Please be advised that the nursery now remains permanently closed.

Identifying and implementing enhanced support

How will Highwood House Nursery know if my child needs extra help and what do I need to do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

Practitioners at Highwood House Nursery provide opportunities for the learning and development of all children in their care, including those with SEND.

The nursery’s assessments of children’s needs are made through observation, information gained from parents/carers, the child’s key person and any information from external professionals who may be involved with any of the children in our care.

Each child has a Learning Journey, which allows us to record our observations and monitor their development. This enables us to identify any SEND needs at an early stage.

If a parent/carer expresses concern regarding their child, they will be asked to discuss their concerns with the nursery SENCo and key person.

Before the child starts nursery we encourage the parents to bring the child in for several settling sessions. During the first settling in session the parents will speak to the key person about the child’s routine and about dietary requirements, policies and other relevant information regarding the child.

When the children start nursery we ask the parents to complete a starting points form. This provides us with useful information and is an opportunity for the parents to inform us of their child’s strengths, interests and also any concerns that they may have regarding their child.

Parents know their children best and we listen and understand when parents express concerns about their child’s development.

All children whatever their individual needs or requirements are welcome.

We have regard to the SEND code of practice, the Early Years Foundation Stage, Every Child Matters, the Children and Families Act (2014) and any other relevant documentation. 

How will Highwood House Nursery support SEND children?

We provide a variety of specific aids to promote learning and understanding. Visual strategies are used these include visual routines, timetables and ‘First’ and ‘Then’ Boards.

At Highwood House Nursery practitioners are deployed appropriately to ensure that children with SEND can access the environment and learning opportunities.

Additional funding can be applied for with endorsement from a health professional. The inclusion fund can be used for large specialist items or they can be borrowed from the toy library.

We differentiate activities and resources for all children to suit individual needs.

Any literature can be translated to additional languages if required. Highwood House Nursery will support children with SEND by liaising with parents/carers and creating a SEN support plan with agreed outcomes.

Staff have attended sing and sign training to carry out with the children during play, song time and circle time activities. This supports children with communication and the opportunity to learn and use Makaton signing.

How will Highwood House Nursery create learning & development opportunities for individual children with SEND?

Activities planned for all children are designed to include the child’s interests and needs and will be observed and assessed through the seven areas of learning.

At Highwood House Nursery we differentiate the learning resources as necessary and also organise our play rooms to ensure that access to the resources is appropriate to the children’s ages and needs.

At Highwood House Nursery we adopt the graduated response to support children with SEND.

The Graduated Response:

“Assess” in identifying a child as needing SEN support, the key person (working with the nursery SENCO and the child’s parents) carry out an analysis of the child’s needs. This initial assessment is reviewed regularly to ensure support is matched to need. Where there is little or no improvement in the child’s progress, more specialist assessment may be called for from specialist teachers or from health, social care or other agencies beyond the nursery.

“Plan” when SEND support is to be provided the key person and the SENCO agree, in consultation with the parent, the outcomes they are seeking, the interventions and support to be put into place, the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour and a clear date for review

“Do” the key person remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. With support from the SENCO they oversee the implementation of the interventions agreed as part of the SEND support. The SENCO supports the key person in assessing the child’s response to the action taken and advising on the effective implementation of support.

“Review” the impact and quality of the support is evaluated by the key person and the SENCO working with the child’s parents and taking into account the child views. They agree any changes to the outcomes and support for the child in the light of the child’s progress and development. The parents are provided with clear information about the impact of the support provided and are involved in planning the next steps.

How does Highwood House Nursery work in partnership with parents?

At Highwood House Nursery we feel partnership with parents is of the utmost importance, practitioners keep parents informed of their child’s development and progress and recognise the importance of effective communication with parents.

Each stage of the SEND process will be discussed with parents and parents are invited to attend any reviews and planning meetings for their child.

We work closely with all parents to ensure that we draw upon parent’s knowledge and expertise regarding their child and jointly plan and support their children.

Information leaflets, web addresses and contact details about local support groups are available for parents to access advice appropriate to their needs (e.g. Local Children’s Centre, health visitor and behaviour support etc.).  Much of this information can be found on our parent’s notice board.

At Highwood house nursery we hold many events throughout the year that parents are welcome to attend. We have Pre-school parents evenings where we discuss school readiness and how to prepare for the transition into school. We also have an annual parents evening so that the parents can come in and see what the children have been doing, and speak to their child’s key person. We have a Teddy Bears picnic and fete in the Summer to raise money for the chosen charity of the year. We provide the parents with a termly a newsletter saying what we have been doing, what we are going to do, events and reminders etc. We encourage the parents to arrange key person meetings and to attend the 2 year check meetings. Each room has a key person chart and a photo of the key person on the door. We encourage parents to come to other events throughout the year and to come and have stay and play sessions.

Written parental permission is always requested before any information is shared with external professionals. Discussions take place within a private area of the nursery.

How does Highwood House Nursery support the wellbeing of young children with SEND?

Safety is a primary concern at Highwood House Nursery. Everything undertaken is done with safety as an important consideration.

Risk assessments are conducted and reviewed regularly. Visual risk assessments are carried out in playrooms to ensure that the equipment, resources and environment continue to conform to current regulations.

If required at induction (or later if necessary) an individual child risk assessment form is completed in partnership with parents and reviewed when changes occur.

At Highwood House Nursery positive behaviour is valued and encouraged and we believe that children need to have set boundaries of behaviour for their own safety and safety of their peers.

We believe that children flourish best when they know how they are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who give them respect and value their individual personalities.

Positive, caring and polite behaviour will be encouraged and praised at all times in an environment where children learn to respect themselves, other people and their surroundings.

The administration of prescribed medicines is managed through parent partnership. Parents are asked at the time of registration to advise of any long term illness or medical conditions that a child may suffer from.

Treatment that is administered to a child on a regular basis must be authorised in writing on a medical form during a meeting held with the Manager regarding the child’s medical needs and will continually be reviewed.

If the administration of prescription medicines requires technical/medical knowledge, then we will seek to obtain individual training for practitioners from a qualified health professional. Training will be specific to the child concerned.             

What training & experience does staff at Highwood House Nursery have in supporting children with SEND?

All staff complete first aid and safeguarding training and there is a named SENCo and ENCo.

We have also completed the Inclusion Development Programme. Speech, Language and Communication, Autism and Behavioural, Emotional and Social difficulties.

We are currently working towards the good beginnings Autism bronze award and some practitioners are doing the understanding Autism level 2 training and the behavior that challenges training.

All staff complete the online SEND training provided by Early years Alliance, Educare as part of their induction process. We are also able to access information through regular cluster meetings through information sharing with other professionals based at different settings.

What specialist services and expertise are available to Highwood House Nursery?

We have experience of working with children with speech and language difficulties and social communication difficulties.

We have access to Educational psychologists; Inclusion partners and facilitator partners when attending cluster meetings. We work with speech and language specialists and other outside specialist services as appropriate.

The practitioners in the rooms do makaton signs alongside language and songs which staff have learnt from the programme sing and sign.

We regularly review and monitor staff training to ensure all staff have access to a wide range of knowledge and up to date information regarding all aspects of child development. Following staff attending training the information is then fed back to others and cascaded within the nursery as appropriate.

How does Highwood House Nursery include young children with SEND in community based activities and outings?

Staff from the local children’s centre visit us annually to offer advice and expertise they leave information leaflets for parents/carers of activities and services they offer. We do not take the children out on visits or trips but we do try to invite visitors into the nursery to talk to the children about their roles or professions.


How accessible is Highwood House Nursery?

At Highwood House Nursery the building is fully wheelchair accessible with disabled toilet facilities. The play rooms are all based on the ground floor making access easy.

There is off road parking directly outside the nursery

How will Highwood House Nursery prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer into a new setting or school?

At Highwood House Nursery we aim for children to feel safe, stimulated, happy, and to feel secure and comfortable with all practitioners. We also want parents/carers to have the confidence in both their children’s well-being and their role as active partners.

We aim to support parents and other carers to help their children settle quickly and easily by giving consideration to the individual needs and circumstances of each child and their families.

We feel settling in visits are key to a smooth transition and to ensure good communication and information sharing between staff and parents.

Practitioners work in partnership with parents to settle their child into the nursery environment by-

·       Providing parents with relevant information regarding the policies and procedures of the nursery.

·       Planning settling in visits over a period of time, dependent on individual needs, age and stage of development.

·       Welcoming parents to stay with their child until the child feels settled and the parents feel comfortable about leaving their child.

·       Allocating a key person to each child and his/her family before they start to attend, reviewing the key person if the child is bonding with another member of staff to ensure the child’s needs are met.

·       Respecting the circumstances of all families.

·       Conducting meetings between the Manager and the parents and the key person and the parents to ensure relevant information is shared.

If a child is due to move rooms due to age and stage readiness-

·       We work with parents to ensure this is a seamless process in which the child is supported at all stages.

·       The child will spend short sessions in their new room prior to the permanent move to enable them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

·       Parents are introduced to their child’s new key person and room practitioners.

·       Parents are kept informed of all visits and the outcomes of these visits through discussion, photographs and home link book entries.

·       Information regarding each individual child e.g. Observations, individual development plans and Learning Journeys are passed on and discussed with their new key person.

Starting school is a big transition and the nursery does all it can to facilitate a smooth transition. We have a variety of ways to support this.

·       We provide a variety of resources that relate to going to school, e.g. uniform to dress up in, a school related role play area, photographs of the schools the children may attend, eating with adult sized cutlery at meal times.

·       We invite school representatives into the nursery to meet the children.

·       Practitioners initiate conversations with the children about starting school and discuss what they think maybe different and what maybe the same etc. Any concerns the child may have are discussed to enable them to be overcome. 

·       A summary of the child is provided for the school.(passport to school)

·       As appropriate to individual needs of a child, a team around the child meeting will be attended by the SENCo and key person to support the transition to school.    

How are Highwood House Nursery resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

In line with the EYFS and in place for all children support will be given to parents and the key person in the nursery to set up appropriate strategies and programmes of support. We will provide the maximum amount of resources and assistance for children with SEND within budgetary constraints. In some cases dependent upon the needs of the child it is possible to seek additional support from the LEA.

Time is allocated to enable the SENCo to monitor, review and assess the effectiveness of provision of SEND. Time is allowed to plan, write and review individual plans.

An individual plan for any children with SEND is devised that outlines the child’s strengths and difficulties, short term targets for the child and how we at Highwood House Nursery will support the child. If a child is identified as having SEND, regular reviews of the child’s progress will be undertaken by the SENCo, parents, the child’s key person and any other professionals that may be involved.

How do we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND?

The setting has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who is responsible, alongside the nursery manager and a child’s key persons for ensuring that the various SEN initiatives are implemented alongside the parents. Through observing children in our care, liaising with specialist agencies and with parents we would provide and implement the appropriate support for each individual child with SEND.  We work in partnership with the local Children’s Centre and other local education providers to explore how different types of need can be met most effectively. Team around the children (TAC) meetings are held each term at the nursery and all professionals involved with the child are invited as well as the parents to discuss recent achievements and professionals can share what they are currently supporting the child with. The nursery can hear first hand the support they can provide and further support they can have access to. A one plan is written by the nursery SENCO and the child’s key person and specific learning outcomes are identified. The nursery gathers evidence to show how the child is working towards and being supported in achieving the outcome. These are reviewed at each meeting.

How are parents involved at Highwood House Nursery? How can I be involved?

Parents know their children best and will be involved in every aspect of their care, learning and development. Through the completion of outcome focused plans, one page profiles and one plans parents will be involved in every stage of development. Parents are encouraged to contribute towards these regularly. Every child has a learning journey and parents are encouraged to have regular input into their child’s book. Photos of activities they are doing at home are requested. Various activities are sent home for parents to complete with their child such as ‘WOW moments” and ’handprints’, these are used to help support learning and development within the setting and help practitioners compile next steps for each individual child.

CONTACT –Lurice Schofield – Nursery Manager

Highwood House Nursery

Maldon Road,

Hatfield Peverel,

Chelmsford, Essex,


Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone – 01245 382500

Open 51 weeks per year Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm

Updated February 2020



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