Special Educational Needs
At The Free School Norwich , we believe in opportunity and achievement for all. Children are at the heart of this and working together with parents and professionals, we aim to ensure that individualised support is in place where needed. Occasionally, your child's class teacher might feel that your child needs a little extra help with their learning. Please don’t worry if this happens, we will work with a range of professionals to ensure the right support is in place. We recognise that every child is a unique individual and it is our responsibility to ensure that every child is helped and encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. Faye Bunn, our Special Educational Needs coordinator, will liaise with staff and contact you to discuss concerns and suggest next steps for support.
After School Specialist Learning Support
At the Free School Norwich, we aim to share our skills and experience with the wider community and as such offer additional learning support after school with our qualified and experienced Dyslexia Support Teacher, Lisa. These sessions are open to both our pupils and children from other settings . Support will include an initial assessment session where individual needs are captured through parent and pupil discussions, standardised tests and, if relevant, a dyslexia screening. This information will be used to put together individual learning plans which will guide the input of each session. A range of multi-sensory approaches are used to deliver sessions, personalized for each pupil. For more information, including availability and costings, please contact our school office: 01603 761044 or email office@
Catch up funding:
Government Catch Up Funding:
In June, a £1 billion fund for education was announced by the government. Further guidance has now been released (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/
The catch-up premium is funded on a per pupil basis at £80 per pupil. The spending of this money will be down to schools to allocate as they see best. To support schools to make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students.
At The Free School Norwich this money will be used in order to provide:
- Resources and materials that support “catch up” and mental health of pupils.
- Tutoring sessions, provided at home, via Education Endowment Foundation recommended and government appointed tutoring partner, Tute. These sessions aim to develop the outcomes of children who have been identified as needing “catch up” in their learning.
Catch Up at The Free School Norwich will focus on:
(for all children)
- Working through well sequenced, purposeful planned learning. For example, our school-created plans are being adapted to focus on missed objectives and consolidate the basics. In Maths, we will utilise White Rose Maths as the spine of learning and we have been able to use catch up premium to purchase adapted plans that have been purpose written for catch up.
- Focus on consolidation of basic skills. The core skills which enable successful learning will require increased curriculum time across all year groups. These include: handwriting, spelling of high frequency words, basic sentence punctuation, times tables recall, basic addition & subtraction fact recall and reading skills relevant to age.
Additional lesson time on core teaching. Reading, writing and maths teaching will require increased teaching time in order to cover missed learning – particularly in the autumn term.
- Particular focus on early reading and phonics. This is always a focus in the school and will continue to be so in order to develop children’s reading fluency, decoding skills and vocabulary.
- Assessment of learning and of basic skills to identify major gaps. Teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and adapt teaching accordingly.
- Time spent on mental health, wellbeing and social skills development. This will be at the core of all catch up work as many children will have not been in formal school setting for a number of months.
For some children:
- Additional support and focus on basic core skills. Supported by additional resources utilising catch up premium – dependent on need as identified through ongoing assessment.
- Additional time to practice basic skills. This again will be dependent on need of children in order to re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics) and there will be flexibility on timetables to allow this.
Useful links and advice:
Subject to criteria, Family Fund can offer financial assistance for children with life limiting and complex needs,:
Speech and Language:
At the Free School Norwich we recognise the importance of speech, language and communication in developing children's emotional well-being as supporting their academic progress.
To support our children with Speech and Language, we use Wellcom screenings and have a dedicated Speech Therapist who visits fortnightly to support with assessing and delivering interventions to children. Children are also supported by a partnership NHS therapist and have regular interventions with teaching assistants.
Let's celebrate neurodiversity! Our SEND Local Offer supports children with a wide range of additional needs, here are some links to charities which we work alongside to better our understanding of the children in our school.
We have 2 Communication Champions in School
The Communication Champion Project is part of the Norwich Opportunity Area, launched by the government to improve the life chances of local children. The Communication Champions project aims to support early speech and language development to give children the skills they need to communicate both inside and outside of school, now and in the future.
Why is this so important for our children?
Transition for our children with SEND is a careful and considered process. We work alongside Early Year's Providers as well as Infant, Primary and Secondary Schools to ensure our children with SEND have a happy and well supported provision.
Here's some progress from our Year 6 leaver's who have continued their brilliant learning journey:
B moved to a complex needs school to start Year 7, he's now establishing great friendships and has joined the school football team
After being part of a transitions project over the Summer, G is now continuing his acting journey with The Garage
E, has developed more social confidence, is really enjoying outdoor learning and continues to excel in Maths following a move to a Specialist Provision for Year 7.
C, has an EHCP and completed a success Phase Transfer to a local High School, where a nuture and sensory provision supported him to access the curriculum. He's developed independence skills and established a friendship group. Initial enhanced transition and close communication with school and parents helped this to be a success. He still pops past to say hello, every now and again!