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Dandelions Community Pre-School

Pre-School Playgroup

Coronavirus status: OPEN
Coronavirus status: OPEN

Dandelions is  an inclusive Community Pre-school in the heart of Hatch Warren.

Our aim is provide the best Early Years start in the child's important first steps in their learning journey, in a language rich environment.

We have extensive knowledge and experience in supporting children and their families and providing strong transitions to school.

Who to contact

01256 818857

Where to go

St. Marks Primary School
Danebury Road, Hatch Warren
RG22 4US

We are situated in the grounds of St Marks School in Hatch Warren and serve the local community of Hatch Warren, Beggarwood, Longacres, Kempshott  and Brighton Hill.

Accessible changing, Secure environment, Wheelchair access, Accessible toilets, Disabled parking

Childcare Information


Contact provider for vacancy details?

Funded Places

3 & 4 year old funding
2 year old funding
Registered to provide 30 hours entitlement
When is childcare available
Outdoor Playspace
Both indoor and outdoor activities
Messy Play Area
Accessible Parking

School Pickups

Offers pickups

Ofsted Information

Ofsted Inspection Report
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 
Inspection history
Latest Inspection
Inspection DateInspection typeInspection Outcome
09/12/2019Inspection (Early Years Register)Good

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair Access

Has Provision

Special Needs

Has Provision
Experience with
Challenging Behaviour
Social development impairment
Language impairment
Caters for children with special needs.

Dietary Needs

Has Provision

Cultural Provisions

Has Provision



Age Ranges
0 to 5 years

Time / Date Details

Session Information
4 Hours or More Per Day
5 Days or More Per Week
School Term Only
Weekday All Day

Local Offer

Local Offer
Contact Name
Jane Stone
Contact Telephone
01256 818857
Contact Email
How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

By interactions and observations with the child through play, we begin to build a picture of where the child is emotionally and developmentally. We are guided by the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) this gives us age/ stage development guidelines. We then work with our SENco, area Inco and parents/carers to provide individual support for your child.

We provide home visits where you will be able to discuss any concerns with your child's key person, we will then work closely alongside you and with permission will refer your child to the relevant service, such as Portage or a Speech and Language Therapist.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

We will support your child by having a strong staff team working with your child; we have experienced and qualified staff, all of whom have the same ethos - every child is individual, will learn in their own way and at their own stage. We have a low turnover of staff creating continuity of people looking after your child and building a rapport with you and with your child to achieve a solid partnership. We will assign your child a key person to settle your child at pre-school, support them with their learning through play journey and provide you with feedback and information. Additionally, we have a 2nd key person for each child; therefore if the main key person is absent there is always someone available for the child and parent. We have a SENCO that oversees any additional needs children may have and this will range from children who are showing development above their expected age and below as well as children with EAL (English as an additional language), disabilities and children with emotional needs. The SENCO has training to reflect the extra strategies that could be implemented to support your child and access to outside agencies such as speech and language and portage. We have policies and procedures supporting an Inclusive setting and these are put together by our strong committee and are always available for parents to access and read. The policies and procedures are regularly monitored by the committee and are reviewed by the staff regularly.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

We recognise and value each child's uniqueness and individual learning and development needs.

We use the EYFS and Tapestry as tools to enable us to develop next steps to support your child. 

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

We will endeavour to talk with you at each session, give an update of your child settling in and to keep you informed of their day. We will greet you at the beginning of each session and ask how your child is and any useful links from home to pre-school e.g. family outing that could be talked about at group times. Our home link books are an excellent way for communicating from home to pre-school and verse versa. As a pre-school we want to have a strong family partnership and will offer regular parent meetings, stay and play sessions, sponsored events, sports days, fun days and parent’s evenings. Alongside this we ask families to come in and share their interests; cooking or reading for example. We will write a summary report on your child at the end of each term and invite you in to share this with us and comment on your childs learning at home and together we write their next steps. We notify you of the children’s interest for the week and the activities representing these to ensure you are involved and can contribute if you so wish. We have a parent’s notice board with forthcoming events, activities and sessions and ask for feedback and ideas to support your child's learning and keep you as involved as possible. All staff attend regular training days, covering child development, EYFS, group tracking and special needs and ensure all staff working with your child are recording at the same level.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

Our policies and procedures are put together, reviewed and updated by our committee, which are the foundations of the running of the pre-school to protect each individual child and staff member. We have registration forms which need to be completed when your child starts at pre-school, and these include medical and dietary requirements. By having this information we can ensure we are meeting your child's needs, and if a particular medical condition is highlighted a care plan is made, together with parents. Staff are Epipen trained and individual care plans are displayed for children with allergies, if required. We ask the children to think about the behaviour they expect from each other and together we make rules for pre-school, including instilling and supporting British values. We also ask them to assist in thinking up activities for the week, giving them a sense of belonging and boosting self esteem. We have a key person for each child who will build a partnership with the family, to gain knowledge of the family background and make any transitions as smooth as possible. We make family albums with the children which are readily available in the book area, allowing them to talk about their families and who is important to them. 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Staff at the pre-school have had experience of having children in our care with several additional needs and these have included; a child with downs syndrome, child with Autistic spectrum disorder, looked after children, children with limited language and EAL. By having the experience of caring for these children we have built up knowledge of each individual need and the training necessary to fully support them in our setting. We are aiming for all staff to be trained  in Makaton to enhance the communication of children that need this additional help, currently two thirds of staff are trained in Makaton. Our SENco has completed her Foundation Degree and is currently in her faster year of her BA Hons Degree. When speech therapy groups are attended by children in our settings their key person attends the first session for instruction and information. We have regular contact with the Area Inclusion Officer linked to the pre-school for further advice and support. The Outreach Team are also available and we use the Portage team for children that have additional needs and they offer us support and strategies to use in the setting and for the child's family in their home.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

