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Toybox Pre School Group | Community Directory

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Toybox Pre School Group

Pre-School Playgroup
General Details

Our values and hopes as a Pre-school are to be a safe, welcoming, friendly, nurturing, inclusive environment, for all children in our area and beyond. We are supportive of parents and carers as well as the child. We are a fun and enjoyable place that helps the children to become confident, build self-esteem, think positively of themselves and others and respect themselves and others.  We believe that all children develop at their own pace with staff who know them, find out about their interests and work with their families to help them thrive.  We support parents and carers with early identification and support for any Special Educational Needs and Disability, or medical support such as for asthma.  We use Makaton with all children to support clear understanding and to help children communicate effectively and know that using our hands to communicate promotes the development of our language processing in our brains.  We hope everything we do will enable them to move on and become a healthy, well-balanced person.

Who to contact

Julie Tidyman
Preschool Manager
Gatacre Road
01473 216477
Social Media
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Contact Notes

We are on the site of Handford Hall Primary School, as approached from Gatacre Road - you need to come onto the school site and walk towards the school office, then turn right and walk past the school dome to get to our single storey brick building.

Charity Commissioning Number

Venue Details

Toybox Preschool Group
Gatacre Road
Venue Email
Parking available
Parking details
We do not have parking for parents on the site, Gatacre Road is not resident only parking but you should be avoid the double yellow lines around the car park.
Our nearest bus route is Ipswich Buses service 8/8b, stopping (from town centre) on Bramford Road at the Record Office (before the junction with Yarmouth Rd/Chevallier St), or at Farm Foods. Stopping here we are just a short walk down Gatacre Road.
Restrictions to access
If the gate onto Handford Hall grounds has had the bolt pulled across from the inside of the school grounds, and you cannot reach it to open it; please phone us and a member of staff will come and open it for you.

We are on the site of Handford Hall Primary School, as approached from Gatacre Road - you need to come onto the school site and walk towards the school office, then turn right and walk past the school dome to get to out single storey brick building.

30 Hours Extended Entitlements

Registered to provide 30 Hours?


Last updated
Immediate vacancies
Other information
Please contact Toybox Pre School Group for vacancy information.

Days & times

Monday to Friday: 8.00 - 5.30

Inclusive Provisions

Wheelchair access
Yes - The whole setting is on 1 level and is wheelchair accessible throughout, including the garden.
Cultural provisions
Yes - 90% of our children have English as their Second or Additional Language. We use a program called Tapestry to record the children's Learning Journeys as this is accessible to familes from home; where possible we use photographs and videos for the observations so they are relevant and understandable by families who do not read English.
Individual dietary needs
Yes - We ask parents/carers to give us information about the child’s dietary requirements, food intolerances/allergies or dietary restrictions through religious, cultural or other reasons; vegetarian or vegan so we are able to get appropriate snack and cooking resources. When parents or carers bring in birthday cakes for their child to share with the other children, we ask that they avoid gelatine sweets and nuts (and have alternaitves here in case unsuitable treats have been brought in).
Recent experience of supporting children with additional needs
Yes - We make sure that all activities are suitable for all our children to take part in, constantly reviewing what we do to ensure this. We have 2 teachers with training in working with children with Special Educational Needs or Disability, and all staff have training in using Makaton to support communication. We have 4 staff with specific training in supporting Positive Behaviour and have a strong ethos throughout the setting in supporting all children in learning how to be assertive about their needs and learning how to solve problems in positive ways. We find out about the ways that families can have extra support in identifying and supporting their child's needs and work with parents/carers and external professionals to meet the needs of the children in our care.
Specific additional needs this setting has experience of
Aspergers Syndrome
Autistic spectrum
Challenging Behaviour
Communication difficulties
Emotional needs
Global Delay
Hearing Difficulties
Learning difficulties
Serious allergy
Severe dietary needs
Social development impairment
Speech and language difficulties
Visual impairment


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£5.00 Per hour
The first 15 hours will be free for children getting 15 hours free entitlement. All children after their 3rd birthday are entitled to the 15 hours, and some 2 year olds. Some families will be able to get 30 hours free from September 2017 for children from the term after their 3rd birthday and will have to get a code for this from and bring the code to Toybox before the end of the previous school term. we also offer; Breakfast at a cost of £1, Tea at a cost of £1,

Other Details

Arts and crafts, CCTV, Climbing frame, Computer, Enclosed outdoor play area, Equipment for all ages, Garden, Healthy eating, Kitchen, Out-door play, Outdoor play equipment, Pet fish, Playroom, Private changing area, Quiet area, Sensory play equipment, Sleeping area, Slide, Soft play area, Take children on outings, Trampoline, Vegetable patch
School pickups
Handford Hall Primary School (Ipswich)
Cater for over 8s
Age Range
From 2 Year(s)
To 5 Year(s)

Each child has a key person who will be their first teacher in our preschool.  Their key person will observe them and record their play, learning and development, and then plan for the next steps to help their holistic development.  Each key person is part of a small group of key people, who meet weekly to discuss their key children's progress and plan for the activities they will provide for the children for the following week.  The teachers in the key group will get to know each other's key children and support the key children if their key person is absent.  All preschool staff meet once a half term to discuss the needs of all the children in the setting so that all staff get to know all children.

