LOCAL OFFER BY GNRC, HORSHAM,
FOR SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES (SEND)
This ‘Local Offer’ 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?
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
- there is a lack of progress identified by observations and assessments, gathered by your child’s key worker
- 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 observations made by the key worker, and based on her subsequent assessments, the nursery plans the next development steps for your child. 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 nursery SENCO. All this is collated in the child’s Online Learning Journal through Tapestry.
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 FIRST, our initial point of contact with additional support agencies in West Sussex. The guidance provided by FIRST will be made available to parents/carers immediately.
It may be necessary to consult with these outside agencies, in order to receive their more specialised expertise. As has been said, through FIRST 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 FIRST 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 Educational Plan (IEP) 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?
As has been said, every child in the nursery has an Online Learning Journal, which is an observational-based assessment. The Journal contains an Individual Progress Review which records progress within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The next steps for each child are planned, all appropriately matched to current attainment, meeting his or her needs, and taking the child’s particular interests into account.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW HOW YOUR CHILD IS PROGRESSING?
Regular contact between parent and key worker is actively encouraged, at which your child’s progress, recorded in the Online Learning Journal, can be discussed, and the next steps to be followed can be explained. Close co-operation between the nursery and the parent/carer is absolutely vital. The Online Learning Journal, which is constantly updated, is routinely shared with the parents via an app in real time. However, parents are welcome to ask the key worker for an up-to-date progress report at any time.
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
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 ask parents/carers to keep the nursery up-to-date with each child’s specific medical needs, if any. 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?
Apart from the designated SENCO, who accesses regular training through West Sussex County Council, all staff are aware of Child Protection issues, Health & Safety considerations, First Aid, and the need for Positive Behaviour. All have been on Child Protection and First Aid courses, which are regularly updated. The nursery maintains policies on all these issues and all staff are familiar with the contents of these policies.
Furthermore, additional training needs are tailored to meet the needs of specific children; the nursery accesses this training from local health care specialists. All training is discussed and cascaded down in staff meetings.
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 everyone’s 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 suitable slightly sloped decking 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 do not operate ‘trial days’ as a routine, but if parents feel that such attendances would be necessary, the staff co-operate to the best of their ability. 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 ‘All About Me’ booklets to provide extra information on 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. The Ofsted Inspectors, in their recent Report of March 2014, stated that the nursery has demonstrably 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, visits by the children to their new schools, 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 FIRST will visit the nursery and observe the child for whom extra support is being sought. Discussions between the FIRST adviser, the nursery SENCO, and the parents/carer, will take place leading to a decision by the FIRST adviser as to the level of support that is needed.
The funding allocated depends upon the additional needs of the child. If enhanced funding is allocated, then an additional member of staff will be employed to help support the setting and look after the needs and welfare of the particular child. Moreover, any additional toys or resources required to enable the child to reach his or her potential will be provided.
HOW ARE PARENTS INVOLVED IN THE NURSERY? HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?
We communicate, with parents/carers generally, by means of newsletters, Facebook, e-mail and by notices displayed in the foyer. 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.
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 Helen Fletcher-Reilly on 01903 785774
or phone the nursery direct on either 01403 282991 or 07765447546
Alternatively, contact Early Years Family Information Service, West Sussex County Council, 01243 520820
Local Offer website