Harcourt Pre-School provides high quality, broad and balanced play and learning opportunities for all children, through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We believe that each child is unique and should be equally valued and that all children should be fully included in all aspects of our setting, following their own interest. We ensure the Equal Opportunities legislation, in particular the Disability Discrimination Act, is implemented in our setting in relation to the children and the community of adults. We actively promote equal opportunities and strive to eliminate prejudice. We implement the Special Educational Code of Practice. We work in close partnership with parents and carers to ensure their children are safe, happy and developing through play.
1. How does the education setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
We spend the first term getting to know your child. We meet with you and your child in your home for the Home Visit and ask you about your child’s interests and needs and any concerns you may have. Your child will have an allocated key person who has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of child development and is supported by our experienced team. Your key person will develop a supportive relationship with you and your child and will assess how your child is settling into pre-school and any additional support he or she may need. At the end of the first term your key person will meet with you to discuss how your child has settled and next steps in your child’s care and learning.
We have a very experienced team of practitioners lead by our Lead Teacher, Lucy, and our SENCO, Judy Burton and Lucy Ekaney. Our team has experience in supporting children on the autistic spectrum, with behavioural and emotional issues, language and communication needs and requiring allergies and medical support.
Your key person is always available to discuss your concerns if you think your child may have additional needs and can contact outside agencies for further support and information.
2. How will the education support my child?
Our setting’s SENCo will work with your key person to ensure any additional provision we make for your child is in place. We value parents ‘ input in planning for their child’s learning, and your key person works closely with families to ensure best provision for children.
We are a small team, so it is likely all practitioners will be involved in your child’s care, with your key person and the SENCo having a special role in this. Our team is committed to providing all our children with the best possible educational experiences at pre-school. We regularly review children’s progress and ensure the activities, experiences and learning environment we provide support each individual child’s learning development.
We value parents understanding of their child and encourage their involvement both formally and informally.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We aim to provide open ended activities which, with knowledgeable and supportive staff, can be accessed by all children. We continually evaluate and amend to ensure the learning environment is inclusive to all children. Your child’s key person will differentiate activities and resources to ensure your child can access a range of learning opportunities to ensure he or she progresses in learning. We will follow your child’s preferred learning style, schema and passions to excite your child’s interest in learning and enjoy challenges. We observe children carefully in their play and note their non-verbal, as well as verbal, communication to really understand the child’s preferences and dislikes and use these observations to plan future activities and experiences. Our planning is child-led based on the great knowledge we have of our children and their interests. When children play with resources which interest them, it enables them to progress in their learning.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We pride ourselves on being available to talk to our parents daily – there are opportunities for informal chat at the beginning and end of every pre-school session. If your child has additional needs, it is often helpful to meet more formally at mutually convenient times to talk about your child’s progress, and together we can plan next steps to help them progress in their learning.
Your child’s key person is responsible for putting together their Learning Diary which is a record (with photos and writing) of the progress they are making at preschool. We have a clear system for recording your child’s progress against the EYFS early learning outcomes, from which we plan next steps to help your child progress in their learning. We use an electronic learning diary called Tapestry which enables parents to see what activities their child has been engaged in at pre-school and add their own comments, photos and observations.
The Lead Teacher tracks the progress of the cohort and discusses individual children’s learning and development with the key people. We work together to ensure all our children make progress in their learning.
We hold Parent’s Meetings at intervals throughout the year for a more formal opportunity to talk about your child’s learning – although we would urge you to talk to us sooner if you have any concerns. At these meetings we will also discuss with you the next steps planned to help your child progress in their learning and ways that you can be involved in this. We will also ask for your thoughts on how we can help your child to progress, and any areas where you think it would be helpful for us to focus our efforts.
We value the learning children do outside the setting highly and encourage you to share this with us. You can share this with us through ‘Wow!’ stickers, ‘show and tell’ and through the electronic diary. Our newsletters will share with you activities we are doing at pre-school which you may like to do at home.
We hold curriculum workshops for parents throughout the year through our Parent Group Meetings and curriculum evenings. These have included ‘Play and Learning’, ‘Conflict Resolution’, Makaton, Communication and Language. We also work closely with our local children’s centre, Upper Horfield Children’s Centre, who provide support and courses for parents.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
All staff at Harcourt Preschool will be involved in the care of your child. Your child’s key person and the settings SENCo will be particularly involved in providing pastoral care and support for your child and your family.
We have a stringent policy for the administering of medicines which we will discuss with you when your child starts at preschool. Medicines are generally administered by the child’s key person (or other senior practitioner) and administration is always witnessed by a second member of staff. We keep comprehensive records of timings and dosage of medicines given to comply with medical advice. We will only give medicines which are prescribed by the child’s doctors.
