We are open as usual 8am -  6pm

SEND Local Offer

Identifying and implementing enhanced support

How will The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten know if my child needs extra help and what do I need to do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

We have a system to ensure that a key person is allocated to every child and when they initially start, we provide an induction meeting and settling in sessions.  A baseline assessment is completed by parents in the induction meeting which provides useful information and an opportunity for parents to inform us of their child’s strengths and interests. This is an opportunity for the parents to discuss any needs/concerns. If they have raised any concerns the nursery Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) can discuss this with them.

We also have opportunities for parents to come into the setting for key person meeting where any issues or concerns can also be discussed, and our nursery SEND Co-ordinator can sit in on them and give any advice or support.

As a setting our practitioners observe children closely and track their development regularly using the current Early Years Foundation Stage documentation. We also have regard to the SEND code of practice, Every Child Matters, the Children and Families Act (2014) and any other relevant documentation. We are supported by our area local cluster team.

At the Old School House Kindergarten, we develop practitioner's skills to identify a child with SEND as early as possible. It is every practitioner’s responsibility to assess the development of their key children and to share any concerns they have with the SENDCo. We use a programme of referral which enables children to receive the help they need as soon as possible and liaise with external agencies when/ if needed. We work in partnership with parents, sharing information regarding their child’s needs and progress, drawing upon their knowledge of their child and adopt consistent and positive strategies.

All children, whatever their individual needs or requirements are welcome at the Old School House Kindergarten and parents are invited to be involved during the SEND process. They are invited to any reviews and one planning meetings for their child. Their thoughts and strategies are included to ensure consistency of care in their home and nursery environment.

How will The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten support SEND children?

As a nursery we regularly review and evaluate the quality and breadth of the support we offer and access for children with SEND in our setting.

We have nursery SEND co-ordinator's that have been trained through the local authority to support the key person, child and families to ensure that children's individual needs are met.

We also have experienced practitioners who are trained in many areas using providers such as Flick, NASAN, Elklan communication for online training and Essex’s juniper and other face to face trainers to ensure we have up to date knowledge.

As a setting we may be able to  apply for additional funding to allow us to provide any resources enhanced support if needed and desired outcomes are consistent and achievable.

We organise our playrooms and activities to support children with SEND using the agreed strategies we have put into place in our agreed support plan/ outcomes. We can differentiate activities and resources to suit individual needs.  As a setting we aim to ensure that all children with SEND have access to the full breadth of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

How will The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten create learning & development opportunities for individual children with SEND?

As practitioners we assess each child's stage of development using current guidance (the graduated response) and specialist advice from outside agents and provide the necessary resources for the children to progress at their own pace and ability.

The Graduated Response:

Assess “in identifying a child as needing SEND support, the key person (working with the nursery SENDCo and the child’s parents) carry out an analysis of the child’s needs. This initial assessment is reviewed regularly to ensure support is matched to need. Where there is little or no improvement in the child’s progress, more specialist assessment may be called for from specialist teachers or from health, social care or other agencies beyond the nursery.

Plan” when SEND support is to be provided the key person and the SENDCo agree, in consultation with the parent, the outcomes they are seeking, the interventions and support to be put into place, the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour and a clear date for review

Do” the key person remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. With support from the SENDCo they oversee the implementation of the interventions agreed as part of the SEND support. The SENDCo supports the key person in assessing the child’s response to the action taken and advising on the effective implementation of support.

Review” the impact and quality of the support is evaluated by the key person and the SENDCo working with the child’s parents and taking into account the child views. They agree any changes to the outcomes and support for the child in the light of the child’s progress and development. The parents are provided with clear information about the impact of the support provided and are involved in planning the next steps.

We also use the children's interests from both home and nursery as well as parents’ wishes to provide learning opportunities where possible.

For all children with SEND we use one-page profiles, and one plans which parents and outside agencies have input to as well as the key person. We review these when needed and at an agreeable time for the agencies.

As a setting we work in partnership with the local children’s centre and other local education providers to explore how different types of need can be met most effectively.

