All schools are required to publish their ‘Local Offer’ to provide information for parents about how children with ‘Additional’ or ‘Special Educational Needs’ will be supported.
Our Local Offer describes the range of provision and support available to support identified children as and when appropriate. As an inclusive school your child will have the same access and opportunity to experience all Brantfield has to offer both in the classrooms and day nursery.
Cumbria County Council also has a Local Offer site which signposts parents to the range of support they expect to be available from education, health and social care for children within Cumbria with educational and additional needs.
Brantfield Nursery School is an inclusive school. We ensure that children are included in all aspects of learning and school life throughout their time with us.
At Brantfield Nursery, we aim to:
• Embed a broad and balanced Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which enables each child to develop holistically.
• Achieve quality learning experiences through appropriate active learning based on play and communication.
• Ensure every child has an equal opportunity to develop their full potential.
• Follow children’s passions and interests to identify individual children’s paths of learning and their achievements.
• Celebrate the joy and wonder of life-long learning in the outdoor environment.
o respect and tolerance for each other through co-operation and partnership;
o well-being, self-esteem and develop confidence to enable children to become interactive learners through the support of their key carer and other staff;
o well-being, through respecting and valuing all children for their own qualities, individualities and achievements;
o happiness and an enthusiasm for lifelong learning to allow all individuals the opportunity for self expression.
• Create a friendly, safe, comfortable and stimulating learning environment both indoors and out.
• Promote a partnership between home, nursery, private voluntary and independent (PVI) childcare settings, child minders, primary school, colleges and the community.
• Ensure smooth transitions of children into, within and out of Brantfield supported by caring and experienced staff.
• Share good practice with practitioners and students to promote high quality Early Years Foundation Stage experiences for young children.
• Develop and extend our services, working in partnership with other professionals to meet the needs of all the children and their families.
Ofsted has graded us Outstanding in all areas for our last two inspections (March ’12 and October ’14). These areas are Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Quality of Teaching and Behaviour and Safety.
At Brantfield we celebrate all children’s uniqueness and identify how we respond to their individuality and meet their specific needs. Children with special educational needs or additional needs may need additional strategies to support their learning.
Help is provided in school, sometimes with the help of external specialists. If your child has a special educational or additional need, they may find the following things challenging, for example:
• expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
• a sensory or physical need may affect them in school
• making relationships with children and adults
• becoming independent and organising themselves
• accessing the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, in particular the three Prime Areas – Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Physical Development
• learning how to behave appropriately in Brantfield.
Staff work closely with parents throughout their child’s care and education. We take account of the wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents and encourage them to make an active contribution to their child’s education. Initial discussions with parents and staff enable us to plan any subsequent actions. These could include adapting our provision so it is more easily accessible to the child or involving other professionals eg. Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visitors. Parents/carers are a central part of this whole process.
How does the school know if children/ young people need extra help and what should I do if I think a child may have special educational needs?
Strong relationships are developed with children and parents through our ‘key carer’ system. The key carer and other staff get to know each child as an individual, celebrate their interests and knowledge and use these to develop learning. Staff are always happy to talk to parents about children’s progress and if concerns are raised we work with parents to support children’s development. Staff assess children’s learning regularly and after discussion with parents will provide additional support if required. We have an ‘open door’ policy and are happy to discuss any concerns or worries a parent may have.
Staff gather information from parents as their child starts Brantfield and ask if there are any concerns about the child’s development. Some children may already have an identified/specific need and have support from other agencies. We will work closely with the family and other professionals to support the child and their individual/ specific needs.
We cater for children with a wide range of special educational or additional needs such as speech and language difficulties, social communication difficulties, physical difficulties, autistic spectrum condition. If staff need specialist training to support a specific need we endeavour to undertake this in a timely manner.
We keep families up to date with their child’s learning and progress through such things as consultation sessions, their child’s Special Book, wall displays, review meetings and informal chats.
How will school staff support my child?
The key carer will show a particular interest in your child through close, personal, day-to-day interactions. The key carer will welcome your child each day and parents will have the opportunity to meet them face to face and exchange information. The key carer can help parents deal with any separation anxiety issues and will also carry out observations on each child, which will help staff assess the progress each child is making. They will carry out termly assessments on the children and on-going ones to assist them in planning the next steps in each child’s learning and development.
The key worker will work closely with the room team, who will plan an effective, exciting, varied, challenging and progressive curriculum for all children including those who have additional needs. The staff have much experience of supporting children with a variety of special educational needs.
