Local Offer for Special Educational Needs

St Mary’s Pre-school Local Offer

1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

At St Mary’s Pre-school you can speak to any of our staff if you have any concerns about your child. However, Lisa Burkett is our dedicated coordinator for special educational needs and disabilities, (Senco).

If your child has an identified need before joining our setting, Lisa will work with you to ensure that everything is in place, (e.g. if any special equipment is needed, staff training, classroom organisation etc) before your child joins us.
Your child’s key-worker will work closely with Lisa to continually monitor and review your child’s development and progress in the setting through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). You are always welcome in the setting to discuss your child’s progress.

2. How will setting staff support my child?

Your child’s key worker will develop a strong bond with your child, we may recommend a home visit in addition to Pre-school visits, and we will work with you to make sure your child is happy and settled at our Pre-school.
The Senco, Lisa Burkett, will work alongside your child’s key-person so that you are informed and aware at all stages, and if relevant, they will liaise with a wide range of professionals.
Other professionals may include health visitors, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure that your child is given appropriate support and that we provide the very best care and educational opportunities for your child.

3. How will I know how my child is doing?

You will be given regular feedback on your child’s progress and you are always welcome in the setting to discuss your child’s progress informally. We will also review progress with you via their online Learning Journals and through parent’s consultations.
St Mary’s Pre-school also has two open afternoons and one open evening per year. This gives you and your extended family an opportunity to see your child in our environment, and what activities they enjoy and friendships they have made.

The regularity of formal meetings between staff and parents will depend on your child’s level of need.

4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?

Through the EYFS, St Mary’s Pre-school staff will observe and assess your child and then plan their learning and development provision around our observations and your child’s current interests.
We would follow advice from other professionals, should this be necessary, on how to support your child’s particular needs, and the Senco will ensure that training is accessed for staff, where possible, to support your child’s learning.

5. What support will be there for my child’s overall well-being?

St Mary’s Pre-school has a strong emphasis on providing a caring environment. We would follow advice from other professionals, should this be necessary, on how to support your child’s particular needs, and involve other professionals (e.g. health visitors) to make sure we support your child in all areas of their development. If your child has any specific medical needs our staff would undergo training e.g. Epi Pen and we will administer any medication prescribed by hospital paediatrician or GP, according to our settings policy.

We have a behaviour management policy which outlines the procedures used at Pre-school, however if specialist help is required to manage behaviour we can request the support of the Inclusion Development Officer employed by the local authority.
All Staff at the Pre-school have a positive approach to children’s individual learning and development and are sensitive to each child’s needs. Unwanted behaviour and the testing of boundaries is often a part of growing up, and staff will try to determine the cause or triggers of the inappropriate behaviour to prevent the situation from recurring. We will work closely with you to put any strategies in place to support your child and enhance positive behaviour in the setting.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

We have regular contact with our Area Inclusion Officer who provides invaluable support, advice and links with a wide range of agencies, such as advisory teachers, Educational psychologists, speech and language therapists and drop-in clinics, health visitors GP’s etc.
We have a good relationship with the Little Hands Little Feet Family Centre who provide support and have access to other services and support.

7. What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have?

All staff have experience of working with young children with additional needs and our Senco, Lisa Burkett, attends local Senco training and Clusters to keep up to date with new legislations and best practices etc. Other training is sourced as required to meet the needs of the setting, staff and children.

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?

Occasionally we may organise activities outside of the setting, and full risk assessments will be carried out. We would discuss your child’s needs with you to ensure that they can be included. You will not be required to accompany your child on an outing, however if you wanted to join us, you would of course, be welcome as a parent helper on any outing or visit.

9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s learning and development?

Your child’s key worker will always be available to discuss your child’s needs, however it may be necessary to arrange a mutually convenient time for a meeting.
If outside professionals come in to Pre-school to see your child we try to organise a meeting at the end if that visit for a brief discussion. If this is not possible any reports are always copied and given to you.
Parental consent is always obtained before we refer to any outside agencies.

10. How accessible is the building / environment?

We presently have one small step leading into the Pre-school classroom; ramp facilities would be made available should they be needed. Once inside, the room is accessible and the furniture can be rearranged as required. Toys and resources are at your child’s level.
Our garden is all on one level and has a combination of tarmac and astro-style turf.
The toilets and hand basins within the Pre-school environment are child-size, and there is an accessible toilet in the main school building, which is available for our use, however this can only be reached by either a small flight of five steps inside the building, or going outside to reach the main school entrance, which would then be all on one level.

11. How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?

Before starting at St Mary’s Pre-school, we recommend a home visit so your key person can meet your child in their home environment. If necessary, a health care plan may be discussed and completed at this meeting.
One or more settling-in sessions may be organised at Pre-school prior to their start date, so that you and your child can see the environment, meet the team, and experience a sample of our usual activities. A health care plan may also be discussed at this meeting.
If your child receives care from another setting (nursery, Pre-school or child minder) we will ask your permission to share information with them about your child.
When it is time for your child to leave us to start nursery school or reception class in school, we will contact the new setting and invite them to visit your child at Pre-school. During this visit the teacher or key person from the school will meet and play with your child and have the opportunity to discuss your child’s development, progress and any particular needs with our team. We also undertake activities such as trying on school uniform jumpers, looking at school book bags, and tours of the main Primary school in which we are based in order to prepare the children for their next steps in their educational journey and make the transition as smooth as possible.

12. How will the setting’s resources be used to support children’s special educational needs?

All equipment and toys are moveable and can be made accessible, and they are age and stage appropriate. We will seek to borrow specific equipment needed for specific needs, or if funds allow then we shall purchase equipment as necessary.
St Mary’s Pre-school has a good staff/child ratio so your child will receive plenty of adult support. We are a very inclusive setting and have a range of resources/strategies in place to support children with a range of needs, e.g. we use Visual timetables (using pictures and symbols) this may be used with children with speech and language delay and can help children who have English as their second or additional language.

13. Who can I contact for further information about the early years offer in the setting?

Lisa Burkett
St Mary’s Pre-school
New Road
Northchurch
Berkhamsted
Herts
HP4 3QZ

Tel: 07535 184017
E-mail: stmaryspreschool.northchurch@gmail.com
Web: www.stmaryspreschoolnorthchurch.com
Ofsted registration number: EY561720