S.E.N.D. (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities)
How does Bright Little Buttons know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
- Bright Little Buttons is a small, family-run nursery offering a maximum of 20 spaces per session. As such our small, experienced and dedicated team of staff are able to effectively observe and assess every child on a daily basis.
- Regular staff meetings and the allocation of a Key Worker to each child ensures that we are able to share information about any particular child easily and to consistently implement our planning for each child.
- Parents are invited to inform us of any additional needs that their child might have before they start with us by filling in an appropriate section on their registration forms.
- Each child is allocated a Key Worker soon after joining us, whose job it is to have a specific and detailed overview of that particular child’s general well-being, progress and development and to liaise closely with the child’s parents during their time with us.
- Parents are invited and encouraged to share any concerns they might have with their child’s key worker at any time, as well as more specifically during scheduled termly Progress Review meetings.
How will the staff at Bright Little Buttons support my child?
- Planning for each child at Bright Little Buttons is based upon their own specific abilities, needs and interests.
- Where additional needs have been identified our Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) / Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), together with that child’s Parents, Key Worker and other members of staff will draw up a personalised plan to support that child and to help ensure their continuing happiness and well-being at our nursery.
- Where appropriate we, with the Parents’ express permission, will look to draw upon the experience and expertise of professionals and agencies outside of our setting to assist with our planning and its delivery.
- In certain instances, the staff team will undertake a full review of our classroom with a view to decreasing the perceived and actual risks and/or barriers that may prevent a particular child from fully accessing the activities that we offer.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
- At Bright Little Buttons we follow a Montessori curriculum which has been tailored over the past hundred years to provide a wealth of opportunities for exploration, discovery and learning for every child. We are guided in all that we do by each individual child’s unique abilities, their specific interests and their particular style of learning. In a very real sense, every child in our setting has their own personalised Individual Education Plan (IEP) (see below), not just those deemed to require additional support.
- We are confident that our Montessori curriculum matches the requirements for early years education laid out in the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage documents, and all of our records and assessments pertaining to a child’s progress and development at our setting are kept in line with this document and with the standardised Early Learning Journal that will follow that child through to the end of their reception year.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- Inherent within our Montessori activities and curriculum and embedded within the Early Years Foundation Stage are specific means for determining how well a child is doing in specific areas of their growth, learning and development. These ‘checks and balances’ form the basis of all of our individual learning plans and of our Progress Review meetings (see above).
- By encouraging and supporting parents to be actively involved with these reviews and, where appropriate, with the development of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to determine specific learning and development goals, parents become empowered to take an active role in supporting their child’s learning.
- Where it is deemed to be helpful we are very willing to share our method and approach with parents through various means including specific ‘training’ in particular areas of our curriculum, a lending library and more general discussions about our philosophy, methods and learning materials.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
- Our day to day practice at Bright Little Buttons has behind it a wide range of Policies and Procedures that the staff have developed to do our utmost to ensure the safety, happiness and well-being of everybody involved with our setting. We conduct daily safety checks, regularly review our practices and seek feedback from both children and parents as to how we are doing.
- The majority of our staff have Paediatric First Aid Training, which we update on a yearly basis. Whenever the need arises our staff are more than willing to undertake further training to ensure that they can meet the needs of all the children in our care.
- Montessori environments are renowned for the calm and considerate manner in which both adults and children go about their daily business, and we are confident that any behavioural issues that do inevitably arise from time to time can be dealt with in a positive and proactive manner so as to facilitate the best outcomes for all involved.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
- While our staff collectively have a wide range of experience working with and alongside children with additional needs, there are no specialist staff in our setting. As previously mentioned, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunity of access to our setting, and as such we are always prepared to seek specialised training where it is felt to be necessary and/or beneficial.
- As an early years provider we are able to access support from various outside agencies to assist us in providing for the children in our care. In particular, the FIRST team (West Sussex County Council), can provide us with specific advice and support when requested.
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
- Our staff attend training as required by the needs of the children and the setting in general. As previously mentioned, we are always willing to seek out training that will enable us to support a child with additional needs more effectively and sympathetically.
How will my child be included in activities outside Bright Little Buttons, including trips?
- Where an outing is being planned all efforts will be made to ensure that every child in our setting will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity. In order to achieve this, all plans in this regard will be discussed in full with any parents who have concerns about their child’s ability to attend. Additional staff members / parent volunteers may be sought to offer their assistance on a proposed outing where this is deemed to be of benefit.
How accessible is the Bright Little Buttons environment? (indoors and outdoors)
- Bright Little Buttons is a one-classroom, ground-floor setting, with free-flow access to a small outside area. As such, we feel confident that both the classroom and outside area can be fully accessed by anyone.
- The toilet facilities at Bright Little Buttons are relatively small, with adult-sized toilets that the youngest children use steps to reach. There is currently no disabled toilet facility. While we are in the process of negotiating changes to the toileting area, we would recommend that prospective parents discuss any specific requirements in this regard with the management team prior to enrolment.
- The activities on offer both inside and outside are always fully accessible to all the children attending. Where necessary our classroom layout can be adapted to suit the needs of individual children.
How will Bright Little Buttons prepare and support my child to join the setting / transfer to a new setting/school?
- Prior to any child starting at Bright Little Buttons their parents will be sent a Welcome pack containing registration documents and a Parent and Carer Handbook. Amongst other things, the registration documents request information about the child’s health, development and specific needs and/or requirements. The pack will also contain an invitation for the child and parents to attend 2 settling in sessions prior to the agreed start date.
- The settling in sessions are aimed at providing the child with an opportunity to get to know our setting and our staff team before they officially start with us. Similarly, they provide parents/carers with the opportunity to discuss any requirements outlined in the registration documents and to properly meet the team who will be caring for their child.
- When the child is due to move on (either to another nursery or to school) we aim to work closely with the next setting to ensure that any and all information relevant to the child’s happiness, well-being and development is effectively communicated. Parents will also be given a final opportunity to review their child’s Early Learning Journal (see above) to ensure that it provides an accurate reflection of their child’s abilities and interests before we pass it on to the new setting.
How are Bright Little Buttons’ resources allocated and matched to the child’s educational needs?
- As already mentioned, we seek to provide a well-balanced curriculum that is accessible to all children, guided predominantly by their own interests and abilities.
- Additional resources, where necessary or beneficial, can be accessed through local toy libraries or purchased by us in response to professional recommendations.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
- Where a child is deemed to require additional support our SENCO / INCO (see above) will liaise very closely with both the child’s parents and any involved outside agencies (e.g. FIRST team – see above) to ensure that the child receives sufficient support both on a day to day basis and looking forward to anticipate any future needs.
How are parents involved at Bright Little Buttons? How can I be involved?
- Parents can become involved with our nursery at various levels, from simply engaging with and contributing to their child’s Progress Reviews, to joining our Parents’ Committee, to volunteering their time to come in to the nursery to help out regularly or on occasional outings, or to share their particular skills and interests with the children.
- We are always seeking feedback from our customers, and to this end we invite parents to become involved with our Policy and Procedure reviews, to complete occasional questionnaires about our provision, to make use of our suggestions box, or simply to talk to us whenever they like.
Who can I contact for further information?
- For further information about children’s services in general please contact the Family Information Service on 01243 777 807.
- For further information about us and our setting please contact Nick or Rachel by telephone or email. We look forward to hearing from you.