Our Local Offer

1. How does St. Johns identify a child who requires extra support?  What should I do if I think my child has SEN?
  • At St. Johns Childcare we have extensive knowledge and experience in our ability to be able to identify children requiring extra help and support.
  • Each child is assigned their own ‘Key person’. The key person’s role is to build a strong and trusting relationship with both the child and the parent/carer. The key person carries out regular observations, assessments and reviews to monitor the child’s development.
  • The key person uses a range assessment methods i.e. ‘2 year old review’, and a half termly ‘development tracker’ which covers all 7 areas of learning. These methods help to identify any areas in a child’s development which may require some extra support and assistance.
  • A ‘Child’s Introduction Form’ and ‘Education Healthcare Plan’ (EHCP) are completed by the practitioner and parent/carer. These will provide any information regarding the child’s specific needs and will help practitioners put in place any specific support before the child starts at St. Johns Childcare.
  • During the show around, parents are made aware of our ‘Open door’ policy, and are encouraged to talk with the child’s key person or the settings SENCO if they believe their child requires additional support/encouragement.  A quiet, confidential area would be provided for the parents to express these concerns about their child’s development.
  • If the parent/carer or the practitioner has raised a concern regarding the child’s development, then a meeting would be arranged with the parent/carer to discuss the child’s individual needs, and where required an Individual Support Plan (ISP) would be created, outlining specific, achievable targets and the plan would be reviewed regularly.
  • If at any time the parent/carer or SENCO is concerned about a child’s progress, then an Early Help Assessment is completed by the manager/SENCO and family. The EHA outlines the child’s stage of development and helps to identify their needs and determine which outside supporting agencies are best suited to meet the needs of the child.
2. How will St. Johns Support my child?
  • The manager and SENCO work closely together with the parent/carer, as well as outside professionals to create an achievable and realistic plan to support the child’s individual needs.
  • The SENCO and manager will over sea the planning of your child’s education, which the key person has specifically planned.
  • If any reports or assessments are made from the outside professionals, then these are forwarded onto the SENCO, and integrated into creating reachable targets in the child’s ISP. Over time, if the targets are achieved, then new targets will be set, and existing targets which the child is still working towards will remain.
  • The key person will work with the child on either a 1:1 basis or within a small group, depending on the child’s target and also their individual needs. The key person, SENCO and child’s parent/carer liaise with one another to discuss/review the child’s progress.
  • If a child has additional needs, and is not making any progress, then an EHCP is completed. From here a plan will be created and the child will be referred to the appropriate professionals, and if needed a ‘team around the child’ TAC made up of professionals from health and education is set up to support the child and their family.
  • The manager/SENCO can also invite the Early Years Child Services to provide any additional support and strategies which best fit the needs of the child. Parents/carers will be invited into St. Johns to discuss this.
  • Staff are updated with any changes, and relevant training/courses are attended.
3. How will the team at St. Johns adapt the curriculum to meet my child’s individual needs?
  • The ISP sets targets and is specifically tailored for the individual child.
  • The key person carries out a range of activities which are planned on a weekly basis to meet the needs of each individual child, along with recording regular observations.
  • For children who require 1:1 support, funding can be applied for, and if accepted, additional staff will be brought into the setting to support the child.
  • Where required, funding can be applied for and the environment can be adapted, to ensure that the area is best suited for the needs of all the children. St. Johns is accessible for wheel chair users, and has two disabled toilets.
4. How do St. Johns keep track on how my child’s development is progressing, and how do they help parents/carers to support their child’s learning?
  • Termly reviews are offered to the parents/carer to see how their child is developing, however more frequent reviews/meetings can also be arranged if the parent/carer or SENCO feels it is necessary.
  • The child’s ISP is reviewed every half term, and parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress, and work together with the key person/SENCO to outline the child’s next steps/targets.
  • The parents/carers are offered the opportunity to view their child’s learning journey/tracker any time throughout their child’s time at St. Johns, and the key person/SENCO will offer relevant support and guidance to the parent/carer about their child’s learning at home. We strongly encourage parents/carers involvement at home, as we believe this is a vital part of the process when supporting children with SEN.
5. What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by St. Johns?
  • Children’s services offer advice and support to parent’s offering playgroup schemes, parenting classes.
  • Parents will always be consulted first before any outside professionals or services are contacted.
  • Specialist services, and outside professionals will attend St. Johns to observe the child within their childcare environment.
  • If the manager/SENCO believes a child requires additional support, then they can refer a child to the specific specialist services required i.e. Paediatrician, GP, health visitor, occupational therapist, or speech and language therapist.
  • The SENCO can apply for a grant which if given, will provide extra funding for the child to receive 1:1 support if needed.
  • St. Johns are also in contact with the Early Years Child Services which offer extensive support, expertise and knowledge to both the setting and the parents/carer.  They will observe the child, and then discuss any needs with the SENCO and the parent/carer, recommending any next steps.
6. How does St. Johns encourage inclusion?
  • All children are encouraged and supported to join in with a range of daily activities, whether on a 1:1 basis or within a small group. Activities are adapted to meet the needs of the individual child.
  • Throughout the year St. Johns offer a range of outings in and around the local area i.e. Visits to the local nature reserve, Visits to Barleylands, walks in around local parks, and also to the local supermarket etc. Ratios are reduced, and extra staff are included to support these outings. Quite often parents/carers are invited to join in with the outings as extra helpers.
7. How accessible is the environment at St. Johns?
  • Large, spacious car park at the rear of the building.
  • Wheelchair access to all rooms within the building, and wide corridors throughout.
  • Two disabled toilets and changing facilities available.
  • Automatic door opening when entering the front entrance of the building.
8. How will St. Johns prepare my child to join their setting, transfer to another setting or move onto the next stages of education and life?
  • Each child is allocated a key person. The role of the key person is to gradually build up a strong and trusting relationship with the child as this will help and support the child to settle into the setting.
  • Before a child starts at St.  Johns, ‘Settling In Visits’ are encouraged, where the parents come into the setting to meet the child’s key person and the SENCO. Here, information is passed onto the team via the Child’s Introduction Form and EHCP about the child’s additional needs, in preparation for the child to start. Reports from professionals such as speech and language therapists, and health visitors help to identify the children’s needs.
  • St. Johns welcomes outside professionals and parents/carers to share their information with the manager/SENCO to ensure appropriate steps are put in place to meet individual needs. We believe it is vital for both the parent/carer, child and the key person to feel comfortable and clear on any needs the child may have before he/she starts their time at St. Johns so that the team can provide adequately for the individual child.
  • The number of settling in visits, and the length of time, purely depends on each individual child, and can last for however long is required to ensure the child is settled and happy before he/she starts.
  • Parents are encouraged to telephone the setting for an update of their child, to see how he/she is settling in, or even stay within the setting itself and wait in the coffee bar until they are comfortable to leave.
  • St. Johns work in partnership with a few of the local schools, and arrange a number of ‘taster’ sessions whereby the children visit the school in the term leading up to them leaving St. Johns and joining the school. This is to familiarise the child with their new setting and meet new teachers/carers.
  • The manager/SENCO will complete a ‘transition report form’ which informs the receiving school about the individual needs of the child. With parent/carer consent the ISP will be shared and a meeting will be arranged before the child leaves St. Johns. All outside support and professionals are invited to meet and discuss the child’s needs to ensure a smooth transition is made from St. Johns to school.
9. How are the resources which St. Johns provides allocated and matched to children’s individual needs?
  • The setting can apply for various grants and funding i.e. inclusion grant, and discretionary funding. This funding can be allocated to employ additional SEN staff who can provide 1:1 support, meeting the child’s individual needs set out in their EHC plan.
