Our Local Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs.
How does the setting know my child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
At Newlands Spring Pre-School each child has a keyperson. Their role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can ask for a time when you can discuss this in private with them.
Reports from health care professionals, such as health visitors, speech and language therapists, identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.
Ongoing observational assessments are made of all the children and are linked to the Development Matters ages and stages of development. This in some cases identifies individual needs.
These observations will be discussed with the SENCO’s (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) Victoria Free and Giselle Protheroe. If your child’s keyperson has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss this with you and our SENCo’s, and we will plan together to support your child’s learning and development.
Our SENCO’s will offer support and advice to you, your child and the staff in our setting. With your permission, they will also liaise with our Area SENCo and other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary.
How will you support my child?
Before starting at Newlands Spring Pre-School, you will be invited to attend an orientation evening, where we will give you a small Welcome Pack plus paperwork to fill in about your child, to help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs.
We will then invite you and your child to attend a taster session. Once these have been completed, we will arrange a home visit. We look forward to coming to visit you and your child and discussing any concerns that you have and discussing any further information that may be helpful to us.
Children are at the heart of all we do, and we will work with you to support your child together, listening to you as well as your child.
Our SENCO’s will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning SEN support using information from our observations, information from parents and the advice from the Area SENCO. They will also explain who may be involved and their roles.
Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards SEN support and outcome focussed targets and your child’s keyperson would oversee this.
Your child’s keyperson will be in the majority of sessions that your child attends, for sessions where this is not possible, we operate a buddy system which means that another member of staff would take on this role. Your child’s keyperson will build a relationship with both you and your child and really get to know your child.
They will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary.
The manager will maintain an overview of experiences and progress, and the SENCO’s will work with all staff to ensure we are providing the relevant and appropriate support.
We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the SEN support and planning new outcome focussed targets together, and giving you ideas to use at home to support your child.
How will the setting prepare and support my child joining you, transferring to a new setting or to primary school?
Before your child starts preschool, we always carry out a home visit. This will be made by our 2 SENCo’s and this gives your child the opportunity to become familiar with key members of our staff, before they start their sessions. We also offer a taster session where you and your child come along for an hour and experience typical sessional activities.
This also gives us the chance to get to know you and your family, and provides the opportunity for you to share with us details of your child’s needs and the involvement of other agencies, and agree with you a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child.
For at least the first week that your child attends the setting, your child will start an hour into the session. This means that they only attend for and hour and a half, or two hours rather than a full session, but leave at the same time as all the other children. This “Backward Chaining” has proved invaluable since we introduced it at the beginning of the Spring term 2014, as it gives your child a sense of completion.
We will meet with other professionals e.g. health care professionals to put in place transition planning/health care plan, or to seek relevant training before your child starts.
If your child attends another setting alongside their time with us, we will invite your child’s keyperson at their other setting to come and observe your child with us. We will also visit your child whilst they are at the other setting. This information sharing is vital for continuity of care for your child.
We will hold a transition meeting at your convenience, to plan transition for your child into their new setting or school, giving the new setting time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make, sharing targets on your child’s SEN support, and minutes of review meetings along with any other information that may be relevant to your child.
It may also be possible to arrange for your child’s keyperson to attend settling in sessions at your child’s new setting with them, to help promote a smooth transition.
Who can I contact for further information?
Your child’s keyperson is your first point of contact if you would like to discuss your child’s needs, although all members of staff will be happy to speak to you. We are able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Families Information Service, health visitors, speech and language therapists, children’s centre staff, and the inclusion officer for our area, and we are able to access support from the Area SENCO with the permission slip that you signed at our orientation evening.
If your child’s need has been referred to a specific team, we will support you in accessing support from them.
Our SENCO’s are also our practitioners for behaviour management, and can offer advice and strategies to cope with challenging behaviour.
If at any time you are unhappy with any aspect of our provision or practice we would ask that you come to us to discuss the matter to see if it can be resolved. If you are still unhappy, our Complaints procedure is displayed in the lobby, and is also in the copy of our Prospectus and Policies, which can be accessed via our website. OFSTED contact details are also displayed in the hall.
What are the responsibilities of your committee in enabling and supporting inclusive practice?
Our committee is responsible for enabling the manager and deputy manager to create inclusive policies, ensure policies are in place and up to date, ensure staff are able to attend relevant training, ensure staff meetings take place to explore SEND and inclusion issues, ensure the environment is inclusive, and to provide information packs for parents. They also promote our open door policy, to ensure that we are welcoming and respectful for all.
How will I know how my child is doing?
We complete a 2 year check for any child who is between the age of 2 and 3 when they start with us and we ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their child’s education. Typically, we complete 3 written observations per half term plus ad hoc observations at least once a week, which are all linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. We hold 2 parents evenings a year and provide a written Progress Check towards the end of each term.
Social events throughout the year help you to build relationships with practitioners in the setting and our open door policy means that you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis, and provide ongoing two way communication between us. Telephone calls can be used if parents work and are unable to bring/collect their child from preschool.
We also send out newsletters half termly, to keep you up to date with what is happening in preschool and put regular reports on our website and our private Facebook page.
What support will there be for my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?
Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach for your child to feel welcomed into our preschool.
