We are close to Durham City and provide education for children from a rich variety of backgrounds. We strive to provide an excellent education for all pupils within a caring, stimulating and motivating learning environment.

To help achieve this aim staff, governors and parents work in close partnership together with added support from the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and the parish of the Durham Martyrs. As a Roman Catholic school, our ethos is embedded in Christian values which underpin all areas of school life.

We are a happy, thriving primary school for children aged 4-11 years old. There are approximately 130 children on roll with five classes. In addition to well qualified teaching staff, we have a number of excellent learning support assistants who work across the school supporting and enhancing children's learning.


When is it on?

Time of day
Session information
Monday to Friday

Who to contact

Contact name
Miss Katy Haggart
Contact position
Acting Deputy Headteacher
0191 386 5611

Where to go

St Joseph's RC Primary School
Mill Lane
County Durham

Other details

Referral required?
Related links
Ofsted reports

Local Offer

Local Offer description

We are committed to the equal inclusion of all pupils in all areas of primary school life. We recognise the diverse and individual needs of all their pupils and take into account the additional support required by those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Further information about the Local Offer can be found on the County Durham Families Information Service website.

Contact name
Miss Katy Haggart
Contact telephone
0191 386 5611
Contact email

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?

We share information about the additional needs of individual children at transition meetings before they enter Reception. If your child is coming from another school, then we will use the information transferred to us and speak to the previous class teacher or SENCO if appropriate. We may also be given information from other people who have worked with your child, such as a speech and language therapist. All children are screened for language difficulties during their first year in school.

Parents are encouraged to share information with us and to discuss and raise any concerns they may have as early as possible. In the first instance, parents should discuss any concerns with the child's class teacher. This may then lead to a meeting with the class teacher and special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) to discuss next steps.

Any Special Educational Needs (SEN) may also be identified during termly meetings between teachers and the SENCO to monitor and discuss the development and progress of all pupils. These are called pupil progress meetings.

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?

Your child’s needs will be met within the class supported by high quality teaching, including planning which takes account of the needs of each child.


The progress of all children is reviewed on a regular basis. If necessary, the class teacher will work with the SENCO to produce a plan for your child and set appropriate targets. If needed an individual programme of additional support will be put in place. This will be reviewed three times a year and changed as needed. Sometimes we will seek support from outside agencies. This will be discussed with you and a referral made with your permission.  


If your child requires specific equipment to help access the curriculum then we will do our best to buy it as long as it is not a frivolous and prohibitively expense. The governors are responsible for ensuring that SEN funding is used well and that all pupils are given the help that they need to make good progress. There is an SEN Governor who meets with the SENCO regularly.

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?

High quality classroom teaching and adjusted plans and resources for individual pupils is the first step in supporting children who may have special needs. For example, additional visual aids or maths equipment may be provided. This will enable your child to access a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum.

You can find out more about differentiation, which is using different teaching methods to meet the needs of individual children’s needs, in our Teaching & Learning Policy. Children will work in a variety of groupings, such as mixed ability groups, similar ability groups, small supported groups, or one to one with an adult.

Pupil progress meetings are held termly with the Head Teacher, SENCO and class teachers to review the progress of all children. If your child is not making the expected progress and has specific gaps in their understanding he/she may work within a smaller group of children or on an individual programme.

These groups, also called intervention groups, may be:

  • run in the classroom or outside
  • run by a teacher or a teaching assistant who has been trained to run these groups
  • run by a specialist from outside the school, such as a speech and language therapist.

Further specific support may also be provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher and SENCO as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching, which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school and will need ‘top-up’ funding.

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?

There is an open door policy for any daily information that needs to be shared between school and home. Parents may arrange a more private meeting with the class teacher or with the SENCO if there is anything of a more serious or private nature to be discussed. In some instances, a home-school communication book may be used. Parent consultations take place twice a year. Parents receive two summative interim reports to indicate the level of achievement and progress pupils are making. An end of year report is sent home in the Summer term.

Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) have an annual review.

Parents are given information about the level children should be working at for their age and also about the expected rate of progress for maths, reading and writing.

Annual reports are sent to parents in July to give an overview of the child’s achievements that year. Outside services involved with some children provide reports and information about attainment and expected progress for specific needs, such as speech and language or physical development. Any report connected to your child is also available to you. These include the outcome of specific assessments that may be undertaken.

If a child is identified as needing an individual school based plan to support their education, then parents will be involved in helping us to create this and reviewing targets at regular intervals, usually three times a year but more if needed. This will include information on how you can support your child at home, including any relevant workshops that may be available to you.

How will you support my child's overall wellbeing?

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

We are an inclusive school who welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children’s high self-esteem is crucial to their emotional well-being and academic progress. Their caring, understanding team look after all children within the school.

Medicine can be administered in school with signed parental permission. There are nominated first aiders in school and several members of staff have paediatric first aid qualifications. If your child has significant medical needs, you will need to speak to the SENCO or Head Teacher to discuss how the school can best support you and your child. This might include drawing up a Health Care Plan which will include advice from medical professionals.

The class teacher has overall responsibility for the well-being of every child in their class. If you have any worries speak to the class teacher first. If further support is needed the class-teacher will speak to the SENCO.

A Nurture Group is available in school. This is a small group working with two adults that provides a safe and predictable structured environment in which children are given the opportunities to re-visit early nurturing experiences. Staff model positive relationships and there is an emphasis on the development of language and communication skills.

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?

There are a range of services the schoolwork with.

These include:

  • Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Inclusion Service (LDDIS)
  • Education Psychology Service (EPS)
  • Autism and Social Communication (ASC) Team 
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service (EBSTeam)
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Occupational Therapy, Children’s Services
  • School Nurse
  • Ethnic Minorities and Traveller Education Service (EMTAS)

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

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

The SENCO, class teachers and teaching assistants have attended a variety of training courses, including ASD training, occupational therapy and Speech and Language training.

We have a rolling programme of training and support for staff based on the needs of the pupils within school. Staff are sent on more individualised training if they are supporting a pupil with a more specific need. Key information from these courses will be cascaded down to other teaching and support staff.

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

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

Risk assessments are carried out for school visits including residential trips and reasonable adjustments will be made where required. Where needed the risk assessment would include a meeting with parents as well as taking account of any medical advice. The destination of these trips will be considered when assessing the needs of all children.

On some occasions an individual member of staff may be assigned to support a small group or individual child if the risk assessment indicates that this is necessary.

After school clubs and inter-school events are available to all pupils. Vulnerable pupils are given priority and adjustments will be made to support their participation.

How will you support my child's needs?

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

We have an accessibility plan which can be found on the school website.

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?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEN and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • We will pass on all records about your child as soon as possible. 

When moving classes in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher to discuss your child’s strengths and difficulties and the strategies that have been successful. Provision maps/targets will be shared with the new teacher.

In reception:

  • The reception class teacher/teaching assistants will arrange visits to nursery providers to meet and discuss your child.
  • The SENCO may arrange additional induction visits for children identified as having SEN and additional meetings will be arranged with parents and any other services who have been involved with you child.

In Year 6:

  • The Year 6 teacher and/or SENCO will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO/Inclusion Manager of their secondary school.
  • Your child will carry out focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
  • Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and, in some cases, staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.

A range of methods, suitable for your child may be used to support them at the time of transition. For example, the school may use books or social stories to support your child and enable them to understand moving, if the school think this would help.

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?

The school budget received from the council includes money for supporting pupils with SEN. The Head Teacher then decides on the budget for SEN in consultation with school governors and based on the needs of pupils in the school. We may receive an additional amount of ‘top-up’ funding for pupils with higher level needs.  

We will use our SEN funding in the most appropriate way to support your child. This support may include individual or small group teaching assistant support, but this may not always be the best way to support your child. The funding may, therefore, be used to put in place a range of support.

SEND funding may also be used to purchase particular resources and interventions or support from other specialist support services.

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?

All class teachers meet with the Head Teacher termly to discuss pupils’ progress. They also look closely at the plans that have been put in place and their effectiveness and impact on your child’s learning. We discuss any new concerns and plan appropriately for additional support, provision, resources or advice from outside services as necessary. Where appropriate, a provision map or Support Plan will be written. This will be discussed with you three times a year.

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. Parents are welcome at the beginning and end of a school day and may arrange additional dates to meet with the teacher to discuss progress and provision. Parents are invited to attend many school events such as class masses, liturgies, performances and concerts.


Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.
  • St Joseph's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School Durham

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Address: Mill Lane  Gilesgate  Durham  County Durham

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