As required by the new code of practice Children and Families Act 2014 birth to 25, we ensure that the Early Years Foundation Stage is implemented for children aged two to five years, taking into consideration the individual needs of each child. We also endeavour to source specialist resources and equipment where required. We welcome all children regardless of background or ability. Additional needs are well catered for, with our knowledgeable staff having the experience to cope in all situations. We pride ourselves in our ability to meet EVERY child’s needs.
At Merry-go-round we aim to provide an environment inclusive to all children. We are committed to ensuring that all children are given the opportunities and support needed to achieve their full potential.
We acknowledge and respect that each child attending our setting is unique, and some children may require individual support due to their unique set of needs.
We believe good mental wellbeing is key to children’s success to ensure resilience throughout life, and is the responsibility of all staff and community. Evidence based research reinforces our nurturing approach and underpins our ethos.
We therefore have the following procedures in place to ensure equality of access to all.
- Families are encouraged to visit when expressing an interest in Nursery.
- We have an open policy for parents/carers to visit with their child. This is an opportunity to build parent/carer partnerships.
- A keyworker is assigned to the child before they start, so that the keyworker can help them settle in well.
- During the first few weeks at Nursery each child is observed and assessed by their key worker in relation to their involvement levels and well being. Immediate concerns are shared with parents and the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENCO) Jess Evans.
- Physical development and communication and language will also be assessed. Where possible, children are supported with individual support plans. Strategies can be incorporated within home and school.
- After discussion with parents/carers outside professionals will be contacted if needed.
- An Education, Health and Care Plan may be introduced upon review with other agencies. This is a statutory document which outlines the strengths and support needed from 0 – 25 years old. This will be reviewed annually by all the agencies involved.
- Parents/carers will be able to access Wolverhampton’s Local Offer with support from the SENCO and other professionals. This is a directory of services offered to support their child.
- Medical conditions including mental health are supported as above.
At Merry-go-round we strive to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The Early Years Foundation Stage is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, practitioners set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs and require particular action by the Nursery.
These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having Special Educational Needs. Practitioners take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Such children may need ‘additional’ or ‘different’ help from that given to other children of the same age.
Children may have Special Educational Needs either throughout or at any time during their development. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with Special Educational Needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.
Aims and objectives
The aims of this policy are:
- to create an environment that meets the Special Educational Needs of each child;
to ensure that the Special Educational Needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for;
- to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
- to identify the roles and responsibilities of practitioners in providing for children’s Special Educational Needs;
- to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the Nursery’s curriculum;
- to ensure that parents are able to play their part in supporting their child’s education;
- to ensure that our children have a voice in this process.
At Merry-go-round we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our Nursery community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:
- have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
- require different strategies for learning;
- acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
- need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.
Practitioners respond to children’s needs by:
- providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy;
- planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences;
- planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities;
- helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
- helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.
Special Educational Needs
Children with Special Educational Needs have learning difficulties that call for special provision to be made. All children may have special needs at some time in their lives. Children have a learning difficulty if:
they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for children of the same age;
All our children are assessed when they join our Nursery, so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.
If our assessments show that a child may have a learning difficulty, we use a range of strategies that make full use of all available resources. In liaison with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), the child’s Key person will offer interventions that are ‘different from’ or ‘additional to’ those provided as part of the Nursery’s usual working practices. The Key person will keep parents informed and draw upon them for additional information. If the SENCo, Key person and parents feel that the child would benefit from further support, the SENCo will then take the lead in further assessments of the child’s needs.
We will record the strategies used to support the child within an individualised plan. This will show the short-term targets set for the child and the teaching strategies to be used. It will also indicate the planned outcomes and the date for the plan to be reviewed. In most cases, this review will take place once a term. Parents will be involved in the writing and review of each plan.
If the plan review identifies that support is needed from outside services, we will consult parents prior to any support being actioned. In most cases, children will be seen in the Nursery by external support services. This may lead to ‘additional’ or ‘different’ strategies and external support outside of the Nursery. External support services will provide information for the child’s new plan. The new strategies within the plan will, wherever possible, be implemented in the child’s Nursery.
If the child continues to demonstrate significant cause for concern, a request for statutory assessment (i.e. a ‘statement’) will be made to the LEA. The SENCo will start the procedures. A range of written evidence about the child will support the request.
Some children at Merry-go-round may have significant behaviour problems. Practitioners use a range of strategies for dealing with difficult behaviour, but some children may require further support. In these cases the SENCo, Key person, outside agencies and parents will create a Nurture Plan, clearly outlining key targets for the child to work towards achieving, as well as the strategies and support being offered to the child. At this point advice would also be sought from external support services (eg. Wolverhampton Early Years). Nurture Plans are reviewed half-termly, with a new plan being written each term.
At Merry-go-round the SENCo
- manages the day-to-day operation of the policy;
- co-ordinates the provision for and manages the responses to children’s special needs;
- supports and advises colleagues;
- oversees the records of all children with Special Educational Needs;
- acts as the link with parents;
- acts as link with external agencies and other support agencies;
- monitors and evaluates the Special Educational Needs provision.
- manages a range of resources, human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with Special Educational Needs;
- contributes to the professional development of all practitioners.
Allocation of resources
The SENCo is responsible for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the Nursery, including the provision for children with statements of Special Educational Needs.
Early identification is vital. Nursery practitioners inform the parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.
The practitioners and the SENCo assess and monitor the children’s progress in line with existing Nursery practices. This is an ongoing process.
The SENCo works closely with parents and Key person to plan an appropriate programme of support.
The assessment of children reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the Nursery. The Key person and the SENCo can break down the assessment into smaller steps in order to aid progress and provide detailed and accurate indicators.
The LEA seeks a range of advice before making a formal statement. The needs of the child are considered to be paramount in this.
Access to the curriculum
All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable children to:
understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities;
experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.
Practitioners use a range of strategies to meet children’s Special Educational Needs. Learning and activities have clear learning objectives, we differentiate work appropriately, and we use assessment to inform the next stage of learning.
Individualised plans, which employ a small-steps approach, feature significantly in the provision that we make in the Nursery. By breaking down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets, we ensure that children experience success.
We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. Wherever possible we do not withdraw children from the Nursery situation. There are times, though, when to maximise learning, we ask the children to work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation outside the main learning environment.
Partnership with parents
At Merry-go-round we work closely with parents in the support of those children with Special Educational Needs. We encourage an active partnership through an ongoing dialogue with parents. Parents have much to contribute to our support for children with Special Educational Needs.
We have termly meetings with parents to review the progress of their children against the targets set in the plan and to set new targets for the next term. We inform the parents of any outside intervention, and we share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with Special Educational Needs.
In our Nursery we encourage children to take responsibility and to make decisions. This is part of the culture of the Nursery and relates to children of all ages and all abilities. The work in the Nursery recognises the importance of children developing social as well as educational skills.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The SENCo monitors the movement of children within the Special Educational Needs system in the Nursery. The SENCo provides practitioners with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the Nursery.
The SENCo draws up individualised plans for children. The SENCo and the managers hold regular meetings to review the work of the Nursery in this area.
The SENCo monitors the progress of children with Special Educational Needs termly and discusses findings with all practitioners and parents.