Fir Tree School and Nursery Newbury Academy Trust

Open Monday to Friday 8:50am - 3:15pm

Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery is a happy, caring and safe environment where children make good progress. There are 231 pupils on roll between the ages of 3 and 11. Fir Tree is located on the eastern edge of Newbury and has a very concentrated catchment area.

Fir Tree became part of Newbury Academy Trust in March 2013 and is sponsored by Trinity School. The Trust's ethos is to make a substantial difference to lives of young people through the education we provide. At Fir Tree, we believe in teaching the whole child. Our children are challenged to think, learn, believe and achieve their full potential through a creative curriculum which is tailored to their needs and interests and prepares them for next steps in life.

Children only get one chance at education so good leadership, effective management, committed staff, governors, parents and pupils working together as a team ensures Fir Tree is a happy and welcoming place. Our school motto ‘Freedom to Flourish’ is achieved through a creative and character value based curriculum which nurtures pupils who are happy to meet challenges.

At Fir Tree our expectations are clear; high standards of education for all. Standards are good but we can never become complacent in order to fulfil the potential of everyone who steps through our doors. We focus on the quality of teaching and learning to ensure that all groups of children are given the opportunity to develop and meet their potential including those who have been identified as having additionalneeds. We are committed to narrowing the attainment and progress gaps between SEND and non-SEND pupils.

Who to contact

Mrs Natasha Purcell
Acting Associate Headteacher
01635 42129
Fir Tree School and Nursery Newbury Academy Trust 

Where to go

Name of venue
Fir Tree Primary School and Nursery
Venue address
Fir Tree Lane
RG14 2RA

When is it on?

Date & Time Information
Open Monday to Friday 8:50am - 3:15pm
Time period
Term Time
Session Information
Nursery and primary school

Local Offer

Last Localoffer Updated
Age Bands
5 to 7,
7 to 11
Identification of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
1.1: How does the school identify children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?

Children with special educational needs are identified and assessed as early as possible with on-going review throughout the year. Concern about children are identified by staff, parents/carers, outside agencies and/or by test results. After parents have been informed, children are included on the SEND register.

Needs encompass a broad spectrum including learning difficulties, health and medical needs, physical difficulties and emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. Where there is a concern about a child's learning being affected by any of the above, observations and assessments will be carried out.

The early identification of children with SEND will follow liaison with teachers, teaching assistants, parents, the child and where appropriate, outside support services.

Special Educational Needs is used to describe a child who

1. Has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children his or her age in one of more areas of learning.

2. Has an identified or diagnosed disability which prevents the child from fully accessing the provision and facilities available in the school for children of a similar age.

3. Identification of children with SEND at Fir Tree is part of the structure of termly pupil progress meetings between the teacher, SENCO and Headteacher.

4. Literacy and Maths assessment packs are used to identify specific gaps in these areas of learning.

1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

First speak with your child's class teacher to share any concerns and/or make an appointment to speak with the school SENCO. The class teacher will forward any parental concerns on to the SENCO who may then choose to arrange a meeting with you. Any relevant assessments and observations will then be carried out and shared with you.

If an outside support service is required, the school can help with referrals and give further advice.

Support for children with special educational needs
2.1: If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?

Having been identified as having SEND, a child will be assessed referring to the following:

• Performance monitored by the class teacher and SENCO

• On-going assessment and standardised screening

• Progress against class learning objectives

• Performance against the National Curriculum levels

• End of year assessments.

The school SENCO will ensure all the above are monitored and evaluated to ensure the correct provision is provided. The SENCO will also provide specialist advice with regard to the curriculum planning and delivery.

The class teacher and teaching assistant will put the provision into practice and deliver any interventions required. The SENCO may also deliver certain interventions to your child or timetable a specialist teaching assistant to carry out any necessary programmes.

The SENCO, along with the class teacher, yourself as parents, and your child will write the Support & Achievement Plan (SAP) that identifies the outcomes and actions that need to be put into place. The SENCO coordinates this and the provision that is provided. The SENCO will also ensure that children are included in all areas of the curriculum.

2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

Termly review meetings with the class teacher to review and rewrite the SAP.

Parent Evenings

End of intervention reports from the professional carrying out the programme.

School reports.

Termly open mornings for all parents to see their children in class and have opportunities to talk to class teachers and the SENCO.

Report form outside professionals when/where appropriate

2.3: How will the school balance my child’s need for support with developing their independence?

