Supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Moss Side Nursery is a privately-owned nursery built in 1989. The purpose-designed building in the small rural village of Stalmine, Over Wyre, has been run and developed for the past 28 years by the same provider, a qualified teacher with Early Years Professional Status. The accommodation comprises a large nursery room, which can be divided to offer two separate areas for the children, plus a spacious sensory room for the babies and a smaller room for pre- school children to come together for focus time. Kitchen facilities and refurbished bathroom facilities, including accessible toilet are also provided. The extensive nursery garden offers a wide range of learning experiences throughout the year. A tranquil willow-dome has been created for special storytelling and relaxation, a raised patio area for planting and a winding path for wheeled vehicles. Many other opportunities for open-ended play are provided. Children are able to access the garden from the transition area in the sensory room. The garden is under constant development, using ideas from children and parents, ideas gathered from staff training days and child observations.
The nursery is registered to provide full day care facilities for a maximum of 30 children up to 11years. The nursery is open for 51 weeks throughout the year, excluding bank holidays, from 08.00 to 18.00 each week day. Full and sessional day care are offered as well as a before and after school and optional holiday care facility for school age children. Children live in the surrounding rural area. Their ethnic origin is predominantly white-British. All children’s learning styles are closely monitored by their key person so that any additional needs are identified and catered for. We currently have children attending Nursery who are receiving the Free Entitlement for both 2year olds and 3year olds. All families are welcome.
The nursery employs 6 permanent staff, all of whom hold an appropriate early year’s qualification. The owner and manager have attained early year’s professional status. All staff attend regular training in all aspects of childcare and education. Staff have undergone accredited yoga training for early years practitioners with Yoga 4.
Accessibility and Inclusion
As stated in our Special Educational Needs Policy, we believe, ‘All children have the right to be educated and develop their full potential alongside each other. It is a positive experience to be able to share the same opportunities and overcome any difficulties together. Moss Side Nursery is a welcoming environment to everyone. There is a car park on the Nursery premises and there is access in to the one level Nursery with moveable ramps for wheelchair users. The Nursery has disabled access toilets and the indoor environment is accessible with moveable furniture to change the areas to ensure children and parents can explore all experiences on offer. Chairs and tables are in a selection of sizes. Our Operational Plan containing policies, procedures and other working documents are made available to parents to read. We will provide our information in large print and braille if required. Many of our resources are accessible to the children and are clearly labelled with pictures informing them of their contents. Any children who require a special diet or have any allergies will be offered a meal which looks as similar to those of their peers as possible. Some staff have done a beginners course on sign language and we use this with the children and look through a variety or sign language picture books which children can access independently. Our sensory room is easily accessible and offers a calm experience which features special lighting, scents and sounds, which can be enjoyed by all children when not in use by the babies. As we spend a lot of time in the garden we had a path put in which is ideal for wheelchair users to access all areas of the outdoor curriculum. Raised flower beds and vegetable patches allow a real hands on approach for such children. Children enjoy going in the Nursery van to go off on exciting trips. Children with any additional needs would not miss out on these adventures, whether it means getting in support/extra staff or inviting parents along we involve them in all extra curricula events when possible.
Identification and Early Intervention
When children start with us at Nursery we make sure they are given a thorough induction which allows for the child’s key person and child’s parents to discuss the child. This ensures Nursery have a complete picture of the whole child and information will feed in to our Getting to Know You sheets. We fully understand the importance of a transition that suits each child and we will be as flexible as possible on this. Parents are asked to complete several documents that give us an insight how best to meet their child’s needs no matter how complex they may be. Parents give consent for other agencies and other professionals, (such as Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists and Educational Phycologists), to be involved so staff can liaise with them for advice and discussions regarding the child’s needs, next steps and achievements. Laura Larsen, Nursery Manager is the setting’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and has a wealth of experience working with families and children sensitively to overcome any barriers some children may have to achieving their full potential here at Nursery. She has worked at the Nursery since 1999 and holds a wealth of relevant qualifications including level 6 in Child Care, Learning and Development, Level 5 Management and has Early Years Professional Status. To contact her please call Nursery on 01253 700181. The whole team work together to identify any additional needs the children in their care may have and staff meetings allow the opportunity for the team to work together with Laura to decide the best way forward with the child’s best interests always our main priority. Staff are mindful of our Special Educational Needs, and Equal Opportunity Policies and they are continually updating their professional development so they have the skills they need to fulfil their role as a key person. We have very effective working relations with our local inclusion teacher (Inclusion Development Support Services). Identification of any additional educational needs are sensitively discussed with parents. The graduated response to these needs is followed and parents are involved and supported throughout so they fully understand next steps and abbreviations are always explained fully. All children access the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and staff carefully plan their next steps and record any achievements and efforts in their own special journal. We complete termly development checks for all our children and plan next steps and learning opportunities which are interesting to them and relevant. We have strong home links with families and good communications are embedded in the work we do. We meet with families informally on a daily basis and in more formal meetings which might be needed to review children’s development and decide whether further support would benefit the child. If it was agreed additional support was needed then a Targeted Learning Plan would be put in place clearly stating a few achievable targets for the child to work towards. At this point the child would be placed on the setting’s Code of Practice which states they are receiving additional support. It may be decided best to refer the child to the Early Years Panel to request further support such as Educational Phycologist assessment or for 1:1 support within the setting. A Common Assessment Framework may be put in place if a child receives additional support to ensure all agencies involved with the child are working together effectively for the good of the child. This whole process must have the parent’s consent and they are involved fully in all decisions made about their child. It is the role of the SENCO to listen and understand the views of the parents, be sensitive and reassuring to the child and family.
Teaching and Learning Part 1 – Practitioners and Practice
The staff we have at Nursery are by far the best resource we have when it comes to children. Each member of staff is trained, or is in training in Early Years to at least level 3, one member of the team is qualified to a level 4 and the Manager level 6. The Manager has been working with children for 20 years and is always striving for ‘the best’ in all aspects of Nursery life. Staff training is ongoing and the dedicated team work together well sharing their knowledge with each other to maximise their new skills in the nursery for the benefit of all children. Each member of the team has their own areas of responsibility and their skills and experience helps them in their roles. Some of these roles are, Parental Involvement Coordinator (PICO) and Equality Named Coordinator (ENCO). On Induction parents are shown around the Nursery and they are told all about the Early Years Foundation Stage and how we implement this with all the children. The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises of seven areas of learning, Personal Social and Emotional, Physical, Communication and Language, Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Our approach is relevant to each child and each child will be working towards their own targets identified by their Key Person. Each member of staff has their own area within the Nursery in which it is up to them to meet the needs of their Key children but accessible to all and these areas are rotated monthly to ensure all children spend quality time with their Key Person in all areas and aspects of the Nursery. Staff are experienced in offering challenging opportunities which are differentiated to make learning suit all children. We group children in a way which best suits the child, for example some children who have targets set on a Targeted Learning Plan respond well to small groups in a quiet space so a couple of children will work with one member of staff in our calm sensory room where distractions are limited. We like to involve the children as much as possible in decision making and their views and ideas are sought through questionnaires, circle time and through close observations of the children we pick up on their interest’s, ideas and learning styles. Areas within the Nursery are changed and relevant to the children. For example: a trip to Disney for one little girl resulted in her asking us to change the role play area in to a palace; a group of boys favoured the small world area, in particular dinosaur play so to entice them to do some mark making the dinosaurs came along to the workshop and together the boys and the dinosaurs made some lovely marks using pens, paint and scissors. We also ask for feedback from parents to improve the service which we provide. We obtain such information through meetings, questionnaires, home link sheets and questionnaires.
