Here at Highfield we aim to provide an environment inclusive to all children. We are committed to ensuring that all children are given the opportunities and support needed to achieve their full potential.
We acknowledge and respect that each child attending our setting is unique, and some children may require individual support due to their unique set of needs. Every child within our provision is given the opportunity to become a confident learner.
We closely monitor the progress of each child who attends our setting through Schemas, Early Years Foundation stage, Characteristics of Effective Learning all through a range of approaches and methods. The monitoring of progress ensures that each child is achieving to their fullest potential, and any possible difficulties are identified swiftly.
The following monitoring and assessment methods, with the aim of highlighting any potential areas of development for children within our care;
· Each child is assigned an experienced Key Person whom welcomes and helps settles them into our environment. This Key Person also meets with each child’s parent/carer before they begin accessing our setting; this meeting enables parent/carers to talk about any concerns they may have about their child’s development, as well as enabling Key Person’s to talk through important aspects about how we identify and support children’s individual needs. Initial information about children’s needs, strengths and interests are recorded on an Observation and Assessment Grid; this information along with initial observations of each child forms ‘on entry data’ which further helps us to monitor children’s development and progress during their time with us.
· This consistent Key Person is responsible for collating observations and assessments of each child, which are added to children’s Learning Journeys. Parents/carers are also warmly invited and encouraged to add comments and observations to this document, Learning Journeys are stored in a shelving unit within the day care room, and are readily accessible to parents.
· At the end of each half term, the Key Person analyses all observations they have gathered for the child during the past weeks and compiles this information in the form of an ‘Observation and Assessment grid’. This forms part of our moderation meetings.The Key Person also devises ‘Next Steps for Development’ for each child to work towards during the next term. These Next Steps are wholly individualised and are relevant to each child’s unique developmental journey; we uphold an ethos which fosters the opinion that all children’s developmental journey will be different and each individual child will undoubtedly demonstrate skills and strengths which will vary dramatically from their peers.
· In addition to monitoring through everyday observations, we also complete a 2 year old Learning and Development Summary. As a requirement of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017) Key Person’s use information they have gathered through day to day observations, as well as knowledge gained through discussions with parent/carers, to complete this progress summary for all 2 year olds within our care. In this document Key Persons will discuss and identify children’s strengths and any areas of development they may have observed; making specific comments about children’s progress in the three prime areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional development, Communication and Language, Physical Development. They will also write comments about children’s demonstrations of key learning attributes; the characteristics of effective learning.
The aim of this progress check is to inform parent/carers of their child’s progress within the setting, which also acts as a tools for early identification of any potential difficulty or need that the child may be experiencing. This document is shared with parents/carers and they are strongly encouraged to record their own views and opinions about their child’s learning and development.
· Next Steps may involve Key Persons devising targeted activities which will promote children’s development in a specific area. During this time if it is observed that child had not made progress towards meeting targeted Next Steps, targets would then be adapted and further structured activities devised in order to ascertain whether this may an area of potential need for further investigation.
· While we ensure that time and opportunities are given for Key Person to support children in meeting their devised Next Steps, we uphold the view that early identification and action are key in planning adequate support and achieving positive outcomes for children with SEND and Disabilities. Therefore it is vital that requests for further support and guidance from outside agencies are not delayed in any way.
· Key Persons regularly meet with the setting SENDco and/or Manager to discuss any concerns they may be having regarding a child’s development and progress. During these supervision times, next steps of action are discussed, and following this parents/carers are invited into the setting to talk through any concerns that arise. Parental partnerships are crucial in achieving the best outcomes for children with SEN and Disability, and we strongly advocate an honest and open approach. Key Persons work hard to build trusting and effective relationships with parent/carers, and with support from the setting SENDCo, this better prepares Key Persons to talk openly with parent/carers about any worries or concerns we may hold.
· Through Provision Mapping and by completing termly Overviews of the targeted support which takes place within our setting, we are able to clearly document the levels of intensity of support we provide for children. We are able to identify which children may require additional support which is being met through existing targeted intervention and also children who require more specialised or intensive support – often provided by outside agencies.
· After discussions with parents/carers, and further play based assessment within the setting, we will initiate the next step of response and devise an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Behaviour Support Plan (BSP). On occasion, with parental consent, we may also contact the local authority or child's Health visitor for further support and advice; often which results in an Early Years consultant coming into our setting to meet with the child and/or parents/carers to further discuss issues, or undertake specific observations or play based assessments. This consultant works in partnership with the child’s Key Person and parent/carers to adapt IEP targets or suggest additional strategies.
· It may be suggested that the next step of action will be for our setting to request a referral to an outside agency for further advice and support in assessing children’s needs. This referral will only be completed with parental consent, and we will involve them at every stage.
We may request support and guidance from the following agencies;
Speech and Language Therapists
First Base behavioural support team
· Children’s IEP’s are reviewed at least every term (however the frequency of these reviews may increase depending upon the number of sessions the child attends, level of progress achieved etc.). Parents/carers are invited to IEP review meetings and their opinions and comments are valued and reflected within the adapted or newly devised IEP or Behaviour Support Plan. Minutes of issues discussed within these meetings are made available to parents/carers and copies of newly updated IEP’s are given to parents/carers for their records.
We recognise that every staff member in our setting needs specific knowledge in order to effectively support children with SEN and Disability. We are committed to giving our practitioners the opportunity to access relevant training; facilitating an environment where expertise and knowledge is shared. The team have a varied and wide knowledge of SEND.
Our designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Danielle Reid and Natasha Trinder has a accredited Early Years SENCO Training.
The following courses and training relating to Special Educational Needs and children’s learning and development have been accessed by members of our team within the past two years;
Makaton Stages 1 and 2
Transition Passport Training
Supporting Communication (whole setting training)
A Positive approach to behaviour
SEN responsibilities and target setting for Key Persons
Support for Children with Selective Mutism and Reluctant Talkers
Early Years SEND Reform: What this means for you
Safeguarding: Roles and Responsibilities
Outdoor Learning - Meeting the needs of 2 & 3 year olds
Supporting Children as Writers in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Creating a stimulating story space for the under 5s
Exciting Writing for Schools
A Practical Guide to Allergy and Asthma
Transforming Learning through Observation
Safeguarding: Understanding the family's journey
ICT in the Early Years
Making it REAL
Relationships Build Brains: Why adults are important to young children#
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Letters & Sounds (phase 1)
Twos Are Special
Supporting Maths With Confidence
Autism and Asperger's
Training on use of an Epipen