SEN at Knossington Somerby Preschool

We are an inclusive and extremely friendly preschool, the adults and all of the children. Everyone is given a warm welcome and a fond farewell. We understand safeguarding practices and provide a welcoming safe environment at all times. Information will be gathered about any additional needs your child may have before their visit so they are comfortable and at ease straight away. We encourage the parents/carers to visit and we can provide home visits. The parents/cares are then able to bring their child in for as many stay and play sessions that they may feel necessary. Following this we can create settling in plans that suit the child.

A key person will be allocated once we have established which practitioner has formed the best bond with the child. The key person will be introduced face to face and parents/carers will be given a letter of introduction including information about the key person. This practitioner will work closely with your child, getting to know them as an individual; their likes, dislikes, their preferred way of learning, and from this will report on their progress and make targeted plans. The ‘child’s voice’ is referred to during planning to help build a child’s confidence and self esteem in order for the to reach their full potential.

During the enrolment process parents/carers are asked to fill out a series of forms. In these is a section regarding the child’s additional needs. It is important to gain as much information as possible to ensure we are providing each child with the necessary care. We will ask for a copy of their two year check from the health visitor. Also in this enrolment pack a `Knowing you Knowing me` form is included outlining the child`s likes and dislikes. Children are allowed to bring in familiar objects from home to help them feel safe and comfortable in a new environment.

Staff members have regular meetings to discuss all children, ensuring each child’s individual needs are being met.

Our front door has a small step, there is however full access around the back allowing for easy access for a wheelchair. There is a ramp leading to the back door and the door frames are wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through without problems. Our back yard is a clear square shape that allows for ease of movement. All equipment outside can be moved to allow for greater space.

Our two main rooms inside are linked and are set out so that children can move freely and with safety. Our two toilets are lower to the ground and have child friendly seats. We have a nappy changing area and allow for privacy when in use. Staff are able to change nappies and have read and signed the nappy changing policy.

We promote inclusion and welcome all families from all countries and cultural backgrounds. Families are encouraged to fill in a cultural book to share information with us and are invited to come and spend time with the children to teach us about their culture. We have celebrated a diverse multi cultural calendar including events such as Ethiopian New Year, Canadian Thanksgiving, Russia Day, Easter, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah and much more.

We have Children`s Rights and Entitlement policy; Safeguarding and protection; Confidentiality and access to records;Supervision of children on outings; achieving positive behaviour; administrating medicines; first aid; suitable people, Prevent Duty Policy, FGM policy, internet safety policy,etc.

All staff are trained in safeguarding issues with formal training annually and in-house training each term. The manager and deputy manager have received Designated Safe Guarding Lead training. The manager is the named safeguarding officer with the deputy as officer in the event of absence. Parents/carers are made aware of the procedure of reporting any safeguarding concerns or making a complaint.

Risk assessments are completed and all staff read and sign. On trips to the park we walk on a walk-a-dile. The children wear a safety strap and are fastened onto it ensuring that they are secure. There are six children attached to each walk-a-dile, two children side by side, with a member of staff supporting at the front. Children with mobility difficulties can walk wearing a high visibility jacket holding a member of staff’s hand. There is wheelchair access to the local park and preschool garden. Members of staff wear high vis jackets on all outings. The number of staff members increase if we are going off site.

Medication forms are filled out by parents and key person in our medicine book, information is then cascaded between staff members. All staff members have first aid training and we have a designated first aid officer. All staff are made aware of any allergies or medical conditions and have had training to respond to any emergencies regarding a child’s health plan. We have an accident and incident book to keep records that the parents are shown and asked to sign.

Our setting is always planned so that it allows free safe movement of the children.

All children are encouraged to be sensitive to others, displaying kind and sharing behaviour. Each child is respected and valued as an individual. All children have equal opportunities and the freedom to make choices. We have an emotional wellbeing policy ensuring that all staff members are constantly striving towards a positive learning environment, including sharing and turn taking games and emotional literacy. Every other week we have a Yoga instructor visit us for a lovely Yoga session and throughout the week we practice lots of mindful breathing techniques.

Our door policy is that adults and children are greeted at the door and ticked in the register. Only those that have arranged previously to collect a child may do so. If a person picking up a child is unknown to us but has been arranged by the parent/carer they will be given a password and only with that they may leave the premises. During welcome and goodbye times a member of staff will be at the door. Once you have entered/ exited, the door is locked and the key is kept out of reach. The back gate is always locked. Any visitors must sign in our visitor book, showing identification, and any visitor without a DBS check will not be left alone with any child.

Our kitchen door and store cupboard is locked and all hazardous liquids are out of reach.

During enrolment the parent/carer will be given the opportunity to consent to the use of plasters and suncream. They will also specify whether or not they give permission for their child’s photo to be used on our webpage, closed Facebook group, email updates etc Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

At snack and lunch times the adults sit with the children and offer support to those who need it. All grapes are cut in ahlf.

All parents/carers receive an email once a week called our Weekly Update. In this is included the activities that the children have taken part in during the week, photos, areas of learning and any other messages. We also have a private Facebook page that includes news and photos from the week. Children with SEN are allocated a communication book. In this we will write activities that the child has been involved in each day and any comments. Parents are also encouraged to write in this book. We have a photo screen in our hallway displaying regularly updated photos. We regularly change our displays to incorporate the child’s work or photo collages of experiences enjoyed.

Each child has a learning journey online via Tapestry. This is a working document throughout a child`s time at Preschool, documenting their achievements and progress. Parents can access this whenever they like and add their own photos and comments at home.

We operate an open door policy here and encourage parents to talk to us whenever they like. At the end of the day a member of staff takes time to speak to each parent offering a brief summary of the day’s events. A private space is made available if necessary.

We complete a progress summary at two, one after 4 months of arrival then each 6 months thereafter. We offer formal or informal consultations and home visits. If the child attends another setting then we share information and actively encourage the other settings to relay information to us.

We have worked very closely with outside agencies under the SEN umbrella for example Speech and Language and Physiotherapists.

Those professionals come into our setting and then write a plan to include targets so that we can work towards them with the children. We attend meetings for individual children that include a panel of professionals so that we may gain a clear picture of the individual child and their needs. We have attended meetings at the children`s homes to discuss transitions into schools and encourage school teachers to come to our setting. If a child needs further support during school transition their key person will visit the school, meeting with the new class teacher and join the child during settling in sessions. We also attend networking sessions so that we may lease with other settings.

We have a Special Needs Coordinator, Emma Round who has been on all relevant SENCO training and networking events. Alison, the deputy manager has also received the SENCO training in the event of the absence of the manager. All staff seek the continuing development of their courses and qualifications and have completed some basic SEN training. Information is shared and cascaded regularly at staff meetings and half termly in-house training. The manager has completed a distance learning course on children and young peoples’ mental health amongst many other online courses regarding special educational needs. The manager is currently enrolled at Derby University studying Inclusive Practice for SEN in the Early Years. The deputy manager has completed a distance learning course on Understanding Autism is Children. We have had equality and diversity training. We all use Makaton in our morning songs and all know basic signs. Two members of staff have received formal symbols and signs training and have developed visual timetables to be used during sessions. All have up to date paediatric first aid training including the use of inhalers and EpiPen.

Here at Preschool we have had the pleasure of welcoming children with a variety of additional needs including autism, selective mutism, gross motor difficulties, sensory processing disorders, speech and language difficulties, and more. We have all had lots of experience in getting to know each child as an individual and working together to help each child live their best possible life; removing barriers.

Through discussion with parents/carers upon arrival we like to get a sense of a child’s likes and dislikes. We use knowing you knowing me forms to get to know a child`s interests. We use observation tools and a plan, do, review technique. Targeted plans are created so that we get a clear view of how the child learns best and things that the child does not enjoy so much so that learning can be tailored to their needs. These are regularly reviewed.

Risks are assessed and managed to enable the child and enjoyable safe experience. We create a relaxed, language rich environment. We offer plenty of time for a child to respond to instructions and plenty of time to complete a task.

We have some lovely SEN equipment ranging from spring scissors, large easy grip pencils and wider stubby paintbrushes. Tables are at an appropriate level for a wheelchair user and we have a support cushion available if needed. Our Social Communication group is a lovely time for sensory play, getting to know you games, emotional literacy etc. We also have an allocated time slot for planned differentiated activities. All resources are at a level that the children can reach independently and with safety. During story time children can sit on a chair, cushion or carpet, and we have toys for ‘hands that move’ for those who may need support with sitting, or anxiety disorders. All areas of the setting are planned to allow for free movement with limited obstacles. We have lots of lovely sensory play each day.

We complete mid-term planning, including planning for the indoor and outdoor environment. Each day we evaluate the planning and highlight areas of particular interest and those areas less popular. Each child’s interests that week are taken into account for the following week’s planning. We regularly assess the environment, ensuring that areas are not too cluttered etc. We are able to create a quiet zone for children with a sensitivity to noise, using furniture to absorb excess sound, soft cushions and ear defenders.

If necessary we will apply for additional funding for further equipment and 1-1 support.

We plan a steady, smooth transition for all children, in particular those with SEN. We have meetings with parents, the new school teachers and any other professionals involved with the child. The new class teacher is invited to spend time with the child within our setting and the child’s key person will visit the new school and possibly attend any induction sessions with the child at their new school. The teacher will be shown the child`s learning journey and sent a copy of the transition and tracker. Previously we have made a photo book of the new setting so that we can look at these with the child. A SEND Support Plan is created including the one page profile completed by parents. We include a school role play area, including school uniforms and new school photos and read lots of lovely stories about starting school.

As soon as a child comes in with SEN we will observe the child to make note of additional needs and how we may help the child to suit their individual needs. These will be made into a targeted plan and targets will regularly be reviewed and updated. Following the first two weeks we highlight areas of the Early Assessment Review chart and the Child Monitoring tool. These identify the child’s areas of learning and speech and language capabilities. A child`s tracker will be completed more than the usual 6 months. We will review the Knowing You Knowing Me forms to look at a child`s likes and dislikes. Progress summaries will include next steps and ways we hope to help the child to achieve these.

The child’s key person will work closely with any professionals involved with the child, taking note of and following any additional targets. Parents/carers will regularly be kept informed via informal/ formal chats and home visits and using their child’s online learning journey. We are very friendly and approachable and are always available to talk.

We also offer a range of books that can be borrowed that contain some fun activities the parent/carer can do at home. We have a variety of resources that can be sent home to link preschool and home learning such as sensory toys, talking tiles and story sacks. In our entrance hall there is lots of information regarding various local support groups and a link to Leicestershire County Council’s Local Offer page is on our Facebook page, updating parents/carers of children with SEN about local events and groups.

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