SEN INFORMATION REPORT
At Hadfield Nursery School, we are committed to the equal inclusion of all pupils in all areas of nursery school life. We recognise the diverse and individual needs of all our pupils and take into account the additional support required by those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The SEND Code of Practice describes the principles to be observed by all professionals working with children and young people who have SEN or disabilities. These include:
- taking into account the views of children, young people and their families
- enabling children, young people and their parents to participate in decision-making
- collaborating with partners in education, health and social care to provide support
- identifying the needs of children and young people
- making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people
- focusing on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning
- helping children and young people to prepare for adulthood
What are special educational needs (SEN)?
The term ‘special educational needs’ has a legal definition. Children with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age,
The law says that children do not have learning difficulties just because their first language is not English. Of course some of these children may have learning difficulties as well.
Children with SEN may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties, emotional and social difficulties, or difficulties with speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.
Many children will have SEN of some kind at some time during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily. But a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.
SEN could mean that a child has difficulties with:
- all of the activities on offer in school
- understanding information
- expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
- making friends or relating to adults
- behaving appropriately in school
- organising themselves; or
- some kind of sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school.
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (Senco)
The Senco is – Cheryl Mortimer (Headteacher)
The Senco has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and co-ordinating of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN, including those who have EHC plans, working closely with staff, parents and carers, and other agencies.
The Senco provides professional guidance to colleagues with the aim of securing high quality teaching for children with SEN, and works closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The Senco works with professionals providing a support role to families to ensure that pupils with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching.
The Senco plays an important role with the staff and governing body in determining the strategic development of SEN policy and provision in the school in order to raise the achievement of children with SEN.
Support for SEN
We place great importance on identifying special educational needs early so that we can help children as quickly as possible.
We recognise that children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they learn best. Teachers take account of this by looking carefully at how they organise their lessons, the learning environment, activities and materials they give to each child and the way that they teach. This is so that all teachers and support staff consider a number of options and choose the most appropriate ways to help each child learn from a range of activities. This is often described as ‘differentiating the curriculum’.
Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given extra help or different approaches in order to help them succeed, and this may include other kinds of support.
We do not assume, just because a child is making slower progress than expected or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that the child has SEN.
Children with special educational needs should have access to the EYFS curriculum by a step-by-step or ‘graduated approach’.
The graduated approach recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds of levels of SEN. So increasingly, step by step, specialist expertise may be brought in to help the school with the difficulties that a child may have. We will discuss with parents as soon as we identify that a child may need extra or different help because they have special educational needs. The extra or different help could be a different way of teaching certain things, some help from an extra adult, perhaps in a small group, or use of particular equipment like a computer or a desk with a sloping top. Help may be needed through the graduated approach for only a short time or for many years, perhaps even for the whole of their education.
Help for children with SEN will be in the nursery environment, sometimes with the help of other adults and occasionally with outside specialists.
Parents – what to do if you have concerns/worries
If you think your child may have a special educational need that has not been identified, you should talk to the SENCO (Headteacher), or teachers straightaway.
You will be able to talk over your concerns and find out what the school thinks. The SENCO will be able to explain what happens next.
Working together with your child’s teachers will often help to sort out worries and problems. The closer you work with your child’s teachers, the more successful any help for your child can be.
You might like to ask if:
• the school thinks your child has difficulties;
• the school thinks your child has special educational needs;
• your child is able to work at the same level as other children of a similar age;
• your child is already getting some extra help; and
• you can help your child.
We will consult parents about all the decisions that affect their child. If you, as a parent have concerns or worries at any time, you should share them with your child’s teachers or head teacher or any other professional working with your child.
Parents will be made fully aware of the planned support and interventions and, where appropriate, plans will seek parental involvement to reinforce or contribute to progress at home. Parents will also be involved in reviews of support provided to their child and have clear information about the impact of the support and interventions, enabling them to be involved in planning next steps.
If you want to talk to someone who is independent and knows about special educational needs, you can get advice from the local Derbyshire Information and Advice service or from national or local voluntary organisations.
Please see a member of staff for signposting.
We provide two reports for parents on their child’s progress, one during their first term at nursery and the second during their third term.
Where a pupil is receiving SEN support, we will talk to parents regularly to set clear outcomes and review progress towards them, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school. We meet parents at least three times each year.
The views of the pupil will be included in these discussions. This may be through involving the pupil in all or part of the discussion itself, or gathering their views as part of the preparation.
A record of the outcomes, action and support agreed through the discussion is kept and shared with all the appropriate school staff and a copy given to the pupil’s parents.
