Angmering Village Preschool
Our Local Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Every early year’s setting is required to make clear to parents and carers what their offer to support young children with SEND means in practice.
We are a small, friendly, caring preschool committed to being inclusive and providing the best care and opportunities that we can for each child’s development and progress whatever their individual needs.
How does Angmering Village Preschool know if children need extra help and what should I do as a parent, if I think my child may have special educational needs?
In the first instance we invite parents to visit with their child to get a feel for what our setting is like, meet the staff and to have a general chat about what our setting offers and what you want for your child in a childcare setting. At this stage, if your child has already been identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) we will discuss this with you and how we can best provide for your child at our setting, taking advice and working with any other professionals already involved. If no special needs have yet been identified, but you have concerns, we would encourage you to share those concerns so that we can offer you advice and support and possibly put you in touch with other professionals who could help further.
Each child is assigned a keyworker when they start at preschool, in line with EYFS requirements. We believe the relationship between the keyworker and family is a partnership, working together to provide the best for that child’s development. Keyworkers observe the children at play and these observations make up the child’s developmental records together with photos, samples of work and observations from other staff and parents. Each term the records are reviewed by the keyworker, a ‘next steps form’ completed giving a holistic look at the child and noting their individual characteristics of learning, together with an individual progress review showing the age and stage of the child, so we are aware of whether they are in line with expectations for their age group and ways noted of how we can progress the child to the next stage in their learning. If the child shows a delay in a particular area, this is automatically marked as their next step and strategies put in place to bring them to the expected level. The child’s individual progress record would also be reviewed each half term until they show that they are meeting expected levels. If the child was still showing a delay then we would discuss this with their parents and if it was felt necessary we would refer them to outside agencies for assessment and support.
Parents can always speak to their child’s keyworker if they are concerned about any area of their child’s development or speak to the Manager or Deputy who also act as the setting’s SENCOs.
How will Angmering Village Preschool staff support my child?
We are a small setting with a small staff team and all staff aim to form good relationships with all children and are involved in supporting and caring for them. Your child’s keyworker and SENCO will work together with you to support your child at home as well as in the setting. If other professionals are involved with your child, their input and advice will also be sought in making plans.
All staff regularly attend training sessions to enhance their professional development and the SENCO is able to support staff members if they raise a concern about one of their key children. Our SENCO has had experience of working with children who have SEND, working with autistic children, a deaf child and also physical disabilities. Our Deputy Manager has BSL level one and has Enhanced Level Makaton. Signing is used in our setting on a daily basis with all children. We are a “Communication Friendly Setting” (July 2018) and aim to enable all children to develop the skills of effective communication through their speaking and/or augmentative communication aids, and by being attentive and responsive listeners.
With your permission as parents, we are also able to contact the Inclusion Support Team who gives support to practitioners and the setting by giving advice and suggesting strategies to help progress your child.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Sessions at our preschool are free flow and play is led by the children from the wide range of activities on offer. We aim for all activities to be able to be accessed and enjoyed by all children. This may mean that some activities are modified or additional support given to those that may need it. From our knowledge of the children gathered from discussion with parents and carers and from ongoing observations, we aim to provide activities and resources that follow the children’s interests to further their development in all areas of learning, including those they find difficult. Some activities would be adult led in our daily small groups to encourage listening, concentration and language, based on Letters and Sounds, Phase One Phonics programme, cooking, science and maths groups to extend the children’s learning.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
You will be able to talk to your child’s keyworker informally when you drop your child off in the morning or when you pick them up at the end of the day. More formal arrangements can be made if necessary by appointment for a more in-depth discussion. Parents are able to view their child’s development records at any time but share it with the keyworker each term. This gives opportunities to discuss the child’s current interests and any concerns the parent or practitioner may have. We are in the process of changing to online records so authorised parents will be able to access their child’s record and see photos and notes from the child’s time with us and also add their own stories about things you do as a family.
Literacy skills are promoted and our library of specially designed story bags and busy bags is available daily for parents to borrow and share at home. This enables us to work with parents to support the child’s learning at home. Parent observations and photos on how they used the books are used in the child’s development records.
Our website has a parent’s page which gives lots of tips and suggestions for all parents to help them support their child’s growth and development in fun ways at home.
Parents are also invited into the setting for regular Play Days and parent training sessions. We inform our parents with regular newsletters, Facebook, website, email, word of mouth and our parents’ noticeboard.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Before the child starts with us, the Manager and keyperson visit them at home. This enables us to start to build a picture of the child and their family, find out dietary and medical information and listen to any concerns the parents may have. We find out the child’s interests so we have something we know they will enjoy on their first day. This visit also enables the key person to start to build a relationship with the parent and child. This helps us to support and work with the family. We are happy for the parents to stay with their child on the first day and continue to do so until the child is settled and comfortable in the setting.
The key person would initially carry out personal care for your child, whilst building confidence and relationships. However, we are a small setting and all staff aim to form warm, supportive relationships with all children so they feel safe, happy and comfortable to be supported and helped by any of our staff team.
Adults model behaviour with equipment and activities are set to allow space to move. The preschool environment is regularly checked for hazards and any broken or damaged equipment or toys are removed immediately. Our policies are regularly updated to bring them in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The adults model correct behaviour and the children are encouraged to be independent in their own needs, such as when using the toilet, although adult support is always there is needed. Children are reminded to wash their hands after using the toilets. The toilets are checked regularly by staff members to ensure they are clean.
Children who find making relationships difficult are helped by various strategies, either adult-led by modelling behaviour or by contacting the Inclusion Support Team for advice.
