SEND Offer 2020-21
Low Hall is an inclusive maintained nursery school in Walthamstow and we welcome children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities to our playful learning activities. Our educational provision has been judged Good by Ofsted and we continue to improve 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 change 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 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, Nalinee Sabaroche at a mutually convenient time.
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) hold weekly drop-in sessions at the Leyton hub of the Children and Family Centre at Queens Road. Sessions are also held at a drop-in session on Friday mornings during term time at Church Hill Nursery School, however during the COVID 19 pandemic these are being offered remotely. The SLT would refer children to specialist provision at Wood Street Health Centre. Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, these sessions are no longer able to continue. We have instead been able to advise parents about how to apply for additional support for their child if necessary. In addition we have referred children from the nursery to speech therapy if we feel they are not making enough progress. If your child has speech delay, the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) can discuss how to support your child, at your convenience. The SLT can refer your child to specialist provision at Wood Street Health Centre. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the services are currently running as online zoom sessions or as video calls.
The Nursery school has links with lots of organisations which can help support you and your child. 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 relevant professionals.
We have links to an Educational Psychologist (EP) who will observe children and give advice and support to staff and parents.
The SENDCO usually acts as the lead professional working with the other agencies that may have input in your child’s care and education.
Starting Nursery School
In line with our nursery school admissions and transitions policy we ensure that two and 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 also accept children for 30 hours a week in line with government policy.
We work closely with parents at our home visits before children start at Nursery and during open visits to the Nursery School. Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic we were not able to organise home-visits. We instead offered a smooth transition through zoom meetings with parents and their child/children. This enabled us to continue to make the valuable links with our families.
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.
The Nursery School has an experienced Special 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. Whenever possible she will attend meetings with the Wood Street Child Development Team and prepare reports and plans for children with special educational needs or a disability. Please contact Nalinee at the Nursery School if you would like to discuss your child’s needs.
Special Educational Needs Early Years Practitioners
If your child has special educational needs or a disability they will be allocated some time to work with a Special Educational Needs Early Years Practitioner 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 SENDco, the Educational Psychologist, and the Speech and Language Therapist, as well as other outside agencies. These very experienced practitioners deliver intervention groups such as social groups and ‘Attention Bucket’ daily.
Advice can be sought from specialist teachers from Whitefield School (autism, global delay), Brookfield House School (physical disability), E17 (for hearing impairment) and Joseph Clark School (for visual impairment). 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. We use Makaton signing to support communication when appropriate as well as PECs and other communication tools.
Education, Health and Care Plans
If your child has complex needs which are likely to be long-term we will discuss setting up an Education, Health and Care Plan with you. We will do this in partnership with parents, carers and 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 Therapist and Educational Psychologist. The Education, Health and Care Plan will detail the support your child needs and how this will be provided.
We use specialist equipment and adapt resources and the environment as appropriate for children with SEND. At Low Hall Nursery School we have visually- and sensory-stimulating resources which we use to motivate the children. We also use interactive resources with the children. Staff are trained in the use of PECs and other communications systems.
At the Nursery the outdoor provision is used just as much as a learning environment as the indoor provision, with children able to access physical activities and experience the natural environment. We also take children to a Forest School in our local area. Our FEEE 2 year olds also attend yoga sessions at the Leyton Child and Family Centre in Queens Road and have yoga sessions at the nursery. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 we are not able to offer these activities from February 2020. We will continue with this provision as soon as restrictions are lifted.
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 in order to help them settle in. The Key Person will attend the first transition meeting with the schools with specialist provision in order to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Unfortunately, these visits had to be cancelled during the summer term because of COVID-19. The primary schools instead, organised video links for the children and their families to have a tour of their new school online.
Working in partnership with parents
Everything we do at Low Hall 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 insight 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 time at school when you are not around. We also want you to know what your child is learning, who they are playing with and how they are progressing. It is important that we hear your views and ideas about how we can help your child. In order for this to happen we arrange for times when parents and staff can talk together about your child’s learning journey and early records of achievement.
Accessibility of our buildings
The Access Audit for Low Hall Nursery School is available here. 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.