Supporting Special Educational Needs at Redcliffe Nursery School and Children’s Centre. A guide for parents/carers
Redcliffe Nursery School & Children’s Centre is committed to providing outstanding care, education and support to all our children and their families. We believe that everyone, including those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them and that they will be fully included in all aspects of the Nursery.
We work hard to create a space across our nursery where communication can be open and honest. It is our mission that we strive to see things through the eyes of the child and therefore adopt practices that takes account of the child’s perspective and feelings. This makes all aspects of our provision sensitive and flexible to the needs and capacities of individual children and their families. We have high expectations of all children and see our nursery as a community that helps each child to grow, interdependent on each other.
We understand that a significant proportion of children will have special educational needs at some time in their school career. Some of these children may require help throughout their time in school, whilst others may need a little extra support for a short period to help overcome more short term needs, all of which are significant.
Our Local Offer- About the Local Offer
As part of the Children’s and Families Bill 2014 all educational settings are required to make available their Local SEND Offer to families which details how they support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
In this document we hope to provide an overview of the services that we can offer to local families with children who have a special educational need and/or disability.
1. How does the Redcliffe Nursery School & Children’s Centre know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
All of the children in our setting have a Key Person who is responsible for assessing the children’s progress against the EYFS Development Matters. For our 2 year olds this will be called a Progress Check, which is carried out as soon as possible after your child’s second birthday, this is sometimes carried out with another professional if there are some concerns about a child’s development. It is a good way to ‘flag-up’ concerns about areas of a child’s development in partnership with their parent.
An assessment of your child will be made during the first term of starting the Nursery School and then towards the middle of the academic year (March) and then again towards the end of the year (July). These assessments give a clear indication of the progress your child is making and where there may be a difficulty appearing. In addition to this the Key Person will be making weekly observations and assessments of your child’s progress, which will be displayed in their learning diary.
We share all of the information gathered from these assessments and observations with you through informal Parent Consultations, but we will always discuss any concerns that we have with you as soon as they arise. We actively encourage you look at your child’s learning diary and to take it home to share with your child and family.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can speak to their Key Person about it in the first instance. You can either do this at drop-off or pick-up times or, if you would prefer to do this in a more private space, you can make an appointment to meet with them at a mutually agreeable time.
You may wish to speak with the School’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) about your concerns. Their names are Louise Robinson (blackbirds-under three’s) and Emma Butcher and Lisa Dean (Seagulls-over three) and appointments can be made to meet with them through reception either in person or over the phone (01179030334). You can also contact them via email on
2. How will Redcliffe Nursery School & Children’s Centre support my child?
We plan for the children based on their interests and planning boards are on display in both the classrooms. Staff will keep an ongoing record of how the planned activities develop over the week and these records are then used in a group discussion to plan for children’s next steps over the course of the following week. All activities are differentiated to meet the needs of individual children. Each key person will plan experiences for the group during talk and snack time and these will be recorded in their individual planning books/files. At times, children with SEND may spend time with their key person or support worker individually or in much smaller groups to work on targets set out in their IEP. Each child’s experiences, progress and development will be recorded in their learning diary and there are three summaries a year which state progress and areas for development.
The school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will be responsible for overseeing and planning your child’s education programme, but your child will continue to be supported by their Key Person. Depending on your child’s need they may also have some input from one of our Early Years Support Workers whose role it is to carry out targeted work with individual children.
Your child’s education plan will be drawn up with your input alongside the classroom team and the SENCo. If there are any other professionals working with your child from health (i.e. Community Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist) or from Social Care (i.e. Disability Social Worker) we may also ask for their input, either in person or by providing us with a report.
For some children with a SEND we will develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs). These are simple targets that we set for children in conjunction with you and any other professionals who might be working with that child. We would normally set between one and three targets and monitor the child’s progress against these over the course of six to eight weeks.
IEPs are designed to help children to make good progress in areas where their need is greatest and they also help us to plan for future interventions. IEPs only record that which is additional to and different from the differentiated planning that is carried out for the whole class.
In addition to this some children will have a Support Plan (see Related Documents on the right-hand side of the page). These are drawn up with parents and professionals and document the child’s progress and areas of need. Support Plans are used to request that the Local Education Authority carries out an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (formerly known as Statements of Educational Need). They are also used as evidence when applying for additional top up funding for the school when a child is receiving additional support from one of our Early Years Support Workers.
We have a Governor responsible for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, currently this is Jodie. They meet regularly with the Head Teacher and the SENCo as part of her monitoring of our SEND provision. Additionally, the school’s SENCo is required to submit bi-annual reports to the Board of Governors outlining how we are meeting the needs of child with SEND. There are also ongoing meetings, between the SENCo and the Senior Leadership Team at the School, to discuss children’s progress, staff training needs and to plan for future provision.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
In addition to any IEPs or Support Plans that may have been drawn up for your child, our day-to-day planning is differentiated by the children’s needs as a whole. For example we might decide that to meet the needs of a particular child specialist resources may need to be used (i.e. communication aids, physical equipment or experience) or we might decide that a child’s needs can be met by presenting the activity differently (i.e. using simplified language, modifying furniture or classroom layout). Our weekly planning sheets are always on display in the classroom on the large planning boards. There is a column on this sheet that is used to note down any differentiation we have discussed. Other things may occur to you too – so please do feel free to discuss these with the class teacher or your child’s Key Person.
For some children we may decide to monitor their progress using Bristol’s Differentiated Early Years Outcome. This takes the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and breaks it down into smaller steps.
4. How will my child’s progress be recorded and how will the nursery help me to support my child’s learning.
In addition to the Parent Consultation we will also have opportunities to meet more regularly to discuss your child’s progress. If your child has an IEP you will meet to review those targets with your child’s Key Person and the SENCo every six or eight weeks (depending on the timescale agreed at the IEP review meeting). If for any reason your child is not on an IEP meetings can be requested to review your child’s progress at your request and at least twice a year. Your child’s Key Person and the SENCo is always on hand to discuss your child every time you pick-up or drop-off. Do ask if you would prefer to talk to them somewhere more private that the classroom.
We will use all of these meetings to plan your child’s education together. This way we hope you will understand what progress your child should be making and how you can best support them at home. If you find that you are not confident about how you can support them at home we can arrange for one of our Family Support team to come to your home and work alongside you and your child. Just ask your SENCo or your child’s Key Person if this is something of interest to you.
We usually have several courses and groups running or advertised at the Centre to help train parents with particular skills or to offer support. These can be found on our notice board or on our website. If you have a training need or if you need any support at all, please do not hesitate to speak with your child’s Key Person or the SENCo.
5. What support will there be for my child’s wellbeing?
Your child’s wellbeing is our top priority and we realise that you, as the child’s parent holds the most knowledge about your child’s wellbeing, preferences and comforts. We would like to be informed by you about your child as much as possible so that we can work with your child in ways they feel respected and familiar. Besides your child’s Key Person, we also have specially trained staff who can administer any medicines that your child might need. In this case you will be asked to complete a medical form for your child outlining the dosage and type of medicine to be administered and this medicine will be kept in a locked medical cabinet in the classroom. You will be introduced to the person responsible for administering the medicine.
Any personal care needs – such as feeding and hygiene – will be carried out by your child’s Key Person or, if they have one, an Early Years Support Worker. These arrangements will always be discussed with you beforehand and we will value your guidance on your child’s preferences.
We always strive to understand your child’s views on the work we are doing with them. With very young children this can be difficult, but we take into account their responses to activities we do with them and consideration is always given to their likes and dislikes when setting targets and planning activities. We will ask you for your views too – you know your child best and can give us useful information on how they might be feeling about the provision at our school.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Redcliffe Nursery School & Children’s Centre?
Our nursery classroom has four qualified teachers. There are have a number of Early Years Practitioners and Early Years Support Workers – the precise number will depend on the amount of children in the room and their needs, but we work on a 1:13 ratio for 3-4 year-olds. Our under-threes provision is overseen by our Lead Teacher and each room has a Team Leader who manages the room day-to-day. Again, there are a number of Early Years Practitioners and Early Years Support Workers.
Besides this we have close links with the speech therapy team, we host speech drop in’s most terms. A therapist will often lead a staff meeting once a year about an area of speech or language that the team identify as a n area of focus.
Our Centre’s SENCo is a qualified teacher and holds the National Award for Special Educational Need Coordination – a 1 year postgraduate qualification that is now required to be held by all SENCo's in State Maintained Schools, such as ours.
We have an allocated educational psychologist, who we can meet with and talk informally if a parent or key person has concerns. We will ask your permission before talking with her about your child. We are also able to refer more formally for input from the educational psychology service.
We have close links with the Early Year’s Autism Team whom support us with support children on the Autistic spectrum; they can provide professional development during staff meetings on particular strategies. We can refer and have input from the Early Years Portage and Inclusion Team. They may be visiting children at home before they start nursery and will meet with us before the child starts. We may refer for their support for a child who we feel make not be accessing our nursery to their current full potential.
7. What professional development have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
• Manual Handling
• Administering medicines
• Autism training (various courses)
• Diversity training
• Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development training (NHS)
• Safeguarding (various levels)
• SENCo cluster meetings
• Learning Language and Loving It (speech therapy course)
• Identifying speech sound difficulties
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including trips?
At Redcliffe, we believe that trips out are fundamental experiences and a right for very child. Each key group will attend the forest; the key people may also plan different trips for the groups dependent on the groups’ interests or things happening nearby the nursery. Your child will be included in all outdoor activities and our outdoor areas are fully accessible. Again, we will seek your knowledge to inform us of the best ways to prepare and support your child on any particular visits and share with you any strategies that have supported our trip. If we go on any off-site trips plans and risk assessments will be made and shared with you beforehand. We may ask for volunteers to join us on the trips, but your child will be supported by a familiar member of the staff team and risk assessments will be shared with everyone attending. If your child has a support worker working with them, this staff member will accompany your child on trips if within the time that they are funded to support your child.
9. How accessible is Redcliffe Nursery School and Children’s Centre?
We will look in detail at our setting’s environment focusing on blackbirds and seagulls. We are required every two years to complete an access audit of our nursery space, to ensure it is physically suitable for all members of our community (children and adults), this is from an inclusion and health and safety perspective.
Blackbirds (nursery class for children under 3)
This is the space for under three’s, which is staffed by experienced and well-trained Early Years Practitioners who provide a safe and nurturing environment for all children. There are currently two Early Years Support Workers whose task it is to carry out targeted work with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in blackbirds. Whilst this room is theoretically for children under three, decisions with the family, headteacher, key person and other professionals working with a child over three with more complex needs it may be felt that it is in the best interest of a child for them to based within this space. This room and the outside area (which is shared with children over three) are fully accessible to all and include a disabled toilet and two changing spaces. The tables can also be height adjusted to suit different needs and furniture and room layout are configured to suit the needs of all children attending the nursery class. There is a separate dining area for the children, which can be made accessible for all children or a quieter space for eating lunch can be arranged if this is felt best for a child.
We use objects of reference (items that represent different activities), visual timetables and cue cards to help children to understand what is happening and what is expected of them. Across the provision there is a standard routine, but for some children we will plan an individual timetable after discussion with parents/carers.
The outside area is shared by all children in the nursery, with covered spaces with an array of open ended and access equipment that serves as physical; challenge for the children. The large sandpit is accessible to all children and there is always a range of physical equipment set up that reflects the diversity of physical capacities of the children.
Seagulls (Nursery School Classes for children aged 3-4)
We have a large open space classroom with off-rooms for group times and quiet spaces. The nursery school classes have three teachers working in the room at any one time (four teachers in total 2 full time, 2 part time) in the room as well as three experienced and well-trained Early Years Practitioners. There are currently four Early Years Support Workers whose task it is to carry out targeted work with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Seagulls has children aged between 3 and 4 years on a ratio of 1:13. The children are divided into groups of 13 with one key person, they have an allocated quiet space/room within the larger space for group situations. They also spend one day a fortnight in the forest, with a 3:13 ratio. The room and outside areas are fully accessible and staff use objects of reference (items that represent different activities), visual timetables and cue cards to help children to understand what is happening and what is expected of them. The tables can be height adjusted to suit different needs and furniture and room layout are configured to suit the needs of all children attending the nursery class. Each class has a standard routine, but for some children we will plan an individual timetable after discussion with parents/carers. There are three toilets and a fourth which can be used for children with larger mobility aids or a wheelchair, as well as a nappy changing space.
There is a kitchen area with lowered worktops that is fully accessible. Children are supported to learn cooking skills and to try a variety of healthy foods. There is a quiet room/library directly off the main classroom that can be used to support individual children to have targeted language work carried out or for somewhere to rest, away from the hustle and bustle of the nursery classroom.
We have an accessible toilet (for adults and children) in our reception area, as with the children’s toilets our adult toilets are unisex.
This year we will be getting further training in manual handling and know the correct and safe way to lift children with mobility difficulties as there are some newer staff in the team.
Family Support and Meeting Rooms at Redcliffe Nursery School
We have a family support team, located at the top of the road (Prewitt Street), where various groups and support services are provided. We can also provide confidential spaces within the nursery for multi professional meetings and transition planning. Rooms can be configured to meet the needs of the individuals using them.
