• Welcome to

    The Russell School


The Russell School is a multicultural primary school for children aged between 3 and 11 years old. We are proud to offer an inclusive education to children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities.

All staff and children support and celebrate difference and diversity, with a vision of promoting equality and opportunity for all and the respect of others. This is reflected through both our school values and vision.

All maintained schools in Richmond have a similar approach to meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs. We are supported by the Local Authority to ensure that all children, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, and the needs of children with a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEN-D) are met in a mainstream setting, whenever possible, if it is the family’s preference.

The admission of children with SEN-D is the second criterion considered when offering school places. There will only be a few cases when a child has to go to a specific school for exceptional family, social or medical reasons. If your child has special educational needs or if your child may need additional support in school, but does not have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), it is not possible to consider their application for a higher priority under this criterion.

Please see the questions and answers below for more information about the special needs provision offered by The Russell School. The SEND Information Report detailed on this webpage was last updated in March 2022.

What is the school’s ethos and approach to teaching pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)?

The Russell Primary School is a nurturing, inclusive school which delivers a high standard of education to children from the local community regardless of their individual needs. The school is proud of its diverse community and endeavours to respond to the individual and unique needs of children from our local community in a positive, proactive manner. Children with additional needs make good progress and their achievements are celebrated. All children are supported and encouraged to take part in all aspects of school life.

Currently The Russell Primary School supports children with a wide range of needs including communication and language difficulties, Autism (ASD), Downs Syndrome, sensory processing needs, literacy difficulties, Global Developmental Delay and social emotional difficulties.

What expertise, training and experience do school staff have in SEND?

The school SEND provision is expertly managed by two members of staff - the school’s Inclusion Lead (and member of the Senior Leadership Team), Heather Clarke, and our SENCo, Nicola McCann. They can both be contacted via the school office by telephone on 0208 940 1446 or email at info@russell.richmond.sch.uk.

The Inclusion Lead, in consultation with the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, plan regular training for all staff linked to the current needs of the present pupils and staff.

The school's Inclusion Lead and SENCo are qualified teachers with postgraduate qualifications in SEN, Disability and Psychology. They attend regular training within the Local Authority to stay up-to-date with current Government legislation and provision for SEND pupils.

The Russell School Governing Body has an appointed SEND Governor who meets termly with the Inclusion Lead to ensure the staff are receiving appropriate professional development and are confident to meet the needs of the pupils they teach.

The Russell School works closely in partnership with Strathmore School; we are co-located in one building. Strathmore has a wealth of experience and expertise which The Russell School can access and benefit from when needed. Both schools regularly share experiences and gain from each other’s practice.

The Inclusion Lead's and SENCo’s jobs are to support the Class Teacher in planning for children with SEND. Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met. Trained support staff can adapt the teachers’ planning to support the needs of your child where necessary. Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis, if needed, to meet your child’s learning requirements.

The school has regular and specific training for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. Staff have received training on trauma and attachment, scaffolding learning, colourful semantics, spelling, phonics, phonological awareness and maths interventions. Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies or the Local Authority, that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class. Individual staff have received training on childhood mental health.

Class Teachers are able to attend termly consultations with the Inclusion Lead and SENCo to discuss any new concerns. Progress meetings are held termly with Headteacher to discuss individual progress and the needs of all children.

How will I know how my child with SEND is doing in school or if they may have SEND?

As a school, staff closely monitor the progress of all pupils. The staff have termly Pupil Progress meetings with the Headteacher, Inclusion Lead and SENCo to discuss the progress for all pupils in their class. The school have half termly assessment focused weeks, the results from which are recorded on our internal assessment system. Regular book scrutiny, lesson observation and learning walks provide a wealth of information about each pupil’s progress. Twice a year all staff are part of the whole school provision mapping process from which pupils’ needs are identified.

If your child is identified as not making enough progress academically, physically, emotionally or socially, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you. At the meeting, we will collaboratively share our concerns about your child and think of ways to further support your child’s needs at school and at home. After this, your child’s progress and learning will be monitored closely.

If your child’s learning and progress is more of a significant concern, despite careful planning and assessment by the Class Teacher, the school will consider whether they feel your child’s needs are longer term and need further, more targeted, support. At this point, in consultation with parents, the child will be included in our SEND support plan. The child’s learning will then be monitored and supported closely by the SENCo and the Inclusion Lead.

When a child is included in our SEN support plan, the child and parents will be part of an Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycle of learning as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice. The provision planned for your child will be written on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and shared/discussed with parents at termly parent evenings.

Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning/ Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND)?

Inclusion Lead and SENCo: Responsible for:

  • Coordination and day to day management of all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND information report to make sure all children receive a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school
  • Ensuring that you are involved in supporting your child’s learning, kept informed about the support your child is getting and involved in reviewing how your child is doing
  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy etc.
  • Updating the school’s SEND support list (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs
  • Being an advocate for children with SEND and promoting inclusive practices throughout the school   

Class Teacher Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and informing the Inclusion Lead as appropriate
  • Setting relevant targets for your child and sharing and reviewing these with parents
  • Ensuring that all members of staff working with your child in school, such as TAs and outside specialist help, are supported to deliver the planned work/programme for your child so that they can achieve the best possible progress
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND

SEN Governor: Responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is provided for any child who attends the school who has SEND


Responsible for:

  • The strategic leadership and management of all aspects of the school, including the support for children with SEND
  • Ensuring that your child’s needs are met, giving responsibility to the Inclusion Leader and Class Teachers
  • Ensuring that the Governing Body is kept up to date regarding any issues in the school relating to SEND
  • Ensuring that the Local Authority plays its part in the provision for children with an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan)

How does the school involve children/young people with SEND in their education and in the decision making process?

All children across the school are involved in and expected to take some responsibility for their own learning. All children have personal target cards in their writing books so that they know their own next steps of learning. Children who have an EHC plan have their own individual targets in their personal IP folders which is always available in class. They can give their own feedback and work with the teacher on their next steps of learning. All pupils with an EHC plan write their own communication passports which are updated each year, outlining what the children thinks helps them to learn.

What are the different types of support available for my child with SEND at The Russell School?

Class teacher input via excellent, targeted, classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching (Wave One).

For your child this means that:

  • All staff will seek to promote their independence and resilience
  • The teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class
  • All teaching is based upon building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand and finding the next steps forward. English and maths lessons are fully differentiated to ensure all pupils have access to the curriculum
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning and multi-sensory learning
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo, Inclusion Lead or outside professionals) are in place to support your child to learn
  • Your child’s teacher will carefully check on your child’s progress and if he/ she identifies any gaps in their understanding/learning he/ she will help them to fill those gaps to make the best possible progress
  • Your child’s teacher will meet regularly with the Headteacher to report on the progress and strategies used to support every child’s needs

Group work (Wave Two). For your child this means that there are:

  • Groups available for any child who the class teacher feels need a little extra support as they have specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning
  • Groups available that are run inside and outside of the classroom
  • Groups run by the class teacher or more often the class Learning Support Assistant under the guidance of the class teacher

SEND Code of Practice: SEN Support (Wave Three)

If it is decided that your child needs more individual, specific support, your child may have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo/Inclusion Lead (or you may have raised your worries) as needing additional support to quality first teaching and groups.

  • You will be asked to come to attend a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward. An Individual Education Plan will be written with specific targets to work towards and monitored regularly in line with the SEND Code of Practice (Assess, Plan, Do, Review)
  • If appropriate, an intervention programme delivered by a teaching assistant, the SENCo or the Inclusion Lead will be run to meet the specific targets written on the IEP
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively in school

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better. For example, personalised/differentiated curriculums, flexible timetabling to allow for any appropriate therapies (e.g. Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy)
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise
  • A group or individual intervention run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group, a speech and language intervention, a motor skills coordination group, speech work, auditory processing group

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and groups.

