SEN Code of Practice
Record Keeping and Assessment
Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus
High Ham Preschool is situated in the heart of the village, on the outskirts of Langport in Somerset. The preschool is a registered charity, managed by a parents committee and has been running since 1992. High Ham preschool is proud to offer an outstanding setting “provision is outstanding and overall children’s needs are met extremely well” (Ofsted 2012).
It is the aim of the pre-school to provide high quality care and education, to work in partnership with parents to help children to learn and develop and to offer a service that promotes equality and that values diversity.
Ultimately it is the ethos of the setting to learn through play in a safe and stimulating environment.
We provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs (SEN) are supported to reach their full potential.
• To work closely with children and their families
• To identify individual needs and respond to these
• To work in partnership with other professionals
• To plan and deliver a graduated response
• To make our physical environment suitable for all children
• To make educational provision for all children within our care to enable them to achieve
• To support, empower and provide opportunities for all to access the early years curriculum
Our setting is completely accessible and wheelchair friendly, with wide doors, accessible toilet, level entrance and ramp to the level, all weather outdoor play space. We also have access to a variety of additional resources locally through
We have a highly qualified team of staff, all of which have a Somerset Total Communication (STC) qualification and regularly update knowledge in this area. All our staff have experience of working with children with learning and physical disabilities.
We employ a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) – The role of our SENCo is crucial in supporting, early identification and intervention for children with special educational needs (SEN) and will be a useful contact for you should you have concerns regarding your child’s needs and development. The SENCo will also co-ordinate the preschools recording and documentation process for SEN children, liaise and work closely with you as parents, secure additional training for all staff, liaise with outside agencies and other professionals to support SEN children, secure funding where necessary and to put procedures in place to enable smooth and successful transitions for children and their families. The SENCo also attends SEN cluster meetings held termly with other professionals, this ensures she is up to date with current legislation and thinking.
A key person is a named member of staff who will help to make your child feel safe, secure, cared for and valued within our setting. They will respond sensitively to children’s needs and behaviours and support your child’s well being. Your key person will support the physical needs of your child by nappy changing, toileting, dressing, administering medication, eating and drinking. They will become a familiar figure who is accessible and available as a point of contact for you and who will build a positive relationship with you and your child.
Your key person will work closely with you and the settings SENCo and be responsible for planning, and providing opportunities for your child whilst in our care. They are also ultimately responsible for observing and recording your child’s achievements and sharing these with you regularly. In the unlikely event of your key worker being unavailable you will be encouraged to discuss any matters with the Manager.
The manger will hold responsibility for all staff being adequately trained and aware of any medical, educational, behavioural and physical needs your child has, and she will ensure all needs of your child are met whilst in our care. The team of staff also meet on a weekly basis this gives an opportunity to ensure all staff are aware of current needs of all children, and plan the provision to suit all children.
The SENCo, Key person and manager will work together, with you, to devise a care plan (if necessary) and carry out risk assessments to ensure your child’s safety whilst in our care.
When you first contact the setting you will be invited to arrange a visit. This will be informal and a chance for you to get a feel about us and our preschool. We will then arrange a meeting with the SENCo and key person who will discuss the specific needs of your child, and give you the opportunity to emphasise concerns and considerations necessary for us to best support your child. By having prior knowledge of specific identified needs and their development journey will enable our staff to create a suitable provision for your child prior to them starting with us. At this confidential meeting we will be able to discuss your involvement with other professionals, this will enable us to identify your child’s journey, to date, and access/share information from relevant people. We will then plan a review meeting once your child has started within the preschool.
The SEN Code of Practice provides guidance for early years settings on how they should approach the identification of, assessment of and intervention for young children with special educational needs. All early years education settings in receipt of government education funding must have regard to this Code of Practice when responding to the needs of children.
The Code indicates that intervention of Early Years Action should be triggered when the child’s parents or the practitioner has concerns regarding the child.
We understand the importance of working with other professionals to support the learning and development of SEN children. As a setting we have experience of working closely with a variety of these professionals:
• Area SENCo – Wendy Toy
• Speech and Language Therapists
• Occupational Therapists
• Health Visitors
• General Practitioners
• Clinical Nurse
• English as Additional Language (EAL) Advisers
• Early Learning Area Co-ordinator (ELAC)
• Reception Class and Other Teachers
• Physical and Medical Support Services (PMSS) Team
As a setting we are also able to work with you to make referrals to specific other professionals as and when necessary. It may be necessary to make a referal to the Multi-agency Identification and Support in the Early Years meeting (MAISEY). The role of MAISEY meetings is to make sure that all the different agencies are brought together to look at your child’s needs and to ensure that the services and provision are looked at together.
The progress of individual children will be discussed in separate meetings to which parents will be invited.
Record Keeping and Assessment
High Ham Preschool operates within the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are several ways in which your child’s progression can be recorded, these include observations, photographs and your child’s own work.
Once your child has started in preschool your keyworker will make their initial observations these will be recorded in your child’s ‘Personal Pathway’. The Personal Pathway is a record of achievements made in preschool and at home, you will always have access to your child’s pathway, just speak to your key worker who will arrange a suitable time for you. Your key worker will use their observations to complete a 2 year old check, this is shared with yourselves and your health visitor and can be a crucial indicator as to the needs your child has, and how they are achieving within the EYFS.
At this point it may be decided to use development journal to track your child’s progress. The Early Years Developmental Journal is designed for families, practitioners and others to use as a way of recording, celebrating and supporting children’s progress. It supports key working by helping everyone involved with a child to share what they know and discuss how best to work together to support development and learning. This Journal is particularly useful if we know or suspect that your child is unlikely to progress in the same way or at the same rate as other children – whether or not a particular factor or learning difficulty has been identified and given a name.
Your keyworker will then work closely with your child, yourselves, the SENCo and other staff to plan activities to best support your child’s needs.
We will also send home a ‘parents input to planning’ sheet once every half term, where you will be encouraged to advise us on your child’s current interests and areas you would like to see developed within the preschool.
High Ham Preschool has a variety of assessment tools and dependant on your child’s needs will determine which of these will be used.
Our assessment tools include:
Termly Learning Picture – Every child within the preschool has a termly learning picture completed by your child’s key worker. This will be confidentially shared with you. It will emphasise your child’s achievements and highlight the next steps for their development. You will be encouraged and supported to help your child achieve these steps at home too.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) – An IEP is a plan or programme designed for children with SEN to help them to get the most out of their education. An IEP builds on the curriculum that a child with learning difficulties or disabilities is following and sets out the strategies being used to meet that child’s specific needs.
Every Child A Talker (ECAT) Form –
This child monitoring tool enables practitioners to assess the developmental level of children’s speech, language and communication.
Home Communication Profile –
To help us to understand your child’s likes and dislikes, we would like to know how your child communicates with you and your family.
A Unique Child Communication Profile –
Similar to the Home Communication Profile, but based on observations within the preschool. This will enable us to compare development in two environments, highlight anomalies and narrow gaps where possible.
Provision Plan – A plan to ensure the setting meets the physical, medical, educational and emotional needs of your child. It will also emphasise how to meet these needs and the equipment/resources needed.
High Ham Preschool places great importance on identifying special educational needs early so that we can help children as quickly as possible. We adopt a graduated response so as to be able to provide specific help to individual children. Once children have been identified the setting will intervene through Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus.
The graduated response recognises that all children learn in different ways and can have different types and levels of special educational needs. The graduated response means that step by step more support and expertise can be brought in to help the preschool support the difficulties a child or young person may be experiencing.
Families will be constantly involved with any help that their child is receiving due to their special educational needs. This extra or different help can be provided through Early Years Action or Early Years Action plus depending on the severity of the child’s level of need.
The graduated response to special educational needs does not imply that interventions are a set of hurdles to be crossed before a request for statutory assessment can be made. The interventions are part of a cycle of planning, action and review within preschool to enable all children to learn, progress and achieve.
Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus
Early Years Action
The Early Years Action plan is offered to children at an early age with additional needs. The Key Worker or SENCO will carry out an assessment of your child’s needs to decide what support they require.
The triggers for Early Years Action support may be around levels of progress your child is making, their behaviour, sensory or physical problems. This support is in place to ensure your child gets the best opportunities from the setting.
Your child will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that includes targets for the setting and dates of regular meetings. The IEPs should set out:
• what special help is being given
• who will provide the help and how often
• what help you can give to your child at home
Early Years Action Plus
If you child is not making enough progress through the Early Years Action programme, they may be able to receive additional support from other professionals such as speech therapists or specialist teachers.
For more information, please follow this link to the Direct Gov website: Early Years Action.
At High Ham Preschool we understand that transitions between settings can be very traumatising for you and your child. We work with High Ham Primary School to reduce this unsettling period and have a variety of resources on offer. Our SENCo is exceptionally passionate about making transitions as smooth as possible and will work closely with you to create an individual plan best suited to your child. This will include one on one visits to the school, individual photograph books which your child will have a large role in developing and weekly sessions with the reception class (currently Wednesday mornings). You and all other professionals involved with your child will be invited to a School Entry Plan (SEP) meeting, to enable a plan to be drawn up to best suit you and your child.
To support transitions between home and preschool we have developed a home school folder, including ‘this is me’ book, activity board and home communication book. The children have their own preschool book bag to keep these in and are a valuable resource to share with their family to encourage development at home too. The activity boards and home communication books will be used every time your child attends the preschool, your child will be actively encouraged to have an input into both of these resources. This gives them a prime opportunity to express their likes, dislikes and to develop their communication skills.
To summarise this document
• High Ham Preschool works closely with children with SEN, their families and other professionals to ensure the best possible outcome for your child whilst in our care.
• You are invited to join us at every step along the journey and are encouraged to have an active role with your child’s development.
• Your will be given regular opportunities to share information in a confidential environment, where any concerns or queries you may have will be addressed.
• We have helped families to access additional support including applying for Disability Living Allowance and will continue to support you in every way we can.
• Ultimately we want you and your child’s experience of early years education to be a positive one and will work closely with you to ensure you are happy and confident with us as a setting to best support, develop and care for your child.