Watergate School – SEN information report and Accessibility Plan

The information in this report complies with:

Section 69 (2) of the children and families act 2014

Regulation 51 and schedule 1 of the special educational needs and disabilities regulations 2014

Paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the equality act 2010

Watergate School is Lewisham’s primary special school for pupils with severe learning difficulties.  All pupils at Watergate have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  Lewisham SEN team are responsible for all admissions to Watergate. If you are seeking a place at the school or require information on SEND funding, please contact the Lewisham SEN Team. 

Lewisham SEN
Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre
32 Rushey Green

Tel: 020 3049 1475

Email: sen@lewisham.gov.uk


For further details on admissions to the school, please refer to Admissions in the School Information section of the website.  For further details on provision available at Watergate, please refer to Watergate Local Offer in the About Us section of the website.


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

Your child’s class teacher is directly responsible for the progress of each child in their class and has detailed information relating to your child.

Each class has a member of the school’s senior leadership team (SLT) assigned to it, to find out who the designated member of the team for your child’s class is please contact the school office.

The Headteacher, Fiona Veitch has overall responsibility for all children in the school.  She is also the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). 

What are the different types of support available for children with SEND at Watergate?            

The class teacher addresses individual learning need and differentiates all learning activities to according to each child’s need. The teacher will work in collaboration with specialist school staff such as: the MOVE Lead or ASD Lead Practitioner. 

We have a strong trans-disciplinary approach and work closely with a range of specialist services who are based at Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre.  Members of the following teams work in the school: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Visual/ Hearing and Multisensory impairment.   The school is also supported by the Inclusion Service (Educational Psychologist) and the Attendance Service.   Music Therapists, from Oxleas Trust, works at the school three days each week.  Therapists work alongside teachers to identify and address learning, care and health needs for individual children.  They also provide ongoing training and support for class teams to ensure that children have the best possible support in their education.

Community paediatricians from Kaleidoscope hold medicals at the school on the regular basis.  Lewisham Complex Needs Nursing Team (CNNT) provides services from a Special Needs Nursing Assistant (agreed medication administration, gastrostomy feeding) 5 days a week.  A Special Needs Nursing Team Nurse supports the school with health education (personal hygiene, healthy eating, and exercise).  The CNNT nurse writes care plans for all pupils requiring medication at school including emergency rescue medication for pupils with epilepsy. The Children’s Epilepsy Nurse Specialist also writes seizure care plans and provides training to staff on the administration of emergency seizure medications.  There are also care plans for management of suctioning and gastrostomy feeding for pupils who require this.   The CNNT nurse, along with an Occupational Therapist, runs toileting clinics at the school.

If the Multiagency Planning Pathway (MAPP) team is supporting your child, they will work with the school and all MAPP meetings for your child are held at the school.

If the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS) is involved with your child, they will work with the school.  They may gain information about/ observe your child at school in order to develop continuity in approaches for meeting your child’s needs both at home and at school.

Staff based at Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre can be contacted on the main Kaleidoscope number: 020 7138 1100

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

Firstly, you should contact your child’s class teacher, as they have all of the information about your child’s learning.  The class teacher is the person most familiar with your child at school.  Please feel free to call the school, write in the home/school contact book or talk to your child’s teacher directly to arrange a meeting.

Each class has a member of the Senior Leadership Team assigned to it, the school office will be able to tell you who this is and to put them in contact with you.

If necessary, you may wish to contact the headteacher, to do this headteacher, please ring the school office.

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

Your child’s class teacher should contact you as soon as possible if this is the case and not wait for a parents’ evening/ annual review to discuss concerns. The teacher will call; send a note via the home/ school contact book or; talk to you directly to arrange a meeting to discuss concerns.

How are staff at Watergate School supported to work with children, with SEND, and what training do they have?

Having a trained and experienced workforce is a priority for us.  As a special school, all staff have experience of working with children with a range of special educational needs.   

A number of teaching staff have advanced qualifications in the education of children with special needs, for example we have teachers with postgraduate qualifications in teaching children with Visual Impairment, Autism and PMLD. 

The school has a comprehensive programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which includes 5 training days a year for all staff; learning visits to other outstanding schools and sending staff on externally arranged short courses.  So far this year all staff have had training in Positive Behaviour Support, Prevent, safeguarding and music. Staff have attended courses on such things as: SEND curriculum and assessment, Makaton signing, creative learning and Intensive Interaction.   There is a rolling programme of ‘in–house’ professional development, including on-going training, in meeting with needs of pupils with autism.  We are a Centre of Excellence for the MOVE curriculum and provide MOVE senior practitioner training for key members of our staff and those from other schools.

How will teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

Teaching is adapted and differentiated to meet each child’s individual learning needs. Each pupil has a termly Individual Education Plan (IEP), this identifies the child’s current educational priorities and is prepared working with parents, the speech and language therapist and occupational therapist and/or physiotherapist where appropriate.  The IEP targets are derived from the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Outcomes and the ‘Steps Towards’ meeting them.

How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

Ongoing progress (formative assessment) is recorded in each pupil’s Interim Recording File by the staff working with the pupil.   Class teams regularly discuss progress made and target any identified area of particular learning need.  The senior leadership team monitor children’s progress and meet with teachers to plan and put into place any necessary interventions should there be concerns.

Records of ongoing progress are used to formally assess (summative assessment) each pupil’s progress at particular times of the year, using MAPP (Mapping and Assessment of Personal Progress).  

You will receive informal information about aspects of your child’s progress in the home/ school contact book and a copy of their evaluated IEP at the end of each term. We also have a termly parent/carer’s meeting where you can discuss how your child is doing with the class team and any therapists who are involved with him/her. You receive an update on your child’s progress at each Annual Review of their EHCP.

What support do we have for you as a parent/carer of a child with SEND?

We are always available to talk to you and will help to find any additional support you may need. 

The Educational Psychologist provides a block of workshops each year to support parent(s)/ carer(s) of children with SEND.  

Educational and health professionals, working in the school, can signpost parents/carers to further avenues of support.

Parent(s)/ carer(s) are invited to contact the school over any issue.

How is Watergate School accessible to children with SEND?

Watergate School is a purpose-built special school for pupils with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties.  The school architecture and design has been tailored to meet the special educational needs of this group of children.  The school is sited on sloping site and has an upper and lower ground floor with flat access into each level and a lift between floors.  Internal doors are all one meter wide with each corridor 2.9m wide to enable free movement of wheelchair users. Pupil corridors are fitted with a handrail to support those at the early stages of walking. There are disabled toilets sited throughout the building (including disabled toilets for adults/ visitors).  There is ceiling track hoisting in many toilet areas, the Learning Support Base, the White Room (Sensory Room, Soft Play Room and in the Swimming Pool.  There is a mobile hoist in all teaching areas that require it.  The building and site comply with the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010 (Accessibility Plan).

How will we support your child when they start or leave Watergate School or change class?

Watergate is a primary special school for pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD). The school firmly believes in the importance a smooth transition for children starting at Watergate.  Visits are made to each child’s early years provision, prior to admission.  If a child is not in an early years setting, parent(s)/ carer(s) are invited to bring their child to Watergate for an initial visit.  The school obtains all information possible, both formal and informal, from early years settings and from you the parent(s)/ carer(s).  The EHCP is studied in-depth and any area that is unclear is clarified with you and the other professionals involved with your child.   All Health Professionals working at the school are notified of new admissions so that they can liaise with colleagues in early years to ensure that all information and equipment is available to your child when they start at Watergate.  An admission meeting for education and health professionals is held in the summer term each year in order to ensure that the school has all relevant information relating to each child.   At least two transition visits to the school are arranged, as far as possible, for each child.  This is so that the child can become familiar with their new classroom/ staff and so that the staff working with them can begin to get to know the child.

When children change classes meetings are held, with current teachers and class teams handing over all information about each pupil to the new class teacher.  The new class teachers often spend time observing each pupil in their current class.  Where considered appropriate pupils make visits to their new class.

At the end of Y6, the vast majority of Watergate pupils move to Greenvale School, Lewisham’s secondary school for pupils with severe learning difficulties.   Watergate jointly funds with Greenvale a Transition Support Assistant, who is employed to enable a smooth transition to Greenvale Secondary School.  The Transition Support Assistant works at Watergate in the summer term (the pupils’ last term at Watergate) and Greenvale in the autumn term, when pupils are starting Y7.  The Transition Support Assistant is a member of staff from either Watergate or Greenvale, seconded to this position for two terms.  This Assistant ensures that all information is passed from Watergate to Greenvale.  She works with parent(s)/ carer(s) to ensure that they have all the information they require about Greenvale School.  In the summer term, a transition meeting is held at Watergate, involving all professionals (education and health) from both schools to ensure that all professionals have all required information.  The pupils complete transition visits to Greenvale supported by the Transition Support Assistant.  

