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Response to Local Offer Questions
Oatlands Pre School, Weybridge
How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Each child at Oatlands Pre School has their own key worker who will carry out ongoing observations. These are linked to the Development Matters Ages and Stages of Development. In some cases, these observations can highlight an individual need. If the key worker has concerns about a child, they will raise this with our SENco, Lois Patrick. This will then be discussed with you in private and plans will be put in place to support your child’s learning and development. If you have any concerns about your child, do please make an appointment to meet with our SENco.
Your child’s key worker will also carry out a progress check at age two which is completed when your child is aged between 24 and 36 months. This results in a short written summary of your child’s development in the 3 main prime areas:-
Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
How will Oatlands Pre School’s staff support my child?
As mentioned in our Settling In Policy, we want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy and to feel secure and comfortable with our staff. Even before your child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for them and you to visit the pre-school. Once they start attending, your child’s key worker will help them become familiar with us and will make them feel safe and confident. A pre-start visit is also offered prior to your child starting. We also put in place settling in plans if necessary and we work with parents on these.
Your child’s key worker and our SENco, will work with your child and with you. Next steps provisions will be made for them. Individual Support Plans are tailored to meet your child’s specific needs and will be discussed with you before being put in place. You will be asked to sign the plan and our SENco will be happy to speak to you about it. If necessary we will have input and advice from other professionals on your agreement. Individual Support Plans will be reviewed with you and new ones made as they progress through their early years’ education with us. Oatlands Pre School has an “Open Door Policy” and so you are welcome to discuss your child’s progress at any time.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Observations are ongoing and targets are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matters Ages and Stages of Development. Group activities are designed to be completely inclusive so that everyone can enjoy them and join in. Small group activities for children who require additional help, eg with speech and language are also set up as well as one to one sessions on a particular individual need. These are dealt with by a prior meeting with our SENco and consent from parents. These activities are included in your child’s Individual Support Plan.
Each child has their own Learning Journey folder (Tapestry from September 2018) which will contain various observations and photographs of your child to help staff to assess and plan your child’s future development. Your child’s Learning Journey can be seen at any time.
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 carry out the 2 year progress check and do summative assessments at the end of every term. We use observations that contribute to your child’s learning journey which are all linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Ages and Stages of Development. These can highlight any additional support that your child may need. Your child’s keyworker and SENco will work with your child on their individual targets. Regular review meetings are held to discuss these targets and how you can support your child at home. We have an open door policy at Oatlands Pre School and you are more than welcome to discuss how your child is progressing at any time. If you are unable to attend meetings, telephone calls or emails can be used for communication purposes.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
If your child has a specific medical condition, which includes allergies, a Care Plan will be discussed and put in place. There are always members of staff on the premises who have a current First Aid Certificate (relevant to infants and young children). We are happy to administer medication if it is prescribed to your child. The medicine must be in date and stored in its original container. When administered, the member of staff will record it and sign the form. Parents will then sign the record book to acknowledge the administration of the medicine. Individual training will be provided to staff by a health professional if required. We have a nominated member of staff who oversees any unwanted behaviour issues and we work closely with parents and the child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour. Activities can be adapted to ensure your child can be included. We can use a now and next board and a visual time table if needed.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting.
We are supported by Surrey Early Years and Childcare Service who help the pre-school provide the best possible experience for all the children who attend. Early Years support practitioners in meeting childrens’ individual needs through giving phone advice and observing individual children and suggesting ways to support individual needs. We always gain parental permission before involving Early Years. We regularly have Speech and Language Therapists visiting the pre-school to carry out practical sessions with children requiring additional help in this area. We have access to outside agencies, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapists and Educational Physiologists. We work closely with any outside agencies involved as this enables us to support your child’s needs better.
The following services may be of interest:-
Provides impartial and independent information, advice and support to parents of children with special educational needs (SEN)
Supports at all stages of a child's school life from pre-school through to school leaving age.
Supports parents of young people aged up to 25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
Enables parents to play an informed part in any decisions about their child's educational provision
Some of the information is specific to Surrey. If you do not live in Surrey you can contact your own local authority who should be able to give you details of your own local parent partnership service.
5 – 7 Queensway
Helpline: 01737 737300
Admin: 01737 737301
Weybridge Children's Centre - A Sure Start for All
Tel: 01932 820106
Website: Weybridge Children's Centre - A Sure Start for All
Portage early education support service
This service is available to you if you have children aged up to three and a half years with significant developmental or other needs. The portage teacher or support worker will work through activities with you, supporting you to help your child’s learning and development.
Through the portage service we also provide:
small group play and language development opportunities for children with Down Syndrome
specialist programmes for families with a child diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (as part of the National Autistic Society EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus programmes)
the positive play programme for pre-school children aged two and upwards with significant behavioural difficulties.
The positive play programme aims to support parents develop their child’s attention, play and listening skills, and their communication and co-operation skills.
Positive play is a bespoke, home-based programme, which lasts around 12 weeks. It will involve weekly visits to your home and to your child’s pre-school setting (as appropriate). At each session play and interaction strategies are developed which you can then use with your child at home. Referrals to the programme are made to the portage early education support service by a professional working with you and your child, and are subject to certain criteria.
Here are details of your portage early education support service area teams.
North-east area team
(Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Spelthorne)
Surrey Local Office
Elmbridge Civic Centre
Esher KT10 9SD
Tel: 01372 833588
Fax: 01372 832501
Pre-school and early years support for children with severe or complex needs
For pre-school children with severe or complex needs, early support with their education is very beneficial. There are several different types of support available:
The portage early education support service provides home teaching for children aged from birth to three and a half years, whose development is seriously delayed. Children are usually referred to the ‘portage’ service at birth or when they are diagnosed with a particular need or condition.
Physical and sensory support teachers support children with identified vision, hearing or dual sensory difficulties and work with you as a parent to develop your child’s skills.
A place at nursery school or extra help at pre-school may be possible. Contact the Family Information Service to ask about this. Similar help in non-state maintained schools is provided by our early years support team, which you can contact through our contact centre on 0300 200 1004.
Educational psychologists can support you if your child shows signs of special educational needs or a disability at a young age. Health workers notify educational psychologists where a child under school age (usually between two and three years old) has or may have a difficulty.
7. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or having
Our SENco has completed the full Code of Practice and Inclusion Training, Sensory Integration Courses and Autism courses and regularly attends the SENco forum update meetings. She is now assisted by Melissa Richards who has undertaken training.
Most of our staff are NVQ Level 3 qualified with one at level 6. All these courses have a section on SEN. (Special Educational Needs) Staff training is recorded and held on file.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the pre-school
Any trip or activity will be meticulously planned and we would discuss any requirements with you. You are more than welcome to attend any trip with your child or we can support them by having a member of staff allocated to them on a one to one basis. We carry out a full risk assessment before taking the children anywhere. Any necessary medication is taken with us as well as a mobile phone and first aid kit.
9. How Accessible is the setting?
Oatlands Pre School operates from the local community village hall. Disabled access is available into the premises and there is a ramp to the rear of the hall to access the garden which is flat. We have one disabled toilet on the premises in the foyer. Any parents with English as a second language can be supported either by a relative coming in to talk to us or we can provide assistance. We can apply for an Inclusion Grant/Discretionary Grant for some extra funding which we would do at the beginning of the term to cover any extra equipment required or to make reasonable adjustments.
10. How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting or transfer to a new setting/school
As mentioned in our Settling In Policy, we want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy and to feel secure and comfortable with our staff. Even before your child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for them and you to visit the pre-school. Once they start attending, your child’s key worker will help them become familiar with us and will make them feel safe and confident. A pre start visit is also offered prior to your child starting. We can support your child in settling in with various different strategies that can be discussed should their settling in be difficult. Once your child is ready to move on to school, the keyworker and SENco will have a transition meeting with the school your child has been allocated to. We are more than happy for you to attend also. We will have TAC (Team Around a Child) meetings or Multi-Disciplinary meetings (health care professionals) to discuss any future needs when transferring to school. When starting at the pre-school it may help to have some photographs of the set up rooms before starting so that it can be discussed at home. Likewise a photobook can be provided from school to help the transition process. Any outside agency information/reports/assessments will be handed over to the new school. The Learning Journey is given to parents. We are looking to download our Learning Journeys to disk for parents once the Tapestry On-line Learning Journey is fully implemented but this is still being looked into.
11. How are the settings’ resources allocated and matched to childrens’ special educational needs?
Oatlands Pre School is a registered charity setting. We are non- profit making and have limited funds. We can apply for inclusion funding to help support your child at pre-school or we can apply for discretionary funding for one to one support if necessary. We can also apply for a bursary to purchase specialist equipment or to access specific training for staff.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Your child’s keyworker and SENco will meet with you to discuss your child’s special needs. A plan will be put in place for the smooth transition of your child’s start at pre-school. Once your child is attending pre-school their Individual Support Plan will be put in place. You will be involved with this and it will be regularly reviewed.
13. How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
Our pre-school is run by a Committee. The Trustees of the pre-school employ the Manager and staff. We therefore have a Parent run Committee and a Fund Raising Co-ordinator. The Committee are always keen to have parental input and help.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
Our Manager and SENco, Lois Patrick, can be contacted for further information. Our administration is dealt with by Christine Collard who can help with any queries relating to registration. Dolores Carey is our Welfare Officer (Health and Safety and First Aid Lead). She deals with child care plans and medicine administration. Stacey Spackman and Debbie Simmonds are our Room Leaders. They can all be contacted on 01932-850143. Various support services have been mentioned in number 6 above. Surrey County Council’s Local Offer can be found on their website. www.surreycc.gov.uk under “Schools and Learning”.
Updated 10 September 2018 by Lois Patrick