The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and carers to clearly see what services are available to children with SEND and how to access them. This information outlines what we can provide at River Pre-School, but we invite you to come and visit us to discuss your child’s needs in greater detail.
River Pre-School provides an environment in which all children with Special Educational Needs (SEND) are supported to reach their full potential.
We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2015)
We have a clear approach for identifying, responding to and meeting children’s SEND
We work in partnership with the Local Authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEND and their families.
We regularly monitor and review our policy, practise and provision and make adjustments if necessary.
We have a designated Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Denise Matthews, who is a highly experienced practitioner with 13 years at River Pre-School, SENCO responsibility for 8 years.
As professionals working in the early years we are aware that all children are individuals with areas of strength and development needs. Each child is entitled to high quality early years education and care which must include identifying additional needs and emerging difficulties at the earliest opportunity. Effective provision and support is essential to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child and their family. The role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is pivotal in providing this support. Our SENCO, Denise Matthews, has undertaken SEND training and regularly attends workshops and meetings to keep up to date with policy changes and interventions. Denise has been our SENCO for 8 years and has experience with children with a variety of different needs requiring different levels of Specialist support. She has excellent links in the local community and can provide a high level of support to children and their families. Denise attends LIFT (Local Inclusion Forum Team) meetings each term with Professionals from the area such as Specialist Teachers, Equality and Inclusion Officers, Speech and Language Therapists and Educational Psychologists to discuss individual cases with parental consent. Denise also attends regular SENCO forums in the local area where she receives and shares information about policy and practise. Information is disseminated to other staff at team meetings and via email. All staff at River Pre-School are kept up to date with SEND policy and are given appropriate training when needs are identified. We continually reflect on our practise and ensure we incorporate new innovative ideas from policy and practise to support children at River Pre-School.
Special Needs Support
How does the setting identify children with additional needs or SEND?
At River Pre-School we spend time getting to know children and families before they start with us. We invite them to come and visit us and talk to staff and the manager about what we offer and how the Pre-School operates. Prior to the child’s start date there is a home visit with a member of the management team and the child’s keyperson. This is an opportunity to talk about expectations and concerns, to discuss the child’s individual needs and meet them in their own environment. Parents are given the opportunity to provide us with detailed information about their child and talk about other agencies working with them. We provide a ‘Welcome Pack’ and consult with parents about the child’s strengths, likes and together complete an ‘All about me’ sheet.
Each child has a designated key person who will work closely with the child. Our practitioners consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child in their care and use this to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all areas of learning and development.
Our Practitioners complete the Progress Check at Two and continually observe and assess progress. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. If a child’s progress in any prime area gives cause for concern, practitioners will discuss this with the child’s parents and carers and agree how to support the child. If the child needs specialist support, they will link with and help families access relevant services from other agencies as appropriate. If there are any significant emerging concerns or an identified Special Educational Need or Disability the Practitioner will develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving parents, carers and other professionals.
How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?
A strong relationship with parents is very important to us at River Pre-School. We hold open afternoons three times a year for parents to discuss their individual child’s needs and progress and any concerns they may have. We have a written ‘play plan’ which reviews their progress and identifies goals for the upcoming term. We offer an open-door policy and are very happy to discuss your child’s progress at any reasonable time. If a child has been identified as needing specialist support parents will be invited to regular meetings with their Key Person and the SENCO to discuss and implement any strategies or plans that have been put in place. All parents have access to their child’s learning journey which is a shared folder with photos and details about the activities they participate in at Pre-school, this is a wonderful way of monitoring each child’s progress through their journey at River Pre-School. We believe that working closely with parents and carers we build up confidence and trust which helps us to ensure that each individual child in our care receives the help and support they need.
How will the setting adapt the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for my child's needs?
We plan for the unique child, so will adjust the environment accordingly. Targeted and personalised planning will give children the most appropriate foundation for progress and we will constantly observe, assess and review to ensure we are meeting the needs of each individual child.
What teaching strategies does the setting use for children with additional needs or learning difficulties?
Our SENCO liaises closely with external agencies to ensure recommendations are carried through into Pre-School. We can provide or create a range of visual support materials according to the needs of the individual child and visual aids are used to assist children with daily routine. We have a Makaton lead in the setting and all staff have knowledge of basic signing which is used daily. We offer individual and group activities tailored to the needs of the child and there is a quiet space if needed. We can provide ideas and resources for parents to use at home. We ensure targets are SMART.
What additional support does the setting provide for children with additional needs or SEND?
We foster a close relationship between the keyperson, SENCO and parents to ensure information is shared. The SENCO will closely monitor the child’s progress, attend relevant meetings and training, and feedback to the parents and keyperson. We provide information to parents and source information ourselves, for instance from the local Children’s Centres.
How will the setting monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?
There will be regular observations, reviews of target personalised plans, regular formal and informal opportunities to discuss progress.
How do you ensure children with additional needs or SEND can be included in the same activities as other children, including trips?
All children are included in all activities at River Pre-School as far as possible. For local outings such as to the local Primary School or park, parents are asked to sign a consent form when they join River Pre-School. For outings further afield, parents will be asked to sign a separate consent form. On occasions parents may be invited to accompany children on outings. Children will be prepared for outings through our daily activities and by conversations with staff during circle time and when playing and interacting. If a child has needs, we may discuss and review the proposed outing with parents and make adjustments as appropriate.
How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
Unfortunately, River Pre-School has limited access for wheelchair users as our toilets are up a short flight of stairs and our outside corridor is quite narrow. As a ‘pack away’ Pre-School we rent our premises which are used by other community groups so cannot make adjustments without authorisation, however we would endeavour to make adjustments as far as possible in order to make our environment as inclusive as possible.
The safety of our setting is paramount. Our entrance and exits are locked, and admittance is only allowed by a member of staff. Children are only allowed to leave the premises with a named and authorised person. We undertake risk assessments on the Pre-School building every day before the children arrive. We regularly risk assess our toys and equipment and risk assess short walks around the village, events and trips further afield. We ensure all children and their individual needs are considered in each risk assessment.
How will you support my child's transition to a new setting or school?
We will pass on assessment records which incorporate information about the characteristics of effective learning and relevant paperwork such as the Progress Check at Two. If appropriate we would arrange meetings with other setting or School’s SENCO to ensure a smooth transition.
How does the setting assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers take part in this evaluation?
We are continually evaluating our practise through self-evaluation, team meetings and sharing feedback from training and development courses. Our SENCO regularly attends SENCO forum meeting and SEN specialist services referral meetings. Feedback from parents is incorporated in our self-evaluation and feeds into our development.
Who should I contact if I am considering registering for a place at the setting?
You can email, call or come and visit our Early Years Manager, Sarah Wilder, who will outline our admissions procedure including home visit and settling in sessions. If necessary, the Manager may arrange an additional meeting with our SENCO.
What arrangements does the setting have for feedback from parents / carers, including compliments and complaints?
We encourage feedback on our open Facebook site, through our annual Parent questionnaire, suggestion tree at Parent’s Evening, opportunities to join our Parent committee, information on our website about previous good practise and by way of our general open-door policy.