At Fir Tree we encourage independence from the very start. Any support programmes or systems put into place will also have targets relating to independence and organisation. It may be that a child starts off with more support and that as progress is made, systems are put into place to allow increased independence.

Practical resources and visual aids are important for children with SEND and it is school policy for children to independently access the resources they need to help support their learning. These resources are all accessible within every class from Nursery to Year 6.

Conversations with parents/carers will also help develop and support independence as home and school work together to address the same needs.

2.4: How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child’s needs?

Once advice and provision is in place, the class teacher will differentiate the curriculum to

meet the needs of individuals. This may be through additional adult support, differentiated work to match abilities, extra resources to support learning and continuous observation and assessment by staff in the classroom and SENCO. This will ensure that the provision and support provided is constantly being adapted to meet the needs of individuals.

2.5: What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?

Quality first teaching

  • Practical resources and visual aids

• Frameworks for writing to support ideas and sentence structure

• Vocabulary Groups

• Interventions for learning e.g SNAP, Catch Up for reading.

• Talk Partners programme (supporting speaking, listening, speech, language and communication needs)

• Reward systems

• Individual behaviour plans

• Social stories for ASD children

• Individual targets and behaviour tracking charts

• Differentiated curriculum

• Communication friendly/rich classroom environment

• A focus on effective questioning from the adults in the class.

• ELSA support

• Draw and Talk or Lego Therapy

• Handwriting programme to support fine motor skills

• Occupational therapy sessions as identified by OT service

  • Speech and Language sessions as outlined by S&L service

• Write Dance sessions in Foundation Stage

  • Guidance from the Educational psychologist

2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?

1:1 TA support where appropriate for children with behaviour difficulties/learning difficulties.

• Specialist interventions run by TAs

• Every class has a dedicated TA

• School Sports Co-ordinator to provide gross and fine motor skill based activities where appropriate

• Weekly Educational Psychologist visits.

• ELSA support

• Pastoral support

2.7: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / TitleIntervention Type
Precision Teaching Catch Up Structured Reading Approach SNAP maths Draw and Talk therapy Handwriting and fine motor skills ELSA One to one
Talking Partners: group of 3 Handwriting and fine motor skills ELSA Lego Therapy Small group
2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

• Practical Literacy and maths resources

• OT resources including handwriting

• TA support

• Specialist TA support

• ELSA support

• Pastoral support

• Educational Psychologist

• IT Hardware

• IT software

• Fine motor skills resources

• Dedicated group room space for groups or 1:1 work

• SENCO support and advice

2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

• Readers when appropriate

• 1:1 conditions to reduce anxiety

• Extra time when appropriate

• Special arrangements in line with the external examination procedures

• Breaks if appropriate

• Coloured overlays if used in class.

• Exams taken in a smaller room with a smaller group than the whole class.

• A scribe if appropriate

• Breakfast Club during Year 6 SATs week

My child's progress
3.1: How will the school monitor my child’s progress and how will I be involved in this?

Termly pupil progress meetings to discuss children's attainment, barriers to learning and next steps.

• Standardised tests for reading, spelling and maths

• Tracking children's progress in reading, maths, writing and spelling each term.

• Open information evening in the Autumn term

• Termly open mornings and workshops for parents

• Parent’s Evening in the Spring term.

• SAP reviews involving parents and the child.

• Parents informed of which intervention programme their child is involved in.

3.2: When my child’s progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?

New targets will be set with the staff, child and the parents

• General targets will be shared at parent evenings and in reports.

• Parent meetings to discuss targets set by outside agencies where appropriate

• Annual review meetings for children with Education Health Care Plans.

3.3: ln addition to the school’s normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress with school staff?

• Information evening in the Autumn term

• Open mornings

• 'Open door' policy - staff are happy to meet with parents as they wish.

• Weekly reviews if arranged and part of a plan

• SENCO support and meetings are available

• SAP review meetings.

• Annual reviews

  • Educational psychologist meetings

3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?

• Home/school books where appropriate

• Reading journals

• 'Open door' policy

• School newsletter

• School website

• Text system for general information

• Medical sheets if there has been an accident

• Letters home

• Target sheets every half term with the target

3.5: How can I help support my child’s learning?

Daily reading

• Talking to your child about their day

• Working with your child to complete homework tasks

• Helping your child to learn their spellings on a weekly basis

• Helping your child to learn their timetables

• Reading and sharing stories

• Attending parent workshops, parents evenings and open mornings.

• Follow any SAP support/advice

• Follow any outside agency support/advice

• Come into school for as many events as possible

3.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child’s learning, eg. training or learning events?

• Literacy workshops

• Maths workshops

• Phonics workshops

• Open mornings

• Autumn term information evening

• Parent Wellbeing sessions run by the Teacher in Charge of Pastoral Care

3.7: How will my child’s views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?

• Pupil voice (school council, learning ambassadors)

• SAP review meetings

• Annual review meetings

• Child's view section of a school report.

• Pupil Progress Meetings for the pupils as well as the teachers

3.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?


3.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?

• Parents questionnaires once a year

• Pupil questionnaires once a year

• SAP reviews

• Annual reviews

• Provision maps for SEND provision

• Regular updating of the SEND register

• Data tracking

• Monitoring the interventions through data and observation.

Support for my child's overall well being
4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?

• Emotional Litercay Support Assistant (ELSA) - Fir Tree has 2 ELSAs.

• Talking Partners programme

• Reward systems and social stories from the SENCO

• Teacher in Charge of Pastoral Care

• Draw and Talk Therapy with the Pastoral teacher

• Lego Therapy with the Pastoral teacher

• Educational Psychologist weekly support

• Value of the month assemblies

4.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?

Individual behaviour plans set up with SENCO, teacher, parents and the child.

• Social stories


• Pastoral support

• Transition programmes from year to year and key stage to key stage.

• 1:1 TA support if needed.

• Behaviour reward systems (whole school and individual)

• Educational Psychologist involvement.

• SENCO support

• Protected lunchtimes if appropriate

• Time out areas made when needed

4.3: What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?

• Key staff are first aid trained.

  • All staff are epi pen trained

• Foundation staff, Headteacher and Deputy Haedteacher are paediatric first aid trained

• Work place trained first aiders

• Nappy changing facilities and policy

• School nurse involvement through referral

• Risk assessments

• Care plans in place if needed.

• Dedicated TA time for medical needs if appropriate.

4.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

• In line with the school policy

• Parental consent forms for each new medication

• Parent consent forms and comment slip on trip letters.

• All medicines are kept in the appropriate, secure places and only administered by an adult involved with the child in school.

• Medical alert posters in staffroom and/or classrooms for any more serious risks.

4.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc?

• Through dedicated TA support

• Nappy changing and potty training facilities, in line with the school policy.

• Individual plans for children with eating disorders

• School nurse led training when appropriate

• Individual plans/ Care plans for individual needs.

• Communication and plans in place that work between home and school

Referrals to occupational therapy where appropriate

Specialist services and expertise available at or accessed by the school
5.1: What SEN support services does the school use, eg. specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?

Currently being used:

• SEND support team

• Educational Psychologist

• Speech and Language service

• ELSA support

• Pastoral support teacher

• ASD advisory teacher

• Hearing impairment teacher advisory service

• School Nurse Team

• Children Services Team

• Educational Welfare Officer


• Occupational Therapist

• EHC Coordinator

If needed we would also access support from:

• Behaviour Support Team

• Visual impairment advisory service

We access and make referrals to any necessary service to support individual children and their needs.

5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

Speak to your child's class teacher and/or make an appointment with the SENCO.

Your child's teacher would forward any concerns to the SENCO as well.

Speak to your GP or Health Visitor as well if appropriate.

5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

Therapists visit children in school or see children in clinic. They provide reports and targets for school and home. School ensures there is dedicated time to follow the programme recommendations. The SENCO gives feedback of any progress or concerns to the relevant therapist. School may request training carried out by these services to ensure all staff involved are fully aware of how to carry out the targets. Targets from services may be used in school SAPs or annual review targets.

5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

Speak to your child's class teacher to see if they have similar concerns. They will forward any concerns to the SENCO. Speak to your GP or Health Visitor if appropriate. The school SENCO will work with the class teacher to identify support the school is able to put into place and develop SAP targets to progress learning. If the child continues not to make progress, the SENCO will make a referral after carrying out any necessary observations or assessments.

5.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children’s Social Care services?

The school follows a strict Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment Policy that all staff have read and training is updated regularly. The school’s Designated Safeguarding Officer reports all concerns about safeguarding to Children’s Services.

Training of school staff in SEND
6.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

• SAP target writing

• Intervention training

• Speech, Language and Communication training

• Safeguarding

• Any appropriate medical training as needs require.

• ASD training

• Supporting children with specific learning diificulties

• Continuous Professional Development for all staff (attending courses e.g. SNAP maths intervention training)

• ELSA training

• Behaviour management training

6.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

• Intervention training

• Speech, Language and Communication training

• Safeguarding

• Any appropriate medical training as required.

