The aim of our Local Offer is to provide families with information about additional services available to support children with a disability and children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Yew Tree Nursery & Pre-School is a private Day Nursery situated on Forest Hill, Yeovil, Somerset. We are registered to provide care for up to 45 children, the nursery is separated into three rooms with the following age groups:
• Sky Room – Under Two’s (3 months – 2 years)
• Meadow Room – Meadow 1 (2 years – 3 years) and Meadow 2 (3 years – 4 years)
• Learning Den – focused adult-led group work
Although the rooms within the nursery are categorised by age we follow a flexible approach ensuring all children can be moved to the next group earlier or later dependent on their individual needs, development and abilities. We have created an environment in which all children feel welcome, safe and inspired. We have bright, spacious and stimulating rooms for the children to spend their time in and provide a wide range of educational, exciting and fun activities for the children to participate in no matter what their developmental stage. We have a large variety of different resources that are appropriate for ages 3 months – 5 years and the variety covers each child’s area for learning as outlined by the EYFS.
The nursery has a wide door way in order to accommodate wheelchair users free flowing access to our outdoor play area. Our height adjustable tables enable children to access table top activities. Each room has a cosy/quiet area for children, and we have a sensory room with a range of resources. We also have a learning den space, where more focused learning can take place away from the distractions of the main room. The nursery displays many visual prompts to support practitioner’s interactions with children, as well as ensuring all staff use visual aids for children when needed. Additional visual aids can be produced for individual children for example now and next boards. We encourage the children to learn useful and basic signs to help communicate and reinforce spoken language.
At Yew Tree Nursery and Pre-School, we are committed to the inclusion of all children. All children have the right to be cared for and educated to achieve the best possible outcomes, to share opportunities and experiences to develop and learn alongside their peers. We are committed to providing childcare wherever possible for children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) according to their individual circumstances. We will make reasonable adjustments in order to provide the necessary standard of care for children who have a SEND. We provide a positive and welcoming environment where children are supported according to their individual need. All children will be given a full settling in period when joining the nursery according to their individual needs.
The nursery has a named Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENco) who has undertaken specific training and attends regular cluster meetings in order to provide early support ensuring that no group or individual child is disadvantaged and can make the best possible progress in their learning and development. The named SENco is supported by the settings manager along with the rest of the staff team. The setting’s SENco also ensures the staff are aware of the importance of accurate Observation, Planning and Assessment to guarantee a clear picture of each child’s learning and development.
The designated SENco for the nursery and nursery manager have a range of qualifications from Level 3 in Early Years to a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Years and Early Years Teacher Status. As well as having various experiences that include working with children with SEND. In addition to this, some staff have undertaken Somerset Total Communication (STC) Training and use this throughout their daily practice to aid all children’s language and communication. STC helps us to remove the communication barriers and supports children with not only learning difficulties and disabilities, but also children who attend the nursery with English as an additional language.
When joining the nursery every child is allocated a keyperson who will work closely with the parents/carers to get to know the child. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum ensuring staff regularly observe and listen to children in order to support their well-being and plan daily learning opportunities and activities that are based upon their interests. The EYFS curriculum can be tracked through online learning Journals -Tapestry. If necessary, we can also use a developmental journal instead of or to compliment the EYFS curriculum. The developmental journal breaks down the EYFS into smaller outcomes for children to achieve.
We recognise that some children with additional needs may require particular help, intervention and support. These needs may be short-lived for a particular time in the child’s life or may require longer-term or lifelong support. At all times we will work with a child’s parents/carers and gain consent before working with any relevant professionals to share information, identify needs and help the child and their family access the support they need. Relevant professionals may include:
• Health visitor
• Area Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENco)
• Occupational therapists
• GetSet services
• Portage – a home visiting educational service
• Multi-Agency Identification and Support in the Early Years (MAISEY)
• Speech and language therapists (SALT)
• Physical impairment and medical support team (PIMS)
Any child who comes into the nursery who has an identified additional need or a disability, can be offered a home visit and an extended settling in period. We aim to find out as much as possible about their needs, and any support the child or family may need to ensure the child makes the best progress in their learning and development. If appropriate, a pre-school entry plan can be agreed between the nursery and the parents/carers before the child comes to the nursery.
Ways in which we can gather information about a child and their needs:
• liaising with the child’s parents/carers
• observing each child’s development and monitoring such observations regularly
• liaising with any other relevant professionals engaged with the child and their family
• seeking any specialist help or support
• researching relevant publications/sources of help
• reading any reports that have been prepared
• attending any assessment or review meetings with the local authority/professionals.
At Yew Tree Nursery & Pre-School, all parents/carers are welcome to speak to any of our staff if you have concerns about your child. Our staff team are friendly, well-mannered and approachable and operate an open-door policy encouraging parents/carers to talk to us regarding their child when they feel they want to. When parents/carers collect their children from the nursery, verbal feedback is given containing information about what the child has done throughout the day as well as how well they have eaten and their toileting. Tapestry provides a platform which parents/carers can access at any point and observations are sent through this.
We can offer space in quiet rooms if parents/carers would like to discuss things confidentially and calmly away from the children. As well as this, we also have parents’ evenings where parents/carers are given the opportunity to look at their child’s learning journal with their child’s key person where they can talk in depth about the child’s development. Parents/carers have open access to their child’s learning journal and can request a meeting with their child’s key person at any point throughout the year. Parents/carers are given many opportunities to discuss their child’s development through informal conversations in person, via e-mail or telephone and are also given opportunities to have formal meetings when required.
Sometimes Yew Tree Nursery & Pre-School take the children on outings, these are usually short walks around the local area to places such as, the nature reserve or the park. All necessary risk assessments are carried out and all risks are minimised ensuring the environment is accessible and safe for all children. We have a range of buggies that can be used for children who may not be able to walk or for children who are not comfortable to walk for long periods of time. Our staff: children ratios are reduced when outside the building ensuring adequate supervision, the number of staff is never less than 1:5 however, this may be increased depending on the level of need of the children on the outing.
For further information please feel free to contact the nursery on:
Nursery Manager: email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01935 471717
SENco: email email@example.com or telephone 01935 471717
For further information on the local authority’s Local Offer of service and provision for children with special educational needs and disability please visit the Somerset County Council website.