Huntingdon Nursery School Report
Supporting Children with Additional Needs 2019-2020
At Huntingdon Nursery School we are committed to helping all our children realise their potential. We seek to meet the needs of all our children, working closely with families to achieve this. We recognise that some children, for part or all of their time at Huntingdon Nursery School need extra help and support to do this and may be identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability.
We aim to provide children with Special Educational Needs (SEND) with a warm, supportive environment, helping children to be as independent as possible. We encourage children to learn alongside each other through a play-based, child-centred curriculum.
The Special Educational Needs Team
We have a dedicated and experienced team, who have worked for many years supporting children with a range of needs, such as, autism, global delay, hearing impairment, Down’s syndrome and physical disabilities. Meeting the teaching and learning needs of all children is a priority for all members of staff. The teacher who has specific responsibility for coordinating the provision special educational needs and disability is:
Mrs Claire Palmer- Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)
Mrs Claire Palmer is Headteacher and SENCO at the nursery school and is always happy to talk to families about any concerns they may have or the particular needs of their child in the nursery school.
She can be contacted by telephone on: 01480 375216
Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Claire Palmer is an experienced teacher and is currently completing the accredited Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENCo) qualification.
The SEND Governor is Fay Sharp who can be contacted through the school office.
Fay Sharp is a very experienced Specialist SEND practitioner who works within the County’s SEND Team.
Tel: 01480 375216 or email: email@example.com
All children have a keyworker who identifies needs, interests, strengths and difficulties, together with Class teachers they plan appropriate learning experiences. Additional support may be provided by suitably qualified Teaching Assistants, who work together with the SENCO and keyworkers. This support may be on an individual or shared basis depending on the needs of the child.
Our staff have experience of working with a range of strategies to support children with additional needs such as, use of visual timetables and sign language, and have received training, such as, Autism Education Trust training to enable them to do so.
Support from Additional Agencies
At times it is necessary to make referrals to additional agencies to identify individual needs, assess progress and plan appropriately to meet the particular needs of a child. We work with additional agencies such as Early Support, the Speech and Language Service, Educational Psychology, Physiotherapy, Health Visitors and Specialist Practitioners to provide appropriate support, plans and resources for children when they are identified as having an additional need. Parents are always consulted and informed when additional professionals are involved and usually have the opportunity to meet and talk with other professionals in our nursery. Sometimes additional support may be provided in the home if this is appropriate to the needs of the child and family. Our staff have worked with a wide range of professionals and have built up very positive relationships with professional agencies; it is common for other professionals to want children to go to our nursery because they know the warm, supportive, professional experience that they will have.
Working with Parents/Carers
At Huntingdon Nursery School we recognise the important part that families play in helping others to understand and support the specific needs of their child. We actively promote partnership with parents/carers, through the sharing of information and education plans as well as through visits and informal conversations. There are a number of opportunities for parents to be consulted throughout the year, depending on the particular needs of the family and child. All families have home visits and are invited for specific consultation meetings. Parents are welcome in the nursery to visit or volunteer.
For a child with additional needs further meetings may be arrange to set and review individual targets, meetings with the SENCo and consultation with other professionals. A child with an identified additional need will usually have been referred for additional support with an Early Help Assessment, which will be completed by the SENCo with parents/carers. If a child’s Early Help Assessment is accepted by Early Support then a lead professional will be appointed to support the family and a specific Family Support Plan will be put in place and reviewed every 3 months. Mrs Palmer (SENCo) is an experienced lead professional. If it is decided that a child’s needs are complex and require support beyond that which is normally available in the nursery an Education, Help and Care Plan (EHCP) may be requested. Mrs Palmer in her role as SENCO will make these requests and support families through the process.
At Huntingdon Nursery School we appreciate that parents/carers are the experts on their child and know their child best of all. We always value your input. Parents are always encouraged to tell us about any concerns or identified needs as early as possible, so that we can ensure that appropriate support is in place. We operate an open door policy.
Identification of a Special Educational Need or Disability
We work according to the SEN Code of Practice (September, 2014) definition which says that:
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream school
The SEN Code of Practice identifies four broad areas of special educational need:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, mental and emotional health
- Sensory and/or physical
Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset. We, therefore, consider it important to carry out a detailed individual assessment of each child or young person and their situation at the earliest opportunity to make an accurate assessment of their needs. This is done through observation, appropriate assessment and interaction, consultation with keyworkers and through discussion with parents/carers. There are many reasons why children may be identified as having special educational needs. Children learn in different ways and at different speeds. Some children have identified physical disabilities, such as hearing impairment, or a diagnosed developmental condition such as autism. Whatever a child’s individual needs we will work together with parents and other professionals to ensure that targets are set and plans put in place to support a child to be happy in the nursery and to make progress.
