What are Special Educational Needs?

Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs and require particular action by the school. These needs may be within communication and interaction, cognition and learning, emotional and social development, medical conditions or sensory or physical needs. They may be for a short period or throughout a child’s educational life. They may be identified before a child has even entered school or they may come to be recognised at a specific point in their education.

If your child has difficulties with any of the following he/she may require support that is ‘different from’ or ‘additional to’ that of other children.

  • 1

    Reading, writing, number work or understanding information
  • 2

    All of the work in school
  • 3

    Speech and language
  • 4

    Making friends or relating to adults
  • 5

    Behaving appropriately in school
  • 6

    Organising himself/herself
  • 7

    Sensory or physical needs
  • 8

    Emotional needs


How do we support your child?

The Cornerstone Academy Trust is proud of the work it does with all its pupils and we have significant strengths working with children with special needs. We build self-esteem with positive learning experiences and successfully involve children with whole-school life. We endeavour to achieve maximum inclusion of all pupils (including those with SEN) whilst meeting pupils’ individual needs. The teachers at Monkerton Community Primary School will provide learning opportunities for all the pupils within the school environment and provide materials appropriate to pupils’ interests and abilities. This will ensure that all pupils have full access to learning, equivalent to that set in the National Curriculum. We use the guidance given in the National Curriculum document to support inclusion.

When seeking support, we use the appropriate outside agencies and educational psychologists. The Policy for Special Needs is available to look at here. The Cornerstone Academy Trust Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Miss Cavallo is happy to speak to parents and carers about general issues related to special needs as well as specific questions relating to your child.

Teachers and SENCo will work with you and your child to:

  • Develop effective ways of overcoming barriers to learning
  • Monitor the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievements
  • Set targets for improvement
  • Ensure that the learning for all children is given equal priority
  • Ensure available resources are used to maximum effect
  • Ensure every child feels valued & supported
  • Inspire confidence and raise self-esteem
  • Acknowledge specific difficulties
  • Adapt the curriculum and/or delivery
  • Enrich the curriculum
  • Ensure access to IT
  • Provide additional adult support
  • Employ specialists in speech and language and educational psychology
  • Provide access to occupational therapy, school nurse
  • Provide a nurturing yet ambitious environment
  • Plan support, implement, track progress and review effectiveness
  • Implement local and national processes to support, ie My Plan, My EHC Plan (DAF process)

Useful links

Devon County Council’s Local Offer: Information about support for children with Special Educational Needs in Devon.

Parent Partnership: Information about support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs.

National Framework: SEN Code of Practice 2014:

MASH Parents Fact Sheet

The SEN Policy and the current SEN Report are available on the Policies page of the Trust Website.