All staff are DBS checked annually once registered on the DBS update service or every three years until then. Staff all have current Paediatric First Aid Certificates and these are renewed every three years and Child Protection training every two years. We are able to administer medication that has been prescribed by a doctor or health professional with the parent’s consent. Staff are familiar with administering inhalers and their first aid training includes the use of epipens. If your child needed more specialised administering of medication, we would arrange for appropriate training for staff.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Angmering Village Preschool?
The Manager has a BA Degree in Early Years and Early Years Teacher Status. The Deputy Manager has a level 3 childcare qualification, BSL level one and Enhanced Makaton training. Four other practitioners also have level 3 childcare qualifications.
With parental permission, our setting regularly works with other professionals seeking more specialist advice and support where necessary. Most frequently we work with the West Sussex County Council’s Inclusion Support team, Speech and Language Therapists, Early Years Advisory Teachers and Family Outreach Workers.
Inclusion Support can help us, the child and the family with any additional needs. Advice can given by telephone or a visit is arranged for an Inclusion Advisor to attend the setting to observe the child and discuss matters with the parents and setting staff.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
All staff attend regular Early Years Foundation Stage training and additional training recommended to us by outside agencies/or relevant to current individuals and are required to share relevant information to their colleagues at our weekly meetings.
Our manager acts as our Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) and Inclusion C0-Ordinator (INCO) and attends regular training relevant to this role. The Deputy Manager has a level 3 childcare qualification, BSL level one and Enhanced Makaton training. Signing is used on a daily basis in our setting. Three other members of staff are currently training towards their Level 5 qualification.
We welcome any professional into our setting who can advise and give additional support to the staff.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
We give the children opportunities to experience the wider world by organising local trips, giving them new experiences and challenges to extend and enhance their learning. This is always dependent on parental help to ensure we keep to our ratio of one adult to two children on trips. If a child had special educational needs and/or disabilities, it may mean that we would need to appoint a member of staff to them on a 1:1 basis to support and help them on the visit or alternatively we would offer their parent/carer the opportunity to accompany us with them on the trip.
All children will be included in any activity or outing taking place outside our setting with appropriate consideration to enable every child to experience the activity to the best of their ability.
How accessible is Angmering Village Preschool?
In the mornings. our preschool runs out of Angmering Village Hall. It is a large, bright, airy hall and wheelchair access and a large disabled toilet. The garden is accessed by a slight slope and is large, one level with part grass, part concrete and part all weather surface. In the afternoons, we operate out of the Scout Headquarters in Rectory Lane. This is a large bright carpeted hall with a ramp to enable wheelchair access and a disabled toilet. Our outdoor play here iis on a level playing field with public play area. We have visual support signs and visual timetables to support understanding.
How will Angmering Village Preschool prepare and support my child to join the setting and transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education?
We believe the relationship between us and the family is a partnership, working together to provide the best for that child’s development. Without this strong bond, information sharing would be hard. The foundations for this relationship start with a home visit before the child starts. We visit the family to gain information about the child, their interests at home, what they can and can’t do their likes and dislikes and give the parents chance to share any concerns they may have about their child’s development. This information influences the planning when the child starts, so we ensure there is something familiar to the child when they first come. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child for as long as it takes for them to feel secure in the setting.
When the children leave us to move on to school, we try and make the transition as smooth and easy as possible. Once we know which schools the children will be going to, we contact them to arrange for the teacher to come and visit the children at preschool and to talk to the child’s keyworker. For a child who has additional needs we arrange a transition meeting at their new school with ourselves, any other professionals involved, the child’s parents and the new teacher so we can discuss strategies that have worked and the needs and interests of the child.
How are Angmering Village Preschool’s resources allocated and matched to the child’s special educational needs?
The children have the opportunity to promote their independence by having access to a free choice of toys and equipment, displayed in child height trollies. These changed frequently to excite the children’s interest and support whatever activity is happening at that time. This promotes independence and confidence enabling the children can lead their own play. We also have lots of role-play resources and a wide range of dressing up clothes to stimulate imaginative play.
We have child size playhouse which enable the children free access to a wide range of equipment in the Village Hall garden. There is also a mud kitchen, water wall, music wall and writing wall which give the children a wide range of different learning experiences
We are constantly monitoring our environment and our free-play session gives children time and space to explore new experiences and follow their individual interests.
If additional or special equipment/resources were needed for a child, we would apply for funding where available to purchase such equipment and resources.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The SENCOs and your child’s keyworker will work closely together with you and outside agencies to ensure your child is receiving all the additional support required.
How are parents involved in Angmering Village Preschool? How can I be involved?
Parents are very much encouraged to be involved in our setting in a number of ways. We are a committee run preschool and new parents are always welcome to join the committee and become involved in the running of our preschool and fundraising for new recourses and equipment. We also welcome parents to stay with their child at any session or part that they wish – we recognise that you as parents are your child’s first educator and we want to work together with you to give your child the best start possible in life.
We have a good working relationship with our parents and are always looking for ways to improve and strengthen this relationship. We value suggestions and ideas and these are acted on where appropriate and possible
SEND Parent comments from questionnaires July 2018:
“The relationship we have has been pivotal in my child’s development and we can honestly say it cannot have been better.”
“The support my child has received both in and out of the setting has been amazing, without this support we would not be where we are today.”
“Great support all the time. Has made the thought of starting school easier with the added support and meeting with the school. Can see a massive change in him”.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you wish to register your child at Angmering Village Preschool, please contact our Manager, Janine Clark, who will be happy to assist you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our telephone number is 07881687623 or email us at
To find out about the local authority’s Local Offer, parents can contact the Family Information Service who can also provide details of other support services.