Penns Primary School

The best you can be in all that you do.


At Penns Primary School we strive to support all children to enable them to achieve the to the best of their ability. In order to do this many steps are taken to support them through their learning journey. Quality first teaching is vital; however for some children there are occasions when further positive support may be needed to help them to achieve their targets. The information provided on these pages is intended to explain to you the provision Penns Primary has made and will continue to make for pupils with SEND and also the Birmingham Local Offer which is a list of all services that can be accessed in the Local Authority where Penns Primary School is a part of that offer.

If you have a concern about your child, please do not hesitate to contact our  Inclusion Manager: Mrs A Unsworth.


What is Autism?

Autism is a term used to describe a neurological difference in brain development that has a marked effect on how a person develops. There are four areas of difference that are particularly important to understand and pay attention to because most children and young people on the autism spectrum will have individual educational needs to be met in these areas.


Social understanding

Differences in understanding social behaviour and the feelings of others, which informs the development of friendships and relationships.


Sensory processing

Differences in perceiving sensory information. Hypo (low sensitivity), hyper (high sensitivity), touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste, vestibular inner ear (balance), proprioceptive (body awareness)

Interests and information processing

Differences in perception, planning, understanding concepts, generalising, predicting, managing transitions, passions for interests and ability to absorb auditory or spoken information.



Differences in understanding and expressing communication and language, with skills ranging from individuals who are highly articulate, to others who may be non–verbal. Good language skills may mask a deep level of misunderstanding.


The Autism Helpline enquiry service provides impartial, confidential information along with advice for autistic people, their families, friends and carers.

Contact us by:

Telephone: 0808 800 4104

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus, our Helpline telephone opening hours have been amended to:

10am – 3pm, Monday to Friday. 


SEN Resources

Please follow the link below to access support for children at home with additional learning needs:








Please note the NEW contact details if you need to get in touch with the team who will ensure your enquiry is dealt with in a timely manner. 

If you are a Parent or Guardian and would like to speak to someone about your child, please call our Parent Link Service on 0121 303 8461 or email


How to help an anxious child

If a child is experiencing anxiety, there are things that parents and carers can do to help.

First and foremost, it's important to talk to your child about their anxiety or worries. Reassure them and show them you understand how they feel.

If your child is old enough, it may help to explain what anxiety is and the physical effects it has on our bodies. It may be helpful to describe anxiety as being like a wave that builds up and then ebbs away again.

As well as talking to your child about their worries and anxiety, it's important to help them find solutions.

For example, if your child is worried about going to a sleepover, it is natural to want to tell them not to go. However, this could mean your child feels that their anxiety will stop them from doing things.

It's better to recognise their anxiety and suggest solutions to help them, so they can go to the sleepover with a plan in place.

Other ways to ease anxiety in children

  • teach your child to recognise signs of anxiety in themselves
  • encourage your child to manage their anxiety and ask for help when they need it
  • children of all ages find routines reassuring, so try to stick to regular daily routines where possible
  • if your child is anxious because of distressing events, such as a bereavement or separation, look for books or films that will help them to understand their feelings
  • if you know a change, such as a house move, is coming up, prepare your child by talking to them about what is going to happen and why
  • try not to become overprotective or anxious yourself
  • practice simple relaxation techniques with your child, such as taking 3 deep, slow breaths, breathing in for a count of 3 and out for 3. You'll find more guidance for helping children with anxiety on the Young Minds website
  • distraction can be helpful for young children. For example, if they are anxious about going to nursery, play games on the way there, such as seeing who can spot the most red cars
  • turn an empty tissue box into a "worry" box. Get your child to write about or draw their worries and "post" them into the box. Then you can sort through the box together at the end of the day or week


Mental Health and Well-Being A to Z





MindSafe makes it simple for pupils to be more aware of their own mental wellbeing, simple to recognise when they need to focus on it and simple for them to get support from someone they know and trust.

Latest Legislation: The SEN Code of Practice 2014

                  The key principle of the SEND Code of Practice is to put children and young people and their family at the very centre of the SEND system. It is designed to support:

  • the participation of pupils and parents in decision making, giving them choice and control;
  • Early identification of needs and early intervention;
  • Collaboration between education, health and social care services;
  • High quality provision to meet the needs of pupils with SEN;
  • Successful preparation for adulthood.

What is ‘The Local Offer?’

       The local offer was first introduced in the green paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.

What will it do?

       The Birmingham Local Authority framework will allow the local offer to provide parents/ carers with the information about how to access services in their local area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/ carers of young people know how schools and colleges will support them and what they can expect across the local setting. Birmingham Local offer can be found at


Below are some answers to questions that parents/carers might have about Penns Primary School’s SEN provision.

  1. How does the school know if children/young people need extra help? How does the school assess their needs and what should I do if I think my child may have a special educational needs?
  1. How will school staff support my child?
  • All children, including SEND pupils, are provided with 'Quality First Teaching'.
  • Children with special needs have a SEND Support Plan put in place, outlining targets and strategies to focus on improving outcomes.
  • These are reviewed regularly with the child, parents and all teaching staff involved.
  • We aim to involve parents and pupils as fully as possible in the planning and evaluation of SEND support.
  • Children identified as needing SEND Support will have appropriate support with their learning and may also have specific targeted interventions. The class teacher will plan this.
  • Mr N Greaves, Lead Teacher for Autism, provides advice, support and assessments where we have a concern about communication and autism.
  • The school Inclusion Manager meets regularly with the Educational Psychologist, Pupil and School Support, the Communication and Autism Team and Speech and language support. Any child needing support will be identified to the relevant professionals and given any support necessary. Their advice is used to support quality first teaching and targeted intervention.
  • Some children may require further support and interventions delivered by outside agencies such as the behaviour team or speech and language.
  • Communication with parents is vital and if ever an outside agency is involved with your child, permission will be sought first.
  • We have a good ratio of staff to children with at least one Teacher and a Teaching Assistant in each class for at least morning sessions. Pupils in the Foundation Stage always have 2 members of staff.
  • Where pupils have further SEND needs the school in consultation with parents/carers and external professionals will apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCp). This replaces a Statement of Special Needs.
  • 3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
  • All children are provided with ‘Quality First Teaching’.
  • Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  • All lessons offer challenge and support necessary for each child to learn and differentiation occurs through the work set, questions asked and support given.
  • Specific resources and intervention strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
  • Teaching Assistants provide additional support in class to provide extra support or targeted specific teaching.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.
  1. How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
  • For all children, progress is shared with parents throughout the year during parents evening and curriculum targets (reading, writing, maths and personal) are sent home termly.
  • Should a child require a SEND Support plan then this is discussed and reviewed with parents each term at parents’ evening or at a separate time. This meeting will evaluate the effectiveness of the support put in place, set new targets and plan how these will be implemented. These will be the child’s curriculum targets.
  • Education Health and Care Plans are reviewed annually.
  • We have an open door policy at Penns Primary and welcome parents to come in and discuss their child if they have any concerns or wish to talk about their child’s progress, with the class teacher or the Inclusion Manager.
  • If teachers have concerns they will contact parents to discuss them and listen to any concerns that you may have too.
  • The class teacher or Inclusion Manager will speak to you regarding any referrals to outside agencies to support your child’s learning.
  • All children are tracked using the school’s data tracking.
  • Annual reports are written for every child.
  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Social, Emotional and Pastoral

