SEND Support


At St Philomena’s High School, we have a strong commitment in ensuring that all students are given a firm academic foundation within a Christian atmosphere to enable them to establish a foundation to build on. We believe that our Mission Statement ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain who build it’ is true of our obligation to all our students. However, we do recognise that some students will need additional support to enable them to achieve.

To fulfil this role, we have a SENDCo who is responsible for managing the SEND Department to ensure that students requiring additional support are effectively supported. We also have clear policies on how we support and teach young people in our school who have Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND). These policies outline our commitment to making sure that all in our care, regardless of need, make the best possible progress. This commitment is driven by our core belief ‘Have courage, don’t lose heart’ regardless of the challenges.


How we support our students with SEND

What areas of SEND does the school support?

We support pupils who have needs in the following areas;


- Communication and Interaction – needs relating to how pupils communicate and interact with other people including their peers and adults.

- Cognition and Learning – needs relating to how students process information, remember things and learn.

- Social, mental and emotional health – needs relating to mental health and emotional stability and wellbeing.

- Sensory/physical – needs relating to senses and body movement.


We also recognise that some students may have more than one related area of need. We work to meet their needs as far as possible to help ensure that their behaviour remains of a high standard.  Positive behaviour helps students to learn effectively, it prepares them for the expectations of the world beyond school and helps to build a strong academic foundation. Standards of high behaviour in all areas of the school play a key part in achieving our Mission Statement. “It is our responsibility to prepare all students’, so that they can fulfil their ministry in the Church and the wider world now and in the future. By taking Christ to others by their work and example they will be the leaven, which helps to establish the Kingdom of God.”


The role of the SENDCo

The school’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) is responsible for co-ordinating all of the support offered to students with SEND and for making sure that this support is of the best possible quality.  The SENDCo oversees a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who support SEND students in class.  The SENDCo also liaises closely with subject teachers to ensure that teachers are supporting students with SEND to learn as best as possible, including providing specialist training for teachers where necessary. The SENDCo also liaises with external agencies, for example, Speech and Language Therapists, who may be brought in to offer specialist support to particular students. The functions of the SEND department take place in the Edith Stein Centre.  It also functions as an area of inclusion to help support wider pastoral needs’


How does the school know if my daughter needs extra help or has a SEND need?

Many of our students with SEND have their needs identified at their primary schools and on making an application to join the school; this information is shared with us. Sometimes, a student’s SEND need only becomes apparent at secondary school.  We know when a student may need additional help when:


- Concerns about her learning or social development are raised by teachers, parents/carers or the young person herself.

- Our assessment data shows that a student is not progressing at the expected rate for their age in all, or some subjects.

- Our pastoral team notice a sudden change in the student’s conduct which may be a consequence of SEND.


How is extra support or SEND needs identified at secondary school?

Subject teachers and Heads of Year will liaise with parents/carers if there are concerns in a particular subject area.  If concerns are ongoing, in more than one subject area, parents/carers may be invited to meet with subject staff at the school, together with your daughter, to discuss her progress.

This meeting will enable the SEND Department and the pastoral Team to:


- Plan any additional support for the student.

- Discuss any referrals with outside agencies to support the student’s learning.

- Listen to concerns parents/carers have regarding your daughter’s progress.


Heads of Year will often liaise with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator to discuss further strategies for supporting your daughter in a particular subject area. The SENDCo will closely monitor your daughter’s progress and ensure that the support offered is as effective as possible. If your daughter is still not making suitable progress over a set period of time her provisions will be reviewed and adapted. It may be necessary if concerns remain at the following review then to seek specialist advice. Having responded to the specialist advice and concerns regarding progress remain it may be necessary to discuss a request for statutory assessment. We will collect clear evidence showing how the student is progressing and what support the school has already put in place.  The local Authority will analyse the application and evidence provided and decide whether extra provision is needed.  If they approve the application, the school may be able to access further funding and resources to help meet the student’s needs. After the application there will be a further meeting with your daughter and you will be involved in planning the support. There will also be meetings with the key adults, internally and externally who, with you and your daughter will discuss what the issues are and what extra support should be put in place, to help your daughter develop further. Your daughter will also play an important role in this meeting and will give her own views regarding her progress. Outcomes will be agreed, and the student’s progress will be closely monitored by the SENDCo and Pastoral Team. Either the SENDCo or the Head of Year will keep you informed about the support your daughter is receiving.


What happens after my daughter has been identified with SEND?

The SEND Department will inform your daughter’s teachers of the identified SEND needs. Steps will be taken by all subject teachers to ensure that the learning needs of the student are addressed through their style of teaching and their learning resources to enable the student to progress. Every student is monitored and assessed to ensure that they are making progress and we will offer short interventions to help their progression, as appropriate.


What interventions are there?

ELSA (Emotional literacy support assistant)   – A course aimed at developing Social skills and enable students to deal with various emotions

LEXIA – A computer based literacy programme designed to improve a wide range of literacy skills

Speech and Language – to improve communication and vocabulary skills

Study Support -   This is available for students who may need additional help with some of their core subjects.  Or who may not study a full timetable of subjects.


In addition to the interventions we access the following internal and external support where appropriate

- Educational Psychologist

- Child and Mental Health Care Services (CAMHS)

- Children Looked After Mental Health Services (CLAMHS)

- School Nursing

- Speech and Language Therapy Team

- Pastoral Support via the Pastoral Team

- Learning Support Assistants

-  In school counselling services

- Alternative Education –catering for students who are at a high risk of exclusion from school or required specialist education to manage behaviour and Learning.  


How will my daughter be included in general school life and extra-curricular activities?

St Philomena’s High school is committed to Equality and Diversity and we operate an inclusive school policy where students’ differences are celebrated. High self-esteem is crucial to learning, general well-being and educational achievement. To support this, teachers make every possible effort to include all learners within the social environment of the classroom, through the curriculum and extracurricular programmes. Also our pastoral team and support staff aim to ensure that all students are included in school life, outside of the formal classroom setting, including taking part in social activities during break times. There are a range of extra-curricular activities on offer and all students, including those with SEND, are strongly encouraged and supported to take part in these activities to help them gain life experience, develop friendships and build their social confidence further. The Edith Stein Centre is also open to SEND students with EHCP during break and lunch times. After eating their lunch students can come to ESC1 and under supervision of a LSA, socialise and play games with other peers. St Philomena’s High school is committed to building a cohesive school community and seeks to tackle any form of discrimination and remove any barriers to participation. To read our Equality Duty Information and Objectives 2019-2022, please follow the link on our ‘School policies’ section of our website.


What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with SEND?

At St Philomena’s High school we have an Annual Academic Review Day and parent/carer Consultation Evenings and the SENDCo is also available to discuss any concerns you may have.  We are also available to discuss your daughter’s progress or any concerns you may have, during school times.  St Philomena’s aims to work in an holistic way with every student and to do so we believe that positive working  relationships with parents is important along with  sharing information regarding what is working well at home and school so that similar strategies can be used. If outside professionals are involved in supporting your daughter, we will endeavour to ensure that information is shared with you directly.  Where this is not possible, a report will be provided and/or the SENDCo or members of the Pastoral Team will liaise with you. Please continue to monitor the SEND page on our website regarding upcoming events for parents.


Accessibility for students with SEND, that relate to physical or sensory issues

As a school we are privileged to be housed in a historical listed building with many original features. However, this and limited funding does restrict how much modernisation we can do. All areas of the ground floor, the playground and the Sports Hall are accessible to those with physical disabilities.  However, lifts are not in every part of the school. The Language Lab and Textiles Room are upstairs due to specialist equipment and these rooms are only accessible by stairs. We ensure that teaching resources and equipment used are accessible, as far as possible, to all students regardless of their needs.  After school and extra-curricular provision is also accessible to all students. Please refer to our Accessibility Plan for further details. We work with external agencies such as Sutton Hearing Support to ensure that we meet the needs of our students with auditory sensory SEND.


Supporting your daughter when they are joining, moving to another class, or leaving the school.

During your daughter’s Year 6, Members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) may visit the Primary school to discuss the specific needs of your daughter with the SENDCo and advisory teachers, where appropriate. Where possible your daughter will visit us on several occasions. There will be an Induction Day for all students and several parent/carer information events. In addition to this, you and your daughter will have an interview with a member of the SLT or Governing Body prior to starting Year 7. There is also an induction period for all year 7s in September of each New Year. Please refer to our Admissions Policy on admitting pupils students with SEND. We recognise that change can be difficult for a young person with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. If your daughter is moving to another school, we will contact the school’s SENDCo and ensure she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made. We will make sure that all records about your daughter are passed on as soon as possible. Information will always be passed on to the new class teacher when students are moving class during the year or progressing through the years within the school.  Our Pastoral Team and SENDCo will monitor the transition and provide the student with the personalised support necessary for them to succeed.


SUTTON SEND provision

For information on the local SEND offer at Sutton, please click here (external link).

St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls

Shorts Road

Carshalton Surrey


T: 020 8642 2025


For general enquiries please mail:

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