Education, Health and Care Plan:

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) means that your child will have been identified by the class teacher/the Inclusion Lead as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.

Usually your child will also require specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from Local Authority central services such as the Educational Psychology Service, Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need), outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service, Occupational Health or CAMHs.

The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority (LA) carry out an Education, Health and Care needs assessment of your child’s. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.

After the school has sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), the LA will decide whether they think your child’s needs seem complex enough to require an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan). If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support at SEN Support.

After the reports have all been provided, the Local Authority will decide if your child needs additional support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support at SEN Support as indicated in the Code of Practice.

The EHC Plan will outline the amount of additional funds provided to the school and/ or the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA, how that support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long term outcomes for your child. An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, to run individual programmes or to run small groups including your child.

How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have any concerns about your child’s progress you should initially speak to your child’s class teacher. He/ she will set up a time to discuss your concerns. If appropriate, he/ she could invite the SENCo and/or the Inclusion Lead to that meeting.

If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed or that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Inclusion Lead or the Headteacher.

If you are still not happy after these steps, you should refer to the school’s complaints process.

How is extra support allocated to children?

  • The school budget, received from the DfE via Richmond Local Authority, includes money for supporting children with SEN
  • The Headteacher decides on the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school
  • The Headteacher and the Inclusion Lead discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school and together they decide what resources/training and support is needed. A detailed Provision Map of support is written, planned, delivered and reviewed
  • All resources, training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as necessary

What other professional services provide support to children with specific needs at The Russell School?

Over the past two years the school community has received advice and support from the following services:   

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Educational Psychologist (consultation, assessment and advice)
  • CAMHs (child and mental health services)
  • School Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Family Support Workers
  • Music Therapist
  • Home Start

When appropriate to the needs of the child, these professionals can offer advice and support to our school staff, families and the child.

To access support from these professionals there is a referral process which is managed by the Inclusion Lead.

How will we measure the progress of your child in school? How does the school know if the SEN provision is effective?

  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term and next steps are planned in reading, writing and maths
  • If your child is in Year One or above, but is not yet at National Curriculum levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress 
  • At the end of the Foundation Stage, the progress of each child is measured against the Early Learning Goals and parents receive an end of year report including this information
  • At the end of Year One all children are assessed using the National Phonics Screening Assessment. If your child does not meet the required threshold, this test will be repeated in Year Two after a period of additional support
  • At the end of Year Two, children are formally assessed using Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs). Again, parents will receive a report with this information included. This is something that the Government requires all schools to do
  • When a child is identified as needing SEN support, the child and parents will be part of an Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycle of learning as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice. The provision planned for your child will be written on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and shared/discussed with parents at termly parent evenings. The staff team will also assess your child if they are receiving Wave Three interventions via pre and post observations, samples of work or published assessments
  • As above, the progress of children with an EHC Plan is reviewed termly with parents. Progress against the outcomes listed on the EHCP are formally reviewed at an Annual Review. All adults involved with the child’s education are invited to attend or input into this annual assessment 

How will parents be involved in discussions about and involvement in my child’s education?

Progress will be reviewed with your involvement each term. Parents of pupils receiving SEN support or those with an EHCP are invited to three parent-consultation meetings where the provision outlined in the IEP is reviewed and new learning targets and provision are discussed. Homework will be adjusted according to your child’s individual needs. If your child is supported via an EHCP, a home/school contact book can be used to support communication with you. In some cases, when a child has limited or no speech, a camera is used so your child can communicate with you visually about their school day. The Teaching and Learning Assistant is available at the end and beginning of the day for brief, informal chats.

How is school accessible to children with SEND?

  • Our wonderful building is accessible to children and adults with physical disabilities. The hall and Strathmore Wing have built in hoists to allow for more independent movement. There is a lift to the upper floors and disabled toilets around the building. All entrances are accessible for wheelchairs
  • Our play spaces are wide and easily accessible
  • We have specialist equipment available to aid gross and fine motor development including adapted scissors, special chairs, occupational therapy resources and feeding equipment. Fine motor boxes are available to use with all children across all key stages
  • All trips and activities offered to pupils at The Russell School are available to pupils with SEND.  For some pupils, reasonable adjustments may need to be made. This is always carried out in partnership with families and carers
  • After school provision and extra-curricular activities are accessible to all children including those with SEND and where possible, funding is requested and an additional member of staff is appointed
  • The Russell is an Attachment and Trauma informed school
  • Different communication systems, such as Makaton and PECs, are used to allow access for pupils with communication difficulties
  • For sensory impaired children, we have a classroom sound system. Worksheets and books are enlarged when appropriate. Large display calculators and rulers and a colourful, lower case computer keyboard is available. Slope boards are used to support posture when writing. Sensory circuits are run each morning for children who need movement breaks
  • Visual timetables are used in all classrooms across the whole school to allow children to have meaningful structure to their day
  • Access to the curriculum is enhanced by good quality first teaching, differentiated according to pupils’ level of attainment
  • The Reef is a dedicated space which allows children time to regulate and develop their emotional literacy skills

How will we support your child when they are leaving this school or moving on to another class?

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

If your child is moving to a new school:

  • Staff will contact the other school’s SENCo and ensure he/she knows about the arrival of your child. The Russell Inclusion Lead (or SENCo) will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCo from the new school
  • The office will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible
  • Where possible, if moving to a local secondary school, your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child at The Russell. Your child will have opportunities to meet the staff and to learn how to navigate the building and the playground. Your child could take photos and help create a book about the new school which will be theirs to keep

When moving classes in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher. Extra visits will be arranged to help your child settle in more quickly and dispel any anxieties he/she may have. All records and targets will be shared with the new teacher
  • A child’s passport is written with your child explaining your child’s strengths and difficulties and things that help your child to succeed in school. This is then given to new staff when they first meet your child
  • Your child‘s move could be supported by a social story or visual book to support them understanding moving on, to recognise new staff or environments. On some occasions children have had the opportunity to interview their new teacher and ask them questions

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being and/ or behaviour?

The Russell School has a well-being charter for staff and parents. The charter below explains what is offered to children within the school.

The Russell School Charter to Support the Emotional Well-being of all Pupils

The Russell School aims to support the emotional well-being of all pupils within the school. Our school values of resilience and respect reflect the school’s commitment to establish a nurturing school ethos of positive emotional well-being and mental health.

The support offered by the school is delivered according to the needs of the child.

The school offers to all pupils:

  • A whole school PHSE curriculum (currently under review) through which children learn emotional literacy and how to promote positive mental health
  • A class based worry monster for children to ‘tell’ an adult about their worries and concerns
  • A Talking School: children are clear who they can talk to and that they will be listened to
  • A set of strong school values which are taught and discussed regularly with the class teacher and during assemblies
  • A clear and consistent behaviour policy which is applied in a differentiated way for children with specific and recognised needs
  • The Restorative Approach which is well embedded across the school to support children to resolve disagreements
  • Whole school events to promote emotional well-being and positive mental health
  • Visits from organisation such as Mind and NSPCC
  • A pupil led school council

When appropriate, to targeted pupils, the school will offer:

  • Staff mentoring
  • Pupil buddying
  • Small social skills/ friendship groups
  • ELSA support
  • Lego Therapy
  • Individual Learning Plans
  • Time to talk and draw
  • Nurturing storytime

If a child’s needs are more complex, the school may signpost families to:

  • Local counselling services (for KS2) for bereavement or family breakdown
  • Family support services
  • School nursing service
  • Charities
  • GP
  • CAMHs

Who, outside of the school, can I turn to for advice and support? Where can I find information about Local Authority provision for children and young people with SEND?

The Achieving for Children website offers a wealth of information about local organisation and provision for children and young people with SEND.








SEND Local Offer

SEND Local Offer

SEND Policy