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?
As we have small classes we get to know our children very quickly and if there is a concern regarding a child we would first of all raise it with the child’s parents in a discussion, or the parents could raise their concerns with us in the same way. Parental input is very much valued and staff and parents would work together to help the child. If the child needs additional help to that which is available to all children then initially a meeting is set up with parents to discuss the child’s needs when they start school. A plan is sometimes made of activities that would help the child, drawing on the child’s interests and the discussions with parents. Your child’s teacher is their key person and they would produce this with the support of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.
How will early years staff support my child?
This really depends on the needs of your child. When the plan is written all staff working with your child will be aware of their particular needs but the class teacher would have responsibility to ensure the plan is carried out. The plan could indicate the support your child needs throughout the day within several areas or specific daily/weekly sessions focusing on particular needs. We regularly review the plan for each child in consultation with parents (every six weeks) to see if it is still needed or if the needs have changed in any way. The SENCO and teacher will meet with parents to review the child together and decide on the best course of action for the next half term. Progress of each individual is tracked in the child’s Learning Journal and this is reviewed termly to ensure progress. The Principal, Lottie Rogerson regularly visits the class and has meetings with the Head of Pre-Prep. They maintain an overview of the EYFS statuary regulations and review progress against the early learning goals and FSP results. Safeguarding children and their welfare are a paramount focus of responsibility, alongside ensuring equality of provision for all children. The Head of Pre-prep presents regular reports to the Principal.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Regular observations and assessments take place within each class which gives the teacher the information they need about a particular child. This information feeds into the planned activities for each individual as well as the class. The teacher will ensure that the individual interests and abilities are catered for by using a document called `Next Steps’ which we can share regularly with parents so they can support at home. This is where the teacher sets individual targets for each child which will be worked on within class. If necessary a child would then have an additional plan drawn up (as mentioned above), which will be reviewed after six weeks. If after two plans there are still concerns about a child an `Individual Education Plan’ (IEP) will be written. The child’s individual progress is tracked on the Individual Progress Review in each child’s journal and progress is checked termly. Any concerns will be discussed with parents and with the SENCO when a plan or Individual Education Plan is written.
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 are always happy to discuss children’s progress or concerns with parents and indeed feel this is beneficial for everyone concerned. Parents are welcome to look at their child’s journal whenever they like. Everyday there are informal discussions with parents if they desire and if more time were needed then an appointment could be made to discuss progress. Throughout the year we offer parent’s consultation meetings.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
Pupil well-being is extremely important to the staff at Cottesmore School. As a school we pride ourselves on our kindness to each other and this is embedded in our ethos. We have weekly pastoral meetings where any pastoral issues are shared and discussed with all staff so that everyone is aware and the relevant support put in place. Personal, Social and Emotional Development forms part of our daily routine providing the children with the opportunity to share and discuss concerns and celebrate successes. The school has numerous policies to support pupil wellbeing. These include: Equal Opportunities and Inclusion, Health and Safety, Medical and Safeguarding. We have a school nurse on site everyday and any medical issue that is not dealt with one of our Paediatric First Aiders will be taken on by the nurse. We always aim to have full attendance amongst the pupils but if this is not possible for any reason we will liaise closely with the parents to achieve the best possible outcome.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
Our Early Years Reception class is led by a qualified teacher and assistants. The school also has a Learning Support facility and links with external agencies to provide services such as speech therapy.
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
Our EYFS SENCO/INCO (class teacher) attends regular updates from West Sussex County Council. The Head of Learning Support is Emma Field.
How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?
If a child has Special Educational Needs a conversation will be had with the child’s parents regarding any forthcoming activities or trips. Depending on the need of the individual a plan will be made based on that discussion and a full risk assessment will be undertaken, taking all the children into account.
How accessible is the Early Years setting environment? (Indoors and outdoors)
The Pre-prep building is on one floor and accessible by steps through most external doors. The toilets are also accessible by steps. We will work with families to identify and address needs in collaboration with other services as appropriate.
How will the Early Years setting prepare and support my child to transfer to a new setting/school?
For children new to the school, visits between settings are encouraged and key persons exchange information on the child to ensure smooth progression with development. Every child is invited in for taster days and or nursery visits prior to joining. These help children familiarise themselves with the staff and the Reception class. There are informal meetings available for parents to talk to their new teacher at the beginning of each new year group to share information. The children will have visits from their new teacher within school and they will visit their new class with their current teacher.
How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s educational needs?
Our classrooms are equipped with a range of specialist early years’ resources to support the children’s learning needs. If additional specialist needs are identified these will be looked into on an individual basis by the child’s teacher.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Next steps are identified for all children in all areas of learning. Where additional needs are identified then a plan is written. This is reviewed half-termly by the teacher, INCO/SENCO and parents. After two half-terms an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written if support is still needed. This IEP will be reviewed every half term.
How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
Parents can speak informally with practitioners on a daily basis at drop off and pick up time. Email communication is also available for those who are not able to meet with the class teacher. Through this dialogue parents are aware of the learning taking place within school and can continue this at home. Additional meetings can be booked should more time be needed. Parent consultations provide additional opportunities to share and discuss your child’s class. There is also a Parents forum which meets termly with the Principal. Weekly emails are sent from the Head of Pre-prep with information about classroom learning and useful information about the Pre-prep.
Who can I contact for further information?
For children interested in joining our school, queries should be directed to our registrar and Principal, Lottie Rogerson on 01293 520648. If your child is already a pupil here, your first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher.