The Willows Primary School

Last updated: 11/10/2023

The Willows Primary School & Nursery is a school based in the south of Newbury, on the edge of Greenham Common. There are approximately 400 children attending the school, the majority of whom come from the immediate local catchment area. The majority of pupils are White British. The percentage of pupils for whom English is an additional language is above average for West Berkshire. The proportion of children known to be eligible for free school meals is in-line with the National average, although high for West Berkshire. The proportion of pupils with SEND is higher than the National average. This group includes a number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)and specific speech and language needs.

The Willows is an inclusive school which aims to ensure all children become successful learners across all areas of the curriculum and develops the skills of perseverance, resilience and independence at every level. There is currently provision for children from 2 years up to Year 6. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Miss J MacArthur
Contact Position
01635 42155
The Willows Primary School

Breakfast and After School Club 

Our Breakfast Club has been running since January 2013. Children enjoy a healthy breakfast with varied cereal and toasted options!

Breakfast Club starts at 8:00 and runs until school starts at 8:35. It costs £4.00 per child or £3.50 if siblings attend together.

We also operate an after school club in it’s own dedicated building on site. Children get a snack and drink and have access to a wide range of activities, games and after school entertainment.

After school club starts at 15:10, when children are collected from their classrooms, and ends at 17:30. It costs £8.50 per child or £7.50 if siblings attend together.

To help us with the administration of both clubs, bookings must be in advance and refunds are available only if 24 hours’ notice has been given for cancellations.


Extra Curricular Clubs

An after school sports clubs is available free of charge and runs Monday to Thursday from 3:15 – 4:15. Each year group are invited to sign up for one specific day and sport at a time. The sporting focus and year group for these clubs change each term to ensure that all pupils are offered opportunity to access this club throughout the year. More details about the current sports each year group are being offered can be obtained from the school office. 

We are also pleased to be able to offer 2 after school steel pans music clubs run by Culture Mix who work with us via Berkshire Maestros. These are currently open to Years 3 & 4 and 5 & 6.

Where to go

The Willows Primary School
Pyle Hill
RG14 7SJ

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£12 per session
£4 per hour
Within our 2 and 3 year old provisions, we offer flexible childcare arrangements with session options for mornings, afternoons, 'early week' or 'late week'. Early week sessions run from Monday morning to Wednesday lunch and late week sessions run from Wednesday lunch to Friday afternoon.

All sessions are chargeable unless you qualify for funded hours. Funding is available for 2 year olds and 3 year olds and is based on set criteria. Entitlement for 15 hours funding can be checked by registering and completing the form at the West Berkshire Online Citizen Portal. You can check your eligibility for 30 hours funding at the website by searching for '30 hours funding'

2 year olds: If you are eligible for free entitlement sessions, you can have up to 5 sessions in a week free (a total of 15 hours free). If you are not eligible for free sessions you can purchase your sessions via the school office.

3 and 4 year olds: All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours free childcare (you can have up to 5 sessions in a week). If you select any full days a fee of £2 per lunch is applied. You may also be entitled to the Government’s 30 hours funding for an additional 15 hours free childcare or you can purchase additional sessions to create a whole day.

In Saplings there are up to 12 morning and 12 afternoon spaces for our 2+ year olds. These can be 15 hour funded 2 year old spaces or paid sessions.

In Nursery there are up to 60 spaces for 15 hour funded children. These spaces decrease if we have more children who want full time hours or have 30 hour funding.

Sessions are £12 for Saplings (2+ year olds) and Nursery (3+ year olds). For children attending 2 sessions in a day (morning and afternoon), there is an additional £2 cost for lunch. Parents will need to supply a packed lunch for children staying.

Bookings can be made via the school office and are set for a term at a time. If your childcare needs are not covered in the session options outlined above please contact us to discuss the alternatives we can provide.


Age Ranges

Age Range Notes

Maintained Nursery Class Age Range from 2 to 5 years.

School Age Range from 4 to 11 years.

Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision
Experience with
Dolce are our chosen catering partners. Any specific dietary requirements can be catered for with the receipt of a doctors note confirming the exact allergies/conditions. We are a 'No Nut' school so ask that no chocolate spread or peanut butter is included in any hot or packed lunches, due to current pupils and staff having severe allergies. Additional information on meals can be found at Hot meals are served from our kitchens daily and children have a choice of 3 meals with at least 1 vegetarian option. All children from Reception to Y2 are entitled to universal infant free school meals. A lunch costs is currently �2.39 for pupils in Y3 - Y6, unless they are in receipt of free school meals. If you think you are eligible for free school meals please talk to us and we can help you access the West Berkshire FSM checking service.

Childcare Information


Immediate vacancies
Vacancies are available in some age groups, please contact us for up to date information (01635 42155).
Date updated
Vacancy range(s)
Vacancy range(s)
PlacesStart AgeEnd Age
1 2 3
1 3 4
1 5 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
Currently we do not have any 30 hours partners. 

Waiting List

Do you have a waiting list?

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 8:00 17:30
Tuesday 8:00 17:30
Wednesday 8:00 17:30
Thursday 8:00 17:30
Friday 8:00 17:30

School Pickups

Offers pickups
The Willows Primary School
The Willows Primary School And Nursery Class

Local Offer


The Willows Primary School & Nursery is a school based in the south of Newbury, on the edge of Greenham Common. There are approximately 400 children attending the school, the majority of whom come from the immediate local catchment area. The majority of pupils are White British. The percentage of pupils for whom English is an additional language is above average for West Berkshire. The proportion of children known to be eligible for free school meals is in-line with the National average, although high for West Berkshire. The proportion of pupils with SEND is higher than the National average. This group includes a number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)and specific speech and language needs.

The Willows is an inclusive school which aims to ensure all children become successful learners across all areas of the curriculum and develops the skills of perseverance, resilience and independence at every level. There is currently provision for children from 2 years old up to Year 6. 

Contact Name
Jo MacArthur
Contact Telephone
01635 42155
Contact Email
The Willows Primary School
SEN Provision Type
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?

There are a number of ways in which a child might be identified as having SEND. The class teacher, parents or other external professionals (paediatricians, educational psychologists etc.) may raise concerns regarding a child’s progress, behaviour or attitude to learning. Assessment and tracking data may also identify children who are not making expected progress which can alert staff to a potential underlying special educational need.

1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

Your initial point of contact is usually your child’s class teacher, or you can arrange to meet with our SENCO. Typically, meetings can be arranged through contacting the school office or by speaking to the class teacher at the end of the school day. If this is not possible a note in your child's reading record will be picked up in class and someone will contact you to discuss your concerns. 

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?

Your child’s class teacher is responsible for planning and monitoring the education programmes of all children in their class, including those with SEND. They are supported by the school SENCO to ensure that provision is the best that it can be. If a child needs support in addition to what is already planned for the class, your child’s teacher will also be responsible for planning suitably differentiated or supported learning opportunities. This may be done in consultation with, and where appropriate will follow, guidance given by other agencies. Sometimes these programmes will be formally reviewed through a support and achievement plan (SAP) or an educational, health and care plan (EHCP).

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

If your child has been identified as having SEND, a Support and Achievement Plan (SAP) may be written outlining your child’s needs and how school and home can support their continued progress and achievement. Children have this information in a learning passport which documents their learning behaviours, intended targets and ways for parents to support at home. Children's and parent/carer's views are an important part of the SAP and learning passport writing process. They are written in child friendly terms; they stay with the child in class as a working document. SAPs are formally reviewed, updated and shared with parents/carers twice yearly, however children have a great deal of ownership of their passports and may mark off when they meet targets at any point in an academic year. 

Parent/teacher consultations also take place in the Autumn and Spring terms and provide another opportunity to discuss your child's needs with the class teacher or SENCO. In the Summer term, teachers write their end of year reports which will summarise all the progress and achievements your child has made. They will also include areas for development which will support continued progress in the next year group.

Where appropriate we will seek support from other agencies to ensure that provision for your child is up to date and relevant and your permission is sought before assessments take place or support is taken. You will also be informed at parent’s evenings of any additional interventions your child takes part in.

In certain circumstances a child may have an identified SEND that does not require a SAP, for example, if they have a hearing impairment that is mitigated with the use of radio aids and their attainment is at or above age related expectations. 

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

The Teaching Assistants (TAs) who work with individual children are aware of the need to encourage them to be active members of their class and many have received specific training on enabling  pupils to develop their independence in a range of environments. The TAs are skilled at recognising when it is appropriate to work on a one to one basis with a child and when the child can be supported at a distance.

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

Through whole school tracking procedures, we assess the progress that all the children make. From this information we are able to target the areas of the core curriculum where a child would need additional support and intervention. The curriculum can be differentiated in a range of ways, for example through additional adult support, simplified activities, use of visual prompts or use of concrete resources. In some circumstances, it is necessary to provide children with a highly differentiated curriculum to ensure that their particular needs are being met. Where this is the case, class teachers work with the SENDCO to identify the appropriate targets, tasks and timetable to ensure that SEND children have the best opportunity to reach their potential. 