Similarly, personal care is carried out by the child’s key person wherever possible. Only DBS checked staff are permitted to perform personal care duties in the setting.
We hope your child will soon feel confident and comfortable in the setting and will be able to share their views, verbally and non-verbally, with our practitioners. We have activities designed to help children express their feelings e.g. through props, photos, Makaton etc. and so boost their confidence to share their thoughts with us.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the education setting?
Our setting’s SENCo, and members of the team, attend training courses to keep up to date with best practice in providing for children with SEND. Our staff have taken Makaton training and are knowledgeable about communicating with children.
We are happy to work with other professionals, and in the past have liaised with the Autism Outreach Service, The Inclusion and Portage Service, Speech & Language Therapists, Allergy Nurse, Health Visitors etc. We have support from our local Children’s Centre (Upper Horfield Children’s Centre) and aim to promote the services and support it can offer parents.
7. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
As a team we value the knowledge that training provides and all practitioners are encouraged to take further training. We have undertaken a number of relevant training courses including: The role of the Early Years SENCO; Writing and implementing IEPs; Valuing all Children; Makaton; Managing Difficult Behaviour; Speech Therapist workshops on language development; Early Years and Inclusion. We assess our knowledge and skills for each new intake, including children with additional needs, and attend relevant courses or contact outside agencies for support, to ensure we have the necessary skills and knowledge to best support the child and the family.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including pre-school trips?
We aim for our activities outside pre-school to be accessible to all our children and will adapt them as necessary. We welcome parent helpers if you wish to accompany your child. We carry out a comprehensive risk assessment for all activities, and this will take into account the needs of all children in the setting.
9. How accessible is the education setting?
Our main pre-school room is up a flight of ten steps in St Albans Church Hall. Currently there is not wheelchair access to this room. We have access to disabled toilets in the main church hall and also at the back of the Church when we are in the garden. The pre-school garden is 50m behind the Church on a flat surface and the garden has level paths. We would aim to assess, make adjustments and access additional funding where possible, to include a child with physical needs.
We make every effort to communicate effectively with parents and carers whose first language is not English. We try to find key phrases to help us communicate with parents and children, and also use Makaton and visual symbols where helpful. We would use people in the community, who speak the parent’s language, to assist. We would use a translation programme to help write observations about children in their home language. We make use of video recording during the session to help us pass on information to parents about how their children played that day.
10. How will the education setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting?
From our first meeting in the summer term and from the Home Visit we will be getting to know you and your child and finding out about their needs. We will assess our provision, gain additional training and prepare the setting for your child’s start at pre-school.
We prepare children’s move to school with care including; helping children explore upcoming changes through play; visiting the receiving school and create a photo book for the child to look through over the summer; inviting Reception teachers to visit children in the setting; preparing a transition form to give to receiving schools and meeting with teachers to discuss; for children with SEND we organise a joint meeting with the receiving school, parents and the inclusion team;
11. How are the education setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Our budget is allocated as needs dictate. While we always hope to have sufficient funds to meet the educational needs of all our children, we are a non-profit organisation. If we do not have sufficient funds for the provision we wish to make, we will explore other ways to secure funding.
Under the new Code of Practice, an Education Health Care Plan may identify additional money is required. Parents will have a say in how this is used. You will be told if this means you are eligible for a personal budget. This must be used to fund the agreed plan.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The decision about what type and how much support your child will need will be made jointly between practitioners involved with your child’s care at preschool (including their key person and our SENCO), parents and any other professionals involved in your child’s care.
We will set clear SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) to help support your child in their learning. These will be monitored by your child’s key person and overseen by our SENCO.
13. How are parents involved in the education setting? How can I be involved?
We strive to provide a service which reflects the needs of our families, and as such are responsive to comments you make about our provision. We question parents/carers both formally and informally about the service we provide.
We are keen to include parents/carers in their children’s learning and in the work of the setting, and there are many opportunities for volunteering or contributing skills.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
If your child is already enrolled at our setting, then their key person is the best person to contact if you have any concerns. If your child has SEND or you are concerned about their learning, our SENCo, Judy and Lucy, are also available to talk to.
If you are considering whether your child should join our preschool, details about our enrolment procedures are described on our website (www.harcourtpreschool.org.uk ). The person in our setting who deals with our Admissions process is Suzanne (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Further information about available services in our locality can be found through our local children’s centre, Upper Horfield Children’s Centre (www.upperhorfieldchildrencentre.co.uk), and also on Bristol’s Findability website (www.findabilitybristol.org.uk). ‘Findability Bristol’ is an online directory of information to support the experience of children and young people who are disabled and/or have special educational needs, and provides information about SEND services, community and voluntary organisations, clubs and groups in the Bristol area, as well as documenting the ‘Local Offer’ .