All the staff are qualified to a minimum of Level 3 childcare. All staff are trained in first aid and this is important for any children that have particular allergies and dietary requirements. We also have all staff trained in safeguarding and child protection and this is of utmost importance for the safety and well being of all the children in our care. Our lead practitioner in safeguarding attends termly support groups where updated information is obtained and cascaded to all staff members. We also have several staff that are trained in Makaton which is an excellent tool for our children with communication difficulties and allows them to access the pre-school environment with more confidence and independence. Our Pre-school at Manager holds a BA Hons Degree and our Deputy has a Foundation Degree in childhood studies which includes in depth modules on special needs and safeguarding. This means the leadership of the pre-school is strong and able to oversee the day to day support for all children as well as children with additional needs.  SENCO support meetings are regularly attended,and training is be kept up to date. We can gain further training by having access to Area Inclusion Team and their website and from articles in magazines such as ‘Under 5’s’ and ‘Nursery World’.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

Being situated on a large site we are fortunate to go for walks on the green and to nearby woods and parkland. We undertake risk assessments when participating in local walk and trips. We ask for parental consent to be able to take children out of the premises and offer reasoning to you as to why these are beneficial for your child and their learning. We inform you by displaying posters of proposed trips out and ask for volunteers to take part with us. We have one to one supervision, where a child may need it and depending on the set activities whilst out, will always adapt them to be individually appropriate and accessible. This may include taking visual prompts for example. We always adhere to adult child ratios. We also remain holding hands with the children throughout the walk and before any walk and trip we sit and talk to the children about the expectations of their behaviour whilst we are out and encourage them to tell us why.

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

Dandelions is situated in a purpose built building, the paved area leading to the main entrance is flat without any steps making it accessible for wheelchairs. There is a disabled parking space in the car park. We have patio doors leading to our outside area straight onto a paved area. All the doors are wide with safety covers over the hinges. The outside area has recently been improved with a safer wet pour surface on the playground. The adult cloakroom is designed for wheelchair access and the children toilets and hand basins are all low level. We use visual timetables during the day and This & Then timetables are in place for any child who would benefit from this. For parents where English isn’t their first language we will get our information translated, When additional equipment is required to support a children with special needs we would look are purchasing the item or contact our local resource centre where we are able to borrow books and resources including additional languages and auditory aids for the visually impaired. 

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

We offer a taster session prior to starting, this is a short session with other children due to start and your child will access the pre-school environment with activities that are on offer, including snack and group time. We use these times to offer you a welcome pack and to go through any concerns you may have, and any relevant developmental needs you need to make us aware of. Together we can plan the transition. We ask for an ‘All About Me’ booklet to be completed for your child's key person, and this will include such questions as family names, favourite activities. We then use these to assist the transition. When it comes to school transition we ask you as the parents/carers to tell us of the selected school and we liaise with the school regarding your child's Progress plan and any particular needs. We liaise with the relevant schools to come to pre-school and read a story to the children. With Dandelions being on a school site, we have excellent links with St Marks School and are fortunate to have extra school visits enabling children who are due to move on to St Marks to have a visit along with their peers and key person. We write a transition report about the children’s development at the end of their pre-school journey and offer meetings with parents to read these before we send to the school.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

We make a list of resources we have at the setting and how these meet the needs of the children at present. When we have new children start the setting we review this to get an updated resources list. If required we use the local Special needs resource library to obtain any specific resources. We also ask you what you feel we could have on offer and if they have anything they would use at home that would benefit them by having at pre-school. We have staffing qualifications that are used to allocate the relevant funding for early years as well as extra funding based on the individual child’s needs. Included in our annual budget is an allocated amount of money for equipment and resources which as a team, we decide would enhance the group. We do a sponsored event each year to raise money for equipment, and if a child has a specific disability which requires specialist equipment we will apply to the local authority for funding.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

We monitor your childs progress via observations on Tapestry, making summary reports each term. If we have highlighted a need we would invite you in to discuss these and gain permission for outside agency involvement, if together we think this would benefit your child to enhance their development at pre-school. We then send home an ‘I can do’ form for you to you complete about your child, which gives us an insight into what they love and can do at home. We also complete a Progress Plan and share these with you and from this we will allocate the help and resources needed, with the pre-school SENCO, key person and parents/carers working together. Once the support plan is accessed it is monitored each term and the targets are reviewed and discussed with you. If these targets are not being met this is discussed and either adapted or reviewed again. Once a pattern of outside help is emerging then you will receive all copies of any reports and documents written so you are fully involved along your child’s journey. If you feel your child requires extra support we are available to discuss and investigate your concerns.

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

We ask you as a parents/carers to enter the pre school as much as you can, we offer open days, fun days, sponsored events and stay and play sessions. We also offer parent meetings to talk about your child's progress and offer timings to best suit you. We ask for families to fill in questionnaires to build up an understanding of the services that you would like to see. We leave displays up for parents/carers to contribute to, regarding their child's activities at pre school and any forthcoming events that can be participated in. We hold an AGM each year and invite parents to join our committee; in either the capacity of a member or on our fundraising team 'Friends of Dandelions'. At these meetings we offer parents to come in and talk to their child's key person.If your child attends another provider, we encourage links with them and share information during our dedicated Second Providers Week.

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