Local Offer for Tudor House Montessori Group

1. How does the early years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)?

Every child has a key worker who takes a special interest in their welfare and development. Our key workers carry out many types of observations and this tells us about children’s development across the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). We routinely track children’s progress, including a formal check with parents at around 2 years of age and these would identify any areas where children’s’ progress is not as expected, requiring extra support. The SENCO would then discuss with the parents the concerns and suggest strategies to support such as an individual plan, Speech and Language drop in or to request a Targeted Settting visit.

We carry out a development progress check children with parents and in consultation with health visitors on all 2 year olds. This supports the early identification and intervention of those children whose development is slower than expected for a child of their age.

We can identify children needing support through our Vulnerable Child audit, this identifies children at the earliest point so strategies can be put in place both for the child and for the family and in the longer term identify potential vulnerable learners.

A parent who has concerns about their child’s development can talk to their child’s keyworker, officer in charge or nursery SENCO. Every Nursery has a designated SENCO who works alongside parents and outside agencies to support children with SEND. We treat every child as an individual taking into account their strengths, needs, learning styles and current interests. Our practitioners are qualified or working towards a minimum level 3 recognised childcare qualification. Our trained SENCO’s can write individual plans, reports for the EYPARM (Early Years Planning and Review Meetings), transition reports to school and liaise with partner professionals. We work with parents and do a one page profile to support the child.

Upon entry we ask parents to share information about their child’s needs through the all about me sheets in the online Learning journal. If there are any other agencies e.g. speech and language involved with your child, we would ask that parents share any reports or strategies suggested with us so that we can work together to support the needs of the child.

2. How will early years setting staff support my child?

Your child’s key person will support your child and make sure all their individual needs are met and supported. At the end of each session your child attends, the key person will feedback and works with the parents to ensure all your child’s needs are being met/ supported.

Your child’s key person will plan your child’s next steps ensuring they are developmentally appropriate. Children individual progress is monitored routinely. Some children’s progress is monitored more often as smaller stepping stones can be more significant, we use tools such as stages of speech and language monitoring tool to monitor children’s speech. The SENCO will support your child’s key person in writing an individual plan which offers further support strategies if your child’s needs are not being met by our universal provision. Our individual plans are reviewed to ensure they are successfully meeting the needs of the child.

Our setting may ask for a visit from the TSS (Targeted setting support) visiting team to help us with ideas to ensure your child gets the most out of being with us. TSS is run by the Early Childhood Service and aims to help early years and childcare practitioners provide the best possible experience for all children in their settings. Your agreement will always be obtained before the TSS visiting Team becomes involved with your child. Parents are welcome to come in and meet the TSS Team Visitor, usually toward the end of the visit where feedback will be given. Other partner professionals visit the setting to offer guidance such as Speech and Language or Occupational therapist, their advice will also inform our individual plans and practice.

3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Every child attending our settings is treated as an individual with a unique set of needs, strengths, learning styles and interests. Your child’s key worker will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage to help them understand and support your child’s development. Our assessment arrangements are that we observe, assess and plan across Prime and Specific areas of learning of the EYFS. Key workers will routinely write Individual Educational Plans showing the child’s next steps of learning and how children will be supported in achieving them. These are shared with parents so they can comment on how the children is learning at home, current interests etc. Our room leaders are then able to use the next steps to inform their planning of what activities, resources and adult support is provided in the rooms in addition to our continuous provision. Every child has an online learning journal in which observations, photographs and samples of work are recorded throughout their time at nursery. Our online Learning Journal is called Tapestry and parents can view their child’s learning moments, add photos and comments.

All children’s progress is routinely monitored against the EYFS and any concerns are raised with parents and nursery SENCO if a child’s progress is not as expected for their age. A more formal developmental check is carried out at around 2 years of age in partnership with parents to highlight any possible areas of further support required.

Where developmental delay is a concern due to a SEND, this would be shared with parents and extra support would be put in place, such as an individual plan, referral to partner professionals such as SALT drop in, TSS TEAM. Parental permission will be sort before any information is shared.

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?

Parents are able to discuss at any time about how their child is doing, this could be with the keyworker, room leader, Officer in Charge or nursery SENCO. We provide both verbal and written feedback at the end of every session via our communication books or feedback sheets. We observe, assess and track the children’s progress against the Early Years Foundation stage. We use this information to plan further activities which promote further, next steps, of learning and development. This information is shared with parents/carers through the next step sheets of the learning journals. In the Spring term we hold consultation evenings where parents can look at the learning journal, discuss next steps and speak with their child’s key worker.

Within our nurseries every child also has a 2 year old developmental progress check, this check highlights how your child is doing and picks up early any areas for concern. At this time a meeting is held in the nursery with the parent/s and strategies put in place if further support is needed.

All our settings are very welcoming and we have strong relationships with our children and their families. We share examples of our focussed activities with parents and this highlights how learning can be further supported at home. We hold regular stay and individual events where parents/carers can come and see how the children are learning at nursery, have the opportunity to use the Montessori equipment and share ideas.

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well- being?

Each child has a key person who will take a special interest in their wellbeing. Our routines are flexible, our environments, resources and activities selected to meet individual needs. We use other supportive strategies such as visual aids to ensure that children can fully access the learning environment.

Depending on the individual child’s needs we would complete a separate additional risk assessment to ensure your child is safe with us. We follow practices and policies in accordance with the EYFS to safe guard all children including rigorous recruitment programme, enhanced criminal records check and routine supervision to ensure the suitability of the staff. Carole Anne Benson, Julie Robert, Sharn Smith and Elaine Rivers are the designated child protection people for the Tudor House Group.

We act as positive and consistent role models for the children and we recognise that some difficulties a child might have in managing their emotions and behaviour are due to a diagnosed special educational need. Our experienced team will work with you and your child to improve behaviour in accordance with best early years practice.

A senior team member can administer medicine with parental written permission. We can follow a health care plan provided by other professionals. A large number of team members have paediatric TSS aid training in each setting. Staff will receive appropriate training if required to support any identified SEND. We value each child’s views giving all children the opportunity to be heard. Key policies are given to parents in a Welcome pack and our entire policies are available in each nursery reception.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?

Our staff are qualified, experienced, skilled and knowledgeable with the Early Years age group. Within our teams we have Paediatric TSS Aid trained staff including the use of EPI pens, have accessed many Language development, Promoting positive behaviour, Say It and Sign courses. Our teams have worked with children on the Autistic Spectrum, Global developmental delay, Sight and Hearing Impairments, speech and language difficulties, physical disabilities and those with complex medical needs. We have experience in supporting children who speak English as an additional language and our environments have a variety of multi-cultural resources.

Within our settings we can access support from the Local Children and Family Centre, TSS Team, sign post parents to local Speech and Language drop ins, borrow additional resources from the Toy Library, Sensory Library and arrange visits to the Sensory bus. We also work in partnership with other professionals e.g. Educational Psychologist, Occupational therapist, Health Visitors, Physiotherapist, Portage, Paediatric Consultants, Physical and Sensory support service for visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically disabled.

We will continue to work in partnership with you, as parents and carers to best meet the needs of your child. Parental permission will always be sort before sharing information with other partner professionals.

7. What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?

Our nursery teams have completed or are working towards recognised childcare qualifications with the Early Years age group. We have nominated TSS aiders on site and have undertaking manual handling training. We attend in-house training courses and those run by WSCC which cover core aspects of the EYFS, language, physical development, promoting positive behaviour and Montessori training. Specialist training attended include Say it and Sign it, Sensory individual and the Solihull approach to understanding children’s behaviour.

Our particular strengths are our Montessori environments in which activities promote fine motor skill development, hand eye co-ordination and sensory development. In our settings is we also use the Every Child a Talker language monitoring tool developed by Speech and Language therapists which supports early identification of children with language delay.

Our SENCO continue to attend training and network meetings to support their role.

Any training attended is cascaded to all staff at staff meetings and a record of staff training is kept on file. We are supported with advice from TSS (TARGETED SETTING SUPPORT), Speech and Language therapists, Occupational therapists and Health Visitors. Further training can be sought and accessed to support an identified SEND.

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including trips?

Within Tudor House Montessori Nursery group we include all children including those with special educational needs and disabilities. Our planning of activities and experiences are based on individual children’s needs, strengths, learning styles and current interests. Thoughtful planning takes into account the differing abilities, any potential risks and developmental stages of the children in the setting to ensure the inclusion of the individual child. For example, looking at different ways of doing things to include children, to encourage their independence and self-esteem. Our planning is informed by information from parents/carers, direct observation and knowledge of the individual child and shared strategies from other professionals, e.g. portage, TSS Team, SALT, OT etc.

For activities, events or trips outside the setting, we would TSS assess the child’s needs and put together a risk assessment to identify the potential hazards or areas for additional support. To do this we would involve the child’s key person and liaise with parents. The types of measures we put in place would depend on the individual child, however some examples of how we would include a child with special educational needs or disability on an outing might include:

1) 1 to 1 support for the child, if deemed appropriate whilst promoting child’s independence and self-esteem (if ratios permit)
2) Staff training and knowledge of the child and their specific needs and abilities.
3) Local trips around the setting and preparation for the facilities at the place of outing. e.g. disabled access
4) Consider transport or walking aids, (donut ring/reins), wheelchair etc.
5) Visit our sister nurseries in the locality who all have the facilities to cater for all children.
6) Consider any potential dietary requirements.
7) Bring all emergency medicines/ongoing medication/consent forms.

9. How accessible is the early years setting environment (indoors & outdoors)

If you have a child with a Special Educational Need or Disability we would encourage you to call in the first instance Julie Roberts (Group Manager) on 01444 241491 or individual nurseries Officer in Charge to discuss accessibility of our individual settings’ environments.

If English is not your TSS language, we can arrange for key documents to be made available to you in different formats and invite you to bring along a friend who could translate for you.

We follow best early years practice and professional advice to include children with auditory and visual impairments. For example, a number of our team members are experienced in using non-verbal strategies to support children’s understanding of routines such as visual aids, SAY IT and SIGN IT training. We offer a range of sensory experiences, including Montessori environments which can be supportive of children with a SEND. We would seek advice from partner professionals for specialist equipment and additional funding may be available from the Local Authority. We also have access to the Local Authority sensory library.

10. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?

We arrange introduction sessions prior to your child starting at the setting and this is an opportunity for you to share information about caring for your child. A Key person will be introduced to take a special interest in your child’s welfare and development. We work closely with parents to establish a positive introduction into our nursery environment.

All new parents are asked to complete the `All about me’ questionnaire in their child’s learning journal. This provides valuable information about your child’s individual needs and effective ways to support them.

If your child has an identified special educational need or disability we would ask you to Julie Roberts (Group Manager) on 01444 241491 or our Officer in Charges to discuss suitability of our settings in meeting your child’s needs. Prior to starting the SENCO may arrange a separate meeting between parents, outside agencies to share information and advise on any training for staff.

Transitions between groups within the nursery are planned carefully to ensure continuity of care and take into account any changes to your child’s individual needs. A more robust transition to school may be required where areas of continuing support and successful strategies are shared. This meeting would involve parents, nursery SENCO, the new setting and any outside agencies.

The nursery work closely at all times with your child, their families, the TSS visiting team and any outside agencies to provide supportive transitions.

11. How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

All our settings are beautifully resourced both inside and outside with developmentally appropriate and stimulating materials. In addition we have fully equipped Montessori classrooms for children aged from 2 ½ years old which offer a large range of activities which support learning across all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Initially Maria Montessori developed her materials to support children with Special Educational Needs, but in time developmental benefits were seen for all children.

Our local children and family centres, have a toy and sensory library where additional resources, such as light boxes and sensory toys can be borrowed by the setting for any additional developmental needs. The TSS Team from West Sussex County Council can also allocate funds for any specialist equipment recommended by partner professionals to support your child.

To support all children’s well-being in the setting we use a variety of visual aids, such as visual time lines using PECS (picture exchange communication systems) and other strategies we have developed in partnership with other professionals.

12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Our assessment arrangements may show that a child’s progress is not as expected against the developmental bands of the EYFS, and then the SENCO in discussion with parents and the key worker will identify what extra support is required. Strategies might include closer monitoring, the use of an individual plan, visual aids, Sensory library resources, TSS Team referral or contact with partner professionals. An individual plan written by the SENCO in conjunction with the parents has a focus of support, building on what is going well and around the child’s interests. Room meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows their strengths, needs and strategies how to support them. The SENCO will review the individual plans’ effectiveness in improving the outcomes for the child and action with your consent any further support.

We value ongoing partnerships between ourselves, parents and other professionals in any decision making process and support. Reports from partner professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting. Careful consideration will be given to prepare children with SEND for transition between rooms and onto primary school.

13. How are parents involved in the early year’s settings?

We value our relationships with our parents/carers and there are lots of ways we involve parents in nursery life. From TSS settling in sessions, to sharing feedback with you at the end of sessions, joining us for Stay “n” Individual sessions, Sport’s Days, Nativity Individual’s , Parent’s evenings and supporting our funding raising events.

You are important in knowing your child’s needs the best and we can work together in caring and providing learning opportunities for your child. Your permission will be sought before involving outside agencies and after any meetings there is the opportunity to feedback with you.

Parents can speak to their child’s key worker at any time by telephoning the nursery direct or in person at the beginning or end of any session about their child. You may also contact Carole Anne (Registered Person) or Julie Roberts (Nursery Manager) by email on info@tudorhousegroup.co.uk or by telephoning 01444 241491.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

Your child’s key worker will be your main point of contact if you have a concern about your child at the beginning or end of each session. You could also speak with the settings Officer in Charge or designated SENCO in person or by telephoning the nursery direct. Other team members who work in the group where your child is will also be involved in your child’s care and education. The registered person of the Tudor House Group, Carole Anne Benson or the group manager Julie Roberts can be contacted on 01444 241491 or by email on info@tudorhousegroup.co.uk if you are considering whether your child should join one of our early years settings.

The local children and family centres, Health Visitors or West Sussex CIS (Children’s Information Service) might help you and provide you with more information and advice.

More information can be found out about our different nursery settings and their contact details by visiting www.tudorhousemontessorigroup.co.uk The Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found on the West Sussex County Council Family Information Service website. www.westsussex.gov.uk.