  • We ensure that all children are supported socially and pastorally by staff, who know the children well.
  • We offer a wide range of activities within school to support pupils’ social and emotional development such as:
      • Small groups for intervention and support(e.g.Pyramid Club).
      • One to one mentoring (e.g. Draw and Talk).
      • School visits (e.g NSPCC, Childline)
      • Educational trips
      • Links with the community
      • Residential trip in Year 6
      • Assemblies
      • Class Circle Time
  • The school also runs a system of play leaders and buddies to support social skills development at lunchtimes. These focus on building children’s self-esteem and developing social skills such as turn-taking.
  • PSHE is delivered as part of the curriculum across the whole school. PSHE contributes to personal development by promoting social and emotional aspects of learning. It provides a framework and some ideas for teaching social and emotional skills within discrete lessons, across subjects and outside the classroom. Mrs L Stoves is the leading the development this curriculum.
  • The school also participates in events such as Anti-Bullying Week.


  • School has a medicine policy which supports parents/carers with the management of their child’s medication within school and staff regularly undergo training in key areas such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and the use of Epipens.
  • If a child comes into school with a specific medical need, the school nurse will provide the relevant staff with training. Pupils will also have a Care Plan which is shared with staff working with the child and updated annually.
  • The school also has trained first aiders within school and at least one will be present on any visit outside of school. A minimum of 2 staff hold Pediatric First Aid training.
  • School has a behavior policy which is known, used and adhered to by all staff across the school.


  • Children who need specific support with their behaviour will be identified and support offered. This support will range from extra support in the classroom, to interventions and support from outside agencies.


  • We promote and celebrate excellent attendance. Parents are supported and school will ring home to query a child’s non-attendance at school.  

At Lunchtimes

  • Lunchtime Supervisors attend staff training for supporting pupils with specific medical, social and emotional needs.
  • Lunchtime Supervisors provide a range of activities to support pupils at lunchtimes.
  • Teachers and Lunchtime Supervisors maintain good lines of communication.
  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
  • School employs staff trained to educate and care for children throughout their primary years.
  • Staff are trained regularly in key areas of the curriculum and also in identifying and supporting children with specific difficulties around learning, child development and social and emotional problems children may experience.
  • School has access to a wide range of services all of which can support both parents/carers and children. These agencies include: Speech and Language, CAMHS, Educational Psychologist, Behaviour Support, LASCS, Social Services, Pediatricians, Mentoring Support, Autism and Communication Team, The Community Hub and the School Nurse.
  1. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
  • All staff receive regular training from the health service around key medical issues which could arise for children.
  • Individual staff are trained in First Aid and are strategically placed around school.
  • The Inclusion Manager attends Local Authority training, is part of an inclusion network and attends relevant training which is then shared with all staff.
  • The Inclusion Manager provides in-house training on developing SEN Support Plans and around specific requests from staff, or as necessary to support a particular child or group of children.
  • Where necessary, specialist training is brought into the school. For example Pupil and School Support can provide school with training around a range of teaching strategies for specific learning needs.
  • We have a fully trained ASD lead practitioner, Mr N Greaves, who leads training and supports staff and pupils within school.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.
  • Training for staff has included: Epipen training; Supporting pupils with diabetes; Autism and Communication needs training; Attachment disorder training; Speech and Language support; Catch up phonics; Direct teaching; Writing for All.
  1. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
  • We are fully-inclusive and all children attend all events and trips.
  • Where necessary, extra support will be provided to ensure full participation by all children and parents are fully-informed and consulted as to the trips and activities open to every child.
  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put into place to enable all children to participate.
  1. How accessible is the school environment?
  • We have wheelchair access.
  • The use of computers and iPads enable all children to have access to new technologies to support their learning.
  • Where appropriate resources are provided to support SEND pupils (e.g. specialized furniture or equipment)
  1. How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If your child is joining our school in EYFS:

  • A member of the Senior Management Team will either show the child and parents around school or be available to answer any questions
  • Induction events take place during the summer term for all children who are joining the Foundation Stage in September.
  • Children and Parents are invited to a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Children are presented with a welcome pack with items made by each class in school. Pupils meet their Y6 Buddies and stay for a picnis.
  • Stay and Play sessions are available.
  • Parents meet with the teacher to discuss their child and any specific areas of need.
  • Previous schools/settings are contacted for information sharing. Where possible the class teacher visits the child in this setting.
  • Pupil’s start in September is managed with parents to ensure children get the right start. This will be flexible to the needs of the child as much as possible.
  • If your child is joining our school in other years or mid year:
  • We encourage parents and children to visit the school and meet their new teacher prior to joining the school.
  • Penns Primary can provide an individual induction plan where needed for a child with SEND

When moving classes each year in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance in the form of a teacher handover meeting.
  • Your child will have transition days to meet the class teacher, become familiar with their new classroom and begin to shape the first class topic.
  • Parents are invited to meet the new class teacher and visit the new classroom.
  • Additional support is available where necessary, ie transition booklet.

 If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school Inclusion Manager and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
  • Penns Primary can provide an individual induction plan where needed for a child with SEND
  • We will liase with the receiving school to try to make the transition as smooth as possible.

 Year 7 Transition:

  • Each year a transition meeting is held to support parents in completing the transition process.
  • The class teacher and Inclusion Manager will discuss the specific needs of your child with the Inclusion Manager of their secondary school. They are also invited to attend the final SEND support plan meeting.
  • Where possible your child will visit their new school for additional days and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.

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

  • All classes have additional support staff, who are well trained, as well as a qualified teacher.
  • The Inclusion budget is allocated each financial year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs.
  • The additional provision may be allocated after discussion with the class teacher at pupil progress meetings or if a concern has been raised by them at another time during the year.
  • Resources may include deployment of staff depending on individual circumstances.
  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
  • These decisions are made in consultation with the class teacher and Senior Management Team.
  • Decisions are based upon half termly tracking of pupil progress and as a result of assessments by outside agencies.
  • The school holds regular planning meetings at which professionals are called together to discuss provision for supporting children and families in school.
  • 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 put in place.
  1. What support and training is available to parents and carers?
  • Workshops support parents in the teaching of reading, phonics and maths.
  • Shared Learning takes place in KS1 and the Foundation Stage where parents have an informal opportunity to share learning with their child.
  • Parents are signposted to Positive Parenting courses and any other relevant support available in the local community.
  • Parent Partnership provides support for parents of children with special needs.
  • Resources are recommended by staff
  • Staff are also able to share specific learning activities with parents that can be completed at home.
  1. Who can I contact for further information, help and support?

If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s progress please contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the Inclusion Manager, Mrs A Unsworth.

Should you wish to discuss anything further please contact the Head Teacher, Mrs Lowe. If your child is receiving SEN Support and wish to discuss an issue, Parent Partnership are available for support.

Contact the SEN Parent Partnership

SEND Information, Advice & Support Service

The POD, 28 Oliver Street

Nechells, Birmingham B7 4NX


Telephone Number: 0121 303 5004


Written in consultation with Staff, Governors, Parents, Pupils.


There are many SEND terms that are abbreviated which can lead to confusion (even for us!). Below is a glossary of the most used SEND terms:

 ADD Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder, ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder, BESD Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties, C/AT Communication and Autism Team, CAF Common Assessment Framework, CAMHS Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, COP Code of Practice, CP Child Protection, DCD Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (e.g. dyspraxia), EAL English as an Additional Language, EHCP Educational Health and Care Plan, EP Educational Psychologist, FSM Free School Meals, HI Hearing Impairment, LAC Looked After Child, LA Local Authority, MLD Moderate Learning Difficulty, OT Occupational Therapist, PSS Pupil and School Support, QfT Quality first teaching, SLT Speech & Language Therapy, SEN Special Educational Needs, SEND Special Educational Needs & Disabilities, SENCO Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, SLD Specific Learning Difficulty, SpLD Specific Learning Difficulty, VI Visual Impairment