Family Information and Services Hub
Local Offer

Acornwood Pre-School 109949

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
Supporting people with:
  • Activities for children and young people
Carescheme type:
  • Pre-School Playgroup

Acornwood Pre-School was opened in September 1987 at the Baptist Church in Cove. We moved to Southwood Community Centre in the summer of 1988.

Acornwood Pre-School offers sessional care for children aged from 2 years 9 months to 4 years old.

We provide a safe, stimulating and caring environment that promotes learning through play. Using a wide range of resources, a large setting consisting of 3 rooms and an enclosed outdoor play area the children can develop their skills as they play alongside and with other children.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Kerry Bowen
Contact Position
Pre-school Manager
01252 512430 01252 512430

Where to go

Acornwood Pre-school
8 Links Way

GU14 0NA

View GU14 0NA on a map


£6.00  per hour

Inclusion Information

Special Needs provision
Caters for children with special needs. Challenging behaviour,Developmental delay,English as additional language,Physical difficulties,Speech and lang. difficulties
Can make special cultural provisions
Cultural and Spec. Diet. Needs,Relig. and Cultural Awareness

Childcare Information

Funded Places

Offers 3 & 4 year old funded places
Offers 2 year old funded places

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 09:00 14:45
Tuesday 09:00 14:45
Wednesday 09:00 14:45
Visit & Outings
Car Parking
Messy Play Area
Sleeping Area
Outdoor Play

Local Offer


The purpose of our local offer is to enable parents/carers to see clearly what services are available for children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities at Acornwood and how to access them. The following questions and answers forms our local offer and shows how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Contact Name
Kerry Bowen
Contact Telephone
01252 512430
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?

At Acornwood Pre-school each child has a designated key person. Their role is to develop trusting relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child's development you can discuss these with your child's key worker or our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator - Helen Jones.  Helen will monitor the progress of children within the setting to address any areas of weakness. This information will then be used to focus on specific areas and help us to adapt areas that are not meeting the children's needs. The children's learning styles, interests and stages of development will be recognised and used to promote achievement and development. 

The staff hold regular meetings where each child's progress at the setting will be discussed at length as well as regular Supervisions with the staff where any concerns for the the children can be raised and a plan of action can be made.

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

The setting has access to the inclusion setting support officer ISSO, they offer support and guidance to us including children with additional needs. Practitioners have access to the SFYC SEN-hub where they can access early years courses, advice, or surgery support sessions. We are able to make referrals for, speech and language, portage referral, portage is a home visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. we can also get inclusion funding for any child that may need it currently at the setting. 

The IEP will be written after consulting with parents and will include how to support a child at home. Through regular observations we can track a child's progress.An IEP helps us to create opportunities for practitioners and parents to work together to improve and support their child's own development and learning. The staff will plan specialized activities based on the children's likes, interests, and observations that have been made at the setting.

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

At Acornwood pre-school we pride ourselves on providing exciting and engaging learning possibilities for all our children. Our practitioners respond to, and are sensitive to, the needs of their key children and plan according to their aptitudes, abilities, and interests. For some of our children with more complex educational needs, additional groups that focus on their individual needs are provided - either individually or in small groups. This may include sensory sessions, communication groups, and individualised learning sessions. If a child has additional needs which require further support than can be effectively provided in the setting, then this will be planned for in discussion with parents and carers, SENCO, and other professionals involved.

Planning will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child's learning, and development needs. 

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?

Parents are always welcome to stay during sessions to interact with the staff and children, this interaction enables parents/carers to observe their child in the pre-school environment and see how they are developing in the setting. It also enables parents an opportunity to build relationships with others within the setting and our regular special events throughout the year help build relationships with practitioners within the setting. 

Assessment systems are in place such as the two year old progress check and next steps which are all linked to the early years stages of next development. If there are any emerging concerns, or an identified educational need or disability, we will develop a targeted plan to support the child's future learning and development involving the child's parents/carers.

We are a very welcoming and friendly setting that has good relationships with our families. 

We offer daily opportunities where parents/carers are welcome to tell us of their child's progress or any concerns they may have. We also set regular parents evenings which gives the opportunity for communication between us and to discuss your child's progress. 

We send out newsletters and notices are put up on the board and our Facebook page with what is happening at pre-school and we offer regular home learning challenges enabling you to further support your child's learning at home. We provide visual timetables to help children to understand the routines and Golden Rules to help children know the expected behaviour and learn the settings boundaries.

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

Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach. All of our staff hold a current paediatric first aid certificate. Our practitioners provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day to day care of all our children. Our setting is flexible in our routines which provides a positive environment for your child's needs. We provide personal care such as changing nappies or clothes. 

Staff have been specifically trained to support children with serious allergies (e.g. eggs, nuts etc). All our staff have Epi-pen training. 

Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in how to give the proper medication if needed for your child. Health care plans are reviewed regularly, and should your child require prescribed medication, then you will be required to complete and sign a medication permission form and you will be informed of the administration of the medicine and be asked to sign the form in accordance with our administering  medicine policy. 

Kerry Bowen is our designated Health and Safety coordinator and Sally Ashdown is our designated Safeguarding Lead. All of our staff are aware that it is all of our responsibility to safeguard the children. All our staff are vetted and we have a rigorous recruitment process in place. Staff DBS certificates are updated and checked regularly.

Activities will be adapted to ensure children with additional needs is able to interact fully with the environment. We have visual strategies, such as a visual timetable, to help the children understand our routines. Our pre-school is designed to be welcoming and provides quiet areas to retreat to if a child is tired or needs some quiet time. We have comfortable and enclosed areas where they can be left in peace away from other children but with adult supervision. 

We are aware that some kinds of undesirable behaviours may arise from a child's special needs. We will refer to our positive behaviour management policy and will work with parents/carers and the child to provide a consistent and planned approach for their behaviour. Policies and procedures are always available for parents to view clearly in our Policy folder provided on our Parents Information table.

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

We have experience of working with children with English as an additional language and will seek bi-lingual support, when necessary. The setting endeavours to cater to children from other cultures and religions and has multi-cultural resources within the setting. We value and respect others belief's, visual supports are displayed. All children make good progress in this setting and are happy and well catered for. 

We have good links with SFYC and can sign post parents/carers to support which is available through them. We will work alongside the specialist services involved with the child and they are welcome to visit the pre-school at any time. Working closely with parents/carers and the child enables us to build stronger relationships and understand how to support particular needs better. We have good links with Hampshire County Council and will endeavour to seek support when needed in order to provide the best possible experience for children with SEND at pre-school. The team will support practitioners in meeting children's individual needs through offering home advice, observing individual children in the setting, suggesting ways to support individual needs, planning next steps with practitioners and parents and sign posting to training. Parental agreement will always be obtained before the early years advisory team become involved with any individual child. They will support the pre-school in working together with other agencies that may already be involved with a child.


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

All staff are experienced working with the early years age group and understand child development. Some staff have specific training on positive behaviour training and management, autism awareness, epi-pen, makaton, and lots more. Staff access appropriate training and have worked with children on the autistic spectrum, sight and hearing impairments, speech and language difficulties, and ADHD before.

Helen Jones is our SENCO who works closely with Kerry Bowen who has previous training in matters of SEND between them they have multiple experience in working with children and parents with more specific needs. Helen has a wide range of training in Autism & Behavioural Needs.

Further training will be sought and accessed to support and identify SEND. Helen will attend or update her knowledge regularly on specific training to ensure that she is aware of issues around special educational needs and has the opportunity to discuss strategies with other professionals in this field.

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

Parents are advised by newsletter, email or our facebook page of forthcoming events all visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children we will endeavour to include parent/carers in the planning of the visit of site in discussing the needs of the child. We will endeavour to have a skeleton staff team remain at pre-school for those not able to attend the trip, however if this is not possible then we will not hold any pre-school on the day of the trip. A risk assessment is carried out before the trip, SEND will be considered and discussed with the relevant parents. If the parent of a SEND child cannot attend then a qualified member of staff will stay with the child at all times, all parents complete a parental consent  form prior to the trip. Any medicine currently being administered to any child will be taken along with us, along with our first aid kit, mobile phone, register, and parental contact details.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

We have a large hall & two open-plan rooms as well as an outdoor space.  The outdoor space is an enclosed garden area with raised flower beds and sloped access. All entrance points are accessible by wheelchair or reduced mobility.  There is plenty or car parking outside with a few disabled parking spaces close to the centre. In the entrance foyer there is a disabled toilet with a rail and alarm is provided. All the entrance doors to the pre-school including the doors to the outside area are wide and easily accessible for wheelchair use. 

