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Special Educational Needs and Vulnerable pupils

At Bishop Gilpin we aim to create a firm foundation for a lifetime of learning through our inclusive curriculum which aims to improve the experience, skills and attainment of all pupils by ensuring that they are able to participate fully and achieve.

A superb balance between being inclusive to their individual needs and having high expectations for each child

- Parent/Carer Survey 2022

SEND Pupils

Teachers at Bishop Gilpin are responsible for the progress and development of all pupils including those who access support from teaching assistants. Therefore, teachers are continually monitoring and assessing the children in their class to determine what support is required for different areas of the curriculum. This ensures that SEN pupils receive a high quality education that enables their needs to be met through their class provision or in specific interventions. Within the class, differentiated work is utilised to support children’s needs but enables them to achieve their learning potential while engaging in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND. This support will include modelling, explaining, scaffolding, questioning, challenge and feedback. TAs and LSAs provide bespoke 1:1 or small group interventions to support the children. These are informed by professional reports, school data and discussion with the teacher and SENCo.

I have loved watching how children in my son's year group have interacted with their peers who have additional support needs

- Parent/Carer Survey 2022

Children with Medical Needs

All pupils with a diagnosed medical need have a medical alert form and/or a health care plan which details how to respond and care for their individual needs. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum where all children, irrespective of need, can access and achieve their full potential. Where adaptations need to be made to support access we do this in conjunction with families, the school nurse, key health professionals and pupils so that we create an environment where pupils have equal opportunities and are part of a full and enriched curriculum.

Equality of Access

All children are able to access quality first teaching to enable them to work towards shared learning intentions. This helps to build confidence of all learners and allows for a school in which neural, cognitive, social and cultural diversity is valued and welcome.

Assessment for learning is used to identify how and when learning happens and that information is used in planning to ensure that specific interventions, pre-teaching and follow ups can be delivered as required.

Children eligible for Pupil Premium

We provide targeted 1:1 support across the curriculum to provide our pupils with both the support and challenge they require. We deliver high quality CPD and a bespoke coaching style with specific staff to ensure they are supporting the individual needs of our pupils as well as setting the highest aspirations. We are developing the ‘whole’ child and aim to equip all our pupils with the knowledge and understanding of their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours so they can reach their full learning potential. Our pupil premium children are able to access an extracurricular activity for free. This opens up a range of learning experiences such as learning a musical instrument, developing confidence and skills in the performing arts, sport, dance and technology.


All children who join Bishop Gilpin with English as an additional language are identified on registration to the school. After an initial settling in period, their English language skills are assessed. We are then able to provide targeted group interventions and 1:1 support from our EAL Support Assistant, in order to enable the child to access the curriculum whilst also developing their English language. Children who are new to English or in the early stages of acquiring the language receive targeted in-class support and carefully created scaffolds which enable them to access the full curriculum and receive appropriate levels of challenge. All children who are in the early stages of learning English are provided with an individual ipad so that they can make use of Google Translate, ensuring that they are able to access more abstract areas of the curriculum.

Emotional Wellbeing

All children are able to access mental health and emotional wellbeing support through our Children’s Therapist, Amy Stirling. Amy supports the school team in delivering positive mental health messages throughout the school year, with a programme of mental health days, class workshops, assemblies and a relaxation lunch club. 

Depending on a child and their family’s needs, Amy can also offer short or mid term 1:1 children’s therapy and/ or parent support and advice, on issues such as anxiety, low mood, emotional regulation and  sleep difficulties. 

My son moved to Bishop Gilpin and within a few months this school has pointed out, and put support in place for, his special needs that were completely missed by us (parents) and the previous school.

Within one year, my son went from underachieving in most core subjects to exceeding in maths and achieving in all the other core subjects

- Parent/Carer Survey 2022


Rosenshine’s principles form the basis of curriculum design, these include:

  • Explaining (sequencing concepts) & Modelling
  • Questioning 
  • Reviewing Material 
  • Stages of Practice & Feedback

The curriculum is then differentiated for SEND learners through adaptations to the:-

  • Content: adapting what pupils are expected to learn or how they gain access to knowledge (challenge, explanation, modelling, questions, scaffolds)
  • Resources: access to appropriate resources/manipulative, making the work accessible to them (challenge, explanation, modelling, questions, scaffolds-adult)
  • Outcome: making sure that expectations are realistic (challenge, modelling)
  • Feedback: varying vocabulary/tone/complexity and setting individualised goals and targets (challenge, explanation, modelling, questions, scaffolds)
  • Time: allocating more time for some pupils to complete tasks/complete fewer tasks in the same time (challenge, scaffolds)
  • Task: using different tasks to achieve the same goal (challenge, explanation, modelling, questions, scaffolds)                                                   
  • Technology: allowing some pupils to use ICT (challenge, scaffold)      

In addition, further adaptations may be made according to need.

Cognition and Learning

  • Tasks broken down into smaller steps/Visual checklist
  • Scaffolds to aid early acquisition
  • Pre-teaching vocabulary
  • Targeted intervention
  • Awareness of cognitive load
  • 1:1/group support in class
  • 1:1 bespoke interventions 
  • Class teacher group interventions dependent on need
  • Lexia/Third Space Learning/Nessy/touch typing/reading mentors/phonics screening/early reading scheme/Neli

Communication and Interaction

  • Visual checklist
  • Rephrasing/simplifying language or sentences
  • Establishing routines
  • Providing thinking time/awareness of processing difficulties
  • EAL support in class/1:1 interventions/EAL books
  • Targeted intervention (expressive & receptive)
  • Developing positive relationships
  • S&L interventions with a trained therapist
  • 1:1 interventions based on report recommendations
  • I wish my teacher knew box/wellbeing groups & family support

Social-Emotional and Mental Health

  • Adaptation of tone/volume/grouping
  • Resources adapted to include child’s area of interest
  • Positive reward systems
  • Sensitivity towards child-specific topics
  • Reassurance for anxiety/emotional resilience
  • Being approachable
  • ELSA
  • Wellbeing support from the School Counsellor
  • Social Skills interventions
  • Lego Therapy

Physical and Sensory

  • Seating position
  • Wobble cushions/fiddle toys/ear defenders/adapted writing implements
  • Movement breaks
  • Visual and Hearing Impairment Checks 
  • Enlarging visual resources/coloured overlays/writing slopes
  • Adapting physical resources/awareness of the environment
  • High visibility markings on steps
  • OT interventions with a trained therapist
  • Clever classrooms - reduction of visual stimulus
  • Anti glare lighting/blinds




Support for children on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register

How do we identify our SEN pupils?

A Graduated Approach to SEND Support

 Quality first teaching and differentiation from class teacher for all pupils is part of our day to day teaching. 

  • If a child presents with lower rates of progress or difficulty accessing the curriculum despite QFT and differentiation in place, the class teacher will discuss concerns with the SENCo, invite to observe/trial other strategies and conduct parental discussions.

  • If concerns continue class teacher to action plan, do and review monitoring period over 6 weeks (written plan - Plan, do and review form) agreed and shared with parents as well as SENCo 

  • If continued concerns after a 6 week monitoring period, school may seek additional professional advice (EP, LBL) and the child may be added to the SEN register so that a personalised plan of support and monitoring is in place (pupil passport).


At Bishop Gilpin School, teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff. High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who may be making slower rates of progress. Staff monitor the provision in place and plan to ensure that barriers to achievement are removed. 

Where scaffolding/differentiation and quality first teaching is not having enough impact, the class teacher will liaise with the SENCo about observing or trialling anything else to support the child in conjunction with parental support.

A comprehensive, plan, do and review cycle would start, completed by the class teacher so that additional support can be tracked over a 6 week period, shared with parents. 

If after this review period there are not enough steps of progress, the child may be added to the SEN register and additional professional advice sought if necessary (EP,LBL etc). If an area of SEND is identified a child will be placed onto the SEND Register and on SEND support. This means that they will be given support or interventions additional to quality first and differentiated teaching approaches.

Some pupils do not need more than school SEND support and many pupils only require SEND support for a time. We believe it is important that children and families are involved in their learning and if a child is on the SEND Register, termly Pupil Passports will be written collaboratively between class teacher’s, the SENCo, parents and the child so that progress is reviewed and targets are set.


Bishop Gilpin follows the guidance in the government’s Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is Mrs Pippa Bridge (National SENCo Award)


Local Authority SEN info: www.merton.gov.uk/learning/edinclusion/edspecialneeds.htm

National Parent Partnership Network: http://www.parentpartnership.org.uk/

Kids First: http://www.kidsfirst.org

Dyspraxia: http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/




Speech and Language:





Jigsaw 4U: www.jigsaw4u.org.uk