Welcome to our page for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

If you need support, advice or have questions regarding Special Educational Needs you will be able to find out more information here.  If you cannot find what you are looking for then please speak to your child’s class teacher or alternatively you can email the SENCO (Mrs. S Thomas):


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Portsdown

At Portsdown Primary School, we embrace the fact that every child is different, and, therefore, the educational needs of every child is different.  All teachers are teachers of SEND pupils and as such provide quality first teaching which takes account of the particular individual needs of pupils with SEN within the classroom.

Our School has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for the management of provision and or support for identified pupils with SEND. They will also coach and support teachers and other staff to enable them to provide appropriate assessment and focused provision for children in their class with SEND.

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need. T

he Code of Practice 2014 defines SEN as follows:

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or a disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:

  1. a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or
  2. b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16s institutions.”

For more information about how we can support your child at Portsdown, please look at our SEND Information report.

SEND Information Report 2023 24

Commonly Asked Questions

How does Portsdown Primary School know if children need extra help?

Children may be identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including the following:

  • Liaison with nursery or previous school.
  • Child performing below age expected levels.
  • Concerns raised by Parent.
  • Through termly Pupil Progress Meetings held with the Head Teacher and Deputy Head, SENCO and class teachers.
  • Concerns raised by teacher for example behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance.
  • Liaison with external agencies e.g. Physical needs / learning / communication needs.

As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against National expectations and Age Related Expectations (ARE). The class teacher continually assesses each child and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As a school, we track children’s progress from Nursery or Reception through to Year 6, using our schools tracking system and plan accordingly.  This includes use of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Pre Key Stage Levels.

Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through our termly Pupil Progress Review meetings with the Senior Leadership Team including SENCO and Class teacher. In this meeting a discussion takes place addressing individual children and why they may be experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to help them.

How will Portsdown Primary staff support my child?

Our SENCO / Inclusion Manager (Mrs. Sue Thomas) will closely monitor all provision and 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. There may be a Teaching Assistant (TA) working with your child either individually or as part of a group, if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher.

At Portsdown we believe that every child is an individual and should be valued.  We believe that all children should have their needs met and should be given an equal access to the curriculum.  Our aim is to provide inclusive teaching which will enable all children to make the best possible progress and feel they are a valued member of the wider school community.  We provide individual and small group provision for those children with Special Educational Needs and or Disability, whatever those needs may be, so that they can reach their full potential.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Talk to us – firstly speak to your child’s class teacher.

If you require more information contact our SENCO or Head Teacher.  We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents.  We have an open door policy and will be honest with you and hope that you feel able to do the same with us.  If you tell us you think your child has an SEND, we will discuss this with you and investigate – we will share with you what we find and agree with you what we will do next and what you can do to help your child.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Inclusion lies at the heart of Portsdown Primary School.  All staff appreciate the importance of children having high self-esteem in order to achieve positive well-being. Here at Portsdown we are committed to our own values and ensure pupils are able to develop in a caring, fair and understanding environment.

The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact.

We are fortunate in having trained and experienced Learning Mentors, Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, (ELSA.), and a Pastoral Support Worker. Children are likely to have time with one of them where there is a pastoral, emotional and social need. In addition our Home Family Link worker can support families who struggle with managing behaviour or social emotional needs. Their work is confidential (unless a disclosure relating to safety is made.) All staff members work with individual children and small groups depending on the need. The safety and well-being of children underpins all we do in school and we foster an environment of courtesy, respect and self-confidence.

If further support is required the class teacher can liaise with the SENCO/Inclusion Manager for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as           Educational Psychology, Inclusion Outreach, Early Help or health and social care.

Inclusion Team At Portsdown 2023 24

Pupils with medical needs:

If a pupil has a complex medical need then a detailed Care Plan is compiled by the SENCo in consultation with parents/carers and the School Nurse. These are discussed with all staff involved with the pupil.

Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school where a signed Health Care plan is in place.  Prescribed medicines may be given in some circumstances on discussion with the office staff and on completion of a medication form.

All children needing an Asthma Inhaler have an asthma plan which is shared with staff working with your child.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Portsdown?

Portsdown will ask for support from a range of services when it is felt that further support may be needed / beneficial. Some of these services have waiting lists and limited access so we do have to prioritise cases. This is done by the school SENCo.

Services include: – Inclusion Outreach Service,  Educational Psychologist, CAMHs, Children’s      Therapy Service which includes: Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational                          Therapists,  Physiotherapists, Sensory Impairment advisory service, Neuro-Diverse Multi-disciplinary Team (Once an ND profile has been completed), School Nursing Team and Mental Health Support Team (MHST).

In addition to these external agencies, we also have two trainee Educational Psychologists who work with children and teachers over seen by our school Educational Psychologist.

Should your child require any form of involvement with an outside agency then the school would immediately discuss our concerns with you and obtain permission from parents to pursue any kind of professional intervention.

Who can I contact for further information?

Your main point of contact would always be the class teacher and then following this you may need to speak to the SENCO/Inclusion Manager (Sue Thomas). 

Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join Portsdown Primary school?

In this instance you can contact the school Admin office to arrange a meeting with either Mr. Vaghela (Head Teacher) or our SENCO/Inclusion Manager Mrs. Thomas to discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs. 

Call:  023 9237 8991 or email send@portsdown.portsmouth.sch.uk


SEND and Inclusion Policies

SEN Policy 2023 2024

Designated Teacher Policy 2023

Health & Well-being at Portsdown

Health And Well Being


A parent’s guide to SEN Support in schools


Parents Guide To Sen Support

Ordinarily Available Provision Document


Useful Links and Information

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) and high needs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

School attendance and absence: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Advice and guidance (autism.org.uk)

Dyslexia Explained | What’s It Like Being Dyslexic? | Understand Dyslexia – YouTube

Support for parent carers – Courses and Training > Portsmouth Local Offer

Supporting Children and Young People with Reading Difficulties > Portsmouth Local Offer

Support with learning > Portsmouth Local Offer


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Newsletter

CAMHS Healthy Minds newsletters for parents.  The current topics are about building resilience, anger management and the effects of playing video games on children and young people.

If you would like a printed copy please speak to Mrs Thomas (Inclusion Manager/SENCO).

Anxiety Newsletter

Video Games Leaflet Updated

Healthy Young Minds Anger Management Newsletter August 2016

Healthy Young Minds Resilience Part 1

Healthy Young Minds Resilience Part 2