Meare Moles Pre-School provides an ‘Enabling Environment’ in which all children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are supported to reach their full potential. We have regard for the views, wishes and feelings of the child and their parents.
The aim of a Local Offer is to enable parents and carers to see what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities and how to access them.
Meare Moles has formed a Local Offer using a set of questions and answers to help inform you how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
How will you know that my child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?
Each child is assigned a key person who will build a trusting, sensitive relationship with children and parents which enables a respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child then these can be shared with your child’s key person or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and may also link up with the Area SENCO or liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support.
Children are continually observed, assessed and monitored and this is used as a basis for identifying children’s needs. All information gathered is stored in your child’s Personal Pathway which demonstrates your child’s achievements and will highlight any areas where your child is not progressing as well. This document is linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS) ages and stages of development. The key person will feedback to the parent on a regular basis and there are opportunities to look at the personal pathway and to discuss your child’s progress.
Our open door policy ensures that there is a regular exchange of information regarding your child.
The 2 year old progress check is a short written summary on a child’s development implemented between the ages of 24 and 36 months and is a tool used to identify children that need additional support.
A pre-school entry plan will be implemented for children who already have an identified need, hence the pre-school staff will meet with the parents and other professionals already involved in their care to look at your child’s strengths, areas of need and actions required to ensure that we support them to reach their full potential.
How will you support my child and their learning?
Parents are encouraged to visit the pre-school prior to their child’s start date to help them become familiar with the setting and with the staff, and provide an opportunity for an informal discussion about your child’s individual needs. Your child’s key person will also ask you to complete a ‘Unique Child’ form as a way of gaining information about your child’s interests at home to enable us to ‘ get to know’ more about your child.
The key person will observe and identify your child’s interests and needs and plan activities and experiences that reflect these interests, in addition to your child’s learning style, to build on what they know and can do.
We use the graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s special educational needs, through observation and monitoring progress, staff collaboration and through a regular sharing of information with parents. We will work with you to support your child and listen to your views as well as the views of your child.
Various methods are used to communicate with parents, however a home/school diary is used when the key person has little verbal contact with them.
When a member of staff identifies that a child has a special educational need and that the child needs further support, then a meeting will be held with parents, the key person and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator(SENCO) to collect all known information and to draw up a Special Educational Needs support plan(SEN). This plan will identify short term specific targets to be implemented, monitored and reviewed. The SENCO is pivotal in shaping and supporting staff with the skills and knowledge to enable children with SEN to make good progress.
If the SEN does not enable the child to make satisfactory progress, after discussion with practitioners and parents the SENCO may need to seek advice and support from the Area SENCO or from the Integrated Therapy Service. An assessment will be made using all the evidence provided and an application may be made for funding to support your child. If successful this funding will be used to provide extra support/resources for your child using the advice provided by the various agencies and what the setting feels would be most appropriate to meet individual needs of child.
How will the pre-school support my child’s overall wellbeing?
Our practitioners are welcoming friendly and provide an inclusive, sensitive approach. They provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in our day to day care of all the children.
The setting is wheelchair accessible with disabled changing and toilet facilities and we will ensure that the environment/provision is adapted to meet the needs of individual children.
Activities will be adapted to ensure that your child can participate fully with the environment and a visual timetable is used to help them understand our routine.
We are flexible in our routine and can provide an environment that meets your child’s needs and care.
Medical training will be undertaken if required and Medical Care Plans will be put in place. All staff will be made aware of the plans and the procedures to be followed.
If your first language is not English then we will contact a translation service to help us work together.
We use various forms of communication such as Somerset Total Communication (STC), gesture, visual symbols and objects to support children’s learning.
Regular Risk assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure.
We are consistent in our approach to behaviour and all staff use a range of strategies to promote positive behaviour, as stated in our Behaviour policy.
The SENCO undergoes regular training and accesses the SENCO network meetings when necessary and shares information with other staff.
What training have the staff had or are having to support children with SEN and disabilities?
The current staff have all had experience of working with children with SEN and the SENCO regularly attends workshops to ensure that the playgroup
Over the last year we adapted our environment and received training from the Vision Support Team to meet the needs of a child with a visual impairment. A range of strategies had to be put in place to support the child’s learning and development in the indoor and outdoor environment, additionally certain areas were highlighted, such as steps, posts to provide good colour contrast and support safety. Staff were involved in a pre-school entry meeting to identify the child’s areas of need, strengths and interests to enable us to plan to meet the child’s individual needs. Various professionals visited the setting on a regular basis to observe the child and to provide advice to the staff. The SENCO/keyperson has recently been involved in a school entry meeting, alongside other professionals to support transition into school life.
The first aiders have had specific training to meet the needs of children with epilepsy and allergy, including epi- pen training. Medical Care plans are in place, clearly accessible and all staff are aware of the care plan procedures.
What are the responsibilities of your committee in enabling and supporting inclusive practice?
Our committee, alongside the pre-school manager is responsible for creating inclusive policies and ensuring that all the policies are in place and up to date. They ensure that staff attend relevant training and work closely with them to create an inclusive, welcoming and stimulating environment that respects all parents and children.
How will Meare Moles support my child joining the setting, transferring to a new setting or school?
Meare Moles offers a very flexible settling in period to meet the needs of individual children and parents. You are welcome to stay and play for one or more introductory sessions, with your child to give parents the opportunity to share details of their child’s needs and agree a consistent approach to ensure continuity of care and to enable your child to become familiar with the environment and with the staff.
If appropriate we will hold a Pre-school meeting and seek relevant training before your child starts.
We encourage teachers/staff from the new setting to visit your child at Meare Moles and encourage parents to attend any transition sessions in the new school/setting.
We will share information with the new setting/school about your child’s achievements and we will provide you with your child’s Personal pathway to pass on to the staff/teacher.
A School Entry meeting will be attended by the key person, SENCO and any agencies involved in your child’s care. Parents will be strongly invited to attend this entry meeting to share their valuable information regarding their child.
Who can I contact for further information?
Nicola Lynham the pre-school manager will be more than happy to discuss any queries that you have regarding the Local Offer and further information about Meare Moles. Please see below for contact details
Telephone 07903 438582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Somerset’s Local offer please go to www.somersetchoices.org.uk