Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

As a setting we aim to ensure all children that attend our Pre-School, After School Club and Holiday Club are able to participate in activities within the setting. Written below are ways in which we can

How do we Identify Children who may need Additional Help?

  • Our keyworker system allows us to monitor and assess a child’s development and learning
  • We aim to identify a child’s needs as early as possible through observations and 2-year-old checks and 3 1/4 integrated reviews to ensure that additional needs are identified and reasonable adjustments are made to allow the child to have equal opportunities in our environment
  • Our approach to meeting special educational needs is a graduated one in line with the Code of Practice 2014
  • We work with parents to keep them updated on their child’s progress and to discuss any concerns the keyworker or the parents might have with their child’s development
  • Parents are also invited in at all stages of the identification process to discuss their child including meetings with professionals, meetings with the SENDCO and any transitioning to another setting

Who are the Key People in the Setting to Discuss your Child’s Needs with?

Parents of children who attend our setting are able to talk to their keyworkers about their child’s development and well-being first. The key person will then liaise with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-Ordinator (hereafter referred to as the SENDCO) to arrange a meeting to discuss further your child’s needs.

At Gravenhurst and Villages Pre-School our SENDCO is Emma Clark.

Both Emma and Alice Redman (Manager)  have attended the three day SENDCO course and have also completed an additional Level 4 qualification all about the role of the SENDCO.

How do we Inform Parents of their Child’s Progress?

At Gravenhurst Pre-School we use an online system to track a child’s development called Baby Days. This shows us and the parents the Early Years Outcome clauses for the different age categories and any relevant observations made by the practitioners at Gravenhurst Pre-School.

From this, the child’s keyworker will be able to identify any areas which the child is not appearing to make the expected progress.


What Happens if my Child is not Making the Expected Progress?

If your child does not appear to be making the expected progress for a child of their age a meeting will be arranged with the SENDCO and child’s keyworker to assess the child’s needs.

Our setting will then record these needs on a SEND Support Plan which sets out long and short term outcomes for the children which will be agreed with the parents and the strategies we will put in place. The child will then be monitor and further progress meetings will be held at least every 6 weeks involving parents, SENDCO and the child’s keyworker to discuss progress.

If the parents give permission further advice from outside agencies and professionals can be sought, in addition to this a referral to the CDC or to the Early Years Allocation meeting to request an initial assessment can be made. In the minority of cases where needs are more complex an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) needs assessment may also be required.

At all parts of the process we work in partnership with parents to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children. We understand that parents know their child best and welcome their views. In some cases, parents may be ‘sign posted’ to other sources of support such as the Local Children’s Centre.

If a child has a medical need, these will be outlined on a care plan and reasonable adjustment will also be made to ensure they have equal opportunities. Any medication is administered in line with our Medication Policy.

What Types of Support can my Child Receive?

Each child who has been to Gravenhurst Pre-School has had a wide variety of needs. In the past we have…

  • Sourced funding from the Early Years Allocation Team to buy resources or allocated a member of staff for a given time (this will often come as a result of the Initial Assessment)
  • Made adjustments to our snack so that a child with a severe allergy to milk could still have snack with the other children
  • Carried out small group work to support speech and language development as outlined by the speech and language therapist (lift of to Langauge) 
  • Adapted routines and implemented visual timetables
  • Use Makaton sign language to assistant child’s basic understanding
  • Gain advice and support from the Early Years Support Team on how to support a child with identified needs and to monitor their progress.

Gravenhurst Pre-School is dedicated to making reasonable adjustments in line with the Disability Discrimination Act 2010 for all children with SEND.

All staff at Gravenhurst Pre-School have a Paediatric First Aid Certificate and have had auto-injector training too. Any other training necessary will be undertaken.

Our setting layout allows children with physical disability to access the garden and all the learning space indoors which is on one level in an open plan and spacious room. We have disabled toilet facilities equipped with a hand rail.

What other Agencies could Provide Support for your Child?

In order to draw on other people’s expertise, the setting will liaise with other agencies. These could include any of the following:

  • Local Authority Early Years SEND Advisory Teacher (EYSENDAT) within the Early Years Support Team (EYST)
  • Child Development Centre (CDC)
  • EHA Coordinator at the Local Children’s Centre
  • Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Services (CHUMS)
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • The Virtual School for Looked After Children (LAC)
  • The Hearing Impaired Team (HI)
  • The Visually Impaired Team (VI)

What Specialist Training do Staff have in SEND?

We currently have two staff who are SENDCO in our Setting, Emma has a Level 3 NVQ and has an additional Level 4 in the role of the SENDCO. She also has personal experience in working with children with special educational needs, has good links with the units at both Ramsey Lower, Arnold Middle School and Samuel Whitbread Academy.

Alice Redman holds a Level 6 BA Qualification in Early Childhood Studies and Early Years Birth to 5 (with recommendation for Early Years Teacher Status) and as of August 2020. She has also been on an Autism workshop and has an additional Level 4 in the role of a SENDCO. Alice has also attended the behaviour management course provided by Central Bedfordshire Council.

Rachael Bowie has completed some Communication Courses with the Local Authority and has been appointment Communication Co-ordinator of the setting. As a setting we have also taken part in the 'trail period' of the Speech and Language Toolkit (developed by Central Beds Speech and Language Therapists) which was lauched in 2019. Rachael now uses this within the setting to indentify communication needs. 

All other staff have been working with children for at least 8 years as parents, childminders, running after school clubs or as a nanny and have the experience to be able to cater for the complexity of different children’s needs.


For more information about Central Bedfordshire Council and their support for children with SEND please take a look at their Local Offer: