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St Peter's School

Parents’ F.A.Q


  • What is SEND?

    Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

    Identifying pupils with SEND:

    • A pupil has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age (SEND Code of Practice January 2015).
    • A pupil has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
    • Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing.
  • How does your school know if my child needs extra help?

    • If your child is transferring to St. Peter’s and already has a special educational need, your primary school will inform the Special Educational Needs Coordinator at St. Peter’s. These children form the majority of SEND students at the school.
    • There is planning between the schools and with parents/carers in Year 6 to support the student’s move from primary to secondary school.
    • Assessment of pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment in first term of entry including a Reading age and Spelling age test. Those students scoring under 10 years may attend a Reading Intervention. The scores are shared with teachers so that they can pitch reading material appropriately.
    • Some children find the transition to secondary education difficult. At St. Peter’s we have a dedicated pastoral team who work closely with the SEND department to keep a close eye on students who may have potential problems.
    • Concerns raised by teacher: for example confidence/self-esteem is affecting performance
    • The school listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents are always welcome to contact the school to talk about concerns with your child’s head of year or the SENDCO: Julie Knibbs
    • Liaison with external agencies
    • Health diagnosis through paediatrician.
  • What should I do if I think my child may have a special educational need or disability? Who can I contact for further information?

    We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents and working as a team. If you have a concern:

    • If you are concerned about your child’s abilities, the school will listen to your concerns, discuss them with you and agree on a plan that might only need light monitoring or might require assessment by specialist staff or external agencies.
    • You can contact the school by phone, letter, e-mail or fax (please see contact details on the home page of the school website).
    • The school’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCO) is – Mrs. Julie Knibbs. Tel: 01480 846786 or email:
    • It will be OK to contact the school through a family friend or professional translator if you feel more comfortable using a language other than English
    • If your child is still at primary school, talk to your child’s teacher there who can help you look at any issues and make links with St. Peter’s to help prepare for the next year.
  • What is an EHCP?

    • An EHCP is a legal document that identifies a child’s SEN needs and focusses on the support required to meet agreed outcomes. The key difference between a statement of SEN and EHCPs is that, as well as the educational elements covered in Statements, EHCPs also outline the child’s health and social care needs, outcomes and support.
    • Education, Health and Care Plans will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs over the next three years. All existing Statements should be transferred to an EHCP by 31st March 2018.

    More information on EHCP’s can be found in the Cambridgeshire County Council website at:

  • How will I know if St. Peter’s is supporting my child? How will I know how my child is doing? How is student progress monitored?

    All students :

    • Your child's progress is continually monitored by his/her tutor and subject teacher. They will identify if a pupil is making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. The first response to such progress will be high quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness.
    • His/her progress is reviewed formally every half term and a GCSE grade will be given. Where progress continues to be less than expected, the subject teacher, working with the SENDCO, will assess whether the pupil has SEN.
    • The SENDCO and subject teacher will informally gather evidence (including the views of the pupil and parents). This may result in the student being placed in a different/smaller teaching class, attending extra teaching sessions or attending an intervention to secure better progress.
    • Interventions can include smaller classes taught by a teacher, an extra small group or 1:1 session during the school day for a set period. When the intervention ends, the pupil will be assessed and returned to their main lessons.
    • The regularity of an intervention and how long it is in place will vary depending on each individual’s need, progress and school resources.
    • At the end of Key Stage 4 (i.e. at the end of year 11) all children will be externally assessed using GCSEs or vocational qualifications.
    • In post 16 ( the end of year 12 or 13) all children will be externally assessed using GCE A levels, GCSEs or vocational qualifications at Level 2 or 3.
    • All students are expected to make a minimum of three levels of progress from key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4, regardless of their designation or starting point.
    • The school will always send you a letter to let you know if we are proposing to offer your child support that is additional to or different from what is already in place for all mainstream students.
    • Parent consultation evenings are opportunities to discuss your child’s progress and needs and to find out about support options.
    • Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Form Tutor, Head of Year or Student Support Manager at any time to discuss particular concerns as they arise.

    Students with Statements and EHCPs:

    As above and…

    • Pupils with a Statement of Educational Need or an Educational Health Care Plan will be assigned a Learning Support Mentor. This member of staff will support the pupil in number of ways through regular meetings with the pupil; monitoring progress, absence and behavior; attending and providing information at review meetings and meetings with other professionals; checking progress; liaising with subject teachers and contacting home with good news or concerns.  Some students may have a Learning Support Mentor in some of their lessons.
    • The progress of children with a statement of SEND/ EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with the child and all adults involved with the child's education. During this meeting, students, parents and staff have the chance to express their views about the progress being made and the provision they are receiving at school.
    • The SENDCO will also check that your child is making good progress with any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
  • How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? How are the schools resources allocated to these needs?

    • All staff are trained, (through a yearly programme of Continuing Professional Development seminars), in adapting lesson plans to increase the use of elements known to support students who need extra help. For some students with lighter needs, this is all that is required to help them make progress.
    • Teachers also have access to the profiles of students known to have specific needs and they can collaborate with the specialist staff to build adaptations to activities especially for those individual students.
    • Some lessons benefit from having a teaching assistant in the class who can spot difficulties and help to give instant support
    • You will have opportunities to discuss exam choices in Year 9 with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests.
    • If your child is specifically funded through their statement or EHCP, meetings with the SENDCO and Head of Year will include discussion and agreement about how that funding is used and monitored.
  • How is progress monitored by the school?

    • All staff are trained, (through a yearly programme of Continuing Professional Development seminars), in adapting lesson plans to increase the use of elements known to support students who need extra help. For some students with lighter needs, this is all that is required to help them make progress.
    • Teachers also have access to the profiles of students known to have specific needs and they can collaborate with the specialist staff to build adaptations to activities especially for those individual students.
    • Some lessons benefit from having a teaching assistant in the class who can spot difficulties and help to give instant support.
    • You will have opportunities to discuss exam choices in Year 9 with the aim of selecting subjects based on your child’s strengths and interests.
    • If your child is specifically funded through their statement or EHCP, meetings with the SENDCO and Head of Year will include discussion and agreement about how that funding is used and monitored.
    • Reading and Spelling tests are done in year 7 and repeated every 6-12 months to monitor progress of the children who initially score below 10 years.
    • For students with Statements and EHCP’s funding allocated per student will be tracked and the effectiveness of the additional provision assessed.
  • What specialist services and expertise are available at the school?

    • All Teaching Assistants receive regular Continuing Professional Development training and coaching for specific issues / students, from the relevant specialists.
    • SENDCOs in the local area meet half termly to share expertise and good practice.
    • The school brings in additional expertise (assessment, staff training and intervention) from outside agencies, including:
      • Educational Psychologists (EP’s)
      • Hearing Impairment Unit (HI)
      • Visual Impairment Unit (VI)
      • Speech and Language
      • Specialist Teaching Team
      • GPs
      • School Nurse
      • Clinical Psychologists
      • Paediatricians
      • Occupational Therapists (OT’s)
      • Social Care – including Family Support Workers and Social Workers
      • Young Peoples Worker (YPW)
  • How will you help me in supporting my child’s learning at home?

    • The school provides parents with advice on how to support your child’s homework. Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s Form Tutor for more specific advice at any time.
    • Parents will be invited to attend other specific events during the year e.g. Options Evening which give further support to parents and students.
    • Annual reports written at St. Peter’s School often contain advice that will be discussed and developed with you at the face-to-face Annual Review meeting.
    • Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s support team for ongoing advice. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home
    • If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Educational Health Care Plan, a formal meeting will also take place to discuss your child’s progress annually.
  • What support will there be for my child’s well-being?

    • It is vital that all students in our school feel valued, cared for, confident and supported. We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity.  All staff believe that high self-esteem is crucial to well-being.  We have caring, understanding teams looking after our students and young people.  St Peter’s School takes a strong stance against bullying
    • Staff providing additional support to students with special educational needs automatically include:
      • Ensuring that the student knows who they can talk to if they have any
    • At St Peter’s School, the Student Support Managers have overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every student in their year, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact.  If further support is required, the class teacher liaises with the SENDCO for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Care.
    • And may include:
      • Advice/Lessons about making and keeping friends, having successful friendships.
    • Students who have social, emotional and mental health issues or develop them later on are offered additional measures to help them cope read more on the social, emotional and mental health page.
  • How will school help prepare my child for transfer to post-16 education or to another school?

    • We encourage all students to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around the school.  For students with special educational needs, we would encourage further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings.  Staff from St Peter’s School visit students in their current setting, where appropriate.
    • At St Peter’s, we run a summer programme specifically tailored to aid transition for the more vulnerable students
    • We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring students to/from different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood
    • If your child has complex needs then a Statement (or Education, Health and Care Plan) review will be used as a transition meeting, during which staff from both schools will attend.
    • All students will have at least one meeting with the careers advisory service. During this meeting students will have the chance to talk about different Post 16 options.
    • Students will receive support with completing college applications.
    • Extra taster sessions and tours are arrangement for SEND students that may struggle with the transition to college.
  • Who can I talk to about my concerns?

    • Parents will be sent a letter with details of any extra teaching or support that your child will receive and invited in to meet the SENDCO and the Learning Support Mentor if they wish.
    • When a pupil comes to the end of an intervention another letter will be sent to parents with details of their child’s progress.
    • Pupils with a Statement of Educational Need or Educational Health Care Plan will meet formally with the SENDCO and other key staff annually to discuss support and progress but informal discussions will continue throughout the year via telephone, email and meetings, including the annual parents’ evenings.
    • If you wish to see the SENDCO at parents evening please book an appointment before to avoid disappointment.
    • For further information the SENDCO is available to discuss support in more detail on 01480 846786.
  • How are Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

    • The SENDCO reports to the Governors to inform them about the progress of students with special educational needs; this report does not refer to individual students and confidentiality is maintained at all times
    • Anne Sutton is the Governor responsible for Special Educational Needs and meets regularly with the SENDCO.  She also reports to the Governors to keep all informed.
    • The Governors agree priorities for Special Educational Needs spending with the overall aim that all students receive the support they need in order to make progress.
  • How will my child be able to contribute their views?

    • If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or EHC plan, their views will be sought before any review meetings and over the course of the year in informal meetings
    • At St. Peter’s we operate a Pupil Passport system. This entails a meeting with the pupil to fill out a questionnaire about their likes, dislikes, needs etc. This questionnaire will also go home to parents for them to read through with their child and to add to if necessary. Once we have the information from parents, a passport is created for the pupil to take with them to all lessons. This will inform teachers of an additional needs that child has. An email will also be sent to all the pupil’s class teachers informing them that the pupil now has a passport. Passport will be reviewed annually or earlier if needed.
    • There are various student questionnaires conducted through the year with 2 specifically for SEND students.
  • How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

    • All students and young people are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips.  We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful
    • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised.  In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.
  • How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to student’s special educational needs?

    • We ensure that all students’ needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
    • We have a team of support staff who are funded from the special educational needs budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
    • The budget is allocated on a needs basis which is reviewed yearly.
    • Whole staff training on particular SEND issues.
    • Whole TA training on particular SEND issues.
  • How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

    • St Peter’s School recognises that quality first  teaching enables every student to make the best progress
    • Support staff will always work under the close direction of a subject teacher.  Support staff recognise that students need to become independent learners and therefore they may be assigned to more than one student
    • The subject teacher, alongside the SENDCO, will discuss the student’s needs and what support or teaching strategy would be appropriate
    • Different students will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
  • How do we know if it has had an impact?

    • We use the Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach to monitor impact
    • We measure impact by looking at progress in any of the following areas:
      • Communication and Interaction (speech and language)
      • Cognition and Learning (for example English and Mathematics)
      • Social, Mental and Emotional Health
      • Sensory and Physical.
    • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and student contributes to evidence of progress
    • Students may no longer be considered to have special educational needs when they have made sufficient progress in any of the above areas.
  • Who can I contact for further information?

  • Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?

    Places are allocated by the Local Authority.

  • What outside agencies do St. Peter’s use to maximise social and academic success?

    We work with the following agencies:

    • Sensory Support Service for students with hearing or visual impairments
    • START (Statutory Assessment and Resources Team)
    • SEND Specialist Services (Specialist Teaching Team)
    • Speech and Language Therapy Department
    • Community Paediatrician
    • CAMH (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services)
    • Young Carers  
    • Locality Team (Young Peoples Workers and Family Support Workers)
    • EIO (Educational Inclusion Officer)
    • Community Educational Psychologist
    • EWO (Educational Welfare Officer)
    • Chronic Fatigue Team
    • Parent Partnership
    • Pinpoint (Parent Support)
    • School Nurse
    • Counselling Services

    For more information on any of these services please contact either: or

  • How is IT used to support students?

    The SEND department have a number of laptops which they can loan out to students for specific lessons using a booking system. These arrangements are made via consultation with the class teacher to ensure that they are of benefit to the student. In addition to this, Clicker 6 and Dragon Naturally Speaking software have been installed onto all the laptops.

  • 4. My child struggles in exams, what help is there for them?

    Up to year 10, some special arrangements can be made for some individuals that have been identified as needing extra support in exams such as: being in a different room to the main hall, having a reader or using laptop. These special provisions are called Access Arrangements. In year 10, an official assessment is made by an external assessor as to what special provision can be made for students when they sit their GCSEs in year 11. If there is sufficient evidence to suggest a student may require access arrangements, teachers can request an assessment. If you feel that your child will need access arrangements in an exam, please speak with your child’s subject teachers or contact the SENDCO, Julie Knibbs –

  • What is the SEND register?

    The SEND register is how students with Special Educational Needs are categorised. Students with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), are coded as E. Annual Reviews will be held for these students to assess their progress towards the outcomes on their EHCP. Contained within the EHCP, there are guidelines on the support that will help the student to make progress towards their outcomes. The EHCP covers a childs support between the ages of 0-25 while in education. If a child no longer needs the support within an EHCP, then a review will be held with the student, parents/carers and possibly other professionals to see if an EHCP is still required


    Students that do not have an EHCP, but are receiving interventions delivered within the SEND department are coded a K. Students may be added to the K SEN list when they start an intervention and will remain on there until they no longer have a SEN intervention.

    There will be students at Peter’s that will have a SEN need that are not coded as E or K. These students needs are shared with the appropriate staff and alterations are made within the lessons by class teachers to support these students.


  • Ofsted Chief Inspector visits Cambridgeshire secondary school to launch annual Ofsted report

    Ofsted Chief Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman chose to visit St Peter’s School in Huntingdon to launch her first Ofsted annual report in recognition of the rapid improvements at the school.

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