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SEND Local Offer

Identifying and implementing enhanced support

How will Chestnut House Kindergarten know if my child needs extra help and what do I need to do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

At Chestnut House Kindergarten we identify where children have special educational needs or disabilities through detailed induction meetings with parents when the child commences their placement with us. This will include the nature of the SEND, the child’s individual needs and requirements and any existing support. We ask all parents/carers to complete a ‘Baseline’ form with the child’s keyperson which provides a basis for our observations.

If concerns are raised about a child who already attends the nursery, with parents’/carers’ permission, detailed observations will be carried out by the child’s key person and the nursery SENDco(s). Discussions are then held with the child’s parents/carers to discuss any additional support that could be implemented, including referrals to outside agencies if necessary.

If parents/carers think their child may have SEND, they can raise their concerns with their child’s key person who can then refer them to the nursery SENDco(s). A meeting can then be arranged to discuss their concerns, either formally or informally, and additional support can be put into place where necessary.

How will Chestnut House Kindergarten support SEND children? 

The nursery SENDco(s) are responsible for ensuring that all practitioners understand their responsibilities to children with SEND and offer advice and support where necessary. They attend regular SENDco courses and ensure that all staff have up to date SEND training by keeping accurate training records. They use this knowledge to ensure that our SEND policies are kept up to date. They ensure that the One Plans and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s) are completed and implemented, and support practitioners in reviewing them with parents. They gather any resources or materials needed by practitioners to ensure progress targets can be achieved effectively. SENDco(s) are a point of contact for parents, ensuring they are involved with every decision and that their insights inform any actions taken by the nursery. They liaise with the local pre school cluster group and other external agencies to gain information and advice to better support children with SEND who are attending the setting.

A child’s key person is often the first at the setting to recognise where a child may need additional support. This is often identified through the use of observations, development tracking and differentiation. Once a need has been identified, the key person will notify the setting SENDco. The keyperson is responsible for meeting the day to day needs of children with SEND, whether this be basic care needs, i.e. helping with toileting, or carrying out activities recommended by outside professionals. They will participate in meetings, alongside the SENDco, with parents or professionals to ensure that the child’s needs and views whilst at the setting are communicated.

Children will be supported during their transitions through the nursery by the setting SENDco and their key person. They will ensure that all necessary information is passed over and any additional support is provided, such as additional visits or a ‘My New Room’ book containing photos and information about the new room and staff.

How will Chestnut House Kindergarten create learning & development opportunities for individual children with SEND?

All practitioners will use differentiation when planning activities to do with the children they care for, implementing guidance from outside professionals where necessary. This ensures that all children have access to the full curriculum at all times. For children with SEND, this could mean ensuring that activities are on lower tables or in more accessible areas for children in wheelchairs, putting messy play materials in sealed plastic bags for children with Sensory Processing Disorder or using clearer, more concise language with children who have a Speech and Language difficulty.

In order to ensure that children want to engage in activities, they are planned in accordance to the children’s interests at that time. For example, if a child has a sensory processing disorder and doesn’t like to engage in messy play, favourite toys, such as trains or boats will be added to encourage them to play. Staff:child ratios can also be adjusted and one-to-one guidance given where needed to ensure the child is supported at an appropriate level at all times.

How does Chestnut House Kindergarten work in partnership with parents?

All children are admitted to the setting after consultation between the parents/carers and nursery manager. During the child’s first session, parents/carers will complete an induction pack with the Room Manager which provides useful information and an opportunity for parents to inform us of any existing SEND or any concerns they may have about their child’s development. Face to face discussions are held every time the child attends the setting, on arrival and on collection. This allows parents/carers to inform us of the child’s wellbeing that day and what they have been doing at home, and informs parents/carers about their child’s day at nursery. Parents/carers are encouraged to ask for a catch up meeting with their child’s key person, room manager or the nursery manager if they have any concerns about their child’s development or behaviour. Regular review meetings are held with parents/carers to discuss the progress of children with SEND in relation to any targets they have been set and how we can continue to help them progress. All parents/carers are invited to attend Parent’s evenings which allows them the opportunity to have a discussion with their child’s Key person, and termly end of term reports are completed on all children as a record of children’s progress and targets for next term. Parents/carers are encouraged to do observations at home using the parent zone app at any time they would like to. 

Within our setting we do an online learning journey using  iConnect, this gives parents accurate information daily from meals, nappies, sleep, snapshots, moments and assessments. The parent’s app is called parent zone where you can view your child’s day at nursery and receive snapshots, moments and assessments.

All parents/carers are encouraged to inform their child’s room manager or key person of any activities they have particularly enjoyed at home, for example, going to the zoo or celebrating a cultural festival. This will then be included in the planning to extend the activity at nursery. For children with SEND, this is especially important as it ensures we can work in partnership with parents to extend the child’s learning.  For example, if a child with speech and language difficulties participated in language activities better at home when conducted using puppets, we can use puppets in the setting to ensure the child gets the most out of the activity. Parents are also encouraged to share the children’s achievements from home by talking to practitioners, filling out leaves on our ‘WOW’ tree and send photos through the parent zone app. These will also be included in our planning and assessments where appropriate.

The progress of all children in the setting is recorded on their online Learning Journey through written or photographic observations and art work to be sent home. These are assessed against the Development matters and monitored throughout the term, thus ensuring effective provision and that progress is being made and highlighting any areas in which the child may need extra support. End of term reports are conducted termly to ensure all children are progressing in their learning. At the age of two, children’s key persons will work in conjunction with parents/carers to complete a Two Year Check, which describes the child’s current attainment levels.

Parents are encouraged to take home and use the variety of ‘Home Learning Bags’ that have been produced by the setting. They give ideas for conversation starters between parents/carers and children. Practitioners will share activity ideas with parents as requested, especially if a child takes a particular interest.

If One Planning is implemented to support children with SEND, parents are invited to a meeting, either formally or informally, with the child’s key person and the setting SENDco. Other professionals involved with the child, such as a Specialist Teacher or speech and language therapist, may be invited where appropriate. Targets are written based upon areas of need identified by those attending the meeting, parents aspirations for their child and recommendations from outside professionals. Review meetings are held every 3 months with parents.

How does Chestnut House Kindergarten support the wellbeing of young children with SEND?

Risk assessments are carried out daily on all areas of the nursery and grounds to ensure the safety of all children who attend the setting. Individual risk assessments may be completed if necessary, for example, if a child has complex needs and risks may be presented to the child or people around them. These will be carried out in partnership with the child’s parents/carers.

Praise and positive reinforcement are used to promote positive behaviour in the setting. This could take the form of verbal praise, sticker charts, certificates or ‘Well done stars’. Practitioners act as positive role models to demonstrate the behaviours expected of all children. The setting has a set of Golden Rules that the children are taught which set out what is expected from them. Visual prompts are displayed around the room to reinforce these rules. All of our routines and environments are adaptable to suit the needs of the children.

If a child requires prescribed medicine whilst at the setting, parents will be asked to complete an on-going Medicine Form or the daily medicine book, depending on how long they require the medicine for. Medicines are stored in sealed containers and clearly labelled before being stored in the First Aid cupboard or fridge. They are administered by practitioners who are trained in first aid, in the presence of another practitioner who will act as a witness. Personal care is administered in the most discreet way possible by the child’s key person so as to avoid embarrassment.

Children with SEND are encouraged to contribute their views through discussions with their Key workers, art work or with communication aids, such as puppets.

What training & experience does staff at Chestnut House Kindergarten have in supporting children with SEND?

Within our setting, we have 30 staff all of which hold  up to date first aid training and all staff have level 2 safeguarding training which is done online and we have two designated safeguarding officers and these are reviewed regularly. We have three SEND trained staff that are our Nursery SENDco’s. We have staff who know Makaton and British sign language. We have staff who have done Behaviour training and Autism training

What specialist services and expertise are available to Chestnut House Kindergarten?

Within Chestnut House we welcome other professionals to work alongside us and to support our children with complex needs. We invite the children’s professionals in for example health visitors, Speech and language therapists or Children’s Centre workers so they can see and observe the child in question in an environment which is normal to them and where they feel comfortable(with parental consent). We can also sign post parents to these services if they feel they would like some additional support outside of the setting.

How does Chestnut House Kindergarten include young children with SEND in community based activities and outings?

When communicating with parents in the mornings about their child(ren) we speak to them about activities or day, outings which they have done either at the weekend or on a day they are not at nursery. We will use this information to inform our planning. We can then plan activities around the interests of the child to involve them within our day to day routine. We will do risk assessments for the activity to make sure it is safe for the children within the room and we use differentiation to make sure the activity meets every child’s development needs. For example, if we were doing hand print painting and we know that a certain child doesn’t like the feel of paint on their hands, we could use pens to draw around their hand instead. In our setting, we don’t go on outings but we invite professionals into the nursery ie tractor, lolly pop lady, policeman and vet. We will do a risk assessment on these visits into the nursery so all staff are aware of the possible risks and how they can be minimised.

Where necessary, we will support children with SEND during their transition to school with extra visits to their new classroom in the company of a nursery practitioner. Risk assessments are carried out and strictly adhered to. Where travel is required, practitioners will meet the child and their parents at the school and handover will take place at the school after the visit.


How accessible is Chestnut House Kindergarten?

Chestnut House Kindergarten has wide corridors and doorways to allow easy movement through the building for everyone. There are double doors from the building to the garden that lead onto a ramp, making the garden wheelchair accessible. We have a disabled toilet on the ground floor which is accessible for all users. If necessary, rooms can be rearranged to accommodate children with mobility difficulties by allowing them to have a playroom on the ground floor. All resources are stored at the children’s level ensuring they can select their own activities. Makaton and visual aids are used to help children with communication difficulties express their needs and wishes.

At Chestnut House Kindergarten, we welcome all children and aim to respond appropriately to each child’s background and individual needs. We will differentiate activities and resources for all children to suit their individual needs. If we have a child whose first language is not English, we will translate literature to their language within their room. We also have a talking pen and books in a variety of languages. We can access an external translator or ask an English speaking relative to translate for us if this is helpful.

How will Chestnut House Kindergarten prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer into a new setting or school?

At Chestnut House Kindergarten, we have a thorough induction procedure which can be modified to suit the needs of each child. Each family will attend an induction session with the child’s intended Room Manager where they can inform us of the child’s routine, likes and dislikes, any medical or dietary needs and any other information they feel is relevant. Parents are given an Induction Pack to welcome them to the nursery and provide them with various pieces of information about the setting. The child will then stay and play in the room for approximately an hour. After this, the child will attend settling in sessions which will increase in duration. On average, a child will attend 5 settling in sessions, however more can be arranged if it is felt that this will be needed to help the child settle. A book about the nursery can be made and given to the child for them to talk about at home, to help familiarise them with the setting and the people they may come across, if needed.

Transitions to schools are also planned carefully to ensure all children are happy. We ask that parents inform us of their child’s named school so that our Early Years Practice Manager can contact them and arrange for the Teachers to visit the nursery. We ask that the Teachers bring photos of the school, reception classroom(s) and the uniform. When teachers visit us, they will spend time with each child attending their school and talk to the child’s Key Person about the child’s development and any additional needs they may have. We will share any necessary paperwork with the school with parents’/carers’ consent to ensure the new school has all the necessary information. We will support parents and children in this transition by talking to the children about going to school and their school visits or by reading stories which can also be taken home. All Pre-school rooms participate in P.E. lessons during which they are encouraged to change into a P.E. kit and back again, as they would in a school setting.

How are Chestnut House Kindergarten resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

Resources are obtained and allocated to children on a need by need basis with additional funding being sought where appropriate. External professionals, such as Speech and Language Therapists, will provide us with a report of their findings and recommendations. When we receive this, the child’s One Plan or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be updated to reflect the identified needs and resources will be given to the room in order to carry out the activities necessary. For example, if it has been identified that a child has a limited vocabulary, the SENDco(s) will ensure that the child’s room has flash cards to help develop the child’s word bank. If we do not have resources needed, they will be ordered at the soonest possible time.

How do we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND?

When we first have a concern about a child’s development, We will invite their parents/carers into the setting for a meeting, allowing parent to express any concerns they may have or they may have an explanation for the concern, e.g. premature birth. If it is felt by all parties that the setting does not have the expertise or resources to cope with the child’s needs and a referral to outside agencies is needed, this will be discussed and the SENDco will help the parents to make the referral if their consent is given. We will begin to give the child support in the areas of need while we wait for the referral to come through to us. Once the child has had an assessment, we will receive a report of the findings and recommendations from the professional i.e speech and language therapist, paediatricians . Regular catch up meetings are held between the SENDco(s), Key person and Parents/carers to ensure that everyone is fully informed of the child’s progress and any additional support can be sourced if needed.

If it is felt that a child would benefit from an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) then the application and assessment process will be explained to the parents in an arranged meeting and consent will be sought before going ahead. This is most likely if a child has a significant need(s) and/or before starting school.

How are parents involved at Chestnut House Kindergarten? How can I be involved?

Parents are always fully involved in the care and development of their child. They are invited to add ideas to the planning in their child’s room and share their child’s interests and achievements with Key Persons. Parents are invited to attend Parent’s Evenings or special days at the nursery, e.g. the school leavers party, or are invited to talk to the children about their culture, job or interests.

Parents of children with SEND are invited to attend regular catch up meetings with the SENDco(s) and their child’s Key Person or Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings for children with significant needs and multiple professionals. All parents are asked to contribute to their child’s One Plan and are able to review it when they would like to. Parents’ consent is always sought before any action is taken or additional support put in place for children with SEND.



Kelly Lamb

Chestnut House

45 Mill Road


Colchester    CO4 5LE

Telephone: 01206 838900

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open 51 weeks per year Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm

Updated January 2022

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