The head teacher is the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) and is responsible for children with additional needs. If staff or parents identify or are concerned about a child’s learning and development we will call a meeting with everyone, including parents, to decide what the next steps will be to support the child. The SENCo is familiar with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice and liaises with other professionals if advice or interventions from outside Brantfield are needed to support your child.
The Governors of the school have a responsibility to ensure that the school carries out its statutory duties to support any child who has Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND). They will ensure that the school has a Special Educational Needs Policy, which they need to agree, adopt and review regularly, as well as ensure that the policy is implemented. SEND appears as a regular agenda item at each governors meeting; there is also a curriculum/SEN committee and a named governor for SEND. Governors monitor the work of the school and make visits to school looking at the policies and procedures in practice; this includes a focus on how the school supports children with SEND. The Governors also ensure that the school has a Single Equality Scheme, which includes an action plan for accessibility.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Every child is different. We consider each child’s interest, their knowledge and skills and plan to support each child at their own pace. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum provides a guide for children’s development. We plan to meet the individual needs of the child, based on their interests and providing first hand experiences whenever possible. These plans are flexible and based on observations the staff make of the children. Staff will encourage child initiated activities and will differentiate the support they give by being an active listener, joining in and interacting when appropriate and being skilled in their questioning. This approach will ensure that the curriculum is matched to the child’s individual needs to support their learning and development.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Our Key Carer system enables staff to build close relationships with families through direct conversations and through each child’s Special Book. This book is a celebratory record of your child’s learning and development and contains photos and pieces of work as well as ‘learning story’ observations which identify the how your child is learning, you are welcome to look at and borrow this special book to share with family members. You are encouraged to contribute to these books, commenting on the activities your child has been involved in both in and out of Brantfield.
Staff carry out on-going observations and make regular assessments to track children’s progress linked to Development Matters (7 areas of learning) in the EYFS. We talk to parents informally on a daily basis, hold parent consultation sessions with teachers to discuss children’s progress and are happy to arrange meetings at other times on request. Children who have been identified as having special educational needs or who are not making expected progress will have a Learning Journey Individual Education Plan (LJIEP) which will identify next steps for their learning. Parents are involved in drawing up the LJIEP and have a copy so they can support these steps at home. Regular reviews will take place with staff, parents and any outside agencies who may be involved. ‘Parents are their child’s first educators’ and as such we involve you in your child’s learning and development as much as possible and want you to share with us the learning that happens at home.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
“Self-esteem, confidence and well-being are nurtured and respect and tolerance for peers developed through interaction and co-operation.” – this is an extract from our philosophy statement.
We take great care to support all children’s well-being both through the introduction to Brantfield and during their time with us. We are keenly aware that unless children feel happy and settled they are not ready to learn and progress. Each key carer (and other staff in the team) work very closely with parents to get to know your child so they feel happy and positive about being with us.
One of the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The nursery environment and early years curriculum is designed to help all children make positive relationships, manage their feelings and behaviour, as well as develop their self-confidence and self-awareness. Staff plan for each child’s individual care and learning requirements; this may include a Learning Journey Individual Education Plan (LJIEP) and/or a Health Care Plan. If children have long term medical conditions a Health Care Plan will detail their needs and the required medication which staff can administer with parental consent. Medication will be kept on site and a record will inform parents when it has been administered. Staff receive training to support children with medical needs. We provide intimate care for children when required and have suitable facilities for private or personal care for children. There are appropriate disposal facilities (e.g. nappy bin).
We have a Positive Behaviour Policy a summary of which is shared with parents during the home visit. We aim to work together with parents to support children’s developing behaviour. We celebrate positive behaviour and focus on this to reduce any less desirable behaviour.
We have a Special Education Needs and Disabilities policy and an equality policy. Our aim is that all children and families feel welcomed and included and we work closely with the family and their child to ensure they receive appropriate support.
Time is taken to get to know each child, we use their interests as a starting point for learning and record the many experiences they have at Brantfield in their Special Book.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
On our staff we have 3 highly qualified Early Years Teachers, including the Headteacher who is the Special Needs Co-ordinator; 2 Higher Level Teaching Assistants; 4 Teaching Assistants and 8 childcare staff with qualifications ranging from Level 3 to Foundation degree. For part of the year we also have additional Senior Teaching Assistants as the number of children increase. All staff are dedicated and highly skilled, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience within Brantfield. Many staff are paediatric first aid trained and also have a number of other qualifications including Team Teach, Safeguarding, Autism Awareness, Food Hygiene and Signalong training. The school has been awarded Healthy School Status, which recognises the importance we place on the overall health and well-being of our children and staff. The school was also judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in our last 2 inspections as was the Day Nursery in their last inspection. Particular note has been made of the support the SEN children are given and the outstanding progress they make.
We have strong links with local health visitors, the Children’s Centre, Speech and Language Therapists and other professionals and liaise with them and families when necessary. We work closely with any families who are being supported by Social Care. The Headteacher is the designated Safeguarding person and staff attend/host meetings as and when necessary.
What training is the staff receiving or have completed to support children and young people with SEND?
Staff have completed a number of training courses and have a variety of qualifications (some of which are refreshed at regular periods). Staff attend training to support their individual roles and responsibilities, as well as priorities identified in the School Development Plan. Over recent years these have included: Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding Levels 1, 2 & 3, SENCO training, Early Help Assessment training, Team Teach, Food Hygiene, Epipen training, Epilepsy training and IOSH Health & Safety training. If a child is admitted to nursery with a specific need, the staff will access any specific training needed to support them or seek support from other agencies where possible, for example Child Psychologist, Specialist Advisory Teacher, Occupational Health, Health Visitors, Physiotherapists, Paediatricians, Speech & Language Therapists.
How accessible is the school environment?
The school has an Access Plan with short, medium and long term priorities identified. A number of improvements have been made to the building over recent years to increase the accessiblility including level access to the front and level access to the garden from the ground and part of the first floor. An extension was built in 2008, which meets all the recent DDA requirements. There is wheelchair access and a disabled toilet and changing/ shower facilities on the ground floor. The nursery also has a large and very special enclosed garden with a number of exciting areas.
The school communicates in a number of ways including email, text messaging and school website. The school is also able to provide a basic written translation of certain documents into the relevant language or will seek additional support from the Local Authority who we can approach for bilingual support. We effectively support children and families with English as an additional language (EAL).
How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
We take great care when introducing children and families to Brantfield, our aim is that starting will be a positive, exciting and happy experience. We have stay and play sessions here and the key carer visits you and your child at home to begin our relationship with you both. The key carer will support you in the settling process. Over your child’s first days here we gradually build up their time in nursery until they are attending for their full free 15 hours per week entitlement. We take time to get to know each child and help them to feel welcome and get used to our routines and expectations.
We work closely with primary schools before children leave us, reception staff visit here to meet the children and talk to our staff. If we feel a child would benefit from extra support we will arrange additional visits for them. We pass on information to the receiving school about each child’s interests and achievements. If a child has an LJIEP or Education Health Care Plan we meet with parents and new school staff to celebrate progress and give careful consideration to the move to primary school.
We exchange information in a number of ways; this will include face to face conversations where possible and personal data transfer through the School to School secure site. A copy of the children’s summative statement will be sent to the feeder schools along with assessment data, which shows them the progress and attainment level they have reached whilst with us. We pass on the children’s Special Books to help reception staff get to know each child. We will also send on any other relevant documentation e.g. LJIEPs, Health Care Plans, reports from other agencies e.g. Speech & Language Therapist.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Since September 2014 the school has become a resourced provision for early years and received additional funding to support children with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SENDs). This funding can be used in a variety of ways including providing additional staff, staff training needed to support children with SENDs and the purchase of resources to support children with additional needs. For 2 year old children attending our Day Nursery we can apply for an Enhanced Support Grant (ESG) to support a child who has an identified need.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
We will intervene at the earliest opportunity to support a child with additional needs. If the nursery staff or parents feel that a child requires additional help, we will discuss the matter firstly with parents and make reasonable adjustments to support these children. We draw up a Learning Journey Individual Educational Plan (LJIEP) identifying the child’s next steps in learning and any additional support strategies they may require. Parents will be fully involved in this and the views/interests of the child will also be included. We may need to access additional support/guidance from other professionals therefore, with the consent of parents, a referral may be made e.g. for Speech & Language therapy, Educational Psychologist advice/support. The child’s progress will be monitored closely and the LJIEP reviewed with parents at regular intervals. The school will make adjustments to ensure that the child is not disadvantaged in their education.
If it is felt that the child has life-long learning needs, working in partnership with parents and other outside agencies, a request for an assessment will be made leading to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). An EHCP co-ordinator, usually the SENCo, will be responsible for supporting the family and liaising with different professionals involved in these assessments. The SENCo will gather all relevant information from all the professionals and the family to inform the assessment. This information will be collected within the 20 week statutory timeframe. The EHCP will be focussed on the outcomes an individual child is expected to achieve, any targets will be specific and the EHCP will set out what support is needed to achieve these outcomes. The child’s progress will be monitored closely and parents will have regular meetings with staff to discuss their child’s progress. The EHC will be reviewed annually.
If you wish to discuss any of this information please contact the school.