SEN Local Offer Somerset

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SEN Local Offer

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Type of school

Penrose School is a Primary School for students with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties), SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties), MLD (Moderate Learning Difficulties), ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).

Elmwood School and The Jean Rees Centre is a Secondary School and Sixth Form for students with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties), SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties), MLD (Moderate Learning Difficulties), ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).


Penrose Primary is located in Albert Street, Bridgwater

Elmwood Secondary is co-located with Robert Blake Science College and is based on Hamp Avenue in Bridgwater.

The Jean Rees Centre is our sixth form and is located on the campus of Chilton Trinity School.


Penrose – students from 4-11 years attend our primary school.

Elmwood – Students from 11 – 16 years attend our secondary school.

The Jean Rees Centre – students from 16 – 19 years attend our sixth form, or move onto Bridgwater College.

Elmwood & Penrose Federation comprises of two schools that are part of the whole through school approach to provide a different educational experience for students in Sedgemoor and other areas of Somerset and surrounding counties. Students who attend our schools all have Statements of Educational Need or Education Health and Care Plans and are referred to us from the SEND panel at Somerset County Council.

Our federation believes that high expectations for our students and anticipation of independent living beyond school age are core values that we strive to achieve. Transitions between primary, secondary and sixth form provision are important milestones in every child’s life and we believe that these should be marked as rights’ of passage to adulthood for all children and young people. Our Federation is proud to be able to offer new and well resourced facilities, and the co-location with the secondary school enables our students to work alongside others and develop friendships beyond school and onto life within the community.


Penrose Primary is located in Albert Street, Bridgwater

Elmwood Secondary is co-located with Robert Blake Science College and is based on Hamp Avenue in Bridgwater.

The Jean Rees Centre is our sixth form and is located on the campus of Chilton Trinity School.

A.    How is SEND (special educational needs and disability) supported at Elmwood & Penrose Federation?

School Based Information


Summary of Responsibilities

Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning/SEND

Deputy Head Teachers & Assistant Head Teacher

Kat Burgess, Andrew Lawrence & Vicki McCarthy

They are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the curriculum meets the needs of individual learners. They ensure students have personalised timetables and can access opportunities that will inspire learning.
  • Ensuring that you are:

Involved in supporting your child’s learning.

Kept informed about the support your child is getting.

Involved with their teacher in reviewing their progress.

Involved in planning ahead for every individual.

  • Liaising with all other professionals who may be coming into school to support your child.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school to achieve best possible progress.

Middle leaders

Michaela Foster - EYFS & KS1

Lisa House - KS 2

Marie Neale - KS 3

Jules Tabb- KS4

Ryan Parker-Binns - Post 16

They are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the smooth running of each centre
  • Enabling all staff to access high quality training and support for their role
  • Setting timetables and managing activities to enrich the curriculum.
  • Ensuring that all staff are kept up to date with relevant information that allows them to plan appropriately.


They are responsible for:

  • Ensuring your child can receive the support he/she needs, through assessment and observation and referral to colleagues from other services as needed.
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying needs, planning and delivering quality learning opportunities.

Executive Head Teacher

Helen Farnell

She is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school.
  • She will give responsibility to the other staff, 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 any issues in the school relating to SEND.
  • Overall management of the school budget to ensure resources are fairly allocated and reflect the individual needs of our students.

SEND Governor

David Purcell

He is responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is made for all children who attend the school.

A.    How could my child get help in School?

Children in our Federation get support that is specific to their individual needs. This may well be all provided by the class teacher or may involve:

  • Individual subject specific work
  • Individual therapy sessions (Speech and Language, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Hydrotherapy, art therapy, music therapy etc)
  • Access to a therapeutic curriculum
  • Practical curriculum sessions both on and off site

We have a Nurture provision called Elmwood Switch which supports students from mainstream schools with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs and provides a highly intensive focus on emotional development which in turn enables students to engage with learning more effectively. This forms part of the “learning to learn” focus.

What are the different types of support available within school?

Types of support provided through the school

What would this mean for your child/young person


Targeted support in specific areas of learning is provided by the class teacher and class based team.

