Local Offer September 2023
1. Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
Baylis Court Nursery School has been established on the site since late 1940's. We moved into our new building in February 2016.
The school serves a multicultural community and 85% of the children have English as an additional language (2022-2023).
The nursery can accommodate up to 120 children (age 3 and 4 years) on roll in the main nursery. 60 children can attend either a morning or afternoon session.
We also have funded provision for 20 two year old children who meet the eligibility criteria (10 morning, 10 afternoon session). The majority of these children who access these groups continue through to the main nursery.
The nursery established an autistic spectrum disorder resource base in 2013 with a purpose built accommodation for 2 morning and 2 afternoon children. These children with a diagnosis of autism and/or complex learning needs also access the main nursery environment as part of our inclusive practice.
Baylis Court Nursery School adheres to a key person approach. A key person is allocated to each child on entry with the aim of building close relationships with the child and his/her parents and carers. Staff visit every child in their home setting prior to entry to the school which supports relationship building and initial assessments.
Most children enter the nursery in the autumn term and will spend three terms with us as they will leave for reception classes in the September of the school year in which they are five. Children who join the school in spring and summer terms receive five and four terms respectively.
Baylis Court Nursery School is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the children living in the local community. We believe that all children including those identified as having special education needs have common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them. We aim for all children to be fully included in all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
All children are equally valued in our school.We strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and have developed an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.
Baylis Court Nursery School is committed to inclusion. Part of our nursery provision is to develop cultures, policies and practices that include all children.We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging and to offer new opportunities to children who may have experienced previous difficulties.
We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of children.
We strive to meet the needs of children who experience barriers to their learning and these may relate to sensory or physical impairment, learning difficulties, or emotional or social development, or may relate to factors in the environment, including the environment they experience in the nursery.
We recognise that very young children learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting their progress, achievement, emotional state, age and stage of development.
We aim to identify these needs as they arise and provide learning and teaching contexts which enable every child to achieve to his or her full potential.
We see the inclusion of children identified as having special educational needs as an equal opportunities issue. We will also aim to model positively, including in our staffing policies, our relationships with parents / carers and with the community. We have an approach that looks at what additional provision we need to make for specific children.
2. Teaching and Learning
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality learning together provide the foundation all children need to make the most of their abilities as they grow up.
At Baylis Court Nursery School we adhere to the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This sets the standards that all early providers must meet to ensure that all children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Four guiding principles of the EYFS shape our practice:
A Unique Child: every child is unique, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
Positive Relationships: children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with parents/carers and adults in the nursery;
Enabling Environment: children learn and develop well in an environment which is responsive to their individual needs. This includes the adults in the child’s life as well as the physical built environment;
Difference Celebrated: A recognition that all children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The EYFS applies to all children including those with special educational needs and disabilities. The EYFS consists of seven areas of learning and development. There are three prime areas and four specific areas. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning: Communication and language; Physical development Personal, social and emotional development.
The four specific areas are also provided for and through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
In planning and guiding children’s activities we consider the different ways that children learn and aim to reflect this in our teaching and learning practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
Playing and exploring:- children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’; At Baylis Court Nursery School we recognise that children develop at their own rates and in different ways. Through our key person system and acknowledgement that all children have differing needs and interests we can support children’s learning through a balance of adult led/child led activities; individual and group activities; additional resources; one-to-one support and differentiation.
Active learning:- children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
Creating and thinking critically:- children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Ongoing observation is key to knowing each individual child and planning appropriate support for learning to enable then to reach their full potential. During the first few weeks children are helped to settle to the nursery environment and key persons build up a picture of children’s stages of development relating to the EYFS. Appropriate activities for the children are planned for by class teams led by a nursery teacher. Further knowledge of how a child is settling is aided by consideration of his/her well being and involvement in the nursery environment.
In addition to baseline assessments undertaken in the first half term of a child’s start to nursery, each child is formally assessed using an EYFS tracker tool each term. The data is scrutinised and children who are identified as not progressing as expected are discussed and intervention strategies introduced. In addition to termly meetings with parents/carters to discuss their child’s progress staff will meet with parents as and when necessary to discuss next steps to support an individual child’s learning and development.
We have a range of experienced staff that has a very good understanding of children’s stages of development and learning in their role as key person and providing support for other children in the nursery.
3. Identifying and assessing SEN
Chapter 5 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (June 2014) outlines our duties in relation to identifying and supporting all children with special educational needs. Communication with parents/carers is paramount to early action and our working together to address identified needs essential to helping the child.
SEN provision at Baylis Court Nursery School is co-ordinated by a designated teacher known as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).
We follow a graduated approach to SEN with four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review. Children may arrive with their needs identified. A meeting with parents / carers will be sought before the child starts and, if other professionals have been involved with the child already, then liaison meetings will also be requested if appropriate with other professionals, e.g. Pre-school supervisor, Health Visitor, Pre-school teacher Counsellor, Speech Therapist. An individual education plan (IEP) will be put in place during the first half term if the child has previously had an IEP prior to entering nursery.
A baseline assessment using the EYFS tracking tool and consideration of each child’s well being and involvement will be completed for each child within the first half term. Where concerns are highlighted, further focussed observations will be carried out by staff and discussions will be held with parents/carers. A course of actions and intervention will be identified and agreed from the result of these activities.
Children’s special educational needs are generally thought of in the following four broad areas of need and support:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning Social
- emotional and mental health
- Sensory and/or physical needs
The SENCo will co-ordinate consultations with parents/carers, key persons or other professionals who may consider that the child is not making sufficient progress. This will indicate the necessity to take additional or different action in order for the child to learn effectively. An IEP will be established. Monitoring will be carried out on a short termly basis and the SENCo in discussion with staff and parents will make adjustments if appropriate. Generally IEP’s will be reviewed termly, though time scales may be shorter relative to the child’s needs. The SENCo will take the lead in the review process.Parents and carers will be fully involved at all stages. The child will be involved in their own assessment directly, e.g. through talk, and/or indirectly, e.g. through observation and play.
As part of the review process, the SENCo and colleagues in consultation with the parents and carers may conclude that, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or support, the child continues to have significant needs which are not being met by current interventions. Where this is the case, a decision may be made to make provision for the child with additional specialist support.
A variety of support can be offered by these services, such as advice to the school about targets and strategies, or specialist assessment of some direct work with the child. The specialist services will always contribute to the planning, monitoring and reviewing of the child’s progress and additional funding will be sought. A child needing this level of support will continue to have an IEP. Monitoring at this stage is on-going and reviews will be on a termly basis.
However, if, once a strategy or programme has been implemented for a reasonable amount of time without success, or if the child has severe and complex needs, then the parents, school or other agencies will request an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) needs assessment to be carried out by the local authority. In this case, there must be supporting documentation, e.g. IEP’s and reports from involved agencies and professionals.
A child may move directly to an EHC needs assessment local authority is satisfied that the child’s needs are significant and complex and cannot be met from within the nursery school budget and resources.
A child who has an EHC plan will continue to have arrangements for additional support that is provided using the funds made available through the plan. There will be an Annual Review chaired by the SENCo to review the appropriateness of the provision and to recommend to the LA whether any changes need to be made either to the plan or to the funding arrangement for the child.
4. Involving parents and CYP in planning and review progress
We recognise that parents/carers play a fundamental role in their child’s education and can share a great deal of information about their child. Parents and carers are involved from their first contact with the nursery be it through the baby/toddler and pre-nursery groups of home visits that are undertaken for each child.
Parents and carers are welcomed into the nursery when they bring and collect their child on a daily basis. These are crucial times of the day when information about children can be shared. Sharing information of a more confidential nature can be arranged via the child’s key person and catered for in a separate meeting room.
Parents and carers are welcomed at an induction meeting led by the head teacher.
Meetings with parents and carers are held termly to discuss their child’s progress.
We ensure that concerns and clarification about a child’s progress are not constrained to a termly meeting by ensuring accessibility to staff on a daily basis.
Photographic learning journeys are shared with parents/carers who are encouraged to make written contributions and share the learning with their child. For parents/carers who find it difficult to come to nursery regularly home-school diaries/books are available to pass information between school and home. This proves to be particularly successful for children who access the ASD resource base and travel by school transport from some distance away.
