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Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Information
Our SEND Officer is Melanie
Little Acorns aims to provide a safe, stimulating and happy environment for children in their early years. We offer a wide range of activities and experiences, in a purpose-built building that will encourage children to make progress in their development and learning at his/her own pace. We aim to provide opportunities for all children to succeed in a caring atmosphere where everyone is equally valued, including staff.
How does the setting know if a child will need extra help and what should families do if they think their child may have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)?
A child identified as ‘needs additional support’ upon entry will be offered several transition visits. A meeting will be held with the Senco/Manager, Key Person, family and any professionals already involved to identify specific needs and requirements prior to starting with us. A health care and education plan will be put into place if necessary.
The Key Person allocated to your child works hard to form a good relationship with you and your child giving them the confidence to independent learning. They assess and observe each child individually and record this in their Learning Journal. A Progress Check is completed after the first two weeks to provide a benchmark for the learning journal. Any additional needs identified at this time would be discussed with you, and your permission sought to contact the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust Services or other outside agencies for support. This assessment continues the whole time your child attends our setting.
How will staff in the setting support a child with SEND?
The Sendco/Manager will ensure that information is shared with all staff to ensure continuity for your child. Relevant training is given if required for example, Makaton, medical. If necessary a staff member would be assigned to give your child 1 to 1 support. In some cases additional funding can be accessed to support the setting with this. As your child progresses through our setting their Learning Journal will show observations, examples and photographs detailing your child’s time with us. Termly progress checks are made and discussed with you, if necessary these are completed half termly. We hold regular parent consultations and have an open door policy to access the Key Person, Sendco or Manager. We welcome strategies and advice from outside agencies and work with them to ensure your child is given the support they require.
How will the curriculum for the setting be matched to a child with SEND's needs?
We view every child as an individual and will plan your child’s development from the observations and assessment by the Key Person. We strive to ensure that our activities are age appropriate but can be adapted so that each child can access them in some way. Additional resources and equipment are provided when necessary.
How will staff work with families about how a child with SEND is doing and how to support a child's learning?
We work hard to build strong relationships with our families and their children. Families can access their child’s learning journal at any time, hold regular parent consultations and have an open door policy.
What support does the setting offer for a child with SEND's overall well-being?
Little Acorns Kindergarten hold a Welcome morning on a Saturday prior to the child starting with us, giving the whole family an opportunity to visit. Additional transition visits can also be arranged. You are given a welcome pack which includes forms to be completed giving us important details such as, toilet training, medication and allergies.
There is also a booklet with photographs of the staff and the setting to look through regularly with your child. Security and safety are paramount and the following security measures are in place:- Parent/carers sign children in and out each day and staff are always available to discuss daily concerns. These are passed onto all staff on duty that day. A password system is set up. Risk assessments carried out daily and termly
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the setting?
We are lucky to have a low turnover of staff and a team who are experienced and well qualified in Early Years. Our experience of providing additional support have included children with Downs Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, English as Additional Language and Speech and Language difficulties. The team at Little Acorns are all qualified at Level 3 in Early Years Education or above. The Manager and Sendco attend regular Early Years Senco Liaison Groups. We are able to access support from outside agencies including the Local Children’s Centre, Buckinghamshire Learning Trust, Specialist Teaching Services, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists, Health Visitor. We work together with you as a family to ensure your child accesses their full learning potential whilst with us.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
The Manager discusses staff training plans on a regular basis and staff are actively encouraged to attend training. We hold group training sessions regularly on a variety of subjects including behaviour management, observation and planning, autism. The Manager and Senco attend Senco Liaison Groups, conferences and IABN meetings regularly to keep up to date with current policies and procedures
How will a child with SEND be included in activities outside the setting?
All children are included in trips and outings and special celebrations. This may include visiting the local school to watch a play or accessing playing fields nearby. A risk assessment is carried out prior to the trip or event and additional support provided where necessary. This would be discussed with Parents prior to the trip/event.
How accessible is the setting's environment (indoors and outdoors)?
We operate from a purpose built, one level location in Wendover this includes wheelchair access, a disabled parking space and toilet and low level sinks.
How will the staff prepare and support a child with SEND to join the setting or transfer to a new setting/school?
A child identified as ‘needs additional support’ upon entry will be offered several transition dates. A meeting will be held with the Sendco/Manager, Key Person, family and any professionals already involved to identify specific needs and requirements prior to starting with us. A health care and education plan will be put into place if necessary. The Key Person allocated to your child works hard to form a good relationship with your child giving them the confidence to independent learning. They assess and observe each child individually and record this in their Learning Journal. A Progress Check is completed after the first two weeks to provide a benchmark for the learning journal. Any additional needs identified at this time would be discussed with you, if outside agencies were required for support, your permission would be sought. This assessment continues the whole time your child attends our setting.
Prior to transition we liaise with the relevant school, their Senco and teacher. A meeting would be held prior to transition with relevant professionals, parents, Key Person, Manager, Senco and School Senco. Visits are arranged for the child to visit school and the teacher/Senco to visit the child in the setting. The Key Person provides a Transition Report and copies of the last IEP and Review to support the child and ensure a smooth positive transition.
How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to a child's Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities?
We strive to ensure that our activities are age appropriate but can be adapted so that each child can access them in some way. Additional resources and equipment are provided when necessary. We consistently review our resources and equipment to ensure they comply with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support a child with SEND will receive?
Decisions are made through observation and ongoing assessment. Individual Plans are monitored and reviewed regularly with parents and the Key Person. We would involve the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust Service with parental permission asking advice on what additional support we could provide.
How are parents involved at the setting?
We have an Open Door policy and encourage parental involvement once your child has settled. We encourage telephone or email communication and value family’s opinions and views both positive and negative. This enable us to evaluate our offer to the families using our services. Parent/carers come in to play and observe their child in the setting, support special occasions like end of term celebrations, read stories, share their interests and hobbies. Regular newsletters are sent electronically and we have a robust structure of policies and procedures that are updated regularly.
What future plans does your setting have for developing its SEND provision for example, training, facilities?
We have evaluated our practice in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice (2014). The setting has significant experience in the documentation required to apply for a Support Plan for children requiring additional support. Staff are continually updated and support is given in the new systems as required. We will continue to expand our support to children with English as an Additional Language. We have recently updated and extended our training to support children with autism and continue to expand our visual communication resources. We have recently updated our facilities and training to support children with cerebral palsy.
For more information and help with any Buckinghamshire SEND related enquiries please look at the Buckinghamshire Local Offer.
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