We are an all inclusive nursery setting.
Caters for children with special needs.
- Challenging behaviour
- Developmental delay
- English as additional language
- Hearing difficulties
- Medical difficulties
- Physical difficulties
- Social Interaction Difficulties
- Speech and language difficulties
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Liz Cordery
- Contact Position
- Manager & Owner
Contact can be made through the following ways:-
Mobile telephone during nursery hours: 07717 504 878
Admin telephone number: 01256 780369
Where to go
- St Johns Centre
St Johns Road
- RG23 7DX
- Table of costs
Table of costs Amount Cost Type £5.20 per hour
- Referral required
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Open Monday to Thursday from 9am until 3:45pm and Friday from 9am until 12noon
Local Offer can be found on our parent notice board or by following the link https://fish.hants.gov.uk/localoffer
- Contact Name
- Liz Cordery
- 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?
Our ethos at Acorns Nursery is solely based around the individual child and their stages of learning and development. By observing our children and building up relationships with their families we gain a whole picture of your child which enables us to understand their specific developmental needs. All children are unique and develop at different ages and stages. We pride ourselves at Acorns Nursery that all our staff form close and strong attachments with their key children and their families. Your child will be allocated a Key Person during one of their first settling in sessions that we hold. The Key Person is you and your child’s first point of contact, if for any reason the Key Person is absent we operate a buddy Key Person system.
The building of these strong relationships along with our constant observations of your child enables us as practitioners to identify any children with possible special educational needs and those that may require any additional support. By having these strong parents as partners links, together, we can raise concerns that families or practitioners may have.
Any child who starts with us who already has a specific need, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) will liaise with the Area Inclusion Co-ordinator (INCo) at Services for Young Children (SfYC) to help us determine how best to support your child including appropriate training, equipment as well as liaising and co-ordinating with any other relevant external agencies, for example Portage, Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) Educational Psychologists (EP’s) or Occupational Therapists (OT’s).
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
At Acorns Nursery the SENCo will plan and oversee all support needed for any child that requires extra support within our setting. Your child’s Key Person will work with your child to ensure that progress is being made and that the Individual Education Plan (IEP) is being followed. This IEP will have been devised by close liaison with the SENCo, Key Person and the family. The support given by the Key Person will be undertaken in various ways, through language groups, small group work and on occasions on an individual basis. This support will be completed as often as your child’s needs determine. We will liaise closely with any external agencies, such as SALT, Portage, EP’s OT’s etc. to ensure we are all working together on the same targets to give as much support and continuity to your child as possible.
Regular meetings with parents of children with additional needs are held at least once every 6 weeks to discuss their progress, developments and next steps. Parents are also invited in at any time an external agency comes in to work with their child to ensure they get to see them to discuss progress and /or concerns. At Acorns we pride ourselves on our openness and flexibility with our families and they feel that we are always available to speak to when they need it.
The SENCo reports at our regular management meetings to inform the management of the progress of our children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and any additional support or resources they may need. The SENCo also provides updates on the progress of our children with special educational needs and disabilities at our regular staff meetings so that the whole staff team is aware of the support in place for our SEND children as well as the Key Person.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Our nursery follows the Statutory Framework for the Early Years and Foundation Stage, more information can be found on:
We have an excellent approach to our children’s learning and development. We constantly observe how your child learns, develops and what interests them. By completing these observations we can develop the next steps in your child’s learning by planning activities and having resources available that address your child’s needs and interests. Children develop at different ages and stages and therefore within our continuous provision we ensure that a variety of resources and equipment will be made available to support every child’s needs and development. For whole group activities we ensure that they all will be differentiated to suit each individual child’s needs and that all children will be able to access this and it matches their stage of development. Every child at Acorns Nursery has their own learning journal that shows their progress and development during their time with us.
Each child has their own specific way of learning and by continually observing and assessing we can plan the next steps in your child’s learning. If a specific learning need is highlighted an IEP may be instigated and extra support for your child will be given as stated in the IEP. This is initiated by the Key Person, the SENCo and the family together to ensure the best approach and outcome for 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?
At Acorns Nursery we have an open door policy which means that at any time our parents can come in to discuss their child’s learning and development with us. We have a book bag for each child which goes home daily with you, inside of which is a communication book. This book can be updated by both the Key Person and the parent. It is an excellent way of letting us and you know of any ‘wow’ moments or if there is anything particularly unsettling for the child, which could explain changes of character.
