Westside's Philosophy- A belief that children flourish in their learning when in a happy & safe environment.Developing the skills and confidence needed to enable their independence.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Mrs Vicki Ilett
- 01256 324829
Where to go
- Westside Pre-school
Westside Community Centre,
- RG22 6QB
- Accessible changing, Secure environment, Wheelchair access, Accessible toilets, Disabled parking
- Age Ranges
- 2, 3, 4
- 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 carry out home visits before a child starts to enable you to meet us. We find this gives you a chance to ask questions about special needs; behaviour; culture; disabilities; diet or allergies. If it’s thought your child will need additional help a meeting will be set up with our SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator). We ask you to fill in a ‘can do form’ so we know what stage of development they have reached and invite children to a taster session.Two years children have development checks carried out as they start and developmental records are kept. Each child is assigned Key person who’ll know their strengths and weakness by monitoring and completing observation on their play and work.The key person will discuss concerns with the SENCO, a meeting can be arranged with you and consent forms signed. Further support can be received from the area INCO (Inclusion Co-ordinator);Portage; Speech and Language Therapists (SALT); Occupational Therapists (OT’s); Educational Psychologists (EP’s) or Health Visitors. We work with Ethnic Minority Travellers Achievement Services (EMTAS) to support your family with communication barriers. We do not specialise in any type of special need but we always do our best for all children that require extra help to reach their full potential. We might not have all the answers but we have a good support team in the early years sector that will come in with advice; equipment and leaflets on how we can help support you and your child.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
Staff are trained in a variety of areas including speech, language and behaviour management. The Key person assigned to your child ensures they are developing to their full potential. Staff record observations of their play; language and social interaction; keep photo’s; completed pictures and written work. These make up the learning journal of your child and gives a complete view of their development. If you, your child’s key person or our SENCO feel your child’s needs are not being met an Additional Support Action Plan will be written to benefit their continued development, if necessary the behaviour coordinator can also be involved. This may include activities to support them through language and small group work carried out during the session. If it is felt necessary outside agencies such as the Area Inclusion Co-ordinator; SALT; (Speech and Language Therapist) Portage (A service devoted to supporting children and families with behaviour difficulties) or a Health Visitor may be called in to ensure all needs are catered for. Staff will use visual timetables; pictorials guides; talking pens and Makaton signs and in time support your child with their transition to infant school. The SENCO is familiar with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practise, ensures her training is kept up to date and is trained in PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) a programme centred on the belief that children develop best when they feel safe and emotionally secure. This helps children understand their feelings, build confidence and increases their self esteem.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
All children are unique but we recognise some have more needs than others. We will meet these needs by working closely with you as parents and other professionals. Planning takes into account children’s interest’s and progress, educational needs or any extra needs because of disability (special needs policy.) We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and Statutory Framework to plan the curriculum as a guide for your child’s development. Children’s developmental next steps are always included. Additional Support Action Plans as well as behavioural plans are a very important feature part of both the planning and curriculum. They will be updated regularly with the support of all staff and of course you as a parent to ensure your child’s needs are being met.
- 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?
Our learning journals contain observations, assessments and photo’s they are therefore able to show how your child is developing. These are very important because they will help us see if your child is not reaching the recommended ‘age & stage’ set out in the Foundation stage. We know as parents you are your child’s first educator and we therefore understand how important it is to involve you in the progress they are making. We have an open door policy where you can come in and discuss your child’s progress at any time; we ask you to write any ‘wow moments’ that your child has achieved at home, these milestones will not only be added to the learning journal but shared with the rest of the group and we hold parents mornings twice a year when you can come in and speak to your child’s key person about their records.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
All staff are responsible for keeping your child safe and secure. This is managed by having a designated safeguarding coordinator; staff training kept up to date and to a high standard; high ratio of staff to children; policies and procedures include safeguarding; security; behaviour, manual handling and parents use of passwords if someone different is picking up your child up. Doors are locked so children cannot get out; and so no one can get in, (doors to the garden and fire doors are alarmed), cameras enable us to see who's outside before we open the door. All staff support children with behaviour and Additional Support Action Plans, involving outside agencies if required. We work together with you to ensure your child’s needs are met. We encourage children to talk about their emotions and build their self-confidence by using PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) We will administer any medicines your child may require;(consent form with dosage and times will need to be signed). A percentage of staff are trained to use epi-pens. Each child has a place mat which they use at snack and lunch time, with their name, picture and a list of allergies (red for danger e.g. nut allergies, orange for dietary needs and green for no extra requirements.) We follow a healthy eating plan so children will only be offered a healthy snack and water or milk for drinks. All children are taught the importance of hand washing before they eat and after using the toilet.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
Our staff have a wealth of experience and training and our SENCO has been in this role for 8 years. We have many links with other professional such as Portage; Health Visitors; Area INCO; Speech and Language Therapist; Occupational Health; Paediatricians; Social Workers and work closely with the Children’s Centre.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
We understand that each child is an individual, who has the right to be respected, kept safe and given a chance to develop their own interest skills and ideas with confidence. We have one staff members with a degree’s in Early Years, one with an NNEB and a high ratio of staff hold a level three in childhood studies. Our SENCO has been in this role for 8 years and is constantly updating her training. All staff have had basic training in Makaton and completed training in first aid and child protection. We also have a member of staff who has had bereavement training and Health and Safety.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
>All activities are adapted to ensure all the children are able to access them; staff ratio can be higher so that a child can have one-to-one support if needed. Risk assessments of how we are travelling and the place we are visiting are carried out; however when we go on trips we ask parents to come with us as we feel it is important to involve you in their day out. If parents cannot come we ensure your child will be cared for by a staff member. Contact numbers in case we need you; first aid kit; epi-pen; inhalers; changes of clothes and extra drinks are all taken with us.
- How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Westside is fully wheelchair accessible; we have a disabled toilet and the main doors are automatic. The doors leading into main hall open wide enough for a wheelchair to gain access; pre-school is all on one level and the floor is flat. We have low tables, chairs and toilets and our garden area is flat. We also have access to the SEN Resource centre where we can borrow specialist equipment if required. We work closely with parents that have English as a second language, using EMTAS (Ethnic Minorities and Travellers Achievement Service) to help translate information for parents and help support children.
- 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?
Westside always offers a visit to meet you, your family and child in your home environment which we feel is very important. You and your child will be invited to a taster session, if your child has special requirements extra visits can be arranged. These sessions give your child a chance to meet all the staff; see the routines and all the toys we have for them to play with. We work closely with all local school and always encourage the teachers to come in and meet the children at pre-school. Before the end of the Summer term we begin to do school based role play around new schools including making the home area into a uniform shop so children get used to seeing the clothes they will be wearing at their new school. We also try to arrange for the school to give us photographs of the teachers they will be working with to ensure their transition is as smooth as possible. We read stories and talk about the new routines they will be experiencing. We set up transition meetings for any child we feel needs that extra help to settle, key person; SENCO; parents; school SENCO; their new teacher and any other professionals that have been working with you and your child will be invited.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All children are able to receive up to 15 hours free education the term after their third birthday and some children are now also eligible to receive 2 year old finding if they meet the appropriate criteria. Special Education Needs (SEN) funding is allocated to your child where appropriate, this could be gaining staff to work one-to-one with your child; it could also be used to purchase extra equipment that may be required. We are members of the Basingstoke Resource Centre, which has a variety of equipment, activities and resources that can be loaned to us on a monthly basis or longer as required. Please remember Westside Pre-school has plenty of resources already to meet all children’s ‘ages & stages.’
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Your child’s key person, SENCO, parents, Area INCO and any other agencies that are involved will meet regularly to discuss the best way forward to support your child. We will monitor to ensure the best support is put in place. We will all be looking at your child’s learning journal, completing observations; and then reviewing targets on their action plan to ensure they can both access all areas of the curriculum and then develop in them. The amount of support is dependent on their needs and will be decided through meetings between the Manager and SENCO, and of course discussions will also be held with yourselves.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
We encourage you as parent’s to be involved in every part of your child’s learning. We send a scrap book home for you to fill in with anything that is significant to your family time including; photos; drawings; pictures of things they like and parent morning are held at regular intervals where you will have a 20 minute appointment to talk about your child’s process, you are also able to make appointments to speak to the SENCO. We hold MAGS (mums, aunts and grandmother) & DUGS (dads; uncle and granddads) days so you are able to see what; why and how we encourage your child’s learning in a happy and safe environment. Each term we send out a newsletter giving you a vast amount of information about what is happening in the setting; we have all policies and procedures in our parents box that you are welcome to borrow and read along with the latest Ofsted report. We have photo’s in our learning journals and also lots of group photos on display that you can look at to see what activities we are doing with your child.