Special Educational Needs


Special Educational Needs at Lawn

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Children in Care



Children in Care

At Lawn we strive to promote the inclusion, well being and achievement of looked after children in our school.

It is recognised that, nationally, pupils in public care have a tendancy to significantly underachieve when compared to their peers.

The Governing Body and teaching staff are committed to following the current Government guidelines on the Support of Young People in Care. They have appointed a designated teacher and Governor who will act as advocates for these children and promote their needs and well being whilst in the school.

To view our Children in Care policy please click here

For support and guidance, Lawn has access to the Swindon support service for Children in the Care of the Local Authority.


Social Emotional, Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Nature of Social Emotional, Mental Health and Wellbeing Difficulties (SEMH)

Pupils may demonstrate features of social and emotional difficulties, be withdrawn and isolated, have immature social skills, be disruptive to themselves and others, hyperactive and lack concentration. Some challenges may arise from other complex special needs.

There are children with social and emotional difficulties in most schools. Their difficulties may be temporary or persistent and long-term. At Lawn the needs of most of the children will be met within the classroom with their class teacher, who will be supported by the special needs coordinator (senco), our school and family link worker and our nuture team.

Where the children's difficulties appear complex and persistent the school is able to access support from a number of outside agency professionals operating within Swindon Local Authority.




Sensory and Physical

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The Nature of Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties

The sensory range extends from profound and permanent deafness or visual impairment to lesser levels of loss, which may only be temporary.

Difficulties may arise from physical, neurological or metabollic causes. Some needs only require appropriate access to educational facilities and equipment, but others may lead to more complex learning and social needs.

Some pupils may have medical conditions that need to be managed through the implementation of an individual health care plan, support to draw this up is available from the school nurse. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure the safety of individuals with known medical conditions within the school environment, therefore pupils may require risk assessments to accompany their health care plans.

In some instances a pupil may have a medical condition that affects their cognitive or physical abilities, behaviour or emotional well being and impact on their ability to take part fully in school life causing significant emotional stress or physical fatigue.

The Special Educational Needs Cooordinator is able to use Swindon Local Authority professionals for additional advice and support.



Communication and Interaction


The Nature of Communication (Speech and Language) 

and Interaction Difficulties

Communication needs may be both diverse and complex. Children need to develop their linguistic competence in order to support their thinking as well as their communication skills; pupils need to have sufficient understanding and use of language and social skills to enable them to access the curriculum. The range of difficulties includes speech and/or language delays, Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and other difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, hearing impairment and autism.

Language and communication difficulties may also be the result of permanent sensory or physical impairment or associated with moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties.  

Speech and Language Delay:Some children, although following a recognised developmental pattern, take a longer period of time to develop speech and language skills than expected. These can be described as having speech and language delay.

Specific Speech or Language Impairment: Other children take a longer period of time to develop speech and language skills than expected and do not follow a typical developmental pattern. These children are described as having specific speech and/or language impairment.

Communication can be broken down into three areascomprehension (receptive language, understanding), expression (use of words and sentences) and speech (pronunciation).

Areas that can affect speech and language development can include play, attention and listening, auditory memory, organisation and sequencing.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

This term is given to a family of biologically based disorders and is used to encompass those children who may have the diagnosis of Autism, Asperger Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

All pupils with a diagnosis of ASD have been found to have impairments in three core areas which are commonly referred to as the Triad of Impairment and include difficulties in Social Communication, Social Imagination and Social Interaction. The majority of children will also have differing sensory responses. It is common for pupils with ASD to have additional difficulties such as Dyspraxia or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Children need to have a significant impairment in all three areas for a diagnosis to be made. 

Refer to websites for more detailed information concerning Dyspraxia and ADHD

Lawn Primary and Nursery School has a number of trained staff to support their children with language and social communication difficulties. The Special Educational Needs Cooordinator is able to use Swindon Local Authority professionals including the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and the Paediatric Occupational Therapist for additional advice and support.


Cognition and Learning


The Nature of Cognition and Learning Difficulties

Pupils who experience difficulties in the areas of cognition and learning may have a slower rate of learning than other children. They may make satisfactory progress even though the attainment gap between them and other pupils of the same age grows. 

This category includes children who demonstarte features of moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties or more specific difficulties such as dyspraxia or dyslexia.

Moderate Learning Difficulties

These pupils will have attainments significantly below expected levels in most areas of the curriculum. They may have greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and mathematical skills and understanding concepts. They may also have associated difficulties in delay in speech and language, coordination and motor development, low self esteem, low levels of concentration and immature social skills. In tests of both verbal and non-verbal reasoning, they will typically obtainscores below the wide average (usually below the standardised score of 85).


The school uses the definition of Dyslexia as defined by the Rose report, published in June 2006, and used by the Swindon Educational Psychology Service.

'Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

The Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties with phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.

Dyslexia occurs across a range of intellectual abilities.

It is best thought of as a continuum, not a distinct category and there are no clear cut off points.

Co-curring difficulties may be seen in aspects of language, motor coordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation, but these are not by themsekves markers of dyslexia.

A good indication of the severity and persistence of dyslexic difficulties can be gained by how well the individual responds to well rounded intervention.'

Rose,Jim, June 2009, 'Identifying and Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties'

Research a range of dyslexia publications and you will come across a range of definitions. The following is a version the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) feel best describes dyslexia:

'It is likely to be present at birth and to be life long in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, processing speed, and the aotomatic development of skills that may not match up to the individual's cognitive abilities.

It tends to be resistant to conventional teaching methods, but its effects can be mitigated by appropriately specific intervention, including application of information technology and supportive counselling.'

Lawn has achieved the Dyslexia Friendly Schools Award. Our staff are aware of the learning and social emotional difficulties associated with Dyslexia and plan their lessons with a sound element of differentiation to ensure access to the curriculum for all our pupils. 


Dyspraxia is a problem of motor coordination. Children with Dyspraxia have poor motor skills that are not in line with their other abilities or in keeping with what would be expected for their age. The problems will interfere either with academic achievements (like handwriting and drawing) or with daily life activities (such as dressing and sport) or both. Dyspraxia is a specific learning difficulty which falls along a continuum ranging from mild through to severe. It occurs across a number of developmental areas including motor skills, visual perception and spatial ability.

Lawn provides a range of motor skill programmes starting in reception classess with the Pre-Spark activities then moving on to the Sparkler group in key stage 1, through to the Wake and Shake group in key stage 2.

Swindon schools, including Lawn, are able to access the services of the Paediatric Physiotherapist and the Occupational Therapist who will visit school to observe and assess children who have gross and fine motor difficulties. The service also offers a range of courses for teachers and teaching assistants to help them implement school based intervention programmes.