Before a child starts at our setting we advise parents/carers to attend a nursery visit to ensure we offer exactly what they are looking for. At this stage our manager/SENCo will consult with parents/carers regarding any needs that their child may have. This could be anything from dietary needs, medical needs or developmental needs. If at this stage no additional education needs (AEN) or special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) are highlighted we would then identify any needs through observations of the child whilst they attend the setting. These observations take place through play taking into account the child’s interests and characteristics of effective learning. Each child is assigned a key person who monitor’s their children’s development and if at any point they felt that a child was displaying difficulties then we would discuss this with parents to put into place any additional support that may be required.
If your child has been identified as having AEN or SEND then they will have a Targeted or Personalised Plan in place. You are very much a part of this process and through meetings with the SENCo and key person an individual plan will be created to support your child. By using the Best Practice Guidance we can determine what level of support your child may need. Using this guidance also supports any referrals we may need to make to outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) or the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS). Again parents and carers will be part of this process and your views are valuable for accessing further support.
We are fully aware that all children learn and develop at their own pace so all areas of learning within the EYFS are individually planned for whether the children have AEN/ SEND or not. Depending on what the need of the child is will depend on how the EYFS is adapted. Examples of this are:
* Additional adult support
* Visual timetables or other visual supports
* Small group work
* A quiet, calm place
* Makaton signing
* Sourcing specific training for staff
* Using intervention programmes such as ‘I Can Early Talk Boost’ and ‘Well-Being and Involvement’
Staff within the setting are trained at Level 3, Diploma Level 4 or BA Hons Level 6 in Early Years and Childcare practice and we also have a Qualified Teacher. Staff have also attended specific training in Makaton signing, Speech and Language programmes, Autism awareness, Paediatric First Aid and
many other training sessions to enable them to work with a diverse cohort of children. This training also enables all staff to effectively plan for all children throughout the environment and meeting their needs by adapting this accordingly.
If your child has an outside agency involved we will use the strategies outlined in their Personalised Plan to enhance your child’s learning and development alongside their peers. At times we also have children who attend specialist provision such as The Beacon, in these circumstances the key person will work alongside the practitioner from the specialist provision to implement any teaching strategies they are using so that it is a combined learning experience for the child.
Through the Graduated Approach we use Targeted Plans and Personalised Plans to support children with additional needs or SEND. If we feel that your child will benefit from outside agency involvement then we would seek your consent to refer to Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) through the Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT). If a referral is accepted a specialist teacher will visit the nursery and provide additional support and guidance. At the time of referrals the LIFT team may suggest other forms of support that your child may benefit from. You will be consulted and informed of any outcomes and be involved in the initial meetings with the Specialist Teacher. They will also support any transitions to other settings, agencies and school. There is also additional funding available for some children who need a higher level of support whilst they attend the setting; this is called SEN Inclusion Funding (SENIF) and Disability Access Funding (DAF). You will be consulted if we feel that your child may benefit from this as your consent is required to apply for the funding. With consent we can also refer to Speech and Language Therapy and other services that may benefit your child’s progress
To monitor progress we use an online journal for all of the children’s observations. At the end of each main term, Autumn, Spring and Summer, each child’s progress is assessed and if a child is making less than expected progress you will be informed. All parents have login details for the online journal system and are encouraged to access it as often as possible to ensure you are up to date with everything your child is doing at the setting. Parents and carers are also encouraged to upload information on to the online service as this can also be logged against your child’s individual progress.
Inclusive practice is very much at the heart of what we do and as a setting we consider all of the children’s abilities when considering the environment both in and out. All of the children have access to all of the resources throughout their sessions and if it was felt that any child was not being included then the activity or area would then be reassessed. Daily risk assessments are carried out throughout the environment to ensure everyone’s safety. Through discussions when your child started at the setting the setting would have been adapted prior to your child starting and continually reviewed. When considering outings risk assessments and evaluations of a site will be taken into account prior to the event to ensure accessibility for everyone. At the end of each
academic year and at Christmas we usually organise family events. These have proved very successful in the past as it enables all of the families to get together. These events have previously been to the beach, the local small farm and Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Christmas events.
At Greatstone School Nursery we are very lucky to have a purpose built setting which is fully wheelchair accessible and also has two designated disabled parking spaces for children (or parents) and a disabled toilet area. The setting is easy to access with large doors and ramps to both the main entrance and garden areas. The classrooms are large open plan areas which can be easily arranged for children using wheelchairs or walking aids. The garden area is a mix of concrete and grass so that children of all abilities can access all areas. If you or your child have any difficulties with accessibility please let us know. Whenever possible we will make any reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of our children and parents.
As we are part of Greatstone Primary School we have very good links with the reception class. The children who attend the setting will take part in transition events leading up to the end of term 6 enabling them to have a very smooth transition. Transitions may include:
* Meetings with the reception class teachers and TA’s to discuss the transition documents and each child’s individual needs.
* The teachers and TA’s visiting the nursery to get to know the children prior to transition time.
* Dressing up in a school role play area, visits to the reception classes and walks of the school and photo books of the school.
* Individual or small group visits for children who may need extra support
* Meetings with the school SENCo to discuss any child who may need extra support or what support and services are already involved.
If your child is transitioning to a new setting then meetings will be in place to discuss your child and their individual needs. This usually involves any outside agencies that are already involved with your child and with consent the sharing of any Personalised Plans and relevant paperwork.
The effectiveness of the provision is always discussed at your child’s Targeted Plan or Personalised Plan review. This gives you the opportunity to see how they are progressing and what may need to now be put into place. Other forms of assessment may include:
* Meetings with the child’s Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) teacher.
* Meetings with other agencies that may be involved with the family or child.
* LIFT meetings
* SENCo Forum meetings
* Staff meetings
* Parent and Key Person meetings
* Review of policies and procedures
* Evaluations or questionnaires
If you are considering registering your child for a place at the setting then you should initially contact the nursery office on 01797 369162. You can ask to speak to the Manager/SENCo who will then discuss your child’s needs with you and arrange a visit. We encourage parents/carers to bring their child with them to visit the nursery as this gives a good indication of your child being comfortable within the setting. At the time of the visit the following can be discussed:
* What are the needs of the child
* Is there any medical needs that we need to be aware of
* Who is already involved with the child and family
* How the nursery can meet the child’s needs
* If needed other funding options such as SEN Inclusion Funding (SENIF), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Disability Access Fund (DAF), Free for Two Funding (FF2), Universal Funding (15 hours) and Extended Entitlement (30 hours)
* Settling in sessions
* Any other concerns/queries you may have
It is advisable to arrangement this initial visit as soon as possible so that arrangements and any reasonable adjustments can be made.
We have a complaints procedure which parents/carers should follow if they wish to make a complaint regarding the setting. Full details of the complaints procedure are available on the school website www.greatstoneschool.co.uk. However we do have an open door policy at Greatstone School Nursery and would like parents/carers to feel that they could come and discuss any issues before they escalate to a complaint. Compliments can be verbal or emailed the preference is with the parent/carer.