SENCO Staff Members

Mrs K Smith: Vice Principal/SEND(Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Strategic Lead

Mrs L Guard: SENCO Year 5 – 6 and year 7 – 8 The Discovery Academy

Miss N Robson: SENCO Nursery – Year 4

Telephone: 01782 970293

What kinds of SEND does Maple Court Academy provide for?

The Academy provides for all SEND needs as outlined in the Code of Practice (2014) .

How does the academy know if their pupils need extra help, and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

At Maple Court Academy, pupils are assessed routinely and regularly as part of the ongoing curriculum. These assessments form part of our ongoing tracking in which the progress of each child is monitored. This tracking of pupils enables the early identification of any pupil who is not making expected progress. Any concerns regarding progress or attainment will be raised with parents at the earliest convenience either in informal discussionsor at formal parents’ evenings.

If concerns continue despite class teacher intervention, the Academy will speak to parents and discuss the next steps which may involve entering your child onto the Special Educational Needs register. This will mean they have needs that require intervention that is greater than or different from their peers in order to make expected progress. We currently have 20% of pupils who require this type of intervention.

You can always speak to your child’s class teacher about anything to do with your child’s education. You can contact the school at any time to arrange a meeting with any of the staff or ifyouwant to come and have a look around.

The SEND department is led byMrs Smith &Mrs Guard-who areavailable to discuss any specific SEN queries. Alternatively, support about SEND services within Stoke-on-Trent generally can be found at:

How will the academy support my child?

Pupils who are identified as having special educational needs will receive a Pupil Passport which is reviewed at least three times per year. This plan will identify a pupil’s strengths and areas needing development. Targets will be set in consultation with parents, pupils, and class teachers: and additional support will be provided to enable a pupil to achieve these targets. A child at School Support will initially receive additional support in the classroom but may, if progress remains slow, receive additional support in a 1:1 situation from either the teacher or the TA. Those pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan will receive additional support / interventions as outlined in the plan. Throughout each academy year, the effectiveness of the interventions and provision being made is regularly monitored by the SLT (senior leadership team) and the SENCo. From this monitoring, provision may be changed/ adapted in order that the best outcomes are achieved for pupils. Every year, the governing body require the academy staff to report on the SEN provision in the academy and its effectiveness in making a difference for those children.

How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

Ongoing assessments and monitoring ensures that staff can provide pupils with the support they need to access the curriculum.  We aim for all children to be able to access age-related expectations although we are mindful that some pupils will require additional support and resources in order to achieve this. By adapting resources, providingadult support or through targeted catch-up provision, we can ensure the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils.

How will the academy and I know how my child is doing, and how will the academy help me to support their learning?

Through ongoing assessments, the staff at Maple Court have a clear idea of how well each pupil is doing. This is communicated to parents both informally, at the beginning or end of school day, as well as more formally at parents’evenings and in end of year reports. Throughout the year, pupils who are identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability mayreceive additional monitoring with standardised tests which give a reading age, spelling age, and a score for vocabulary understanding (BPVS). Pupils with social, emotional or mental health difficulties may be assessed using the Boxall profile throughout the year. These scores are tracked and will help us to understand what difficulties a child may be having. These pupils and their parents will also be invited to discuss the SEN targets and progress towards them regularly through the year. Part of this discussion involves how parents can help their child at home. The academy will support parents to help their child through workshops which provide detail as to how we teach different aspects e.g. phonics, reading, spelling, maths. We are also on hand at the end of each day for a chat about a specific difficulty with e.g. homework. If needed, the academy will set up additional communication for a child whose behaviour, confidence or emotional well-being is a concern. This will give the staff and parents the opportunity to share information more easily and keep track of any significant events either at school or at home.

What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?

Pupils who require support of a more social or emotional nature at the academy are supported in many ways. We havea pastoral teamand a learning mentor who are on hand to deliver small group or 1:1 interventions aimed at developing social skills, emotional well-being, confidence, attention and listening, language, anger management and self-esteem. These sessions take place throughout the day on either a timetabled basis or as is required following an incident. We also a KS1 nurture groupin The Ark every morning.

Medication: If a child requires regular medication during the school day, we will require a parent to sign that this can be administered by school staff. Medication is kept securely in the school office until required. In the event of epipen or inhalers being required, a care plan will be drawn up with the school nurse and parent. A copy of this will in the classroom along with the medication so that there is easy access to it throughout the school day. Parents are made aware of any occasion where epipen or inhaler are given to a child in school so that they can monitor usage.

Behaviour support: The Academy rewards and celebrates positive behaviour with a weekly Celebration Assembly being central to the working week. Regular praise from staff, certificates, stickers, and collection of Class Dojos are just a few ways in which positive behaviour is encouraged.  The Academy has 5 Maple Values which are integral to the working week and which all pupils know. It is hoped that through consistent routines and clear expectations of behaviour that all pupils will make the right choices. A range of strategies are in place to support pupils who are struggling with their behaviour choices. Class teachers will meet regularly with parents to discuss triggers and possible interventions that may be needed. Pupils may require a personalised behaviour plan which highlights the potential triggers and the strategies which are in place to support.

The Academy supports pupils who require additional intervention in a variety of ways. The class teams provide pastoral support and interventions as needed.We also commission Younger Minds to work for a day and a half to support those pupils who require more therapeutic intervention from a trained counsellor.  Our learning mentor supports individuals and groups throughout the week also.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

Here at Maple Court Academy we work closely with the local authority SEND services team. This involves a lead SEND advisor who is available to advise the school in what support is needed for pupils needing more than class teacher support. Specialist advisors are also available to the school in every area of SEND, including CAMHS if this is required. The school works closely with an Educational Psychologistalso when needs are becoming more complex and require additional support. Outside of educational support, the school also accesses behavioural supportfromINSPIREand we buy into the Younger Minds counselling service for those who need emotional support. In terms of social care, the Academy has close links with the locality social workers and the team of Family Support Workers based on the Estate and by working in partnership we can provide access to a wide range of services to support families and young people including housing support, counselling, welfare support etc.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND received, or will recieve

The staff at the Academy have regular training opportunities to support their work with pupils with special educational needs. The training offered takes full account of the many and varied needs of the pupils we teach and forms part of the rolling programme of quality continuing professional development for all staff. Additional training for specific needs can be accessed from the local authority Inclusive Learning Service.  We also work closely with Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, CAMHS, and others to provide bespoke, pupil-centred training as needed. 

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

It is the aim of the academy that all pupils will have the opportunity to access a full range of activities both in and outside of school, including school trips. Where difficulties may arise in this, the academy staff will liaise with parents to minimise issues and to reduce risks. We will always aim to make reasonable adjustments to ensure all can fully participate.

How accessible is the Academy?

The academy grounds are predominately flat and easily accessible by all its users. We have a disabled parking bay directly infront of the school office. Within the building, there is disabled access to all of the ground floor classrooms and communal spaces. There is a disabled toilet available. In terms of the curriculum, reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate all SEN needs and / or disabilities. With regard to information, parents and visitors can request information to be presented in a range of ways including larger print, audio, different languages etc. These accessibility arrangements are reviewed every three years as part of the academy’s Accessibility plan.

How will the academy prepare and support my child to join the next stage of education and life?

The Academy has close links with the local nursery schools and we make it a priority in the Summer and early Autumn term to engage in positive transition work including discussions with staff and visits for children to our site. Should a child wish to join us mid-year, transition can be arranged with the previous school so that a pupil can come to visit and, if necessary, come to us on a phased entry.  

Within the academy, transition from one year to the next is handled sensitively with time to meet new teachers, share work, and build relationships all before the start of the new academic year. Those pupils with additional needs will be able to access a greater level of transition as best meets their needs.  

When transferring to the high school, transition during the summer term becomes a big focus. Regular visits and meetings are planned into the curriculum time to enable pupils to experience their building, meet their staff and get to grips with some of the big changes that face them. Again, those requiring a more extended transition will be offered this personalised support to ensure a successful move to high school. This process is aided by the fact that Mrs Guard, our year 5/6 SENCO, is also the SENCO for years 7-9 at the local high school. 

Our SEND pupils are supported by the Alpha Academies Trust’s All Through SEND provision which sees specialist SENCOs (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) taking responsibility for different Key Stages whilst working as a close team from Nursery up to Y11. This provision is overseen by the Trust Lead for Inclusion, Mr Daniel Prince and the aim of the team is to ensure seamless transition across the Primary and Secondary phases by promoting collaboration, sharing of expertise and joint planning. 

How are the academy's resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs?

When a pupils needs are assessed, resources are allocated on a priority needs basis. Where a pupil has an Education Health and Care plan, resources will be deployed to support the outcomes which are outlined in line with the funding which is provided. Where a pupil is assessed as requiring support from within the school’s own resources (School Support), it is at the discretion of the Principal,Sencoand the Governing Body to deploy resources in order to best meet the needs of all learners.

How is the decision made about what type, and how much, support my child will receive?

Any decision regarding the support your child will receive is made in collaboration with parents, pupils, teachers, support staff and, where needed, external agencies. Discussions will take place in which the needs are identified and appropriate strategies/ resources are suggested. It is then at the discretion of the Academy to decide how available resources are deployed to best meet the needs of learners taking account of parent wishes and external agency advice where possible.

How will my child be involved in decisions about their learning?

In much the same way as pupils are involved throughout, parents are also involved.  Parents are invited to attend informal and more formal meetings with class teachers throughout the year.  There are regular opportunities to share ideas and strategies.  For SEND pupils, parents are invited to contribute to the Pupil Learning Plan at least 3 times per year.  Also, for pupils with an EHC, parents have opportunities throughout the year to contribute to reviews and share their views on how their child can best be supported.  The Academy welcomes the views of any pupil or parent about how outcomes can be best achieved. 

How will I be involved in the decisions about the learning of my child?

In much the same way as pupils are involved throughout, parents are also involved.  Parents are invited to attend informal and more formal meetings with class teachers throughout the year.  There are regular opportunities to share ideas and strategies.  For SEND pupils, parents are invited to contribute to the Pupil Learning Plan at least 3 times per year.  Also, for pupils with an EHC, parents have opportunities throughout the year to contribute to reviews and share their views on how their child can best be supported.  The Academy welcomes the views of any pupil or parent about how outcomes can be best achieved. 

How are parents involved at the academy? How can I be involved?

Parents are encouraged to be involved in the life of the school in many ways. This may involve being invited to special events e.g. concerts, parents’ workshops, parents’ evenings, sporting events etc. We endeavour to have regular coffee mornings dedicated to SEND. Parents are also heavily involved in discussing progress of children and setting appropriately challenging targets; both formally in meetings and informally in regular chats with staff. The academy staff work hard to engage parents in all areas of the school.  

What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, the child’s class teacher is the person to speak to if something is not right.  They are available either at the end of the day when a child is dismissed, via Dojo message or via an appointment made with the Academy office.  If concerns continue, a member of the SENCO team or SLT can be consulted.  Appointments can be made via the Academy office.  Enquiries of a specific SEND nature should be addressed to the class teacher or the SENCOs in the first instance. 

Should you wish to make a formal complaint, the complaints policy and procedure are available from the Academy Office. 

What other support is available to parents, and how can I contact them?

Support is available from the following: 

Mrs K Smith: Vice Principal / SEND Strategic Lead – 01782 970293 

Mrs L Guard: SENCO Y5/6 – 01782 970293 

Miss N Robson: SENCO Nursery- Y4 – 01782 970293 

To contact Inclusive Learning Services: 

By telephone 01782 232538
By email 

Write to us at:
Inclusive Learning Service (SEND)  

Hazel Trees   

Duke Street   



ST4 3NR 


SEND Information, Advice and Support Service 

(Education and Family Support) 

The Crescent Children’s Centre 

Pinewood Crescent 


Stoke on Trent 

ST3 6HZ 

Tel: 01782 234701


 The Local Offer for Stoke on Trent is available at: 

Pupils thrive and learn well at Maple Court Academy.

| Ofsted 2023

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