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St Michael’s Academy -  Graduated Response to Additional Needs


How we are trying to support your child at St. Michael’s Academy?

We update the SEND support register regularly.  You are not required to provide an agreement, but we are under obligation to inform you of our decision to include on the register.  We will also inform you if your child is removed from the register in the future.

What is a SEND Support register?

This is a record of all the children in our setting who have Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or a disability.  This makes it easier for the SENCo, teaching and support staff, management and governors to monitor those pupils who may need a little extra help.  We also have a watch list for pupils that are of concern in a particular area.  Sometimes pupils move from the watch list to SEND Support and back again depending on provision that is different from or additional to that of their peers. 

Why is my child on the SEND Support register?

Any child who requires school support that is ‘additional to or different from that required by their peers’ or whose progress is significantly lower than their age-related expectations or who has a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age, will be placed on our SEND support register.  Any child on the SEND support register who has been identified as having a special educational need and/or disability will be supported to help them progress.  This may be through the class teacher, separate intervention programmes and/or through the referral to support services if needed.

What does this mean for my child?

If your child is placed on the SEND Support register, then they will be receiving additional, differentiated support, with methods and timings appropriate to the severity of their need.  Sometimes this will be a specific intervention.  Sometimes it may involve particular approaches/training of adults in the classroom in order for a pupil access the curriculum.  The SENCo will work closely with your child’s class teacher as well as other professionals who can advise and contribute to your child’s learning and developmental needs, helping to ensure your child reaches their full potential.  

Will my child always be on the SEND Support register?

This may vary.   Children with significant needs may remain on the SEND Support register throughout their schooling because they will always need additional support.  Other children may only need help for a short time and once they no longer demonstrate that need, they will be removed from the SEND Support register in discussion with the class teacher and parents/guardians.

How do we identify additional needs:

We have a robust system for children with SEND and have put in place a robust strategy to ensure that all needs are identified and recorded as soon as possible.  We have also been working hard to ensure that parents are made aware of our observations and have the opportunity to be part of our processes.  Below is a brief outline of our system:

Step 1:  Early identification of need and outline of provision

  • If a teacher has a concern, classroom strategies and approaches can be changed to meet the needs of a pupil.  Class teachers and supporting adults are actively encouraged to use the Somerset Graduated Response Tool.  This gives explicit direction for what needs to be in place in the classroom at a universal provision.  They can be discussed in the year group at pupil progress meetings that take place 3 times a year. 

Step 2:   ‘Assess, Plan, Do Review’ Cycle

  • If a child continues to demonstrate difficulties, requiring support/interventions beyond high quality differentiated classroom teaching, then the class teacher will begin the ‘Initial Concerns’ document which is triaged by the teacher and the additional needs team and provides a wider and more detailed investigation into the barriers faced by the pupil.  
  • A process of Assess Plan Do Review (APDR) is put in place for pupils.   It is recorded on a document called the APDR.  This combines a short pupil profile, which outlines strengths, difficulties and support in place.   If difficulties continue, the pupil is considered to be placed on the SEND support register.  This ensures a close watch on progress:  the APDR is formally updated 3x a year where needed and contibuted to by pupil, parent or guardian and teacher during pupil progress evenings.  
  •  The APDR offers specific SMART targets and parental involvement.
  •  All SEND records are passed to the next school when the pupil moves on. 
  • The APDR  is updated termly, usually January, April and July and often involves discussion between yourself and the class teacher.  Some children may need these updating half termly, depending on their needs. 
  • The Initial Concern document and the APDR become the evidence of Assess Plan, Do, Review.
  • These documents will remain on file throughout your child’s time at school although it may not always need to be active.
  • New outcomes and reviews with parents can be added to the APDR and monitored on our Intervention Map so that staff working with your child can see the targets and progress already made.

Step 3: EHA (Early Health Assessment)

  • If we need to support your child through involvement external services, your child’s class teacher – in discussion with myself – will complete an EHA form.  They will then go through this with you before submitting.    This is a single, multi-agency form for all referrals. 

Step 4: EHCP (Education Health Care Plan)

  • Finally, for a very small number of our children (those with the most complex needs) we may need to apply for an EHCP.  This can be a long and often complicated process requiring huge amounts of evidence amassed over time.  Parents, teachers, support staff, external professionals and our own additional needs team would all be involved. 


Somerset Graduated Response Tool

Somerset’s Graduated Response Tool now replaces the Somerset Core Standards. This has been co-produced with stakeholders from education, health, social care, parent carers and support service teams.

Somerset’s Graduated Response Tool sets out the barriers to learning that children and young people may have and the strategies and provision that could be in place to support them.

