Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEN&D) at The Discovery School

Our Ethos and Values for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

At The Discovery School, we are proud to be an inclusive environment, welcoming children with a range of learning and physical disabilities to our school. We work hard to get to know every child in our care and do what we can to support children’s individual learning needs.  We work well as a team and include children, parents and other professionals as part of this.  All staff have high expectations of children and set challenging learning targets.  We have clear plans to support children in achieving these goals and provide parents with details of these.  We run a range of specific, targeted and effective interventions but believe that children are best supported by outstanding classroom practice and quality first teaching.  We believe in early identification so that the right support can be put in place.  We want every child to reach their potential and want to support children and their families in removing any barriers to achieving this.


At The Discovery School, the person than co-ordinates provision for children with special educational needs or disabilities (known as our SENCo) is Mrs Alcala.  Mrs Alcala is a qualified SENCO and has had many years in-class experience across the primary and secondary sector. She can be contacted at school on 01732 847000 or senco@discovery.kent.sch.uk .

SEN&D Policies and the Code of Practice

In 2014, the government introduced a new SEN Code of practice and during this time of change The Discovery School worked with parents and other stakeholders to co-produce our policies and develop our practice so that we are able to offer the best provision for our children. Our SEN policy, which was written by our SENCO alongside parents, can be downloaded here. We designed the policy to be easy for everyone to read and understand so much so that it incorporates our SEND Parent Information Report in one document.


Kent County Council set out the provision available across the county for children with SEN&D, called the “local offer” click here to view this document on the KCC website.  


SEND Annual Data Report

Our SEND Governors, Mrs M Mccahon and Mrs A Cornall, will produce an annual report to reflect the effectiveness of SEND provision across the school, it is available here .  This report is published in November each year following the release of national data. 

How we support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We believe that the early identification of pupils with additional educational needs is vital as this enables the child’s needs to be assessed and provided for accordingly. Our teachers are highly trained in many areas of special educational needs and specific learning difficulties like dyslexia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and speech and language difficulties.  Wherever possible, teachers will adapt their teaching style in class and give different work tasks to children so that every child can achieve and make progress; we call this differentiation.  For most children, their needs can be met through this approach. 


In some cases, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up or keep up with their peers academically, socially or physically. These may be in the form of additional in-class support, which we call ‘quality first teaching’ or a special outside of class provision called an ‘intervention’.  These are detailed on our provision maps that are shared with parents each parents evening and are displayed on the class webpages.


We currently offer the following types of interventions in school:


Academic (Cognition and Learning)

Booster classes, phonics groups, numicon groups, springboard maths, dyslexia interventions, visual tracking interventions, Plus 1, Power of 2, 123 Maths, reading groups, Better Reading Partnership, handwriting groups, or child-focused interventions we have designed ourselves

Physical and Medical

BEAM, Clever Fingers, Fine Motor Skills – Write from the Start, Sensory Circuits, Specific Programmes designed by OT or Physios 

Social, Emotional and Mental health

Social skills groups and/or social interventions that we have designed ourselves.  
Interventions that help children understand, manage and regulate emotions like Zones of Regulation, What to do When…, Self Esteem & Resilience Groups
Interventions that allow therapeutic approaches like Lego Therapy, drawing and talking, FLO individualised work

Speech, Language and Communication

Speech Link programmes, Language Link programmes, Language interventions designed by NHS or our own Speech and Language Therapist, attention and listening groups, Targeted Speech Interventions, Encouraging reluctant speakers groups


This list is constantly changing or being added to.  Please speak to your child’s class teacher or Mrs Alcala if you would like any further information about the provision we have available in school. 


We are also very proud to have a highly trained staff.  We believe that investing in training and keeping up to date with the most effective techniques in supporting children's' difficulties enables us to put the right strategies in place for them.  A list of staff training and expertise can be downloaded here


Access to outside services

As a school, we can currently make referrals to outside professionals including:

  • the NHS for speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and paediatricians;
  • agencies that support at family-level such as support workers or family advisors;
  • the specialist teaching service covering all areas or SEN&D;
  • councillors;

We can also use our funding to pay for an educational psychologist or alternative, private therapist (such as our own Speech and Language Therapist or Play Therapist) if it is appropriate to do so. 


We would discuss the need for outside agency involvement with parents first.

Further Information and Support

As a school we are committed to working to support the whole family and have a Family Liaison Officer who is available to offer further advice and guidance to parents.  We also offer support for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties.


We have also found that Kent County Council's Local Offer (IASK) is an invaluable resource to parents.  Information about how they may be able to help can be found on their website here alongside some really helpful downloads about SEN&D across Kent.