St Mary's Catholic Primary School - Ysgol Gynradd Gatholig y Santes Fair

Additional Learning Needs

We are passionate about creating an environment where all pupils can thrive and develop. We work in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies to provide appropriate support for our pupils so that they can fulfil their potential.

All staff strive to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of pupils. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to pupils' diverse learning needs. Some pupils have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs that are additional to and different from their peers and require particular action by the school.


If you would like to discuss the needs of your child or have questions or concerns, please get in touch with our ALNCo, Mrs Jones, who can be contacted via the office or the school email

 ALN Code Guide for Parents 2023 (Welsh government document)

Information guide to ALN for parents and carers (Flintshire document)

What is ALN? (Snap Cymru webpage)

A guide to ALN for children and young people


Person-Centred Practice

In September 2021, the Reforms for Children and Young People with Additional Learning Needs in Wales were implemented.  Person-Centred Practice is at the centre of the new reforms. Please watch this short video explaining what being person-centred means and how you as a parent or carer can help to support this.

A parents' guide to Person-Centred Reviews 

Canolfan Enfys

Canolfan Enfys is a nurturing environment designed to be a place where children can feel safe and secure and therefore develop their emotional and academic needs further. Canolfan Enfys has different areas that help to promote a range of skills. There is a Calm Corner that promotes strategies to help children self-regulate their emotions. The Lego Therapy station promotes collaboration, turn taking and communication. We have a sofa area where children and adults can sit and talk as well as read to our visiting Therapuppy.



What is the purpose of Canolfan Enfys & its Philosophy?

Canolfan Enfys is a calm room for small groups of pupils. Its composition is carefully thought-out to create a balanced and functional group. Canolfan Enfys is part of the school’s Inclusion and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) provision. Its purpose is to offer children opportunities to re-visit early learning skills and promote and support their social and emotional development as well as offering literacy support. There is much research evidence that shows children’s learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional well-being, good self-esteem and a feeling of belonging to their school community. Canolfan Enfys provides children with this opportunity and so helps to develop their maturity and resilience. Canolfan Enfys is a place of learning.


Which children attend Canolfan Enfys?

Children may attend sessions in Canolfan Enfys for specific reasons, for example:

  • Struggling to acquire Literacy or other learning skills
  • Friendship difficulties - keeping/making friends
  • Quiet, shy, withdrawn
  • Find it hard to listen to others or join in
  • Disruptive towards others
  • Find it hard to accept losing a game
  • Find it hard to share and take turns
  • Find it a bit difficult to settle into class
  • Bullying
  • Low self esteem
  • Bereavement
  • Family illness or break-up

Are parents/carers involved?

We like to consider our door is always open, therefore we welcome parent/carers to chat with the class teacher and Mrs Jones, the ALNCo, to discuss further ways that they can work with school to help support their child.


Support Information for Parents

Our downloadable guide gives information for parents of children with:

  • ASD
  • ADHD
  • Literacy Difficulties / Dyslexia
  • Numeracy Difficulties / Dyscalculia
  • Fine and Gross Motor Coordination / Dyspraxia
  • Speech and Language Issues

Support Information for Parents


Families in Flintshire can access the new regional ALN Information and Support Service (ALNISS). This service is provided by SNAP Cymru and replaces the Parent Partnership Service  by Flintshire Citizen Advice.

SNAP Cymru offer impartial information, advice and support for children and their parents or carers and young people who have/or may have additional learning needs. The service can help with 'one off',  straightforward advice or more in-depth support from a caseworker who will:

•         Provide clear, reliable and straightforward information about options

•         Help parents and young people to confidently share their views make informed decisions

•         Help ensure everyone is focusing on the child or young person's best interests

You can find out more about SNAP Cymru at


ALN Reform

There are changes being made to the way that Special Educational Needs (now referred to as ‘Additional Learning Needs’) will be carried out in schools from 2023. In readiness for this, some schools are already making changes, e.g. in the way that meetings with parents and pupils are held. We at St Mary’s Primary School are implementing the new recommendations in line with county guidance. You will be informed of the changes and how they affect your child by your child’s class teacher and/or your schools, Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo): Mrs. Jones.

The Welsh Assembly Government have decided to delay the implementation of the new ALN Reform Bill as follows:


ALN system implementation timeline

ALN system implementation timelineThe Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act (ALNET) has been passed and will be supported by a new code. This sets out how the ideas from the act will work in practice. The draft code was published in December 2018.


The key messages surrounding these changes are outlined below:

  • The term Additional Learning Needs (ALN) will replace the terms Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). Children with ALN will be supported through additional learning provision (ALP)
  • SENCos will now be called an ALNCo (additional learning needs coordinator)
  • The new code will cover 0 - 25 year olds which means further education colleges and specialist independent colleges will now also be included (although not higher education or apprenticeships)
  • There will be an emphasis on high aspirations and improved outcomes for children and young people with ALN
  • The graduated system of school action, school action plus and statements is being replaced and all children who are identified as having ALN will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP will replace IEPs, IBPs or IPPs
  • Most IDPs will be maintained by the school but where it is considered unreasonable for the school to do so (such as for those with more severe or complex ALN) the Local Authority may maintain them
  • There will be an increased participation from children, young people, parents and carers in the creation and maintenance of IDPs through person-centred planning
  • It is hoped that closer collaboration and working together in partnership should help us to avoid disagreements
  • All reasonable steps will be taken to secure provision in Welsh if required
  • All children and young people who have an IDP will have an equal right to appeal to tribunal

If you wish to read the draft code there is both a full version and an easy read version available on the Welsh Government website

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Mrs. Roberts or you can contact Parent Partnership Service, Citizens Advice Flintshire who offer free, independent advice and support to parents on the Flintshire Citizens Advice website or calling: 01352 706840

Link to Snap Cymru Help for Families website

Download Snap Cymru Individual Development Plan

Download ALN Factsheet

STAND North Wales

CAMHS for parents

Flintshire Empowering Parents