Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

As a setting we aim to offer a service that is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children. Some children have needs that arise from a disability or an impairment that may affect their learning and development. We aim to provide a secure and accessible environment in which all children can flourish and reach their full potential.

There are designated members of staff who deal with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) called the ‘Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Our settings SENCO’s are Mrs Dawn Mehigan and Miss Laura Wroe and their role is to ensure that the day-to-day running of the setting is supporting the children with SEND. Dawn and Laura will work closely with families to find out more about their child, this will ensure that as a setting we listen and value your views and feelings as parents/carers. We work closely with all staff to ensure that they are up to date with recent policies and legislation. Dawn and Laura work with the child’s Key Person to help prepare a ‘Targeted Support Plan’ to set achievable targets for the child, these are updated regularly and agreed with parents/carers and any other outside agencies that might be involved with your child.

All staff members attend training courses such as Makaton and Autism Awareness so that all staff can support children with a special educational need.

Dawn and Laura have already developed a professional working relationship with other outside Agencies. Dawn and Laura are the point of contact for professionals working outside the setting and they work closely with outside agencies such as: –

  • Area Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Health Visitors
  • Doctors/Consultants
  • Dieticians/Nutritionists
  • Visual and Hearing Impairment Team
  • Parent/Carer Intervention Liaison Officer
  • and any other agencies required to support the child’s needs

As a setting we provide:

  • Visual timetables
  • Choice boards
  • EAL Support
  • SALT support
  • Targeted Support Plans
  • Disabled parking
  • Access for wheelchairs/ramps and disabled entrance
  • Disabled toilet with changing facilities
  • Staff training i.e Makaton Signing and how to administer an Epi Pen, Autism, complex behaviour and communication.
  • Multi-lingual signs and books
  • Help and advice, signposting to the appropriate agencies/facilities
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Guide for Parents/Carers
  • Visual and Hearing Impairment Support

We also aim to provide:

  • Books and signs in Braille
  • Interpreters
  • Resources that can help and support children with SEND i.e sensory equipment, adapted aids
  • One to One support
  • Resources that are developmentally appropriate

There are two designated members of staff for each playroom who are our Social, Emotional and Mental Health well-being support persons, in the Believe and Achieve Room is Dawn Mehigan and in the Inspire Room is Laura Wroe. Their roles within the setting are to take the lead when supporting children’s social, emotional and mental health and to develop nurture groups throughout the setting. Everyone in the setting shares responsibility for meeting the needs of all children within the setting.

Other ways in which we support the children, family and staff is by:

  • To support children with their personal, social, emotional and mental health well-being within the setting working closely with parents/carers and the child’s key person.
  • To develop strategies to help support the child and review the progress of the child regularly. Then to develop an Action Plan to record any targets and strategies achievable for the child.
  • To keep up to date records relating to children with social, emotional and mental health needs.
  • To work with the SENCO and relevant outside agencies that may need to be involved with the child and their family, in order to support them to the fullest.
  • To keep up to date with policies, training, books and articles related to social, emotional and mental health.
  • To help staff identify the needs of children with regards to their social, emotional and mental health needs in the setting by supporting them in gathering and interpreting information.
  • To develop nurture groups within the setting when working with several children.

Communication, Speech and Language Support 

Here in the setting we have an in house independent speech and language therapist that comes into to play and work the children. She will support the children, staff and their parents/carers on how to enhance and develop their child’s speech and language skills further. The SALT therapist will tailor plans to the child’s communication and language needs, providing advice, target plans and resources specifically for that child. The Speech therapist will work with your child’s key person to get a clear picture of the child and give them advice on how implement the child’s targets in to practice. If this is something you feel your child would benefit from please speak to Dawn or Laura.

At the setting we use a toolkit called WellComm Screening to help us to see where the children are at in relation to their age, screening what language they use and what language they understand. The toolkit is divided into sections which correlate to ages for example Section 4 is 24-29 months. We will carry out the toolkit assessment with your child using the section they are at in relation to their age. The toolkit highlights where children might need some extra support for example they screen lower than their age. We can then discuss with parents/carers on what support will be needed going forward, this could be in house support from the Communication and Language Co-ordinator (Laura), the SENCO’s or the in house Speech Therapy or it could be referring to Sandwell SALT service and/or Sandwell Inclusion Support. If we feel your child needs additional support with their speech and language skills you as parent’s/carers will be involved in what actions need to be taken to further your child’s communication skills.

Sandwell have put together a website to help support parents/carers and practitioner’s on how they can further enhance and support their child’s language and communication skills.

Sandwell Keeps Talking | Family Information Service Hub

Language and Listening

Here is a presentation on how you can support your child’s language and listening skills at home.