Parents/carers are invited to attend whole school events. Information and discussion sessions are organised termly with a focus on different aspects of children’s learning and development such as early writing/mark making and mathematical development. We place great emphasis on involving children in their child’s education and well being. Where children have been identified with a special educational need the SENCo ensures that meetings are held with parents/carers. If the decision is made to involve outside professional help the SENCo seeks written agreement from the parents/carer before engaging the professional or service. Services we have engaged with include an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, social and emotional development outreach service, local authority service for autism, health visitor, children’s social care. We also have links with our local children’s centre services. Parents play an active role in the review of IEP’s and in the annual reviews for children with a statement of educational needs (which will be known as an education and health care plan from September 2014).
5. Additional support
Communication and Interaction
Parents and carers are encouraged to take their child to speech and language drop-in sessions at nearby children centres. There are occasions when a special educational needs learning support assistant will accompany parents/carer to the initial off-site assessment. The member of staff will also accompany the child and his/her parent/carer to individual/group therapy sessions delivered by the speech and language therapy service.
Speech and language therapists deliver individual on-site support to children in our autism resource base.
Identifying and assessing SEN for young children whose first language is not English requires particular care. We have bilingual early years practitioners and support staff who look carefully at all aspects of a child’s learning and development to establish whether any delay is related to learning English as an additional language or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to learning English as an additional language are not SEN.
Staff are trained to use signing language such as Makaton which supports verbal communication and helps to reduce barriers to learning.
We also use a picture exchange system (PECS) and ‘first, then’ folders to support children who have particular difficulties with social interaction.
Cognition and Learning
The EYFS curriculum is differentiated to support children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). They can be supported through 1-1 working and small group sessions.
Depending on individual needs the nursery may employ an additional learning support assistant to work alongside an individual child in the short term. Such practice is reviewed alongside review of IEP’s.
Children with more complex/severe learning difficulties access the autism resource base. Provision for this is overseen by the SENCo. Delivery of the provision is led by a teacher in charge and supported by an early year’s practitioner. These staff have specific autism training to enable them to support the children. Criteria for admission to the resource base are available from the nursery and are outlined at the end of this section.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. Staff will address any concerns which have been observed through communication with the child’s parent/carer. A decision to involve outside professional help such as the social emotional and behaviour development outreach service will be made in agreement with the parent/carer.
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
Staff have been trained in the maintenance and use of hearing aids for children who need them. We also receive support from specialist teachers for children who have a hearing impairment.
We make referrals to and engage with specialist advice from the paediatric occupational therapist service. Staff also receive training from this service as the need arises for children in our setting.
Resource Base for Children with Complex Needs/Autism
All children will have or be working to EHC assessment, indicating significant learning needs with autism and meeting the descriptor within Band 3 of the Funding Model. This means the children will have complex learning difficulties which could include communication, physical, sensory difficulties and associated behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, impacting on their ability to access the curriculum, requiring a significant level of additional provision to access the curriculum and make progress such as:
- Implementation of individual programmes
- Availability of small teaching groups
- Access to therapy inputs and staff to deliver programmes
- Some individual support to meet specific needs and support inclusion
- Curriculum broken down into small steps osupport for personal care if necessary
Some children may access an assessment place at the Resource base at the discretion of the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities (LDD) and head teacher whilst undergoing a statutory assessment of their needs. Such placements will be made in accordance with the guidance contained in the SEN Code of Practice.
The parent/carer expresses a preference for a placement within a Resource base attached to a mainstream school, which is agreed by the LDD Advisory Panel or it is the most appropriate placement for the child.
Suitability of the placement will be considered each year at the Annual Review of the Statement of SEN or at an interim review if necessary.
All applications/referrals will be through the LDD Advisory Panel.
Priority will be given to children living in the Slough Borough Council area. Requests from outside the Borough will be considered by the LDD Advisory Panel and head teacher according to suitability and available places.
The school admissions panel meeting will take place during the autumn term each year and at other times as necessary.
Staff from the Resource base will visit every child before placement commences. The Service for Children with LDD will propose admissions to the Resource base but the final decision as to whether or not to admit will rest with the head teacher.
Inclusion into Mainstream
The aim of the Resource will be to facilitate inclusion into mainstream lessons, events and activities wherever possible.
Children within the Resource will therefore be expected to:
access the majority of lessons within the mainstream with additional support;
have individualised timetables with 1:1 or small group withdrawal sessions to be held within the Resource as appropriate and on a needs led basis.
6. Extra activities
At Baylis Court Nursery School we support and encourage all children to access all aspects of the curriculum. This includes whole school trips to walks in the park, trips to the local shops, and coach trips to the zoo.
All children have the opportunity to participate in our forest school activities. We have access to a minibus and take children on small group local visits to children play areas for example.
We employ a football coach and an artist for one day a week each who work with all children.
Children identified with SEN access these opportunities with 1-1 support as necessary.
7. Meeting the social and emotional needs of CYP with SEN
At Baylis Court Nursery School all staff help settle and support children to the nursery environment. We undertake this in partnership with parents/carers and view the first few days and weeks as an extremely important time as it provides the foundation for their time in nursery.
We undertake baseline assessments of each child’s personal, social and emotional development as outlined in the EYFS curriculum within two weeks. Assessments are recorded on the EYFS tracker. Data is analysed and appropriate next step actions to support social and emotional development are established.
We also undertake a specific assessment of children’s well being and involvement. This enables staff to make adjustments to provision and consider interactions to support the settling in process. These assessments also enable staff to consider if further support is necessary for the individual child.
We deliver a ‘Play and Learning to Socialise’ programme to all children in small groups which encourages them to consider their actions and playing and supporting each other in the nursery. Skills learnt are applicable to the child’s life outside nursery and information on the programme is sent home weekly to parents/carers.
In consultation with parents/carers we access the social emotional behaviour development outreach service (SEBDOS). Specialist staff work alongside nursery staff to support children. The service also provides a ‘Holding Hands’ project where a support teacher will work alongside the child and parent/carer in the family home.
We have behaviour and anti-bullying policies in place which are reviewed as part of our safeguarding children procedures.
All staff are trained in Team-Teach. This approach encourages staff to appreciate the influence they can have on the feeling, thinking and behaviour of the children in the setting.
Positive handling plans are put in place for children who may need some degree of restrictive physical intervention due to their needs. Parents/carers are consulted and informed about these plans. A restrictive physical intervention policy is in place and is reviewed annually.
We have staff who are trained Family Links workers which aims to support parents/carers of children who need some form of behaviour support. We have delivered Family Links courses and the trained staff have worked on 1-1 basis with individual parents/carers.
8. Keeping up to date with knowledge and skills
Many of our staff at Baylis Court Nursery School are trained to work in specialist areas of special educational needs. Staff are supported in updating their skills and knowledge and participate in whole school and individual training depending upon their role. All staff participate in performance management undertaken and maintained throughout the school year.
Relevant staff are trained to support medical needs. Training is provided by specialist support services as necessary e.g. diabetic nurse for children with diabetes. Medical care plans are established and communicated with the parents/carers.
Staff are trained in the Team Teach approach to positive handling. Training is updated every three years. Training is also tailored to meet the different needs of the children as they enter the nursery.
We have good relationships with speech and language therapy service and autism support who provide additional strategies for staff.
We focus on transitions into and out of the nursery. Children who access the complex needs/autistic spectrum disorder resource base do so via separate admissions criteria as in section 5 above. Early years services have been engaged with these children prior to their start in nursery. We have transition meetings with relevant professionals, parents/carers and children before they start. Staff from the resource base also visit the family at home. In addition the children will have visits to the setting in the term before they are admitted.
For all children we organise a home visit in order to get to know the child and the family in a familiar setting for them. Information is exchanged and any initial concerns that the parent/carer nay have are addressed.
Staff from the feeder schools are invited to attend the end of year reviews.
Staff will also visit the child in the nursery in the summer term and talk to the SENCo and child’s key person.
For children with more complex needs we arrange with the feeder school for the child to spend several short sessions in their new setting. This can involve staff from the nursery accompanying the child in their new school and working in partnership with parents/carers on the transition visits.
All relevant information and data is passed on to the feeder school.
10. Helpful contacts
Aimee McElwee-Head Teacher/SENDCO
Telephone: 01753 51917
Tavinder Bhachu - SENDCO/Teacher in charge of the ASD Centre
Telephone: 01753 521917
Lynne Tindall – Link SEN Governor
Telephone: 01753 521917
Slough Family Information Service
Telephone: 01753 476589
Slough Children’s Centres
Telephone: 01753 476566
National Autistic Society
Telephone: 0808 8004104