Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

As part of the Children’s and Families Bill 2014 all education settings are required to make available their Core SEND offer to families with details how they support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

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

The attainment and progress of all children is monitored on entry and then at four monthly intervals throughout their time with us. Children who are not meeting typical age appropriate expectations will be identified and staff will discuss their learning with their parents/carers so that together we can plan to support them to make progress. Those children will be highlighted to all adults working with them and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), so that everyone who comes into contact with each child knows how to help them. High quality teaching will target identified areas. Parents will be kept fully informed of this and it is possible through daily contact with child’s Key Person.  If parents need to be informed of any specific concerns, a meeting would be arranged with the parent.  Where progress is less than expected it will be necessary to put additional support in place and a thorough assessment of a child’s needs takes place. This will be supported by the SENCo and includes the views of the parents and child concerned. If there are indications of a range of learning difficulties then the child will be recorded as having special educational needs (SEN). Parents will be informed and involved throughout this process. Parents who are concerned that their child may have SEN issues should not hesitate to speak to their child’s Key Person, the SENCo or the Headteacher.

How will school staff support my child?

If a child has been identified as making less than expected progress the first response is high quality teaching and interaction with the child, targeted at identified areas.  Strategies will be used to support their development.   If progress continues children will receive additional support or targeted intervention, such as Language Group. This support could be extra group or individual support with an adult. The SENCO provides advice, monitoring, and links with outside agencies. There is a school governor for SEN who oversees the school’s work with SEN and ensures the quality of provision is regularly monitored. 

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

When children start at St Philip’s Marsh Nursery School, relationships are built with the children and families to enable your child’s Key Person to be able to make assessments of each child, identifying strengths, interests and areas that may require support.    Previous attainment is also referred to.  We are aware of the importance of listening to children and using this to enhance assessments.   These procedures ensure that any barriers to learning are identified and effective provision suited to a child’s specific needs is implemented.  With young children, we ensure that we communicate regularly with them, helping to develop their self-awareness and confidence.    We encourage responses from the children and these are always valued.  When children cannot communicate with words, their reactions and emotions are observed closely so that their feelings are always respected.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Our high expectations of each child at St Philip’s Marsh Nursery School, coupled with planning to meet their needs, usually ensures that children are making at least expected progress and frequently better than expected progress. However some children still require additional support. Where a child requires additional support, parents are informed and targeted intervention is put in place. This support is monitored closely by both the Key Person and SENCo and regularly modified.

The effectiveness of the Nursery’s provision for children with SEND is evaluated, reported to governors and monitored by OFSTED.

Parent consultations are held each term to keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress and the learning diary is an ongoing report, shared with parents throughout the year and owned by the child. Parents are involved in reviews where extra support has been put in place and their views are sought at each opportunity to help support their child’s learning. Children are encouraged to try out activities at home so that parents are able to see what their children are able to achieve independently and support them with their learning if necessary.

The school website is updated regularly and demonstrates what the children have been doing at school and activities that you can carry out at home to support your child.

Newsletters are regularly sent to parents so that they are informed about the themes and skills that the children will be working on.   We link closely with Barton Hill Settlement Family Centre and this has further enhanced parent relationships and access to additional parent support.   Parents can be signposted to specific courses that the Children’s Centre are holding which will support their role and extend their own personal knowledge and skills.    Prior to your child starting at the Nursery we hold play and stay sessions each week this also provides you with an opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have.

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

We liaise with a range of other professionals to support our staff who are trained to provide support for children’s social, emotional and mental health needs. All Key People are skilled in implementing personalised effective behaviour strategies and working closely together with parents and children to develop strategies that can also be consistently used at home. The school has a Behaviour Policy which is published on the school website. The school adheres to the statutory guidance ’Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ and all medication is kept in a secure place and is only administered by designated people. Individual health care plans are written for children with medical conditions and shared with all staff that work with the child including lunch time staff.  Each Key Person works together with parents and staff to meet a child’s health needs. In some instances this will require referring a child to access a specialist support service.

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

All Key People have been trained to recognise indications of SEN.   Where there are concerns, all staff are aware of the need to inform the school’s SENCo, which is currently the Deputy Headteacher.    Specialist intervention is always sought where appropriate, and specific recommended strategies to support children would be followed.  We regularly liaise with speech and language therapists, specialist advisory teachers and educational psychologists.  Reports are always obtained following visits which recommend specific programmes of learning for children.

What training have the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?

All staff are trained in child protection and safeguarding. There is a specially trained first aider and staff have paediatric first aid training.   There are designated staff for safeguarding concerns.  All Key People hold, or are working towards a minimum of NVQ level 3.  Training is refreshed regularly and all opportunities for additional training are sought to ensure that staff have an up-to-date working knowledge of SEND issues and current legislation.    Many staff members have attended a twelve week ‘Learning Language and Loving It’ Corse which is led by speech therapists and some staff have received ‘More than Words’ training. The SENCo has attended Attention Autism training. Makaton is used throughout the school and all staff will have an opportunity to attend this training. Through whole staff training, we have developed our understanding of how to support children with specific needs.  We have a knowledge of using appropriate strategies to support children with autism and behavioural needs.

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

There are formal occasions such as parent consultation meetings, open mornings and afternoons and consultation sessions where parents are involved in discussions about their child’s education. We also have an ‘open door’ policy where parents are usually able to speak to a Key Person before or after the morning and afternoon sessions. Working parents are able to telephone to arrange for a Key Person to call them back or email via the school office if there is a particular issue they wish to discuss. Parents are represented on the school Governing Body. Parents of children with SEN are regularly involved in discussions through reviews.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

For all school trips a risk assessment is undertaken to ensure that each child is kept safe from harm. All children with SEND are included on all school trips and, when appropriate, additional staff are deployed. Parents are consulted to ensure full participation and active engagement of all children.

How accessible is the school environment?

The school is fully compliant with the Equality Act and reasonable adjustments are made for all children with SEND where necessary. Support is provided where appropriate for children with SEN needs and advice is sought from the appropriate medical/health professionals to ensure all children’s wellbeing is met.  The building is wheelchair accessible and has disabled changing and toilet facilities. Specialised equipment to support health and physical needs can be catered for within the environment. 

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

We have an induction programme in place to support your child’s transition to Nursery and also offer weekly stay and play sessions. A transition programme is also in place to ensure a smooth transition to primary school and we ensure that we liaise with all of the feeder schools for our children.  The level of support offered is dependent on each child’s needs and we ensure that all children are fully supported.  If you have any concerns that your child is worried about changes or moving on please speak with your child’s Key Person.

 How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The Nursery School has an amount identified within its overall budget which is used for resources to support the progress of children with SEN. This can be used to employ practitioners to meet the needs of children with SEN, buy specialist equipment, books or stationery or provide specialised training for staff. Additional funding for children with SEN, who are working significantly below age related expectations, can be applied for by the school in partnership with you through the local authority.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The amount and type of support offered to a child is determined by a detailed analysis of a child’s needs, barriers to learning, stage of development, parental views, their own views and consultation with their Key Person.  This support is reviewed regularly with amendments being made to the programme of support. Interventions have an emphasis on early identification and targeted effective support to minimise any long term need for additional support.

Who can I contact for further information?

The Headteacher can be contacted by telephone or email and is available to meet with you if you have any concerns about your child. You may feel it is more appropriate to speak to your child’s Key Person with any initial queries. If you wish to make a complaint the school has a complaints procedure which is available from the school office.

How can I find information about the local authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?

The authority’s local offer of services and provision for children and young people with SEN can be accessed at https://www.bristol.gov.uk/web/bristol-local-offer