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SEND in the Primary

We want the children who attend George Mitchell Primary Phase to leave us in Year 6 with the skills and positive thinking needed to achieve their ambitions and to lead happy, successful lives. Our intention is that all children meet their potential and exceed their own expectations. We hold this as true for every child who attends our school, regardless of background or special need.

Our SEND Coordinator is Ms Sophia Francis. She can be contacted at sophia.francis@georgemitchellschool.co.uk. You can also contact the Head of Primary, Samantha Hill, about any SEND issue: samantha.hill@georgemitchellschool.co.uk

The Four Areas of SEND

There are four broad areas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as defined by the Department for Education:

-Communication and interaction.

-Cognition and learning.

-Social, mental and emotional health.

-Sensory or physical.

Apple Tree Class

Apple Tree Class is a support group of up to 5 children who have very high needs. The children in Apple Tree spend time in their own classroom and at play with their peers, but also spend some core learning time within Apple Tree working on their own individualised curriculum with highly trained SEN teachers and LSAs. The emphasis in Apple Tree is on language and communication, motor skills, self care skills, building friendships with peers and developing phonics and early reading.

Concerned about Your Child?

If you have any concerns about your child, please:

-Speak to the class teacher. You can arrange a formal or informal meeting to discuss your concerns together and to look at your child’s latest assessments and support arrangements in depth. Often this will allay your concerns altogether, but we also recognise that a parent knows their child best of all and we will always take what you say seriously.

-Meet with the SENCO to discuss any continuing concerns and next steps.

-Request an observation of your child. The SENCO, Phase Leader or Head of Primary will arrange to observe your child in class and at play and will discuss what was observed with you

-Request additional assessment or support for your child. This might be within the school structure, for example an intervention or some additional support, and may include a referral to an outside agency such as CAMHS, to our in-house Speech and Language Therapist, to an occupational therapist, to our Educational Psychologist, or other support agency.

-The school will continue to update you and to meet with you to share arrangements and plans with you.


Sometimes a young person may have educational or health needs which require more support than is usually available in a mainstream setting. An Education Health Care Plan is a support plan which puts your child at the cente of the planning process. This document is drawn up by the local authority and can be requested by the school, the parent or by the local authority. The request will need to be accompanied by specialist reports and documents and, if granted, a more thorough assessment will then take place. The finalised EHCP will describe the young person’s special educational needs, what support is needed to meet those needs and help the young person to achieve their own ambitions.

An EHCP is reviewed and updated annually in a meeting known as an Annual Review.

Special Needs Interventions and Support at GMP

We are an inclusive school and believe that the majority of need can be met within carefully planned and differentiated quality first teaching. We do, however, provide a range of additional interventions and specialist support at George Mitchell Primary Phase. This includes:

-Language support, including specialist ELKLAN trained adults throughout the school, an EAL programme, our own speech and language therapist and regular use of Bucket, Makaton, PECS and other techniques to help children to communicate.

-1:1 and small group support where needed, with an emphasis on gaining independence

-Support for social and emotional challenges, including our own learning mentor and behaviour support where needed

-Use of external professionals such as the Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapy, CAMHS, Speech and Language Therapy and more

Assessment, Curriculum and Planning

Children with additional needs are assessed using the appropriate tools for their stage of learning. This includes the phonics and bookband assessments used throughout the Primary Phase, the EYFS Goals and the PIRA, PUMA and end of unit mini tests used to identify and close any gaps in learning.

The Engagement Model is a new government assessment framework for children with complex needs. This is currently being trialled and will be introduced in 2021/22.

Useful Documents

SEND Code of Practice