  • Ensuring that the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • Ensuring that all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and understand.

  • Some students use TEACCH (TEACCH is an American approach that supports students with autism by providing environmental structure and individual spaces to work independently. This promotes independence) work stations based within the classrooms to provide opportunities to concentrate on their work. We place great emphasis on independent working and always think about independent living skills every child/young person needs for their future


Specific Individual Timetables

  • At times your child/young person may be withdrawn by a specialist teaching assistant for extra support especially in relation to literacy and numeracy.


  • As a result of a specific need identified within their statement/EHCP your child/young person may receive specialist support from a trained professional eg. play therapist/art therapist/speech & language therapist.

  • Your child/young person might also be offered the opportunity to take part in group work i.e. Forest School, horse riding, fishing, swimming.


Switch Base

It may be necessary for your child/young person to be involved with the work of the Switch Team which offers support based on the six principals of nurture. These are:

1.      Children’s learning is understood and developmental

2.      The classroom offers a safe base

3.      Nurture is important for the development of self esteem

4.      Language is understood as a vital means of communication

5.      All behaviour is communication

6.      Transitions are significant in the lives of children

In some circumstances students may not yet be able to access formal school approaches – sitting in class working alongside other students and remaining engaged in learning.


Individual bespoke timetables

Our aim is for each student to have an element to their timetable that is unique and personalised just for them. In some instances this may be individual music tuition, sessions with a visiting mentor from

the business community, forest school, work related learning opportunities within the community, college link sessions such as tractor driving and land based studies.


Enrichment timetable.

We deliver enrichment activities each term, where a single theme is the focus and students learn by having fun and through practical activities.


When a placement is made at Elmwood & Penrose Federation the Local Authority agree how much support each individual student requires and this determines which Band (from 1-7) of funding the school is entitled to, to ensure that individual receives the identified interventions. Every year the Executive Head Teacher joins other Specialist school head teachers to audit need and ensure every child/young person is in receipt of correct funding. The school proposes a banding based on a set of descriptors. The other head teachers then agree on the “Banding.”  If we are able to make a positive difference to our children/young people then their needs should reduce over time, although we do acknowledge that sometimes needs may become more defined as students grow and develop)

Record of support

Once the level of funding is agreed we produce a provision map which shows how the money is spent.

We decide whether the need requires specific interventions, or a more comprehensive Therapeutic Curriculum. This information is available to parents.

How can I let the school know if I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak directly to their class teacher. If you are worried about speaking to any member of the class team you should contact the school’s Family Team – these are Claire Michelle (07855264728 ) and Jo Leek (07825054655 ) who will act as an advocate for you and present any concerns you may have.

  • If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed appropriately you should speak to the member of senior leadership team; PENROSE - Kat Burgess - Deputy Head Teacher, ELMWOOD - Andrew Laurence - Deputy Head Teacher, JEAN REES CENTRE - Vicki McCarthy - Assistant Head Teacher.

  • If you remain unhappy that your concerns are being managed you should speak to the Executive Head Teacher – Helen Farnell

  • If you remain unhappy you can speak to the SEND Governor.

How will the school advise me of any concerns about my child’s learning & progress at school?

  • When a concern has been raised in school Parent Carers will generally be informed via a phone call from the key worker, class teacher or a senior member of the class team. 
  • Annual review processes at Elmwood & Penrose take the form of Person Centred Reviews. They are child/young person focused and the class teacher is just another person in the room to engage with in the conversation about how to make things better for the child/young person, Family or school. This is an open and supportive process where everyone who is working to secure your child/young person’s progress agrees on priorities and targets to be achieved during the year. 

  • Every term Parent Carers are invited in to school to look at the action plan that was generated during the Annual Review. Targets are discussed and updated. Progress within maths and English is also discussed. 

  • The school produces an end of year report which gives information about progress in every subject. 

  • Positive Behavioural plans are discussed with parents each term, and progress recorded and amendments made as students develop the skills to manage their own challenges independently

How will the teaching be adapted for my child’s needs?

The funding the school receives partly pays for a reduced class size. Class groups are rarely larger than 10 students with a teacher & a number of Teaching Assistants but will also sometimes be as small as 3 students with the required number of staff to meet the needs of each student.

All class bases offer a communication rich environment with supporting symbols and objects of reference to ensure every child/young person knows what is happening and what will come next.

We organise classes based on individual learning needs. Some students learn through their senses and we have class groups that are based in sensory rich environments, with stimulating displays and resources focused on developing consistent responses.

Some students require a stimulation free or simplified environment, and for these students we have class bases that include individual work stations and zoned areas to support routine and pattern for each day and through each week.

Some classes are run in the same way as mainstream schools, but the class sizes are smaller and staffing higher.

Every lesson teachers plan an individual target for your child/young person based on what they have learned already and is designed to help them progress one step at a time. These are recorded on the assessment profile each day and parents can requests updates during termly meetings.

How will we measure progress of your child in school?

In the same way that mainstream schools measure progress we assess students on entry to gain baseline information. We then gather assessment data from staff three times a year which is reported to you at Parent Carers meeting sessions with class teachers. 

The assessment tool is matched to the curriculum the pupil is following, Early Years and Key Stage 1 are tracked using Development Matters, Key Stage 2 and 3 sensory learners are assessed using the Multi-Sensory Curriculum, Pupils in Key Stages 2 and 3 following the National Curriculum are assessed using the P-scales and National Curriculum levels. Students in Key Stage 4 and Post 16 follow and accredited pathway which is assessed using nationally recognised credits and awards.

The Thrive Assessment tool is used which helps us to identify areas of social, emotional and mental health development that we need to focus on – which is basically about learning how to learn, and how to share time with others.

What support do we have for you as a Parent Carer?

Our Family Team works to support you and consists of Claire Michelle who is a Family Link Worker, Jo Leek who has a dual role as a Family Link Worker and a PFSA (Parent Family Support Advisor) both of these dedicated members of staff work full time and are also available during school holidays during which they run play-scheme activities and outings.

Fleur Cutler is our Health and Well-being lead and facilitates all medical appointments, including clinics for the Paediatrician – clinics are held in school, and other health professionals who may be involved with your child. Fleur is the communication link between families, health professionals and the schools. Fleur is responsible for all medication and medical procedures, and arranges training for school based staff so that we are able to administer medication safely.

We have a core parent group - our PTFA - which is responsible for running fund raising activities, and supporting outings or class based activities at the request of the class team. Parent Mentors are also available to speak to you should you require their support. These are Parent Carers of students currently attending our school who have received training from the Family Team.

Support is available within your home, for families wishing to develop their parenting skills further, through the Triple P programme. We also provide workshops and information sharing sessions about financial support and the often tricky subjects of internet access, sleep, eating and sometimes sex education.

We have a satellite parent coffee group which meets in Burnham for families living in this area who find getting to Bridgwater difficult.

The school will often come out to meet you if it is not possible for you to come to us.

How will we support your child when they transitioning between years or when they leave?

We recognise that “moving on” can be difficult for our students and as a result take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENCO and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • We will support you on visits to the new school

  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

When moving years in school:

  • All teachers share information.

  • We hold transition sessions at the end of the year for students to spend time in their new class base, with their new teacher and class team, and with new students who might be joining us.

  • We provide social stories for students to understand that there will be a change for them when they return from the holidays.

  • Wherever possible we maintain a member of staff who knows your child/young person into the next class to work alongside the new staff team.

At the end of Year 11/14:

  • Your child will have met with a careers support advisor.

  • We will support visits to potential colleges and to our own sixth form if this is an option for your child/young person.

  • There will be transition sessions to the college they have chosen supported by a member of school staff to ensure all questions are answered and all information shared.

How do we work with other agencies?

We hold Consultation meetings twice a year in which all professionals who work with your child/young person discuss any successes, concerns or report progress. This provides a focus for work between the agencies.

Health professionals hold clinics in school which are supported by Fleur our Health and Well-being lead. This enables families and schools to communicate effectively with colleagues from the health service.

Education professionals who are not based at the schools may also work with us to support your child/young person to make progress. You will always be told when this is happening and we will tell you how this additional support is making a difference.

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