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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 SEN 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.

Our school – the Northchapel Way

  • Every child at Northchapel is an individual and support will be differentiated to meet their needs.
  • We have high expectations of behaviour; everyone in the school community is treated with equality and respect.                                                                                                                                  

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 disabilitiesknow 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 2 and 15 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 all children are assessed 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. Any worries or concerns can be discussed with the Pre School Manager/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or your child’s key person.

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

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

3. 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. The child’s key person will work really closely with both you and your child, observing, assessing and planning for the next steps.

4. 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 you may have regarding your child’s learning and development, with your child’s key person at any time. In addition to this you can ask confidential questions, and view your child’s journal and next steps plans. Discussions can be had to set up achievable goals in your child’s progress, working from home and at the Pre School. The nursery is also able to recommend times and dates at the local Children’s Centre to access specific knowledge e.g. Speech and Language.

5. 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’ and ‘Child Protection’ to support all children. All staff hold a current suitability check (DBS). The manager has Level 2 certificates in 'Understanding Autism', 'Understanding behaviour that challenges' and 'Suporting children and young people's mental heaslth and well being'.

The setting has a ‘medicines policy’ and with parental permission will administer medicine that is required long term. If training is necessary for the administration of medicines or self care plans it will be accessed based on the needs of the individual child.

The setting has a Behaviour Policy and the children and staff regularly discuss the school behaviour code with children – Kind, Safe and Ready

6. 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 Key persons hold a Level 3 qualification.  We can also access support from Northchapel Primary school Head Teacher and SENCO and the Early Childhood 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.

7. 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.

8. 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 and carers 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.

9. 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 access to the Primary School hall and playground which is wheelchair friendly.

10. 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 and carers complete an ‘All About Me’ booklet to ensure 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

11. 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 have access to resources from Northchapel Primary School on a loan basis and also from the local toy library.

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.

12. 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.

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

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

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

Daily informal chats with parents and Pre School staff are an ongoing part of our provision and we value the positive relationships that are formed between families and the Little Oaks staff team.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

Little Oaks Pre-school 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

Special Educational Needs Policy

Supporting children with special educational needs

Policy statement

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

  • We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014).
  • We have in place a clear approach for identifying, responding to, and meeting children’s SEN[1].
  • We support and involve parents (and where relevant children), actively listening to, and acting on their wishes and concerns.
  • We work in partnership with the local authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEN and their families.
  • We regularly monitor and review [our/my] policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.


  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give her name to parents. Our SENCO is:

Sharon Hill                                                                                         ]

  • The SENCO works closely with our staff team and has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and for coordinating provision for children with SEN.
  • We ensure that the provision for children with SEN is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children.
  • We apply SEN support to ensure early identification of children with SEN.
  • We use the graduated approach system (assess, plan, do and review) applied in increasing detail and frequency to ensure that children progress.
  • We ensure that parents are involved at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's special education including all decision making processes
  • We where appropriate, take into account children’s views and wishes in decisions being made about them, relevant to their level understanding.
  • We provide parents with information on local sources of support and advice e.g. Local Offer, Information, Advice and Support Service.
  • We liaise and work with other external agencies to help improve outcomes for children with SEN.
  • We have systems in place for referring children for further assessment e.g. Common Assessment Framework/Early Help Assessment and Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • We ensure that all our staff are aware of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN. We provide in-service training for practitioners.
  • We raise awareness of our special education provision via our website and or promotional materials.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. action plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency's views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.


Further guidance


  • Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (DfE 2017)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE & DoH 2014)

[1] This includes disabled children with special educational needs