Special Educational Needs Code (SEN) 2014
The Government has introduced educational reforms for children and young people with Special Educational Needs to come into effect as of September 2014. The reform aims to streamline support for children and young people aged 0-25 and focusing on delivering positive outcomes for all.
- We see every child and their learning journey as unique, all children having their own key worker. The key workers role is to develop a trusting relationship with the child and parent, to ensure that every child’s individual needs are met, working collaboratively and sharing information to gain a full picture of the child’s interests, skills and abilities
- Work closely together; it is imperative that practitioners make good relationships with parents, acknowledging parents as the child’s first educator.
- Observation is a tool used to enable practitioners to compare a child’s progress with the expected range for their age group, and to plan activities to support techniques that will help to lead them forward to the next stage. It is also useful to alert practitioners to the needs of the child that may not have reached their expected ‘norm’ or may well be far ahead of it.
- Key workers observe children regularly to identify children’s needs; the information gained through observation is then recorded in the child’s EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) developmental journey. This is then recorded on the child’s individual progress tracker. It is used as a tool which can support key workers, in monitoring the progress of children in relation to their starting points. Information gathered from observations are evaluated linking them back to the setting through planning this is then used to help each child individually move through the next steps of their learning, gaining professional advice from other agencies such as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and speech and language therapist (SALT) where needed, as well as keeping parents and carers informed of their child’s progress.
- The two year old progress check is a summative assessment of a child aged between two and three, practitioners are required to review the child’s progress and provide a short written summary of the child’s development with the prime areas, enabling the practitioner to identify the child’s strengths and areas of development that are less than expected therefore any concerns can be identified and a plan to support the child’s development can be put into place involving the SENCO or other agencies if needed. The practitioner must then discuss the progress check with the parent or carer explaining the summary and how it will be used to help the child progress as well as how the parent can support their child’s learning at home, encouraging parents to share the information with their health visitor.
- Every Child A Talker (ECAT) is a strategy used within the setting to carefully monitor and evaluate the provision and look at the effectiveness of communication to support children’s progress by auditing the provision. Looking at how the setting is supporting speech, language and communication skills of the children, where within the setting interactions between staff and children take place and are the children getting the right support, looking at how the environment supports speech, language and communication development and how the activities and routines within the environment supports the children’s needs. An action plan is then put into place to strength any weakness found within the setting.
- Monitoring children’s progress against the ECAT typical stages of speech, language and communication development also helps to assess and identify particular strengths and weaknesses that a child may have, also gaining early invention so that if necessary the referral to the SALT can be made.
- If a parent wishes to discuss their child’s needs or any concerns they have, time will always be made to talk privately. If reports from health professionals, such as a health visitor and speech and language therapist already exist this information will then be passed on to the child’s key worker and if necessary the settings SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator).
- At Jigsaw Preschool we feel that it is for both child and parents/carers to feel comfortable with the setting and allowed time to become familiar with the staff. All children are offered two free trail sessions which allows the parent/carer to either stay and settle their child, settle them and then stay close by or settle and then allow them to explore independently.
- The setting understands that all children are unique and the families within the groups all have their own cultural beliefs. Over years the setting has seen children from many different backgrounds including children with English as an additional language and many traveller children. Somerset Total communication (STC) has proved a useful tool within the setting. Having a visual timetable, using visual aids and sign language has become part of the daily routine; this allows all children to feel included within the setting.
- The setting believes that a daily routine is important. This helps the child to understand what to expect next, especially with SEN children and also helps children to understand behavioural expectations, although the setting follows a routine it is a very flexible routine. Routines are there to support and enable learning.
- Observations play a very crucial part of the day to day running of the setting. Within the setting the information gathered from observations are evaluated linking them back to the setting through planning this is then used to help each child individually move through the next steps of their learning, gaining professional advice from other agencies such as the area Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), speech and language therapist (SALT) and/or the Health Visitor where needed, as well as keeping parents and carers informed of their child’s progress.
- Education Plans (IEP) are very useful tools when supporting a child’s individual needs, after careful observation if the child is not progressing as well as expected the SENCO will design an IEP to provide short term targets for a particular child’s needs, ensuring that the targets set are achievable for all. These should be assessable and understandable to all practitioners, parents and agencies concerned always ensuring that there is good communication and understanding between all involved.
- The SENCO will review any child’s Individual Educational Plans (IEP) and inform planning of any support strategies needed to meet that child’s individual needs. Long term planning is also used to ensure that every area of learning is covered and also enables staff to plan observations on a particular area to make sure that every area of learning is covered throughout the EYFS. For planning to be effective everyone’s contributions of formative assessments should be regularly reviewed and evaluated to ensure all aspects of learning are covered. Planning is to be responsive to a child’s needs and allows practitioners to evaluate the environment, providing a wide range of activities and resources that stimulate and encourage participation and support children’s learning and development allowing children to ‘Enjoy and Achieve’.
- Transition forms for a child leaving the setting or going school are a form of summative assessment of which within the setting the child’s key worker will gather information from the child’s Personal Pathway highlighting their stage of development by age and giving a short written summary how the child is progressing in each area of learning, this helping the new setting or school to have an understanding of the child before they start. Once completed by practitioner they are then to discussed with parents and signed giving permission for these to be passed onto the next setting/school.
- Within the setting every child has a Personal Pathway; this is a summative assessment that is used throughout the child’s time at the setting. Of which over time gathering information from observations and assessments of the child the practitioner is able to highlight each area of learning and development as they move through the stages, giving a clear summary of the child’s progress.
- When a child starts at the setting they are allocated a key worker to help the child to settle with a familiar adult and enabling the parent to know who to go to. The key worker will spend time with the parent to gain some understanding of the child’s likes and dislikes also building positive relationships with parents, as well as helping the parent to understand their child’s Personal Pathway which will enable their child’s key worker to assess and support their child as they go through their areas of learning and development.
- Within the setting home communication books are used to record what that child has been doing that day, the children can draw or stick pictures and photographs into these and they are sent home with the child to enable parents to have a good understanding of what their child is doing and we encourage parents to comment on things that their child has said or done at home this can also inform planning thus allowing parents and children to be involved in the process. The books also help other practitioner’s to gain an understanding of a child that is not their key child. This can be useful if a key worker is not in. These have proved especially helpful to some of the children who have communication difficulties.
- We have an open door policy, parents are always welcome to make an appointment to meet with their child’s key worker to discuss their child’s progress and ways of working collaboratively to support their child’s needs at home as well as in the setting.
- All activities and plans are adaptable to ensure that all children are able to fully engage and interact within the environment.
- Providing a safe, warm and caring environment allows children to feel secure allowing them to explore,
- All staff are fully qualified in first aid training.
- As part of the induction process parents must fill in a registration form that details any specific medical needs that the child may have, this includes daily care requirements and dietary needs as well as permissions to administer first aid and prescribed medication if required.
- All medications are stored in a secure place. These are all recorded on a medical list and form that gives clear instructions on how and when medication should be administered. This is to be signed by the parent giving permission to administer medication as well as staff member.
- Once medication has been administered staff then fill in the medical form giving the time and amount administered and will be signed by the member staff that has given it, this form will then be signed by the parent on collection.
- If a child has specific medical needs a meeting will be held with all involved and a care plan will be put in place liaising and seeking advice, with other health professionals if needed .
- Risk assessments are in place for inside the setting and when out and about to ensure that all children are kept safe, working in line with policies and always adhering to high staff ratios.
- Management of behaviour within the environment is crucial to learning and development; there are many factors that influence behaviour. If any behavioural issues arise staff will discuss with parents strategies to manage this, such as using an ABCC chart which will monitor if there is anything in particular that is triggering the behaviour or if there is any kind of pattern developing, building strong, secure and supportive relationships enable practitioners to have a good understanding of what is influencing behaviour. The setting has ‘golden rules’ that are discussed each morning, which include being nice to one another, turn taking, sharing and listening to others. The settings behavioural management policy states that adults will provide positive role models and praise and endorse desirable behaviour.
- Each week a continuous planning sheet is out so that if a member of staff has observed either through visual observation, written observation or a child’s communicating their preferences that child’s particular interest will be added. The continuous planning sheet is used to inform the medium term planning giving staff an idea of child’s interest, activities and individual needs that can be covered over the coming weeks.
- All staff are trained to listen and value children’s views, staff wear cards that can enable all children to express their feelings and communicate their needs.
- All children’s views are valued; communication books ensure that information is passed between ourselves to home and other settings to enable us all to work together.
- Questionnaires are used within the setting to gather information from parents on their and their child’s views; this helps us to evaluate the setting.
- Once parental permission has been gained, working with outside agencies such as the Children’s Centre, health visitor and area SENCO can be beneficial to ensure all individual needs are met.
- All Staff are qualified and experienced in childcare, most staff has completed Somerset Total communication (STC) training, and this has proved a useful tool within the setting. Having a visual timetable, using visual aids and sign language has become part of the daily routine; this allows all children to feel included within the setting.