01752 776 848

Widey Lane, Plymouth

Devon, PL6 5JS

08:00 - 16:30

Monday to Friday




Special Educational Needs Information Report

This report will let parents, carers and young people know how our school will support you, and what you can expect from us. There are 14 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests.  We have answered them to provide information to you to help with decisions about how to best support your child’s needs.


At Courtland School we are constantly looking at how we can improve the

provision for our pupils. To this end the information in these responses will be

regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.

Key Contacts

Headteacher – Lee Earnshaw

SENCo – Caroline Kearney

How does Courtlands know if children need extra help?

Courtlands looks after primary aged children with Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social,
Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH), and other complex needs.
Every child attending Courtlands has a statement or EHC and has an individual education plan.We know if pupils need additional help on top of the individual tailored educational and behaviour plan if: 

•       Concerns are raised by parents/ carers

•       Concerns are raised by teachers or a previous school

•       Concerns are raised by outside agencies such as Educational Psychologists etc

•       There is lack of progress over 2 terms

•       There is a change to the pupil’s behaviour

•       A pupil asks for help


What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

All the children who attend Courtlands have special educational needs and have a statement or Education Health and Care Plan.


•       If a parent thinks that their child has an additional need or their current needs need reviewing then they can contact the SENCO in the first instance.

•       We will also add any new information received from doctors or other agencies.

How will I know how Courtlands supports my child?

•       Three times a year an Individual Education Plan (IEP) report is sent to the parent/carer of every child in the school.  It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs, setting and individual targets.  This may include additional support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class or out of class, or additional therapy etc.

•       In addition, some children may require a specific intervention which will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. Specific SEN interventions will be monitored through the IEP which is overseen by the school SENCO.

•       Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support form an outside agency and you will get reports from them too.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

•       Our whole curriculum is specifically designed for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SMEH), and other complex needs.  .

•       Teachers plan from children’s assessed levels ensuring work closely matches children’s ability and learning needs.

•       Pupil Progress Meetings are held three times a year between the deputy head and the class teacher. These provide an opportunity to rigorously analyse the progress of the children and are a useful way of highlighting any potential problems in order for further support to be planned.

•       A teaching assistant may be allocated to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small focus group to target more specific needs.

•       If appropriate specialist equipment may be given to the pupil – this will be assessed by our in-house Occupational Therapist e.g. writing slopes, wobble cushions, pen/pencils grips or easy to use scissors.

How will I know how my child is doing?

•       You will be able to discuss your child’s progress during parents’ evenings, IEP reports and Annual Review.  You will also be able to see specific progress made on IEP targets.

•       Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher and/or SENCO through the school office.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

•       Teachers suggest ways of supporting all children’s learning on the website. The class teacher may also suggest additional ways of supporting your child’s learning through a note in the reading book, at parents’ evenings or by arranging a meeting with you.

•       The Headteacher and/or SENCO may meet with you to discuss how to support your child.

•       Our Family Support Practitioner or SENCO may meet with you discuss strategies to use if there are problems with a child’s behaviour/emotional needs.

•       Outside agencies or the Educational Psychologist may suggest advice or programmes of study that can be used at home.

•       Parent/carer workshops and coffee mornings take place every Wednesday morning, sometimes with invited guests, to encourage an open and relaxed forum where advice and ideas can be exchanged. These are arranged by the Family Support Practitioner.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. These include:

•       Members of staff such as the class teacher, teaching assistants, SENCO, are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.

•       Our specialist trained teaching assistants run wellbeing groups targeting social skills, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and anger management.

•       We offer a number of therapies to support children who are struggling emotionally ie Music, dance and occupational therapy.

•       As a school we have found that many of our pupils can find lunchtimes a struggle and so we have provided alternative provision using lunch time clubs run by our staff.


Pupils with medical needs

•       If a pupil has a medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled by the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.

•       Where necessary, and in agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in school where a signed agreement is in place.

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

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise.

The agencies used by the school include:

•       Child Protection Advisors (Advice and Assessment)

•       Educational Psychologist

•       CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)

•       EWO (Educational Welfare officers)

•       PASS (Physical & Sensory Service) to support pupils with hearing/visual Impairment

•       Speech & Language Service

•       Occupational Therapy

•       Child Development Centre (Paediatricians)

•       School Nurse

•       Music, Dance and Art Therapy

An Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. Ours is called Trish Williams and she works directly with staff to support pupils that have been highlighted through our SENCo and need additional, specialist interventions. This involvement is generally initiated by the Class Teacher raising concerns about a particular pupil.

In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will generally meet with the parent and give feedback after the assessment has been completed. She will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
The staff at Courtlands have received training in a wide range of areas including:

•       How to support pupils with a diagnosis of dyslexia.

•       How to support pupils with autistic spectrum conditions.

•       How to support pupils with behavioural difficulties.

•       How to support children with sensory issues.

•       How to support pupils with emotional difficulties.

•       How to support pupils with specific learning needs.

•       Child Protection and safeguarding

•       Subject specific training in Literacy, Numeracy and Science

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

Activities and school trips are available to all and are designed specifically to be accessible to the whole class.  The only reason a child would not be allowed to go on a trip is if their behaviour on the day was endangering themselves or others.


How accessible is the school environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.

Our school is fully accessible for wheelchair users downstairs and has disabled toilet facilities.

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining Courtlands or transferring to a new school?

Courtlands School understands what a stressful time moving schools can be therefore many strategies are in place to enable the pupil’s transition to be as smooth as possible.

These include:

On Entry – For a child to go to Courtlands School there is a process managed by the Special Education Team at Plymouth City Council – all pupils first need to go to a panel to ascertain if the pupil is suitable for special school,  and then matching panel to allocate a place the right special school.  For further information contact the Special Education Team on 01752 307409

·       Parents and carers are invited to a meeting at school.

•       Pupils are invited to visit the school as often as necessary.

•       Class teachers often visit your child in their educational setting before their move to Courtlands.

•       Staff liaise closely with the previous educational setting to ensure a detailed handover of information.

Secondary Transition

•       Secondary schools are identified with you at the year five annual review and then you are encouraged to visit them

•       The Local Authority Panel then allocates places in the first term of year six

•       Transition workshops are given to the children by class teachers.

•       Members of staff from the secondary schools meet with the pupils at Courtlands.

•       Children attend transition days particular to the school they are going to.

Children who need more visits will be given enhanced transitions where the SENCOs from both schools liaise to provide structured support.


How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s  special educational needs?

•       Each child is allocated a funding ‘Band’ by the panel which we then allocate to each child through their IEP and how much support they get in school.  The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependant on individual needs.

•       Additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher.

•       Further support or resources may be allocated to your child following assessments by school staff or outside agencies.

•       We allocate the pupil premium on a child by child basis, set out in our whole school provision map, and by the amount of progress they are making throughout the year.

How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

•       The SENCO and Senior Leadership Team will agree the level of support needed based on the band given by the local authority. This may take the form of additional individual or small group support in class or in other focus groups tailored to the pupils needs.

•       During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged and we may seek to change the funding band we receive.

•       Parents/carers will be notified if their child is receiving 1-1 or small group support outside of the classroom through the IEP and at parents evenings or through a special meeting with the SENCo or Head.

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are welcomed and actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s education plans.  A child will always make better progress if we all work together to support them.

This may be through:

•       discussions with the class teacher over IEP targets

•       during parents’ evenings

•       during discussions with the headteacher, SENCo or other professionals

•       during the annual review of the statement or EHC

Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact one of the following:

•       The class teacher

•       The SENCO

•       The headteacher

Appointments can be made with the school office by phoning 01752 776848



IEP – Individual Education Plan

MLD – Moderate Learning Difficulties

SENCo – Special Educational Needs Coordinator

EHC – Education, Health Care Plans (formally Statement of Special Needs)

If you have any further questions, please refer to the other parts of the website, or call the school office on 01752 776848