We provide multi-sensory activities as part of our planning.  Although we have limited funds we shall endeavour to seek out suitable equipment or adapt equipment and facilities to support children with special educational needs.  Additional funding may be obtained by the setting to help us to meet a child's needs.  Regular risk assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure. We carry out daily risk assessments for the indoor and outdoor environments and a termly risk assessment.

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?

The pre-school offers two introductory sessions for parents and their child prior to their start date where they will have an opportunity to discuss all of their requirements. These sessions give us the chance to get to know the child and their family and provide the opportunity to share with us details of a child's needs and any involvement of other agencies, and to agree a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for a child. Photographs of the staff will be sent via Tapestry to the child's family to talk to their child about who the staff are. 

We have a well prepared key person and settling in policy that builds firm relationships with all concerned, and helps prevent separation anxiety. We offer a flexible settling in policy should a child have trouble settling in as we are aware that each child is different and some may take longer to be reassured.  

When transferring to another setting the pre-school will invite the key person/teacher and SENCO to attend a child's sessions at pre-school to help them become familiar with them and help discuss their needs. Our local feeder school visits the setting every Summer Term to meet the children before starting school. We have a very good relationship with our feeder school and professionals within our area, along with an excellent reputation within our local community. A child's learning journey, IEP's and any other information that may be relevant to the child will be passed on to the new setting giving them the time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make. If the area SENCO and early years advisory teacher have been involved they will also help with the transition to school. 

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

A dedicated budget will be available every year to train our staff in the areas we believe need strengthening and Inclusion Funding can be applied to support a child in our setting, if required.  We have excellent facilities and lots of SENCO resources within the setting. We have extra resources for Language Groups & Bucket Time groups within the setting. We have a selection of ethnic dolls, costumes, books, puppets & musical instruments. We have a garden with raised flower beds & sloped access into the building. We have Cuddle Acorns with a soothing rattle in them to help calm children when they are anxious or want something to hold and cuddle.  All our children follow our Golden Rules including we are kind to each other and are taught to help others when they are anxious. We have a pre-school bear called 'Bertie' that the children take turns to take home and post photographs and draw pictures of what they got up to at the weekend with him, this often reassures and helps the children who are anxious.

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

Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussions with parents, the key person and the SENCO will identify what support is required. Extra support will be put in place if necessary. 

Ongoing partnerships with parents, other professionals - including ISSO if they are involved, and ourselves will support the decision-making process to planned targets on the IEP'S. The IEP will be written after consulting with parents and will include how to support a child at home. Through regular observations we can track a child's progress.

Our SENCO will give advice on meeting the child's needs within the pre-school in consultation with parents and other professionals where necessary with parental permission. Reports from health care professionals and other professionals who are working with a child will be used to plan support within the setting. Regular staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with a child knows the child's strengths and needs, and how to support them best.

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

The best way to be involved in Acornwood Pre-school is to become a committee member. Acornwood pre-school is a committee based setting whose membership is made up of parents of children attending the pre-school and the staff. Our committee is made up of volunteers, usually parents who are not remunerated for their time, all our families are welcome to become involved in out committee and our fundraising events at any time.We value our parent/carer opinions and we welcome them to come into the setting, to observe their child in out learning/playing environment at any time. At the beginning and end of every session parents have the chance to talk to their child key person and discuss any concerns. At the setting we offer termly parent meetings to discus their child's progress. Parents are reminded to book appointments to see their key person at a time that is convenient to the parent and the member of staff involved. At the parents meetings the child's learning journey will be at hand and the next steps will be printed out for both parties to agree on how to provide further support in moving the child along or to set realistic goals for that child. Parents are always asked to be involved in identifying any needs, information sharing, identifying targets and the next steps that they feel they would like to focus on at homes alongside us at the setting, together we will review progress towards those targets. Permission will always be sought before involving any outside agencies. Parents are also welcome to email or telephone the Manager Kerry directly at any time with any concerns/information if they prefer or are unable to attend the setting. At the setting we use Tapestry as a way of observing and tracking a child's progress at our pre-school, parents are welcome to add their own observations at home.

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
Supporting people with:
  • Activities for children and young people
Carescheme type:
  • Pre-School Playgroup


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Last Updated: 07 July 2023

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