Quick Links

Useful Links


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Our team is committed to inclusion and providing provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

Meet the Team!

Mrs L Welsford

Miss P Smith

SEN and Learning Support: New Code of Practice

To view our SEND policy, which has been updated in line with the Code of Practice, please click here.

Mrs Welsford - SEND Co-ordinator, can be reached via the School Office.

Our Cotham Gardens Governor with SEND responsibility is Justin Vafadari who can also be reached via the School Office.

Special Educational Needs and Disability information for Parents/Carers

Cotham Gardens Primary School is committed to inclusion.

The school aims to provide an appropriate and high-quality education for all children living in our local communities. We believe that all children have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum. This will be readily accessible to them and they will be fully included in all aspects of school life.

We believe that inclusion is essential in ensuring the equality of opportunity for all learners whatever their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, attainment and background. This demonstrates our commitment to valuing the diversity of the school community.

At Cotham Gardens Primary School, a few children with complex needs may have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Other children may experience learning, communication, social, emotional, mental health or sensory and/or physical difficulties at any time in their school life. We aim to identify children’s difficulties at an early stage and work with you and your child. We do this through ‘School Support’.

Below are some commonly asked questions with answers describing how we support children at Cotham Gardens Primary School:

SEND information report:


1. How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

At Cotham Gardens Primary school we identify children as having special educational needs or needing additional help in several ways:

  • Contacting previous schools or nurseries prior to the child starting at Cotham Gardens Primary school
  • Pupil progress meetings every term where we identify children who are not making expected progress
  • Monitoring interventions and support given to check progress is accelerated
  • If the class teacher or learning support assistant raises concerns
  • If parents raise concerns
  • If an outside agency identifies special educational need
  • If a doctor/school nurse identifies special educational need

If you think your child may have special educational needs firstly contact your child’s class teacher. They may carry out some assessment or observations, or may arrange for your child to have some extra support in a small group. If there are still concerns after this, you and the class teacher may wish to discuss your child’s difficulty with the school SENDCO. We always aim to build positive, open relationships with parents.


2. How will school support my child?

The SENDCO (Mrs Lucy Welsford) oversees additional support for special educational needs children.

The class teacher is responsible for the progress and development of the children in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants and specialist staff.

There may be a learning support assistant working with your child either with a group of children or individually. How often these sessions happen will be explained by the class teacher when the support starts.

Class teachers will meet with all parents with children with special educational needs at least three times a year, which may be part of parent’s evenings. At the meetings we will set clear outcomes and review progress towards them and discuss the support that will help your child achieve the outcomes. As part of these meetings your child will be asked for their views. Parents will have a chance to share their concerns and aspirations for their child. A record of this meeting will be provided for the parent.

The SENDCO can be contacted for further information.

There is a governor who is responsible for SEND who meets regularly with the SENDCO. The governor, head teacher and SENDCO report back to the full governing body. The SENDCO produces an annual report for governors. The governors agree priorities for spending, with the overall aim that all children get the support they need in order to make progress.


3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

When class teachers are planning their lessons, they think about the needs of all the children in the class.

Learning is differentiated so that all children are able to make progress. This may be by grouping children or at other times may be individually. Class teachers give regular, detailed feedback to children so they know what their next steps for learning are.


4.How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Parents are welcome anytime to make an appointment with class teacher or SENDCO to discuss how their child is doing.

We can give advice about how to support your child at home with their learning.

If your child is receiving ‘school support’ and has outside agency advice they will have a target sheet with individual targets. Target sheets are reviewed and comments are made linked to each target to show progress that has been made. If a target has not been met then this will be discussed with parents and a different approach may be tried or the target may be broken down into smaller more achievable steps.

If your child is receiving ‘school support’ we will meet with you three times a year to discuss progress, support, your views and your child’s views.

If your child has a Education Health and Care Plan there is also a yearly annual review. This is a formal meeting to discuss your child’s progress as well as parents’ and the child’s views.

As a school we track progress of all children’s learning formally three times a year. We have pupil progress meetings to discuss children who are not on track to reach their end of year targets. Discussions then take place detailing how we can support children to reach their targets.

The class teacher continually assesses each child’s progress and provides feedback to the individual child for their next steps. This feedback and assessment provides evidence of where children are improving and making progress and where children need more support.

There are regular parent training and learning events offered in school. To find out more please speak to the relevant subject leader, class teacher or SENDCO.


5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity.

All staff believe that self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding staff team looking after our children.

The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class; therefore, this is always a parent’s 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 Services.

The school also has two full-time learning mentors, who work with children, parents and families in receipt of pupil premium funding during the school day.


6. How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site.

This can be obtained from the school office. If your child has medical needs, they may have a health care plan. This plan may include administration of medication or medical techniques if these are an on-going need.


7. How does the school support behaviour and attendance?

As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour, with a clear policy and reward systems.

If a child has behavioural difficulties a Behaviour Plan may be put in place with relevant support and targets set for improvement.

Teaching staff and support staff are trained in ‘Team Teach’ in order to support children with challenging physical behaviour and to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Attendance of every child is monitored by the Head teacher and Education Welfare Officer. Lateness and absence are recorded, monitored and followed up. Good attendance is encouraged and rewarded throughout the school.


8. How will my child be able to contribute their views?

We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life.

This is partly carried out through the School Council, which has an open forum for any issues or viewpoints to be raised.

Children who have target review sheets discuss and set their targets with their parent and class teacher.


9. What specialist services are available to the school?

Services in school include:

  • Experienced SENDCO 
  • Specialist Special Educational Need learning support assistants who work with children in class and out of class, 1 to 1 or in small groups
  • Two Learning Mentors  who are responsible for children and families who receive pupil premium

External agencies include:

  • Educational Psychology- use psychology to help children and young people learn to their full potential, develop their strengths and be happier and more resilient.

Occupational Therapy-work with children who need help with activities of daily living and functional tasks

Speech and language Therapy- speech, language or communication needs

CAMHS and PMHS- Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Primary Mental Health Specialist

School Nurse-will ensure that every parent and child/young person has access to health advice, support and signposting

GPs- treat all common medical conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. They focus on the health of the whole person combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care.

Community Paediatrician-specialist children's doctors who have a particular expertise in the management of children with long term health problems which may have an impact on other areas of their life.

Social Services- have a statutory obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable children and can offer a wide range of care services to children and their parents.  Social Services’ helps ensure children are healthy, safe, and well looked after.

Bristol Autism Team- support for children and young people with autism and their families

Bristol Local Offer website- https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/bristol-local-offer/parents-carers


10. What training have staff had / are staff having?

  • Dyslexia
  • Autism training
  • Speech and Language programmes
  • Occupational Therapy programmes
  • Working Memory
  • Attachment
  • ADHD
  • Team Teach (behaviour management / positive handling)
  • SEND graduated approach

How will my child be included in activities outside of the classroom, including school trips?

All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum, and we aim for all children 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 & safety will not be compromised. On the rare occasion that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.


11. How accessible is the school environment?

The school is on two sites, one at Elmgrove (YR and Y1) and one at Cotham Grove (Y2 - Y6).

Cotham Grove is not wheelchair accessible throughout. The site is housed in three Victorian buildings and currently there are no lifts. There is ramp access to three classrooms, the hall, a disabled toilet and onto the playground. There is a total of two disabled toilets.

The Elmgrove site has six classes, for Reception and Year 1 children. This site is wheelchair accessible throughout. The Elmgrove site is situated close to our current site on the corner of Elmgrove Road and Redland Road.

Where necessary we can provide an interpreter for families with English as an Additional Language.


12. How will the school prepare and support my child when joining and transferring from the school?

We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting, when they will meet their buddy and spend some time with their new class and teacher.

The Head teacher meets with new parents prior to their child starting at Cotham Gardens Primary School.

We liaise closely with pre-school settings, visiting these (wherever possible) before children start school. There is an evening meeting for all parents of new reception children in June. The children are invited into school for a session in the summer term. Home visits take place in September. When pre-school children are identified with special educational needs or disability, the reception class teacher and/or SENDCO will make links with your child’s pre-school setting. We will meet with you to discuss your child’s needs and anyway we can help your child settle into school.

When your child is due to move to secondary school, we will make links with the school so we can share information. Some children may benefit from enhanced transition where we can arrange additional visits to the secondary school, picture books, social stories, a transition meeting with the secondary school staff and smaller group preparation.

We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools, ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.

When children move from one class to another at the end of a school year they will have opportunities to visit their new class and teacher and parents have an opportunity to meet with teachers in the summer term. Some children will require enhanced transition which may include photo books, extra visits to the classroom or teacher, pen picture for parents/child to complete or smaller group discussion around transition.


13. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

We ensure that all children who have special educational needs are met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.

We have a team of Learning Support Assistants who are funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s or individual children’s needs. The school follows a graduated approach to supporting pupils based on their needs.


14. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The class teacher and SENDCO will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.

Different children will require different levels of support. There will be on-going discussions with the parents and child.

We know if the support has had an impact by:

  • Reviewing the target sheet and ensuring targets are met
  • Looking at the child’s progress academically and identifying if the gap (where they are compared with where they are expected to be for their age) is closing
  • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and child.


15. How are parents involved in the education setting? How can I be involved?

We actively encourage parents to be involved in our school community.

We are a cooperative academy and would encourage you to become a member and share your views.

Each class has a parent representative who provides a link for the class teacher and parents.

We have an active PTAF who always welcomes new members. They arrange many events throughout the year to raise money for the school.

Class teachers welcome parent help for a variety of reasons through the school year, for example, hearing children read regularly, story time, reading workshop, help with trips and art week.


16. Who can I contact for further information?

The first point of contact is your child’s class teacher.

You could also arrange to meet Mrs Welsford, our SENCO, or Mr Bell our Head Teacher.

Look at the SEND policy on our website.


Bristol Local Offer website- https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/bristol-local-offer/parents-carers


For parents considering

 Cotham Gardens Primary School for their child: Please contact the school office to arrange to meet Mr Bell (Head teacher) or/and Mrs Welsford (SENDCO). We will be happy to discuss with you how we can meet your child’s needs.

For support for parents who have English as an Additional Language please contact the school office. We are able to arrange interpreters for parents should this be necessary.


17. Additional Links

The school has an SEND Policy and Accessibility Plan which you can download from our website Cotham Gardens Primary School - Policies


Click here for SEND policy

Click HERE for parent advice and support information.

Click HERE for information about how to support your child with home learning and spellings.

Bristol Local Offer (information in one place about what help and support there is in the local area for children and young people with special educational needs or a disability) can be found by clicking here