Church Hill Nursery School and Children’s Centre local offer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND); reviewed September 2015
Church Hill is an inclusive school and Children’s Centre 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 outstanding 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.
Before a child starts at Church Hill Nursery School support can be offered through the Children’s Centre. 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.
Walthamstow East Children’s Centre can provide the following support to children aged 0-5 years:
Outreach: An Outreach Worker can make arrangements to discuss your child’s needs with you.
Speech and Language Therapy: The Speech and Language Therapist holds a Drop-in session on Friday mornings during term time. You are welcome to visit at any time. Ring the office for more information or ask to speak to Juliet or Aislinn. If your child has speech delay the Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) can see you to discuss how to support your child, at your convenience. The SLT can refer your child to specialist provision at Wood Street Health Centre.
TOPS Group: You are welcome to attend the weekly TOPS Group, which is for parents and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This is held at Walthamstow Toy Library and Play Centre on Thursday afternoons in term time. Please contact Colette at the Church Hill site for more information.
Good Beginnings: This six week course for parents of children who have speech and language delay or a diagnosis of autism is run from the Barclay Site at various times during the year. Please contact Colette for more details.
The Children’s Centre team 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.
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 appointment-only sessions and visits the TOPS Group.
Starting Nursery School
In line with our nursery 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 Walthamstow East Children’s 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 (SENCo) and a team of experienced staff who will support any child with additional needs. The SENCo 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 staff have received training on a wide range of SEND. They will be given advice from the Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapist as well as other outside agencies.
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). Outreach teachers will come to Church Hill to observe your child and give specialist advice as to how to best 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. We use Makaton signing to support communication when appropriate.
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 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.
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 sensorily-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 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.
The Inclusion Project
We work actively with other local early years settings to share our team’s expertise and knowledge of teaching young children with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. Please contact Sylvie at the nursery for more details about the kind of support and advice we can provide.
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 through the Children’s Centre and Nursery School we do in partnership with you as parents, and 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 time at school 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.
You can find out about other resources that are available in Waltham Forest by going to the Local Offer.
Accessibility of our buildings
The Access Audit for our Church Hill site is available from our Church Hill office, Woodbury Road, E17 9SB’. You can read our Accessibility Plan here.