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Kirkby Thore School

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Special Needs and disabilities at Kirkby Thore School

We believe that every child has the right to an education in which they can achieve their full potential. At Kirkby Thore school we recognise that every child is unique, and some children need more support than others to achieve their potential. We work closely with parents, carers and the children themselves to ensure that we provide a safe, positive learning environment in which your child can thrive. If you have any concerns, or would like to know more information, please don't hesitate to contact Mr Neal Banner, who is both the Headteacher and Special Needs and disabilities coordinator. 


Kirkby Thore School is situated at the heart of its community in the small, rural village of Kirkby Thore, which sits between Penrith and Appleby.  The school has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, which is evident as you enter the building. Our extensive grounds, and large classrooms help of an excellent learning environment that can make the most of both indoor and outdoor education. We offer nursery provision in our Starlings class, alongside Reception and Year 1 children. Every Monday afternoon between 1-3.30pm, we have our successful Stay and Play, baby & toddler play group, to which all are welcome.

Our numbers vary, however we average 40 – 50 children in the school divided between 3 classrooms. Our staff and governors work hard to ensure it is a safe place in which your child will learn to their full potential. We offer a wide range of learning opportunities to include all children that attend our school, including extra-curricular activities, residential visits and community links, such as with the local church, and local farmers bringing in their lambs.  

The main school is open daily from 8.40am until 3.20pm, however we do offer a breakfast club every morning from 8.15am and an after school club Monday to Thursday that runs until 4.30pm. On Fridays, after school club is Oasis, which is a free club run by local church volunteers, finishing at 4.45pm.

Nursery sessions start at 8.45 am and finish at 11.45 am, or afternoon sessions start at 12.30pm. Nursery children can stay for lunch due to prior arrangement.

Play group runs from 1.30pm to 3.00pm every Monday during term time.

We are happy to discuss the needs of all children with their parents in order to offer the best possible education.  Visits from prospective parents are welcomed and are the best opportunity to discuss the specific need of your children. Further details can be read in our SEND Policy.  A link to this is attached.


How does the school know if children need extra support and what should I do if I think my child has Special Educational Needs or a disability?

At Kirkby Thore School, we pride ourselves on knowing every child and staff get to know families too. We hope this provides a safe atmosphere in which you feel you can come to talk to us about your child’s needs, and how we can support your child within school. If we have spotted a need and we feel your child needs extra support, we will invite you in to have a chat and plan steps forward to provide the best possible support for your child that is possible within the school environment. We identify needs with in children through a variety of ways, including, but not exclusively:

  • Noticing that a child is performing below age related expectations.
  • Concerns raised by a teacher
  • Concerns raised by a parent
  • Liaison with previous schools
  • Liaison with outside agencies that provide specialist advice and support
  • Health diagnosis through a GP, paediatrician or health visitor

Regular reviews of children’s progress help support these discussions and identifications.

How will school staff support my child?           

Every child is unique, as is the support they need, therefore we work very closely with our colleagues, parents, and outside agencies, to provide the support that is appropriate for your child. This may mean one to one adult support, but it could be that we provide your child with certain resources, or change their learning environment to help meet their needs. We regularly track childrens progress and evaluate the support they are given. This included reviewing individual Education Plans that are set up with specific targets and strategies for your child. Throughout the process, we will include parents and carers, so you are fully aware of the support provided, and understand how well it is working.

There will be 3 official meetings throughout the year, as part of parents’ evenings, in which you are invited in to review your child’s progress, however is reality the headteacher, who is also the current SENDco and your child’s class teacher will liaise with you on a regular basis.

The nominated governor for SEND is Mr Keith Robinson, who meets with the SENDco at least once a year.   

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

All learning within our school is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access it according to their specific needs. Some children will need one to one support to meet their needs and access on occasions, but we also look at ways of making work accessible without an extra adult at times, so that there isn’t a reliance formed. This varies depending on the individual needs.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

We are committed to working closely with families to help meet your children’s needs. There are many opportunities for contact with your child’s class teacher and the SENDco, including parents’ meetings, review meetings and the opportunity to touch base with the headteacher / SENDco in the playground before school.

Children on the SEND register will have an IEP with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-related) targets, which are regularly reviewed and discussed, both within school and with parents.

We regularly track children’s progress, both through assessments and observations, and individual children are discussed with the class teacher and SENDco at pupil progress meetings. Where children are not making expected progress, we create a plan of action to provide the support they need.

Who can I contact for further information?

The first point of contact for parents / carers is always the child’s class teacher. An appointment can also be made to meet with Mr Neal Banner, our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) and Headteacher. Look at our SEN policy on our website as well as the other policies referred to above. Contact the Cumbria SEND Information, Advice and Support Service  website

Contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) If you are considering whether your child should join the school, contact the School Office to make an appointment to meet our Headteacher, Mr Neal Banner. 

We welcome children from the term after they turn 3 for up to 30 hours a week. Explore our website for more information or email