• ASD training

• Supporting children with specific learning difficulties

• Continuous Professional Development for all staff (attending courses)

• ELSA training

• Behaviour management training

6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

• Headteacher has a PGCE in Speech and Language Difficulties in Primary children.

• SENCO National Award for SENCOs qualification

• Two Teaching Assistants are ELSA trained

  • Three TAs and 1 teacher are talking partner trained

• A number of teachers have had Draw and Talk and Lego Therapy training

6.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?

• Specialist TAs have had Intervention training and are able to carry out certain intervention


• ELSA qualification.

• ELKAN Speech and Language Training

Activities outside the classroom including school trips
7.1: How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?

• Thorough risk assessments prior to the visit and a pre-visit.

• Ensure appropriate and dedicated staff involved in the trip.

• Follow the guidelines from the location being visited.

  • Ensure statutory guidance for ratios of children to adults are adhered to

• Involve parents if needed.

7.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

Where appropriate, we arrange a pre-trip meeting to discuss any concerns to ensure all areas have been covered.

Accessibility of the school environment
8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

There are ramps that access the front of the school and into certain classrooms. Other main entrance and exits are flat to allow wheelchair access.

8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

Interactive whiteboards are renewed regularly to ensure the quality is of a good standard.

Any other improvements would be made as necessary.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

The Nursery has changing and toilet facilities.

8.4: How do you ensure that all the school’s facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?

The school would address any individual additional needs as required and in line with the school Accessibility Policy.

8.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

Provide large print letters and newsletter if needed.

• On a 1:1 basis to ensure understanding

• Communicate with another family member if appropriate.

8.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

Use a translator or speak to another family member where appropriate.

Where appropriate ask a parent who they were friendly with to translate.

Involve EMTAS for additional support.

Speak to the parent/carer face to face to ensure understanding.

Have letters translate where appropriate

Preparing my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life
9.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?

Transition days will be arranged for your child to visit the school and meet with the teacher and class before they start.

For Foundation children there would be more than one transition day and an information evening prior to starting for parents. The class teacher and TA for Foundation children will carry out a home visit.

Parents have the opportunity to have a tour of the school and meet with the Headteacher and SENCO.

Parents will receive the school prospectus and have the opportunity to read any policies.

Your child would be able to have a picture of their new classroom and teacher as preparation for starting.

Where appropriate meetings with previous settings can be arranged to read through any reports that are relevant.

9.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?

Your child would be able to have a picture of their new classroom and teacher as preparation for starting.

Changeover week in the Summer term to build relationships with the new class teacher.

Where appropriate, class teachers will meet to discuss the child before start.

PSHE/ELSA sessions to support with change and transition.

9.3: How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school?

A transition session where children spend time in their new school and have the opportunity to start to make friends and get to know their new class teacher.

Opportunities for your child to meet with key staff in the safe environment of Fir Tree before moving to the school. Staff involved would meet to share information.

New timetables and pictures of key places within the new school could be taken home for

your child to look at before they begin.

PSHE sessions and/or ELSA sessions would be put into place for any child that needed support with change and a transition.

9.4: How will you support a new school to prepare for my child?

The key staff would meet to share information and this would involve parents as well. Any reports would be passed to the new school as well. Details of any positive friendships would be passed on to ensure your child has some familiar faces when they begin.

9.5: What information will be provided to my child’s new school?

Any relevant reports from within school or from outside agencies.

Details of their progress and attainment.

Information regarding routines and systems that are effective.

Friendship information will be passed on and any necessary family information.

9.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?


Who can I contact to discuss my child?
10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

The class teacher who would pass any information on to the SENCO or Headteacher.

Further appointments could then be made where appropriate.

10.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

Fir Tree has a Pastoral Teacher who works very closely with the SENCO to ensure that parents are provided with information regarding support that they could receive, either from within school or from outside agencies. She also runs a Parent Wellbeing Group.

10.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

The SENCO and the Pastoral Teacher has the appropriate information to pass on to individuals or parents through letters/leaflets home or on the newsletters.

10.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?

Parent questionnaires are sent out for parents to complete and the results are shared with parents and put on the school website.

Complaints can be made in line with the school Complaints Policy or through a letter to the Headteacher and/or chair of governors.

All complaints are reported to the Governing board by the Headteacher.

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Address: Fir Tree Lane  Newbury  Berkshire