LOCAL OFFER BY GNRC, HORSHAM
FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES (SEND)
This ‘Local Offer’ document is designed to inform parents, carers, and others who work with children with special needs how GNRC's nursery (hereafter referred to as ‘the nursery’) will help them. The intention is to provide a clear profile of the nursery and to give information which will prevent misunderstandings and develop strong partnerships with parents and carers. The document is based on a series of frequently asked questions, and the nursery’s responses. The questions are:
- What should you do if you think your child may have special educational needs?
- How does the nursery staff know if your child needs extra help?
- How will the nursery support your child?
- What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the nursery?
- How will the nursery help you to support your child’s learning?
- How will the curriculum be matched to your child’s needs?
- How will you know how your child is progressing?
- What support will there be for your child’s overall well-being?
- What training has the nursery staff had, to support children with special needs?
- How will your child be included in activities outside the nursery, such as trips?
- How accessible is the nursery environment?
- How will the nursery support your child when he or she joins or leaves the nursery?
- How is the decision made about how much support your child will receive?
- How are the nursery’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special needs?
- How are parents involved in the nursery? How can you be involved?
- Who can you contact for further information?
The following paragraphs set out the nursery’s replies. If there are any queries during the course of reading this material, please refer to the last item, which gives you full details as to how you can obtain further information on any of these important questions.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD MAY HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS? HOW DOES THE NURSERY STAFF KNOW IF YOUR CHILD NEEDS EXTRA HELP?
All children develop at different rates, and just like anyone else, a child can struggle with something that others seem to find easy. This is not normally a cause for concern, and our ‘Ordinarily Available Inclusive Practice’ is designed to provide extra learning opportunities or support for areas of development that children find more challenging. This is an ongoing process for all children known as ‘Quality First Teaching’ that will be used by all teachers to support your child as he or she grows up.
However, it is natural for parents to feel unsure about their child from time to time, and if you have any concerns, you should raise them with your child’s key worker, or with the nursery’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). The nursery staff know if your child needs help if: concerns are raised by parents or carers, by your child’s keyworker, or by any other member of staff; professional judgments made by your child’s key worker, in discussion with colleagues, based on the guidance of the revised EYFS and Development Matters documents; there is a lack of progress identified by observations and assessments made by your child’s key worker; or there is a lack of progress in your child’s development caused by a change in your child’s behaviour or by a change in any wider circumstance
HOW WILL THE NURSERY SUPPORT YOUR CHILD? WHAT SPECIALIST SERVICES AND EXPERTISE ARE AVAILABLE AT, OR ACCESSED BY, THE NURSERY? HOW WILL THE NURSERY HELP YOU TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING?
Through judgements made by the key worker, and based on continuing observation, the nursery uses an ‘Area of Concern’ flag system to identify areas of development where children may need greater focus. Details are also gathered from parents or carers in regard to their own observations; and key workers share their concerns or comments with other members of staff, most notably with the Setting Manager and SENCO. Where a specific need (beyond what can be addressed through Ordinarily Available Inclusive Practice) is agreed with the parents and SENCO, the child benefits from personally tailored planning. The aim for children with such additional needs is that tailored intervention will lead to ‘Closing the Gap’ progress.
Occasionally a child may need further support from an outside agency, such as the Child Development Centre, Occupational Therapy, or Speech & Language. Referrals will be discussed with Parents/carers and forwarded on to support agencies in West Sussex. The guidance provided by West Sussex will be made available to parents/carers immediately.
It may be necessary to consult with outside agencies, in order to receive their more specialised expertise. As has been said, through West Sussex we have access to Speech & Language Therapy (SALT), Portage, Educational Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Behaviour Support, and so on. We also have access to the local Children’s Family Centres and to Health Visitors.
If West Sussex are involved, their guidance may include providing or suggesting strategies that can be used to support your child’s learning both in the nursery and at home; these will be shared with the parents/carer. Furthermore, the nursery SENCO will keep in close contact with the parents regarding what the nursery is doing specifically to progress the child’s development. And finally, in some cases, an Individual Plan (IP) may be drawn up in addition to the Learning Journal; this is shared with parents/carers and all staff members and is updated regularly.
HOW WILL THE CURRICULUM BE MATCHED TO YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS?
The nursery adopts a simple curriculum, which is essentially a set of 8 achievements that we aim for every child to accomplish before leaving us. Each achievement has a series of incremental lessons which the child will learn along the way and will ultimately mean that the child is better prepared for starting Reception. The curriculum is differentiated by task, time, resource and support to ensure all children are successful.
This explicit curriculum sits atop a rich continual provision, in which the children are allowed to follow their interests within carefully crafted ‘Enabling Environments’. The crafting of these environments within the nursery is matched carefully to the needs of the children based on the prevalence of Areas of Concern flags to provide more of the opportunities which are needed most. Children are identified by initials on the wall-mounted planning document near each ‘Enabling Environment’ so that all staff know best to how to steer the children in their exploration of the nursery. The environments are rich and open-ended in their nature so that children are free to use their imagination and supporting adults can follow the children’s lead.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW HOW YOUR CHILD IS PROGRESSING?
Our vertically grouped colour house system allows for the children to maintain the same key worker throughout their time at Greenway Nursery. This relationship is our main form of contact and allows for parents to briefly discuss their children’s progress daily. In addition, we have a meeting room at the front of the building where parents are free to book a more lengthy meeting with their child’s key worker, the SENCO or the Setting Manager as needed.
Parents are urged to use our online learning platform, Tapestry, to engage with their children’s learning through the day. Children’s fun and games are recorded for parents to see during the day, sometimes with comments about what is being achieved. Parents also encouraged to use Tapestry to share their children’s learning at home with their key worker by uploading photos and videos onto Tapestry for the key worker to see.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR YOUR CHILD’S OVERALL WELL-BEING?
Everyday measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all the children in the nursery’s care include:
- comprehensive policies that cover all aspects of the nursery’s operations
- a daily risk assessment is carried out and the results are recorded;
- high ‘staff to pupil’ ratios are observed
- all children are constantly observed & monitored, especially by each individual child’s key worker;
- and the children’s behaviour is supported and managed in accordance with the nursery’s policy on Behavioural Management
In addition, each child is supported by his or her key worker, aided by the nursery SENCO, and that support is tailored to meet the individual child’s needs.
WHAT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WILL THERE BE FOR YOUR CHILD’S MEDICAL NEEDS, IF ANY?
Where necessary, and in signed agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in the nursery by the staff, all of whom have up-to-date training in first aid. We require a prescription or for the child’s name and dosage details to be displayed on the packaging as provided by the pharmacy.
We ask parents/carers to keep the Directors up-to-date with each child’s specific medical needs, if any. This information is then disseminated to the nursery team via session specific notes which accompany the registers. Where necessary, a detailed Health Care Plan is compiled, again in close consultation with the parents/carers, and information will be obtained from outside agencies; any specific training required to support the individual medical need will be implemented.
WHAT TRAINING HAS THE STAFF SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH ‘SEND’ HAD?
In addition to comprehensive our team’ Level 3 Childcare Qualifications, all staff also undergo regular Safeguarding Training and Pediatric First Aid Training provided by specialist external providers. Internal whole-staff training sessions cover a broad range of topics such as Curriculum, Health & Safety and Differentiation.
Additionally, specific staff (including the SENCO/Deputy SENCO) have had further specialist training in: INCO/SENCO Training; Supporting Children with Hearing Impairments; Individual Plans & One-Page Profiles; Supporting children with English as an Additional Language, Supporting children with Autism; Promoting Positive Behaviour; Action Planning for SEN; and Makaton. These specific staff members act as Subject Matter Experts in these areas, sharing their knowledge with the rest of the team.
HOW WILL YOUR CHILD BE INCLUDED IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE NURSERY, INCLUDING NURSERY TRIPS?
In the event of the nursery organising an outing, such as our annual Sponsored Toddle in support of the Barnados charity, the nursery would ensure that all children were included and fully supported. Detailed risk assessments are carried out to ensure that health & safety is not compromised.
HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE NURSERY ENVIRONMENT?
Basically, the nursery is flat and level internally, with wheelchair width doors. There are adequate toilet facilities, although we do not have specialised toilets nor do we have a shower cubicle. The main entrance is accessed by a ramp and although there is a threshold at the front door, it can be easily adapted with our 4ft steel threshold ramp to facilitate wheelchairs. The garden door opens onto a slightly sloped decking which permits wheelchair access to the spacious garden area, part of which is decked for ease of use.
The nursery has multi-language posters and signs to support children with English as an additional language (EAL). Visual prompts are used throughout the nursery.
HOW WILL THE NURSERY SUPPORT YOUR CHILD WHEN HE OR SHE JOINS OR LEAVES THE NURSERY?
The members of the nursery staff recognise that a child’s first introduction to a nursery can be stressful, and every effort is made to minimise distress both to child and to parent. We encourage every child to attend for some ‘Settling In’ sessions before starting nursery – the exact details of which depend entirely on the individual child’s needs, ranging from a single one-hour visit through to multiple visits and a gradual build-up of hours. Key workers discuss the needs of the child with the parents/carers, who themselves will have provided much useful and prior information on the child by means of the application form. Parents/carers also complete child information documents, which allow the key worker to tailor the early days at Greenway Nursery to the child’s likes and dislikes.
One of the nursery’s fundamental objectives is to prepare the child for his or her transition to the first year at school, arguably one of the most important years in a child’s academic life. Ofsted Inspectors have been very complimentary of how the nursery has achieved this objective; they said that “the children are well prepared for their eventual move to school” and “children develop the skills and attitudes required for the next stage in their learning”. This is achieved by a thoughtful programme of contacts with the schools to which the children will progress, visits to the nursery by the Reception Class teachers, Reception Teachers' feedback being used to plan the Foundation Group's curriculum, and so on; and by a series of activities (such as changing for PE) to prepare them for their new routines.
HOW IS THE DECISION MADE ABOUT HOW MUCH SUPPORT YOUR CHILD WILL RECEIVE? HOW ARE THE NURSERY’S RESOURCES ALLOCATED AND MATCHED TO CHILDREN’S SPECIAL NEEDS?
A representative from West Sussex (usually our Early Years Advisor) will visit the nursery and observe the child for whom extra support is being sought. Discussions between the Early Help team, the nursery SENCO, and the parents/carer, will take place leading to a decision by West Sussex as to the level of support that is needed.
The funding allocated depends upon the additional needs of the child. Funding at level 2 or 3 will be used to: provide individually tailored planning, activities and interventions; purchase customised resources which will support the child, work more extensively with outside agencies (such as SALT), and with Targeted Setting Support from the Early Years Advisor; and to provide specific staff training to upskill our team to best support the child. Additionally, some children may be assessed as level 4, in which case additional funding may be additionally allocated to provide specific 1-to-1 support. Where such a need is identified, the setting would recruit and allocate a specific member of staff to work directly with the child for the number of hours specified. Level 4 needs are often accompanied by an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which would continue with your child into Primary School. For more detailed information on how West Sussex County Council assess children’s additional needs, please see the following Links: https://www.westsussexscp.org.uk/professionals/working-together/west-sussex-continuum-of-need-threshold-guidance
HOW ARE PARENTS INVOLVED IN THE NURSERY? HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?
We communicate, with parents/carers generally, by means of e-mail, newsletters, Facebook, and by notices displayed at the setting. Most importantly, the Manager, SENCO or key worker is able to contact the parent/carer at the start or at the end of each session. We vertically group the children into 3 rooms for the start and end of the day, keeping the children and key-worker together for all handovers to allow for effective face-to-face communication.
The nursery welcomes any contribution that a parent or carer can make – spending time showing the children a pet, or discussing a hobby or interest, or reading a story. We frequently teach the children about the world in which they live by using the topic “People Who Help Us”, and parents, especially those who wear a uniform, are always welcome to visit the children and talk about their lives. Police officers, ambulance personnel, firemen, all are received with great enthusiasm; on one occasion, we even had a fully equipped and manned fire engine on display outside the nursery!
WHO CAN YOU CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION?
In the first instance, contact Chris Fletcher on 01903 785774
or phone Paula Denhart (SENCO & Dep Mgr) or Laura Uffindell (Setting Manager) the nursery direct on 01403 248752
Alternatively, contact Early Years Family Information Service, West Sussex County Council, 01243 777807
Local Offer website