The Portsmouth - Local Offer (SEND)
The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see clearly what services are available for children with SEND in their area and how to access them.
The SEN Code of Practice identifies broad areas of needs as being:
Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, emotional and mental health
Sensory and/or physical needs
Please use this external link to access Portsmouth City Council's Local Offer webpages.
The Stacey Pre-School - Local Offer (SEND)
How does The Stacey Pre-School Know if Children Need Extra Help and
What You Should Do if You Think Your Child May Have a Special Educational Need or a Disability
All of our staff hold appropriate childcare qualifications that ensures they have a good sound knowledge of child development and are able to identify any developmental delays. Your child will be allocated a Key Person, who will be your point of contact at Pre-School, and our Pre-School Manager and our SENCo will regularly review each child’s development with the child’s Key Person.
We use an online journal (Tapestry) to collate observational evidence about your child’s time with us at nursery. You are able to view this journal at any time and we encourage parents to contribute to it. We observe your child’s activities and, through these observations, staff are able to build up a picture of your child’s interests and needs and their level of development.
Should you have any concerns regarding your child’s development you can discuss these with your child’s Key Person and/or the setting’s SENCO or with the Pre-School Manager. We operate an open door policy for you to speak with staff on an ad-hoc basis as well as inviting parents to make an appointment so that we can discuss your child in confidence.
How We Will Support Your Child To Achieve the Best Possible Outcomes
The Stacey Pre-School has created a positive and inclusive environment and we pay attention to the space available and to the layout of the room where every child is encouraged to participate in everything the Pre-School has available to offer.
We approach all children holistically, including children with SEND and we use a “strength based” approach to scaffold learning at Pre-School. Whilst we aim to minimise personalised interventions as we are aware these can become natural barriers to inclusion, we may, however, adapt activities to lessen a child’s anxiety and to increase their level of engagement. We may also use intervention strategies to encourage comprehension, or play behaviours, e.g. Identiplay, Sensory Stories, Descriptive Commentary
Your child’s Key Person, supported by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will work closely with you to ensure that your child’s needs are being fully met. Your child will have their own SEN Support Plan (SSP) or an Individual Education Plan (IEP) depending on their specific needs. Regular progress meetings and transition meetings will be held to review your child’s progress and next steps are discussed with parents, Key Person and our SENCO. We are able to work alongside other professionals and jointly agree targets for the IEP in consultation with parents.
We adopt a strategy referred to as Asses/Plan/Do/Review to all activities so that we can identify how each child responds and interacts with activities in Pre-School. The Review process will alert the team to whether adaptations might improve outcomes for the child.
We use the SMARTA model to describe the outcomes that we will work towards. Learning outcomes should be:
How We Adapt Our Curriculum To Suit Your Child’s Needs
We treat every child as an individual. Using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum we plan for each child’s individual needs. Any targets we set for a child need to be enjoyable and achievable. We will identify and provide additional resources and support for individual children where needed. For example this may be by providing targeted resources or by sourcing funding support to enhance staffing ratios up to providing 1:1 support if this is required. If your child has attended or is in attendance at another setting we will work with the other setting to ensure consistency in support for your child.
How We Will Assess Your Child’s Progress and How We Will Help You to Support Your Child’s Learning
We have assessment processes in place such as the Two Year Old Progress check and termly Summative Assessments. We adopt a rolling “Next Steps” strategy that all staff are involved in which identifies each child’s next steps in development and which are communicated dynamically to parents via Tapestry: in this way staff and parents can work together to support the child in reaching their next steps. We All children’s next steps are linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development.
We may sometimes ask you to help us at home with some of the activities that we do at Pre-School, to support your child’s learning. Should outside professionals also provide relevant resources for us to work with in the setting, we will provide a second copy for you and your child to use at home. Verbal contact takes place on a daily basis with your child’s Key Person. You will also receive regular reports on your child’s progress. Additional meetings are always available by request.
We use Makaton during Circle Time and we have a PECS program available to support any child who may benefit from this intervention. Additionally, we adopt other strategies that may benefit the child, for example developing Social Stories or PECS.
How We Will Support Your Child's Overall Well-Being
All staff are welcoming and friendly and are trained Early Years Practitioners. We strive to provide warm, caring and nurturing child care, in a stimulating learning environment. All our staff are paediatric first aid trained. Should a child require any specialist medication, the relevant staff would attend training, to ensure appropriate support. We run regular Boogie Mites sessions to enhance our curriculum and to provide therapeutic support.
