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How do we know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

 

At Cassio Pre-School all of our staff is familiar with the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Early Year's Outcomes.

Catherine Feighoney is our dedicated coordinator for Special Educational Needs and disabilities (Senco). Staff use their knowledge to assess the individual children they have within their key group using individual observations and up-to-date learning journals to record the progress of each child.

If for any reason a child does not appear to be meeting expected EYFS framework milestones, they would be flagged up during termly staff supervision meetings and discussed with the Leader.

At all times we would maintain communication with the parents and raise any concerns we have immediately. Should a need be identified we will support the child and work closely with other professionals such as health visitors, speech and language therapists to ensure that your child is given appropriate support and that we provide the very best care and educational opportunities for your child.

As a parent, if you have any concerns about your child, you can raise them prior to joining our setting either on application or on submission of our admission documentation. This will ensure that everything is in place (eg special equipment, staff training) before your child joins us. Any additional needs will also be discussed during our induction meetings for new Children. If your child is already attending the setting, you can raise concerns at any time with your child's keyworker or Catherine Feighoney, our Pre-School Leader.

At the end of each term all parents are invited to attend a meeting to review the progress of their child and the learning journal. A report is written by the keyworker for this. All children are also entered onto a tracking form to enable the setting to review the progress of each child.

How will the setting staff support my child?

At Cassio, we recognise that every child is an individual.

Observations are written for each child which form a basis for our planning and will determine how we will be supporting and developing the child.

We then plan and prepare activities to support the areas identified. If we are concerned with any child due to their level of progress, we may feel it necessary to complete an IAELD (Individual Assessment of Early Learning and Development) which will support us in identifying the areas that need addressing.

We may also find it necessary to contact the Early Years Inclusion Development Officer or local Advisory teacher for support.

Your child's keyworker will develop a strong bond with your child and all staff will work with you to ensure that your child is happy and settled at Cassio.

How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs?

We allocate every child with a key worker.

On starting at Cassio their progress would be tracked by settling in sheets from their very first day.

Through the EYFS all staff then complete regular observations on the children which inform the setting about how the child is learning and what areas they need support in. This information forms our 'next steps' which are used to plan forthcoming activities. Staff would adapt activities to suit the progress of all children so they are suitably challenged. We also gather evidence by photographs and examples.

We will follow advice from other professionals on how to support your child's particular needs and, if appropriate, training will be accessed to support your child's learning.

What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?

Cassio Pre-School are committed to meeting the needs of the children and maintaining our caring reputation and ethos as of paramount importance. We build good relationships with families so that children feel comfortable and secure in our environment.

We offer healthy snacks and ensure the children have access to play outside and are kept active. Our staffing arrangements always ensure that we are overstaffed to ensure that extra hands are available for children who need extra support.

If your child has any specific medical needs, where appropriate our staff will undergo any training - eg. Epi pen training.

All staff have a positive approach to all children's individual learning and development and are sensitive to their needs. Unwanted behaviour and the testing of boundaries is often part of growing up, and we will work closely with you to put strategies in place to support and enhance your child's positive behaviour as outlined in our Achieving Positive Behaviour policy.

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

  • We have a designated SENCo working daily within our setting and we have fantastic links with our local children centre.
  • We share information about support available to all of our parents both verbally and via our parent information noticeboard.
  • We work with the Early Years Inclusion Development Officer and Advisory Teachers.
  • We have good relationships with the local feeder schools, and this will make the process of moving to a new setting easier for your child.

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

Staff attend regular training courses in all areas of the EYFS and Pre School practice and child development. We are committed to the continuing professional development (CPD) of all staff.

Where possible if any children have a particular need we would arrange group training for the whole staff team so that we are all able to support and assist. For example all of our staff have attended Makaton training to support us in communicating with all children. 

Our team have experience of working with children on the Autistic spectrum, children with visual impairment and with speech and language delay.

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

Generally our sessions are run from our setting within St Andrews Church Hall.
However during the summer, we arrange an annual trip to the farm for all children attending the setting and their family. This allows not only an excellent learning experience but also gives the opportunity for the parents and carers to get to know each other better.

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

Parents regularly talk to their child's key worker and other staff working at the setting. The team is very approachable and we enjoy sharing information about the child's day.

At the end of each term parents are invited into the setting to discuss their child's progress. Parents have this opportunity to inform staff of their feedback about their child's progress and any areas they have concerns with. We would also include into the child's next steps any areas the parents would like us to concentrate on.

How accessible is the building / environment?

Cassio Pre School is a pack away Pre School which operates within St Andrews Church Hall.

It is a ground floor room with good space and high ceilings. Doors are wide and there is a disabled toilet at the front of the setting. Activities are provided at ground level or low level tables and chairs.

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

When offered a place at Cassio Pre School you will be sent induction forms to complete and return. This is our first introduction to your child and their family.

You and your child will also be invited in for an induction session. This session is prior to the start of term will be solely for the new children and families to attend so that they can be introduced to staff and be introduced to the setting. It allows the child to experience time at the setting with their parent or carer present to allow them to become familiar with the environment and staff During this session and, in conjunction with your completed 'home information' sheet, we obtain information about each child to ensure that we are aware of their interests and what may support them in settling.

We appreciate the first few sessions can sometimes be an unsettling time for the child and parents and we maintain very close communication so that we can support both. We take each session slowly one step at a time and offer the new children lots of support to help their time at the session a happy one.

When a family are due to move onto nursery or reception we incorporate this into our theme when planning activities. We also invite the school to visit the setting so that they can meet the children they will be receiving in a place they feel comfortable in and discuss with them the child's progress.

Providing we have been given permission by the parent we may share information gathered in the learning journal.

How will Cassio Pre-School's resources be used to support children's special educational needs?

For any child identified with a special educational need, we would work closely with the setting Senco, parent and other professionals involved to discuss their needs.

Where possible we would make reasonable adjustments, adapting provision and activities we have to meet the individual needs of the child, regularly assessing and monitoring progress to ensure we are supporting appropriately.

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

Catherine Feighoney, Pre-School Leader
cassioleader1@gmail.com

For further information on the local authority's Local Offer of service and provision for children with special educational needs and disability go to www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer.