At Noah’s Ark Pre-school we strive to provide a safe, secure and stimulating and inclusive environment, that both supports and extends the individual child’s interests. As a setting we seek to support children and their families and recognise that children are individual and have a wide range of abilities and additional needs.
How accessible is your setting?
Our setting is accessible to all, including those who use wheel chairs We plan our learning to ensure and enable as much access as possible. We want all children to access curriculum opportunities off site such as trips and forest school. This may mean meeting with parents to discuss how we can meet the specific needs of children. When necessary, we will carry out a risk assessment. If it is needed we are able to translate paper communications and members of our staff are Punjabi speakers.
How do you identify if a child needs extra help with their learning?
Throughout our setting, observations are carried out by our staff team as a whole as well as detailed long observations of all our children’s learning and playing by each child’s key person. These observations are recorded in the child’s learning diary, which is a shared document always available for parents and carers to see. The key person liaises regularly with the parents as well as arranging specific appointments with parents to discuss the child’s progress. As a setting we work within a cycle of plan, do, assess and review and respond to the needs of the child with a graduated response.
Who will be working with my child and what are their roles?
Within our setting we have a very experienced staff team. Good communication means that all our children are known by all of our team. The SENCo ( Heather Goddard) is an experienced qualified early years teacher, who is able to make informal observations of a child as suggested by the key person. Following discussion with the parents, and if thought appropriate an Individual education plan ( IEP) can be drawn up together, to help all professionals and parents involved to focus on certain targets. The SENCo is also able to make referrals to other professionals to gain advice, such as speech and language services, Early Years Inclusion, and Educational Psychologists. The SENCo is also available for an informal chat about any concerns or worries that you might have.
How will I be able to raise any concerns I may have regarding my child’s development?
At Noah’s Ark Pre-school we work in partnership with parents and we see the initial home visit to the family’s home as an important part of this. There are daily opportunities to speak with either the child’s key person or with someone else in the room. In addition to this we have parent consultation meetings twice a year. We are always happy to arrange additional meetings if necessary. We monitor children’s development and progress and complete termly assessments. We use Cohort tracker to help flag up where early intervention could be of benefit. We also carry out a statutory two year old progress check in partnership with parents, where possible as part of a home visit.
What is the settings approach to supporting different children’s needs and how will that help my child?
At Noah’s Ark Pre-school, our ethos reflects the idea of ‘the unique child’ and that all children are valued as individuals. Within our setting, our practitioners plan and resource the rooms based on the children’s interests and seek to extend and develop their understanding. The key person is observing, monitoring and planning next steps for their children. If they feel that a child is making less progress that expected, they would discuss this with the child’s parents and the SENCo. We provide a graduated response to manage children’s needs where by we can provide additional support within the setting and seek professional advice. As a result of this, specific activities can be planned, for example shared attention activities. Where appropriate, support from other health professionals can be sought. These services include: Speech and Language Therapist; Early Years Inclusion specialist; Occupational Therapist and Educational Psychologist. These professionals may suggest strategies that can be implemented within Pre-school. If your child receives the support and input and is identified as having a specific special educational need, it may be appropriate to write a Support plan (Non statutory Education, Health and Care Plan – EHCP ) together. This document will offer an opportunity for all professionals who are supporting your child to add their contributions.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive? And how will I be involved?
At Noah’s Ark our setting receives funding for all children who are 3 and 4 as well as for funded 2 year olds. We are able to apply for funding if a child has different and additional to normal requirements. The team who are supporting the child will make this application and the Early Years Special Educational Needs Panel will decide the allocation of funding using the Bristol Universal descriptors.
How will I know if my child is making progress in their learning?
As a setting, we monitor children’s progress using the Early Years Foundation Stage document and we highlight the progress that we feels a child is making. We also use the Differentiated Early Years Outcome (DEO) which breaks down the stages into smaller steps, which is particular useful when children may appear to be making slower progress.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Our SENCo is a qualified early years teacher who as attended various additional training sessions on a range of subjects , including speech and language development, more than words, (behaviour management) and a MA module on SENCo role and 2 year olds. Most of our staff are trained in Makaton. Some are trained in the use of PECs (Picture exchange communication symbols). Most of our staff are experienced practitioners who have supported and worked with children who have a wide range of needs. Our staff keep up to date with their training and liaise with professionals about training that may be necessary to support a child that they are working with.
How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within the setting or onto school?
When children move onto a new setting, we plan a transition programme. This may involve visits from new practitioners/teachers or visits to the new setting. Our aim to is to provide a smooth transfer for both the family and child. As a setting we find that good communication between settings is vital for this to happen.
Click here to view our Policy for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion