Special Educational Needs at Merton Bank Primary School

My name is Mrs Melanie Clark and I am the Deputy Head Teacher at Merton Bank. I am also the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo). This means I have responsibility for all our pupils who have Special or Additional Needs.

As well as being a qualified teacher (B.Ed Hons), I also hold the statutory qualification for all school SENCo’s – PGCert. (National Award for SEN Co-ordinators) which I gained at Edge Hill University.

My main roles as SENco are:

  • Supporting the identification of children with Special Educational Needs.
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.
  • Liaising with parents of children with SEN.
  • Liaising with other providers and external agencies such as educational psychologists and speech and language therapists.
  • Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date.
  • Supporting teachers and staff with specific training to ensure they are able to support pupils with SEN in class.

At Merton Bank, we have a significant number of pupils who have additional needs and these include pupil’s with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, speech and language difficulties and difficulties with social skills, behaviour and emotional and mental health.

At Merton Bank, we strongly believe that each and every pupil is unique and special and our team endeavour to do all we can to ensure they receive the care, support and education they are entitled to and deserve.

If a parent or teacher raises a concern about a pupil, this concern is logged and the child is usually placed on our internal SEN Monitoring Register. This means that we will put some general interventions in place e.g. some specific support in reading and monitor the child’s progress and development. Often, this is enough to ensure the child’s needs are met and the pupil will be able to be removed from the SEN Monitoring Register.

Sometimes, we may consider it necessary to consult with specialists to gain their advice or support. The child may then be added to the school’s official SEN Register and again, they will be supported and monitored closely.

If you have any concerns about your son or daughter please contact your child’s Class Teacher in the first instance. Alternatively, if you would like a confidential chat with myself then please contact me through the school office on 01744 22104 or by email to

Thank you,

Melanie Clark

Here you will find information about how we help and support children with special educational needs in our local offer document as well as links to other help and support available for families in the St Helens area.

Special Educational Needs – Graduated Approach and Intervention Programmes

At Merton Bank we follow the Graduated Approach adopted by most Local Authorities, to support our pupil’s with SEN/Additional Needs and this approach follows four stages per cycle: Assess, Plan, Do, Review.


The class teacher, working with the parents and SENCo, discusses the child’s needs and difficulties and assesses the child’s baseline level by which progress will be measured.

This is reviewed regularly, with specific dates set for the next review.


A plan of additional support is drawn up for the pupil and school shares with parents what progress they hope will be made (outcomes) and by what date (deadlines).


The pupil is given extra support, under the supervision of the class teacher/SENCo.


A review is held each school term (three times a year). Parents (and children, where appropriate) are able to contribute to the review.

Following a Review, a pupil may begin another cycle or alternative support may be sought.

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girl playing guitar in school hall

Waves of Intervention

In St Helens, additional support for children with Special Educational Needs is expected to be delivered through three successive levels or ‘waves’. 

Wave 1:

This is the expectation of ‘Quality First’ teaching, where good quality teaching and matching work to individual children means that every pupil is included. The needs of all children are taken into account, with high expectations for all.  All Class Teachers are trained to ensure that they are able to deliver Quality First teaching to their classes which meet the needs of the majority of their class as a whole.

Wave 2:

These interventions are targeted at pupils with SEN specifically. They might include access to specialist resources within the school, such as pastoral support, therapies, identified interventions and some 1:1 support.

Wave 2 interventions at Merton Bank include:

DESTY – a programme to support emotional health and wellbeing
INSYNC/Seedlings – a programme to support physical coordination
Talk Boost – an early Speech and Language programme for EYFS/KS1 pupils
NESSY – an online spelling and language programme
Lego Therapy – an intervention to support pupils’ social skills
Beat Dyslexia – a programme to identify and support pupils with dyslexic tendencies
Manchester Motor Skills – a programme to support the development of gross and fine motor skills
Social Stories – an intervention to support pupils’ social skills/regulation of emotions

Wave 3:

This is usually where an external specialist may be asked to advise on more specialised support, generally where a pupil has not progressed as well as expected despite Wave 1 and Wave 2 support.

In St Helens, schools are able to make referrals to the following outside agencies for support:

  • Learning Support Service – for assessments/advice/support in literacy.
  • NHS (Bridgewater) Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Paediatric Occupational Therapy
  • Paediatric Physiotherapy Service
  • Paediatric Continence Team
  • Community Paediatric Team
  • School Nursing Team
  • Behaviour Improvement Team
  • Visual Support Team
  • Hearing Support Team
  • Neuropathway Team
  • Local Autism and Social Communication Service

 In addition, at Merton Bank, we employ the services of:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Speech Bubble – speech and language company
  • Philippi Counselling Service
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boy smiling through fence on school playground

Merton Bank Primary, School Roper Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ

© Merton Bank Primary School 2019. All Rights Reserved

Merton Bank Primary, School Roper Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 1EJ

© Merton Bank Primary School 2019. All Rights Reserved
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