What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
If parents/carers have concerns about their child before their child starts at Busy Fingers Pre-School, they can arrange a home visit from their Health visitor to discuss their concerns. The assigned keyworker from Busy Fingers Pre-School will offer you a home visit and will be accompanied by the setting SEND (Special Educational need co-ordinator) – Jennie O’Sullivan. It is good to have on hand as much information about your child e.g. what the Health Visitor, Family Worker, Speech or physiotherapist etc. provided.
Busy Fingers will ensure that training and or changes to the physical environment, (within reason) are or can be met in order to aid the child’s transition from home to the pre-school setting. If the child’s needs are emerging and not diagnosed, Busy Fingers will seek the support of you and your Family Worker or Health visitor to work towards meeting the needs of your unique, individual child, always considering your child may have a need, but they should not be defined by it. They need opportunities to grow and develop, because all children do and no one child is the same. The keyworker and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator will conduct observations and share them with you; there will be opportunity for two-way dialogue, sharing in what we know and what we want to help the child to achieve.
How will the setting decide if my child needs extra support?
Your child’s keyworker will discuss and describe the SEND process. The keyworker and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator will make the decision as to what action needs to be taken following the observations of the child. Setting-based support will be implemented if necessary, with discussion and input from the parents/carers.
What will the setting do to support my child?
The keyworker in the setting along with the support from the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and parents/carers (where possible) will agree an action plan with specific targets for the child’s learning and development. The cycle is called ‘Assessment of Needs: Plan, Do, Review’. The team will plan targets for the child, carry out the targets with the child and review the
targets. Monitoring of the targets will be ongoing and a formal review with parents/carers will be held each term (or as appropriate).
Who will support my child in the setting?
All staff in the setting are trained and qualified to work with young children. The child’s keyworker will hold overall responsibility to support a child that has a particular need but other staff in the setting will also work together to support the child.
What training and experience do staff have for the additional support of my child’s needs?
All staff are qualified and experienced to effectively support children in the foundation stage. Some staff have undertaken specific training to support children with identified needs. Some have expertise in language and communication, multi-lingual learning, ICAN (speech and language), Every Child and Talker, Real (raising early achievement in Literacy), Makaton (Sign language) and autism.
Who else might be involved in supporting my child?
A wide range of external support agencies may be involved in supporting children with SEND including: The Early Help for Disabled Children Team (EHDC – they provide support for children with disabilities and their families aged 5-18), Education Psychology Service and local Children’s Centres for children aged under 5 years, Occupational Health, Speech and Language, Physiotherapy, Teacher for the Deaf, Visual Impairment Team and Community Paediatrician. An Early Help Assessment (EHA) may be offered to co-ordinate all the support services for the benefit of the child and their family.
What support is available for my child’s emotional and social well-being?
Personal, Social and Emotional development is a prime area of the Early Years Foundations Stage curriculum and all children are fully supported with this. When necessary staff will be involved in specialised training, for example administering medication for children who have conditions such as epilepsy.
How will my child be involved in the process and be able to contribute their views?
We work hard to seek and hear the views of all children in the setting and the children are fully involved in their learning opportunities. The staff often share the children’s observations and celebration of achievement files with them.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
In the setting the children have access to a range of development and learning opportunities, these experiences can be linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This is a differentiated curriculum where children are taught according to their interests and needs as well as with regard to their age and stage of development. (SEND Toolkit, 2018)
What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s attainment and achievement?
SEND review meetings are held termly, there are also open evenings where children’s achievements are discussed and their celebration of achievement files shared with parents/carers. Staff will also discuss with parents/carers their child’s development and progress during home visits and daily chats in the setting. Should parents/carers want a more detailed discussion, keyworkers will arrange to meet with them in the setting or their home to work together.
How does the setting know how well my child is doing?
All children are assessed throughout their time in the setting. They are assessed using a range of information gathered through observations, work, involvement in experiences and information from the parents/carers about what the child does at home. We use an electronic learning journey called ‘Tapestry’ which gives workers clear data about each child’s progress. Children are observed during their time in the setting and their progress is tracked during the year. Staff take photographs, collect video vignettes and write narrative accounts of the children during their learning which are used to collate each child’s celebration of achievement file. Parents/carers are encouraged to contribute to these files and take them home to share with their child and their extended family.
How will my child be included in activities and experiences outside the classroom including school trips?
Our setting is an inclusive one and all children are offered the opportunity to participate in activities and experiences outside the usual environment. When necessary extra adults and parents/carers will be invited to support us during the outing. (See our Curriculum policy, which applies to all children)
How accessible is the school environment?
Our setting does not have parking. We do have wide entrances throughout our building and we are on one level. We have an accessible toilet.
How accessible is the curriculum?
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is accessible to all children; our aim in the setting is to create an inclusive learning environment where all barriers to effective learning are removed.
How will the setting prepare and support my child to make the transition from home and help them to feel they belong in the setting?
Parents/carers will be offered a home visit prior to their child starting in the setting. Their child’s keyworker will arrange a visit to the parents/carers home to meet their child and talk to the parents/carers. We encourage parents/carers to come in to the setting and have a look around with their child.
We work with parents during a 2-week settling period and together decide what strategy works for their child. This helps the children to get to know their keyworker, make connection with other staff and children. Also, it gives them a sense of the rhythms and rituals of the session. If children need additional settling in time, keyworkers will always discuss this with the parents/carers.
How will the setting support my child to transition to a new setting or to school?
When children are making the transition from home, a childminder or another care provider, they will be contacted by the keyworker; to gain greater insights in how to support the child during a period of change.
When children are transitioning to school the children’s new teachers are invited to visit the children in pre-school, we offer a network transition meeting for teachers to come and meet keyworkers and we offer a transition visit for the children supported by their keyworker into their new school. New teachers are also invited to attend SEND review meetings.
How can I be involved in supporting my child?
We will always share targets with parents/carers with ideas of how to support their child in the home.
How can I access support for myself and my family?
The Local Authority website www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk provides further information about SEND as well as other useful support services.
Who can I contact should I need further information about the setting and the support available for my child?
Please call Busy Fingers on 01353 698633 and ask to speak to Jennie O’Sullivan, our SENCo.
View the Busy Fingers Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Policy