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Transition For Pupils With SEND

At the Durham Dales Federation, our new starters for the Early Years Foundation Stage are provided with the following opportunities to aid their transition:

  • Parent Open Information Event
  • Children’s visits to school in the term prior to their admission
  • Pupils invited for school lunch
  • Social events during the first term, so parents feel familiar with the learning environment
  • Weekly toddler group (St John's Chapel Primary School only)

If a child arrives at school mid-year, the same opportunity for visiting and discussion prior to starting is offered to parents to ensure as smooth a move as possible for each pupil. We have a flexible approach and additional visit opportunities or multi-agency meetings can be organised if required. 

How we support children/young people with SEND moving between classes in our school

Transition within school, from year to year, is supported so that the children meet with their new teachers and are familiar with the new classroom environment and organisation before moving on. This is very much tailored to the individual needs of the child. It can vary from calling into the classroom to take a message on an informal basis to planned and organised sessions with a particular focus with their new teacher (and in the new environment).

In addition to this, senior leaders hold pupil progress meetings with staff. A child’s current teacher has a formal transition meeting with their new teacher before the start of a new academic year to discuss any relevant information. Teaching assistants also liaise with staff to share any relevant information with new staff. If it is felt necessary, the most familiar member of support staff may accompany a child into their new class initially to aid transition.

How we support children/young people with SEND leaving our school 

We recognise how important a successful transition into secondary school is for all of our pupils, but particularly for those with additional needs. We work in partnership with our feeder secondary schools to provide an enhanced level of transition for those who we feel would benefit from this. This may take the form of:

  • Close liaison between staff here with secondary staff, so they are fully aware of the needs of the pupils moving into their school.
  • Additional support from transition workers.
  • Additional visits for pupils and parents.
  • One-to-one / small group working with secondary school staff.

The period of transition depends on the individual needs of the pupil. If it is felt appropriate, secondary school colleagues will attend Annual Reviews to meet the current class teacher, parents and most importantly the pupil. We have found this strategy particularly useful in easing any worries or concerns parents and pupils may have.

We are particularly keen to involve parents/carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to secondary school. School staff will take opportunities to work alongside parents/carers to visit secondary schools in advance of secondary placement applications being submitted to the Local Authority (if parents feel this is necessary). This ensures parents/carers can make the most informed placement decision for their child. When a secondary school has been allocated to the child, parents are fully involved and consulted at all stages of the transition process.