In the summer term our music therapist runs a music group for children who are identified as likely to struggle with transition to Greenvale.  He then continues this group throughout the Autumn term at Greenvale.

Where a pupil is moving to a school other than Greenvale, Watergate arranges transition visits and meetings with relevant staff from the new school to handover all relevant information. 

What provision will there be to support my child’s overall wellbeing?

Each child is respected and valued for who they are, this ethos can be felt throughout the school. Developing a child’s ability to be able to recognise their feelings and emotions and to be able to express these in an effective way is one of our core aims. Pupils are encouraged, where they are able to do so, to come to a familiar member of staff, when they are upset or if they are concerned about anything. Children are enabled to express themselves using their preferred method of communication, which could include eye-gaze computer, symbols, signs, iPads or other technologies. As such this is fundamental to our daily teaching and learning experiences. 

We have a Middle Leader with overall responsibility for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE).  The school has a comprehensive PSHEE curriculum and this is a key area of learning for all pupils.  

The school advocates positive behaviour support and this is an integral part of the ethos of the school.  We have a low arousal approach, where behaviour is viewed as serving an important function for the child. It our job to be able to identify this function and to teach children to express themselves in a more socially acceptable way.  Weekly briefings remind staff of how to appropriately support specific pupils where necessary.  There is a behaviour section in each pupil’s Pupil Profile identifying positive behaviour strategies to support and promote appropriate behaviour.   Where additional help is required, the Educational Psychologist provides strategies, following pupil observation with follow up as necessary.

The school works closely with the Children with Disabilities Team.  Social workers from the team often visit the school, request information and work with the school to safeguard your child’s welfare.  The Headteacher, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead and all safeguarding concerns are reported to her.   She is supported by the Deputy Headteachers, who has also have Designated Safeguarding Lead training. All staff have Safeguarding training and safeguarding updates are a regular item at staff briefings.  

What support will there be for pupils with medical needs?

Many of our pupils have complex and significant medical needs.

Community paediatricians from Kaleidoscope hold medicals at the school on the regular basis.  Lewisham Complex Needs Nursing Team (CNNT) provides services from a Special Needs Nursing Assistant (agreed medication administration, gastrostomy feeding).  A Special Needs Nursing Team Nurse supports the school with health education (personal hygiene, toileting, healthy eating, and exercise).  The CNNT nurse, or the Epilepsy Specialist nurse, write care plans for all pupils requiring medication at school including emergency rescue medication for pupils with epilepsy.  There are also care plans for management of suctioning and gastrostomy feeding for pupils who require this.  

Staff receive any necessary medical training such as the management of seizures, asthma and EpiPen training.  A number of Watergate staff are trained first aiders, including paediatric first aiders.  If your child becomes ill/ sustains a minor injury whilst at school, you or a person designated by you will be called to collect them and take them to see the GP/ walk in clinic/ (as agreed in home school agreement). Equally, an ambulance will be called for your child if the school first aider deems this to be necessary.

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. Watergate’s Local Offer is contained on this website.  Information about Lewisham’s Local Offer can be found on the Lewisham website.

Accessibility Plan 2018-20

The objectives in this plan are taken from Watergate School Development Plan – agreed by Watergate Full Governing Body in July 2018.

The school’s accessibility plan complies with requirements of the Equality Act 2010

According the Equality Act definition of disability, all Watergate pupils are categorised as having a disability.

The purpose of the plan is to ensure that all pupils have proper access to the curriculum and to ensure that the physical environment in the school is fully accessible for all pupils.




School Times

School Day

Mon-Fri 9.15am to 3:30pm,


Early years / Infants Lunchtime 11.45am -12.30pm

Juniors Lunchtime 12-12:45pm


School Office - Telephone: 020 8695 6555


Office Email - admin@watergate.lewisham.sch.uk



Linda Matthews



Watergate School | Lushington Rd, London SE6 3WG