How does Strathmore Preschool know if children need any extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

At Strathmore Pre-school we believe in achievement, ambition and progress for all children.If you have any concerns, please speak to the settings SENCO Emily (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) who will work with you to seek professional advice. We aim to meet the needs of individual children through highly effective teaching and learning.  We work in a flexible way to develop effective partnerships with children and their parents/carers, the SENCO Emily will work with a number of external multi professionals to gain the best and relevant advice possible to support your child’s needs.We undertake a rigorous system of monitoring children’s progress, removing barriers to learning and use a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of lifelong learning and independent living skills for all children.We operate an open-door policy, relaying information to parents every session, we have parent consultations, a phone line operating for calls between 9.00am and 3.15pm, a text message service outside this time, an effective email system, a Facebook page and a website.If your child has an identified additional need, please notify us on one of the methods above before your child starts. Emily and your child’s keyworker will work with the family to ensure your wishes and aspirations are noted & address and everything is in place before your child joins us.

How will Strathmore Staff support my child?

 All staff continually undergo relevant training to broaden their knowledge and skills in the early years sector.Emily will undergo specific training to support children and staff with SEND and inclusion. Following acceptance of a place we start with a Home Visit where relevant paperwork will be discuss and filled out to support your child. a transition process is implemented which ensures careful planning in order for the child to be successfully included and have their needs met. 

How will I know how my child is doing?

Parents are always welcome to arrange appointments to come in to discuss their child/ren’s progress is measured against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.Regular updates about all aspects of children’s progress are provided. Immediate informaton is fed back verbally or by our various electronic means of communication, letters or telephone calls, and specific achievements are celebrated by our ‘Achievement Leaves’, stickers and certificates sent home. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, all children have 6 monthly Reviews of Progress meetings where the child’s progress towards the acquisition of Key Skill targets is considered; for those children who have a statement of SENm additional meetings to plot progress and implement additional targets against Individual Action Plans are offered. Key staff are readily available to discuss the children’s progress every session.

How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?

Strathmore Preschool will follow children’s interest and lead and plan children’s progress in line with the EYFS. Regular snapshot observations are taken as well as a more detailed observation every half term. Working closely with parents we set ‘Next step’ targets that are achievable. For children who are struggling in one particular area we carry out a detailed observation using the IAELD Pro-forma of tracking a plan do review format and then with parents’ input, set an Individual Education Plan (IEP) sometimes in partnership with an Action plan.

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

Children are encouraged to take care of their personal hygiene routines with adult assistance that is gradually reduced as their confidence and abilities grow. We use our observations to ensure that children’s well-being is being met and that they are receiving the care and attention they need to progress. All children are introduced to our Behaviour rules which is model by staff and shared at circle time, positive behaviour is awarded in several ways such as praise, stickers and ‘Achievement stars’. We design individual health plans that are displayed for all to follow and a designated member of staff assigned to carry those out keeping continuity and familiarisation for the children.An IEP (Individual Educational Plan) will be put in place to support their needs. Detailed policies are available that describe health needs such as our administration of medicine policy.All policies are available to parents. 

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by Strathmore Preschool?

Strathmore Pre-school works closely with the local Health Team, Area SENCO, Speech Therapists and Family Centre, Nessie, Angels, Local offer at the Library, Hitchin partnership and Family first. We work closely with other settings in the area, sharing good practice. 

How will my child be included in activities outside the preschool?

We display any relevant information regarding family centres, local groups or events that we feel would interest or benefit the children and their families. We also encourage friendships between children within the setting and this often leads to playdates, party invitations, also helping the parents to form their own friendships.

How will I be involved in discussions about, and planning for, my child’s learning and development?

Your child’s key worker will be continuously working with your child, looking at their progress and how their next steps can contribute to their development and learning. You will be invited to regular parent consultations so that information can be shared, and any concerns or comments can be discussed by both parties.

How accessible is the building / environment?

Our building is on one level and we operate from one large room with a ramp leading to our main door. Our toilet doors open outwards accommodating a wheelchair. Entry into our secure all-season play space is via steps or back down the ramp into a side gate.

How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?

 At Strathmore we pride ourselves on our transitions. We are based on a Local Authority school site (although we are separate, we work closely together) and are privileged to have use of their resources and space. We use the school hall and join the older children for several assemblies, the reception class is next to our building and we speak to the teaching staff daily. As transition approaches, Key People take the children across to visit the new schools. Local schools are invited in to share a morning with the children. During circle time we speak about changes and act out several scenarios.Where vulnerable children or children with additional needs are identified more formal meetings are held inviting Parents, Key workers, teaching staff and external professionals along to discuss the process.We prepare moving on books and incorporate school uniforms into our dressing up clothes. We are especially considerate to the small percentage of children who do not move on to the adjoining school.A selection of photographs of the new settings are sourced and shared. All new settings receive a copy of the transition report containing achievements, strengths and interests.

How will the Preschool’s resources be used to support children’s special educational needs?

At Strathmore Pre-school we have a timeline and visual prompts for children who may need them. We have access to specific resources from local children’s centres. All resources are height appropriate. If additional specific equipment is required, we will apply for additional funding to secure the resources needed.

Who can I contact for further information about the Early Years offer in Strathmore Preschool?

Diane Grazette (leader) or Emily (SENCO) on 07593 742755 or email preschool@strathmore.herts.sch.uk

For further information on the local authority’s Local Offer of service and provision for children with special educational needs and disability go to www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer