SEND Offer 2021-22
Church Hill is an inclusive school in Walthamstow, and we welcome children with an ever- widening range of special educational needs and disabilities to our playful learning activities. Our educational provision has been judged outstanding by Ofsted, and we continue to improve and review our facilities for all young children and their families. We create an atmosphere of calm engagement with the natural and social world built on mutual respect. We treat all children as different but equal. Each child has a unique identity and a unique way of living and learning and developing alongside other people. Therefore, we plan for every child individually and adapt our provision to meet each child’s learning and development needs. Our team of experienced early years educators and teachers know how to encourage young children to talk, communicate and learn in social groups. They have been very successful in helping children with language, learning and physical disabilities by individually tailoring support towards their needs and abilities. We work in close partnership with a wide range of other professionals including Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, WF parent partnership and the local MASH team.
We work closely with parents to make each young child’s first experience of school enjoyable and beneficial.
It is very important that you let us know as early as possible if you know your child will need specific support from experienced staff or if you are worried about your child’s learning and development. If you would like to discuss your child’s needs you can make an appointment to meet the SENDCO, Pat English at a mutually convenient time.
Pre Covid the SENDCO arranged regular informal coffee morning for parents of children with additional needs. This year the SENDCo gave the information to parents and we hope that we can resume the coffee meetings next academic year.
The SENDCo also puts parents in touch with other parents who have a child with a similar condition to their child.
Speech and Language Therapy
In the new academic year we are hoping to start the Speech and language therapy drop in groups again. Juliet Register, the speech and language therapist, works closely with the SENDCO and SEND team to plan and implement ongoing support for the children who have language delay. Juliet also does training for the SENDCO and SEND team regarding how to support children who have language delay. The SLT and the SENDCO can refer your child to specialist provision at Wood Street Health Centre.
We follow the advice of doctors, Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and any other health professionals based at Wood Street Health Centre.
As the needs of individual children present themselves, the SENDCO will arrange training for the nursery team from a wide range of relevant professionals.
We have links to an Educational Psychologist (EP) who will observe children and give advice and support to staff and parents. The EP also holds regular free appointment-only sessions in the borough for parents who are worried about their child.
The SENDCO usually acts as the lead professional working with the other agencies who may have input in your child’s care and education.
Starting Nursery School
In line with our nursery school admissions policy we ensure three-year-olds in our area are able to take up their entitlement to a free early education place for fifteen hours per week. When allocating places we take into account the specific needs of children who have an identified special educational need or disability.
We work closely with the Waltham Forest Children and Family Centre and relevant health professionals at this time, so we can plan a smooth transition for your child into the Nursery School. We listen to parents too in our home visits and during open visits to the Nursery School. The more we know about your child’s needs before they start Nursery School, the better we can help them cope with changes. We operate a key person system so that every child has a named member of staff who helps them settle in and keeps in regular contact with parents to talk about the child's learning and developmental progress.
The Nursery School has an experienced Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) and a team of experienced staff who will support any child with additional needs. The SENDCo will liaise with anyone else who has been working with you and your child before they start Nursery School. She will attend meetings with the Wood Street Child Development Team, whenever possible, and prepare reports and plans for children with special educational needs or a disability. Please contact Pat at the school if you would like to discuss your child’s needs with her.
Special Educational Needs Support Workers
If your child has special educational needs or a disability, she/he will be allocated some time to work with a Special Educational Needs Support Worker who will implement a programme that is tailored to their needs. These members of staff have received training on a wide range of SEND. They will be given advice from the Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist, health professionals from Great Ormond street as well as other outside agencies, including the local health authority.
Advice can be sought from specialist teachers from Whitefield School (autism, global delay), Brookfield House School (physical disability), E17 (for hearing support) and Joseph Clark School (for visual support). Outreach teachers will come to Church Hill to observe your child and give specialist advice as to how best to support them.
If your child has a condition that we are not so familiar with, we will seek out a specialist to advise us as to how best to support your child.
At nursery we also provide language enrichment groups such as Talk Time and I CAN. We use Makaton signing and PECS signs and symbols to support communication when appropriate. We also use Every Child a Talker (ECAT) as an assessment tool to help us to access children’s language in partnership with the speech therapist. In addition we use specialised assessment materials for different conditions such as autism and Down’s syndrome so that we can carefully monitor your child’s progress. The SEND team receive ongoing training in a range of different specialist programmes including Attention Autism and Colour semantics
Education, Health and Care Plans
If your child has complex needs which are likely to be long-term, we will discuss requesting SENIF funding and /or an Education, Health and Care Plan with you. We will do this in partnership with the Local Authority. We will support parents to develop the plan for their child in partnership with all relevant agencies e.g. the Health Visitor, Speech and Language Therapist and Educational Psychologist. The Education, Health and Care Plan will detail the support your child needs and how this will be provided. The SENDCo will also offer support and guidance for parents about navigating through the process.
We use specialist equipment, and adapt resources and the environment as appropriate for children with SEND. At Church Hill Nursery School there is a Sensory Room with visually- and sensory-stimulating resources which we use to motivate the children. We also use touch screens and i-Pads with the children . Staff are trained in the use of PECs, Maketon and other communications systems.
The outdoor provision is outstanding, with children able to access physical activities and experience the natural environment. We promote strategies to enhance self-esteem, and modify behaviour, independence and a “can do” attitude to learning. We help children to view themselves as successful learners. We use strategies to help children understand appropriate behaviour and manage their own behaviour.
Starting Primary School
Smooth transition to Primary School is very important to us. We can support and give advice to parents to complete the Primary School Admissions Form.
We arrange visits to schools which have specialist provision if your child has complex learning and development needs. We discuss your child’s needs and strategies which worked successfully for your child at Nursery School with their new teacher before they start their new school.
We will arrange additional visits to your child’s new school if we all feel it would help them to settle in.
Working in partnership with parents
Everything we do at Church Hill Nursery School we do in partnership with you as parents. Your views and knowledge of your child are vital to our success in building a complete picture of how we can best help them.
We recognise that parents have a wealth of knowledge and insights about their young children and we value what you can tell us about your child’s interests, habits and daily routines. We want your child to get the best out of their time at nursery when you are not around. We want you to know what your child is learning, who she is playing with and how she is progressing. We want to hear your views and ideas for how we can help your child. So we arrange for times when parents and staff talk together about the child’s learning journey and early records of achievement.
Accessibility of our buildings
The access audit for Low Hall Nursery School reviewed the accessibility of our organisation and gave us plans which we are working through. A working party of staff and governors developed our Accessibility Plan to help us improve our accessibility, and can read it on our Policies page.