We have a permanent member of staff who is dedicated to providing additional support to those children who need extra help with their development, including children with Special Education Needs (SEN) regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosis. All staff have experience of working with children who need extra support at Preschool.
Every child has individual needs, and we recognise that some children may need more support than others in order to further their development. This can vary from offering 1:1 daily support, to weekly speech and language interventions.
We can work with you and external agencies, where appropriate, to help gain the most support possible in order to help your child thrive and grow in the preschool environment.
Some children come to us already having had some involvement with external agencies such as the hospital Community Paediatrics Department, Early Years SEN Team (Oxfordshire County Council), Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists etc. However, some children arrive at preschool not having had their additional needs recognised and/or diagnosed. Either way we can work with you to help put support in place or continue the existing support. We can help with referrals to Speech and Language Therapy, Community Paediatrics etc. Sometimes the waiting lists for such external agencies are quite long, but that will not affect us giving your child the additional support that they may need whilst at preschool.
We recognise that transitions from preschool to school are very important for all children, but especially those with additional needs. We will work with your child's next setting to make sure that the transition is as supportive and smooth as possible and that the new setting have access to all the information and information on any support that has been in place up until that point.
All children have different levels of needs. Here at St Nicolas Preschool we have a very experienced team who can provide support for a wide variety of needs. Examples of additional support:
1:1 help (for up to 5 sessions week) - this is the top end of support. In order to get regular 1:1 support, your child will have a high level of clear need in order for us to gain the extra funding required for this.
Speech and Language Therapy - many children struggle with their speech and language, and we can provide speech and language therapy through weekly interventions that may help improve your child's speech. This would involve games and activities to help improve this area of their development. Some children have very limited speech and we can help improve their communication skills generally - all staff wear visual aids to help us to communicate with children, and to help them to communicate with us. We can also provide these visual aids for you to also use at home. Staff are also able to use sign language with children that would benefit from this.
Visual Aids and Timetables etc - some children struggle with transitions and we can put in place visual timetables to help with this where necessary. Some children really benefit from "now and next" boards if they suffer from anxiety and need to know what is happening next in their preschool day. Many children can move away from this support once they feel safe and secure in their environment. Some preschool children benefit from being given pictures of choices to help them through their day.
EAL - We often have children attend who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) and may need extra support and help with their preschool day but this may not need to continue throughout their time at preschool as their language develops. The visual aids that staff carry can help children understand what is happening or what we would like them to do next for example. We always encourage parents/carers to continue speaking their first language at home, as having more than one language is an incredible skill to keep and maintain. It is helpful for us if parents provide us with some basic words in their home language to help with communication.
Whatever your child's needs, our aim is always to work with you to help provide the best support possible for your child in order to help them to progress. All children who have Special Educational Needs will have a support plan in place, and this will include your input because we want to know what is important to you regarding your child's development. We have an SEN intervention timetable that we put in place for each cohort to make sure that our SEN Support Worker's time is well spent and targeted at those children that need the extra help.
If your child has any kind of additional needs, it is incredibly important to let us know about this in advance, so that we can be sure that we can offer the necessary support within the cohort. If your child has additional needs, you can either contact the Preschool Manager (01235 536061) or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org in order to discuss this in advance of your child starting with us.
Early identification of Special Educational Needs has always been a hugely important part of children’s development. At St Nicolas Pre-School we have always been lucky in our staff’s knowledge and skill set to help children with extra SEN needs. The work involved in providing the care and attention these children require to succeed and progress in an educational environment has increased immensely in the last few years. It has now become necessary to the team, to have one dedicated member of staff to co-ordinate all of our SEN needs and provide the necessary SEN support. This role includes identifying children who need extra support, producing the necessary paperwork required to get medical practitioners to diagnose conditions and all the relevant support and interventions for the children in-between!
As a potential or new parent to St Nicolas Pre-school, I wanted to make you aware of how the process will go should we or yourselves have any concerns regarding your child’s development.
I would also like to say that our attitude to SEN is every child is welcome, every child will be included, and every child deserves to access education. So please, please do not hesitate if you have any concerns - because the sooner we know the sooner we can help them access the support they need to progress and thrive in our environment.
SEN information can be very intimidating and overwhelming to read so I am hoping to try and keep the process as simple as I can while fulfilling all my legal and caregiving obligations.
I can be contacted via email:
during pre-school hours 8.45-3.15. All my work is overseen by Ms Hunter Pre-school Manager.
SENCO and SEN Support