Senco in the first instance. They will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy.

The parents of pupils with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children.

They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Exclusions
  • Provision of education and associated services
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services
  • Who can young people and parents contact if they have concerns?       
  • If parents or young people have any concerns they can contact the class teacher or Senco to discuss these.

What support services are available to parents?

The school has a Family Liaison Officer who will support parents through signposting to the relevant support networks or referring to in school support which the school provides.

The type of support allocated and signposted will be dependent on need.

Where can the LA’s local offer be found? How have we contributed to it?

The Local Authority’s Local Offer can be viewed here.

Please ask within school for paper copies of information on this website should you need it.

Key Additional Programmes Offered

Listed below is a brief overview of the key additional programmes we deliver to support all learners, where appropriate.

If you wish to discuss your child’s support programmes please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or our SENCO Mrs Boorman, in the first instance.


Dyslexia-friendly classroom practices are reflected throughout the school.

Please see the attached whole school provision map as a guide to what we are able to offer pupils with dyslexia. Staff are supported to ensure they are meeting the needs of dyslexic children and we seek the advice of the Educational Psychology Service where appropriate. You can read more about dyslexia by visiting the British Dyslexia Association where you can read their latest newsletter. Other websites that might prove useful are Dyslexia East Kent Support or Kent West Dyslexia Association and Dyslexia Action.

Irlen Syndrome

We are able to offer free screening for pupils in year 3 and above via Selling school, where we have a trained screener Mrs Sheila Johnson.

Irlen Syndrome is a specific type of perceptual problem that affects the way the brain processes visual information. It is not an optical problem.  For those with Irlen Syndrome, the brain is unable to process full spectral light. This can results in a range of distortions in the environment, a range of distortions on the printed page or physical and behavioural symptoms.  To arrange a screening please contact your child's teacher or Mrs Boorman in the first instance, who will be able to arrange a screening via the Academy's Central AENCO co-ordinator.

Gifted and Talented

We aim to ensure that children who display exceptional gifts and talents are provided for.

Every year, the children with exceptional gifts and talents are identified by members of staff as well as their families. This process enables the school to ensure that provision is in place to challenge and enrich the learning of this group of children. The school works to offer a variety of enrichment opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, and aims to harness and develop the gifts and talents that our children display.


A speech programme which targets sounds that children have difficulties in producing.

Children are tested within the school using this specialised computer programme and then the class teacher or teaching assistant delivers the suggested individualised programmes. There are occasions when the tests show that a child needs to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapy for additional guidance and/or intervention.

Speech and Language

Individualised programmes submitted by a Speech Therapist assigned to this school which is delivered by the class teacher or teaching assistant.

These are for children who have been referred, by the school or by a medical professional, to be assessed by the Speech and Language Therapy Service. These programmes can include speech sound production, language development and social skills, depending on the child’s needs.

EAL - English as an Additional Language

This is for children who have a first language other than English and may need further intervention with their English language understanding in order to aid their academic development.


The Fizzy programme has been developed by Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

It is graded and measurable in three stages and works on three specific areas- balance, ball skills and body awareness.

Toe by Toe

This is a highly structured, multi-sensory individual reading programme which is specially designed for children needing additional support in acquiring reading and phonic skills.

Emotional support/counselling

This intervention is accessible to all pupils who may be experiencing difficulty with some aspects of home/school life e.g. a family bereavement which may impact on their school life.

Dymchurch uses the services of a qualified counsellor and play therapist.

Anger management

This is provided to help young people understand why they are angry and how to deal with it in a positive and safe way.

Fine motor skills

Fine motor skills are vital to the development of many competencies in young children.

Activities are divided into sections focusing on warming up, hand and finger strength, manipulation and eye-hand co-ordination. A programme called Clever Fingers is used for this purpose.


For advice or information on autism spectrum disorders please visit the National Autistic Society on or the Kent Autistic Trust on