Pilgrim's Way

Pilgrims Way Primary
Village Acedemy

Special Educational Needs

A child may have special educational needs (SEN) if he or she has difficulty coping with aspects of life in the classroom. This could be for lots of different reasons, such as problems with learning, behaviour or communication, or because of some social, emotional, physical, visual or hearing difficulty. Equally we recognise that there are children who are gifted or talented who need additional provision to ensure they are appropriately challenged.

The school has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator SENCo, Mrs Grace Smith who, along with the class teachers, is responsible for making sure we identify children with additional learning, emotional or behavioural needs, and that we then meet those needs. Early identification of problems is important. This is why we encourage you to contact us well before your child is due to start school and tell us if you feel your child may need extra help, or has a social, emotional or medical problem.

This will be kept confidential to those who teach and help your child. Every effort will be taken to provide additional help and support where necessary, so that the child’s time at school is happy and enjoyable from the start

All children are valued, respected and welcomed to the school whatever their additional educational need.
We will support their learning and ensure they are fully included in all school activities, making full use of externally provided facilities where appropriate.The Kent Parent Partnership Service offers support and advice for parents - and families of disabled children - and children with SEN.

Listed below is a brief overview of the key additional programmes we deliver to support all learners, where appropriate. If you wish to discuss your child’s support programmes please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or AENCO (Additional Educational Needs Co-ordinator) Mrs Goldsworthy.


Dyslexia-friendly classroom practices are reflected throughout the school. Please see the attached whole school provision map as a guide to what we are able to offer pupils with dyslexia. Staff are supported to ensure they are meeting the needs of dyslexic children and we seek the advice of the Educational Psychology Service where appropriate. You can read more about dyslexia by visiting the British Dyslexia Association where you can read their latest newsletter. Other websites that might prove useful are Kent West Dyslexia Association and Dyslexia Action.

PDF icon Dyslexia and Literacy Strategies for Parents

PDF icon Dyslexia Provision Map

Irlen Syndrome

We are able to offer free screening for pupils in year 3 and above via Selling school, where we have a trained screener Mrs Sheila Johnson. Irlen Syndrome is a specific type of perceptual problem that affects the way the brain processes visual information. It is not an optical problem.  For those with Irlen Syndrome, the brain is unable to process full spectral light. This can results in a range of distortions in the environment, a range of distortions on the printed page or physical and behavioural symptoms.  To arrange screening please contact Mrs Goldsworthy, Academy SENCo on 01227 752202 or via email l.goldsworthy@villageacademy.co.uk.

Gifted and Talented

We aim to ensure that children who display exceptional gifts and talents are provided for. Every year, the children with exceptional gifts and talents are identified by members of staff as well as their families. This process enables the school to ensure that provision is in place to challenge and enrich the learning of this group of children. The school works to offer a variety of enrichment opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, and aims to harness and develop the gifts and talents that our children display.


A speech programme which targets sounds that children have difficulties in producing. Children are tested within the school using this specialised computer programme and then the class teacher or teaching assistant delivers the suggested individualised programmes. There are occasions when the tests show that a child needs to be referred to a Speech and Language Therapy for additional guidance and/or intervention.

Speech and Language

Rebecca Levings who is a Speech and Language Therapist works in the school and nursery one day a week. She will assess children who are referred by the class teacher or SENCo. She will liaise with the class teacher to recommend programmes to support the child. She also delivers training to the class teachers and teaching assistants. In some circumstances she will deliver programmes to children.

EAL - English as an Additional Language

This is for children who have a first language other than English and may need further intervention with their English language understanding in order to aid their academic development.


The Fizzy programme has been developed by Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. It is graded and measurable in three stages and works on three specific areas- balance, ball skills and body awareness.

Toe by Toe

This is a highly structured, multi-sensory individual reading programme which is specially designed for children needing additional support in acquiring reading and phonic skills.

Emotional support/counselling

This intervention is accessible to all pupils who may be experiencing difficulty with some aspects of home/school life e.g. a family bereavement which may impact on their school life.  The Village Academy employs a fully qualified counsellor to support pupils.

Anger management

This is provided to help young people understand why they are angry and how to deal with it in a positive and safe way.

Social and Friendship Skills

Lego therapy is designed for pupils who display behaviour associated with ASD and Social Communication Difficulties. In working together as a team to assemble lego models, the pupils practise and develop their verbal and non-verbal communication. They work collaboratively and solve problems or conflicts with the support of a teacher or teaching assistant.

Sensory Circuits

The Sensory Circuits programme has been devised by Occupational Therapists to provide regular controlled input to specific sensory motor systems. Pupils identified with behavioural needs such as fidgeting, poor concentration, and difficulty in connecting with their learning, can be energised or settled by an individual circuit of activities and equipment, promoting physical, social and emotional development. The frequency and timings for the sessions are personalised to each child.

Fine motor skills

The Clever Fingers programme is used together with scissor skill activities and are delivered weekly to pupils who have been identified by staff and parents. Fine motor skills are vital to the development of many competencies in young children. Activities are divided into sections focusing on warming up, hand and finger strength, manipulation and eye-hand co-ordination. In addition the sessions include early pattern and letter writing skills.


For advice or information on autism spectrum disorders please visit the National Autistic Society on www.autism.org.uk or the Kent Autistic Trust on www.kentautistic.com.

If you wish to discuss any of the above or a specific issue regarding your child, Mrs Zara Smith (SENCO), can be contacted as follows:

Mrs Zara Smith, School SENCO
Tel: 01227 760084
Email:  z.smith@villageacademy.co.uk

Our access plan can also be found below:
Village Academy Access Plan 2016