Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

At Ayios Nikolaos Primary School we meet the educational needs of all our pupils by working inclusively with all children. We pride ourselves on our sense of community, where all contributions are valued and children are encouraged to shine as individuals and develop their strengths, be they academic, artistic or social.  We carefully track the progress of all pupils and Miss Piponides, our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator, is responsible for organising support for individual pupils if they are experiencing difficulty with their academic, social or emotional development.

Please note that due to some difficulties around Covid-19 restrictions,  some areas of SEND support from outside and wider agencies are currently not fully available.  Click below for the MOD Schools SEND Local Offer

MOD Schools and Settings Local Offer

How does the school identify and assess children with SEND?

Along with our outside support agencies, we make every effort to ensure that support and assistance for children and parents/carers is transparent and sensitively handled. The pupil and parent/carer’s thoughts and opinions form an integral part both of the process of identification of any additional needs and the subsequent support given.

If you have just arrived and your child’s SEND have already been identified then the SENDCo may contact the previous school for information and invite you to an initial meeting, so that suitable provision  can be put in place swiftly to minimise disruption and help your child get off to a positive start. A family considering an over-seas posting, where special educational needs have already been established, are advised to contact CEAS (Children’s Education Advisory Service) for support with the move.


If you feel that your child is beginning to struggle in school then the class teacher will be happy to meet with you, in the first instance, to give you the opportunity to share your concerns. It is highly likely that the class teacher will already be aware of any emerging difficulties due to our careful monitoring system.  This information will then be passed to the SENDCO and appropriate support will be put in place.

Our teaching and learning staff play a key role in the identification of SEND. They have a range of tools to assist them in this process, including:

  • Baseline assessments
  • teacher/LSA observations
  • on-going classroom assessments
  • termly data reviews and pupil progress meetings

Outside Agencies for MOD schools in Cyprus are able to help us to accurately identify any issues that pupils may be experiencing and can provide advice and support with a resulting intervention.  Outside agencies that we are able to access include:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Education Social Worker
  • Specialist Advisory Teacher (currently being recruited)
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Further services through SSAFA

The SENDCo will be a focal point for the identification process and will arrange any liaison necessary.  If you feel that there has been a problem with the identification process or any other issue relating to the child with SEND, then you should contact the SENDCo as soon as possible.

How are targets set for children requiring additional or different learning experiences?

In line with other MOD schools we use a RIAISEN which is a Record of Identification, Assessment and Intervention for pupils with SEND.  This allows us to plan the best possible programme of support, together with the parents and child.  The SENDCOo and/or class teacher will meet with parents to discuss barriers to learning and the best strategies to overcome those barriers.  We will then agree targets, which are also recorded on the RIAISEN, to enable us to see how the pupil is progressing and how successful the strategies have been.  This process follows a cycle of ‘assess, plan, do and review.’

What types of special needs support are available for your child?

Targeted class teacher input through targeted high quality classroom teaching – universal provision (not SEN)

Specific group work with a small group of children – SEN targeted provision

Specific /tailored one to one and group interventions – SEN specialist provision

Support from outside agencies; Educational Psychologist, Specialist Advisory Teacher, Speech and Language Therapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), School Nurse


The Graduated Responses Process

This is a graduated approach that offers pupils the best opportunity of ensuring that their needs are met. If a pupil is experiencing difficulties in class that are not being addressed through quality first wave teaching then the teacher would complete aim to meet their needs using universal support strategies. These would be agreed  by the teacher and the parents but we also believe that the pupil has an important part to play in this process and we ensure that their voice is heard.

This is based on an ‘Assess, Plan, Do and Review’ (APDR) model. After implementation of the agreed actions the approach is reviewed termly with parents, where a decision is jointly made regarding next steps in the graduated response process.

What extra help might your child receive within the universal support level?

This could include:

  • Extra teaching around the agreed target areas
  • Extra differentiation beyond that already available to the rest of the class to ensure that the pupil can be successful
  • Extra support from learning support staff, usually within the classroom
  • Assessments to pin-point areas of need and identify gaps in knowledge or skills
  • Pre-teaching of tricky vocabulary
  • Modelling of tasks, use of visual and practical support systems (task bars, visual timetables and prompts, Numicon maths materials, tailored word cards etc.)
  • Use of technology to offer a range of means of recording


What is if they do not make progress?

For many pupils, a little extra support at the universal level is enough to kick-start their progress but if, on review with parents, it is felt that a higher level of support is needed then we would follow the graduated response and move to targeted support. At this stage the SENDCo would work with the teacher, parents and pupil to co-construct an individual learning plan and to set targets.  Support at this stage may involve the use of specific intervention programmes, which can often be delivered in small groups by a specially trained LSA under the supervision of the class teacher and SENDCo.

What extra help might your child receive at Targeted Intervention & support level?

This may include:

  • Observation and assessment by the SENDCo
  • Interventions such as Sound Discovery (phonics)
  • Hi 5 (English)
  • Touch Type, Read and Spell (keyboard/spelling)
  • Numicon Intervention/Numicon Big Ideas (Maths)
  • Handwriting programmes, First Move (motor skills)
  • Reciprocal Reading
  • Sentence writing intervention
  • Direct Instruction (reading fluency)
  • Daily reading/spelling with an LSA

What if they are still not progressing as expected?

If, following a review with parents, the class teacher and SENDCo, it is felt that the child is experiencing persistent difficulties in their learning or development then Educational Psychology and Advisory Services (EPAS) team based on island can be contacted. The team members include an Advisory teacher for SEND, Senior Educational Psychologist and a Senior Educational Social Worker (DCYP).  When any of the DCYP/EPAS team are consulted then an Individual Learning Plan is completed which includes the actions to be completed by the designated member of the team. An additional consent form is also required to be agreed and signed by parents.

What extra help might your child receive at Specialist Support & Intervention level?

This may include:

  • Observation and assessment by the Specialist Advisory Teacher or Educational Psychologist
  • Meetings with the parents, class teacher, SENDCo and the specialist that is supporting your child to discuss strategies and set targets
  • Tailored individual intervention programmes such as Fischer Family Trust (Literacy)
  • Tailored multi-sensory reading and spelling programme, planned and delivered by the SENDCo (Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association)
  • Bespoke individualised programmes created by the Specialist Advisory Teacher, Educational Psychologist or Education Social Worker

The range of services available for pupils with additional needs is published in the DCYP MOD Schools SEND offer.

In the rare case that a child continues to struggle then review at Specialist level could lead to a Service Children’s Assessment of Needs (SCAN) which is the MOD Schools equivalent of an Education Health & Care Plan. The SCAN is specific to service children and is set out in Section 10 of the SEN Code of Practice January 2015.SCAN

Within this process the school will also consider other areas that may impact on progress. These may include:

  • Mobility – transition of pupils from other schools to Ayios Nikolaos Primary School and pupils departing Ayios Nikolaos Primary School
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and welfare
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Parental deployment

What if my child has difficulties with social, emotional well-being or behaviour?

At Ayios Nikolaos Primary School we place great importance on all aspects a child’s development, not just the academic, and have worked hard to create an ethos where pupils are respectful and take care of one another.  We have a team of staff who are trained as Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA), who are available to work with your child if they begin to have difficulty coping emotionally or socially.  The way that the process evolves, beginning with the ELSA building a bond of trust with the child, before moving on to develop emotional understanding, check self- esteem then branching out to delve more deeply into a targeted area such as managing emotions, friendships or social skills, we find, is really effective.

In addition to this we have:

  • A whole school reward system
  • Jigsaw (PSHE programme)
  • A programme of positive playtime activities
  • The Hideout- a peaceful room where children go if they become upset, need some quiet time or advice (an ELSA is always on duty in this room)
  • Positive Behaviour Plans
  • Visual timetables and prompts to support behaviour
  • Support available from SSAFA social workers, an Educational Social Worker and CAMHS to provide both individual and family therapy

Can this school meet my child’s needs?

At Ayios Nikolaos Primary School we can support children with mild to moderate needs in most areas of:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social emotional and mental health issues
  • Sensory and/or physical needs


What if my child has physical or medical needs?

We are able to support pupils with mild to moderate physical or medical difficulties and every effort will be made to ensure their full inclusion in the school community.  This could include physical disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment or multi-sensory impairment.

Where there are medical needs we have a School Nurse who works in conjunction with school and parents to create Health Care Plans (HCP) should they be required for conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Anaphylaxis (allergies)

What if I’m not sure that my child’s needs can be met before coming to an MOD School?

All children coming to an MOD school have a Pupil Information Profile (PIP) that is completed and sent to us by their previous school.  This should highlight any identified special educational needs, enabling us to ascertain if we are able to meet those needs effectively.  This usually results in a Certificate of Educational Clearance being issued so that the family can begin their move.  This may be accompanied by a letter stating what we will need to do when your child arrives in order to ensure the best possible transition, with the minimum disruption to their education.  For example, we may request an initial meeting with parents to talk about what support they feel will be helpful.

If there is doubt as to whether the needs can be met we may seek additional information from parents and the school and there may be a need for an MOD Assessment of Supportability Overseas (MASO).

What is a MASO?

This is a process for assessing whether the help that a child with additional needs requires is available in an overseas command.  It also gives the school and outside agencies time to prepare for the child’s arrival.

Who is a MASO for?

It is for any child who:

  • Has support in a school or setting because of special needs or disability
  • Has current involvement from other agencies such as health or social care
  • Has an Education Health Care Plan (EHC), a Statement of Special Needs or a Coordinated Support Plan

How do I start the MASO process?

The school will contact you if they have concerns, or alternatively you can contact them, at which point you will be asked to give permission for us to contact the current school and any agencies working with your child to gather more information.  It is important that you register your child with the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) so that they are able to support you through this process.

Who is involved and how long will it take?

Alongside the overseas school, the MASO will involve professionals with similar responsibilities to those working with your child in the UK, for example:

  • Headteacher
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Health services (where appropriate) – CAMHS, Speech and Language Therapy, social care, GP
  • The Chain of Command

The MASO process can take up to 9 weeks and you should not proceed with your posting until you have heard the outcome. It is important to note that most families do get a positive outcome from this process and it will help the school and outside services to be well placed to meet your child’s specific needs on their arrival, ensuring continuity of education, health and social care.

Who makes the decision about the MASO?

The information and reports that have been provided will be considered by a panel of professionals in the overseas location and advise the Chain of Command whether the child’s specific needs can be met.  The Chain of Command will notify you of the outcome.

What if I’m not happy with the decision?

You have the right to appeal the decision of any of the education, health or social care services involved in the MASO that are unable to meet your child’s needs from within locally available resources.


Further Support and Information

  • Educational Psychologist and Advisory Services (Episkopi)
  • HIVE
  • CEAS


If you would like to contact Ayios Nikolaos Primary School regarding any special needs and disabilities related matter your first point of contact should be:

Miss Zoe Piponides (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinator)

Tel: 00357 2395 7548

Email: [email protected]

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