Information for Parents and Children's Special Rights
Local SEND Offer
How does Little Birds Forest Nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
Little Birds Forest Nursery is a small nursery offering a maximum of 20 spaces per session.
As such our small, experienced and dedicated team of staff are able to effectively observe and assess every child on a daily basis.
Regular staff meetings and the allocation of a Key Worker to each child ensures that we are able to share information about any particular child easily and to consistently implement our planning for each child.
Parents are invited to inform us of any additional needs that their child might have before they start with us by filling in an appropriate section on their registration forms.
Each child is allocated a Key Worker soon after joining us, whose job it is to have a specific and detailed overview of that particular child’s general well-being, progress and development and to liaise closely with the child’s parents during their time with us.
We have incredibly qualified and experience staff, including our nursery SENCo, Victoria, who has a specialism in supporting children's individual rights and need.
Parents are invited and encouraged to share any concerns they might have with their child’s key worker at any time, as well as more specifically during scheduled termly Progress Review meetings.
How will the staff at Little Birds Forest Nursery support my child?
Planning for each child at Little Birds Forest Nursery is based upon their own specific abilities, needs and interests.
Where additional needs have been identified our Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) / Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), together with that child’s Parents, Key Worker and other members of staff will draw up a personalised plan to support that child and to help ensure their continuing happiness and well-being at our nursery.
Where appropriate we, with the Parents’ express permission, will look to draw upon the experience and expertise of professionals and agencies outside of our setting to assist with our planning and its delivery.
In certain instances, the staff team will undertake a full review of our classroom with a view to decreasing the perceived and actual risks and/or barriers that may prevent a particular child from fully accessing the activities that we offer
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
At Little Birds Forest Nursery we follow a child led approach to curriculum which provides a wealth of opportunities for exploration, discovery and learning for every child. We are guided in all that we do by each individual child’s unique abilities, their specific interests and their particular style of learning. In a very real sense, every child in our setting has their own personalised Individual Education Plan (IEP) (see below), not just those deemed to require additional support.
We are confident that our curriculum matches the requirements for early years education laid out in the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage documents, and all of our records and assessments pertaining to a child’s progress and development at our setting are kept in line with this document and with the Tapestry Learning Journal that will follow that child through to the end of their reception year.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Inherent within our learning opportunities and curriculum and embedded within the Early Years Foundation Stage are specific means for determining how well a child is doing in specific areas of their growth, learning and development. These ‘checks and balances’ form the basis of all of our individual learning plans and of our Progress Review meetings (see above).
By encouraging and supporting parents to be actively involved with these reviews and, where appropriate, with the development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to determine specific learning and development goals, parents become empowered to take an active role in supporting their child’s learning.
Where it is deemed to be helpful we are very willing to share our method and approach with parents through various means including specific ‘training’ in particular areas of our curriculum, a lending library and more general discussions about our philosophy, methods and learning materials.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Our day to day practice at Little Birds Forest Nursery has behind it a wide range of Policies and Procedures that the staff have developed to do our utmost to ensure the safety, happiness and well-being of everybody involved with our setting. We conduct daily safety checks, regularly review our practices and seek feedback from both children and parents as to how we are doing.
The majority of our staff have Paediatric First Aid Training, which we update on a 3 yearly basis. Whenever the need arises our staff are more than willing to undertake further training to ensure that they can meet the needs of all the children in our care.
Our outside, natural environments are calm, we are confident that any behavioural issues that do inevitably arise from time to time can be dealt with in a positive and proactive manner so as to facilitate the best outcomes for all involved.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
While our staff collectively have a wide range of experience working with and alongside children with additional needs, there are no specialist staff in our setting. As previously mentioned, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunity of access to our setting, and as such we are always prepared to seek specialised training where it is felt to be necessary and/or beneficial.
As an early years provider we are able to access support from various outside agencies to assist us in providing for the children in our care. In particular, the FIRST team (West Sussex County Council), can provide us with specific advice and support when requested
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
Our staff attend training as required by the needs of the children and the setting in general. As previously mentioned, we are always willing to seek out training that will enable us to support a child with additional needs more effectively and sympathetically. Our SENCo Victoria has had specific training around this, as well as her Masters in Early Childhood Education.
Being a small nursery that knows and treats children as individuals, we seek training to enhance our knowledge of how best to support our children which is meaningful and specific to that child.
How will my child be included in activities outside Little Birds Forest Nursery, including trips?
Where an outing is being planned all efforts will be made to ensure that every child in our setting will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity. In order to achieve this, all plans in this regard will be discussed in full with any parents who have concerns about their child’s ability to attend. Additional staff members / parent volunteers may be sought to offer their assistance on a proposed outing where this is deemed to be of benefit.
How accessible is the Little Birds Forest Nursery environment? (indoors and outdoors)
Little Birds Forest Nursery is an outdoor, ground-floor setting, with free-flow access to our outside area, a specific area for Under 2s, and access to other outdoor environments. Our woodlands and the grounds are all on one level, with uneven ground in some places which may require additional time and assistance, but we feel confident that both the classroom and outside area can be fully accessed by anyone.
The indoor toilet facilities at Little Birds Forest Nursery are relatively small, with camping style toilets,(compsting toilets and disabled composting toilets coming!) with adult-sized toilets in our current indoor area that the youngest children use steps to reach. There is currently a disabled toilet facility. While we are in the process of negotiating changes to the toileting area, we would recommend that prospective parents discuss any specific requirements in this regard with the management team prior to enrolment.
The activities on offer both inside and outside are always fully accessible to all the children attending. Where necessary our layout can be adapted to suit the needs of individual children.
How will Little Birds Forest Nursery prepare and support my child to join the setting / transfer to a new setting/school?
Similarly, they provide parents/carers with the opportunity to discuss any requirements outlined in the registration documents and to properly meet the team who will be caring for their child.
When your child is due to move on (either to another nursery or to school) we aim to work closely with the next setting to ensure that any and all information relevant to the child’s happiness, well-being and development is effectively communicated.
We meet where possible with the child's teacher, to discuss your child and where appropriate any strategies in place to best support your child.
Parents will also be given a final opportunity to review their child’s Tapestry Learning Journal (see above) to ensure that it provides an accurate reflection of their child’s abilities and interests before we pass it on to the new setting.
We try to add the children's school uniform to our dressing up box - and facilitate the inevitable "school" role play that will develop!
We place much care and planning to best support your child's well being at this time. Especially in 2020, many children can experience worry, concern, and "big emotions" around the change. We have specific strategies we use but importantly, during your child's entire time at Little Birds, we work very closely with your child to develop their understanding and expression and ultimately management of emotions.
In addition, in your child's last year with us, we support children to learn and experience the structures of a day at school, and to meet or find out more about their school together.
How are Little Birds Forest Nursery resources allocated and matched to the child’s educational needs?
We seek to provide a well-balanced curriculum that is accessible to all children, guided predominantly by their own interests and abilities. Lots of our resources are natural resources and loose parts play resources, which are open ended, diverse and readily available.
Additional resources, where necessary or beneficial, are authentic, well planned and we place much thought in choosing wonderfully enriching learning resources.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Where a child is deemed to require additional support our SENCO / INCO (see above) will liaise very closely with both the child’s parents and any involved outside agencies (e.g. FIRST team – see above) to ensure that the child receives sufficient support both on a day to day basis and looking forward to anticipate any future needs.
How are parents involved at Little Birds Forest Nursery? How can I be involved?
We aim to create and maintain a very close working partnership with parents and families.
Parents can become involved with our nursery at various levels, from simply engaging with and contributing to their child’s Progress Reviews, to joining our social events (where allowed) to volunteering their time to come in to the nursery to help out regularly or on occasional outings, participate in our workshops, and Go Wild Family sessions (again when allowed)or to share their particular skills and interests with the children.
We have an "open door"policy usually, but during this time, we have to operate within guidelines. Along with detailed information given at handovers, we will be having termly online parents meetings.
We are always seeking feedback from our parents and children, and to this end we invite parents to become involved with our Policy and Procedure reviews, to complete occasional questionnaires about our provision, to make use of our suggestions box, or simply to talk to us whenever they like.
Who can I contact for further information?
For further information about children’s services in general please contact the Family Information Service on 01243 777 807.
For further information about us and our setting please contact our SENCO by email. We look forward to hearing from you