Contact Details

Head of School: Mrs Nicola Stenner

SENCO: Mrs Alison Blackmore

SENCO Support: Mrs Nicola Stenner

SEND Governor: Mrs Frances Nicholson

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs Nicola Stenner

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mrs Tamsin Blackmore

Safeguarding Governor: Rev. Ann Gibbs

All of the above may be contacted via the school office.

Telephone: 01643 831 365                                          


Our job is to help your child achieve the very best they can at school. You know your child best and you may feel that they need some additional help or support for some or all of their time at school.

This page is to inform you of the types of support available for your child at Exford C of E First School. It will help you understand who can help and how this support can be accessed.

All pupils in school receive quality first teaching in the classroom. This means that a range of teaching and learning styles are used and that appropriate learning objectives are set for all children with a curriculum matched to their needs.

All our classes are supported by Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who provide individual or group support. You will be informed if your child needs additional support such as a catch up programme or one to one tuition.

At Exford First School, a child’s progress is monitored, in the first instance, by their class teacher. The progress and attainment of all pupils is reviewed every term with our Named School SENDCo: Mrs Alison Blackmore, who is based at Cutcombe CofE First School , at which time, provision may be adjusted to meet identified needs for all children, not just SEND children. If a teacher is concerned about the progress of an individual child in relation to a SEND need, then a discussion takes place with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) and additional support may be arranged. You will be kept informed at each stage. If you have any concerns about the progress of your child, you should discuss these initially with the Class Teacher.

How we keep you informed about your child’s progress

  • You are informed about your child’s general progress at Parents’ Evenings in the Autumn and Spring terms and by an annual report that is provided at the end of the Summer term
  • Class targets or an individual education plan (IEP) will keep you informed about your child’s termly targets
  • Meetings can be arranged with the SENDCO and other professionals from Support Services or outside agencies to discuss your child’s needs and any strategies that may be used to support them.

We have a highly experienced team of staff who may be involved in supporting your child at Exford First School. These include:

  • The Head of School (Mrs Nicola Stenner)
  • The school SENCo (Mrs Alison Blackmore)
  • Your child’s teacher, who will always make sure that tasks set are appropriate and accessible for your child. You can talk to your child’s teacher at the start or end of the school day for short discussions and further meetings can be arranged if required.
  • Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), who support all pupils in class.
  • Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), who supports children who may be experiencing emotional difficulties.
  • Our Parent Family Support Advisor, (Kari King), who supports families and works with individual children who may be experiencing emotional difficulty.
  • Our SEND School Governor, who meets regularly with the SENCO to discuss SEND provision in school  

Approximately one in five children will have special educational needs (SEND) at some time during their school career. Children with SEND have learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities which make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. They will need extra support or specific programmes.

Schools and other agencies can help most children overcome their difficulties quickly and easily. But a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school. This means they may have difficulty with:

  • some or all of the work in school
  • reading, writing or maths
  • understanding information
  • expressing themselves
  • understanding others
  • organising themselves
  • sensory perception or physical mobility
  • managing their behaviour and emotions
  • making friends or relating to adults

Each Class Teacher monitors the progress and attainment of all the children in their class. If the Class Teacher has any concerns about the progress or attainment of a child, they will be discussed with the SENCO at any point in the school year and scheduled meetings take place termly. Class teachers will assess your child to identify their strengths, needs and the extra help they require. This may involve:

  • extra help from a Learning Support Assistant in class
  • small group or individual support out of class
  • use of additional resources

If your child continues to have difficulty even with this extra support, we may decide that further assessment is needed by the SENDCO or outside agencies. With your agreement, a referral may be sent to Support Services or an outside agency such as:

  • The Integrated Therapy Service
  • The Visual Support Service
  • The Hearing Support Service
  • Physical Impairment and Medical Support Service
  • Health professionals
  • Educational Psychologists
  • A Social, Emotional and Behavioural Advisory Teacher (SEBS)
  • The Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

SEND Support

The new SEN Code of Practice came into force in September 2014 and gives guidance to schools in meeting the needs of pupils.

If an SEN need is identified and your child needs extra or different support than most children their age, their name will be included in the School’s SEND register and they will receive additional SEND Support. If your child is included in this register you will be informed. Support for your child is provided according to their individual needs. We follow a four-part process as outlined in the new Code of Practice and is indicated below:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

By following this process, we can ensure that your child receives appropriate level of support and that we can monitor effectively their progress,

Education Health and Care Plans ( EHCP)

  • If your child’s needs are complex or severe, a request may be made by Parent/ Carers or the school to the Local Authority to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) Assessment of your child’s need
  • If the LA agrees, an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be issued. This document will describe your child’s SEN and the special help they should receive.
  • For children who already have an SEN Statement, the transfer of Statements into EHC Plans will be a gradual process over a 3 year period.

Further information about EHC Plans can found via the SEND Local Offer:

Or by speaking to an Education, Health and Care Plan Coordinator on:

01823 355847

If your child has an EHCP or a Statement of SEN and receives additional SEND Support, you will receive a termly individual education plan (IEP) to keep you informed of their targets.

Staff training

There is a programme of ongoing staff training both in school and elsewhere to ensure our staff have the skills and knowledge to support children with SEND.

Recent training has included:

Emotion Coaching

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

'Talk for Writing'

Mastery Maths

National SENCO Award (Mrs Alison Blackmore - completed, Mrs Nicky Stenner - working towards)

Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)

Forest School

Lego Therapy

Read Write Inc. (RWI) tutoring

Graduated Response

Dyslexia Awareness

Supporting the Writing Process for Pupils with SEN

Trauma Informed Schools (Mrs Tamsin Blackmore - Diploma with Distinction)

For further information on Somerset's Local Offer, please follow the link.

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Further information on specific needs

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

A person with autism may:

  • take things you say literally
  • have anxiety
  • seem to talk at people instead of sharing a 2-way conversation
  • not be aware of personal space
  • be unable to adapt tone and content of speech to different social situations
  • rarely use hand gestures or facial expressions
  • may have repetitive movements, e.g. hand flapping, finger clicking
  • develop a highly specific interest in a particular subject or activity
  • get upset if routine is changed
  • have sensory processing difficulties
  • avoid eye contact

Useful links

NHS Autism

Autism Education Trust

National Autistic Society

What is dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that can affect reading, writing and spelling.  People with dyslexia often have good skills in other areas, such as creativity and problem solving skills.

A person with dyslexia may:

  • read and write slower than others
  • confuse the order of letters in words
  • have poor or inconsistent spelling
  • find it hard to carry out a sequence of directions
  • put letters the wrong way round (b instead of d)
  • be reliant on finger counting
  • struggle with planning and organisation
  • difficulty remembering numbers
  • leave sentences or words incomplete
  • have difficulty putting thoughts into words
  • have issues with handwriting
  • struggle gripping a pen or pencil

Useful links:

NHS Dyslexia

British Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia Assist for Parents

What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder that is characterised by impairments in learning basic arithmetic facts, processing numerial magnitude and performing accurate and fluent calculations.

A person with dyspraxia may:

  • have difficulty counting backwards
  • have difficulty remembering basic facts despite hours of learning
  • have no mathematical strategies other than counting
  • have difficulty understanding place value and the role of zero
  • have no sense of whether answers obtained are right or nearly right
  • use addition as default operation and avoid others
  • avoid tasks that are difficult
  • have weak mental arithmetic skills
  • have high level of maths anxiety
  • be slower to perform calculations
  • have a poor sense of number and estimation
  • forget mathematical procedures e.g. long division

Useful links:

British Dyslexia Association

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a form of development coordination disorder (DCD) affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults.  It may also affect speech.

A person with dyspraxia may:

  • have difficulty with handwriting
  • have difficulties with dressing and fastening
  • have difficulties with cutlery
  • have difficulties walking a straight line
  • bump into people
  • have poor attention span and fidget
  • struggle to concentrate
  • become tired easily
  • become stress and anxious easily
  • having difficulties kicking and catching a ball
  • have difficulties understanding 'in', 'on'. 'in front'
  • struggle with organisation
  • struggle to remember or follow instructions
  • struggle to explain/answer a question
  • be immature in story telling
  • struggle with sudden changes
  • struggle to understand feelings of others
  • lacks self confidence/low self-esteem

Useful links

NHS Dyspraxia

Dyspraxia Foundation

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

A person with ADHD may:

  • have a short attention span and be easily distracted
  • make careless mistakes
  • appear to be forgetful or lose things
  • be unable to stick to tasks which are time consuming
  • appear to be unable to stick to tasks which are time consuming
  • appear to be unable to listen or follow instructions
  • constantly change activity or task
  • have difficulty organising tasks
  • be unable to sit still even in calm environments
  • lack fine motor skills - poor handwriting
  • be constantly fidgeting
  • be unable to concentrate during tasks
  • talk excessively
  • be unable to wait their turn
  • act without thinking
  • interrupt conversations
  • have little or no sense of danger
  • start tasks without finishing one first
  • have poor organisation
  • get out of seat/walk around a lot

Useful links



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