Teaching and Learning Part 2 – Provision & Resources
Here at Nursery whatever the children need the children get. The Nursery owner provides resources, equipment, furniture and foods that are of a high quality. Nursery staff monitor the children’s interests, next steps and efforts and provide appropriate equipment for the children to use. Our Nursery has a purpose built sensory room which provides a calm environment in which children can spend their time. In here they enjoy the special effect lighting and watch the Starlit ceiling as they rest a while. The sensory room has a variety of tactile and natural resources which the babies can explore. The environment can be changed easily using wooden interlinking furniture to maintain the children’s interest and to create a sense of wonder. Staff ratios are always maintained and we sometimes have more staff than are needed which allows for small and 1:1 activities for children needing a little more direction than they would get in a larger group. When we have meetings with parents to discuss children’s development and additional needs that may require targets or renew strategies, we always try to make the Key person and SENCO available to attend. Any funding which we receive for children with additional needs is directly used to make the child’s time here at Nursery beneficial and accessible. We have good relations with the local children’s Centres and any events or training which they offer we always share with the parents and often signpost parents to workshops or cluster meetings for support and advice.
Staff monitor their key children as they make steps through the Early Years Foundation Stage. Parents are informed about their child’s development through meetings, monthly activity sheets, parent’s evenings and home links. Informal discussions as the child arrives and is collected from Nursery keep the parents informed of what their child has been doing and what learning has been taking place. Regular Newsletters keep parents up to date with changes in policy, and other relevant matters which they need to be aware of. When staff feel their key children are not achieving they liaise with the setting’s SENCO and the observations in place will be discussed. If it is agreed that the child is struggling to meet set targets then parents will be invited in to obtain consent before taking the matter any further. Parents are encouraged to liaise with staff regarding their children’s family life and contribute to their child’s learning here at Nursery. If a Request For Guidance is recommended our Inclusion Teacher will come and observe the child and make any suggestions and possibly suggest that the child be put on the Code of Practise. Consent and involvement will be sought from the parents for this and they will be involved when deciding on targets for the child to work towards. We pride ourselves as having highly effective systems in place when we work in partnership with parents. Their views are always welcome and we respect them as the main carer for their child.
We understand the importance of good transitions where information can be shared effectively between everyone involved in caring for the child. When settling in to Nursery life we offer the children settling in sessions which the parents are invited to attend where they can meet their child’s key person and discuss their child’s interests, likes, dislikes, etc. We also ask the parents to fill in an Initial assessment form which will be used as a baseline for staff to plan the child’s next steps. As the children make steps through the curriculum staff record these as achievements, but only when the child is confident. Any evidence of children’s learning is forwarded on to any other settings or schools which a child is starting. All staff complete a transition document which records the child’s age band of development from the Early Years Foundation Stage and writes a report from observations they have seen.
When supporting a child who has additional needs, the Key person may aid the transition and attend the new setting with the child until they become more familiar with their new environment and we hold a transition meeting inviting school teachers, parents, key person, SENCO and other professionals involved with the child. We understand change can be difficult for children therefore we will always try to do what we can to make it a smooth transition.
Nursery Manager, SENCO attends regular updates, courses and liaises with our Inclusion Teacher to keep abreast of any changes to legislation that may impact the work we do in ensuring we are proactive in including all children. All such knowledge is shared with the rest of the team during team meetings. We aim to make Nursery a happy place for all children that they can access and enjoy safely and happily with no barriers to learning.
Manager – Level 6 In Child Care Learning and Development
Level 5 Management
CAF level 2
Early Years Professional Status ( EYPS)
Paediatric First Aid
All Staff – Level 3 or Level 4 in Early Years
Paediatric First Aid
Safeguarding Level 1
2 members of staff are trained to be Safeguarding Nominated Officers.
Staff training is ongoing and staff hold a wide variety of extra training which is always cascaded to the rest of the team. Such courses are, Forest School, Communicating Friendly Spaces, Wellbeing and Involvement, Yoga 4 and many more.
For More Information or to arrange a visit please ring Laura on 01253 700181
Or Click HERE to Email Us