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St Mary's Catholic Primary School - Whitehaven 

St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Kells is a very friendly school where everyone works hard to make sure that all of our children achieve their best because we believe that happy children make happy learners. We are a Voluntary Aided school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster with provision for pupils aged between 4 and 11. Part-time Nursery provision is offered from the age of 3 in the Foundation Stage Unit.

It is situated on the West side of Whitehaven, overlooking the Irish Sea, with views to the Isle of Man and the Scottish Galloway coastline to the North and West, and views to Ennerdale in the Western Lake District National Park to the East.  The area served by the school, which coincides with the Roman Catholic Parish of St Mary's Kells, comprises the areas of Kells, Woodhouse, Greenbank and Sandwith.

The essential character of the school is Catholic and the emphasis is firmly placed upon providing a Catholic atmosphere in which the child can grow in the knowledge of his /her faith. The saying of prayers is part and parcel of school life. All Religious Education, for which the approved syllabus is 'The Way, the Truth and the Life', rites and assemblies are in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs Susan Starkie
Contact Position
01946 66356 
School Website

Where to go

St Mary's Catholic Primary School - Whitehaven
High Road
CA28 9PG

Local Offer


Children who are identified as having special educational needs may be withdrawn and / or supported in the class room situation. They may work on a one to one and / or in small group situation depending on the needs of the child (or the needs specified in their statement) with a Learning Support Assistant, working on teacher directed activities.

Contact Name
Mrs Susan Starkie (Head & SENCo)
Contact Telephone
01946 66356
Contact Email 
SEND Policy
SEND Information Report
Local Offer Age Bands
Primary (5-10 years)

Schools Extended Local Offer Response

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

At St. Mary's we work closely with parents and carers. Class teachers are encouraged to raise concerns and have discussions with parents about their child's needs. All staff are aware of expected developments at different ages and have a good knowledge when identifying additional/ special educational needs.Children are assessed throughout the year from Nursery to Year 6. If children are not making expected progress with their learning they may be given extra help. Ongoing assessments in school indicate if any pupils are not making expected progress. If children’s progress and / or attainment are significantly behind age related expectations we may ask for advice from people outside of the school.


Class teachers can raise concerns with the school ‘Special Needs Coordinator’ ( SENCO) about issues with learning or behaviour. This is Mrs Starkie. Parents are encouraged to make appointments with class teachers, in the first instance, and the SENCO if they have concerns about their child.


How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

Class teachers are responsible for the education of all the children in their class. They plan the education programme for all children, including those who have or may have SEN. The SENCO may support staff in the planning of programmes and plans. Where appropriate, children may be supported by an additional adult, e.g. one to one support, small group support.

The school has a nominated SEN Governor who gives an annual report to the Governing Body.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

Through reasonable adjustments to the curriculum we seek to enable all children to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

St. Mary's C.P. School is an inclusive school. All teachers plan lessons to include all pupils, ensuring lessons are differentiated to take account of individual pupil needs. This means lessons will have different levels of ability so all children can learn at an appropriate level.

Children will often be grouped according to their ability when working in class. This allows pupils both support if needed and more challenging work where appropriate.

Additional intervention programmes and adult support may be implemented to support the learning and development of some children.


How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

In addition to the school’s normal reporting arrangements, we have an open door policy to enable parents to have more informal and frequent conversations about their child.

The progress of each child is carefully monitored and tracked on a regular basis. On-going monitoring takes place to identify pupils who are not making progress, or who are making slow progress.  Additional support may be put in place to help identified pupils and this support is documented in an individual education plan. In consultation with the class teacher, SENCO and parents and external agencies (where appropriate), short term targets are agreed which priorities key areas of learning and development. A child’s progress towards achieving these targets are reviewed regularly and termly review meetings are held with parents.


What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

At St. Mary’s C. P. School, we aim to create a climate of warmth and support where all pupils feel valued and are able to risk making mistakes as they learn without fear or criticism.

A wide range of small group interventions and sessions with the school's Learning Mentor are used to support the wellbeing of all pupils at St. Mary's, including those children with SEN.

The school follows statutory guidance in the administration of medicines and the provision of personal care.

What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

At St. Mary’s we work in co-operation and productive partnerships with the Local Authority and other outside agencies to ensure there is a multi-professional approach to meeting the needs of vulnerable learners. Examples of external professional agencies who work in school are:Educational Psychologist, Howgill Family Centre : Bereavement Counselling, Play Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.

There is a wealth of expertise and experience in the school staff including:Reading Intervention, Numbers Count, Team Teach, First Aid in Schools and Paediatric First Aid.

The Learning Mentor helps provide and arrange access to counselling and support services for  any child in school. Referrals can also be made to other agencies e.g. School Nurse, Child and Adolescent Mental health and specialist teachers.


What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

The school has training plans in place to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEN. This includes whole school information and training on SEN issues.

Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses, organised by outside agencies, which are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.


How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

At St. Mary’s we adhere to the Local Authority’s guidance on adult pupil ratio support for activities outside the classroom. There may be occasions where the school will identify children as requiring extra support and arrange for some children to have one to one support or be part of a small group. Teachers complete risk assessments for educational visits  and modify or adapt activities during the planned visits, based on pupil needs.


How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

Please refer to the school's Accessibility Plan.

We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs. We provide emotional support though one to one or small group sessions with the school’s Learning Mentor.

We try to ensure that:

  • We use age appropriate differentiated resources are used across the curriculum to support learning.

  • Learning spaces are adapted to suit the needs of children when necessary and appropriate.


How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

We recognise that joining a school or moving to another school may be difficult for a child with SEN so to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

 If a child is moving to another school or coming from we will:

  •  Contact the school SENCO to ensure s/he is informed about any special arrangements or support which may need to be made for your child.
  • We will ensure that all records are passed on to the other school, as soon as possible.

 When moving to the next year group in school:

  • Relevant information about your child will be shared between class teachers.
  • If it would be helpful for your child to have a personalised transition plan for moving to another year group, we will ensure that this is in place. This may be particularly relevant to secondary school transfer.

 If a child is transferring or entering our school we will:

  • Contact the previous school’s SENCO to ensure we know about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • Make sure all records and documentation about your child is received from the previous setting.

  • Arrange transition visits, if necessary, to enable children to become familiar with the school and its lay out.

  • Provide transition photos, if required, so pupils can familiarise themselves with the school and its staff.

  • Meet with parents to discuss any concerns and to gain information in order to make the child’s transition a happy one.

  • If necessary, visit the current setting your child is in.

  • Offer a home visit on request.




How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

At St. Mary’s, we aim to allocate resources appropriately to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with special education needs.

Further information is available from the school's SENCO.


How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

The decisions about the type of support your child needs will be based on discussions between all interested parties, including you as a parent.


How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

At St. Mary’s we have very good links with parents and everyone concerned with the child’s welfare.  Constant dialogue ensures that parents are kept fully informed of all aspects of their child’s / children’s education. Please contact the child’s class teacher or the Headteacher if you have any questions.


Last updated: 25/02/2021
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