Victoria Lane Academy

We offer education for children aged 3-11 years, in Coundon, Leeholme and surrounding villages. Our Academy is on a large site in the middle of the village and we have ample teaching and learning space.

When is it on?

Session information
8.55am - 5.10pm

Who to contact

Contact name
Mrs J Richardson
Contact position
01388 603 588

Where to go

Victoria Lane
Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL14 8NN

Other details

Related links
Ofsted reports

Local Offer

Local Offer description

At Victoria Lane Academy we are committed to the equal inclusion of all pupils in all areas of Early Years and Primary School life. We recognise the diverse and individual needs of all of our pupils and take into account the additional support required by those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

We recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision which will enable them to achieve their potential and enjoy well- being as enshrined in the outcomes of “Every Child Matters”:

  • be healthy
  • be safe
  • enjoy and achieve
  • make a positive contribution
  • achieve economic wellbeing

We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement and working in partnership with other agencies in order to provide a positive educational experience for all SEND pupils.

Contact name
Mrs V Simpson
Contact telephone
01388 603 588
Contact email
Victoria Lane SEND

How do you identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

The first step in identifying children who have additional needs is through quality first teaching, using the approach of assess, plan, do and review.

A special educational need can be a number of different things. For example, a child may be having problems with reading, number work or behaviour, which can be helped by putting extra support in at school and by working in partnership with parents. It may also be due to a disability which makes it harder for a child to use the same educational facilities that the school provides for the majority of children. For some children this may be a temporary difficulty, while others may have a long term need for special help.

Types of special educational needs can include:

  • General Learning Difficulties – children whose learning progresses at a slower pace
  • Speech and Language Difficulties
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Dyslexia(difficulties with reading, writing and spelling)
  • Dyspraxia (problems with motor skills, organisation)
  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Other physical or medical needs

We aim to identify children who have any difficulties as soon as possible so that appropriate support can be given from an early age. Full use is made of information passed to the school when a child transfers in to our school and we use assessments during the nursery/Foundation Stage to identify pupils and any difficulties they may have (observations on entry, Foundation Stage Profile, Speech and Language Link, teacher assessment/observation).

Other methods used by teachers to identify pupils with SEN are as follows:

  • Discussion with parent/carer to see if they have noticed anything/have any concerns
  • Ongoing teacher assessment and observation
  • Progress against the Early Learning Goals in the Foundation Stage
  • Progress against Literacy and Numeracy Objectives
  • Standardised screening or assessment tasks (for example Language Link)
  • Results from SATs (end of Years 2 and 6)

If it seems that your child may have special educational needs, your child’s class teacher or the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will assess:

  • What your child is good at and what they need help with
  • What your child would benefit from learning
  • How best to help your child learn

Once provision is identified, time is allocated to individuals or groups to best suit their learning style, ability and need. This is monitored and can be changed once the impact is assessed.

Monitoring and Tracking of children with SEND is through the same methods as identification. Assessment is ongoing, although more formal once each term. Identified needs are evaluated and discussed in light of assessment results and through staff discussion.

If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact us to arrange an appointment

How will you support my child with their special educational needs and disability?

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

We understand that children learn and develop in different ways. Teachers and Teaching Assistants recognise this and use different teaching styles, resources and plan different levels of work in the classroom to cater for the various ways children learn. However, many children, at some time in their school life, need extra help.

Because of this we offer the following support for SEND children:

  • We talk to parents/carers if they think their child has a special educational need and let them know what special help the school is giving. Mrs V Simpson is appointed as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), Tel: 01388 603 588
  • We have a written Special Educational Needs Policy – a copy should be made available for parents and is included on this website.

