Special Educational Needs and  Disabilities (SEND)

The Pre-school actively supports parents and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.  We believe in addressing concerns and providing support as early as possible rather than a ‘wait and see’ approach.  This provides children with the best possible start and is more effective than implementing support later on.

The Pre-school’s Joint Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) are Beth Budden and Emma Burt.

The Pre-school actively supports parents and children with special educational needs and / or disabilities. We believe in addressing concerns and providing support as early as possible rather than a 'wait and see' approach. This provides children with the best possible start and is more effective than implementing support later on. 

The Pre-schools Joint Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) are Beth Budden and EmmaBurt. 

When your child starts at pre-school, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your child’s development and learning so far. This is a good time to include any concerns you may already have about your child’s progress. Other opportunities will arise at the stay and play sessions when you and your child will meet your key person. 

The joint SENCos will be available at the information evening for new parents, or please ring to make an appointment to discuss concerns or any additional need that has already been identified. You can take up the option of a home visit from your key person and a SENCo.  

Each child at the pre-school has a key person who will regularly observe and assess them to ensure they are making age-appropriate progress in their learning and development. Details of their progress, together with any concerns, are shared with parents through discussion and in written progress checks. A progress check covering the Prime Areas (Personal Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language Development and Physical Development) is written within six weeks of starting at pre-school. This is shared with you so your comments can be included, and then shared with the Health Visiting Team. It will state whether or not your child is meeting the developmental milestones for their age. Next steps will be suggested which might include the involvement of outside agencies, but always with your consent. Our SENCos are there to support you and your key person. 

Progress appointments are available termly with your key person and a SENCo. Parents are always welcome to stop for an informal chat and you may access your child’s Learning Journey at any time (just ask your key person). 

The Joint SENCos work in accordance with the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice and keep abreast of developments in SEND. Both have attended specific SENCo training for their role and Emma is working towards gaining the EYSENCO Level 3 Award. Additional training includes behaviour support, Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), social communication difficulties, Signalong, Speech & Language, Sensory Processing and Narrative Therapy.

The Joint SENCos have established good working relationships with other professionals including the Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visiting Team and Portage and have experience of making referrals. 

The pre-school team has experience of supporting children with special educational needs including Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), global developmental delay, epilepsy and speech and/or language delay. The staff have also supported the inclusion of children experiencing behavioural difficulties and families with English as an Additional Language. The pre-school’s SENCos will work closely with your child’s key person to monitor and support your child’s progress. Together they will write an Individual Plan (IP) which you will be able to contribute to as well. The IP will be tailored to your child’s specific needs and stage of development. The IP will set out specific steps to be taken at pre-school to support your child’s learning and development and ways in which you can support your child at home. IPs are usually reviewed termly. 

WELLCOMM: Your child’s key person will carry out WellComm language screenings to check they are meeting developmental milestones and implement any necessary support.   

SIGNALONG: Beth posts weekly signalong videos on Facebook so that parents can support their child's language development with signing. 

additional funding

ADDITIONAL FUNDING: The pre-school may apply for additional funding for your child, in which case this will be discussed with you. It could be used for additional staffing or to purchase specialist equipment or resources to enhance your child’s learning experience. You may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and we can support your application. If successful, your child will be eligible for 2 Year funding (if applicable) and the pre-school can claim Disability Access Fund (DAF) payments to provide further resources and support.

The garden room

GARDEN ROOM: Our Garden Room provides a comfortable, warm and safe space for small group and one-to-one activities. The Garden Room has resources for Narrative Therapy and speech and language activities, together with a sofa, instruments and books. It is perfect for meetings with families and professionals. 

NARRATIVE THERAPY (WILBUR’S GROUP): The Joint SENCos run Narrative Therapy sessions, known as Wilbur’s Group. The children who attend this group may need support with their speech and language development, listening and attention skills, turn taking, and / or to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. During the session, the children follow a picture timeline.  This starts with a ‘hello’ song where we ask each child how they are today, followed by an activity such as rolling a ball to a named child, singing a song and finishing with a ‘wave goodbye’ song. There are four rules which we sign (good listening, good looking, good sitting and good talking). We use other sign too during activities.

team around the family meetings

TEAM AROUND THE FAMILY MEETINGS: The SENCo and key person may suggest holding a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting for you and your child. The meeting will include parents, key person, pre-school SENCo and any professionals that are involved with your child and/or family. It is a whole family approach designed to ensure the best outcomes for your child/ren, by coordinating all the support they receive from the pre-school and any other services. Our experience is that families find these meetings very useful and the team works together to find solutions and provide support.

positive behaviour

POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR: Our Behaviour Policy sets out our approach to encouraging positive behaviour. Children are given positive reminders, provided with positive role models and encouraged to take responsibility for their actions. Concerns about behaviour are logged to see if there is a pattern emerging and shared with parents. Strategies are discussed with parents. 

ACCESS, RESOURCES AND EQUIPMENT: Our pre-school has wheelchair access and an accessible toilet. Visual timetables and social stories are used as and when needed and we have photos of activities and routines so children can indicate their wishes and needs. There is a good range of sensory equipment including fidget toys, peanut ball, lycra, gym balls, twist board, bilibos and a bodysock. We have resources that support children who have English as an additional language and iPads that can be used to access further materials online or to communicate with home via email. 

STARTING SCHOOL:  We provide support to children starting at all the local primary schools. Visits from reception class teachers are arranged so they can meet your child in a familiar environment where they will be more relaxed.  By the time children are due to go to school, they are already familiar with the sights and sounds of school, including uniform, break times and evacuation drills. Meetings between the parents, pre-school and school can be arranged for children with SEND, together with any other professionals involved. Written transition to School documents are provided by the pre-school, which include information relating to any Special Educational Need or Disability. 

SEND policy Nov 2022.docx

'I'm a parent' A page with information for parents: 





SPEECH & LANGUAGE UK have a great website designed to support parents and settings with children’s speech, language and communication skills.  If you are concerned about your child’s speech, language and communication, you can check their progress,  use of their online resources and even talk to a prefessional.


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