  • Once the children’s needs are identified, relevant funding can be applied for and specific resources can be purchased to meet the needs of each child.
10. How does St. Johns support my child’s overall well-being?
  • Children’s Introduction Forms, and EHC plans provide essential information which helps the team to understand the child’s interests, likes and dislikes, along with any specific medical needs or existing additional needs.
  • St. Johns work closely with a range of professionals who provide support and advice for children and their families. i.e. health care professionals, area SENCO’s, health visitors etc.
  • The administration of any medication is carefully recorded in accordance with our medication/illness policy and only members of the management team are authorised to administer medication, with the parents’ consent.
  • Over half of the staff at St. Johns are paediatric first aid trained, and all staff are safeguarding trained.
  • The manager/SENCO will closely monitor a child with SEND, and will discuss their development with the key person, and the child’s parent/carer, to guarantee the well-being of the child is supported fully.
  • Current policies and procedures are in place to ensure that a child’s well-being is supported.
11. What training/qualifications do the staff supporting children with SEND have?
  • The manager/SENCO have been informed of SEND changes which will be implemented from September 2014, and are up to date with current practices.
  • The SENCO’s training/qualifications:
    • Up to date safeguarding training,
    • Behaviour detective,
    • Autism awareness,
    • Inclusion training,
    • Attends regular TAC meetings for children currently at St. Johns childcare,
  • Qualifications and training undertaken by supporting staff:
    • Sara Thurlow:
      • Autism awareness,
      • Safe guarding,
      • Behaviour detective.
    • Becky Sherry:
      • Deaf awareness / equality
      • Safe guarding
      • Supporting children learning English as an additional language.
  • Staff have completed online e-learning courses for safeguarding and SEN.
12. How are parents involved at St. Johns?
  • Parents/carers involvement and communication in a child’s development is essential.
  • St. Johns will give parents/carers their patience and time to listen as they share their knowledge about their child’s needs, progress and interest.
  • Parents/carers are able to arrange regular, informal meetings with their key person or manager/SENCO to discuss their child’s development and progress, or any concerns they may have.
  • St. Johns welcomes an open door policy,
  • Throughout the year, stay and play sessions are offered for parents/carers, grandparents etc. to join in with the child’s play at St. Johns.
  • St. Johns strongly encourage parent/carer feedback, and send out parent questionnaires to receive the parent’s views and thoughts of the setting yearly. These findings are then evaluated and if needed actioned.
  • In ‘Stepping Stones’, the year before the children are due to start school we offer homework books, and reading/writing schemes for each individual child as and when they are ready in their development. Parents are encouraged to continue this learning at home.
13. How is the decision made about what type, and how much support my child will receive?
  • The child’s EHCP will help to provide information about a child’s specific needs and from this further decisions can be made.
  • After discussions with the parents/carers, and also the SENCO, and any relevant recommendations made by the outside professionals decisions can then be made about the type of support the child requires.
  • The SENCO will create an ISP designed to provide specific targets and support.
  • The ISP is reviewed every half term, and relative changes/next steps are made after discussions with the SENCO, key person and the child’s parent/carer.
  • If discretionary funding is granted then it can be used to allocate specifically trained staff to provide 1:1 support to the child.
14. Who can I contact for further information or support?
  • The settings SENCO is Sarah McCarthy and the supporting team member/deputy manager is Michelle Ball. Each classroom has their own team member who supports and works in unison with the SENCO.
  • The manager/SENCO and the key person will always be available to discuss your child’s development, or any concerns you may have about their education and progress.
  • You are invited into the setting to have a show around, talk about the settling in process and how we can support your child before you make the decision to start them at St. Johns.
  • Additional advice and information can be accessed via the local authority website: http://www.essex.gov.uk/education-schools/Schools/Special-Education-Needs/Pages/Special-Educational-Needs.aspx or though your local GP, health visitor or children’s services.