Most children and young people will have their Special Educational Needs met in mainstream schools through good classroom practice. This is called ‘Quality First Teaching’.
Early identification of need
- Key Workers and the SENCO where necessary, liaise with a child’s previous setting, where applicable
- Basic information is collected from parents either when they place their child’s name on the waiting list or during the transition process
- A few weeks after entry to Nursery, baseline data is collected through the use of observations and adult initiated activities
- SEND is discussed at least half termly at staff meeting so that all staff can contribute to the identification process.
- We have regular parent meetings and take into account any concerns raised by Parents. We pride ourselves on having an ‘open door policy’ where at any point parents can talk to staff.
- Liaison with external agencies we work closely with the professionals for the Inclusion team, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, CAMHS, Educational Psychology and Health Visitors
- Health diagnosis through local paediatricians at the hospital
At Aclet Close Nursery School we follow a graduated support approach which is called ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’.
This means we will:
- Assess a child’s Special Educational Needs
- Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
- Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
- Review the support and progress
As part of this approach, we will produce a SEN Support Plan that describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s Special Educational Needs and agreed outcomes. Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process.
A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Full details can be found on the Local Offer website.
How do we assess and review progress?
As a school, we assess all children continuously. We carry out formal assessments half-termly term to measure their progress and identify the next steps in their learning. Key workers use Development Matters/Early Years Developmental Journal to document children’s outcomes – attainment and progress is completed using Target Tracker software.
All parents are invited to contribute to their child’s learning journal at any time. We offer an open door policy where Parents/carers can speak to Key Workers at any time and also more formally at termly parent consultation meetings.
How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
The Key Workers are very experienced practitioners and deliver a high standard of teaching through first hand experiences. They are continually observing and assessing the children through their engagement, motivation and thinking throughout the nursery session. Achievements are recorded using the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance, enabling staff to see if the children are making progress in line with age related expectations. The progress of the children is monitored by the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher / SENCO and Key Worker.
From this monitoring process, any children making less than expected progress will be monitored and if necessary given additional support. Parents will be informed of any concerns and any additional support that is deemed necessary. The Nursery prides itself in establishing excellent partnerships with parents and all lines of communication are encouraged.
How will staff support my child?
Key Workers are responsible for the learning and progress of all the children in their group. They continually assess each child’s progress and differentiate activities to support and challenge the children appropriately. Children who need additional support will receive this through differentiation, interventions specific to their area of development, or where necessary and viable, one to one support. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) oversees and co-ordinates the special educational provision. The SENCO also ensures that the appropriate external professionals are involved in planning provision.
The Governors receive termly progress information as part of the Head Teacher’s report and there is a designated Governor, specifically for SEN.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Staff are available on a daily basis to discuss any concerns you might have with your child. There are 3 formal opportunities for you to meet with your child’s Key Worker at our termly Parent Consultation Days. Parents of children receiving additional support are invited to discuss their progress with the SENCO and help to set their ongoing targets. The children’s Learning Journals are available for parents to see, on request, at any time. They contain photographic evidence of the children’s progress and experiences offered to them during the nursery session.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
For a child who has been assessed to have Special Educational Needs, there will be termly planning meetings with the parent and the SENCO. Targets will be set for the term and then reviewed to see what progress has been made. New targets will then be set as necessary. Strategies to support the child’s individual needs will be discussed and external professional advice will be included when appropriate.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
The child’s well-being is paramount before learning can begin. We pride ourselves on the way we encourage and support the children to become confident, independent and happy. The children are offered a wide range of experiences to celebrate and feel they are an important member of our Nursery community. We take every opportunity to celebrate and expose the children to many experiences from playing in the mud kitchen, growing fruit and vegetables, accessing Woodland activities, making Christmas puddings and weekly swimming sessions.
We ensure the children feel safe and secure in the Nursery, through the modelling and teaching of respectful behaviour, for each other and their environment.
All practitioners are aware of child protection procedures and know how to report any concerns to the Designated Person for Child Protection.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the Nursery?
All staff at the Nursery hold relevant qualifications. The staff undertake Continuing Professional Development, covering many aspects of Special Educational Needs. If we feel a child needs specific additional support, we have access to a number of external professional services to give us guidance. These include: the Educational Psychology Service; the Behaviour Outreach Team; the SEN Advisory Team; Health Visitors; Family Support Workers; Speech and Language Service and Occupational Health Service.
What training have the staff, supporting the children with SEN, had or are having?
All practitioners in the Nursery support children with Special Educational Needs. We strongly believe in an inclusive education and ensure that all children have access to all opportunities offered in the school.
We have a team of experienced practitioners who continually work together to improve their practice. All practitioners have a minimum Level 3 qualification.
The SENCO attends regular Cluster Meetings to share ideas, good practice and to keep up to date with current and relevant issues regarding SEN.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Your role as a parent is central to their education. We value your knowledge and understanding of your child and believe it is our role to support your child and their family. We will encourage you to provide information about your child and make contributions to their Learning Journal, throughout the year. During the Parent Consultations with your child’s Key Worker, you will discuss their progress, interests, friendship groups and also areas which you can work on with your child, to help with their development and progression.
How will I be involved in discussions about the planning for my child’s education?
There will be regular meetings for you to discuss and contribute to your child’s education and progress. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the Nursery staff about any issues concerning them, at any time.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
All school visits are available to all the children who attend our Nursery. If a child has specific needs that might affect their participation in any aspect of the trip, this would be planned for and additional support given, where necessary. For example: 1:1 support; use of a pushchair if there is a considerable amount of walking. A parent may also be invited to accompany us on a trip, for a variety of reasons, to ensure the child is fully able to participate.
How accessible is the Nursery environment?
The Nursery is all on one level and is easily accessible to all. All doors are wide enough for wheelchair access. There is a disabled toilet, with nappy changing facilities, and all furniture is age appropriate to Nursery aged children.
Who can I contact for further information?
The school office is open throughout the day and office staff can direct all enquiries to the relevant member of staff. The Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher / SENCO, can be contacted at any time during the school day.
How will Nursery prepare and support my child to join school, transfer to a new school?
All children and their families are encouraged to visit the Nursery before starting their initial transition sessions. This provides them with the opportunity to meet the staff and their child’s Key Worker, as well as familiarise themselves with the Nursery setting.
When the children are leaving to attend Primary School, transition meetings and visits are held with their new teachers. There are also ‘Big School Ready’ meetings for the parents, where they are provided with information regarding what is the ‘expected norm’ for children beginning Reception Class. Where necessary, extra transition visits both to the child’s new school, and also from their new teachers to our Nursery, are available for those children who will possibly require a longer settling in period to their new environment.
Information is transferred to the child’s new school regarding attainment, the progress they have made, any areas to be addressed, and any further information including SEN Support Plans.
How are the Nursery’s resources allocated and matched to children’s Special Educational Needs?
The Nursery is funded by the Local Authority, and where applicable, funding for children with Special Educational Needs is included in this. The Nursery does also apply for additional funding from the Local Government, when this is appropriate and necessary, to provide the specialist support required for the child. Continual observations are made to ensure the correct provision is made for the individual child. Included within the Head Teacher’s Report, is the allocation of any funding or resources provided for children with Special Educational Needs.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
Support is carefully matched to each pupil’s needs. These decisions are made through careful assessment, analysis of pupil’s progress, SEN support discussions and observations of children. Parents are closely involved with all discussions and any decisions made.
How can I find information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer, of services and provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability?
View Durham County Council’s Local Offer online.