Sunnyside Academy SEND Information Report

Identification of need

  • Sunnyside is a mainstream primary academy which caters for children from 3 years to 11 years, on entry into the school each child will be assessed to establish a baseline.  Regular termly assessments will then be carried to monitor all children’s progress and identify those who are not making expected progress.  The data is investigated by the senior leadership team and monitored closely over time. More in depth assessments if needed will be carried out , usually by an external professional.
  • Sunnyside also has three separate bases for children with specific needs.  The admissions procedure for each base follows the same principle – via a panel which is led by Middlesbrough Local Authority.
  • Sensory Communication Base – for children who are deaf, hearing impaired or have communication difficulties and rely on British Sign Language to aid communication.  Children come from all areas of the Tees Valley on transport and can start at Sunnyside at any point in their primary education if they fulfil the admissions criteria (see appendix 1) and are accepted by the admissions panel – which meets termly.
  • High Needs Base – for Middlesbrough children who have been identified with moderate learning difficulties as their primary need and who have some other difficulty that affects their access to a mainstream class.  The base takes children from year 3 if they fulfil the admissions criteria (see appendix 2) and are accepted by the admissions panel which meets annually.
  • VI base – for children who are blind or visually impaired who may require adaptations to access the curriculum. Children come from all areas of the Tees Valley on transport and can start at Sunnyside at any point in their primary education if they fulfil the admissions criteria (see appendix 3) and are accepted by the admissions panel – which meets termly.

Parental Involvement

  • Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s learning throughout their time at Sunnyside with the expectation that children will read at least 3 times a week and complete a range of appropriate homework activities.
  • Parents of children who have an Education health care plan / statement or attend one of our bases will be invited to an annual meeting and the points of view are welcomed.
  • Parents of children who have been identified as needing some extra support to reach expectations may have an Individual Education Plan IEP which is shared between home and school.
  • All parents are invited into school for a range of activities, performances, sports events etc.
  • Home school diaries are used to support communication between home and school for those children who use transport.
  • We have a Friends of Sunnyside group which organises a range of fund raising events with the help of some parents.


  • Pupils are grouped in registration groups depending on age and if appropriate, the nature of the specialist provision required.
  • We at Sunnyside believe that children learn best when they are interested and excited, we are using the structure of the new primary curriculum to ensure that children have the most experiential relevant learning experiences possible.
  • We believe that all children are entitled to quality first wave teaching delivered using a range of teaching styles and techniques and differentiated to meet the individual needs of the pupils.
  • Progress in reading, writing and numeracy is assessed using our tracker system and the Senior leadership team are involved in overseeing the rate of progress at termly meetings.  Those children who are not making expected progress will be identified and extra provision put in place to help them catch up.
  • We have developed the school grounds to encourage learning outside the classroom across all subjects.


  • Sunnyside is a single level building with ramps where possible, stairs are identified through bump markers and highlighted stair rods.
  • For the hearing impaired there is a state of the art phonac system for those who use FM transmitters. Qualified BSL signers are used whenever there is a hearing impaired adult or child who may need it.
  • There is a fully disabled toilet with changing facility in SCB1 and all new toilets upgrades include an ambulatory toilet.
  • We have Personal Evacuation Plans for those more vulnerable children in the case of an emergency.
  • ICT is used to ensure access to the curriculum whenever necessary eg ipads with splashtop for the visually impaired.
  • All new developments throughout the school take the range of children with physical and sensory disabilities into account.
  • Interpreters for both BSL and other languages are used when necessary to communicate with parents whose first language is not spoken English.


  • Class teachers are always the first point of contact for all children – teachers have the overall responsibility for the welfare of the pupils in their class.  They are supported in this by the senior leadership team, ToD / QTVI and Learning Mentor.
  • Class teachers are supported in the classroom by teaching assistants.
  • Some teaching assistants are designated ‘specialist’ to support children with a sensory impairment in the mainstream setting.  They will provide BSL for the hearing impaired or ensure the curriculum is in an accessible format for the visually impaired.  It is expected that all teachers have their planning available to discuss with TAs to ensure learning objectives are understood and resources are available.
  • There is a care assistant employed in the Early Years section to look after the personal needs of some pupils.

Overall Well Being and Specialist Services


  • We have a designated School Nurse who works closely with us to ensure we are aware of medical needs and that care plans are in place when required.
  • We liaise with health care professionals to provide more specialist medical intervention for those children who require it.
  • Children undergo screening for eyesight and hearing in the Reception year group at school.
  • We have a technician on site everyday to regularly check the equipment for those hearing impaired children who require it.
  • We have a number of staff trained as first aiders and ensure that there is always a trained first aider on site during school hours.

Social Support

  • We have a full time Parent Support Advisor to support parents, liaise between home and school, monitor attendance and work with agencies involved in child protection issues.
  • Through our PSA we have direct links into the Bungalow Project which can provide a range of services eg play therapy, parent support.
  • The school works closely with Social Services and and other care providers to support the welfare of pupils.
  • We work closely with The Kings Academy to ensure smooth transition for those children moving into secondary education especially those who will move into the bases at The Kings Academy.

Further Support

  • We work closely with our Educational Psychologist to give us advice on some children and their learning needs.
  • Additional support is available through LD CAHMS , the Specialist Speech Therapy Service, Speech therapy and the Learning and Language team.

Staff Training

  • All Class based teachers have qualified teacher status and teaching assistants are expected to have a minimum Level 3 qualification.
  • There is an induction programme to ensure that all staff are trained in safeguarding and other school wide policies.
  • There is an ongoing programme of professional development to ensure that all staff are kept up to date with current research and expectations in teaching and learning.
  • We encourage both teachers and teaching assistants to further their own qualifications, especially into specialist areas relevant to our school eg dyslexia, autism, Braille.
  • Sunnyside Academy is a member of the Middlesbrough Schools Teaching Alliance.

Activities outside of school

  • Sunnyside is committed to providing all pupils with access to a wide range of experiences out of school to enrich their learning together with personal and social understanding.
  • Residential holidays are organised and open to all children what ever their level of ability or impairment.
  • We have a range of visitors to the school to help bring cultural experiences to all children.
  • We organise a trip to the local pantomime for all children who want to go.
  • A wide variety of out of school clubs cater for a range of interests and include; drama, gymnastics, volleyball and kickboxing.


  • Most children start at Sunnyside in the mainstream nursery, there is a home visit before the child starts to ensure all information is shared and parents are invited to stay with the child if is that is felt necessary to settle the youngster into the nursery routine.
  • Parents of children who want to start in the middle of an academic year must visit the school and arrange transfer with the Local Authority and the Headteacher.
  • Those children who come to a base are put to the panel, the relevant teacher HNB, Tod, QTVI will liaise with the family if nursery age or the current school setting to ensure smooth transition.
  • Information about transfer to secondary school is discussed in year 5 and all parents are invited to contact/visit the secondary schools in the area.  We work closely with the secondary schools to ensure smooth transition for all children.

SEND Resources

  • The notional SEN fund allocated to cover resources needed to ensure SEN children are making progress is decided by the senior leadership team.
  • Children attending one of our sensory support bases receive top up funding from their own LA which is a flat rate.
  • Children attending the High Needs Base are funded by Middlesbrough LA

Sunnyside Student SEND Information Report

How will anyone know if I need extra help?

  • Your class teacher will meet with you each term and go through your assertive mentoring file (the yellow one) that will show if you need some extra help in an area of learning.
  • If you do need extra help you may be given another target to work with in an intervention group.
  • Sometimes teacher’s ask other people for advice on the best way to help children, so you may be asked to work with someone like an educational psychologist who identifies your strengths and weaknesses and helps us to help you.

Who will help me to succeed with my targets?

  • Your class teacher will plan activities to help you learn what you need to do.
  • If you are in an intervention group your progress and next targets will be explained to you.
  • You will be given homework to help check your understanding – don’t worry if you need to ask another adult to explain it – but don’t let them do the work!
  • The teachers will talk to someone from home who may be able to give some extra help at home.

What will I study?

  • Each term your class teacher will let you know which topics you will cover e.g. volcanoes or potions, this will also be on the school website.
  • There will be an emphasis on the basic skills needed in reading, writing and maths to help you succeed in secondary school.

How can I be involved?

  • At the assertive mentoring meetings, you will be able to suggest things that you know might help you.
  • You will have your weekly scores for spelling, big grammar and big maths – you will know what you need to do to improve those scores (if you aren’t sure ask any adult in your class or group).
  • Once you know what a topic is you can find out about it and maybe you can teach the teacher something they don’t already know!

What should I do if I am worried about something?

All adults in school are able to help – you can talk to anyone but we do have some specialists who know more about some issues:

Family Liaison Officer

She can help if you are worried about something at home or if you feel you are being bullied.

Learning Mentor

They can help if you feel sometimes that you have no friends or maybe you find it hard to deal with your anger

School Nurse

Our school nurse visits the school once a week and is able to give medical advice on anything you are worried about e.g. headlice or changes in your body.

What will happen if I need to change schools?

  • When children have to move to a different school - we always try to help students with visits to the new school if possible (or visits here for those moving to us).
  • When you leave at the end of Year 6 your secondary school will arrange visits/ activity days to help you find your way round.
  • Teachers will always talk to each other and information about you given to your new school.



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