Each child’s teacher will be finding ways to support them such as:

  • changing the way activities are planned and delivered
  • matching activities to the ability/need of each child (differentiation)
  • adapting learning materials such as equipment and activities to suit each child’s needs
  • offering small group support to promote skills identified in the child’s support plan
  • one-to-one support

With the permission of parents we may seek additional advice from outside specialists such as health professionals, specialist teachers or educational psychologists who would:

  • carry out further assessment of the child’s needs
  • provide advice to schools on how to best support the child
  • suggest resources that would help the child make progress

Our teachers/teaching assistants work in partnership with parents and the SENCO to find ways to support each child with their needs, including giving parents ideas on how to help their child at home.

Our school staff will set targets for SEND children which will be shared with parents, either during Parents’ Evening or a Review Meeting.

If your child has Special Educational Needs our SENCO will:

  • Ensure the right support is put in place for each child.
  • Advise other teachers and teaching assistants on how to help each child and ensure they have an up to date support plan detailing how their needs will be met in school.
  • Arrange training for staff so they understand each child’s needs.
  • Work closely with parents on a regular basis to talk with them about their child’s needs and listen to any ideas or concerns they might have.
  • Work with other professionals (if necessary) who may be able to help individual children, for example speech and language therapist/medical professional/educational psychologist.
  • A support plan/Provision Map/progress report details what the school, the class teacher and the SENCO plan to do to help individual children learn. All teachers should be aware that children learn in different ways. Some need to work at a slower pace to ensure they fully understand one thing before they move onto something new.
  • Ensure the child is making termly progress through analysis of assessments and tracking data.

A support plan will be written especially for any child with SEND. It should include:

  • Short term outcomes for the child which are linked to their needs.
  • Details of any extra support the child will get.
  • Who will give the child help.
  • How often the child will get help.
  • How and when the school will look at the child’s progress again.
  • After consultation with parents, outcomes are agreed and parents are given a copy of the support plan.
  • The outcomes are discussed with the child and further amendments are made if necessary.

If a child’s needs are very complex and/or severe we may ask the council to carry out an Education, Health and Care Assessment:

  • This is a very detailed assessment of each child’s needs. Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide written reports.
  • At the end of the assessment phase the council will consider these reports to help decide whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan for the child.
  • Parents/carers also have the right to ask the council to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if you can do this with the support of the school.
  • Education, Health and Care Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. Your school SENCO or SENDIASS will be able to advise you about this.

How will you make sure my child's education meet their needs?

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's young person's needs?

Children learn and develop in different ways and may need extra help and support at various points throughout their time at school. Some children, at some time in their school life might have additional or different needs and it may be that they will be on our SEN register for varying periods of time. However, children’s needs will be frequently reassessed (at least three times per year, some children may need more) in order to ensure that the provision is suitable and supports the child’s development.

Our SENCO, working alongside class teachers, oversees all SEN provision and monitors progress of any child requiring additional support across the school. The class teacher will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEND in their class to ensure that progress in every area is made. This is Quality First Teaching and is where the work is highly differentiated and suits the needs of all children, it comes in the form of a lesson rather than an intervention programme.

Alongside Quality First Teaching, there may be a Teaching Assistant working with your child, either individually or as part of a group, if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher. This means that children may be taken out of the classroom for some of these sessions but they will continue to work on the same areas as the rest of the children in their class which ensures that they can go back into the classroom with a smooth transition. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.

To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:

  • Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities. Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
  • Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and sensitive to the needs of all pupils, teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
  • Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
  • To work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional)
  • To make suitable provision for children with SEN to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
  • Ensure that all children with SEN are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • To promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
  • To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
  • To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.

Children that are receiving additional support and intervention programmes have a Support Plan. Parents are invited into school to review and discuss support and progress with staff every term. The children also meet with their teacher and discuss their support plans and are asked what they feel helps them to make progress.

How will we know my child is progressing?

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

We measure children’s progress in learning against National age related expectations. The class teacher continually assesses each child, looks at improvements and where further support is needed.

We formally assess the children each term and level their reading, writing and numeracy. As a school, we track children’s progress from entry through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including national expectations and reading ages.

Children who are not making expected progress are identified in data analysis and discussed in Pupil Progress meetings. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression. When the child’s support plan is reviewed impact and some comments recorded. If the child has not met the outcome, comments are recorded, the reasons for this are discussed, then the outcome may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.

How will you support my child's overall wellbeing?

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

At Victoria Lane Academy we consult with a wide range of external agencies and we maintain a close working relationship in order to access the best professional advice and to ensure the emotional and social development needs of SEN children are met. 

When children are in Year 6 they receive resilience training to support them through SATs and Transition.

We also work closely with the council and private providers of additional services, such as Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapy, Future Steps, CAHMS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) School Nursing Service, Social Services and Medical Professionals. We try to hold multi-professional meetings in school so that parents can access easily and are comfortable in the school environment and the child can join, if it is appropriate.

We are an inclusive school. We welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s wellbeing. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children. The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the SENCO for further advice and support.

What specialist services and expertise is available at or accessed by the staff?

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

We work with an extensive range of services and professionals to ensure we meet the needs of each individual child. We encourage these professionals to visit school as often as possible to work with our staff and share their expertise. Wherever possible, staff implement programmes of work linked to these professionals, for example speech and language programmes, exercises recommended by physical therapies etc.

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Members of staff have Paediatric First Aid and Safeguarding Level 1 qualification.

In addition, our SEND support staff have a selection of training relating to movement difficulties, Autistic spectrum disorder and behaviour support.

Each year the needs of children within our school are carefully considered and training organised to up-skill staff as required

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

We ensure that all children are offered the opportunity to participate with activities outside of the classroom by making reasonable adjustments to the organisation of these. For example, we ensure SEND children have an appropriate level of adult support if going out of school, we organise transport that provides appropriate access and staff complete a comprehensive risk assessment of any excursion to ensure all children are safe and included. In addition, our SEND children are given the opportunity to participate in visits to settings that meet their specific needs.

How will you support my child's needs?

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

Our school is an old building with a lot of doors and steps. Adaptations have been made on need, all steps are marked, some ramps and railings fitted and a changing bed installed.

Please view our access report in the school policies section of our website or contact us if you have any questions about accessibility.

My child is going to be starting or leaving soon, how will you help them?

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

Children with SEND are given an extensive level of support before they leave for a new school. Their teacher and SENCo will discuss with secondary colleagues how many transition visits can be arranged over and above those offered to children without SEND. These additional visits to the new school will be carried out with the child and secondary school staff in the summer term. This ensures that bridges are built between schools, key information shared between staff and the child is given the opportunity to settle into a new routine with the support of a familiar adult.

What is available to help my child with their education?

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes and provision to meet those needs.  Parents/carers and child (where appropriate) views are integral to the this process.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan and these children would require more support and interventions and maybe more specialised services involvement.

What support can I expect for my child?

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

The Teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. Teachers also assess the children on a daily basis and review and evaluate their lessons to accommodate the needs of their children.

Termly assessment is carried out and staff moderate together. Data is collected on a tracking system. These are reviewed and in pupil progress meetings and we look at closing the gap in children’s learning. We look at what we can provide to meet the child’s needs and we discuss and measure the effectiveness of the interventions the children have undertaken that term. Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age related expectations, throughout the process, we keep an ongoing dialogue with yourselves as parents.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

We are fully committed to encouraging parents to be involved with all aspects of school life and aim to work in close partnership to maximise the full potential of every pupil.

We operate an open door policy and parents are welcome to come into school at the beginning and end of a school day and can contact the Headteacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at any time before, during or after the school day.

In addition, parents can arrange additional dates to meet with the teacher to discuss progress and provision. Parents are invited to a wide range of whole school and specific year group events including school performances, assemblies, sports events, science fayres, reading together sessions, parent meetings, World Book Day breakfast and family lunches.


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Useful documents

  • Victoria Lane Academy

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Address: Victoria Lane  Coundon  Bishop Auckland  County Durham

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