SEN Support in School
There are four broad areas of need and support which give an overview of the range of needs that are planned for. We regularly review how we provide support across these areas. They are:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs
We work with children in a variety of ways to support their learning. This includes supporting children in language groups following screening assessment (with details of work sent to parents and home-school language support activities) and working with a Speech and Language Therapist who works closely with the school. We also have staff trained in ECAM (Every Child a Mover), to support children who need additional support with physical development and in Positive Play, which supports social and emotional needs.
We are fortunate to have Enhanced Resource Funding which provides an additional member of staff to work on Support Plans with individual children.
We have a number of assessment systems running through our provision which pick up children who may have additional needs, which includes ECAT (Every Child a Talker), and Ferre Laever’s Leuven measures of emotional wellbeing and involvement in learning. We then ensure that interventions are put into place within the personalised curriculum on offer for every child.
We also link closely with our Educational Psychologist and specialist teachers (e.g. Teacher for Visually Impaired children), when necessary, who ensure that the environment and learning strategies are personalised for individual needs.
We are also fortunate to have close working relationships with our local Health Visitors who often support review meetings for children with SEN in addition to supporting many of our families. Also we work with Children’s Centre staff who perform outreach work for our children.
Only a few pupils will require interventions which are additional to and different from the differentiated curriculum provided for all pupils. This forms part of the Graduated Response.
We assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from parents and previous settings where appropriate. We also consider if a pupil may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and, if so, what reasonable adjustments we may need to make for them, although we already have many adaptations which include ramp access, motorised hoist, changing bed, adjustable tables/sand tray and a sensory room. There are no steps inside the school.
Teachers and Early Years Educators, who are key workers, make regular assessments of progress for all pupils.
Identification and assessment of pupils’ SEN will include:
- Staff observations
- Profiling to Early Years Outcomes
- Information and advice from other agencies
- Views of the pupil
- Views of parents
- diagnostic tests
- observational checklists
- dynamic forms of assessment which involve:
- observing and recording responses in different environments
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
- identifying learning rates and learning styles
Assessment information highlights pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
• is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
• fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
• fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
• widens the attainment gap
We also assess progress in areas other than attainment; for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition, then we would put in extra interventions and support to meet those needs.
Where a pupil is making less progress than expected, the first response to such progress is high quality teaching targeted at areas of weakness. Where progress continues to be less than expected the key worker and teacher, working with the SENCO, assesses whether the child has SEN. The pupil’s response to such support helps to identify their particular needs.
How we decide whether to make special educational provision
In deciding whether to make special educational provision, the teachers and SENCO consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside expectations of progress towards the Early Learning Goals. This includes high quality and accurate formative assessment, using effective tools and early assessment materials. For higher levels of need, we draw on more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals.
This information gathering includes an early discussion with parents. These early discussions aim to develop a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty, the parents’ concerns, the agreed outcomes sought for the child and the next steps. A short note of these early discussions are added to the pupil’s education plan.
Consideration of whether special educational provision is required starts with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment and the views and wishes of the pupil and their parents. This then helps determine the support that is needed and whether it can be provided by adapting the school’s core offer or whether something different or additional is required.
The outcomes considered include those needed to make successful transitions to the next phase of education.
Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, we take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support takes the form of a four-part cycle (assess, plan, do, review) through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach. It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEN of children and young people.
Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN. Where there are concerns, there will be an assessment to determine whether there are any causal factors such as undiagnosed learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues. If it is thought housing, family or other domestic circumstances may be contributing to the presenting behaviour a multi-agency approach, supported by the use of approaches such as the Early Help Assessment, may be appropriate. We link very closely with the Children’s Centre on our site in order to maximise potential support.
Staff are alert to other events that can lead to learning difficulties or wider mental health difficulties, such as bereavement. Such events will not always lead to children having SEN but it can have an impact on well-being. We ensure appropriate provision is made in order to prevent problems escalating. Where there are long-lasting difficulties we would consider whether the child might have SEN.
Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN. However, they may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability. For example, some children and young people may be high achieving academically, but may require additional support in communicating and interacting socially. Some learning difficulties and disabilities occur across the range of cognitive ability and, left unaddressed may lead to frustration, which may manifest itself as disaffection, emotional or behavioural difficulties.
Identifying and assessing SEN for children whose first language is not English requires particular care. We look carefully at all aspects of a child or young person’s performance in different areas of learning and development to establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN.
- Arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN and involving them in their child’s education:
We pride ourselves in having a good relationship with parents and work hard to involve parents in every aspect of their child’s learning with us through daily informal contact and more specific formally organised meetings.
- Arrangements for consulting children with SEN and involving them in their education.
The voice of every child is at the core of all our practice. Due to their very young age, often their behaviour is their voice.
- Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes includes the opportunities available to work with parents and children as part of this assessment and review
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff. High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.
Our approach to record keeping is in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. The provision made for pupils with SEN is recorded accurately and kept up to date. As part of any inspection, Ofsted will expect to see evidence of pupil progress, a focus on outcomes and a rigorous approach to the monitoring and evaluation of any SEN support provided.
For children in the care of the Local Authority we hold regular PEP meetings with Social Care staff and staff from the Virtual School to ensure that these children are championed within the system.
Where a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support and interventions that are matched to the pupil’s areas of need, we will consider involving specialists. This could include, for example, speech and language therapists, specialist teachers for the hearing or vision impaired, occupational therapists or physiotherapists. Parents will always be involved in any decision to involve specialists. The involvement of specialists and what was discussed or agreed is recorded and shared with parents and teaching staff supporting the child in the same way as other SEN support.
The SENCO and class teacher, together with the specialists, and involving the pupil’s parents, will consider a range of evidence-based and effective teaching approaches, appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions in order to support the child’s progress. Outcomes and support will be agreed, including a date by which progress will be reviewed.
Requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment
SEN support is adapted or replaced depending on how effective it has been in achieving the agreed outcomes. Where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN support.
- Arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood.
Before children start at our school we offer parents a home visit and invite parents and children to visit us and spend some time in nursery together. Induction is carefully planned so that families feel involved from the very beginning.
To support transition, we share information with the school or setting that the child is moving to. We agree with parents and pupils the information to be shared as part of this planning process. We support the first visit of children to their reception class with one of our staff and plan additional supported visits if this is needed.
- The approach to teaching children with SEN
We recognise that children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they learn best. Teachers take account of this by looking carefully at how they organise their teaching, the learning environment, resources, and wide range of activities that they give to each child and the way that they teach. Our staff consider a number of options and choose the most appropriate ways to help each child learn from a range of strategies and activities. This is often described as ‘differentiating the curriculum’.
Use of support staff
We ensure Early Years Educators and Teaching and Learning Assistants are appropriately prepared and trained to support the curriculum, and that pupils are not separated from the curriculum as a result of being supported by support staff. Our support staff are highly experienced and provide aspects of the curriculum which are integrated to enhance every child’s learning experiences.
We provide for pupils with high incidence SEN requiring non-customised equipment, e.g. non-customised ICT equipment, adjustable height tables and sand tray, funded from the normally available resources. We also have developed a sensory room with bubble tube, fibre optics etc. and a respite area.
- How adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN
Our building is very well adapted for use by every child. The children can seamlessly access the outdoor area during free-flow sessions and we have developed an extensive outdoor learning environment with a forest school off site. There are small secure spaces within the indoor and outdoor areas, specially set up for children to have quiet time if they need it. All our learning zones are set up to ignite curiosity and stimulate children’s natural exploratory drive.
- The expertise and training of staff to support children and young people with SEN, including how specialist expertise will be secured.
.All staff have Paediatric First Aid and Safeguarding Level 1 qualifications and are trained in using Makaton Signing System, the Every Child a Talker speech and language intervention and Every Child a Mover physical intervention programmes. Five support staff are fully trained and experienced in implementing the Positive Play support strategy for children with social/emotional needs.. We use visual timetables as needed.Each year, the needs of children within our school are carefully considered and training organised to up-skill staff. When bespoke training is needed, then we contract this through the LA.
The headteacher is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and our SENTA has a selection of training relating to Makaton, language assessment, positive play and autism.
- .Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN
The Senco is responsible for monitoring the provision for SEN. She reports to the Governing Body on outcomes for this group of pupils, using data evaluation and observational findings. Our data tracking systems take account of the process of learning as well as outcomes (using Scales of Well-being and Involvement). The progress of the group of children who have additional language support is monitored termly, with children moving in and out of this support as needed. Likewise, the support for children with emotional and social needs is regularly evaluated, with the support of the area coordinator for Positive Play.
- How children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN
All children are included in every aspect of provision. Some children will need specific support to access certain areas.
- Support for improving emotional and social development
PSED is a prime area of focus within the school EYFS curriculum. All children are screened using our Leuven Scales of wellbeing and interventions and progress monitored termly. The Positive Play intervention programme is used to support children with additional needs in this area.
- Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at the school
.If parents have a complaint about the school, then the first person to talk to is the Headteacher. If they need to go beyond her remit then to the Chair of Governors. If not satisfied by the outcomes to date then they can refer to the Local Authority at County Hall. Please see the complaints procedure available on the website
Derbyshire County Council’s SEN local offer information is published at: