Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

During your initial visit to the nursery, we will discuss if you have any concerns about your child’s development or if there are any special requests or requirements. This is an ideal time to document any early concerns or additional needs, on our forms such as “key worker notes” and “What you need to know about my child” which are supplied to all parents at a child’s registration.

Each child is allocated a key person who will carry out ongoing observations and assessment. This information is recorded in the child’s learning journey, an ongoing record through each class of your child’s achievements and progress.


A progress check is compiled when the children are between 2-3years old. This short summary of their development in the prime areas, will identify children’s strengths and areas which need more investigation if the progress is less than expected. If there are significant concerns or educational needs or disability is suspected, a target plan to support the child’s learning can be implemented. This will be carried out with the knowledge and approval of parents and can involve not only the nursery school staff, but other professionals as necessary.


We have two trained SENCO's (special educational needs co-ordinator's) Lindsay Godwin and Sarah Frostick who are the points of contact. We have implemented the new SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) code of practice 2014.


We regularly monitor and review our policy on SEND and make adjustments as necessary.


We would always actively encourage you to speak to your child’s key person and/or the nursery manager if you have any concerns about your child. These and other issues can also be raised with your GP and/or your child’s health visitor.



How will Attwood Farm Nursery School staff support my child?

At Attwood Farm we provide an environment in which all children including those with SEND are supported and nurtured to reach their full potential. All staff are aware that children with SEND are the responsibility of every member of staff, and the key person/worker is responsible for induction of their new children and the family and helping children to settle into the setting, with safety and confidence being key to the children’s happiness. The key person will work with parents to ensure that the personalised plan that we have collectively created for the child is delivered in a caring and non judgemental way.

The SENCO will help co-ordinate and oversee plans with the child’s key person. The SENCO will also liaise with external agencies and arrange meetings where applicable. In some circumstances an individual needs learning assistant will also work with your child, thus helping them access all areas of the EYFS framework and any areas of the school.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

With equal input from parents, carers our SENCO, key person and any outside professionals that are involved with your child we will provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. The SENCO and key person will develop an EHC (Education Health and Care plan) to support your child with their learning and development.


How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

At Attwood Farm Nursery School (AFNS) we believe in involving all parents in all aspects of nursery life. By building successful relationships with parents, carers and children we can develop a greater understanding of each and every child. Our open door policy and friendly atmosphere enables everyone to have frank discussions about problems and issues big or small. Staff are always available to discuss your child and any issue/problems you may have. Children are observed daily and reports and EHC discussed termly, along with agreeing any next steps.

AFNS will arrange any meetings with parents and external agencies where appropriate to talk about your child’s progress. We have parent consultations which cover all aspects of nursery life and any ideas of how you can contribute to your child’s next steps at home.

Your child’s learning journey is sent home periodically for you to read and contribute to and sign. These books contain observations, reports and assessments on each child as a record of development and progress. A summative assessment at the end of your child’s time with us will also inform us/you of your child’s progress. Even though great verbal reporting is carried out daily with all parents, a home school contact book can also be used to communicate specific information if requested.

If applicable, AFNS can arrange staff and parents to attend specialist training together. E.g. Makaton training


What support will there be for my child’s  overall well being?

AFNS believe in an inclusive policy for all children. Parents are actively encouraged to read all our policies especially admissions, safeguarding and SEND. We are very mindful that our practice and operation is in complete accordance with our behaviour management policy. This inclusive policy helps us to use effective practice therefore promoting welfare and enjoyment and safety for all children. Behaviour is managed using clear and positive procedure. Again Key workers are very important, and build strong relationships with children giving them a sense of security. There is a degree of flexibility in our practice, routine and environment. There are good role models set by the adults that work at AFNS. Children are encouraged to be kind and respectful to all. We can apply for an individual needs learning assistant to support children if applicable and appropriate. Funding for which comes directly from East Sussex County Council.

While sick children should remain at home until they are well enough to come back and therefore should not be sent into AFNS, we do administer medication as part of helping to maintain children’s health on a longer term situation or when children are still recovering from illness. All staff are responsible for following the correct procedure when administering medication, storing it correctly and completing and checking any records or parental permission forms.

No child is excluded from AFNS for not being toilet trained. We will work with parents towards toilet training, obviously taking into account medical and development issues as appropriate. Staff are very supportive during this time and we consider it a life and care skill that all children should be assisted and encouraged to learn.

Children are talked to and encouraged to participate in our daily planning. All age appropriate children’s views are listened to and accommodated if possible, in their individual plans. Visual time tables can be used to aid and support children’s understanding of routine.


What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by AFNS?

We will be guided by any specialist professionals that are already working with your child, in connection with the type of support they are already getting and could continue to receive. This support should be already documented and was written with parents and professionals both being consulted.

At AFNS we work with various specialists as appropriate such as, Early Years Support Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists., Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Educational Psychologists, Social workers and Health Visitors.

The staff undertake ongoing professional development, and we have two members of staff that have basic Makaton training and a qualified State Enrolled Nurse on our staff.


What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

We have two members of staff who have completed the SENCO training and attended inclusion training too. A third member of staff is to commence training at the next availability. We have a qualified State Enrolled Nurse on our staff. Two members of staff have attended training on Makaton.

Any additional training to support children with SEND will be undertaken where applicable.



How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

All activities are as inclusive as possible, taking individual needs and abilities into account. Risk assessments are carried out to aid this process. We have a high adult to child ratio when we go out on trips. Again taking one to one into account if that is necessary. Assistance from parents is encouraged and gratefully received. Trips are publicised to parents in advance and permission sort. Contact details, first aid and any special medication is taken and a mobile phone is always taken. All members of staff hold a current paediatric first aid qualification. Trips around the farm are undertaken with the normal adult/child ratio. Walkie -Talkies are carried by the staff and first aid is always taken etc.

Any special contingency and arrangements will be made so that any child with additional needs can be included with the rest of the group.



How accessible is the settings  environment?

Our premises were purposely converted and there are ramps and wheel chair access to all downstairs rooms. We have a disabled toilet and changing area and we also have low level toilet facilities. All furniture and equipment is suitable for various age ranges and if additional equipment is needed we could apply for bursary funding. Being Montessori based we regularly use multi sensory equipment on a daily bases. We have the support of staff who have some/fluent understanding of other European languages.


How will AFNS support my child to join the setting , transfer to a new setting  or the next stage of education and life?

Before joining AFNS we encourage all parents to make at least one visit to look around, meet the team and discuss your child’s individual needs. The nursery owner will talk you through every aspect of day to day attendance and will answer any questions. This is an ideal time to mention any other agencies or professionals that are already involved in your child’s care and learning, so that multi-disciplinary meeting can be arranged if needed.

Home visits can also be arranged. Forms such as Key Worker and “What you need to know about me” are also filled in around this time. This should highlight and identify any additional training for staff to attend if needed.

If children are transferring from another setting, all the above will be carried out with additional meetings with staff from the old setting along with  parents if possible, if not, telephone conversations will replace. Children are encouraged to bring in photographs of family members and pets to help them achieve a sense of belonging. First day profiles are completed and added to the children’s learning journey, and any written records will obviously be requested from any previous settings.

At AFNS we have great relationships with both local state primary and Prep schools. We will liaise with the reception teachers at your chosen school and with their SENCO to aid transition. The SENCO and teacher should visit us here at AFNS and a positive and progressive move is coordinated. Again multi-agency meetings can be arranged if appropriate to aid this transition.


How are AFNS’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

If children need one to one support or specific resources, we can apply to the local authority for funding. Once approved, this funding will be used to cover the cost of one to one assistance, new resources and specialist equipment. Specialist staff training can also be funded if it has been identified as necessary.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

After a series of observations by your child’s key worker, discussion with our SENCO other key staff and parents, the SENCO would refer your child to the appropriate professional agency.

Signed permission will be requested from the child’s parent or guardian for us to proceed with referrals. Parents are informed fully along the way and at each stage parents are kept fully informed.

Continued planning, observations and assessments are carried out through your child's time here at AFNS. With parents help and permission along with nursery staff and any outside professionals, a comprehensive level of support is put in place appropriate to your child’s needs.


How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

All parents are encouraged to be involved from the start with their children. The exchange of knowledge, information and views about children’s need, interests and progress is paramount. Sharing special interests, helping on trips and assisting with looking after materials and coming up with ideas and activity plans also help with the home/school partnership.

Attending parent’s evenings, our cheese and wine party and our parent's and Grandparent's tea party are an ideal way to meet other parents and build friendships. Meeting the staff on a less formal basis at these events helps with building a good friendly but professional relationship between nursery and home.

Helping out with plays, nativities and trips along with attending sports days and helping with fund raising for the nursery and our selected charities and getting involved with policy reviews are also great ways to becoming “Part of the team”.


Who can I contact for further information?

The first point of contact should be with the nursery manager and owner Nick Godwin. He will answer all enquiries.

The nursery’s SENCOs and SENs are Sarah Frostick andLindsay Godwin. They can be identified from the parents’ notice board; They can also offer advice and can direct parents towards other professionals and outside agencies who may be able to help.

If your child has a Special Educational Need or Disability and you would like to contact us please call -01323831781 or email attwoodfarm@hotmail.co.uk

Owners Lindsay and Nick Godwin- Deputy Manager Abi Millar and SENCO- Sarah Frostick and Lindsay Godwin.


This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.


Date of publication: 18th February 2018.


This offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information.

If you would like to comment on the content of the offer or make suggestions to improve the information, please email localoffer@eastsussex.gov.uk 

Find out more about support for children and young people with special needs and disabilities: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer