Fir Tree School and Nursery Newbury Academy Trust

Last updated: 19/09/2023


Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery is a happy, caring and safe environment where children make good progress. There are 230 pupils on roll between the ages of 3 and 11. Fir Tree is located on the eastern edge of Newbury and has a very concentrated catchment area.

Fir Tree became part of Newbury Academy Trust in March 2013 and is sponsored by Trinity School. The Trust's ethos is to make a substantial difference to lives of young people through the education we provide. At Fir Tree, we believe in teaching the whole child. Our children are challenged to think, learn, believe and achieve their full potential through a creative curriculum which is tailored to their needs and interests and prepares them for next steps in life.

Children only get one chance at education so good leadership, effective management, committed staff, governors, parents and pupils working together as a team ensures Fir Tree is a happy and welcoming place. Our school motto ‘Freedom to Flourish’ is achieved through a creative and character value based curriculum which nurtures pupils who are happy to meet challenges and grow.

At Fir Tree our expectations are clear; high standards of education for all. Standards are good but we can never become complacent in order to fulfil the potential of everyone who steps through our doors. We focus on the quality of teaching and learning to ensure that all groups of children are given the opportunity to develop and meet their potential including those who have been identified as having additional needs. We are committed to narrowing the attainment and progress gaps between SEND and non-SEND pupils.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs Lindsay Wood
Contact Position
Associate Headteacher
01635 42129
Fir Tree School and Nursery Newbury Academy Trust

Where to go

Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery
Fir Tree Lane
RG14 2RA

Other Details


Age Ranges

Age Range Notes

Maintained Nursery Class Age Range from 3 to 5 years.

School Age Range from 4 to 11 years.

Other notes

We offer morning sessions and afternoon sessions (15 hours).  We also offer full-time sessions to those eligible for 30 hours childcare funding.

We accept children from the term following their 3rd birthday.  If places are not available at the time of application then we do operate a waiting list.

For children attending full-time there is a small lunchtime supervision charge.  You do not have to pay this charge if your child goes home for their lunch.

Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision
Experience with
These will be discussed with our school catering service, Aspens, and provided for wherever possible.

Childcare Information


Immediate vacancies
Date updated
Vacancy range(s)
Vacancy range(s)
PlacesStart AgeEnd Age
13 3 11

Funded Places

3 & 4 year old funding
2 year old funding

30 Hours Extended Entitlements

Are you registered to provide 30 Hours?
30 Hour Partner Summary
We have our own on site nursery.   

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 08:00 15:30
Tuesday 08:00 15:30
Wednesday 08:00 15:30
Thursday 08:00 15:30
Friday 08:00 13:00

School Pickups

Offers pickups
Fir Tree Primary School And Nursery Class
Fir Tree Primary and Nursery
Fir Tree Primary School & Nursery
After School Club

Local Offer



Fir Tree School is one of the three schools which forms part of the Newbury Academy Trust. It is a one form entry primary school and nursery which currently has 230 children on roll between the ages of 3 and 11. Fir Tree is located on the eastern edge of Newbury and has a very concentrated catchment area. It became part of the Academy in 2013 and is sponsored by Trinity School.

As outlined in the Code of Practice the vision for pupils with SEN is;

‘That they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives’

Fir Tree believes in everyone working together to ensure that our school is a happy and welcoming place. We work together with parents, to achieve this vision. Our ethos is to make substantial difference to the lives of young children through a creative curriculum which is tailored to meet the needs of all our young learners. Our school’s moto is ‘Freedom to Flourish’ and through good leadership, strong partnerships and high quality teaching and learning we challenge students to achieve their full potential.

The Academy Trust
Trinity School houses two specialist resources run by the Local Authority: one for students with a statement of Dyslexia and another for students who have a primary need of Autism. Speenhamland Primary, also part of the Academy, houses a resource for students with a physical disability and Fir Tree School benefits from a specialist Autism Resource which opened in September 2017. These resources are maintained by the Local Authority and students are selected through a separate Local Authority panel.

Profile of SEND at Fir Tree School
In accordance with the 2014 SEND Code of Practice, and the 2010 Equality Act, The Trust is committed to meeting the needs of all our students so that no individual or group is disadvantaged or discriminated against in any way. The SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) closely monitors the different kinds of SEND in the school and ensures that appropriate support is provided.
Children with SEND are categorised according to areas of need:

• Communication and Interaction (C&I) – including Autism Spectrum (AS) and Speech, Language and Communication needs (SLCN)

• Cognition and Learning (C&L) – including Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

• Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH) – including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and difficulties with stress, anxiety and depression 

• Sensory or Physical Impairment (S/PI) – including difficulties with vision, hearing and mobility



Contact Name
Michelle Pearse
Contact Telephone
Contact Email
SEN Provision Type
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Medical, Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
1 to 4
5 to 7
7 to 11
Needs Level


1. Identification of SEND
1.1: How does the school identify children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?


Fir Tree Primary School


  • use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEND gets the support they need – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s SEND.
  • ensure that children and young people with SEND engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEND.   
  • inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child.

We have a designated SENDCo who supports class teachers and parents to ensure that we provide the best possible support to ensure that children with SEND have the provision they require.

Special Educational Needs is used to describe a child who

1. Has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children his or her age in one of more areas of learning.

2. Has an identified or diagnosed disability which prevents the child from fully accessing the provision and facilities available in the school for children of a similar age.

3. Identification of children with SEND at Fir Tree is part of the structure of termly pupil progress meetings between the teacher, SENCO and Headteacher.

4. Literacy and Maths assessment packs, designed by the Cognition and Learning Team from West Berkshire SEND team, are used to identify specific gaps in these areas of learning.

If your child is then identified as not making expected progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  •  listen to any concerns you may have  
  •  plan any additional support your child may require
  •  discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to gain advice to support your child’s learning
1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?
  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.
  • If you would like further information regarding your child’s progress or support regarding their SEND, or if you feel that your child requires a more in-depth assessment of their SEND, you should speak to the SENDCo.
  • If you continue to have concerns about your child, you can speak to the Associate Headteacher.
2. Support for children with special educational needs
2.1: If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?

Class teacher
Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work or additional support) and letting the SENDCo know as/ when necessary.
  • Tracking progress of additional support provided and measuring the impact of additional support.
  • Writing Support and Achievement Plans (SAP), with the support of the SENDCo and sharing and reviewing these with parents once each term and planning for the next term.
  • Ensuring that all staff working with your child in school are helped to deliver the planned work/programme for your child, so the child can achieve the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.


The SENDCo who is
Responsible for:

  • Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND Policy/ Information report, to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Ensuring that you are:
    • involved in supporting your child’s learning
    • kept informed about the support your child is getting
    • involved in reviewing how they are progressing
  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help to support your child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, School Nurse etc.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.

Responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
  • She will give responsibility to the SENDCo and class teachers but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • She must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about the progress of children who have SEND.

Governing Body

The role of the Governing Body is to hold the school to account, thereby ensuring that all children who have SEND, make progress.

SEN Governor
Responsible for:

Meeting with the SENDCo and feeding back information to the full governing body regarding the provision for and progress of children with SEND in the school.

2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

There will be three planned opportunities during the year to meet with the class teacher.  Children with SEND will have a Support and Achievement Plan which will be reviewed at the termly meetings. You will also receive an annual report about your child’s progress. Additional meetings can be set up at the request of the class teacher, SENDCO or you as parents to ensure effective communication with regard to support for your child.

2.3: How will the school balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?

The role of teachers and teaching assistants supporting individual children or groups of children is carefully planned to ensure that children do not rely too heavily on having adult support. Opportunities are built into the school day to develop independence and confidence.

2.4: How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child's needs?

Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met. Specially trained support staff can adapt the teacher’s planning to support the needs of your child where necessary. Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups. Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.

2.5: What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?

The school will ensure that a personalised approach is taken towards all children with SEND and the curriculum will be adapted specifically for the child’s needs. We employ staff who have experience and training to work with children who have Autism, Dyslexia, Speech and Language difficulties, hearing and visual impairment and other learning difficulties. The SENDCo will make referrals to outside agencies if the school requires additional support or advice to provide for a child.

2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?
  • The school budget, received from West Berkshire Council, includes money for supporting children with SEND.
  • The Head Teacher decides on the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.
  • The Head Teacher and the SENDCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
    • the children getting extra support already
    • the children needing extra support
    • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected

They use this information to decide what resources, training and support is required.

  • All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed throughout the year.
  • Depending on the needs of individual children in each class, there will be support staff allocated to each class where appropriate.
2.7: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / TitleIntervention Type
Handwriting Accelerated Reader Lifeboat Programme Meditation Booster classes: English and Maths Year 6 Speech therapy programmes as advised by speech therapists ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support M4C- Motivation 4 Change Talkabout Children- Social skills and communication programme One to one
Handwriting Accelerated Reader Talking Partners Lifeboat Programme Meditation Booster classes: English and Maths Year 6 Talkabout Children- Social skills and communication programme Lego Therapy Mental health/ Well-being- gardening, outdoor activities, team building Small group
2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

• Practical Literacy and maths resources

• OT resources including handwriting

• TA support

• Specialist TA support

• ELSA support

• Pastoral support

• Educational Psychologist

• IT Hardware

• IT software

• Fine motor skills resources

• Dedicated group room space for groups or 1:1 work

• SENCO support and advice

We respond to individual needs.  Practical resources will be provided where appropriate. For example:

  • writing slope
  • wobble cushion
  • work station
  • Theraputty
  • Pencil Grips
2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

• Readers when appropriate

• 1:1 conditions to reduce anxiety

• Extra time when appropriate

• Special arrangements in line with the external examination procedures

• Breaks if appropriate

• Coloured overlays if used in class.

• Exams taken in a smaller room with a smaller group than the whole class.

• A scribe if appropriate

• Breakfast Club during Year 6 SATs week

Depending on individual needs, special consideration will be applied to children when doing SATs tests. E.g.  Larger print for children with visual impairment or additional time or breaks will be considered for children who have specific learning difficulties. We also provide readers and scribes where required.

3. My child's progress
3.1: How will the school monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?

Class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching.
For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • The teacher uses  a cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ for all pupils to enable early identification of pupils with SEND and to monitor the progress of those already identified as having SEND
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different methods of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve using practical resources to facilitate their learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCO or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

Specific group work with a smaller group of children.
This group, often called ‘Intervention group’ by schools, may be for children who are not making expected progress due to a personal need or SEND.

They are run in the classroom or in another quieter area, better suited to your child by a teacher or a Teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups.

If a child has been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school:

  • He/ She will engage in group sessions with specific targets to help him/her to make more progress.
  • A teaching assistant/teacher or outside professional (like a Speech and Language Therapist) will run these small group sessions using the teacher’s plan or a plan from a specific programme.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.

Specialist groups run by outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language therapy, Physiotherapy or Occupational therapy groups or individual support

Sometimes children require specialist support from an outside professional on an individual basis. This could be from a/an

  •  Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service

 (For students with a hearing or visual need)

  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENDCo (or you will have raised your concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and may provide us with ideas to help your child in areas they are finding difficult.
  • The specialist professional might meet with you as well as the class teacher or they might work with your  child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
    • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
    • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
    • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
    • A group or individual work with outside professional
  • The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.

Specified Individual support

This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENDCo and outside professionals, as needing a particularly high level of individual teaching and support, which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.

This usually means that the child is working at a level approximately 2 years or more behind his/her peers. Their needs are often complex, they will have had difficulties for a long time and they may have a diagnosis of one or more difficulties such as Autism, ADHD or a range of physical or emotional difficulties.

Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service, Physiotherapist or Occupational therapist. 

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out an EHC (Education and Health Care) assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which, if deemed necessary, sets out the amount of support that would be provided for your child.
  • After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), are complex enough to require an EHC assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child, to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue to support the child from their own budget, using advice from outside professionals. In this instance, the Local authority will come to the school to hold a meeting to explain why they decided not to carry out the EHC assessment and to offer other suggestions of how the school could use their budget to support your child.
  • If the EHC assessment is agreed: After the reports have all been sent in the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more than £6000 support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an EHC Plan.
  • The EHC Plan, written by the school, the local authority, the child and parents will outline amount of money the Local authority will provide to top up the school’s budget to support your child and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term outcomes for your child.
  • An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.
3.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?
  • Children are assessed termly.
  • Their progress is tracked by the class teacher, the SENDCo and the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Progress will be discussed at termly parent meetings and via the annual report.
  • At the termly meetings the Support and Achievement Plan will be discussed and you will be fully involved in discussing the outcomes of the plan.
  • Additional meetings may be set up with the SENDCo who will support you and the class teacher when reviewing the SAP and setting new targets.
3.3: ln addition to the school's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child's progress with school staff?

There will be three planned opportunities during the year to meet with the class teacher.  Children with SEND will have a Support and Achievement Plan which will be reviewed at the termly meetings. You will also receive an annual report about your child’s progress. Additional meetings can be set up at the request of the class teacher, SENDCO or you as parents to ensure effective communication with regard to support for your child.

3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?
  • Notes are written between the parents and teacher where required.
  • Appointments to meet with the teacher or SENDCo can be made via the school office.
  • Where appropriate home/school communication books are set up.
  • Texts are sent out.
  • Class information is on the website.
3.5: How can I help support my child's learning?
  • Daily reading
  • • Talking to your child about their day
  • • Working with your child to complete homework tasks
  • • Helping your child to learn their spellings on a weekly basis
  • • Helping your child to learn their timetables
  • • Reading and sharing stories
  • • Attending parent workshops, parents evenings and open mornings.
  • • Follow any SAP support/advice
  • • Follow any outside agency support/advice
  • • Come into school for as many events as possible

The class teacher will provide information regarding how you can support your child at home.

3.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child's learning, eg. training or learning events?

The school holds Information Evenings and this information will also be communicated in weekly newsletters from the Associate Headteacher and on the website. Class teachers will share information at parent evenings or at additional meetings where appropriate. Opportunities for parents, who are interested in attending training to further their knowledge of SEND, are arranged by the SENDCo.

3.7: How will my child's views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?

Children are involved in setting of targets and reviewing their progress. Children are involved in the reviewing of their SAP (Support and Achievement plan), where appropriate. All children with SEND are interviewed each year by the SENDCo to gain their views about their progress at school. Information gathered is used to inform planning for the SENDCo and class teachers.

3.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?


3.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?
  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher.
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term in reading, writing and maths.
  • The school uses standardised tests for reading and spelling which provide a reading and spelling age for each child. These tests are carried out termly to measure progress and to inform planning.
  • At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally. The SATs are used to support the teacher’s assessment of your child.
  • Children who have SEND will have a SAP which will be reviewed with your involvement, every term and the plan for term ahead will be agreed.
  • The progress of children with an EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • The SENDCo will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in. The staff who provide interventions for children with SEND work under close supervision of the SENDCo. Interventions are reviewed each half term to ensure that the child is making progress. If not, the intervention will be adapted or support from outside professionals will be sought.
4. Support for my childs overall well being
4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?

Class teachers are responsible for the children’s over all wellbeing. This will be supported by teaching assistants who work with the class. Where necessary, children may be involved in intervention programmes such as Talking Partners or have support or advice from outside agencies such as the support teacher for Autism or the Behaviour Support. The school has an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), who works with children across the school to support their emotional and social development.

4.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?

We provide support staff to work with children in lessons and at playtimes where appropriate. We also involve specialist support staff from the local authority, including the school’s Educational Psychologist, who assist the school and the parents to implement a Behaviour Support Plan to ensure that exclusions are avoided if at all possible.

4.3: What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?

The school welcomes the support of professionals such as physiotherapists, nurses and other therapists to come into school to meet the medical needs of children. If a child needs specialist medical care regularly during the week, a private room will be provided. Staff will receive additional training as required for specific medical needs of children. Staff are always very willing and able to undergo additional training if necessary.

4.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

Parents are required to fill in a form at the school office to give permission for staff to administer medicines. Staff are trained to administer Epi-pens and other medications and the necessary documents are filled in with the support of the school nurse to ensure that policies are adhered to. Where required, personal medical wallets are kept for children who have allergies or medical conditions such as epilepsy. 

4.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc?

The school is mindful of individual needs of children and will make arrangements with parents and outside professionals to ensure children’s needs are met.

5. Specialist services available / accessed by the school
5.1: What SEN support services does the school use, eg. specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?

The SENDCo is responsible for contacting outside professionals to support children with SEND.

We have access to teachers from the Sensory Consortium who support children with hearing and visual impairments. The SENDCo will also write letters of support to the GP or paediatrician or other health services when required.

Other professionals who are involved with the school where necessary are:

  • Specialist teacher from The Castle Special School ( SISS)
  • Behaviour Support teacher
  • Special needs support teacher from the Cognition and Learning Team ( CALT)
  • Speech therapists for children with an EHCP
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Family Support Worker
  • Autism Support Teacher
5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

Referrals to these services need to adhere to specific criteria. The criteria differ from service to service. The SENDCo will be able to provide you with advice and support.

5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

These services can be accessed via your GP or the school. You are also able to self- refer if your child fits the criteria, through CYPIT. The SENDCo is able to offer support and advice in this area.

5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

Talk to your child’s class teacher or the SENDCo or to your GP/ Health Visitor.

5.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children's Social Care services?

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is Mrs Lindsay Wood,  Headteacher.  The Designated Safeguarding Officers are Mrs Natasha Purcell, Deputy Headteacher, Miss Clare Hayter, Associate Headteacher and Mrs Michelle Pearse, Head of AS Resource and SENDCo.

6. Training of school staff in SEND
6.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

Training is provided for all staff regularly throughout the year. Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism and Speech and Language difficulties are a few of the areas we offer training in for our staff.  We regularly carry out audits to ensure that staff are able to offer all of our pupils a high level of support.

6.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia ,Dyscalculia, Autism, Speech and language, Visual impairment, hearing impairment, Down Syndrome as well as any other training that is required. We regularly carry out audits to ensure that staff are able to offer all of our pupils a high level of support.

6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

We appointed an experienced SENDCO to the role in September 2018.  She is the Teacher in Charge of the Autism Resource in the school and she has a qualification in Autism and a Diploma in Pathalogical Demand Avoidance. We also have a competent, experienced team of staff who have all taught children with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

6.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?

We have a qualified ELSA. The other teaching assistants have all had training to work with children with SEND. They have also had many years of experience of working with children with a range of SEND such as ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia as well as behavioural and emotional difficulties. The teaching assistants have all had training for a range of specific learning and physical and emotional difficulties to ensure that we meet the needs of all of our pupils.

7. Activities outside the classroom including school trips
7.1: How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?

The school will carry out risk assessments before the trip and arrangements will be put in place for the inclusion of children with SEND. Careful consideration will be made as to whether additional staff attend the trip with the child. All of these decisions are made in consultation with the parents.

7.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

The class teacher or SENDCo will always talk to parents/carers about requirements depending on the nature of the trip.

8. Accessibility of the school environment
8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
  • The building is accessible to children with physical disability via ramps and widened doors.
  • We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
  • Extra- curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

We try to place workstations in quieter areas of the school. The school will follow advice from the Sensory Consortium to make provision for children with impairments to ensure full access to the curriculum. For children with visual difficulties, we will follow advice and, for example, make raised areas stand out with tape to avoid trip hazards.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

There is a toilet which can be accessed by wheelchair users.

8.4: How do you ensure that all the school's facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?

The school would address any individual additional needs as required and in line with the school Accessibility Policy. 

The school has been adapted for wheelchair users.

8.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

Provide large print letters and newsletter if needed.

• On a 1:1 basis to ensure understanding

• Communicate with another family member if appropriate.

A disabled parking bay is situated close to the ramp near school’s main entrance. We communicate by text, email or telephone.

8.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

If necessary, the school will enlist the support of the MTAS team who would support children with EAL.

BSL would provide interpreters if we needed to communicate with parents who have EAL.

9. Preparing my child to join a new school / next stage of education
9.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?

Transition to Fir Tree – Before considering sending your child to Fir Tree we suggest you take the time to look around the school. You can meet our welcoming staff and have the opportunity to see our creative and enriching curriculum first hand. Following this, transition days will be arranged for your child to visit the school and to meet their teacher and class. Foundation children receive more than one visit and an open evening is held by the staff for parents. Practitioners also carry out home visits in order to get to know you and your child, in a relaxed environment. Parents will have an opportunity to meet with the SENDCO and ask any questions they may have. If appropriate, a transition pack for your child would be set up with photos and key routines to help them prepare for their start day. 

9.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?

Transition between year groups – As Fir Tree is a one form entry school; it is likely that your child will know most of the teachers at an early stage. It also means that your child will remain with their friendship group, making transitions smoother and less daunting. During the Summer Term, the school operates a changeover week, giving children an opportunity to build relationships with their new teachers before September. If appropriate a transition pack may be set up for your child with photos and key routines to help them prepare. The school ensures that staff communicate about the specific needs of all individuals in their class including key teaching strategies and targets to be continued. For some children the transition may be daunting and therefore sessions from one of the schools qualified ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) may be needed. 

9.3: How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school?

We invite staff from the new school to come in to talk to your child. We will visit the new setting with your child if appropriate.

Transition to secondary school – Most of the children at Fir Tree move on to Trinity and therefore links are made from an early stage. Specialised lessons, for example music and dance, are taught across the school by Trinity staff. Links are made with Trinity from an early stage through specialist teachers working with all year groups teaching subjects including music and Modern Foreign Languages sessions for example. In Year 5, the children attend workshops with Trinity staff and have day visits to get a feel for what secondary school will be like. 

Whether transitioning to Trinity, or another secondary school, sessions are built into the children’s timetable to ensure that they have opportunities to visit their new school, make friends and get to know their key teachers. Key staff from secondary schools will meet with the Year 6 teacher to discuss each child’s needs, friendships and targets and a comprehensive information pack, including relevant reports, is completed about each child. Where appropriate a pack of timetables, pictures and key information could be prepared. PSHE sessions and/or ELSA sessions can be put into place for any child that needs support with this.

9.4: How will you support a new school to prepare for my child?

We set up meetings with the new school, parents and the current teacher as well as the SENDCo to ensure a smooth transition. If a child has an EHCP, the SENDCo will invite the SENDCo of the new school to attend the Annual Review prior to the move.

9.5: What information will be provided to my child's new school?

The school passes on all academic and personal information to the next school to ensure a smooth transition and to provide continuity for the child.

9.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?


10. Who can I contact to discuss my child?
10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

The class teacher is the first point of call. After that, you may talk to SENDCo.

The SENDCo is Mrs Michelle Pearse. If you wish to contact her, please telephone the school office or by email

10.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

Our ELSA and SENDCo work closely with parents to offer support. The school also accesses support from the Educational Psychologist, for parents. We are also able to contact services such as Mencap as well as organisations who offer support for parents of children with SEND for example:  ‘Parenting Special Children’

10.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

The SENDCo is able to provide information for parents.

10.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?

We welcome feedback which can be sent by email through the school office or directly to staff where appropriate.  There is a complaints procedure which can be followed if a parent wishes. Please see the Newbury Academy Trust’s Complaints and Concerns Policy on the school’s website.


The Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The Local Offer for Fir Tree School is available on the West Berkshire Council website -

The Local Offer for the Autism Resourced Provision available on the West Berkshire Council website -

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