What is SEN & who supports SEN?

What is SEN?
SEN – stands for Special Educational Needs. These needs may be very broad, varying from difficulties in literacy to diagnosed conditions. At St Columb Minor Academy we have children with a variety of needs and we support them successfully. We do this in a variety of ways including extra adult support during lessons, extra time to learn the skills needed to make progress, with either the class teaching assistant or in focused out of class groups. We also ask for and encourage support from outside agencies like physiotherapists, Speech and Language therapists, the educational psychologist and county advisors for physical disabilities.

Who is the SEN co-ordinator?
Miss Tamsin Irons is our Assistant Head teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO’s job, alongside your child’s class teacher and a team of TA’s, is to co-ordinate the extra help they may need both in and outside of school. 

How can we support your children?
It might be that you are worrying that your child seems to be struggling now or more than they have in the past. In the first instance you should communicate your concerns to your child’s class teacher. We try to communicate with you at all times and teachers will speak to you if they are concerned your child is not making the anticipated progress. 

If you are worried that your child is not happy, struggling to remember facts, always in trouble or not making progress in reading, please speak to your child’s class teacher. If that is difficult, please ask to speak Tamsin Irons.

If your child does need extra help you will receive an appointment to meet your child’s class teacher to discuss what they find tricky and how we propose to help them. This is written down in a plan called an IEP (Individual Education Plan). You may also receive a letter asking for permission for your child to be part of a group. These groups run during the school day and give your child extra practice at whatever skill they need. We want you to know how your child is being supported and to help them in similar ways if you can. 

To further support your child we also plan to give the children opportunities to try various sports and activities that they may not otherwise have the chance to do. We strive to help them find activities and skills they can thrive at, which helps boost their confidence in different areas of the curriculum and increases their self-esteem. 

Once a month we have an SEN Parents Support group meeting (SENship) for you to tell us about your experiences with your children, as well as us telling you how we are supporting your child. At this meeting there is always information about other support that may be available out of school for you and your families. Coffee, a biscuit and a chat are also an important part of this meeting. It is an opportunity to get to know other parents whose children are receiving extra support and swap advice and experiences.


If you would like to email Tamsin Irons then please use this address:
senco@st-columb-minor.cornwall.sch.uk