S.E.N.D. – Lancashire Local Offer
The setting is a full day care setting. Places are available for children from the age of 2-4. We are open Monday to Friday, 7.45 am – 5.30 pm, 38 weeks/part weeks of the year. The setting is registered to take children from 2-4 years of age.
The setting is organised into groups by age. There is a large main room and the children are usually split into groups of 2-3 years and 3-4 years. However, this is a flexible arrangement depending on the needs of the children. There are three practitioners whose roles are to monitor the provision on offer in the setting and ensure there is consistency between the groups in each age phase.
Sheila Welsby is the named person with responsibility for parental involvement, the nominated Safeguarding Officer and SENCO. She liaises with the nursery, monitoring the quality of provision on offer within the nursery. The Principal, Sheila Welsby, has overall responsibility for the setting.
Accessibility and Inclusion
The setting is housed on one floor of St Annes College Grammar School. Due to the nature of the building it is not wheelchair accessible. Parking is roadside, although there is access for emergency vehicles. The building is accessed via a keypad system.
There are three accessible toilets in the nursery, two of which are child-sized and one of standard size. There is a hall, which has wheelchair access and is used for singing, PE, ballet, dance, music and movement and concerts. There is a small storage area for buggies and car seats. Although space is limited, this area is also used to store specialist equipment.
The nursery is illuminated mainly by strip lighting with some spotlighting. The walls are painted pale blue with white coloured pine at the base. The flooring is part carpet and part vinyl. Most of the internal doors are of standard door size with access to the dining room by double doors. The doors to rooms have viewing panes and doors to storage cupboards are solid. Toilet doors are ranch style to allow privacy, but also staff access if a child is in difficulty.
There are parent information boards in the entrance area with information about the setting, including some policies. The boards also contain information about activities and events in school and in the local area such as the local children’s centre. The information from other providers is only available in the format in which it is sent to us. All policies are available for all parents and carers to see.
All the rooms are illuminated with strip lighting and some spotlights. The walls are painted pale blue with display boards mounted at adult height. The display boards are hessian covered. The floors are part carpeted and part vinyl. Cushions are used in all the rooms to make comfortable areas for play and relaxation. The role-play kitchen has a small kitchen area with wall and base units, sink and work top. There is also a fridge for storing food/milk etc. All the furniture is freestanding thus can be moved and rearranged to make space for specialist equipment or to ensure the rooms are accessible for children using walkers.
In the ages 2-3 area the furniture consists of toddler sized plastic chairs and tables. The area is carpeted to make a book and circle time area. Resources are suitable for children from 2-4 years. There are height appropriate tables and chairs of varying heights and sizes. The sand and water trays are also height appropriate. There is a low table for the computer and storage units for toys/resources are all at children’s heights. Labels are displayed on the front of each box so it is clear what is in them. Resources are organised into areas of provision. In each area sign vocabulary is displayed so practitioners can refer to it when supporting children in play. Toys and resources are appropriate for children aged 2-4.
The outdoor environment consists of a large grassed Early Years garden and a tarmac area. The tarmac area is even and suitable for children who use walking frames or wheelchairs. The grassed garden is flat, although there are raised beds for planting and growing. Resources are taken outside daily and are chosen and adapted to suit the needs of the children attending the setting.
Identification and Early Intervention
Children’s progress is closely monitored in our setting. Each child has his/her own learning journey which includes annotated observations of them in nursery, observations and comments from parents/family and friends, tracking information about their progress across the areas of learning and development within the EYFS and information from screening tools. More detailed information about learning journeys and what is in them is shared with parents when their child begins attending our setting. This is to ensure parents understand what they are, how they are used in nursery, what is in them and how parents can contribute to them.
Children’s learning journeys are available for parents to look at any time. Although a child’s key person is available to chat to parents at drop off and pick up times, we make arrangements for the key person to meet with parents regularly to look at the learning journey and discuss progress and any concerns. Additional appointments can be made outside of these times to discuss any issues in more depth and more confidentially. If a parent would like to arrange to meet with their child’s key person, they can ask them. The key person will liaise with the Principal to be released from the group at a convenient time.
In addition to the child’s learning journey we also undertake the 2-3 years old progress check. This is a requirement of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and is done for all children in this age group. The EYFS requires us to report to parents on their child’s progress; it will discuss and identify strengths as well as concerns. Where the progress check suggests that a child may be experiencing some difficulties or delay in his/her development this is shared with parents and options/appropriate next steps are discussed:
- For some children the next steps may involve the key person targeting a specific area of development and planning additional opportunities for the child to have experiences designed to support the area of learning and development identified. This enhancement and targeting links to the wave two interventions identified within our setting’s provision mapping. This would then be reviewed to see how the child has progressed and whether or not additional steps need to be taken to support his/her progress and development.
- For other children the next step may also include developing a targeted learning plan where specific aims are developed with parents to support the child’s development. We may also discuss with parents whether it would be appropriate to refer their child to other services such as speech and language therapy. This would require parental consent.
Another next step may be to ask the local authority Inclusion Teacher to visit the child in the setting to provide some additional advice and guidance to practitioners to support them in meeting the needs of the child. This visit is called a ‘Request for Guidance’ and can only be undertaken with parental consent.
Our Special Educational Needs policy provides the context for supporting children through these ‘next steps’. This is referred to as the graduated response. Our SEN Policy is available in the setting.
In our setting we use provision mapping to identify ways in which we support all children in the setting. Provision mapping identifies what we provide for all children (wave one), for children who require a little bit of extra input in a specific area (wave two) and children who require more specialised or intensive intervention (wave three). You can see our provision mapping in setting. We use provision mapping to identify ways in which children can be supported.
Teaching and Learning Part 1 – Practitioners and Practice
The setting works within the framework of the EYFS. The nursery is resourced according to the age and needs of the children within them. Practitioners use Development Matters and the Statutory Guidance for the EYFS to plan provision and activities for the children in their care. The EYFS identifies three prime areas of learning and development and four specific areas of learning and development.
In the 2-3 age phase the prime areas of learning and development remain significant but there is an emphasis on the specific areas of development and learning.
In the 3-4 age phase the prime areas continue to be a focus, but there is an increasing balance between focusing on supporting children’s development in these areas and the specific areas.
Activities and provision are adapted to suit the needs of all children in each age phase. Practitioners differentiate the activities that they develop and the provision that is on offer to meet the needs of the children in their group. For some children a greater level of differentiation is required because they have additional or special educational needs. Practitioners are sensitive to the developmental needs of the children in their care. Therefore, when they are differentiating activities and provision, they have this in mind so that all children are able to access the setting in a way that is appropriate to their needs.
All children have a key person. It is the role of the key person to liaise with the child’s parents regarding their time in nursery. It is also the role of the key person to help parents to develop ways in which they can support their child’s learning at home. In our setting we introduce parents to the EYFS and ideas for ways in which they can support, encourage and develop their child’s learning at home.
Practitioners can talk to parents and offer ideas and advice should they want it. Parent information boards also display information about elements of early learning development and how this can be supported at home. There are also leaflets available that identify local groups and resources available to parents of young children in the area. Parents can speak to their child’s key person or the Head of Early Years at any time if they would like further information or advice about supporting learning at home.
Children are encouraged to express their views about their own learning through their learning journeys. Children may access their learning journeys at any time and they are encouraged to share them with practitioners and each other. In addition to these informal opportunities to share the learning journey, the key person regularly sits down with the child and they look through the learning journey together. The key person talks to the child about the things he/she has done and annotates the journey with the child’s comment. In our setting children may use digital cameras to take pictures of the things they have done in nursery. These can then be included in the child’s learning journey.
Teaching and Learning Part 2 – Provision & Resources
Each age phase is provided with resources that are developmentally appropriate for that age group. We ensure there are resources available that overlap with the age phase below and above so that children who are developing more slowly or more quickly can access resources appropriate to their stages of learning and development. We use our provision mapping to help us to identify some of the resources and activities available to support children’s needs.
Where children require access to resources that are significantly different to the resources available within their age range, we make arrangements to share resources with younger or older groups. Where children need resources that are not usually available in our setting, we endeavour to access these from loan facilities, support services or by purchasing. We liaise with parents and outside professionals to ensure resources are appropriate for the needs of the child.
All practitioners are encouraged to work with external professionals who visit children in the setting. Some will have more experience of this than others, but they are supported by the SENCO and their age phase leader. For some children it may be the case that at specific times of the nursery day they require additional support. As a setting we endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to provide this.
In our setting we like to plan trips and outings, and all children are included in these. We undertake risk assessments of the places we intend to visit and consider the needs of the children who will be visiting. We make reasonable adjustments when planning trips and outings to ensure the places we visit are accessible and meet the needs of the children attending our setting.
Our close links with parents enable our practitioners to discuss all aspects of every child’s progress on a regular, if not daily, basis. Parents are always welcome to talk to staff at every opportunity or may arrange to see them at a specific time, in addition to parents’ evening.
Progress checks are made and the children’s progress is regularly assessed and monitored via recorded observations etc. Parents also receive written reports at the end of the Summer term.
All our planning and observations are available for parents to see and questionnaires are sent to parents, who are encouraged to respond with positive and constructive comments and ideas.
We always welcome parents’ support on nursery visits and days out, at charity fund raising events and at concerts, which take place in the school hall.
Before children start attending our setting, we encourage parents to bring them for visits. However, we appreciate that this is not always possible. Initially this may just be for the child to have a look around the setting with his/her parents. With the parents we plan some opportunities for the child to visit the nursery and spend a short amount of time there. We have a settling-in policy which is shared with parents when they register their child with us. The Principal will talk to parents about their and their child’s preferences for a settling-in period and endeavour to meet these needs in the best way we can.
We have a comprehensive procedure which we follow when children leave nursery to attend a different setting, move on to our Reception or to another school. The procedure includes additional factors that may need to be considered when supporting the transition of children with additional or special educational needs, to ensure this is as smooth as possible.
We have an “open door” policy and parents are able to drop in to the setting at any time. They are also able to contact us by phone if they would like to check in on their child!
All practitioners in our setting are well experienced. These include two qualified teachers one of whom has a Post Graduate Certificate in SEN (Dyslexia) and two with Level 2 childcare qualifications. The Music, Ballet and Dance, SENCO and school’s EAL teachers are all qualified teachers.
We have a regular programme of supervision and appraisals for all practitioners. We value opportunities to support their further professional development and they are encouraged to seek and are provided with opportunities for this.
Within our setting we have staff who have completed the following training courses:
Post Graduate certificate in SEN specialising in Dyslexia
Safeguarding Levels 1 and 2
Paediatric First Aid
First Aid in School
CAF (Common Assessment Framework) training
All practitioners have now completed the LQA (Lancashire Quality Award), having already achieved “Step into Quality”.
As a setting we also seek to support practitioners to further develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of additional and special educational needs. Practitioners have access to a wide library of resources and books. These are also available for parents to borrow.
We also make use of the local authority’s “Children First” website to access information and e-learning modules such as CAF training.
Mrs S Welsby can be contacted for further information. Parents should contact Mrs Welsby if they have any concerns.
All Practitioners plus music and ballet and dance teachers have roles in the education of each child. The setting has an “open door” policy.
At every session there is the opportunity for discussions at drop off/pick up times and appointments can be made to see specific staff at specific times.
Contact can be made with specific staff by phone, text, email, notes, home-nursery diary etc.
As a setting we are required to have a procedure for dealing with complaints. This is always available to parents within the nursery or in the school office.