Somerset’s Graduated Response Tool has been created to support all users to understand the Graduated Response to Special Educational Needs in the context of current legislation. The document makes it clear ‘what to expect’ in terms of what is provided and is written for parent carers, children and young people, school staff and those who provide services to families.

The tool sets out the provision that is ordinarily available in Somerset schools at both the Universal and Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support levels.


What to expect from education (somerset.gov.uk)

The Loft

The loft is our additional needs space at St Michael's Academy and is situated on the first floor of the school.  Whilst we are working towards  inclusive classrooms, these spaces provide additional support for our highest needs.  It is a resource base and space for individual and small group learning.  

The Hive

The Hive is a quiet and well-resourced base where pupils can be supported by an adult.  It is staffed all day from 8.30am until 3.30pm.  Pupils can exhibit many types of behaviour and our Behaviour Lead, Mrs Cole, is always on hand to offer support to those who need it.

The Hive is a warm and friendly place where problems about friendships, home and school life can be discussed in a safe space. We use many strategies within the Hive to help pupils manage their emotions and teach them how to manage them on their own in the future.

We have a variety of resources that the pupils can use to explore feelings, help with relaxation and prepare them for returning to the classroom.   Strategies are encouraged to support pupils in creating friendship groups if they are having difficulty making or maintaining friendships.

We can target many different emotions through specific games and activities that can help pupils manage any troubles they may be experiencing.

Sometimes pupils just need to sit and relax after a particularly tricky time or as a result of sensory overload. The Hive is open throughout all breaks for this reason. Lunch can be eaten in the Hive if a child is finding it tricky in the hall.

We have a collection of talking books and music CDs that pupils can sit and listen to on nice big cushions or a lovely soft sofa.

Have a look at our photos to see what our Hive provision looks like!

Mrs Cole also brings in her dog, Buddy. He is a very calm dog who enjoys the company of children. He loves a cuddle and is always on hand to snuggle up if someone is feeling sad. Buddy comes in twice a week.

The Hive Display

The Cave

The Cave... detail to come

Thrive Room

Thrive is about improving children’s social and emotional skills, by cementing and filling the gaps they may have missing within these abilities. Any child that is observed by a teacher to be struggling with progression through these areas, whether it is within class or during playtimes, can be reviewed by Mrs Maskell, our Thrive Practitioner, to discover if support within the Thrive room on a weekly basis, would be of benefit.

During the sessions, pupils are encouraged to be curious and creative, helping them develop their confidence. Pupils can work with the adult to help support their emotional needs or within a group to benefit their social skills. This can be organised through methods of creativity, board games, art, sensory interests or just having fun in an unrestricted environment. Thrive could also be a means of talking, to allow pupils to share their worries. There are many different things and ways available to support children at our setting using Thrive.


Star Room

The Star Room is the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) base for the whole school.

We are extremely well resourced to cater for all aspect of SEND across the school.  Here teachers and teaching assistants will find a range of resources, support and direction on various needs within the classroom and for interventions. 

Here we allocate resources, meet parents and outside agency professionals, carry out assessments and oversee interventions in our extensive range of intervention pods.

We also monitor pupil of concern, ensure high standards of provision in the classroom and across all curriculum area. 

The Star Room is a welcoming space and we are very lucky to be able to offer the extensive range of support that we do. 

Have a look at our pictures to see our Star Room provision


EAL ... detail to come

Intervention Pods

St Michael’s Academy has a range of quiet intervention pods for 1:1 and small group work.   Whilst we celebrate the inclusive classroom which ensures all pupils can access what is being taught in every lesson, some pupils need extra help.

All of our interventions are based on evidence of need and led by staff that have had training (internal or external) in that specific field.

The variety of pods are well resourced.  Some have laptops and headphones, e.g. Gold Station, and all have access to stationary and additional resources, e.g. now next, white boards, sound cards and phoneme frames.   See our photos that show this provision.  

Small group and 1:1 support available

Below is a selection of interventions in place for our highest needs pupils.  They are examples of the provision we offer across all areas of need which include

1. Cognition and learning

Read Write Inc,  Dyslexia Gold, Dyslexia Siles, Toe By Toe, Precision Spellings, Reading Box, 

2. Communication and interaction

Speech and Language, Talkabout, EAL small group and 1:1

3. SEMH (Social Emotional and Mental Health) 

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) sessions 1:1, Thrive 1:1 and small group, Bereavement, Pastoral support, Hive provision, SEMH 1:1, Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) interventions, Lego Therapy

4. Physical and sensory

Sensory Art, Learn to Move, Individual OT Programme 

These are documented more fully on our provision map  

Inclusion Programme with Fiveways

Detail coming soon

Welcoming Fiveways to St Michael's Academy

Detail coming soon

St Michael's are welcomed at Fiveways

Detail coming soon

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