We use an online program called Tapestry to record the children's progress, which we analyse to see if their learning is at their chronological age, above or below (remembering that all children learn at different rates) and see where we need to provide extra support.  This also helps us indentify which children may be at need of support from external agencies such as Speech and Language therapists. 

We share our records about the children at termly meetings with their parents (or more frequently when appropriate or requested) and discuss with the parents how the child is developing both at the preschool and at home.  We then work together to identify areas that need support at home such as toilet training, at preschool such as turn taking, and areas that may need external support.

For children for whom we have thus identified that additional support is needed and children who come in with support from external agencies, our Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will support their key person in planning to meet their needs; the SENCO will support the key person with the review meetings and will liaise with external agencies such as Educational Psychologists as needed.

Offers Tax Free Childcare
Last Updated

Ofsted Information

Ofsted URN
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 
Inspection history
Inspection History
Inspection DateInspection typeInspection Outcome
26/11/2010Inspection (Early Years Register)Good
30/11/2012Inspection (Early Years Register)Good
16/12/2013Inspection (Early Years Register)Requires Improvement
02/10/2014Re-inspection (Early Years Register)Good
10/01/2018Inspection (Early Years Register)Requires Improvement
18/10/2018Re-inspection (Early Years Register)Requires Improvement
10/09/2019Re-inspection (Early Years Register)Good

Local Offer Local Offer Record

Experience of including people with special educational needs and disabilities

Our building is designed to be as accesible as possible for all, the bathrooms are accessible to wheelchair users and we aim to keep the floor space easy to move about.  We have a seperate room to use when children need a quieter space eg for speech and language support work, calm down space etc.

We have an accredited Special Needs Coordinator and other staff with SEN training from Suffolk County Council.  Staff are trained in using Makaton which we use with all children to support their communication.  Staff have specific training for practitioners eg 'An introduction to the Autistic Spectrum' as indicated by the needs of the children attending Toybox; some staff have attended training courses eg on Autism to support their own children which gives them additional skills to call upon to help support the children and families.

We use google translate to put information for parents and carers into their home languages eg for a child's Education and Health Care Plan and encourage parents to bring translators to meetings such as review meetings.

When we buy new resources, we take into account the needs of the children currently with us, so have a smart board and computer programs to support and extend language; sensory toys; triangular pens, pencils, crayons and brushes; puppets and expression cushions to support children communicating their feelings.

We allocate money each term for training to support our children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities according to the needs of the children currently attending Toybox.

We also allocate money each term for new resources to meet the needs of the specific children currently at Toybox, eg balance bikes to support mobility.

We attend meetings for the children eg at the Child Development Centre, and welcome visits from the other professionals supporting children eg Educational Psychologists.

Our Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy states:

We provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs and disability (SEND), are supported to reach their full potential.


  • We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
  • We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs and disability.
  • We support parents and children with special educational needs and disability.
  • We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and disability, and meet those needs through a range of SEND strategies.
  • We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children's needs.
  • We monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.




  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give his/her name to parents. Our SENCO is Laura Francis.
  • We ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs and disability is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We use the graduated approach system for identifying, assessing and responding to children's special educational needs and disability. This means we:
    • Assess (find out what the child can do and what they need support with)
    • Plan (decide with parents and any extra professionals how we will support the child)
    • Do (provide the support for the child)
    • Review (see how support is working and how we need to change it)
  • We work closely with the parents of children with special educational needs and disability to create and maintain a positive partnership.
  • We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's education.
  • We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
  • We liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and disability, and their families, including in connection with transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with special educational needs and disability.
  • We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing individual educational plans (IEPs) for children with special educational needs and disability.
  • We ensure that children with special educational needs and disability are appropriately involved at all stages of the graduated approach, taking into account their levels of ability.
  • We have systems in place for supporting children during the Early Years Support process (when they will have an IEP that states what support we are giving them that is extra to or different from the help we give the rest of the children).
  • We have systems in place for working with other agencies through each stage of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Early Years Support, or In Needs Assessment for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) process.
  • We use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with special educational needs disability.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy.
  • We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs and disability provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. Individual Education Plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency's views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.
Courtney Walters
01473 216477
Conditions Supported
Autistic spectrum conditions
Communication difficulties
Health conditions
Learning difficulties
Mental health conditions
Physical disabilities
Sensory impairments

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