The Little Acorns Pre-School,  St Lukes Church Hall, Gloucester Avenue, 


Essex CM2 9LG

Parent Information: Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
Download a PDF copy of this document here

The aim of this document is to enable families to see the support that they would receive for their children in our setting. It will provide clear information about what we already have in place to enable each child to achieve to their full potential, as well as offer reassurance to parents/carers in that we value each child as being individual and endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to meet their individual needs. We are an inclusive setting with a wealth of experience in supporting and promoting their needs, learning and development. Over the past 30 years there have been a number of children who have accessed our setting with a variety of needs; medical, physical as well as developmental.  All children have gone onto mainstream education and continue to make good progress.

Our approach to supporting the learning & development

  • Each child has a key person who will help them settle into the group whilst building up positive relationships, understanding their needs, care routines, interests and learning styles. This information is obtained through observation and informal chats with parents.
  • Any concerns throughout the above process are raised initially with the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo), who will work closely with the key person to differentiate resources/ activities/ experiences, adapting and supporting to ensure the curriculum meets the individual needs of the child in order for the child to achieve.
  • If after talking to you we feel additional support is needed we will work with you to put a Special Educational needs support plan in place, to meet their needs and your requirements.  All progress will be recorded and shared with you.
  • The SENCo will liaise with other professionals (with your permission) such as Speech Language therapists, Early Years Advisory teachers, Health Visitors and Area SENCo to gain further advice in supporting you and your child. We will then work collaboratively to ensure advice and strategies are implemented.
  • This process will be monitored, reviewed and evaluated with you and any other professionals on a regular basis.

How will parents/carers be included in the child’s education?
We value the knowledge you have on your child and want to work closely with you to ensure that your child’s learning is effective.

  • From the outset your key person will involve you by asking you to complete key information about your child, helping us to understand their interests, likes/dislikes and favourite toys/games/places.  This sharing of information will be on going throughout your time at the setting. We will also ask you to complete a one page profile which asks about what is important to the child, what people admire about your child and how best to support them.
  • We will send you regular newsletters, about which activities we intend to offer.
  • We have an open door policy and you are able to discuss your child’s progress and celebrate their success with us.
  • Each child has their own learning journey which you can access at any time, sharing with you our findings, gaining your thoughts and ideas. The learning journey will contain observations and photographs and celebrations of achievements.Your child's keyperson will make next steps plans for your child based on your child's interests which we will share with you. We will also endeavour to incorporate any next steps you feel will enhance your child’s experience with us.

Positive relationships;

  • All staff are experienced and qualified practitioners who access training on a regular basis.
  • All staff use some Makaton sign language and encourage children to participate.  We feel that this not only enables communication but reduces frustration and promotes emotional intelligence.
  • Our setting SENCos (Sam Bowins, and Nicky Harding) implement necessary strategies to support their own learning/development, feeding back to all staff and enabling the setting to promote communication
  • The setting has policies and procedures in place which are reviewed regularly ensuring our environment and resources are suitable and accessible to all.
  • We operate an open door policy for you to come and spend time in the setting with your child.  Staff are available both at the beginning and end of the session to answer your questions and help with your concerns.
  • We have good relationships with other services within and around our community and can assist you by accessing the Toddler group, School and facilities at the local Children’s Centre.
  • As a community preschool we are happy to involve parents with the group. Whether that is as a volunteer parent helper or a member of the committee.All staff are experienced and qualified practitioners who access training on a regular basis.

Support for each child’s Physical and Emotional wellbeing

  • We consider ourselves to be inclusive, creating a safe, secure and happy environment that is suitable for all children to flourish. We will make reasonable adjustments for all children
  • We concentrate on promoting their Personal, Social and Emotional skills, building on what they can already do and creating challenges to build their confidence and self-esteem.  
  • There are signs and symbols around the hall, helping children identify the areas of play.
  • We will offer a visual timetable as and when needed to help children make choices, understand the routine of the day, offering structure on what is happening now and what is going to happen next.
  • We encourage co-operative play between all children helping them to understand, value and respect others opinions and ideas.
  • We are flexible in our approach which means that we can adapt what we do to accommodate any need or health issue by having relevant plans in place. 
  • As a setting we look to address the underlying reasons for unwanted behaviour then work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve their behaviour. Your child can also be involved in this approach.

Helping with transitions

  • Prior to your child starting at the setting, we would invite you and your child to visit.  This allows the child time to play, becoming familiar with the environment and for you both to meet your key person and SENCo. 
  • We will work closely with you so that you feel you can stay with your child for however long necessary in order for them to settle.
  • We would gain as much information as possible from you and any other professional involved with your child before the child’s start date, enabling us to ascertain the level of support needed and appropriate targets for their SEN Support Plan.
  • To aid transitions between other settings, we would talk to the relevant staff involved, arrange meetings or visits and encourage information to be exchanged so the child can be supported in the new environment, familiarising themselves with the surroundings.
  • We are able to apply for funding from Essex County Council to enable the preschool to employ an additional member of staff to work with your child if needed. (subject to meeting the relevant criteria)
  • We invite the reception teachers into the setting to meet the children who will be joining them in the new school year. Before children move onto a new school or move to a new preschool we complete a transition form which details where the child is at in their stage of learning at the time of leaving the setting.

How accessible is the environment?

  • If the family has English as a second language, we would work with the family to help us by using visual aids alongside both languages and gain outside help if necessary
  • We use some Makaton sign language to help us communicate with all children.
  • Our setting is on one level and therefore provides good access throughout both halls. Toys are at child level and accessible to all. There is a ramp which allows access to our outside garden.
  • The changing facilities offer a disabled toilet and wheelchair access is good throughout the school.
  • We endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate children’s needs, but major adjustments can only be made after approval from the church is received.

Who can I contact for further information.
More detailed information is available in our policies which can be found in our policy folder at the setting.

To register your child at the Preschool and if you wish to discuss your child prior to starting you need to contact either Caroline Gosling or Lisa Winch or our SENCO Hilary Robertson.

Telephone 07383556431  email: