At Castle Kindergarten we work closely with the Local Authority and other agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy and Autism Outreach to ensure that every child’s needs are met and that they are reaching their potential. We, along with all other educational settings in Sunderland and the surrounding area, are supported to be as inclusive as possible and to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities within our setting.
The broad areas of SEND needs are:
• Communication and Interaction
• Cognition and Learning
• Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
• Sensory and/or Physical
As stated in our policy ‘Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs’ we provide an environment in which all children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities are supported to reach their potential.
• We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
• We have in place a clear approach for identifying, responding to, and meeting children’s SEN.
• We support and involve parents/carers (and where relevant children), actively listening to, and acting on their wishes and concerns.
• We work in partnership with the local authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEND and their families.
• We regularly monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.
Who Is Responsible for SEND in Our Settings?
Each setting has a named Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. When your child joins us, you will be told who this is and will be shown where the staff member’s name is displayed within the setting. As with any matter, if you wish, you can speak to any member of staff about your child as we work together to provide the best possible care for all children. Your child’s key worker, and any other staff who work alongside them, will liaise with our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to identify, plan, and deliver any additional support that your child might need during their time with us.
What Support is Available?
All children who attend Castle Kindergarten access ‘Quality First Teaching.’ This means that we have the highest possible expectations of all children, provide quality environments in which they learn and we assess what they already know and can do so that they are challenged and engaged appropriately. As part of Quality First Teaching, we may provide one-to-one or small group interventions with the aim of developing specific skills.
If you or our staff feel that your child requires more specialist support, your child’s key worker and/or our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator will meet with you to discuss the support which can be accessed from outside of the setting. You will then be asked to give permission for us to refer your child to a specialist professional such as a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist.
For some children it may be necessary for Local Authority Services to carry out a statutory assessment of their needs. This means that a ‘Panel of Professionals’ will decide if your child’s needs are severe or are complex and lifelong. They will do this based on information shared by you, us and other professionals who are involved in your child’s development. If this is the case, they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask Castle Kindergarten to continue with the current level of support already being given. They will also set up a meeting in the kindergarten to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
How Do the Kindergartens Support Transitions?
We support transitions for all children to meet the needs of the child and family. Whether that is a transition between rooms within our kindergarten, moving to another childcare setting or beginning school. We liaise with the family and the new setting and share information about how best to support the child both academically and emotionally. For each child this could mean something different and we provide an individualised approach to ensure the wellbeing of each child is at the heart of everything that we do.