Frome Opportunity Nursery
registered charity 294106 Opportunity Group Frome & District
Striving for excellence in early years
Frome Opportunity Nursery
SEND Local Offer revised September 2016
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 (SEN)?
Our practice of observation and record keeping, which includes parents’ observations and comments, enables us to monitor children’s needs and progress on an individual basis. New children do need plenty of time to settle; however, if we noticed slower than usual progress overall, or one area of learning or development where progress is significantly behind everything else, we would then be considering reasons for this with the child’s parents. Careful observations and recording would continue while we may seek further advice from the Area SENCo and/or refer to, for example, Speech and Language Therapy.
(SENCo = Special Educational Needs Coordinator)
Any concerns you may have can be discussed with your key playworker, nursery SENCo or Manager at any time; we have an open door policy. Families always discuss concerns at the home visit we make before their child starts at the nursery and this may include Special Educational Needs. This helps us to plan for their child in advance of starting at the nursery. Children who already have significant SEN identified will have a Pre-School Entry Planning Meeting with the nursery to which other professionals involved with their child will be invited. This ensures any concerns parents have when their child starts are addressed.
How will Early Years practitioners support my child and how will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Your child’s key playworker and the Nursery SENCo will prepare a Provision Plan which will outline how your child’s needs will be met at the nursery. All the children have individual planning which would show what your child does well and then your child’s ‘Next Steps’ that the key playworker would expect them to accomplish in the following six weeks or so. This process would be exactly the same for a child with SEN except the key playworker and Group SENCo would talk through the the plan with you and would ensure the plan links into advice or outcomes from other professionals. For very specific needs, we have a range of strategies within our experience to help children work towards their next steps; for example we might use teach baskets or intensive interaction.
At group time (circle time) and story time the children are split into two age/ developmentally appropriate groups so they enjoy themselves and learning is supported with the correct approach and resources.
Your key playworker will be your child’s main support at the nursery, although other staff will get to know him/her. Your key playworker will support play, manage personal care and if necessary manage feeding/medication. The Group SENCo will also know how to manage feeding/medication as a back-up. The Group SENCo and Manager will also observe, record and draw on their years of experience of children with SEN to use strategies to support your child.
All children at the nursery are considered individually. However, a Provision Plan will ensure the nursery environment meets your child’s needs and that appropriate resources and activities are made accessible to him/her to help them become as independent as possible. The nursery has an Inclusive Communication environment with trained staff; this enables all children to communicate at a level appropriate to them – using objects, photographs, signing, body language, facial expression and intonation as well as speech throughout the day. Children are discussed at weekly staff meetings to ensure all staff understand each child’s needs and to provide appropriate and consistent responses for eg communication needs, behaviour issues.
Most resources are labelled with photographs and contained in child height storage. If needed, a library of photographs may be used by children or staff to help communicate what they want. We try to provide as good as possible staffing ratio to ensure keyworkers have the time to do this. All children are included in their group times by ensuring it is appropriate for them.
We are always pleased to work with other professionals and have worked with a wide range; Area SENCos, Portage Workers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Advisory Teachers, Lifetime Nurses, Social Care, Children Centre. While the Group SENCo and Manager have acquired a range of strategies to encourage and enable learning over the years, there is no question of us wanting to work with others to try and ensure we support your child in the best possible way.
The nursery will support your key playworker / staff to attend training which will help your child.
How are the setting committee involved and what are their responsibilities?
The committee is responsible for ensuring the nursery meets its legal obligations, staff follow the Special Educational Needs Policy and adhere to our Local Offer.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
You can talk to your key playworker and or the manager at the start and end of any session.
You can look at and borrow you child’s learning journey at any time.
You will be included in a review of your child’s ‘ next steps’ and involved in planning their new ones every 6-8 weeks.
You will be able to attend a parent’s meeting with your key worker once a term.
Your child’s learning and development will be recorded from observations, photographs and parents and key workers knowledge of their child. Their progress will be charted on their Early Years Foundation Stage Record of Learning and Development and/or in a Developmental Journal – whichever is most appropriate.
The Early Years Foundation Stage has broad overlapping age bands for learning and development which will clearly show what stage your child is at. All children start at different places and stages but we are looking for gradual progress. Our records have a ‘working towards’ column to show this progress. For some children a Developmental Journal celebrates smaller steps within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Your key playworker will be available to talk to at the end of sessions. For children who cannot communicate verbally we provide a photobook for children to take home. This will have photographs of resources your child has played with or activities they have enjoyed and emotion faces to show how they have felt. This is so you can look at the photographs and talk to your child about their day.
A daily record of toileting and feeding is used for those children who need one.
You will be given a copy of the provision plan and next steps for your child. Your key playworker or the manager will be happy to share ideas on how you can help at home. You will also be given a leaflet along with all the other parents on any theme the nursery is using which includes ideas on activities parents can do at home. Other leaflets to support children’s learning are included in your nursery starter pack or handed out as new ones are written.
Workshops are provided for parents by the manager and some celebration days such as a literacy day. The manager may run informal parent Inclusive Communication workshops with families of children at the nursery.
What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?
Your key playworker and at least one other member of staff will be trained to ensure competent medical support; for example in using oxygen or fitting hearing aids. Medicines and personal care are normally carried out by the key worker, but there will be a back-up person. Our policy is to always have a witness to any medication administered. We will only administer prescribed medicines.
Your child’s key playworker will be their mainstay for the whole time they attend the nursery, although as they settle and grow older they will gradually be happy to spend more time away from them and be with other children and adults. Children’s key playworkers rarely change at the nursery.
While your child is playing and at group times your key playworker (and other staff) will support your child with playing alongside/ interacting with other children to help them develop relationships, and use praise and shared joy to build their confidence and self-esteem. Your key playworker and other staff will also encourage the acceptance of boundaries and help children to begin to manage their own behaviour – in developmentally appropriate steps.
How will the setting ensure they take account of my child’s views as appropriate?
Through your child expressing needs/ favourite activities/resources – either verbally or with signing/photographs/ choosing from a selection of actual objects. With young children staff will watch for children’s interests, preferences and schemas, and ask parents for their views too.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
The manager and the nursery SENCo have both worked in a nursery environment dedicated to children with SEN. Both have also attended SENCo training provided by Somerset County Council and attended various workshops on different types of SEN. Three other staff have also had experience of working individually with children with SEN at the nursery. Staff have Inclusive Communication training, attended an in-house workshop provided by the Advisory Teacher for deaf children and various staff have attended courses particularly on autism and behaviour management. The nursery has a vigorous training programme and will send key playworkers to any training necessary.
What other services does the setting access, including health, therapy and social care services?
The nursery accesses services via our Area SENCo and Somerset County Council’s Integrated Therapy Services. We are also able to access and/or signpost parents to services provided by Frome’s Children Centres.
How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including trips?
Parents/carers would be consulted regarding trips, especially regarding when necessary, transport, medication, feeding and behaviour, to ensure we have planned for their child’s individual needs.
How accessible is the setting environment?
The building is fully accessible to wheelchair users and there is a children's disabled toilet cubicle. One of the two main rooms is a 'quiet room' which is helpful for children with a hearing disability
How does the setting communicate with parent/ carers whose first language is not English?
We know how to access interpreters if necessary who can join us on home visits and for parent meetings.
How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or move onto school?
Home visits, Pre-school entry plan meeting as already described above are used to settle children into the nursery.
The nursery will support parents in making a choice of schools if the parents would like that and your child’s keyplayworker will attend school entry plan meetings. We have prepared personal ‘Going to school’ books for individual children to help them transfer to school. As we are on a school site all our children are able to access and experience a school environment by visiting the hall for games, visiting the library and by visiting the reception classes/ outside play area when they are ready. The nursery supports schools transition plans such as ‘stay and play’ at school.
We would expect to have a preschool entry plan meeting if feasible for a child with SEN moving to another pre-school setting. We would ensure you have your child’s Learning Journey and EYFS Learning and Development/Developmental Journal to share with your child’s new setting, together with a comprehensive record of professional visits, reports and advice.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
We try to provide support which is appropriate for each child by identifying their needs and who/how the support will be provided. For some children this will be identified at the preschool planning meeting and home visit. This would enable us to complete a provision plan for your child which would state when, where and how support should be provided. For other children a period of observation and assessment and consultation with the Area SENCo may be needed to pinpoint your child’s needs. Your child’s safety is always a prime consideration. Staffing is reliant in some cases, especially for 1:1 time, on extra funding which we can apply for the following term. Some children do need 1:1 for much of the day while other children need short bursts of 1:1 at specific times. The decision will be made by the manager and group SENCo with help from the Area SENCo when necessary. The committee would be advised by the manager of decisions made. Other professional reports and advice will be used to compile your child’s provision plan. We like to work with parents and sort any questions/queries out as we go. We would keep a close eye on your child’s learning and development to ensure appropriate progress is being made. See above for Next steps. These and your child’s provision plan would be reviewed with you every 6-8 weeks with you through an 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' process.