Special Educational Needs - Key Information

Our SEND/ inclusion leader at Nonsuch is Mrs Sarah Wilson  If you would like to contact her please call the office on 0208 3939209 or email the school office office@nonsuchprimary.sutton.sch.uk 

Mrs Wilson works on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The school works, whenever possible, in partnership with parents to ensure a collaborative approach to meeting individual needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. This page is here to offer help and advice to all parents and families.

What are special educational needs?

A child has special educational needs (SEN) if they require provision to be made which is ‘additional to or different from’ that provided for the majority.

At Nonsuch, we recognise our duties, as stated in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice. The Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations. It relates to children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disabled children and young people.

  • We will ensure that all pupils with special educational needs have full and equal access to the curriculum and all aspects of school life
  • The school will endeavour, through appropriate use of funding, staffing and professional expertise, to meet the needs of all our children
  • The school will provide a curriculum which is appropriate and matched to individual needs and learning styles

SEN in a Nutshell

ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

ELSAs are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants. They are teaching assistants who have received specific additional training from educational psychologists from whom they receive on going supervision following their training. Their role is to support children in school to understand and regulate their own emotions whilst also respecting the feelings of those around them. 

Our ELSA’s in school has been doing this role for many years and both attend regular ELSA catch ups with an Educational Psychologist and network with other ELSAs in local Sutton Primary Schools.

All children should be nurtured in accordance with their individual needs. There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning, and some will require greater support to increase their emotional literacy than others

Most ELSA programmes will last for 6 to 12 weeks, helping the pupil to learn some specific new skills or coping strategies. Clear programme aims (SMART targets) need to be set early on and each session has an objective - something the ELSA wants to help the pupil understand or achieve.

The sessions are not intended to fix problems but are a means of supporting a child through a situation and encouraging them to begin to open up and talk and to learn to have strategies to deal with their emotions.

An ELSA will use counselling skills, including active listening, problem clarification and open questions in order to enable a child to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

ELSA sessions are fun and a range of activities, games and crafts are included to make sure the child feels calm and safe. The sessions take place in the ELSA room which provides a calm, safe space for the child where they feel nurtured. These sessions are mostly individual but can sometimes be done in groups for social skills support.

We provide ELSA sessions for children who may have emotional needs, anxiety, have a separation in the family, bereavement, low self-esteem, behaviour, social skills needs, friendship issues, anger management. The ELSA will deal with many of these needs.

Our children have responded very well to the ELSA sessions and feel very comfortable going and will request more because they feel comfortable and safe. It has been a great way of providing that immediate support for the children 

Project X Code

Project X Code is a reading intervention for children aged six and above struggling to meet expected standards. Specifically targeted at struggling readers in years 2 to 4 It embeds phonics (aligned to Letters and Sounds Phases 3-5) within a highly motivational 3D episodic adventure series.

Our trained HLTA, Mrs Dodds, delivers the programme which is based on 56 carefully levelled books with a clear progression designed to revisit and accelerate acquisition of phonic knowledge, application and comprehension skills through an action-packed story. That takes pupils through different zones and on mission to collect CODE keys. 

This is a high quality programme which is engaging, practical, and focused. Children will love the idea of saving the world from danger and they will surely rise to the challenge.

Lego Therapy 

Lego therapy is a social development programme for children with autism spectrum disorders or related social communication difficulties. 

Our trained teaching assistant Mrs De Araujo and Mrs Humphris-Groce deliver the programme which is based on 10 sessions with a group of 3 children.

Children work together in a small group taking on the roles of supplier builder and architect to build models facilitated by the therapist. A natural opportunity for developing social competence to develop social skills such as turn taking, collaboration and social communication.

The key to this approach is how engaging and enjoyable it is for the participants! Building collaboratively is great fun, and young people develop social skills while enjoying themselves.

Zones of Regulation

In school we have been learning about the Zones of Regulation. We need to teach ALL of our children good coping and regulation strategies so that they can help themselves when they experience emotions such as anxiety or stress. Teaching children these tools at a young age will support them in later life. 

It teachers children;  

  • Vocabulary of emotional terms 
  • How to recognise their own emotions 
  • How to detect the emotions of others 
  • What may trigger certain emotions 
  • Problem solving skills 

There are four zones 

Blue: rest area where you pull over when you’re tired and need to recharge.

This could be when you are feeling sad, sick, tired or bored (low state of alertness brain and/or body is moving slowly or sluggishly.

 Green: You are good to go!

This is when you are in control, calm, happy and ready to learn (a regulated state of alertness). 

Yellow Slow down or take warning.

This is when you have more sensitive emotions and states but are able to maintain control, worried, frustrated, silly, excited, scared or overwhelmed (heightened state of alertness but you still have some control)

Red: Stop and regain control. 

This could be when you are elated, angry, wild, terrified (heightened state of alertness and out of control)

There is no ‘bad’ zone, Everyone can experience all of the zones at different times and in different circumstances. We can’t change the way children feel BUT we can learn to   manage feelings/states and behaviors. “It’s OK to be angry but it is not OK to hit.”

You can be in more than one zone at a time. (e.g. sad AND angry when something has happened)  

How you can support the zones of regulation at home

  • Identify your own feelings using Zones language  (e.g. “I’m frustrated, I am in the yellow zone”) 
  • Provide positive reinforcement when your child is in the Green Zone.
  • Talk about what tool you will use to be in the appropriate Zone.  (e.g. “I’m feeling frustrated so it might be a good idea for me to squeeze some putty to help me calm down” ) 
  • Label what zones a child is in throughout the day (e.g. “You look sleepy, are you in the blue zone?”) 
  • Play snap, or a memory pairs with some feelings cards that you could download  below or make your own with photos.


Neurodiversity is a viewpoint that brain differences are normal, rather than deficits. The idea of neurodiversity can have benefits for children with learning and thinking differences. This concept can help reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences. The term neurodiversity refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions. It was coined in 1998 by sociologist Judy Singer, who helped popularize the concept along with journalist Harvey Blume. 1 in 5 people are neurodiverse!

Please click the links below for more information:-

Recommended Books to help Support Children and Adults
Zones of Regulation Video