Special Educational Needs & Disability

SEND – A Whole School Approach

At St Martin’s every teacher is a teacher of SEND.  We employ the Essex Adaptive Teaching Strategies and the Essex Ordinarily Available Teaching Strategies to support our young people.

Our Objectives​:
  • To provide an outstanding education through adaptive teaching to all students.
  • To encourage independence through an inclusive environment that allows students to achieve their full potential.
  • To acknowledge SEND as a whole school responsibility.

We have a wide range of students with special educational needs and each student is supported according to their individual and specific needs.  Personalised plans are drawn up to help them maximise their learning and development using the Essex One Planning approach.

The school has many years of successful experience supporting and encouraging all students to achieve their potential.  We have established departmental and whole school systems to enable students to learn independently, which is an important part of developing their self-confidence and ability to progress.

The SEND support for our students, who require additional help, is personalised to the needs of the student.  We are committed to providing support using the resources available within the school where appropriate, working closely with external third parties and agencies. 

St Martin’s ethos: be the best you can be...

·         Every child matters.

·         Resources made available to all students.

·         Every teacher is a teacher and leader of SEND.

·         Quality teaching adapted for all individuals.

·         SEND need and category is not a barrier.

·         Focus of learning differences, rather than difficulties.

St Martin’s 2023 – 2024 SEND Strategy 

·         Independence for all, through quality teaching and evidence based interventions.

·         Quality adaptive teaching led by experienced staff with less reliance on LSA support.

·         To equip and support students to learn independently and make progress.

Links to:

SMS SEND Information Report

SEND Policy

SMS Accessibility Plan


At St Martin’s, we provide support under the following umbrellas:

Cognition refers to the thinking skills involved in gaining knowledge and understanding, while learning refers to the process of acquiring knowledge or skills.  Young people learn at different paces, even with appropriate and adaptive teaching.  Difficulties may be related to only one specific area of learning (SpLD) or may be more general (MLD).

Curriculum related areas impacted by difficulties in cognition and learning include:

·         Reading, writing, and spelling.

·         Comprehension.

·         Processing difficulties such as sequencing and inference.

·         Numeracy.

·         Working memory.

·         Short-term verbal memory.

At St Martin’s school, we use a range of targeted intervention programmes to support learning in this area.

Communication is the sharing of information; it can be transmitted one way.

Interaction refers to acting in a manner which affects another, it is reciprocal or two way.

Communication and interaction difficulties are usually considered under two main headings: speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN) and autistic spectrum condition (ASC).

Young people with speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others.  They may have difficulties in one or more of the following areas at different times in their lives:

·         Receptive Language.  Understanding what is said, written or signed.

·         Phonological or articulation skills.  Making the movements that produce speech, dysfluency, or stammering.

·         Expressive language.  Joining words together, in the right order to make complex sentences to convey meaning.

·         Processing information and responding appropriately to the verbal communication of others

Young people with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) may have some difficulties with social interaction, communication, and imagination, which can impact how they relate to others.  They may have difficulties:

·         Interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice.

·         Understanding abstract concepts, they may take things literally.

·         Recognising or understanding others' feelings and intentions or expressing their own emotions.

·         Recognising and regulating their emotions; feeling overwhelmed can lead to a meltdown or shutdown.

·         Understanding age-related social conventions of interaction, such as turn-taking during conversations or the appropriate level of            physical contact during play.

·         Managing uncertainty, they prefer routines.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) is a broad term which embraces a range of different needs that can lead to young people feeling anxious, misunderstood, or scared. This area of need includes attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder.

Young people may have difficulties with social situations or interaction:

·         Forming and maintaining relationships with others.

·         Disruptive, uncooperative, or antisocial behaviour.

Young people may have difficulties recognising and understanding emotions in themselves and others, emotional regulation, building resilience and managing stress.

These difficulties may be expressed through:

·         Outbursts of temper, frustration, or anger.

·         Verbal and physical threats or acts of aggression.

·         Withdrawn and depressed attitudes.

·         Anxiety.

·         Self-harm.

At St Martin’s School, we support our young people with targeted intervention programmes, including:

·         Mentoring.

·         SEND Hub: quiet working area.

·         Counsellor.

·         Supervised Break and Lunchtime activities.

·         Tutor time debrief session.

·         Anxiety and Worry Toolkit.

·         Social skills: Communication, Empathy, Interactions, Managing Emotions.

·         Starving the Gremlins: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Exam Stress.

·         Banish the Thief: Body image, Self-esteem.

·         Positive Me.

·         Self-esteem Workbook.

·         Zones of Regulation.

At St Martin’s School, in addition to a counsellor, we have an in-house Mental Health Practitioner, and we make referrals to a wide range of support networks available to us as a school.  However, where a young person exhibits persistent symptoms of a diagnosable mental health condition, a referral is made to professional organisations who will wrap appropriate support around the young person.  


Sensory needs can be wide ranging and include hearing impairment, visual impairment, sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties. Young people with sensory and/or physical differences may find it challenging to access some facilities.

To cater for students with sensory and physical differences, we have a range of adaptive solutions:

·         Accessible toilets and changing facilities.

·         Ramps, lifts and stairlifts.

·         Noise reducing ear defenders and ear buds.

·         Specialist equipment.

·         Personal care staff.

·         Physiotherapy facilities.

·         Special equipment for sports.

·         Physical Needs Learning Support Assistants.

Our experienced school nurse oversees the medical provision for our students.

St Martin’s Medical Needs Policy

We have effective SEND Primary liaison and have built positive communication between schools with a Year 6 Transition Programme to support our students with SEND to move from primary to secondary education. New systems for disseminating information have been established and all staff are aware of the procedures required for our students with SEND, with regular up to date information and training available for all staff.

Students who are struggling with literacy and numeracy skills, social skills, reading, comprehension and speech and language; can attend additional classes, which run a range of times, either at morning registration, lunchtimes or during school lessons.



We deliver a variety of targeted and adapted interventions to assist the students’ wider learning and help them engage with classroom tasks.  We work closely with the teaching and learning team and the pastoral team to identify areas of support required and then carry out relevant tests in areas that help us understand the students' needs and organise relevant, targeted, and successful interventions.

We have effective SEND primary liaison and have built positive communication between schools with a Year 6 Transition Programme to support our students with SEND to move from primary to secondary education.  New systems for disseminating information have been established, and all staff are aware of the procedures required for our students with SEND, with regular, up to date information and training available for all staff.

Who do I contact if I have a SEND enquiry? 

Email: SENDCO@st-martins.essex.sch.uk

What is a One Plan Profile? 
A One Plan Profile is a document that captures all the essential information about a student and is a simple summary of what is important to them and how they wish to be supported within the classroom. The One Plan Profile also models the Essex Assess Plan Do Review cycle.


Who do I talk to if my child is struggling in a particular lesson? 
Liaise with the classroom teacher in the first instance before speaking to either the Pastoral Team or the SENDCO.


How do I get a diagnosis of SEND? 
You can seek advice from your GP or paediatrician.  You can also speak to the school SENDCO, who can support referrals for any necessary follow up appointments.


Where can my child go for break or lunch if they find being outside overwhelming? 
We have two SEND hubs dedicated to supporting students during break and lunchtime.  This is a safe and quiet place staffed by our SEND staff for students to relax and enjoy break and lunch times. There are daily activities for all to engage in.


How long do the interventions last? 
Following recommendations by the SENDCO, students identified for SEND interventions will be taken out of a non-core subject once or twice a week for a 6-week cycle of intervention.  The nature of the intervention is determined by the SENDCO and based on the needs of the student.


What does EAA stand for? 
EAA stands for Exam Access Arrangements.  These are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and a normal way of working.  Most EAA will need to be authorised by our independent external assessor and the SENDCO.


Can my child drop a GCSE subject? 
Yes, but only in extremely specific circumstances and this must be agreed by the Executive Headteacher on a case-by-case basis.  It is also highly unlikely that students are withdrawn from certain lessons for independent study.


What arrangements does the school make in relation to the treatment of complaints from parents of children/young people with SEND concerning the provision made at the school?
Please refer to the Trust's Complaints Policy and Procedure, which is available via the link below for more information.

Complaints Policy and Procedure

The following information details provision for disabled access at St Martin's School:

  • Disabled access to all areas, ramps, slopes, and marked kerbs (for the visually impaired).
  • Lifts to upper floors in the creative arts and new Maths/English block.
  • Evac chairs are available in the event of a fire.  Trained staff.
  • There are a number of disabled toilets over the two sites (North and South).
  • A recently refurbished wet room with shower, changing, toilet access for disabled persons.
  • We work in partnership with parents, accommodating pupils needs wherever possible.  We have access to specialist teachers for the visually impaired/hearing impaired/physically impaired who offer suggestions and support us with pupils needs.  In the past, they have supplied Essex laptops for the visually impaired, PE games equipment, raised tables, IT equipment for those with physical needs, and advice on how to access further resources.
  • We work closely with occupational therapists and physiotherapists who visit the school when required and advise us on how to encourage pupil wellbeing and progression within their needs through exercise programmes.
  • Staff receive training on the use of equipment and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) on medical conditions as required.
  • We have a school nurse on site.


Lead Staff: Olufunke Bamigbele (SENDCo)

SEND: It is everybody’s business.

Email: SENDCO@st-martins.essex.sch.uk