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?

At The Willows, we have a wide range of SEND needs and we have close links with a number of external agencies to support our children including: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisory Service, Educational Psychologists (Ed Psych), Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT), Cognition and Learning Team (CaLT), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHs), Early Development and Inclusion Team (EDIT), Sensory Consortium Service (SCS) and Specialist Inclusion Support Service (SISS).  We consult these services for advice on different teaching strategies when needed. 

Depending on a child’s needs, these are some of the tools that we use:

-       Task strips

-       Social Stories

-       Challenge packs

-       Numicon

-       Radio Aids

-       Enlarged texts

-       Coloured overlays/paper

-       Sensory integration/movement breaks

-       Fine motor skills

-       Assistive technologies (adapted iPads and Netbooks)

-       Sensory toys

2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?

Currently we have a number of children who require additional 1:1 support. 1:1 support is funded by the school, unless the child has an EHCP whereby the Local Authority partly fund this provision. Every class has at least one TA who can provide additional support as well as small group work in class. We also have TAs who are trained to offer specific support through delivery of targeted interventions such as StAR (Structured Approach to Reading), Little Wandle Catch Up (Phonics intervention) and ECAT (Every Child A Talker) speech and language intervention. We also have Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) who work part time with individuals to support children who are dealing with bereavement, conflict in the family, social skills issues and other mental health related issues, as the need arises. We also have school Pastoral Support Workers (PSW) who work with both children and their families to support positive learning and family outcomes. 

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

Sensory Circuits

One to one

Sensory Circuits

Small group


One to one


One to one


Small group

Social Skills

Small group


One to one


Small group

Fine Motor Skills / Occupational Therapy

One to one

Fine Motor Skills / Occupational Therapy

Small group

LAL/Post LAL (Language & Literacy Unit) programme

One to one

LAL/Post LAL (Language & Literacy Unit) programme

Small group

SPRINT (Literacy Booster)

One to one

SPRINT (Literacy Booster)

Small group


Small group

Catch Up Reading

One to one

Precision Teaching

One to one

Draw and Talk

One to one

StAR (Structured Approach To Reading)

One to one

Building Blocks Therapy

Little Wandle Catch Up

2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

We are able to respond to the personal needs of your child and can either borrow or purchase specialist equipment following advice from outside agencies. Within school we have a range of resources such as Numicon to support number work and the expertise to write social stories to help children understand potentially anxiety provoking situations. We are also able to call on external expertise such as the Educational Psychologist or the Specialist Inclusion Support Service to advise on appropriate resources. We have a range of equipment available to pupils with SEND, such as:


 - Writing slopes

- Weighted lap pads

- Adapted technologies (iPads and Netbooks)

- Wobble cushions

- Wedge cushions

- Ergonomic pencil grips

- Coloured overlays/exercise books

- Ear defenders

- A wide range of sensory equipment including a sensory room

- Communication Boards (PECS)

- Talking Tins

- ACE Dictionaries

2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

If appropriate the school can apply for extra time for children sitting Key Stage 2 national tests, modified tests can be ordered for children with a visual impairment, some children may also have access to a reader or a scribe.

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

Assessment at The Willows takes place constantly. Teachers assess learning and understanding during and after each lesson, tailoring their teaching and the direction of lessons based on what they see and hear. Teachers measure progress and learning at the end of lessons, through marking, as well as at the end of units of work and the end of each term, through more formal recorded assessments.

Statutory assessment includes, the EYFS Baseline assessment and the Foundation Stage Profile in Reception, Phonics Screening in Year 1, the Multiplication Check in Year 4 and SATs at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 (Year 2 & 6).  In addition to this, within the Early Years Foundation Stage, we use the Every Child A Talker (ECAT) tracker to identify and track any delayed speech & language issues termly.

Teachers meet with the senior leadership team to discuss pupil's progress and to ensure that early intervention is put in place where required. The SENCO reviews progress made by SEN children and ensures that appropriate additional support is provided.

Parents are invited in for parent consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring term where children's progress and attainment is a focus. A report is written at the end of each year highlighting learning, progress and next steps for children. Parents are invited to discuss these with the class teacher in the summer term. 

3.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?

Following on from assessments, termly pupil progress meetings are held in school. Teachers meet with the Head teacher, deputy and the SENCO to look at progress and attainment. As a result of these meetings, targets may be set or adjusted and in certain circumstances, additional support or interventions may be planned to support children to close gaps. 

For children who have a SAP (Support and Achievement Plan) or an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), meetings are held with parents to discuss progress and achievements as well as setting new targets and goals. Some outcomes may remain similar, depending on the child’s needs. Both the child and parents can make a comment about the outcomes and next steps. Discussion will also take place about how school/home can work together in supporting the child. 

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?

We value the support of parents in each pupil’s learning journey. If, at any point, you would like to meet with staff in addition to the meeting times referred to above, you can ring the school office to make an appointment.

3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?

Parents are always welcome to make an appointment to see their child’s Class Teacher or the SENCO if they have any concerns. We have an open door policy and quick handover information can be given by parents or school at the beginning and end of the school day. Often a child’s teacher or TA will accompany the child out at the end of school to hand over any key information. Occasionally a child requires a home/school diary and if it is felt to be useful for both parents and school, we will endeavour to set one up.

3.5: How can I help support my child's learning?

Children benefit from seeing their parents work positively with the school.

Keeping in regular contact with teachers and school staff is crucial to ensuring good learning. Passing on important information which could affect your child’s day is useful. Encouraging your child to read regularly to you at home, completing homework and ensuring that they regularly attend school will support your child with their learning. In addition, encouraging their interest in topics covered at school can increase your child’s confidence.

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?

When possible, Learning Workshops are held for parents/carers so that they can increase their own knowledge of different methods used within teaching and learning in school, thus enabling them to support their child’s learning at home. We also run information evenings on the teaching of phonics. Our Nursery classes offer Stay and Play sessions for parents so that they can familiarise themselves with the classrooms and structure of our sessions and to have a chance to interact and settle their children at school. The school regularly shares useful information and resources directly with parents and the website has a number of links and resources to enable parents to support their child’s learning at home.

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

Child friendly versions of SAPs and sections of EHCPs are written and discussed with children (children know this as their 'Learning Passport') so they know what their targets are. These are kept out during lessons and referred to and updated regularly as children make progress against their targets. 

At EHCP Annual Reviews, children write an 'All About Me' booklet which gives them the opportunity to reflect on what they do well and what they need further support with. It also enables them to choose pieces of work to share that they feel proud of. Children are also invited to share their 'All About Me' information at the Annual Review meeting if they would like to.

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?

The school has a robust monitoring and evaluation cycle which includes specific SEN focus points throughout the year. Book looks, pupil progress meetings, learning walks and classroom observations all make up part of the monitoring and evaluation cycle, the results of which are shared with the Senior Leadership Team and wider staff. We also have a named SEND governor who takes a particular focus on how SEND children are supported and included throughout the school. Parents and carers are given regular opportunities to share their views on how their pupils are supported in school through questionnaires and surveys. 

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?

Our SEND pupils are part of a class and they are, where ever and whenever possible, fully integrated within that class. This provides all our children (both those with SEND and those without) an opportunity to mix with others who have needs that may be different to their own. This develops mutual respect and tolerance whilst also giving children opportunities to explore and develop their social skills. Furthermore, we have experienced Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) who work with children on a 1:1 or small group basis covering a wide range of needs including developing children’s self-esteem, working on strategies for anger management and dealing with bereavement. Our Pastoral Support Workers (PSWs) also run Social Skills groups to support children in areas such as developing friendships, managing conflict and promoting self-esteem. As a school we have a staff who are committed to supporting children emotionally and socially as well as academically.

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 have a clear behaviour system that focuses on rewards and sanctions. All children and parents are aware of how the systems are applied and understand the importance of consistency and fairness. All staff are supported and empowered to use the behaviour and rewards system and pupil behaviour is excellent as a result.

If a child finds it difficult to conform to the expected behaviour expectations, we ensure parents are aware of our concerns and we will work with the parents and children to provide additional support to ensure that they can continue to access learning and make positive choices.

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

Where a child has medical needs, the school will seek advice from the relevant agency e.g., the School Community Nursing Service, Physiotherapy Team etc. and staff will receive appropriate training. We have children with diverse medical needs and we ensure that we are appropriately trained and resourced when new medical needs arise. 

For further information, please refer to our ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs Policy’

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

Parents fill in a medication administration form which is kept securely at the main school office.  Any medicines are also kept and administered from there.  The exception to this is time critical medication such as Asthma Inhalers and Epi-Pens, which are kept with the relevant child, in class and on the playground.  First Aid boxes are located in several places around the school and a high proportion of staff are First Aid Qualified.

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

As a school we want to ensure that the children in our care are happy and confident in school. Whenever a child has intimate care needs we ensure that we seek the relevant advice and support in order to meet these needs. Our intimate care policy outlines how we ensure safeguarding procedures are met when changing and supporting pupils. Where a child has an EHCP we can make referrals to occupational therapy (OT) and we can support children with eating and other physical needs. 

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?

We have close links with a number of external agencies: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisory Service, Educational Psychologists , Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT), Cognition and Learning Team (CaLT), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHs), Early Development and Inclusion Team (EDIT), Sensory Consortium Service (SCS) and Specialist Inclusion Support Service (SISS) to name a few.

5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

Discuss any concerns you have with your child's class teacher who may refer you to the SENCO. In some cases, the SENCO can make the appropriate referral if it is considered suitable, however each service has their own criteria in order for a child to be seen.  This will be available to view on their own Local Offer.

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

As a school we are part of the ‘Every Child A Talker’ (ECAT) initiative run by West Berkshire Council. We track children's speech and language development throughout the early years. If we identify a speech and language delay, we signpost parents to support for obtaining an assessment with a speech and language therapist. We are only able to refer a small number of children for an assessment (2-3 pupils per year, and only following 2 terms of in school support, unless they already have an EHCP) with a therapist however we are experienced in identifying and supporting children with speech sound articulation difficulties and other receptive and expressive language difficulties. As a school we aim to support children with early intervention rather than waiting for a therapist to confirm a difficulty and are well supported with resources and assessment tools shared by the SALT team in West Berkshire.

If a child has seen a specific therapist they may be given a therapy plan detailing outcomes. We have TAs who are experienced in delivering such plans. If it is needed, Speech and Language therapists can give advice, training and support when setting up group interventions which are run by TAs.

 Occupational therapy referrals can only be made by school if a pupil already has a EHCP in place. We can make referrals for physiotherapy however it is more likely that a paediatrician or medical professional would make this referral. 

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?

Discuss any concerns you have with your child's class teacher who may refer you to the SENCO. The SENCO can make referrals for Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy. If your child has an EHC plan the SENCO can also make referrals for Occupational Therapy through the CYPIT hub, however if your child does not have an EHC plan your GP will have to make the referral.

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

The Headteacher is the designated safeguarding lead at the school and as such is the main point of contact for any liaison with Children’s Social Care services. The deputy head is the deputy safeguarding lead and there are additional staff on site who have completed designated safeguarding training. 

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

 If a teacher has a child with a particular need in the class, for example ASD or sensory processing difficulties, it may be possible for them to attend training run by an outside agency. The SENCO keeps up to date with current legislation and strategies for specific needs through conferences and training. They disseminate this to staff through staff meetings and with regular SEND updates.

We are able to access a wide range of training offered by the Local Authority, from training in delivering specific interventions such as Precision Teaching, to courses which increase staff's understanding of a particular need such as courses on Autism awareness. Teachers also receive additional and up to date training through staff meetings, INSET days and other continued professional development opportunities. 

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

Training is provided by the SENCO or other external agencies, such as the Cognition and Learning Team.  A regular review of training and discussion takes place between the Head teacher and the SENCO. Teaching Assistants are given appropriate training for the support they are expected to deliver and the needs of the children that they are working with. 

6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

The SENCO will either have completed the SENCO accreditation or be on the pathway to gaining the accreditation.

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

Some Teaching Assistants had specific training h Up Reading Programme.

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?

A full risk assessment is undertaken for each off site activity and any adjustments are made depending on the level of need. Our approach to school activities and trips is inclusive and we expect all children to be included.

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

Parents are consulted if access for a trip or activity requires a more in-depth risk assessment and planning. If a child has access to a 1:1 adult as part of their ECHP provision in school, then this provision would remain for the relevant off site activity or school trip.

Where necessary, such as for residential visits, planning meetings take place with the leader of the activity and the child’s parents or carers. 

8. Accessibility of the school environment
8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

Our school is very accessible and it is possible to move around the whole school building in a wheel chair. Some doors in school are automatic and all doors are wide enough for wheelchair access.  The school has sloped access to outside buildings from the main school.  A lift ensures appropriate access to the upper floor of the New building.

8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

Where there is a child with a visual impairment or a hearing impairment in the class, advice and guidance is sought from the sensory consortium service (SCS). The SENCO ensures that this is then implemented and followed and that all adults that work with the children are informed on how best to support them.

Staff wear Radio Aids for children with hearing aids.  When a Teacher is using an Interactive Whiteboard, they are encouraged to have a pale background colour for those children with dyslexic tendencies. In the past we have ensured that children are made aware of the need to keep chairs in and to give a clear space for moving around.

If necessary, adapted technologies are used to support visual and hearing paired children. This may be with a laptop or netbook with adapted settings or a specific piece of software or technology that enables greater access to resources.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

Yes. There is a disabled toilet in the main reception and in the Parliament building.  Toilets have been altered, where necessary, to accommodate wheelchair access/toilet frames.

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

We regularly review our facilities to ensure that they are accessible for children with SEND. We consider each case on an individual basis and can put in place additional support in order to improve access if required.

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

Parents are consulted about which is the best way to contact them and the school follows their preferences. This support ranges from sharing and completing forms alongside parents to providing separate spaces for parents who require a quiet space and interpreter to support during parent's evenings. We conduct a disability survey across our school community at least bi-annually. Parent’s views on disability help us to identify any issues that might need to be addressed.  

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

We ask parents what support they might require and ask the advice of the EMTAS team if appropriate. In the past we have arranged for interpreters to accompany parents to meetings. Sometimes these have been from outside agencies or have been family members. 

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?

Where possible, staff will visit the child’s current setting and a transition meeting will take place between the two settings. An additional meeting is for parents to meet their child's new teacher is also offered. In Early Years classes, stay and play sessions are offered and we hold a Transition Day every Summer Term for our incoming September intake.

Additional visits to The Willows are always welcome in order to ensure a smooth transition process. It is possible for the visits to be arranged at different times so that your child can see the school when it is busy and quiet.  Where appropriate, a Transition Photo Book will be provided to help children ‘see’ their new setting/members of staff who will be working with them. 

The SENCO will gather information from parents and the previous setting. This information will be shared with all relevant staff who will be working with your child. 

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

Your child will be able to visit their new classroom at various times during the day to look at key areas. In the Summer Term, we hold a Transition Day, where pupils spend the morning with their next class teacher. They will be given the opportunity to go onto the playground if required. There are also other informal opportunities for your child to meet their new teacher and any support staff in the new classroom before the beginning of the academic year. They may also receive a transition booklet which is a social story outlining what to expect in the next year group. This is taken home and can be referred to throughout the school holidays to support the transition and reduce any anxieties your child has about returning to school in September.

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

Preparing for Secondary School takes place throughout Year 6 for children who are identified as potentially vulnerable and in need of a more individual approach to transition. Transition visits are run by the local secondary schools and take place on both an individual and group basis. Most local secondary schools meet with parents, our SENCO and the children at our school to discuss the transition. Most local secondary schools offer additional visits or support for SEND children in the Summer Term.

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

We will pass on all the information that we have and a hand over meeting takes place between staff. We are able to meet with schools to discuss any adaptations that we may have made and pass on any useful information including the level of support the child receives. Meetings take place between the Year 6 teachers and the Year 7 heads of the local secondary schools to discuss all children that are moving up. In addition, meetings take place between the Primary and Secondary SENCOs prior to transition and parents and children are often invited to these as well.

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

Current attainment levels, history of the child’s SEND and any SAPs or EHCPs are provided to the new school.  Details of how to best support the child, e.g. strategies used or interventions, are also shared as well as any safeguarding concerns. 

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 child’s Class Teacher is usually the first point of contact for any issues or concerns.  All parents are welcome to make an appointment to see them for a discussion.

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

The Willows employs dedicated Pastoral Support Workers (PSW) who can offer specific support to parents/carers and families. When appropriate they also run parent courses such as Incredible Years, BOOST, Anger in the Family and courses on developing better sleeping routines. The PSWs will also offer advice and support to parents/carers and families on any other areas of concern. 

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

We have leaflets outside the office offering information on support agencies. The SENCO has a range of specific leaflets and the school office emails anything of interest to parents. If a parent is after particular advice the SENCO will endeavour to answer queries and direct parents towards support. The pastoral support workers, SENCO and members of the leadership team can also help to direct parents/carers to specific groups who can help. From time to time the school website also includes information on external workshops, support groups etc.

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

Compliments are always welcome and are shared with school staff. Parents have opportunities to give regular feedback at Parent/Teacher consultations. We have an open door policy and teaching staff are usually available to speak to parents at the end of a school day

Complaints about the provision or organisation of SEN will be dealt with through the procedures outlined in the whole school complaints policy, which can be found on the school website.

Quality checks

  • DBS check

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

Back to top of page