Our Staff's Training and Specialist Services and Expertise Available at The Stacey Pre-School
Our Pre-School Manager has recently completed training in the Neurodiversity Profiling Tool and has lots of experience of working with children with SEND. Our SENCO is mid-way through Portsmouth City Council’s accredited Level 3 SENCo training with a specialism in Early Years. Our regular 1:1 practitioner is also trained at this level. One of our team is Makaton trained. We have good links with the Early Years Team at Portsmouth City Council including the Inclusion Officer. These professionals can visit the Pre-School and are able to advise us in supporting children and their families with SEND. We have access to a full range of Local Authority specialist services.
Accessibility: How We Will Include Your Child In All Activities Including Trips Into The Community
A risk assessment will be carried out prior to any trip. All visits and trips will be planned to ensure we are able to include all children. We will liaise with parents during the planning of the visit to ensure we have identified and met your child’s need prior to the trip/visit taking place. Any medication your child may require will be taken with us on the trip.
We have generous access to The Stacey Centre’s organic orchards and gardens and we have exclusive use of a sensory garden and a play patio that leads directly from the indoor setting; the play patio in turn leads directly to our exclusive Forest School area complete with mini allotment.
All indoor and outdoor areas are fully accessible. We have a dedicated children’s bathroom accessed directly from the setting and, if required we have a fully accessible WC on the premises which can accommodate a changing table and hoist. All outdoor areas are on one level. The Forest School area is accessed from the patio by means of a low gradient ramp. The mini allotment has a digging zone and mud hut where mud is accessible from a raised tub. We have separate raised beds for wheelchair users to be able to access comfortably.
All furniture and resources are available at child level height and are easily accessible.
If English is not our family’s first language, you can nominate a representative who speaks English to speak on your behalf. We are able to translate all reports, emails, newsletters, Tapestry observations into your chosen language. One member of our team speaks fluent German and Polish. One of The Stacey Centre’s volunteers is Rumanian who will be happy to act as a translator if required.
How We Will Prepare and Support Your Child to Join The Pre-School or to Transfer to a New Setting/School
We have a Settling In Policy, available to view on our website and on Tapestry, as well as being included in our “New Parent Pack.” We realise that all children are individuals and so each settling in period will be unique to each child, with some children requiring more support from staff and their parents than others. We invite all new starters to a free Family Stay & Play session so that they become familiar with the environment and our staff. These sessions provide us with the opportunity to get to know you and your family. You can share with us details of your child’s needs and if any other agencies or professionals are currently involved. This ensures a consistent approach to your child’s care and education. We ask all parents to complete the “All About Me” activity workbook with their child, to provide staff with as much information as possible about your child and their likes and dislikes, etc.
When a child transfer’s to another setting or goes to school we will send the new setting a copy of the child’s latest summative assessment and their Tapestry Journal– ideally we will meet with them to discuss the child’s needs and current strategies and interventions that may be in place.
How Our Resources Are Allocated and Matched to Children’s Special Education Needs
We will where possible match resources with a child’s individual needs. We encourage all children to join in and have a sense of achievement. Where specialist equipment is required or a need for individual resources we can apply for additional funding to support purchasing these. The professionals that work alongside the nursery can often supply additional specialist resources for us and our families to use.
How We Decide What Type and How Much Support a Child Will Receive
We will arrange a meeting with you where we will discuss the needs of your child with you in confidence. In this way we begin to identify consolidate any areas of concern and will suggest support strategies or intervention techniques that the child may benefit from. If parents are in agreement, the SENCO will complete relevant forms to request a referral to the relevant service. Staff meetings within the setting will ensure the staff are all aware of your child’s strength’s and needs and the plans in place to support them.
How Our Parents Are Involved at The Stacey Pre-School
We operate an open door policy. All members of our staff are always available for meetings or informal chats. We encourage our parents to post entries to Tapestry so that both parents and staff can be involved in the child’s online learning journal and celebrate in their achievements together. We encourage parents to join us for regular free Family Stay & Play sessions or to join their child at their session. We encourage parents to join our private WhatsApp group that is designed to keep parents in touch with each other during school holidays to arrange playdates at the park for example.
Our full SEND Policy is available to read here