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Special Education Needs

At Little Oaks we provide an environment in which all children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported to reach their full potential. 

Please read our Local Offer and SEND Policy for further information

Local Offer


Little Oaks Pre-school

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer

The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see clearly what services are available for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in their area and how to access them. The following questions and answers form our local offer and show how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

At Little Oaks, we provide a high quality of care and education through planning and providing a broad curriculum. Our aim is to provide a fun environment where children learn through play. We ensure that each child:

• Is in a safe and stimulating environment;

• Is given generous care and attention, because of our ratio of staff to children;

• Has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together;

• Is supported to take forward their learning and development by being helped to build on what they already know and can do;

• Has a personal key person who supports their individual needs;

• Is in a school that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop.


  1. How does Little Oaks Pre School know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?


The Staff team have between 1 and 18 years of working in the early years and have had experience working with children with additional needs. The pre-school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum guidance and children are reviewed each term to ensure they are making progress. All children have a 2 year progress check between the ages of 2 and 3 years which may identify a developmental delay in any of the three prime areas of the EYFS.  Children all have their own key person who monitors learning and development in an online journal through observations and termly progress meetings with parents. Any worries or concerns can be discussed with the Pre-school Manager/Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or your child’s key person.


  1. How will the early years setting staff support my child?


Your child’s key person will work closely with our Special Educational Needs Coordinator and the parent/carer. If necessary, Individual Plans will be written, with your help, working together to achieve successful outcomes. Staff will attend courses or carry out research relevant to any specific difficulty or delay. If we feel outside help may be needed we will contact the Early Years and childcare service in West Sussex who can provide advice, visit and assess, providing any extra professional help that may be necessary.


  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?


The pre-school plans learning around children’s individual needs and interests to ensure all children reach their full potential, taking each child’s starting point into consideration. If necessary, an Individual Plan will be developed to ensure that your child is receiving appropriate educational provision. Your key person will work really closely with both you and your child, observing, assessing and planning for the next steps.


  1. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?


Regular reviews will be arranged and you can come and discuss any issues or concerns regarding your child’s learning and development, with your child’s key person or SENDCo at any time. Meetings can be arranged at mutually convenient times giving parents/carers opportunities to ask questions and discuss their child’s progress and development in private. Parents are able to view and contribute to their child’s online learning journal at all times on ‘Tapestry’ (our online journal provider).  Discussions can be had to set up achievable goals for your child’s progress, that can be supported at home and in school.  The nursery can also signpost families to other support services such as the Family Information Service to access specific knowledge.


  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?


The SENCO has experienced accessing outside support for many children. The staff have attended many training sessions including ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour’’ ‘Including all children’, ‘The role of the INCO/SENCO’, Paediatric First Aid’, ‘Child Protection’ and ‘Supporting Children’s Well-being’ to support all children. All staff hold a current suitability check (DBS).


The setting has a ‘medicines policy’ and with parental permission will administer medicine that is prescribed by a doctor, both short and long term. If training is necessary for the administration of medicines or selfcare plans it will be accessed based on the needs of the individual child.


The setting also has a Behaviour Policy which is available on our school website. Children are supported to learn and understand about their own, and others, feelings and given lots of praise and encouragement for positive behaviour.


  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting.


The pre-school manager is a qualified Early Years Teacher and all staff who are in the role of a key person hold a Level 3 qualification.  We can also access support from Northchapel Primary school Head Teacher and SENDCo and the Family Information Service. Other professionals such as Health Visitors, Portage and Speech and Language therapist have been invited to observe individual children. All correspondence with other professionals is accessed with parental permission and remains confidential.


  1. What training is the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?


As well as the training previously mentioned, staff regularly attend courses and the setting values ongoing professional development for the whole team. Staff can choose courses relating to personal interests or appropriate to the current needs of the setting. We always maintain up to date Child Safeguarding and First Aid for practitioners. Practitioners have been on courses to develop children’s speech, language and communication skills and we can usually access specific training as required.

The Manager/SENDCo has completed training in ‘Understanding Autism’, ‘Understanding Children and young people’s mental health’ and ‘Understanding Behaviour that Challenges’.


  1. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?


The setting ensures that outings are available and suitable for all children. If necessary we will consult families to agree a risk assessment and develop strategies to overcome difficulties for individuals. We ensure a high ratio of adults to children on local visits and trips and parents are often invited to join us.


  1. How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Indoors and Outdoors)


The pre-school environment is risk assessed daily and is adapted to suit children with additional needs. Children have free flow access to the indoor and outdoor environment and are able to use to the primary school hall and playground which is wheelchair friendly. We also have use of the Forest School site behind our setting.


  1. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?


The pre-school has a ‘settling in’ procedure and families are invited to come and look around during sessions. The settling period is flexible and parents are welcome to spend as much time as is necessary with us to settle their child.

Parents/carers share information prior to their child’s start date by completing the ‘About Me’ section in their child’s Learning Journal. This ensures that children’s individual needs are considered to help them during the settling in period.


We work very closely with the Reception Class Teacher, Head Teacher and SENCO in Northchapel Primary School and transition sessions are planned during the Summer Term. We have also built links with other local early year’s settings and Primary Schools to enable us to speak to staff and ensure smooth transitions. Children’s Learning Journals are passed on to new settings as well as all documents and Individual Plans for children with additional needs. If there are any particular concerns or difficulties, we can arrange meetings with the school, key person and parents


  1. How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?


All resources are accessible to all children and some funding may be available to support your child in the pre-school if required. We also have access to resources from Northchapel Primary School. The key person will identify specific resources which may be appropriate for your child, when planning their next steps. Many resources have been accessed online by staff to provide ideas and visual prompts.


  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?


Depending on your child’s needs, outside professional help may be accessed. The nursery will liaise with you and other professionals to decide the most appropriate intervention. The SENCO will prepare Individual Plans to reach achievable goals. This is done with your input and your feedback is part of the process. These plans will be regularly reviewed to ensure development and learning.


  1. How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?


Parents/carers are welcome to join the Northchapel Primary and Little Oaks Pre-school PTA to help at fundraising events and share ideas.

All parents/carers are invited to attend regular meetings, open days/evenings, volunteer to help at ‘Forest School’ sessions and during preschool sessions/trips.

Daily informal chats between parents/carers and pre-school staff are an ongoing part of our provision and observations of children at school and home can be shared on Tapestry (our online Learning Journal). We value the positive relationships that are formed between families and the Little Oaks staff team.


  1. Who can I contact for further information?


Little Oaks Preschool Manager (SENCO/INCO) - Sharon Hill



Telephone: 01428 707352


Local Family Information Services may offer further information as well as:

Health visitors, GPs, Speech and Language Therapists, Children and Family Centres, Early childhood Service, Family Link Workers and Social Workers.


The Local Authorities Local Offer can be found on the West Sussex County Council Family Information Service website:


Questions on the Local Offer may be sent directly to


Updated on 21/09/22