Family Information and Services Hub
Local Offer

Acorns Community Pre-School

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

Friendly and welcoming pre-school in Totton, offering a fun and stimulating environment. Extensive outdoor area with free flow access including; sensory play, role play, mud kitchen, outdoor classroom, extensive resources, messy play and IT facilities.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Liz Gaida
Contact Position
02380 668234 02380 668234
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Please email or contact us via Facebook.

Where to go

Hanover Hall
Jennings Road, Totton

SO40 3BA

View SO40 3BA on a map


Age Ranges
5 to 8 years
0 to 5 years

Inclusion Information

Special Needs provision
Caters for children with special needs. Challenging behaviour,Developmental delay,English as additional language,Hearing difficulties,Medical difficulties,Physical difficulties,Soc. Interaction Difficulties,Speech and lang. difficulties,Visual 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 08:30 15:30
Tuesday 08:30 15:30
Wednesday 08:30 15:30
Thursday 08:30 15:30
Friday 08:30 15:30
Messy Play Area
Sleeping Area
Outdoor Play

Local Offer


PECS, Makaton

Contact Name
Heather Page
Contact Telephone
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?

We understand how important it is to build good relationships with children and their families.

Acorns Community Preschool offers you the opportunity to raise any concerns or share essential information before your child starts preschool by:

  • Offering you the opportunity to talk with our Special Educational Needs Lead by phone or appointment in the setting.
  • Encouraging you to take part in taster sessions which helps us assess your child’s individual needs.

Before you child starts at Acorns we assess children who may have special needs, gathering information about different courses about your child.  Your input as a parent is essential.  We do this by:

  • Home visits where concerns can be discussed.
  • You complete our Registration Form allowing us to gather medical information, look at your child’s Health Records including the 'Two year check'.
  • Your sharing information about your child’s strengths, home life, interests, likes and dislikes by completing “My story so far”.

Our experienced SENCO supported by experienced staff who have attended relevant training will support your child during their time with us by identifying and assessing their needs on an ongoing basis.  We do this by:

  • Their Key Person monitoring and supporting your child.
  • Working closely with outside agencies including: Services for Young Children, Area Inclusion Coordinator (Inco) Service, Early Year Educational Outreach Service (EYEOS), Core Portage, Portage Plus and Outreach, Health Visitors.
  • Continued communication with you.
  • Observing your child’s learning and development
  • Completing our Two Year development check when appropriate.
How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

Our SENCo is highly qualified and has many years experience working in a preshcool environment.  She keeps up to date through regular training ad meetings with SEN support agencies and is actively committed to maintaining good practice when working with children who have additional needs.

Your child will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or behaviour plan, drawn up by us in consultation with you and all those involved with your child.

Who will work with your child:

  • SENCo
  • Key Person
  • All staff
  • Outside Agencies.

Roles of people who will work with your child:

  • SENCo works closely with yourself, your child and their Key person, other staff and outside agencies, including our InCo, making sure your child’s individual needs are met so that their learning and development is supported and progress.
  • Key Person has regular communication with you. They will make observations with together with you, SENCo, other staff and outside agencies help track you child’s learning and development allowing us to continue your child’s individual progress.
  • All members of staff will work with your child supporting their Key Person, SENCo and outside agencies.
  • Outside Agencies work closely with us to support you and your child.

Our Director's responsibilities include: overall day to day running of the preschool, writing and implementing policies and procedures including safeguarding, equality/diversity and SEN.

We self-evaluate to assess Acorns overall effectiveness.  We know the SEN support we provide is effective from parent’s feedback and the progress their children have made.

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

Acorns is an inclusive setting, we welcome and celebrate diversity. We have a caring and understanding team that will be looking after you child.

We appreciate and understand that every child is unique and has individual needs, to help your child at Acorns, their key person and SENCo will work closely with you to plan and support your child’s progress within Early years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum with the support of an IEP.

Your child’s IEP/Behaviour plan is;

  • Tailored to their needs
  • Child led and builds on your child’s interests
  • Supporting the EYFS curriculum in Acorns and learning at home
  • Made up of small achievable goals for your child to reach
  • Used to develop their learning
  • Used to inform you and all those involved with your child about their progress

Reviewing an IEP is an ongoing process.

We use an online learning journal and development progress system called Tapestry.  This is linked to EYFS and is accessible to Acorns and you, allowing us to gather:

  • Pictures of your child taking part in activities and written observations
  • Evidence of your child achieving their goals with us
  • Pictures and information you would like to share with us from home

The Key Person uses evidence gathered on Tapestry to assess and plan activities appropriate for your child’s learning and development leading to changes in their IEP, made in consultation with you, to support and moving your child’s on to their next achievable goal.


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?

At Acorns we understand that our role is to help parents support your child’s learning and development and good communication is vital to achieve this.

