Before a child starts their time at The Nook we encourage parents to share information about their child’s development. This may highlight some areas where a child will need additional support. Once a child has started with us they will be allocated a key educator. This is a member of staff who will develop a close, trusting bond with that child and family.
We keep a record of every child, tracking their progress through Key stages of development:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Nook staff use a secure online system called Tapestry to gather any written observations, photographs, video observations and examples of work made by that child and link to the Early Years Foundation Stage. We may, working with parents, identify if a child requires additional support. If a parent has any concerns about their child’s development they can arrange a time to discuss these in private with their key educator. Any concerns highlighted may, if permission is given, lead to respectful sharing of information and a discussion with our Nook Nursery Special Educational Needs Co Ordinator [SENCO], Mrs Debbie Mason who will be able to advise on actions to be taken.
Upon starting at The Nook the manager Marie Martin, will provide all families with a ‘new starter pack’ which once completed will give us a guide to your child’s strengths and needs to aid our planning for their care. Our qualified and experienced team plan a varied curriculum for all children in The Nook by providing a range of activities and opportunities for play and learning.
All children within The Nook are provided with a learning journal which is an ongoing document that follows your child through their early years and onto school. Using the observations contained in their learning journal we identify each child’s next steps and plan accordingly.
The whole team at The Nook observe all children and share information regarding their development regularly to better support each child’s learning. Any child with SEND will have additional support from our SENCO who will assist the child’s key educator and parents. Our SENCO will liaise with all staff, parents, the local authority inclusion coordinator, the FIRST team at West Sussex County Council, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists and any other health services required.
The preschool staff plan activities to meet the needs of all the children in the group, therefore helping them work towards their own next steps. The SENCO and all staff will adapt resources or activities to support individual children so that all opportunities are accessible to everyone. If specific resources are required for example; a larger mouse for use with the computer or adapted seating then the preschool has access to
these via the Early Years Support Team.
For children with SEND, an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or ePEP (electronic Personal Educational Plan) will be put in place with input from support services who will meet regularly with yourselves and the Nook to discuss your child’s progress. Children with SEND have their ePEP reviewed regularly and are closely monitored by all members of staff. We will work
in partnership with you, reviewing the ePEP targets, and planning new ones together.
All children have a named key educator who is responsible for supporting your child’s developmental and social wellbeing.
Parents are welcome to speak to staff daily to share information about their child, should you need a more private meeting this can be arranged at a suitable time.
Assessment systems are in place such as the 2 year old check and ongoing observational assessment which are linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. Every 6-7 weeks parents are invited to book in time with their child’s key educator to view their child’s learning journal, discuss their child’s progress and leave feedback. Tapestry our online system, is linked individually to your email so that you can see what your child has been exploring. It also enables you to contribute thoughts and ideas and activities from home which we can share and celebrate at nursery with your child.
You are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis, and provide ongoing two way communication between us. Telephone calls can be used if parents work and are unable to bring or collect your child from the Nook. We also send out newsletters to keep you up to date with what is happening, current events, trips etc.
Our preschool staff follows strict guidelines regarding the safeguarding of all children and the deputy manager Jackie Sim is the named child protection officer. All staff are trained in paediatric first aid and we can administer medication with permission from the parents or carers.
Risk assessments are carried out and are evaluated regularly and adapted accordingly. If necessary a risk assessment would be put in place to support an individual child. We encourage positive social interaction to develop children’s self-esteem and social skills. We may do this through small group or pair work and we give lots of praise and encouragement to boost a child’s confidence.
The staff are welcoming and friendly, are good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in their day to day care of all the children. We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs and provide personal care, such as changing nappies.
The SENCO will regularly update their training. Nook staff attend any relevant training courses and if needed staff would attend specific training for working with children with SEND.
We include all children regardless of their individual needs and adapt staff ratios accordingly. On our annual trips to a farm and a beach staff ratios are increased and parent helpers are also invited to attend.
Risk Assessments are carried out for all activities inside and outside the preschool and adapted to cover the child’s individual needs. We will endeavour to include parents in the planning of an offsite visit to identify the strengths and needs of your child. Any aides or medication that your child may need will be taken on all visits or trips.
The Preschool building is accessible by ramps to two entrance points and the garden also is accessed by a level flat surface. We have small child sized steps for use with the toilets and wash basins. We also have an accessible toilet suitable for wheelchair users. We can adapt our provision to accommodate the individual needs of a child. There is parking available outside the nursery.
If you are a parent who does not have English as your first language, we can involve another family member who speaks English, or arrange for an external interpreter.
We aim to provide a smooth transition into the nursery and we do this with the close support of the child’s key educator. This will enable the child to feel safe and secure whilst at The Nook and feel confident to join in the activities on offer.
We feel communication is vital between parents or carers. When your child is due to move onto primary school we will meet with the Reception teacher from the primary school your child will be attending and in some cases the Early Years Support Team. We will support your child with any contact they have with their new teachers whether it is a teacher visiting them at The Nook or a visit to their new school.
We would also share information with their new school teachers whether it is learning journals or ePEP.
Based on the child’s individual needs and level of support required the preschool can apply for Inclusion Funding. This could allow for support or specific resources.
Through continual observation and assessments, discussions with parents or carers, staff and the Early Years Support Team a decision will be made as to the type and amount of support the child requires. This will be reviewed regularly.
Reports from health care professionals, and other professionals who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting. Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths and needs, and how to support them.
The Nook uses the rule of “…no decision about me without me” we work closely with the parents or carers and believe communication between us is important in a child’s development. There are many ways that this happens:
Your child’s key person is your first point of contact if you would like to discuss your child’s needs, although all staff will endeavour to answer any questions you may have. We are able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Families Information Service, health visitors, speech and language therapists and local Children’s Centres. We can access support from the Early Years Advisory Teacher with your permission. If your child’s need has been referred to a specific team, we will support you in accessing support from them.