What Happens when a Child has a Special Educational Need or Disability
If a child is identified as having a special educational need or disability this information will be recorded on the nursery SEND list and also on the School Information Management System (SIMS). All children who have a need identified and require some additional support are recorded as being at the level of SEN Support. For some children we provide a programme of specific activities to support progress, with individual targets set to support the particular needs of the child. Families and, where possible, children are involved in making plans. All staff are involved in monitoring the effectiveness of specific programmes and charting the progress that a child is making. Some children may need only a short period of targeted intervention, such as participating in language or social skills planned activities. Other children may need longer term intervention and support. For some children an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may be put in place in consultation with parents, other professionals and the local authority. This provides a detailed plan for children who have been assessed to have complex, severe needs that require ongoing support beyond that which is normally available.
Comments, Concerns and Complaints
At Huntingdon Nursery we operate an open door policy. We encourage parents/carers to discuss concerns as they arise with the Keyworker or SENCo. An appointment can be made through the school office or with the SENCo if it is felt a concern needs more to be resolved. Complaints are managed in accordance with the Nursery’s Complaints Procedure and Policy, which can be accessed through the school office and on our website: www.huntingdon-nur.cambs.sch.uk .
If you have any questions about support for your child, please do not hesitate to contact
Mrs Claire Palmer SENCo / Headteacher on: 01480 375216
Or via email : Head@huntingdon-nur.cambs.sch.uk
Moving into nursery and from Nursery to Primary School (Transitions)
When a child starts at our setting we will work closely with the family to ensure as smooth a start as possible. All children have opportunities to visit and play in the setting before they start and specific meetings and information- sharing is arranged for parents. For children with additional needs extra sessions to visit may be organised. The setting SENCo will meet with families to help gather information and decide an appropriate settling–in plan and level of support needed. This may also involve other professionals if they are already working with/known to the family. Mrs Palmer might also visit a child in an existing setting or attend meetings, such as Family Support Plan Meetings, for a child before they move into our nursery. All children will have a home visit from their keyworker.
We work to ensure that at important times of transition, such as moving to a new school, children and families are well-supported. Reception teachers and school SENCos visit our setting in the summer term to meet children and learn about them from school staff. We share information and hold transition meetings, to ensure that appropriate support and advice will be in place. Children often have additional times made so that they can visit their new school and they may also be able to do this accompanied by a nursery Teaching Assistant whenever possible. A transition plan may include the child making a number of visits to their next setting. An up to date record of the child is passed on to the next setting. Mrs Palmer (SENCo) will usually help the next setting to review existing plans and set appropriate next steps. Mrs Palmer may also continue involvement into the next setting, when appropriate. This has sometimes meant attending a Planning meeting for an EHC Plan or carrying out an early review of a Plan. Members of staff from the next setting are invited to TAF/FSP (Team around the Family/ Family Support Plan) meetings when we know which school a child will be moving to.
Further Support and Information- The Cambridgeshire Local Offer
Cambridge County Council now publishes a Local Offer which provides clear information explaining the support that is available to children with SEND in this area. It includes information from schools about the teaching and services they offer and out of area support for the most complex and rare needs that cannot be met locally. The Cambridgeshire Local Offer, describing services in Cambridgeshire including Specialist Support Services and Children’s Centres can be found on the link below:
Cambridgeshire County Council Family and Childcare Information Service can be contacted to provide information about the local offer: Tel: 0345 045 1360
Additional support for parents can be obtained by contacting SENDIASS- the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (formerly the Parent Partnership Service) Their contact details are:
SENDIASS Box No. CC1101, Castle Court, Cambridge CB3 OAP
Their confidential helpline is open during term time: 01223 699214
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A St Ives –based charity supporting Cambridgeshire parents/carers- especially children with additional needs and disabilities.
Tel: 01480 499043 or 01480 877333
Family and Child Centres also provide support and advice for children aged 0-5 with additional needs.
We work in partnership with Huntingdon Town Child and Family Centre to support our families and families in our locality. Tel: 01480 375216 and speak to Tracey Holliday for further information.
The SEND Code of Practice can be downloaded at:
The government has written a guide to parents which can be found at:
For further information about Huntingdon Nursery School and to view our SEND policy please visit our website: www.huntingdon-nur.cambs.sch.uk
Claire Palmer (SENCo)