Christ Church C of E Primary

Special Educational Needs at Christ Church 

Our school vision, I Am Because We Are, informs everything we do at Christ Church School. It reflects our incredibly inclusive and welcoming community where everyone is valued equally as a child of God. We ‘Learn Together, Pray Together, Grow Together’.

At Christ Church School, we welcome pupils with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We support pupils with needs in the areas of:

  • Speech, Language and Communication
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and Physical

We have recently started to develop a specialism in supporting pupils with a visual impairment and have members of staff who are training as Braillists.

Currently, the areas of need most represented among our pupils are Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties (including Social Communication Difficulties such as Autism Spectrum Disorder) and Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs, which is an area of need that has grown in our school since the COVID-19 Pandemic.


 Tactile, braille UBUNTU book

Support for Visually Impaired Pupils

Support for pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Support for Pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs

Specialist support in school from the Greenwich Sensory Team


Adapted resources created by our specialist TA


Trained staff


Inclusive environment where all staff and pupils are aware of the challenges of visual impairment and are sensitive to these


We buy into a private Speech and Language Therapy Service, London Speech Therapy, and have a regular therapist (SALT) who comes to the school every other week


Support from the Greenwich ASD Outreach Service for those pupils with a diagnosis of ASD



We buy in Educational Psychology (EP) support from RealGroup

Private Psychotherapist seeing four pupils every week

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) offering weekly sessions for individuals and groups

We buy in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) link worker support hours to work with staff, pupils and parents

Trained Mental Health Lead




As a school, we are good at adapting to the needs of our pupils and always work hard to find better ways to support our pupils. Copies of our SEND Policy and Accessibility Policy can be found on our Policies web page.

We are limited by our school site, which is small, and we therefore have necessarily learned to make the most of the spaces that we have available to offer the best provision we can for all of our pupils. We are unable to offer quiet break-out rooms or sensory rooms which may be a key provision required for some pupils’ needs.

We have a small staff team, so we may not have expertise available to support all needs. We endeavour to source this where possible through recruitment or training where possible in the current financial and recruitment climate, to meet the needs of our pupils.











For further information, please read the SEND Information Report below, or take a look at our SEND Policy on the Policies page of this web site.

If you have concerns that your child may have a Special Education Need or Disability, please speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. They will complete an initial concerns form for the SENCo to review.

SEND Team at Christ Church

We have a very experienced, qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator, who has been in post since 2011: Laura Simpson, BSc Hons, PGCE, National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Our SENCo can be contacted via the school office at or by telephone at 020 8856 4513.

There is an extensive team of professionals who work in or with the school regularly. Some of the most frequent professionals you may have contact with are shown below:

SEND Staff (ID 1080)


SEND Information Report

The information below includes further statutory information that must be published on the school’s web site, but is also useful for any parents or carers who want to find out more about the school’s approach to SEND.

The Greenwich Local Offer

Click Here to view the Greenwich Local Offer online with links to the support available to children with SEND and their families.


The role of the SENCO in schools

The Code of Practice (2015) states:

Governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools and the proprietors of mainstream academy schools (including free schools) must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as SENCO for the school.

The SENCO must be a qualified teacher working at the school. A newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination within three years of appointment.

A National Award must be a postgraduate course accredited by a recognised higher education provider. The National College for Teaching and Leadership has worked with providers to develop a set of learning outcomes. 

The SENCO has an important role to play with the headteacher and governing body, in determining the strategic development of SEN policy and provision in the school. They will be most effective in that role if they are part of the school leadership team.

The SENCO has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN, including those who have EHC plans.

The SENCO provides professional guidance to colleagues and will work closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The SENCO should be aware of the provision in the Local Offer and be able to work with professionals providing a support role to families to ensure that pupils with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching. 

The key responsibilities of the SENCO may include: 

  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
  • liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
  • liaising with parents of pupils with SEN - please see NASEN's guide
  • liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
  • being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • working with the headteacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date

Pupil & Parent/Carer consultation and Pupil Review

Our pupils are at the heart of everything we do and we seek to gather their views when planning their provision. This can be through conversation with a trusted adult or through the interpretation of those who know them well, such as parents or carers or a TA who works closely with them during lessons.

Subject leaders regularly consult children about their learning through our Pupil Voice events and this includes pupils with SEND.

If a pupil is being assessed for an EHCP, the SENCo will work with the child, family and staff who know the child best to ensure that the child’s views are represented within their Personal Profile.

Parents/carers are consulted about their child’s needs at a range of points during their time with us. Sometimes this consultation is between the class teacher and the parents/carers and sometimes it is with the SENCo.

Parents/carers are consulted and consent is obtained before any outside professionals become involved with their child in school. Copies of professional reports are sent home and parents/carers are welcome to come in to discuss the reports with the class teacher, SENCo or professional who wrote the report – and this frequently happens.

Parents/Carers will meet their child’s class teacher formally at Parent/carer-teacher meetings during the autumn and spring terms with an optional meeting in the summer term as well. At other times, parents/carers will be consulted about additional assessments that the school would like to refer their child for and, if their child has a Personal Learning Plan because they have complex needs, parents/carers will be consulted about the outcomes set in the plan and any changes to this. If a child also has an Educations, Health and Care Plan, they will have a formal Annual Review with the SENCo and Class Teacher. Progress towards Outcomes for pupils is reviewed at parent/carer-teacher meetings and annual reviews.

The academic progress of all of our pupils is also monitored during assessment weeks and Pupil Progress Meetings which take place three times per year. At this time, Provision Maps are also updated by the class teachers and shared with the Senior Leadership Team. These documents outline the additional provision for all pupils who do not have a separate Personal Learning Plan (PLP) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

We are a very open school and if a parent or carer asks to come in and meet us for a chat, we will do our best to arrange this as soon as possible.


All our pupils are prepared for transitions into new year groups through targeted work during PSHE lessons and visits to their new classrooms. For some pupils, we also create transition books or arrange additional visits to the new classroom to support them in making the transition. For pupils with identified complex needs who are joining our Reception class, we try to arrange a visit for school staff to the pre-school setting to observe the pupil in a comfortable and familiar environment and to consult with the pre-school staff on how we can support the pupil best.

For our Year 6 SEND pupils who are moving on to secondary schools, we ensure secure transfer of relevant files to the new school and in some cases, we call the SENCo at the new school to pass on information verbally. Our ELSA and our SALT both run transition groups for pupils they identify as needing this additional support to help prepare them for the transition to secondary school and we sometimes refer our pupils to the transition groups run during the summer holidays by the NHS Oxleas Speech and Language Service.

Teaching Approach

We have an inclusive approach to teaching pupils with SEND. Our pupils will spend the vast majority of their time in class with their peers, learning through quality first teaching. The curriculum is adapted for our pupils with SEND where necessary and this is largely done by the class teachers who know each of their pupils so well that they are best placed to identify how each lesson or topic needs to be adapted to meet a child’s needs. We source external help with this where needed, for example from the Sensory Team, who support us in adapting resources appropriately for a child with a Visual Impairment, or the STEPS Team, who work with class teachers and TAs to help us identify individual pupil’s gaps in learning and adapt our planning and resources to suit the needs of an individual pupil.

 We do have some specific interventions for some pupils and these include:

Lego Therapy

Sensory Circuit

SALT Programmes

Phonics Groups


Adaptations and the Learning Environment and Curriculum



Some of our pupils benefit from the use of special equipment or adaptations to the learning environment. For example, some of our displays have tactile elements and Braille translations included for our pupils with a Visual Impairment, some pupils have an individual workstation within the classroom to support their independent learning, some pupils have a Now/Next board or other visual cues, some pupils have visual checklists for tasks to help them to organise themselves for independent learning, some of our pupils may require a wobble cushion or writing slope. We have a very child-centred and individualised approach depending on each pupil’s needs.









 We have a highly inclusive offer at Christ Church and all our pupils are given the opportunities to engage in all activities, from Residential School Trips to Sports day. We consult with parents and carers about how we can best include our pupils with SEND and put additional provision in place, whether that is having an adult or older pupil to lead a child with a Visual Impairment during sports day races or inviting a parent or carer to accompany the class on a residential trip.


A minority of pupils may not be able to access lessons, or certain aspects of lessons effectively and the teacher and SENCo may agree that those children should access an alternative activity during those lessons. For example, a child who is unable to access a challenging text during a whole class reading lesson, may come out of class for that time to focus on reading skills through an alternative activity that is more suited to their current reading attainment.

For a small minority of our pupils with SEND, we have a highly adapted curriculum. If a child is not yet ready for subject specific learning and they have an EHCP, the school will use some of the curriculum time usually dedicated to subject specific learning to focus on the development of life skills or other priority areas of learning as outlined in the outcomes and provision of the child’s EHCP.

Staff Training and Expertise

Our SENCo is highly experienced and qualified for the role. Our staff includes a qualified ELSA, qualified Dyslexia Teacher and Assessor and qualified Mental Health Lead. We buy in regular input from a qualified SALT, CAMHS Links Worker, Psychotherapist and Educational Psychologist.

As a Greenwich school we also have expertise to draw on from ASD Outreach, Speech and Language Service, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and STEPS.

We arrange training for individual members of staff as necessary to meet the needs of our pupils. For example, last academic year we had training for all staff in: Supporting a child with a visual impairment. Some members of staff had additional training within the last year in: Lego Therapy, shape-coding, Sensory Circuits, Zones of Regulation, Supporting a child with an ASD (5 day course), using a BrailleNote machine, Module 1 of Braille, teaching PE for pupils with a visual impairment, Use of Visual Supports.


 Last year, we had additional training for staff on Attachment and Zones of Regulation as well as a range of targeted training provided by our Speech and Language Therapist and Dyslexia Specialist Teacher for particular members of staff who support children individually or in groups.

This year we have already had whole staff training on ASD from the ASD Outreach Team.


Our SENCo also attends regular network meetings for SENCos within the Charlton and Thamesmead clusters as well as the AGAS (Alliance of Greenwich Anglican School) group, where examples of best practice are shared and discussed, and Southwark Diocese Board for Education SENCo Network Meetings.

The school will endeavour to source training or expertise required to support specific pupils with SEND, but this is not always immediately possible in the current financial and recruitment climate.

Evaluating Provision

Our provision is constantly being evaluated and adapted as an ongoing process. Interventions and additional support which are put in place are evaluated as part of our pupil progress meetings and Personal Learning Plan and Provision Map reviews which take place three times per year. Class teachers report on the progress that is resulting from individual provision. Sometimes the success of a provision is evaluated by an outside professional, such as our Speech and Language Therapist.

Enabling Engagement

 Our pupils with SEND are enabled to engage in activities available pupils in the school who do not have SEND through our inclusive offer. As described in paragraphs above, our environment and curriculum and teaching adaptations along with the support of outside professionals and the support of our parents and carers ensure that our pupils are able to engage in all aspects of school life from attending Church or Family Worship to enjoying breaktimes to enjoying Forest School to going on class trips. We work closely with our parents and carers to help us understand the needs of our pupils in unfamiliar situations so that we can plan for these and put support in place.


Social and Emotional Development

Our Christian Vision and Values underpins the excellent social and emotional development of our pupils. Our most recent SIAMS report states that “The curriculum goes beyond academic study to include a planned programme of personal, social, health and emotional education. As a result, pupils thrive academically and grow spiritually. They recognise and celebrate diversity and delight in the achievements of others. Because they know that they are unique and valued, pupils attend school regularly, behave impeccably and work hard. Leaders are deeply committed to ensuring that all pupils, including the most vulnerable, flourish.”  

Christ Church offers a comprehensive PSHE Curriculum which is adapted to meet the needs of individuals with SEND. Our ELSA or Teaching Assistants run Social Skills groups for those children who have been identified as requiring this.

 The SIAMS report also states that, “Pupils know that they matter as individuals, are always treated fairly and that bullying is vanishingly rare. Because there is a school-wide commitment to the whole person, systems for supporting pupils’ wellbeing and mental health are exceptional. The pastoral team includes trained psychology staff working with pupils and families to help them deal with their feelings and circumstances. Through this supportive culture, pupils develop great confidence to articulate their beliefs and ideas. They value one another’s views and know how to disagree well.”





Mental Health and Pastoral Support

We have a metal health team within the school made up of our Mental Health Lead, SENCo, psychotherapist and ELSA. Psychotherapy is available to pupils identified by the Mental Health Team (MHT) for a block of 12 sessions. In exceptional circumstances, further sessions may be offered. Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant can see pupils identified by the MHT in groups or individually for an initial block of 6 sessions to work on specific targets. Further blocks can be provided if the MHT consider this would be beneficial to the child/children. If a parent/carer believes their child would benefit from psychotherapy or ELSA support, they should speak to the class teacher in the first instance.

We consider the social and emotional development of our pupils to be one of the school’s greatest strengths. We have ongoing teaching about bullying through our PSHE lessons, Collective Worship and e-Safety computing lessons as well as through events such as anti-bullying week. We regularly check that children know who they can talk to as a ‘safe adult’ if they are experiencing any difficulties and we use an approach of discussion and reflection as part of any consequences following altercations between pupils.

Working with outside bodies

The school has regular consultation with and support from a number of outside agencies to support the needs of our pupils. These have included social care, the virtual school, the Greenwich Inclusion Team, STEPS, Greenwich Sensory Team, Oxleas SALT, London Speech Therapy, ASD Outreach, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medical Consultants, Specialist nurses, Schools Nursing Team, Community Paediatrics, Inter-Neurodevelopmental Team, Michael Palin Centre, I-Can Centre, Animal Days Out, Riding for the Disabled, Waterside Behaviour Outreach Team. We are happy to work with outside agencies if they are able to support us in meeting the needs of our pupils effectively and we have found working partnerships with these bodies to be highly beneficial.

Looked after Children and SEND

If a pupil is looked after by the Local Authority, all reviews and provision for that child will be made through consultation with the Virtual School Head. The child will be entitled to the same provision as any other child with the same needs.


We encourage all parents and carers to raise concerns with their child’s class teacher in the first instance. Working closely with the class teacher can often resolve issues and concerns swiftly. Following that, we ask that parents and carers should follow these steps in order. Move on to the next step if your complaint is not resolved. 

The Department for Education has published guidance – Best practice Advice for School Complaints Procedures 2016 – which the school adheres to. For more information, go to







Personal Learning Plan


Special Educational Needs

SEN Code of Practice

The legal document that sets out the requirements for SEN

EHC plan

Education, Health, Care Plan


Special Educational Needs


Special Educational Needs and or disabilities


Speech and Language Therapist


Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service


Educational Psychologist


Special Educational Needs Coordinator


Autism Spectrum Disorder