Our SENCO is Miss Stephanie Hughes (NASENCo qualified)
- Stephanie Hughes
Hello, my name is Stephanie Hughes and I am the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) at St Mary’s Primary School. I have seventeen years of teaching experience and have been at St Mary’s for eleven years. I have a post graduate qualification is Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision (NASENCo) I am passionate about ensuring all children have access to a full and broad curriculum and that their time at school is happy, enjoyable and fulfilling. My role involves assessing, planning and monitoring the progress of children with SEN. I co-ordinate the appropriate support for these children and liaise with teachers, their parents and other professionals who are involved with them. I am very happy to meet with parents if there are any concerns about your child. At St Mary’s Primary School, there is a shared expectation that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, should be offered inclusive teaching which will enable them to make the best possible progress in school and feel that they are a valued member of the school community. The range of support provided will be tailored to individual need following assessment by internal or external agencies. We want to work in partnership with parents to ensure that all children in our care are healthy, happy and reach aspirational goals.
More details of the SENCO’s role can be found in the SEN Policy which you can find in the School Policies section of our website.
Our SEN special interest governor is Mr Chris Affleck.
- Chris Affleck
Hi, my name is Chris Affleck and I am a Parent Governor. One of my roles as a Governor includes being the SEND Link Governor. I work for a Children’s Rights organisation based in County Durham as the Mental Health Lead and I have over 17 years’ experience working with children and young people including those with SEND.As part of my current role, I am part of a Project Team providing young people with a platform to inform decision makers and improve service delivery and policy change based on young people being experts by experience. I work in partnership with a host of partner organisations including Local Authorities, Health Commissioners, Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to name a few to ensure young people are respected as citizens within their communities and an equal part of society.I applied to be a Governor at the school my son attends to share good practice from the other schools and services I work with in my day to day role, to provide support and advice where relevant and to ensure children and young people that attend St Mary’s have access to a high quality and engaging education that is inclusive to all children and young people’s needs.I believe that St Mary’s is a fantastic nurturing environment for children and young people to get the best start in their education enabling young people to grow and to succeed in the future.
Our Support Team
- Sharon Curran
My name is Sharon Curran and I am a teaching assistant. I have worked at St Mary’s since 1981. I have lots of experience planning and delivering speech and language programs with Reception and Key Stage One children. I am also experienced in teaching letters and sounds and delivering phonic interventions. I have supported children with various needs including physical, emotional and social. I am also skilled in providing the appropriate support for children with autism and have had several years’ experience working in a team, supporting children in the classroom environment. I am passionate about supporting all children in any areas of learning where they may find challenging and in ensuring that learning is always fun! Creativity is my strength and I love delivering activities that are both interesting and help them to grow in confidence. The most rewarding part of my role, is working as a team and seeing the difference that our input can make.
- Margaret Maxwell
My name is Margaret Maxwell and I am a Learning Support Assistant. I have worked for over twenty years supporting children and young adults with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.
I spent fifteen years working in a special school where I was given the opportunity to train and develop my knowledge in many areas of SEND. I strongly believe in inclusion and that every child should have the same opportunities, both in and out of the classroom setting.
The strength and determination of pupils with SEND inspires me every day.
- Lynnette Greer
My name is Lynette Greer and I am a teaching assistant. I support children on a one to one basis and in small groups within the classroom environment. During my time as a teaching assistant, I have learned the importance of developing good relationships with children and always having high expectations. I believe all children should access every part of school life and it is my job to support them in every way I can.
For me, it is important to develop children’s social skills as well as helping them to grow academically. I have completed training in Lego therapy and beyond Lego therapy and enjoy running these courses in school. I love All aspects of my job as no day is ever the same. It is incredibly rewarding to help children achieve in all areas of school life!
- Kirsty Martin
My name is Kristy Martin and I am a teaching assistant at St Mary’s. I have experience of working in Early Years and key Stage One. I have a lot of experience supporting children with a wide range of special needs including those with down syndrome, autism and other learning difficulties.
I am trained in Makaton and Team Teach strategies. I enjoy working with other professionals to ensure I have an up to date knowledge and understanding to assist me in my role. I also enjoy delivering intervention groups, particularly phonics. I find it very interesting and rewarding watching the children develop the skills that will enable them to read and write.
- Lesley Bainbridge
My name is Lesley Bainbridge and I am a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. I have worked at St Mary’s RC Primary school for nearly 12 years. I love working and supporting children with their learning. Helping all children access the curriculum and achieve to their fullest is a huge privilege. I have trained in many areas to deliver specific learning experiences for the children. I provide support through English and Math interventions, as well as phonics and in class support. I also deliver the Relax Kids and Rainbows programs. These are designed to build self-esteem, confidence and an understanding of the big changes in life which can affect children and their learning. I enjoy working with children and the best part of my job is seeing them achieve and grow.
- Josie Sharpe
My name is Josie Sharpe and I have been a Teaching Assistant at St Mary’s Primary School for eighteen years. I have a vast amount of SEN experience as I previously worked for the county as a Learning Support Assistant, visiting different schools to support children with SEND.
In my role at St Mary’s, I’ve also supported children with a variety of physical and learning needs. I am passionate about my job and I find it extremely rewarding.
- Claire Crawley
My name is Claire Crawley and I am a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) at St Mary’s Primary School where I have worked since 2014. I have a lot of experience working with SEND children, as I worked for the county as a Learning Support Assistant visiting different schools to support children with a variety of needs.
In my role at St Mary’s I have recently trained as a coach for Relax Kids and also as a Rainbows mentor. The most rewarding part of my role is seeing the difference that my input can make to the success of these children and how their confidence levels can soar!
External Specialists and Other Bodies
The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families.
The external specialists may:
- Act in an advisory capacity
- Extend expertise of school staff
- Provide additional assessment
- Support a child directly
- Suggest statutory assessment is advisable
- Consult with all parties involved with the child
- Durham SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
- Parent Support Advisors
- Parent Partnership
- Durham Educational Psychology Service
- Paediatric Team
- Community Nurse
- Specialist Health Visitor
- CAMHS Assessment Team
- Occupational Therapy Service
- Speech and Language Therapy
- One Point Children’s Service
- Tree Tops Occupational Therapy
- ASD Team
- Anti-bullying Service
- Counselling Service
- Durham Movement Difficulties Service
- Behaviour Support service
How We Secure Specialist Expertise
Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEN.
This is used to support children and young people with SEND by:
- in school support
- external specialists
- specialised resources
If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes.
How does the Pupil Premium money help children with SEND?
Our Pupil Premium funding is spent mostly on support staff and extra teaching support. This is used to help all eligible children achieve their best.