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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – FAQs

SEND Local Offer

Hopscotch recognises that all children learn at a different pace and in their own time whilst having the right to protection from abuse. Hopscotch takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of all children.

We value the abilities and achievements of all children, and are committed to providing a nurturing and safe environment for learning and development allowing children to reach their full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

  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?
  2. How will Hopscotch support my child?
  3. How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
  4. Who can I contact for further information?
  5. What are the responsibilities of the setting owners in enabling and supporting inclusive practice?
  6. How will I know how my child is developing?
  7. What support will there be for my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?
  8. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
  9. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
  10. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
  11. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
  12. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are expected to have?
  13. How will my child be included in experiences away from setting?
  14. How accessible is the setting environment?
  15. How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
  16. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

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 Hopscotch we perform ongoing observational assessments of all the children in our care. These are linked to the development matters ages and stages in the EYFS framework, which can help identify individual needs and any concerns arising. The findings from these observations will be discussed / evaluated with the room leader, the settings SENDco and the Manager.

We operate a key person and buddy system, with each child having a designated key person and buddy for if ever the key person is not present. Their role is to build a trusting and sensitive relationship with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can ask any time to discuss this in private with them. If your child’s key person has identified a possible additional need they will discuss the matter with you in private and plan together to support your child’s learning and development.

Our trained SENDco can offer advice and support to the key person and room practitioners. The SENDco will liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. We have a close working relationship with PRESENS, who give us advice and support where needed. Support and advice from the Area SENDco and the Early Years Specialist Support Teacher can be sought with parents’ permission. We have previous experience of working with children with abilities such as speech and language delays, physical delays and global delays. Working together with various outside agencies to support these children has had a vast impact on the quality of care given. The setting welcome’s parents and professionals sharing reports with them in order to plan appropriately to obtain the best possible outcomes for your child.

How will Hopscotch support my child?

On induction to the setting the key person and parents share information about the strengths and needs of their child. The parents will have the opportunity to accompany their child on a visit to help settle them and develop a relationship with the key person. The child will always be at the heart of what we do. We work with the parents and support the child together for a more effective quality of care. When additional support is needed for the child’s development, the child will be given an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which are reviewed every six weeks. We will listen to you as well as your child. Our SENDco will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning strategies and targets by using these IEP’s and the advice from Specialist support team and other professionals involved in the care of the child. They will also explain who may become involved in your child’s development and their role. The key person will work with the SENDco to oversee the IEP targets for your child. The key person will support your child with small group session with the child, with direction from the SENDco. We will identify your child’s individual needs and plan the next steps, accessing additional support from others where necessary e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, educational psychologists or applications for additional funding for one to one support or resources.

The key person’s role will be to build a positive relationship with and understand the individual needs of the children. The SENDco will maintain an overview of experiences and progress, whilst facilitating with outside agencies and attend strategy meetings. They will also work with other practitioners to ensure provision is relevant / appropriate and seek support when needed.

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

The key person will form a relationship of trust and support with the parent and the child during these sessions and will ask for care plans and “all about me” forms to be completed with questions which will help the practitioners identify the children’s needs, interests and to discuss if any agencies are involved in the child’s development.

If required staff will attend training related to a child’s needs before they attend the setting. Meetings with the Health care professionals will help the child’s transition into the setting. Ensuring any relevant documentation is shared in the setting if necessary, e.g.’ All About Me’ forms, previous IEP’s, paediatric reports, to ensure appropriate planning is in place. Parents and key person should agree a consistent approach to ensure continuity of care from home to setting.

If a child is transitioning to school or moving on to a new setting, the child’s key person and SENDco are invited to observe the child and discuss the child’s strengths and needs. The key person and SENDco can attend meetings and share targets on IEP’s and minutes of review meetings.

When a child is transitioning their views and feelings can be shared through photographs reflecting what they have done, achieved and enjoyed.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have concerns about your child’s development, the settings SENDco and the manager will be able to offer advice and will be able to signpost parents to other professionals that may be able to help such as the health visitor, children centre staff and Speech and Language Therapist (SALT). The setting has a named practitioner for behaviour management and can also access support for parents from the Area SENDco and the Early Years Consultant with parental permission.

What are the responsibilities of the setting owners in enabling and supporting inclusive practice?

The settings manager is responsible for enabling leadership within the setting to create inclusive policies, ensuring those policies are in place and up to date. To ensure that there is sufficient staff to enable staff to attend training to keep knowledge and understanding up to date. In addition they ensure that the open door policy creates an ethos that respects and welcomes all. They ensure that the environment is inclusive with resources that reflect diversity positively and encourage information sharing and early intervention with the relevant agencies. It is also their responsibility to manage finances and ensure that delegated Budget and Inclusion funding or inclusion bursaries are used to promote inclusion.

How will I know how my child is developing?

There will be opportunities for time to establish relationships between parents and the setting. We have in place an assessment system for all children such as ongoing observational assessments, two year old progress checks and summative assessments which are completed every term. Each method of observation and assessment is linked to the EYFs ages and stages of development. Each child also has a learning journey file which is accessible to parents online through the Tapestry application unique to them.

On a yearly basis we hold two parents’ evenings which allows parents/ carers to come and talk with their child’s key person. We also have a SENDco available to talk to if required. The setting has an ‘open door’ policy and encourages practitioners to develop strong liaisons with parents/carers at drop off and pick-ups as they are key to help progress children’s development. Telephone calls or email can be used to communicate with parents during the day if the parent prefers.

What support will there be for my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?

The staff approach is inclusive, positive and welcoming to all. On entry to the setting we provide parents with admissions policy, Safeguarding policy, SEND code of practice. All about me /English as an additional language (EAL) forms are given to parents to complete to help practitioners meet the individual needs of the children. Policies are shared with all staff and parents.

We provide a flexible approach to routine in our clean indoor and outdoor environment which is based around the needs of the children. Open, transparent communication is encouraged from the start to sustain an inclusive climate. Adults interact as good role models for positive behaviour and a continual positive approach to behaviour management is maintained. The key person builds relationships with child and family and they provide personal care respectfully to all children. Only the manager and deputy administer medicine.

During the daily routine visual time tables and Makaton signing are used to support children’s communication skills and understanding routine or change. Older children are supported to manage their own personal care and manage risks for themselves. Resources are accessible to the children for independent choice. We have a relaxed sensory room which all children have access to as a calm, nurturing space.

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

All staff has access to child development training and has experience of working with children within the Early Years age range. The child / family can access a number of services locally –

Children’s development centre, Health visitors, Physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, specialist support teachers. The setting has good links with the local PRESENS team.

Within the setting there is a trained SENDco who attends termly network meetings to keep up to date. There is also the local authority Area SENDco who is available to support the setting SENDco. With parent’s permission advice can be sought from the PRESENS, our specialist support team. If the child’s needs are identified as a specific need then the team with the expertise in this area will take up the support for the child and the setting in meeting the child’s needs, for example the sensory needs team.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Within the setting there are communication systems in place, for example; home/setting books, daily sheets, parents evenings, parents, meetings, daily conversations with the parents when they collect / bring their child to nursery, newsletters with invoices and via the website. As a setting we can agree a comfortable form of communication with the parents including verbal, written, email or text. We invite parents to share their knowledge with the staff about their child’s ‘wow’ moments and they are able to do this by Tapestry, our online learning journey. This allows the children to share their achievements with their friends and develop a sense of self-esteem. Children’s learning journeys and planned next steps implemented around the EYFS curriculum are shared with parents. The setting SENDco and key person will discuss with you how to support your child’s needs outside the setting and how they are supporting your child’s learning and development within the setting. This will occur at parent’s meetings and or IEP reviews. If your child has particular identified needs the setting will work in partnership with the team supporting your child and explain to parents how they are acting on the advice from the support of the professionals.

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

Parents are involved from the initial visits at nursery when they register their child at the setting. The child’s strengths, likes and dislikes or medical/emotional needs are discussed at this point. Parents are encouraged to share information with members of staff from the on-set and on an ongoing basis about individual needs of their child and any agencies involved with the child/ family. Parent’s knowledge of their child is paramount and sought at every point including planning the curriculum, Individual Educational Plans (IEP) and reviews. Each child´s learning journey is accessible to parents online, and each parent is given a password personal to their child. The parents can then comment and add their own observations if they wish. Planning is visibly displayed in each room for parents to view if they wish.

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

The key person and other staff in the room your child is based will get to know the child through meeting the parents during their initial settling visit to nursery. Good communication is central between parents and staff to support the child’s care and wellbeing.

An on-going observational assessment is used to establish a starting point. The key person will observe the child in the first few weeks of them settling into nursery and complete a summary sheet based on their observations. These will be clearly marked as starting points as these summary sheets are used at several points during the child’s learning journey. The summary sheets are linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. As each child learns at a different pace and in different ways we learn to adapt ourselves, by making reasonable adjustments by showing differentiation- activities, experiences, routine resources and provision are planned for each individual.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are expected to have?

The setting SENDco will be updated with the New SENDco training as a continuation of her ongoing training. We also have a member of staff who is there for support in the absence of the SENDco who has also attended SENDco training. The SENDco or SENDco support attends termly SENDco meetings to keep their knowledge and understanding up to date. The information at these meetings is then cascaded to other staff through staff meetings. Further courses such as behaviour management, equalities, safe-guarding, communication and language training have been attended by other staff members. Some staff members have attended training linked to specific needs, such as autistic spectrum disorder training.

How will my child be included in experiences away from setting?

All activities will be planned around all children’s individual needs and abilities. Risk assessments are carried out beforehand to ensure it is accessible for all to access. Policies are shared with parents on admission to reassure them that we are inclusive.

How accessible is the setting environment?

We have some Bi-lingual staff employed by the setting. Positive images and signs, posters in various languages and pictures/photos are used around the setting. We have a large indoor and outdoor learning environment at ground level and access to the building, garden and changing facilities are available for children’s wheelchairs. All policies and procedures are current and reviewed regularly. We provide multi-sensory experiences as part of our core provision. We provide sensory play equipment and use visual aids. We seek advice and support from the area SENDco /sensory needs or specialist support teams.

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

Inclusion grants/bursaries and two year old funding can be applied for to support the child being included in the setting. Delegated budget will be used to provide additional resources or to adapt existing resources.

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

Decisions made about how much support a child will receive is monitored through observations made by the key person of the child in the setting and then is always discussed with parents, SENDco and Manager. Observational assessment linked to the EYFS and knowledge of child development will be used to identify what support is required. Extra support will be put in place if necessary with the aim of enabling the child to become independent and participate within the environment. On-going partnership working with parents by the setting and other professionals involved with the child/family will support the decision making process. The SENDco will advise on the process of applying for extra support. The inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence submitted to the panel from the setting and other professionals working with the child/family. Reports from health care professionals or others working with the child and family will be used to plan support within the setting. The area SENDco or the Early Years specialist support Teacher or other professionals working with the setting SENDco will support the decision making process linked to planned targets on the IEP. The IEP will be written with parents and will include how parents can support their child at home. Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with the child knows the child’s need and how to support them.

If your child has a Special Educational Need and you would like to know more about how we could support them please contact your nursery school manager.

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