How does The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten work in partnership with parents?

When a child initially starts at our setting, they will have an assigned key person and will have an induction meeting with them and the manager, so they can tell us about their child and any concerns/ needs as well as starting to build a relationship with them. We have an open-door policy where parents can come and talk to the manager, nursery SEND co-ordinator or key person at any time as well as planned key person meetings. All meetings will take place in a private room within the setting.

As a setting we encourage parents to contribute to their children’s online learning journeys in the form of observations, photos and what they enjoy at home. We ask for family photos for the children to look at during the day.

At the age of 2 years your child will have a progress check, and this will be held as a combined review with the setting and the health visitor team if they are in receipt of FEEE2.

In reception we have leaflets, web addresses and contact details about local support groups for parents to access advice or support to their children's needs (for example local children’s centre, health visitor and behaviour support etc).

Written parental permission is always requested before any information is shared with external professionals if it is felt that a child may require enhanced support.

If a child needs a TAC (team around the child) meeting the key person, nursery SEND co-ordinator, parents and outside agencies will be involved.

How does The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten support the wellbeing of young children with SEND?

At the Old Schoolhouse kindergarten our aim is to provide your child with the best possible start to their early years education in an environment that is safe and secure.

We welcome all children and aim to respond appropriately to each child's background and individual needs. All children in the group irrespective of their individual needs, ethnic background or gender are encouraged wherever possible and appropriate to participate in all activities.

We find out as much information as possible from the child's parent relating to their child's additional needs as well as any outside agents that may be involved during the induction and settling in process.

We encourage parents to share their child’s specific individual needs with their key person or the manager/SEND Co-Ordinator. We can seek support from our local cluster group or outside agencies that are involved to support the child's needs in the setting.

As a nursery we aim to provide an environment where all children are happy, comfortable and healthy. If a child requires prescribed medication parents are asked to complete a medication form and the medication should be clearly labelled. The medication will be stored appropriately and administered by practitioners trained in first aid and in the presence of another practitioner. Any behaviour concerns we have we will discuss with parents, and we will ensure we all work together to provide a clear consistent positive approach. All practitioners make regular risk assessments with modifications being made to the environment or activities where possible as required.

What training & experience does staff at The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten have in supporting children with SEND?

  • We have trained SEND co-ordinator's
  • All staff are encouraged to attend any in-house training relating to SEND.
  • We complete the online training provided by Essex County Council, Preschool learning alliance, NASEN, Flick and regularly update and refresh our knowledge when required.
  • Trained behaviour management co-ordinator.
  • Trained autism co-ordinator.
  • We access training via our local Cluster group dependent on the needs of the children attending the Old School House Kindergarten Nursery, such as speech and language or signing.
  • ENCO's who encourage and promote inclusion within the nursery.
  • All practitioners complete first aid and safeguarding training and update these when required.
  • Staff are trained to administer rescue medication for epilepsy and adrenaline pens for anaphylaxis as well as how to administer feeds and medication via a PEG line.

What specialist services and expertise are available to The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten?

As above we have trained co-ordinators who continue to extend their knowledge as well as some staff being trained in sign language (Makaton).

We can also seek advice and guidance from our area SEND co-ordinator's and we welcome any outside agencies in to support the child.

All the practitioners in our setting support the children with their learning and development.

As mentioned previously we regularly review and monitor staff training to ensure all staff have access to wide range of knowledge and up to date information regarding all aspects of child development. Following staff attending training the information is then fed back to others and cascaded within the nursery as appropriate.

How does The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten include young children with SEND in community based activities and outings?

Parents/children are encouraged to talk about trips, holidays and places they have been over the weekends sometimes taking a travelling bear if they want to and share their fun/ photos with their friends.

We also give opportunities for parents to come in for lunch, room parties and bring their pets for the other children to meet. We aspire to include all our family’s celebrations in the setting and parents are encouraged to share this with their key person. 

Practitioners on a daily basis will inform parents of daily activities and exciting things happening in the setting.


How accessible is The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten?

We are a two-level nursery with the upper level only accessible by stairs. The lower rooms are wheelchair friendly, and we have a disabled toilet off the reception hall. If there were the need to change our rooms around to help a child access the older rooms, we would look into this.

We have a car park to the front of the nursery and an enclosed garden to the rear. We have low level toilets and sinks for the children in most rooms or adjacent to the rooms.

How will The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer into a new setting or school?

When a child first starts the nursery the key person and manager will work with the parent to arrange settling in sessions. A baseline assessment is completed by parents and key person which provides useful information and an opportunity for parents to inform us of their child’s strengths, interests and also any concerns that they may have regarding their child.

All children, whatever their individual needs or requirements are welcome.

To support transitions to other settings information is shared with the receiving setting or school. We agree with parents the information to be shared. We are proactive in supporting all children in their transition to school. We write a passport to school to help support this and also encourage the teacher from the local school to come and visit the child within our nursery. There is a transition policy that explains this further. For transitions between rooms, we provide settling in sessions and plenty of opportunities for every child to spend quality time with their new key person and get to know the new routine. The children start visits to their new rooms at least a month before they move but this can be extended if needed depending on the child's needs and how the child adapts to change. A transition form will be filled in by the previous key person and passed on to the new one providing information relating to the care and development of that child as transitions are a key time for any child, the child's key person will ensure that transitions are well planned and supported.

We have close links with our shared providers and share our next steps/one planning and work on the same outcomes where appropriate.

When a child is ready to transition to school we will fill out and provide the school with an information booklet about the child giving as much information as possible as well as giving them the opportunity to meet and talk with the key person. We can also accompany children with SEND needs on their school visits.

How are The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

We assess the children's stage of development and provide resources when necessary for the children to progress at their own pace and ability. We use the children's interest's where possible to help learning opportunities, as well as their parents’ wishes.

At the old Schoolhouse Kindergarten, we provide a variety of aids to promote and celebrate individual learning and understanding.

Visual strategies are used in all playrooms and include:

  • Visual routines
  • First and then boards
  • Choice boards
  • Golden rules

 All of the SEND co-ordinators from our group of nurseries meet regularly so they can support each other and share resources and advice.

Time is allocated to the SENDCo to enable monitoring, reviewing and assessing of the effectiveness of provision of SEND and time to plan, meet with parents, write and review outcome focused plans.

When it is appropriate to do so, we are able to apply for funding from Essex County Council,

Resources are also accessible through our 4 sister nurseries where we can borrow them if needed.

How do we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND?

As practitioners we assess and create next steps on each child's stage of development using the current guidance (EYFS). If we have any concerns, we will do extra observations and provide the necessary resources for the child to progress their learning and development as well as talking our concerns through with the parent.

One page profiles and one plans are implemented with specific and detailed next steps for children with SEND and are reviewed each term with the parents and any outside agencies that maybe involved.

As a setting we work in partnership with our local cluster group and children’s centre to support and find advice on meeting different needs effectively.

How are parents involved at The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten? How can I be involved?

As a setting we have an open-door policy where parents can come and talk to the manager, nursery SEND co-ordinators or key person at any time as well as planned key person meetings.

Parents know their children best and will be involved in every aspect of their care, learning and development. We welcome parents to stay and settle their children into nursery for as long as they feel their child needs them there as well as encouraging and valuing their contribution to their children’s online learning journeys, one-page profiles and one plans in the form of observations, photos and what they enjoy at home or on outings. Various activities are sent home for parents to complete with their child such as ‘two stars and wish’, ‘handprints’, ‘adventures’ and ‘wow moments’. These are used to help support learning and development within the setting and help practitioners compile next steps for each individual child and to record recent achievements that have been noticed at home.

If a child needs a TAC (team around the child) meeting the key person, nursery SEND co-ordinator, parents and outside agencies will be involved.


Libby Lever - Nursery Manager

The Old Schoolhouse Kindergarten

239 London Road

Colchester    CO3 8PB

Phone - 01206 213800

Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open 51 weeks per year Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm


Updated April 2022


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