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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Cockermouth 

We like to say that we are a small school with a big heart. Our small class sizes mean that the school has a family feel, where everyone is truly known and very much loved.

Because we are able to get to know our children really well, and because our class sizes are small, we are able to tailor the work to the children's needs very carefully. We quickly notice where children are falling behind, or just need a little bit extra support and are able to put this in place. The excellent relationships we have with out families mean that we all work together to support the children, ensuring that they make the best possible progress.

We believe that, as a Catholic School, it is our duty to be fully inclusive and so we welcome all children, regardless of faith or need, and will work hard with the family to support them and help them grow.

If you would like to come and have a look around the school and see what we can offer you and your child, then please get in touch either by phone or email and arrange to come and see what makes us so special.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs Andrea Worthington
Contact Position
01900 829859 
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Cockermouth

Where to go

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Cockermouth
Mountain View
CA13 0DG

Local Offer


St Joseph’s is a mainstream inclusive school, which ensures that all pupils achieve their potential; personally, socially, emotionally and academically in all areas of the curriculum, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, sexual identity, physical ability or educational need.

We offer a range provision to support children with communication and interaction, cognition and learning difficulties, social, emotional and mental health or sensory or physical needs.

Contact Name
Mrs Andrea Worthington
Contact Telephone
01900 829859
Contact Email
SEND Information
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?

SEN as defined in the 2014 Code of Practice:

“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  1. a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or
  2. b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Some children arrive at St. Joseph’s’ with identified SEND, in which case the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) will liaise with the previous school, nursery or special unit to ensure there is a smooth transition and continuity of provision.

Where pupil’s progress is significantly slower than that of their peers, or fails to match their previous rate of progress, despite high quality teaching targeted at specific areas of difficulty, it may be that the child has SEND. Information will be gathered, including seeking the views of parents and the pupil, as well as from teachers and assessments. There can be many reasons for learners ‘falling behind.’ These may include absences, attending lots of different schools, difficulties with speaking English, or worries that distract them from their learning. The school understands that children who experience these barriers to learning are vulnerable. This does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEN. Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special education provision will be identified has having SEN.

St Joseph’s’ has a graduated approach to SEND:

Wave 1: Initially, children receive inclusive quality first teaching for all, which may include the provision of differentiated classwork. Some children at this level may be on our concern list as we are carefully tracking and reviewing their progress.

Wave 2: If concerns continue or increase, then children may receive additional, time-limited and targeted interventions to accelerate their progress to help them work at age-related expectations.

Wave 3: If there are still concerns, children will receive highly personalised interventions to accelerate their progress and enable them to achieve their potential, with the possibility of outside agency support. At this point there would be considerations of SEN

If parents raise concern over their child, they should initially discuss these with the class teacher. If the class teacher shares these concerns following the wave 1 and wave 2 approach (as outlined above), then they will discuss these with the SENCo who may observe the child, provide advice, use assessment tools or consider referral to an outside professional.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
  • Children with SEN are inclusively educated within an age appropriate classroom with their peers most of the time.
  • Teaching and resources are differentiated within the classroom to ensure children are able to achieve objectives.
  • If additional support is identified as necessary, children take part in planned, evidence-based intervention.
  • Support is personalised and targeted.
  • Adults working with a child with SEND communicate regularly to ensure a consistent approach to teaching and learning.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

At St. Joseph’s’ we endeavour to ensure all children’s needs are met through Quality First provision in the classroom so they can access the curriculum. All children at St. Joseph’s’ are the responsibility of their class teacher, who plans for and teaches all the children in their class. At times this involves differentiation and extra support, either through additional adults or additional materials and resources, to reduce or remove barriers to learning. Where necessary children are given extra support or additional, time-limited and targeted interventions to accelerate their progress to help them work at age-related expectations.

Class-based TAs work alongside the class teacher to support children with SEND individually/in small groups and to facilitate the class teacher working with children with SEN

Links are forged between classroom and intervention to ensure continuity, through verbal communication.

The school takes all reasonable steps to modify/adapt the learning environment to meet the individual needs of 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?

We offer:

  • Termly Parents Evening meetings with the class teacher
  • ‘Open-door’ policy with class teacher/SENCo
  • Relevant information about how parents can support their child at home
  • Annual reports to parents
  • We hold multi-agency meetings as required
  • Progress is reviewed termly with pupils, parents and relevant staff through, for example, Parent Consultation Meetings and Pupil Progress Meetings
  • Children with complex needs may have an Education Healthcare Plan (ECHP). These are formally reviewed annually.
What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
  • Joseph’s puts great emphasis on the emotional happiness and well-being of our pupils.
  • Personal Social Health Citizenship Education (PSHCE) is a regular and important part of the curriculum and provides a safe environment for children to consider and discuss issues. Assemblies and RE also provide daily opportunities for pupils’ reflection and discussion.
  • For children who may be having difficulties, we are able to offer various support and interventions, including 1:1 mentoring support, nurturing time and/ or group support as appropriate.
  • Children are assured that all adults are available to speak to them about any worries, difficulties or problems.
What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

We have a collaborative approach to the support of children and work with a number of different agencies. We have access to Speech and Language Therapy; Occupational Therapy; Educational Psychology Services; Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service; and Specialist Teachers for Autism, SEMH, Early Years, Phys/Med and visual/hearing impairment.) Our school nurse visits on a regular basis and is available to see staff, children and parents to offer support and advice.

Where appropriate we have Team Around Child (TAC) meetings so all the agencies as well as the child’s parents can meet to discuss concerns and to coordinate support.

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

The SENCo has had specific training in a wide range of SEN and also attends area cluster meetings.

All teaching and support staff have received training in de-escalating behaviour, effects of Attachment and Trauma, Precision Teaching and Safeguarding. In addition to this staff have received training specific to the intervention they are running including ELSA, ICAN. There is expertise at school in Autism and Attachment and Trauma.

All new staff at St. Joseph’s are inducted by the SENCo.

Teaching and support staff are given specific training on ‘SEN’ as required.

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

We strive to ensure that all children are included in school trips and activities and full risk assessments are carried out before any visits. Breakfast club and after school clubs are available to all children

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

Our school environment is accessible as it is on a single floor with no upstairs. We have an inclusive toilet.

We endeavour to remove any barriers to learning to enable pupils with ‘SEND’ to fully access the school and curriculum.

We are able to provide workstations for individual pupils where necessary, as well as writing slopes, writing equipment and other resources.

Children with SEND are often encouraged to extend their use of computing to facilitate their learning.

We try to ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.

After-school provision and extra-curricular activities are accessible to all children, including those with SEND.

Exam access arrangements are sought where needed.

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?

If your child is joining our school we are happy to meet parents of children with ‘SEND’ to discuss the transition into St. Joseph’s. Where a child is transferring from another school, a nursery or a specialist unit, we will liaise closely with them and arrange to visit them where possible prior to your child joining us.

Home visits are arranged for all pupils joining St Joseph’s in EYFS.

If your child is moving to another school or is in Year 6, the school will arrange to meet with the SENCo, or where that is not possible, speak to the school on the telephone. Relevant records will be passed on.

When moving classes in school, all children take part in a class swap and any vulnerable children will be provided with a transition book to help prepare them for their next class.

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

The school receives funding to respond to the needs of pupils with SEND from a number of sources that includes:

i. A proportion of the funds allocated per pupil to the school to provide for their education called the Age Weighted Pupil Unit.

ii. The Notional SEN budget. This is a fund devolved to schools to support them to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

iii. For those pupils with the most complex needs, the school may be allocated additional educational needs funding from the Local Authorities High Needs SEN Funding allocation.

This funding is then used to provide the equipment and facilities to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities through support that might include:

i. Targeted differentiation to increase access to text (desk copies of information, work buddy, accessible text, ICT e.g. read aloud software, different recording strategies, additional time etc..)

ii. In class, adult or peer support aimed at increasing skills in specific area of weakness (learning behaviours, organisation, etc)

iii. Out of class support (relationship building, social, emotional skill development, )

iv. Small group tuition to enable catch up (subject or targeted at additional need)

v. Specific support, advice and guidance is provided to parents and families to improve pupil’s readiness for learning (relating to pupil’s difficulties in attendance, behaviour, physiological and emotional needs etc)

vi. Provision of specialist resources or equipment (use of ICT, sloping board, electronic versions of text etc)

vii. Partnership working with other settings (shared resources e.g. Parent Liaison Worker; shared expertise: support from local special school on action to improve inclusion: shared alternative environments etc.)

viii. Access to targeted before/after school clubs (breakfast, homework, clubs targeted at increasing resilience)

ix. Access to the school nurse and wider health professional support (responding to mental and physical health issues, speech, language and communication needs, motor control and mobility needs)

x. Access to support from in-school sources e.g. learning mentors (peer or adult) or from charities (e.g. Family Action) and community sources (e.g. Youth and Church groups, local businesses)

xi. Implementation of strategies from support agencies e.g. Specialist Teachers

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

For pupils with SEN but without an EHCP, the decision regarding the support provided will be taken at joint meetings with the SENCo, classteacher and parent who will follow guidance provided by the Governing Body regarding SEN Funding deployment.

For pupils with an EHCP, this decision will be reached in agreement with parents when the EHCP is being produced or at an annual review.

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

We have parents who sit on our Governing board, which has responsibility for the running of the school

We have an enthusiastic Parents group who fund raise for the school.

We have parents, members of the parish and wider family members who come into school to hear readers and work with groups to support their learning.

Last updated: 23/04/2020
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