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Welcome to

Oakham CE Primary School

Designated Specialist Provision (DSP)

DSP Vision –

'Providing First-class education and care that allows every child to experience success and achieve their potential.'


DSP Aims -

To work in partnership with the child, their family and outside agencies to provide an individualised, meaningful, enjoyable, learning experience where children:

  • Develop an effective means of communication.
  • Are as independent as they can be.
  • Have their mental, emotional and physical health nurtured.
  • Develop prosocial behaviours to manage their feelings and emotions.
  • Are enabled to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding which will be of use to all future learning and life.
  • Have a sense of identity and belonging to the school community and beyond.


Designated Special Provision

At Oakham CE Primary School, we are able to offer a unique specialist provision for children with Cognition and Learning and Communication and Interaction needs.   We cater for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) whose special educational needs and/or disabilities requires specialist support over and above that which a mainstream school can normally provide.


  • The school is committed to offering carefully structured access, with the appropriate support, to the mainstream school curriculum and recreational activities - alongside their peers as appropriate and relevant to the child’s needs and the provision reflected within their Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • An Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) will be in place for each child, reflecting their education outcomes, aspirations and preparation towards independence as outlined within their EHCP. 
  • Where appropriate, children are involved in the general life of the school including breaks and lunchtimes with mainstream peers.
  • DSP and mainstream colleagues collaborate to ensure meaningful inclusion opportunities for children alongside their mainstream peers. 
  • All staff (including teaching and non-teaching) have appropriate continuous professional development opportunities.
  • The school and DSP are committed to working in partnership with outside agencies, therapists and other professionals.


Our DSP Pathways

The Designated Specialist Provision consists of three pathways which cater for children who have a special educational need, and present with Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning and Sensory Needs.  A great emphasis is placed in all classes on providing a safe, caring and positive environment which enables and encourages each child to develop his/her potential. As with all of our classes in school they are named after local plants or animals, the DSP classes are called 'Badgers.'


• Badgers Orange (The Informal Pathway) is a curriculum offer that is play-based and practically rooted in the child’s own world and experiences.

• Badgers Indigo (The Semi-Formal Pathway) is a curriculum offer with increased links to the world beyond the child’s immediate one. It may include highly differentiated National Curriculum areas.   

• Badgers Violet (The Formal Pathway) is a curriculum which takes concepts beyond the child’s immediate world and makes more explicit links to discrete National Curriculum subject areas and deals with increasingly abstract ideas.


All three pathways will include a high level of small group sessions where individual needs are met. Within all the curriculum pathways there will be an overarching emphasis on, effective communication, positive interaction, independence and life skills, autonomy and recognising and managing feelings and emotions.


The DSP will support children with the following Special Educational Needs:

Cognition and Learning. 

Cognition and Learning relates to children and young people with learning difficulties which are persistent over time, pervasive across the curriculum and which affect, alter or slow their learning. Such difficulties present even where individualised and differentiated support is provided, and whilst steps of progress may be seen, children and young people with cognition and learning difficulties are likely to have lower attainment levels than expected for their age in most areas of the curriculum. Cognition and learning needs can impact not only on academic learning within the classroom but, also upon the acquisition of daily and life skills such as problem solving, following instructions, navigating the environment, personal organisation, memory and self-care.


Communication and Interaction.

Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Children and young people with Autism are likely to have difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.


Children and young people with Cognition and Learning needs and/or Communication and Interaction Needs may also have additional special educational needs and/or diagnosis falling under the other areas of SEND including Sensory and Physical and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. Some children with a co-morbid needs profile may be applicable for support through the DSP, where the Education Health and Care Needs Plan identifies that their learning levels and support needs can be successfully met within this provision. However, the DSP is not intended to provide support to children who have severe or profound or multiple learning difficulties, or for children who present with SEMH needs associated with their learning disability.


Curriculum outline:

The DSP will offer ambitious curriculum pathways which are appropriate to the individualised needs of the children. The three curriculum pathways are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of children with an EHCP. The DSP provides a bespoke approach to our children’s individual needs and so movement between pathways can be fluid.


Children will be grouped by the pathway they are able to access.  The curriculum in each class is differentiated to meet the needs of the cohort.  The curriculum is not linear and does not assume that children will progress from one class to another.  All pupils will have Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) that outline the targets related to the Outcomes in their EHCP and specify strategies to be used in teaching these.   


We use a thematic approach as an overarching focus to provide relevant learning context and ensure a breadth of experiences for children.  National Curriculum subjects and objectives will still be used where appropriate and where they support and extend the skills children need to develop. 

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