They provide good role models for positive behaviour, and are consistent in our day to day care of all our children, and our happy children at preschool are testament to this.
We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs, and provide personal care, such as changing nappies, respectfully.
Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary, and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required.
Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment, and visual strategies, such as a “First and Then” board or a visual timetable, are used to help them to understand our routines. Flash cards are also available for your child to express how they are feeling about a particular activity/event, and the book corner provides a safe, quiet area to retreat to if your child needs some time to themselves.
What specialist services and expertise are available at preschool?
All staff have completed some form of child development training, and between the 10 members of staff, we have over 80 years experience of working with the Early Years age group and we all have a minimum of a Level 2 qualification. Everyone has the opportunity to look through the termly training brochure and request further training in specific areas and we also run in-house training which all members of staff are required to attend.
Our Staff have accessed specific training on Makaton, Epilepsy awareness, Autism, Outdoor play, How boys play and speech and language courses.
We have good links with our local Children’s Centre and we can signpost you to support which is available through there, for example Parent support officers, inclusion officers, and social care. We can offer support through our Area SENCo and if your child’s needs are identified as a more complex need then we will be able to refer you to the team with the expertise in this area, who will then also be involved in supporting your child.
Our SENCO attends regular area meetings to keep up to date with the latest information and news and we are part of the Good Beginnings Early Years Autism Friendly Settings Award.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
In our lobby there is a copy of the Development Matters file, and we discuss the EYFS at our orientation evening. There is also information on our website explaining the EYFS.
Your child’s keyperson or SENCO will discuss with you, at your child’s SEN support review meetings, how best to support your child and give you ideas for activities at home that will mirror what we do at preschool.
If your child has specific identified needs, we will work with the team, supporting your child and explain to you how we are acting on advice given by them to support your child.
We will discuss with you on a daily basis at drop off and collections times, how your child is doing on that particular day, which enables you to let us know about any new information we may need to have.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
We encourage you to be involved from the first visits to preschool, to register your child at our setting. The child’s strengths, needs, likes and dislikes are discussed at this time to help us make the settling in process go smoothly.
You are involved in identifying needs, information sharing, identifying targets and next steps to focus on at home and in our setting and reviewing progress toward these targets at review meetings.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
We will get to know your child before they start with us through home visits, meetings with you and other professionals who are involved. We offer a flexible settling in routine that enables everyone to have a positive experience.
Ongoing observational assessments will be used as a starting point within the first weeks of starting linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. Outcome focussed targets will be set, to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals.
Your child’s keyperson and our SENCO will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities support your child’s needs, and they will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within our team.
We will ask for copies of assessment from other professionals before your child starts, and advice from the Area SENCO will be sought with your permission, if necessary.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are expected to have?
Our SENCO’s have completed the SENCO Code of Practice training, and attends termly SENCO network meetings, passing on this information to other staff at staff meetings.
Some staff have attended communication and language training, had training on diabetes, and all have attended Epilepsy awareness training.
We hold an up to date list of all training attended.
How will my child be included in experiences away from the setting?
We will endeavour to include parents in the planning of any off site visits, to identify the strengths and needs of your child. If necessary, we can prepare a photo book for your child so they know what to expect on the visit, and we may invite some parents to join us on our trip.
We would carry out a risk assessment linked to the visit and the needs of all the children, including parents prior to our trip.
We would also take along any medication your child may require. All of our visits or trips are inclusive. All children are given the same opportunity to be involved.
Currently our trips and visits include going to Morrison’s to buy our snack, walking to the post box to post a letter, going to the library for story time and visiting Barleylands farm for the day.
How accessible is the setting environment?
If you are a parent who has English as an additional language, we can involve another family member who speaks English, or if possible arrange for an interpreter to support us both. We may ask you to come in and read a story to the children in your first language.
We have an iPad where we can show what we have been doing that day, as well as our notice board listing our activities.
Signs and posters around the setting are used with pictures to direct children and adults.
Accessible toilets and changing facilities are available, and we will explain the limitations of the building we use to you on your visit.
Our setting is all on one level, with no steps. We have wide doorways and daily access to hard-standing, an all-weather surface and a grassed area.
We provide multi sensory activities as part of our planning.
Policies are updated regularly and are available for parents in the lobby, and a copy is sent to you in your welcome pack.
How are the settings resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
As a committee run charity, all of our funding and fundraising is put back into the pre-school. We have access to some 2 year funding and on occasions we can apply for an inclusion or crisis grant and SEN premium funding may be given upon recommendation of an outside professional. This is particularly useful if certain resources are required.
We have access to a vast library of resources through our Area SEN team.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you we will identify what support is required.
Extra support will be put in place if necessary with the aim of enabling your child to become independent within their environment and we use a child centred approach.
Ongoing partnerships with both you, other professionals and ourselves, will support the decision making process.
Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within our preschool, in consultation with you, and other professionals where necessary.
Our SENCO will advise you on the process of applying for extra support, and the Inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence submitted by the setting and other professionals who are working with you and your family to support your child.
Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.
The Area SENCO and other professionals working with our SENCO will support the decision making process to plan outcome focussed targets. Your child’s SEN support will be written with you and will include how you can support your child at home.
Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths and needs, and how to support them. For any more information please contact us, and speak to our SENCo’s Victoria Free and Giselle Protheroe.