Early Years Offer
Our Lady and St Edward’s Pre-School Offer
At Our Lady and St Edward’s Pre-School our fundamental aim is the education of the whole child. This includes spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, social, physical and artistic development. We cater for each pupil’s needs, encouraging them to develop their talents and so achieve their personal goals.
According to the Code of Practice (2014) Special Educational Needs is defined as ‘A child or young person that has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her’. At Our Lady and St Edward’s we strive to meet the needs of each individual child. All staff are committed to supporting children through their education. We strive to ensure children identified as having special educational needs or being part of a vulnerable group have access to a broad and balanced Early Years Curriculum and are fully included within the Pre-School community. The Pre-School Committee wants to support children with SEND and have provided both time and financial support to implement a team of specialist staff to deliver and support the development of the SEND agenda. Specialist Staff include:
- Educational Psychologist – Dr Richard Skelton BSc, MSc, Bed, CH.Psychol
- SENCo/Safeguarding Officer – Mrs Clare Sutton
- Speech and Language Therapist – Mrs Sarah Gray
- Speech and Language Specialist Teacher – Mrs Joanne Schultz
- Inclusion Team Teaching Assistants – Mrs Andrea Scarisbrick – learning, curriculum
- – Ms Steph Houlihan – Speech + Language
- – Polish Teacher – Mrs Ewa Adamczewski
- Specialist P.E. Coach – Mr Carl Sutton/Mr Luke Cullen
This team work alongside the staff to promote a fully inclusive Pre-School where all children are valued and respected as individuals and are supported to reach their full potential.
Teaching and Learning
Due to regular assessment and observations children who are not meeting their individual targets are identified and intervention is delivered. If children are identified support from the Inclusion team is sought. Through the Early Years Curriculum our aim is to place children at the centre of their own learning and place great emphasis on nurturing skills and attitudes such as problem solving, resilience and co-operation and team work. Staffs bring the curriculum alive by making links between the areas of learning, skills and themes.
Specific Expertise and Programmes in Partnership with Parents
The Inclusion Team offers specialist knowledge and experience to support children identified as needing additional provision. The Inclusion Team will work alongside the staff to provide support and additional interventions if necessary. These interventions are designed to meet the varying needs of the children within the school. Additional provision supports children in the areas of need identified in the Code of Practice 2014. These areas are ‘Communication and Interaction’, ‘Cognition and Learning’, ‘Social’, ‘Emotional’ and ‘Mental Health and Sensory and/or Physical’. The following interventions have been implemented and are delivered by the inclusion team:
- Speech and Language Therapy – delivered to children identified as having speech difficulties. A qualified speech and language therapist works with children on a one to one basis.
- Speech and Language Groups – delivered to children in F1. Children work in small groups to develop language skills.
- EAL Support Groups – due to a number of children with English as an additional language they are supported in their learning by a qualified Polish teacher who provides small group interventions.
- Gross Motor Interventions – delivered to small groups or individual children with dyspraxia by a P.E. Specialist to develop fundamental skills through physical activity.
- Venturing into Play – delivered to children individually or in small group it provides a practical tool for those working with children with social and communication difficulties. The Venturing into Play profile considers both the social and cognitive developmental dimensions of play.
Dr Richard Skelton is dedicated to helping Pre-School and parents/carers meet the complex needs of children who are struggling to fulfil their potential. This includes children who are experiencing difficulties with their learning, emotions, behaviours, wellbeing, social and communication skills despite the support that they have already received through the graduated framework. This can be done through assessment and consultation with parental consent.
Speech and Language Therapist
Sarah Gray works with Pre-School to identify, assess, and implement 1:1 speech and language provision with parental consent. She supports children within Pre-School ½ a day a week and is able to liaise with staff and parents/carers to give strategies to continue this support.
The Pre-School’s policy on the administration of medication follows the guidance laid down in Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings (2005). The management and administration of medication is managed by Mrs Smith. Consent for the administration of medication is given by parents. Appropriate staff are trained paediatric first aiders and are able to administer specific medication.
Children with medical /physical needs which impact upon learning or safety in Pre-School will be provided with a Health Care Plan drawn up with the support of the parent, school nurse, paediatrician, key worker, SENCo, Physical Medical Coordinator (LA) and other appropriate persons. The child’s views are sought and older children are invited to contribute to the meeting. A Risk Assessment may be necessary. A review should take place at least annually.
Pupils are encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle and F1 parents are invited, during the Summer term to sample the healthy lunchtime food in order to encourage their children to choose healthy options. This also helps parents to see meals which are available within school.
Health and Safety
Risk assessments are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and in line with Pre-School policies on a regular basis. Staff are trained in accordance with their roles and responsibilities to be able to carry out assessments of risk and plan to reduce and manage the risk.
There are handover arrangements at the beginning and the end of the day where appropriate and there is a high level of supervision on playgrounds at play times and lunch times.
At Our Lady and St Edward’s we have high expectations of behaviour. The positive side of discipline is stressed in an atmosphere of co-operation between children, staff and parents. Reward systems are used and positive reinforcement is emphasised. Pre-school links with parents/carers are strong. Behaviour and Anti- Bullying Policies are available to support staff, pupils and parents/carers alike.
Home School Communication
When a child starts at Our Lady and St Edward’s, it is the beginning of a partnership between parents/carers, children, school and the parish. We welcome parents/carers as real partners in the education and development of their child and have an open door approach. There are termly Parent/Carer/Teacher meetings throughout the year. These meetings are designed for the discussion of children’s progress and the necessary steps for future developments. If a parent has continued concerns regarding their child’s progress individual meetings are offered with key members of staff. We also offer informal parent groups and drop ins with specialist and support staff where parents can ask questions regarding their child’s education. We strive to support our families. Often if there is a concern regarding behaviour Pre-school will provide a home school book to continue the link between Pre-School and home. We understand the importance of having a partnership between home and Pre-school and believe that a parent knows their child best. When developing person centred plans to support individual children we consider the views of both staff, parents/carers and the child in order to complete an effective plan for the child. We also offer regular reviews with parents/carers and relevant professionals. These meetings are informative and helpful to all involved.
As a Pre-School we acknowledge that good attendance and punctuality are essential to the progress of each child and parents are encouraged to ensure that their children do not stay away from Pre-school without good reason. We offer strong links between Pre-School and home and staff monitor and support parents/carers and children who are experiencing difficulties regarding punctuality and attendance.
Information is available to parents/carers through newsletters and websites. Questionnaires give parents/carers the opportunity to air their views of the Pre-School in confidence and the outcomes are analysed in order to make improvements. Staff are able to signpost parents/carers to relevant advice and support when requested. Pre-School work closely with children and families and social care where there are safeguarding or child protection concerns.
Transitions to New Schools
F1 and F2 staff work closely together to support the transition of children into F2. F1 and F2 have shared activities such as playtimes and lunchtimes in order for F1 to familiarise themselves with their surroundings. Transitions to new schools are supported by planned regular visits to the school. Pupils are accompanied by school staff when appropriate.
We offer a toast club from 8am and an afterschool club each day until 5:45pm. We understand the difficulties of working parents and offer child care during the school holidays for pupils. This holiday club is staffed by highly skilled, experienced staff.
Concerns should be first raised with key workers. However the SENCo and Manager are also available . If not resolved parents/carers should seek an appointment with the named SEN Governor. Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 parents can request an Independent Disagreement Resolution. The Pre-School encourages an early dialogue with parents/carers and their views are valued.