Special Educational Needs
1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If you have any concerns you can speak to any member of our staff. Our co-ordinators for special educational needs and disabilities are Janet Shorne and Zoe Reeves.
If your child has identified needs before joining our preschool SENCO Co-ordinators will work with you ensuring everything is in place before your child starts with us. We will discuss special equipment, staff training and organising the class before your child starts with us.
Your child’s key person will work with our co-ordinators monitoring and reviewing your child’s development through the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.
We work closely with all professionals, eg health visitors, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and other healthcare professionals making sure your child is given all appropriate support that is needed. We aim to provide the very best care and opportunities for your child at all times.
2. How will the setting staff support my child?
There are two members of staff at our setting who are SENCO’s both of which have lots of knowledge and experience with helping children with different needs.
Your child’s key person will develop a very strong bond with your child enabling him/her to settle into our preschool ensuring that all his/her needs are met and that he/she is happy. Our SENCO will make sure that you are closely involved in all stages and will liase with a wide range of professionals.
3. How will I know how my child is doing?
Feedback will be given to you on a daily basis, you are always welcome to talk to us before or after session, or by telephone or email.
We also are happy for you to come in at any time to read your child’s Learning Journal
We have regular parent consultations and open afternoons every half term and stay and play events. During these events you will able to discuss your child’s progress, friendship groups and what activities they enjoy.
We also invite parents to join us as Parent Helpers to see the preschool in progress
Regular formal meetings between parents and staff will depend on your child’s level of need.
If you have any concerns we are always happy to have an informal chat at the end of our session so please feel free to do so.
4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
We will observe and assess your child using the EYFS. Through this we plan their learning development provision using our observations.
We will follow advice given to us by professionals on how to support your child’s particular needs. The SENCO will ensure that training is accessed for staff where possible.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
In order that we support your child in all areas we will involve other professionals following their advice to the best of our ability. We will cover toilet training sleeping and eating issues. Our preschool is fully equipped with changing table, mats, potties, toilet seats/steps etc.
If your child has specific medical needs our staff will undergo any training. Majority of our staff have epi pen training.
We will administer any medication prescribed by a hospital paediatrician or GP. You will be asked to fill in and sign our medication consent book and complete/draw up a healthcare plan.
We have a behaviour management policy outlining the procedures used at our preschool, however if specialist help is required to manage behaviour we can request the support of the inclusion development officer employed by the local authority.
Unwanted behaviour and the testing of boundaries is often part of growing up and we will work closely with you to put strategies in place to support and enhance your child’s positive behaviours. All of our staff have a positive approach to all children’s individual learning and development. Our staff are sensitive to all children’s individual needs.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
We have a strong link with our Galley Hill children’s centre. We work with advisory teachers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, health visitors and GP’s We have a good relationship with our local schools and they like to visit before your child leaves our preschool to make the transition from preschool to school less stressful.
We also have a company call ‘Hartbeeps’ who frequently visit us. They involve the children in music and movement sessions which are first rate and cover the EYFS framework. These sessions are extremely helpful to all our children
7. What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND have?
Several members of our staff have an awareness of makaton sign language and we have used signing in the past to help children communicate their needs.
We display visuals with signs on our walls to help staff and children. We have signed nursery rhymes involving all the children in the past, this has been very helpful and fun for all our children
Our SENCO Janet Shorne has 12 years experience of helping children with a wide range of needs and disabilities.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?
We always do a full risk assessment before we take the children outside for a walk in the park, picnic or sports and games.
We will also discuss your child’s needs making sure that they can be included.
You will not be required to accompany your child on these outside activities but if you feel unhappy to allow your child to go without you, then, you will be most welcome to act as a parent helper.
9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s learning and development?
Your child’s keyperson is always available to discuss your child’s needs. You are most welcome to arrange a mutually convenient time for this meeting.
Team Around the Family meetings are arranged and carried out as and when required.
When professionals visit the preschool to see your child we try to organise a meeting with you at the end of the session to explain to you what was discussed. If this is not convenient to you we will give you copies of all the reports.
Parental consent is always obtained before we refer to any outside agencies.
10. How accessible is the building/environment?
Our Preschool environment is very accessible and meets the current disability regulations.
There is an acessible toilet on site.
There are no stairs in our building.
We have a dipped kerb at the entrance to the preschool.
We have purpose built toys and equipment at your child’s level.
Our outside play area consists of spongy flooring for climbing frame and slides etc and the other area playground flooring is for ball games/running, outdoor cars etc
11. How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?
Before your child starts attending our preschool we will arrange for a Play and Stay session. During this session your child’s keyperson will make herself known to your child helping and playing with himr/her making them feel secure and happy
Your will also be asked to fill in paperwork covering your child’s personal details, likes and dislikes etc and healthcare plan .
If necessary we will arrange taster sessions to help your child settle in
If your child attends another preschool or has a child minder we will work with them sharing journals etc this we will do on a termly basis.
When it is time for your child to leave preschool and attend nursery or reception class we will arrange for the teacher to come along to the preschool and visit your child. We will arrange for your child’s keyworker to be with your child when he/she meets the teacher enabling them to meet and play together making transition to nursery/school less stressful.
12. How will (the setting’s) resources be used to support children’s special educational needs?
Our equipment is moveable and can be made accessible to accommodate your child’s needs. We will seek to borrow specific equipment needed for specific needs. We are a member of the Children’s Centre Toy Library and have borrowed many helpful resources from them in the past.
The preschool has a high staff/child ratio so your child will receive plenty of adult support. We are also a very inclusive setting and have a resources/strategies in place to support children with a range of needs. We use visual timetables (using photographs and symbols), these are used for speech and language delay or if English is a second language.
We have a number of sensory resources
13. Who can I contact for further information about the early years offer in the setting?
Rose Tenny, Preschool Leader – Little Acorns Preschool
(Tel: 01442 266732)
For further information on the local authority’s Local Offer of service and provision for children with special educational needs and disability go to www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer