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How does your education setting know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Prior to a child starting at Berry Hill, we assign a keyperson to welcome the family into our setting. We organise a settling in session before their start date. During this parents can share children’s interests, day to day routine and development so far, we feel this is a time parents or carers can share any concerns. This way practitioners can compile a baseline to begin the child’s learning journey. We can then observe, access and plan for the child once they have started. From our observations we can track children’s progress and highlight any areas the child may need further support. Should we find any anomalies we will discuss the next steps with parents/carers and source other professionals if necessary. All Berry Hill staff attend regular training to keep up with current legislation, initiatives and approaches. The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) supports all key persons and parents to provide the best possible outcomes for all children.
How will the education setting staff support my child / young person?
The child’s keyperson completes termly learning journeys that highlight the child’s current interests; they use this to provide activities which will move the child onto their next stage of development. For a child with SEN (Special Educational Needs) we complete an EDP (Educational Development Plan) every half-term. These have much more specific, achievable targets that form the next steps. Our SENCO is a qualified teacher with many years of experience, we currently have three other members of staff working towards an Early Years degree. We, as a setting are currently undergoing the Elklan training of Speech and Language for children 0-3. This is new training recommended by the National Health Chief Speech and Language therapist. We feel a parent/carer is a child’s first educator therefore we have an open door policy. This means we are always available for support, guidance and advice to ensure we are providing the best care for the family. The SENCO will co-ordinate any referrals to outside agencies when deemed necessary. We discuss SEN at our weekly team meetings to ensure consistency throughout our practice.
How will the curriculum at your education setting be matched to my child / young person’s needs?
At Berry Hill we feel every child is unique, they each have their own learning styles that need to be nurtured. The keyperson monitors a child’s development and links observations to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). We recognise that…
“Children develop at their own rates, and in their own ways” (DfE, 2012)
We aim to present the curriculum in fun and innovative ways that meet the child’s interests. We are committed to providing a quality child-centred play based environment, which empowers young children to actively support their own learning. We ensure our environment is free-flow based at all times to ensure child-led learning. We have a ‘Whatever the Weather’ policy as we recognise the benefits of outdoor play for the specific needs of some children. All progress is recorded in children’s interactive, online learning journey, we use Tapestry to ensure parent’s involvement in their child’s learning. Children are encouraged to explore the learning environment and learn through first-hand experiences. We ensure children have the appropriate amount of support from adults when needed.
How will both you and I know how my child / young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child / young person’s learning?
We track children’s development using Tapestry, this is always available for parents/carers to view and add too. This provides a whole view of the child from a home and setting perspective. From this a parent/carer can see children’s current play interests and access the key persons’ next steps. At termly consolations we share an ‘at home you could…’ with suggestions and advice to supports the child’s learning. For children with SEN we put in a variety of interventions at group and 1:1 level where necessary. The keyperson will share the child’s EDP with parents/carers to ensure we are working together. We work with other agencies and follow specific guidance for individual children. We respect and welcome parent’s contributions and use these appropriately in the child’s learning.
What support will there be for my child / young person’s overall wellbeing?
All staff at Berry Hill are CRB checked, we have current First Aid and Safeguarding training as we understand the importance of a safe and secure environment for the child. We have detailed lists regarding children’s allergies and put up a care plan for the individual child where necessary. We are a nut-free zone and encourage healthy lunchboxes. We aim to provide a range of snacks that promotes a balanced, nutritious diet. We document medications and ensure a qualified first aider administers, this is witnessed by another staff member and signed by parent/carer. We have a range of policies that reflect our practice at Berry Hill, these are available for parents to view at all times. We listen to the child and respect their role in constructing their development.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help with your enquiries.