Pines School and SEND offer

The Pines School

SEND information and Local Offer

1)    What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the school make provision for?

The Pines is a primary special school with a Nursery class educating pupils with communication and interaction difficulties, specifically children on the autism spectrum. From September 2017 The Pines School admitted our first year 7 cohort and continues gradually increase its secondary provision annually. All our pupils have either a Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) or an Education Health and Care Plan.


Our teaching methods aim to address individual needs and abilities and provide a structure which ensures both personal development and academic progress. We use communication systems that have been developed to meet the specific needs of children with autism. These include:

·         Use of visual timetables/ choice boards /task structure

·         Emotion symbols to support emotional well-being

·         Use of SCERTS to develop understanding of language in a very structured way

·         Personalised learning support e.g. work stations; some 1:1; small groups

·         Personalised level of prompting and rewards

·         Elements of Teacch Programme (work boxes / finished trays / work schedules)

·         Carefully scheduled break times

·         Assessment of sensory differences and implementation of relevant activities

2)    How does the school identify and assess Special Educational Needs?

Pupils enter school with either a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan. New pupils have a diagnosis of ASC prior to entry, and any additional needs are identified and diagnosed through the school medical service or referral to an appropriate agency.


3)    How does the school know how much progress is being made by pupils with Special Educational Needs?

We have robust systems in place for baseline assessments, recording data, target setting and tracking of progress. These include regular lesson observations, learning walks, scrutiny of lesson plans and children’s work. Data analysis (pupil progress) is embedded in our school practice. Staff meet in key stage groups every half term to monitor progress. Our targets are set and progress measured in line with expectations for pupils with SEN using National Progression Guidance and in Foundation Stage using Development Matters and the EYFS Profile. Regular parent’s evenings, review of Individual Pupil Profiles (IPPs) and annual review meetings take place. Parents/carers are also able to arrange meetings at other times to discuss progress.

4) What extra-curricular activities can a pupil with Special Educational Needs

access at School?

We run a variety of extra-curricular/enrichment activities for our pupils including a choir, ukulele or drum lessons, fun science club and sports club activities during some holidays. In addition all children have the opportunity to experience a residential visit in key stage 2.

5) Does the School have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, if so who are they and how can someone get in touch with them?

As a Special School all staff are aware of the requirements to meet the needs of children and young people with SEN.

We can be contacted via the school office on 0121 464 6136 or via email on


6) What training does the staff in school have in relation to pupils with Special Educational Needs?

The majority of our teachers and support staff have a great deal of experience working with children with SEN. For staff who are new to the school we offer induction and training including Picture Exchange Communication and TEACCH.  For all our staff we have a schedule of training across the year to develop our provision in relation to school priorities. Several members of staff have certificate, diploma and degree qualifications in autism, aspects of communication development and behaviour management strategies.


7) How does school get more specialist help for pupils if they need it?

Within school we have access to a team of professionals who can offer specialist advice, these include speech and language therapists, music therapist and the school nurse and doctor. We work very closely with all professionals as well as parents to ensure we offer the best provision. We will also involve other agencies, as appropriate such as the Educational Psychologist and Occupational Therapist, Forward thinking Birmingham and Disabled Children’s Team. The FCAF process is used to secure wider support for families through community based and Children’s Social Care services.


8) How are parents of children and young people with SEN involved in the education of their child?

We aim to foster partnership between home and school in all areas of the child’s development and our Home/School Agreement outlines the principles through which we hope to achieve this.  We meet with parents as often as necessary to ensure that they are happy with the education their children are receiving. There are a number of opportunities, both formal and informal, for parents to come into school. These range from parents’ evenings, Annual Review and EHCP transfer meetings, telephone conversations, special assemblies and fund-raising events organised by The Pines Parent Teacher Association. For younger children and those pupils with particular communication difficulties, a home school diary is kept to inform parents and teachers of events that may occur on a daily basis. Each class uses Class Dojo app to keep parents informed.  Our parent group meets in school on a monthly basis and we hold Inspire workshops and stay and play sessions every year.  We offer Cygnet Training workshops for parents/carers and offer home/school support for managing behaviour at home.


9) How are pupils with Special Educational Needs involved in their own education?

Pupils are involved in their daily learning through planned provision of opportunities to make choices throughout the school day. Wherever possible we try to involve pupils in their education by encouraging them to participate in review meetings, whether that is by talking to them outside of the meeting to ascertain views or by them taking part in the meeting themselves. Children’s targets are displayed in the classrooms and negotiated and reviewed regularly with the children where possible so that they are actively involved in self-assessment activities. We have an active Pines Parliament where members are elected to the Parliament by their peers and meet regularly to discuss school matters.


10) If a parent or a child with SEND has a complaint about the school, how does the governing body deal with the complaint?

We always try to resolve things by working together. If the complaint is about a wider aspect of schooling, it is best to contact the child’s class teacher or a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as early as possible. It is rare that a resolution is not able to be achieved, but should this happen then our Chair of Governors would be the person to contact. A copy of the complaints policy is on the school website.


11) How does the Governing body involve other people in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs including support for their families?

The school has a teacher and two teaching assistants whose specific responsibility is for Home School Liaison and this includes support for families whose first language is other than English. The school buys in the services of a team of Speech and Language Therapists and a Music Therapist. We have developed links with Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre and Birmingham City University. Our children have the opportunity to participate in the Schools Shakespeare Festival and recently Opera Quest as well as an animated film project. We also buy in Open Theatre to work with younger children on social communication. All children have regular opportunities to participate in a range of educational visits to other environments to support their learning.

Our Governors themselves have a wide range of skills and connections within the community, all of which help to broaden the access to opportunities for our pupils.


12) Who are the support services that can help parents with pupils who have special educational needs?

SENDIASS services are available to help parents/carers through the initial assessment and review assessment process and can also help facilitate school visits and offer advice. We have a parent support group that meet once a month on an informal basis and includes opportunities for parents to access guest speakers and specific workshops to further develop their knowledge of their child’s needs. A range of parent support groups in Birmingham offer support and guidance, and several of these groups have parents of children with SEN who work with them. We signpost to the appropriate organisation on request and links are available on the website. Additionally the School Medical Service, Forward Thinking Birmingham, Children’s Social Care, The Family Support Service and Occupational Therapy offer support to our families on referral.


13) How does the school support pupils with SEND through Transition?

We know that transition for our students is a very complex area. There are 4 main elements to our transition work:


Transition to Foundation Stage – This usually includes a visit to school by parents, an observation at the child’s current setting where possible, and a visit to the home to gather information from the family and to share pictorial material which will support the child.

Transition during the school year – Arrangements for pupils who are admitted at other times of the year are made on an individual basis. If a pupil is coming to us from a different school, we will always visit them in their current setting and if possible attend their final review. A series of short visits into school then supports them in making a smooth transition into our setting.

Transition within school – Pupils are given several varied opportunities towards the end of the summer term to experience time in their new classroom with their new staff and pictorial material to support their understanding where appropriate.

Transition from school – Parent/carers of Pupils in Year 5 have discussions about their future hopes and aspirations for their child. They are given advice and guidance by school staff and there are opportunities to visit appropriate provision during the summer term of Year 5. Once a child has been allocated a secondary place we liaise with the new school to arrange for them to visit The Pines, for the child to have a series of supported visits to the new school and for staff to prepare handover materials around pupils’ learning styles and abilities prior to their secondary transfer. Visual materials are also provided for the child to enable them to understand and participate in the process.

14) How can parents find the Birmingham Local Authority’s Local Offer?

Birmingham’s Local offer can be found on the My Care in Birmingham website: