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Improving early identification of need – St Rumon’s Infant School and St Peter’s CE Junior School

Describe the situation prior to intervention

St Rumon’s infant school and St Peter’s CE Junior School are part of the Tavistock Church School’s Federation and St. Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust.  The SENDCo for both schools wanted to improve the early identification of pupils with SEND and tackle the challenge of the split site working environments by spreading skills, knowledge and understanding so she could build capacity across both schools to identify and support pupils with SEND.

What did the school do?

Using data to plan intervention and monitor impact

Firstly the SENDCo tackled how interventions were measured.  She instigated a rigorous system which measured both entry and exit data for the interventions on offer.  Although this data system began simply she improved it year upon year until the level of detail made the data very diagnostic. Because of this she was able to select very specific interventions for the pupils based on exactly what they needed to improve upon.
This in turn had an impact upon the provisions being run. Although they offered ‘off the peg’ intervention packages they were finding that for some pupils a tailor made approach was needed. Because they had the diagnostic data to home in on the specific area of weakness the bespoke interventions they ran had a far greater impact on the pupil.

“We are constantly learning” (School SENDCo)

Peer-Led Interventions

Monitoring Progress

SEND is truly embedded in the monitoring systems used across the school. The SENDCo takes a lead in the half termly data monitoring and termly ‘triangulation process’; looking at pupil work, interviewing pupils and discussing progress with teachers. This strategic approach means data drops are analysed and trends in changing need can be seen and fed back into the interventions system.

“It’s the little things you do that make a difference” (School SENDCo)

What other factors led to success?

Shared Vision

St Rumon’s and St Peter’s have a very dedicated team of colleagues who have a shared vision of improvement. Even across the split site support colleagues take the initiative to cascade down training they attend so that it quickly becomes whole school practice.

What are the outcomes?

Pupil needs are identified quickly. The detailed analysis means their specific area of weakness is targeted and supported to improve.  The SENDCo gave one example of a pupil with severe dyslexia. Because of the early identification processes and bespoke interventions they have been able to support the pupil effectively.  The support staff have been instrumental in taking ownership of their own professional learning and now strategies they have adopted have been cascaded across the school, meaning many more pupils with dyslexia can also be supported.

What can we learn from this case study?

St Rumon’s and St Peter’s have a culture of constant review and evaluation. By being focused and driven by pupil needs derived from very detailed analysis the “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” cycle is truly embedded into their daily practices.
The school feel their dedicated team of staff make a huge difference; they are proactive to share and embed new practices and skills to enhance the inclusion of individual pupils but also seek out other pupils whom might benefit from new learning.  Despite challenges of split sites and time hungry data analysis they really are Reflective Practitioners who are driven and dedicated to find solutions so all pupils achieve their best.