Termly meetings occur between the Key Person and parents to discuss and update the progress and development of their child that has been made since the previous meeting. At these meetings both the Key Person and parents discuss and agree together the next steps in their child’s learning and development and this is recorded on a Progress and Development Record (PDR). To strengthen our home links further we share your child’s learning journal with you at these progress meetings to enable you to contribute within it to ensure we have a holistic approach to your child’s development both at home and at nursery.
Regular meetings with parents of children with additional needs that currently have an IEP are held at least once every 6 weeks to discuss their progress, developments and next achievable steps.
For children who are aged two we carry out and complete, together with the child’s family, a statutory two year learning and development check, this is done in conjunction with the two year health check currently completed by the child’s health visitor.
We regularly inform and update our parents on what is happening at Acorns Nursery through half termly newsletters, regular email correspondence and notices on our closed Facebook page.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
At Acorns the health and well-being of our children is paramount. If any child is prescribed medicines which require administrating during a session, we ensure that two members of staff complete this together. This ensures that the correct amount of medicine is witnessed and all of our policies and procedures are adhered to with this administration. All medication is stored in a secure place. A record of all medications administered, including dosage and time given will be signed by the staff member administering the medicine, the staff member witnessing the administration and yourself. All our staff are trained in first aid and further training on Epipen administration and specific medical needs is given when appropriate for the needs of our children.
If any child requires extra behaviour management support, this is done by using distraction techniques firstly. We positively praise our children continually and build their self-esteem up. We have found that by increasing confidence and listening to our children, this empowers them and they will share with us their feelings and their own personal views on their learning. This is done daily, but specifically during our Communication and Language times. Other strategies we use include stop cards, visual timetables, sand timers, visual warning cards and encouraging children to be helpers for our different areas including snack preparation. We have support packs available to help support your child with different circumstances.
All our staff are checked by the Disclosure & Barring Service and are checked annually and regularly updated with safeguarding training. Our policies and procedures are reviewed and updated annually. The Key Person is responsible for ensuring your child is safe and secure; both emotionally and physically throughout the transition from home to pre-school and later to full time education. We have a buddy Key Person system in place if the Key Person is absent.
We maintain an inclusive service at Acorns, the room and play area are checked before each session for safety in line with our Health and Safety policies and procedures and all are fully risk assessed.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
Here at Acorns we have a wealth of expertise and knowledge within our team. Currently all our staff are qualified to Level 3 or working towards. We have a member of staff that is a qualified teacher and an Early Years Professional. Liz Cordery is our Lead Practitioner for Safeguarding and Diane Kearsey is our named SENCo. We also have a named deputy, Natalie Dickinson who is also our named Lead Practitioner for Two Years Olds.
As a whole staff, we regularly complete in-house training during our five allocated day closures a year as well as within our regular staff meetings. Specific training to assist us with some of our children’s needs in recent years has included Makaton and Manual Handling. If we have a child with us with a specific need which we require training and extra support for, this will be arranged.
Acorns have links with lots of specialist services due to children in the past who have received support and those we are accessing support for. We regularly liaise with the Area Inclusion team, Speech and Language therapists, Specialist Advisory teachers, Portage, Educational Psychologists and our local Services for Young Children Advisory team. If we do not currently have links with a service your child needs to access we would ensure we develop links with outside agencies or specialist your child needed to ensure they are receiving as much support as possible.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
Diane Kearsey, as the named SENCo, who is currently completing the relevant training for this role, Liz Cordery has also completed the SENCo training. Our SENCo attends regular support meetings held by the Area Inclusion team who supply valuable advice and resources to help support our children and their families. The Area INCos are also available on request to enable the SENCo to discuss any concerns about our children that she may have. All staff in recent years have updated their continuous professional development by completing in-house training in Makaton and Manual Handling. Makaton is a tool used to support children with limited or no speech. This enables them to communicate with their peers and staff members.
At Acorns we have had experience of working with children with a range of specific needs. These needs have included children with social communication difficulties, behaviour and speech and language delays. Other needs which we have experienced include a child with Downs Syndrome and a child with severe complex needs.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
All of our activities are adapted to ensure all of the children will be able to access them in their own way. When going out of the nursery on trips and local visits we ensure we have a high child to adult ratio. This ensures we have enough staff to adequately supervise the children and we base this ratio on individual children’s needs to ensure they have the correct support to take part in the outing. This ratio will be based on discussions with you, the parents, and the child’s key person. At all times, we encourage all the children to share the experiences of these outings and trips together. To support the individual needs of the children who find a change of routine challenging or upsetting, we use a range of resources which include visual timetables, visual clues, pictures and leaflets of where the outing will take place and what’s there. At all times, with the close liaisons that exist with our families, we endeavour to put in place details of strategies to ensure the enjoyment for your child occurs during any trips we arrange.
Risk assessments are carried our prior to any trips and outings to ensure that everyone’s health and safety is not compromised and that we have the correct number of staff to adequately supervise the children. We value the strong relationships we have with our families and we regularly ask for parent helpers to assist on the outings and trips to help reduce our ratios and to further strengthen our parent partnerships and relationships.
- How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Over the last few years significant improvements have been made to our building and outside space to improve accessibility further for any child or adult with a disability that require a wheelchair. There is a ramp into our building through wide double doors which can be accessed from the outside garden area. Inside the building we have a designated accessible toilet that is available for use by a wheelchair user.
Within our indoor and outdoor space we use visual timetables and photographic and picture clues to support all our children in identifying and learning routines. This helps develop the children’s self-confidence and independence, one of our nursery’s aims, regardless of ability.
For example in the bathroom area, we display photographs of the children undertaking the steps needed to wash and dry their hands. In the snack area, on display are photographic steps needed to serve themselves snack. We have found it more beneficial to our children to use photographs of the children that are currently at nursery as the children can relate more easily to their peers.
As previously stated, all our staff are Makaton trained and we use the signs and the visual clues and drawings as a source of communication for any child that finds communicating difficult. For parents and carers that have English as an additional language (EAL) we encourage the key person and parent to create a communication fact sheet that has key words translated from first language to English so that we communicate with the child using key important words from their first language . This helps with the initial transition process and builds up trust and our relationship. We also endeavour to provide posters, labels, books and culturally appropriate items whenever possible, alongside encouraging the parent to visit our setting to share their parts of their culture and way of life with all the children.
As a Hampshire setting we have accessibility to several resource libraries for equipment and resources so that the current needs of the children in our care can be met. We work closely with our families to identify and address needs in collaboration with other services where necessary.
- 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?
In consultation with yourself and other agencies involved with your child we will ensure that the appropriate equipment, resources and care will be in place prior to entry so as to make the transition to us as smooth as possible. Meetings with the appropriate agencies will take place prior to starting to ensure that a good transition is managed. Taster sessions will be arranged whereby you and your child can visit us to familiarise yourselves with our routines, the layout, the other children and the staff. It is at these taster sessions that your child will be allocated a Key Person and photographs and admin will be completed so that it is in place ready for your child’s first session with us. We will also give your child a ‘Welcome to Nursery’ bag, which will become their library bag for borrowing books in nursery which your child is encouraged to decorate. This will contain a booklet about the staff at Acorns, an ‘I can sheet’ which we would be grateful if you could complete and also an ‘All about me’ booklet, which you can place pictures on about your child’s family and pictures of what they like to do. This is kept at Acorns, to help your child to look at this whenever they wish too and we have found this helps children settle into nursery. Also contained in this pack is a blue communication book, which is another link if you do not get an opportunity to talk to your keyperson or if they don’t get an opportunity to talk to you. We also offer home visits by the Key Person and member of the management team to aid this transition process but only if we and the parent feel it is necessary and would be of some benefit to the child. Each child is individual therefore we don’t have a rigid settling in procedure; instead we employ a flexible approach which meets the individual needs of our children. If your child has come from another setting we liaise with your child’s previous Key Person and SENCo, if appropriate, so that relevant information can be passed on to ensure a smooth transition to us and we can ensure continuity of care.
For transition to school or to a new setting we have recently reviewed and made changes to our current procedures. For transition to school, we have built strong relationships with our feeder Infant School. Various visits to our setting take place during the Summer term by the Headteacher, Year R teaching staff, Year R Learning Support Assistants, the SENCo and the SEN assistants to start building the relationships with the children that are moving on to them. The induction programme also includes several visits to the school for various induction visits to which our staff and parents are invited. As part of this transition process we spend a whole morning in the Year R unit whilst the current Year R are on an outing so that our children that are transitioning can familiarise themselves with the building, layout, equipment and resources with the security of their Key Person as well as the familiar faces of their peers and other nursery staff members. This has always proved beneficial in the past.
Towards the end of their final term with us the child’s Key Person writes a transition record that includes information about the child such as name and date of birth, a synopsis of your child as a learner and any relevant information we feel the school or setting need, a section completed by you the parent on any worries or concerns you might have and a final section for the child to share their worries, concerns and things they are looking forward to. On this form there is also space to record a snap shot of where the Key Person feels the child is in their learning and development in accordance with the seven areas of Learning and Development of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This transition form is shared with parents before being passed to the school, along with any developmental paperwork.
During the Summer term we begin to set up school based role play with uniforms for the children to dress up in. We plan lots of activities to promote what it will be like in school as well as stories and social stories depicting what they may experience at school and how they feel about the transition process. Transition books are sent by our feeder school showing the children photographs of their new school and the people that will be caring for them. We will speak to the new school or setting passing on as much information about your child as possible. We also have support bags which can be borrowed at any point during the year to help those children who maybe curious or even anxious about starting school.
If your child has SEND an Inclusion Partnership Agreement (IPA) or Transition meeting may be arranged for all the professionals working with your child, the setting and the feeder school or new setting to attend to ensure the school or new setting knows how best to support them and what needs to be put in place before your child starts.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
Each child is individually assessed and resources allocated from various sources including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, resource libraries or alternative sources based on needs of the child and appropriate funding sources. The funding and resources allocated enable the child to achieve their full potential by providing one to one support, the purchasing of specialist equipment and appropriate toys and resources to aid development or to create individual pictorial support aids. Funding and resources are always considered through close liaison and collaboration with all that are involved with the child and are considered on an individual and unique basis.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
At Acorns we strongly value communication; decisions about the type of support and the amount of support a child will receive are made in conjunction and discussion with all relevant parties. Through our constant observations and discussions with our families we can discuss together the next steps. Our SENCo liaises closely with the Area Inclusion team for additional support, advice and the instigation and involvement of other external agencies. Together, with yourself, we can decide and judge the best level of support and outcomes for your child.
Through our excellent partnership with our families, an IEP, if necessary, is drawn up in collaboration and discussion with the Key Person, SENCo and parent to ensure small, workable steps can be achieved. These are reviewed each half term and together the IEP and progress is reviewed and new steps set or a conclusion come to that no more additional support is required. The amount of support required is dependent upon individual needs and is decided through a collaborative approach.
If your child has already had a diagnosis then a ‘Team around the child’ (TAC) meeting will be held before they start with us. Decisions are made through consultation with all the parties and agencies involved with the child’s care; this includes you, specialists as well as our SENCo and key staff.
If your child has no diagnosis but you have expressed concerns or the Key Person has identified a problem at the two year check or through their observations then a meeting will be held with you to explore ways of supporting your child and a support plan put in place.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
Strong parent partnerships form one of our main ethos that is at the heart of Acorns Nursery. We have an open door policy which means that as a parent we appreciate that you may need to talk to us about anything at any time. Families form the basis of our ethos and we ensure that all our families are fully included at Acorns.
We actively encourage family participation and contribution to our planning board. Parents are encouraged to add to ideas and current areas of interest shown at home by their children. We encourage the children to add their thoughts and ideas too. We encourage our parents to be as involved in our nursery as they can be. There are lots of ways you can be involved such as contributing to your child’s learning journal and milestones by meeting with your child’s Key Person to discuss the termly Progress and Development Record and to set next steps for your child’s learning and development together with the Key Person.
Parents are also welcome to volunteer for a morning or afternoon to help with activities like cooking, snack time, sharing books etc. We hold many informal occasions too where families can come in and spend time quality time with their children in a relaxed and friendly environment, for example Grandparents stay and play, Dads stay and play, Sports Day, our Christmas play and our Harvest Festival. More recently we have had an outdoor environment day which was extremely well attended by our families where staff, families and children all worked together to improve our outdoor environment.
As a nursery we formally survey all our parents and families annually to find out their views on all aspects of our nursery, once the results have been analysed, the findings are published to our families and they are informed of any changes made. We also communicate to our families through regular newsletters with dates and forthcoming events. These newsletters are generally emailed out to our families but paper copies are also available for those without an email service. General correspondence and reminders are also done via email.
We are always striving to work in partnership with our parents and it is something we are continuously trying to develop, encourage and enhance.