10. How will Redcliffe Nursery School Children’s Centre prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
If a child has an identified Special Educational Need prior to starting our Nursery School & Children’s Centre we will arrange to meet with the parents and the child, usually through our regular home visit, which happens for all children before they start our nursery. During this we can discuss your child’s needs, as well as beginning the process of forming a positive relationship with your child and formulate an individual settling in plan. This plan can be reviewed and adapted once the process has begun.
Some of the things that we might do to help prepare your child for starting nursery include making a picture book of the school and of the staff who will be working with your child. We may also invite you and your child in to the school for special visiting days.
If your child is moving from one of our under three classrooms into the nursery school – we will invite you in for a meeting to make a transition plan. We will offer to show you around your child’s new classroom and introduce you to key members of the staff team – such as their new Key Person and support worker (if allocated).
As children are about to transfer from our nursery school into primary school (or other nursery settings) we will arrange a transition meeting – and we will invite you and the receiving school or setting. During this meeting we will map out your child’s progress and their needs so that the receiving school is clear about what type of additional provision will need to be planned in for your child. We will also, with the receiving school or setting, make a transition plan tailored to your child’s needs. We may also identify Top Up Funding requirements in which case our school’s SENCo will make the necessary applications. A copy of the Support Plan and transition plan will be given to you after the meeting has taken place.
11. How are Redcliffe Nursery School & Children’s Centre’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
At present we allocate resources, including support staff, on a case-by-case basis through monthly consultations between the SENCo and the Head Teacher, we will also seek the advice given by other professionals involved with the individual children. We are looking to begin a more formal system of Provision Mapping in the next academic year, which would see us matching needs and resources across the Centre in a more formulaic way. This would allow us to most effectively use the provisions that we have for the children at our Centre. More information on this will be shared through the SEND notice board in the foyer of the Centre. It is also recommended by SEND professionals that all children have some independent time.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Once a child has been referred to the school’s SENCo – they will make an observation of them within two weeks of receiving the referral. The observation will be followed up by a meeting between you, the school SENCo and your child’s Key Person.
During this meeting an initial plan will be made with you about what next steps need to be taken. This may involve setting some IEP targets or making referrals to health professionals, such as a Speech and Language Therapist or Community Paediatrician. Should it transpire that your child needs additional adult support in the classroom we will complete a Support Plan with you – detailing your child’s progress and their needs. This will outline the amount of additional support that might be needed and an application for additional funding will be submitted by the school’s SENCo.
13. How are the parents involved in Redcliffe Nursery School and Children’s Centre? How can I be involved?
We regard parents as the most knowledgeable sources of information about their children and we hope to work alongside parents in all aspects of nursery life, encouraging parents to be involved and visible across the nursery as much as they are willing. There are lots of ways that parents and carers can become involved with our Centre. One of these is by joining the Governing Body as a Parent Governor. If you are interested in this please speak to a member of staff on reception who can provide you with further information.
We have a PTFA which is run by a group of parents, you can get in touch with them or be involved by talking with Brooke or Shirley on reception.
We encourage parents and carers to volunteer at the Centre. This could be anything from coming in to read to the children – to supporting us on trips out of the Centre. Please speak to a member of staff if this is something that interests you.
We occasionally run training events and workshops for parents. Some of these are specifically for parents and carers of children with SEND, but others are more general. Please speak to a member of Reception Staff to find out more information on these opportunities.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
In the first instance you can discuss any concerns about your child’s progress with either their Key Person or SENCO. You can do this at pick-up or drop-off times or email them to book a time to talk with them.
If you are thinking about your child joining our setting you can contact our reception team to ask for more information on the application process and to arrange a tour of the Centre. Their number is 0117 903 0334.
Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator’s are Emma Butcher, Lisa Dean (over three’s Seagulls) and Louise Robinson (under three’s blackbirds) and they can be contacted on 0117 903 8633 or by their emails- email@example.com
More information, and the Local Authorities Local Offer, can be found on the findability website: http://www.findabilitybristol.org.uk/
For independent advice and guidance about special educational needs you can contact SENDIAS. Their address is:
3rd Floor, Royal Oak House,
Royal Oak Avenue,
(0117) 9897725 (10-2pm, Mon, Wed, Fri, term times)
or visit the website at http://www.supportiveparents.org.uk/our-service/
Websites that may offer further guidance and support: