Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer

How our setting knows if young children need extra help and what our parents/carers should do if they think their child may have SEND.

Each child is allocated a key person. The key person gets to know the child and family to provide a holistic view of the child’s stage of development and interests.

The key person refers to the Early Years Outcomes to gain an overview of what a child might be expected to achieve at a certain stage. All children develop and progress at different rates, but by identifying where a child is performing over all areas of the curriculum, it becomes apparent quite quickly if there is an area which requires extra support. At this stage the key person would speak with the parents/carers to discuss their findings. They may include the setting SENCo.

Next steps are planned to ensure the child makes progress.

Parents/carers are able to raise concerns with the key person during their initial induction and at any time during their child’s time within the setting.

How our setting supports young children with SEND

When an area of concern has been identified, the key person, SENCo and parent/carer will together agree strategies to help the child to progress. A plan is written to record specific activities which will be carried out by the key person within the setting, and by the parent/carer at home. Progress is monitored and recorded in partnership with the parent/carer. We evaluate our provision on a regular basis to ensure that it is effective and meeting the needs of the children.If it is felt that a referral is needed to another professional service such as speech and language therapy or behaviour support then this is done with parental consent.

How our setting creates learning and development opportunities for individual Children with SEND.

We are an inclusive setting, which means that we ensure that every child is able to access activities and experiences offered. For instance, we have different height trays for equipment and we use the floor as well as tables, we have different types of chairs, we will consult with parents/carers regarding individual children’s needs. We use differentiation over our whole practice and environment. For children with an identified SEND, the key person would use the child’s plan to audit the environment and our practice to ensure the child was supported to access all areas of the curriculum.

How our setting works in partnership with parents/carers.

Parents are able to make appointments to see their key person whenever they wish, or can have informal chats at drop off and pick up times. They are offered the opportunity to attend a 1:1 meeting every term to discuss the progress of their child, and are encouraged to contribute to their child’s learning journey on a regular basis. For children who have SEND these meetings will be more frequent.

If parents are unable to come into the setting, we can use e-mail or telephone calls to communicate with their key person during the day.

The progress of all children is tracked by the key person referring to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum documents. This process identifies any area that may need extra support in addition to discussion with parents we are able to offer additional support for any areas causing concern.

Through discussion with parents an agreed plan is put into place, with the parents aspirations for the child central to the process. We review this plan every 3 months.

The key person will discuss with parents how they may be able to extend their child’s experiences in the home learning environment (HLE) using next steps planning. We also make parents/carers aware of any workshops, articles and resources within the locality which might be of interest. These are located in the entrance foyer and on our weekly emails.

How our setting supports the well being of young children with SEND

Robust recruitment procedures and checks are carried out to ensure practitioners are suitable to work with children. A secure environment gives children confidence to explore freely and independently. Systems are in place to ensure children’s safety such as password system, signature collection form for individual children and indoor and outdoor risk assessments.

Positive behaviour is supported by consistent practice: rules and boundaries are explained, verbally and visually; the environment is structured to enable child-led exploration and play; disagreements between children are sensitively managed by practitioners who encourage children to negotiate and understand another’s point of view. Specific praise and celebration of wanted behaviour is used to enhance self-confidence and highlight positive behaviour.

Positive language is used to convey instructions, remind of rules and boundaries, e.g. “Remember we walk inside.”

If a parent/carer has particular concerns about the health and safety of their child, they will discuss these with the key person, and any adaptations to our practice or the environment will be considered. The key person will be responsible for ensuring these aspects of care are carried out.

We have policies and procedures in place for the administration of medicines; we have individual care plans in place for children with additional needs.

Children are able to communicate their views in their preferred manner, e.g. by their actions, gestures, words, etc.

Staff training and experience in supporting young children with SEND

Where additional training is identified for a child’s particular need this will be sourced and cascaded to all staff.

All staff undertake basic Safeguarding training via e-modules or face to face training and are encouraged to extend their knowledge over time.

The Designated Safeguarding Coordinator is Tracy Campbell. She has accessed level 2 training, and Designated Safeguarding Training level 3.

All staff are on a rolling 3 year Paediatric First Aid training schedule.

We have two qualified and experienced SENCo’s at the setting who have completed relevant training in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as well as being trained in assessing children’s understanding and use of language using the Wellcomm assessment tools. All staff consistently use sign language and are aware of how to create and use a visual environment to support all children with communication and understanding. This process is supported and led by two members of staff who have successfully completed signs for success training.

Specialist services and expertise accessed by our setting.

We access services offered by Essex Special Educational Needs and Disability services, Children’s Centre, Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Health Visitors and any other professionals who work with families that attend our setting. We undertake Wellcomm language assessments within the preschool.  We have good links with speech and language therapists at Colchester Primary Care trust (ACE) and with parental consent we are able to make referrals.

How our setting includes young children with SEND in community based activities and outings

Parents/carers are invited to join special activities and outings within the local community, such as picnics in the park. We have close links with Kendall Primary School and are able to use their facilities, we also have access to the woods on the school site for Forest School Activities. Suggestions and comments are invited through discussion with the child’s key person and our parent’s forum. Such events are risk assessed for safety and accessibility by visits beforehand and parents’ views are sought.

Our accessible environment

An access audit is an on-going element of our practice, led by our Equality Named Co-Ordinator Alison Renton.

Puddleducks is fully wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets for both adults and children which have changing facilities.

Auditory and visual improvements are constantly made, particularly if they are specific to a particular need, but always to promote positive behaviour and inclusion. We have a hearing loop system in place.

We discuss with parents with English as an Additional Language how best to communicate, and use computer programmes to send written documentation in their language where necessary. We also have access to various resources to enhance communication within the setting.

Equipment and resources are obtained either through the SEN premium or alternative funding.

How our setting prepares and supports young children with SEND when joining the setting and when transferring to another setting or school.
Managers and the child’s key person work together to welcome families to the setting. The manager spends time with parents/carers to explain aspects of the practice whilst the key person gets to know the child. The parent then joins the key person and child, and they talk together about the child’s needs and interests which forms the basis of a one page profile. The parent may stay as long as they wish to ensure the child is settled. They may return early so the child does not spend too long apart, but gradually the child will spend longer at the setting. Each induction and transition is planned individually to suit the child.

As soon as the child’s school place is confirmed, arrangements are put in place for a detailed transition which includes two-way visits for the child with their parent and key person and/or SENCo.

How our setting organises its resources to meet the needs of young children with SEND

The key person will plan time to make sure targeted support is given; this may mean that another member of staff steps into their role if the support requires focussed 1:1 attention. However, where possible, activities to support children are undertaken within the session, as part of a small group or whole group activity. All resources within the environment are differentiated.

How we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND

Meetings with parent, key person, SENCo and any other professionals involved are held to identify main outcomes and plan consistent strategies and support. Outcomes are evaluated via on-going observations and discussions within setting and home learning environment, and reviewed at set periods. Each child’s individual needs and interests are taken into account when planning provision.

How we involve all parents/carers in our setting

During induction the importance of parents/carers involvement in their child’s learning are emphasised, and parents/carers are given information on all ways in which they can communicate with us, and how to find out what is happening in the setting. Questionnaires are completed by parents to share their views and suggestions. We hold a parents forum on a termly basis to share information and ideas. Meetings with the child’s key person are held on a regular basis.

Who to contact for further information

Key person, Group Manager and SENCo - Tracy Campbell or  Managing Directors- Jeanette Gutteridge and Alison Renton.

Further information available at