As a member of the Acorns Community we will communicate with you about our activities and how well your child is doing in a variety of ways, including:

  • Offering a open door policy allowing you to speak to any member of staff
  • Sending newsletters and information home
  • Keeping you up to date via Facebook and email.
  • Providing information, guidance and advice for home if you need it
  • Communicating with you regularly using Tapestry
  • An opportunity to visit us during session time, with a prior appointment

In addition, you and your child will be supported by:

  • Your child’s Key Person and SENco regularly reviewing and discussing your child’s achievement within their IEP with you
  • Agreeing achievable goals for your child within their IEP with you, their Key Person and SENco
  • Working closely with appropriate outside agencies and us

To ensure a smooth transition of your child into school we assist you and outside agencies to support their Inclusion Partnership Agreement (IPA) which brings all involved with your child together for transition planning meetings with the school.

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

Your child’s Key person will lead in:

  • Building a relationship with your child
  • Supporting their individual emotional wellbeing
  • Build your child’s self confidence to share their view individually and in a group
  • Communicating with yourselves

Your child will be encouraged to take part in group activities eg Circle Time, Language Box and Nursery Narrative encouraging positive language and social skills.

Staff First Aid training is maintained alongside specific training, i.e. Epipen.

We can administer and safely store prescribed medication for your child, with your written permission, following our Administering Medicine Policy.

 If your child has an allergy, we:

  • Keep records
  • Ensure adult led activities are appropriate for your child
  • Offer suitable food at snack time
  • Ask parents not to include these foods in lunch boxes.

Our Behaviour Officer will support you, your child and their Key Person by giving advice and creating individual behaviour plans including:

  • Star charts
  • Visual timetables
  • Quiet areas
  • Sand timer

We understand as a parent the safety of your child is of utmost importance to you.  At Acorns:

  • All staff are CRB checked and have good awareness of safeguarding and safety issues
  • Our Code of Conduct is followed by the preschool community
  • Our children are encouraged to follow our Golden Rules
  • Risk assessments are completed daily, weekly, termly to check resources and that the setting is safe and secure
  • We give children the opportunity to use their imagination, be adventurous and make choices with experienced adult supervision

Policies which support our Special Educational and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer are:

  • Children’s rights and entitlements
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Child Protection
  • The Role of Key Person and settling in
  • Promoting and achieving Positive Behaviour
  • Maintaining Children’s Safety and security on the premises
  • Valuing Diversity and promoting equality
  • Support children with Special Educational Needs.
What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Our SENCo has many years experience and training in the Special Educational Needs including specific training related to Cerebral Palsy, partially sighted, ADHD (Attention Deficiency Hyper-Activity Disorder), Asperger Syndrome, Speech delay, global delay and hearing difficulties.  She works closely with outside agencies, attends network and termly meetings with our Area InCo keeping her up to date with important changes, legislation, new ideas and resources to support children with SEN and can make referrals direct to speech therapy.

Our Language Box programme helps us to assess your child’s communication needs and will help them to build their confidence in communication and social skills by repeating songs, story and games.  Nursery Narrative follows Language Box and will help your child by using:

  • Who – to encourage social interaction and relationships
  • When, Where, What – to develop social skills and communication

Our Deputy Supervisor is fully trained and works on the recommendations of the Speech Therapist.

We can access the expertise of Service for Young Children, Area InCo, EYEOS, Core Portage, Portage Plus, Outreach, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, GP, Specialist Teacher Adviser.  Our Behaviour Office help us to:

  • Identify clear processes to support your child’s thinking, reasoning, learning and development
  • Understand and coordinate pastoral support necessary to support your child’s social, mental and emotional health.
  • Make adaptations to the EYFS and/or the physical environment enabling your child to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

This section is supported by our Working in Partnership with other agencies Policy.


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

We have 9 members of staff who will support your child including:

  • Joint Supervisors who have Level 4 Qualification
  • Five members of staff have Level 3 Qualification
  • Additional training undertaking by staff includes: safeguarding, food hygiene, first aid, health and safety.

Our specialist training undertaken by different members of staff include:

  • Nursery Narrative and Language Box
  • Reflect, connect and grow
  • Use of Epipen
  • Children’s Speech Language and Communication Project

All specialist training information, best practices and strategies area cascaded to all staff at regular staff meetings and inset days.  We also share knowledge and expertise with other preschools by attending group meetings.

As a result of past and ongoing training, staff have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge providing the basis to build individual care for your child, however, we would actively seek training to fully meet your child’s existing and future needs.

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

You will be advised and reminded of local outings, such as visiting the Duck Pond, Library, Fire Station, via Facebook, email and verbally.

When you child starts at Acorns, you will sign a Short Trips General Outings Permission form.

Before an outing, we visit the venue and complete a risk assessment ensuring that all our current children can access it.

We will discuss the outing with you and will encourage you to take pat in the activity with your child, but if you are unable to a member of staff will look after your child during the outing. Our ratio for your child would be one to one.

We have celebration parties and fundraising event to which all children and their families are encouraged to take part in.

All of these outings and events will help your child to feel part of the wider local community.


How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

Acorns is all on the ground level making the indoor and outdoor environments easy to access, we are able to support your child’s needs by:

Having a variety of floor surfaces within our preschool:

  • Indoor flooring is a combination of non-slip safety flooring and carpet
  • Outdoor areas include sponge safety flooring, grass, shingle.

Having ramps for easy and wheelchair access in the following areas:

  • Main entrance
  • Entrance to outdoor area
  • Concrete ramp to shingle gardening area
  • Wood ramp to our den

Having facilities and resources including:

  • Wheelchair access toilet
  • Easy access toilets
  • Nappy changing facilities
  • Spacious main room with good acoustics
  • Easy access to our large natural grass and digging area
  • Language rich environment with visual aids
  • Bright visual setting
  • Photo of resources displayed around the room
  • Dual language books

We will work with you and your child to identify and address your child’s specific needs by adding to and adapting our resource which could include having an interpreter if needed, specific language resources, additional sensory aids and adapted furniture.

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?

Before deciding on attending Acorns, we encourage you and your child to visit our setting.

By taking part in a home visit will help your child to settle in at our preschool because:

  • They will meet members of staff in their familiar home environment.
  • We can start to build a relationship with you and your child.
  • We can start to understand your child’s strength, home life, interests, likes and dislikes by you completing our “My Story So Far”.
  • We can give your child their T-shirt and book bag helping them to feel part of preschool community.

We offer you and your child a taster session helping your child to experience preschool with your support.

If you decide to transfer to a different preschool we will work closely with you, your child and the new key person, by providing your child’ learning journal and if necessary arrange a meeting with all those concerned with your child to make sure that the move goes smoothly.

We will support you and your child’s transition to school by:

  • Providing a safe environment at our preschool for your child to meet their teacher for the first time.
  • Supporting you and your child when visiting their new school.
  • Taking opportunities to talk to your child about their new school uniform.
  • Supporting an Inclusion Partnership Agreement (IPA) with you and all those involved with your child. Transition planning meetings are part of this agreement.
  • Sharing your child’s learning journal with their new school
How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

If your child is under three, we are registered to provide places for children eligible for Two Year Education Funding; for information visit: Free Early Years Education (EYE) funding for eligible 2 year olds | Children and Families | Hampshire County Council (

Additional SEN funding may be available for your child depending on their needs, to encourage ambition and help them achieve their full potential.

Your child will have access to all our existing resources and facilities, however, if additional funding is allocated it can be used in a variety of ways such as:

  • One to one support
  • Specialist equipment
  • Appropriate toys to aid development
  • Creation of pictorial support aids
  • Additional sensory resources
  • Adaption to the setting

Funding is appropriately allocated through consultation at a Team around the Child (TAC) meeting where you and all who are involved with your child will meet to agree the appropriate support to meet your child needs.

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

All decisions related to your child will involve cooperation between you, your child’s key person, our SENCo and relevant agencies making sure that your child receives the appropriate support for their needs.

If you have concerns about your child but no formal diagnosis, you will have the opportunity to discuss these with our SENCo on your first visit to preschool, at your child’s home visit or by appointment.

If your child has already been diagnosed, we will meet with you at a TAC meeting including our SENCo and your child’s key person to discuss and consider the best ways we can support your child.

We continually assess the impact of the support your child is receiving, to ensure their needs are being met and their development and learning is progressing by:

  • Regular reviews with all staff
  • Consulting with you regularly
  • Reviewing and developing their achievable goals within their IEP
  • Using Tapestry to evaluate your child’s progress within the EYFS
  • The keyperson completing a Two Year Check if appropriate
  • Having a behaviour Plan, if appropriate
  • Using Language Box and Nursery Narrative

An IEP is a support plan designed for your child to help them to get the most out of their education.  It builds on the EYFS curriculum which your child will be following and helps us to plan, monitor and develop strategies to meet your child’s specific needs, helping them to achieve their full potential.

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

We value parental support at preschool and at home and encourage all parents to become part of the Acorns Community.  You can become involved in a variety of ways by:

  • Helping in session time, during outings and at fund raising events
  • Adding pictures and comments to Tapestry about achievements from home
  • Reading information about forthcoming events and activities sent by email or on our Facebook page
  • Arranging to share your interests and abilities, i.e. playing a musical instrument
  • Becoming part of our management team on a volunteer director
  • Completing our annual questionnaire which helps us to evaluate our setting

Your involvement and support during your child’s time with us will help them have an enriched preschool experience.

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: 23 March 2023

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