Make a positive contribution

We acknowledge that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and form close relationships with the whole family to ensure the children reach their full potential through consistent and loving care. Children’s enjoyment and pleasure is at the heart of our ethos and we work hard to provide an environment where the children are praised for each and every achievement – no matter how small they may seem. The excellent communication we have with parents ensures that parents have an active role in their child’s day at nursery. We provide opportunity for parents to take home learning journeys to share with the extended family. These documents detail children’s learning over a period of time and are based around a focus which the children have instigated through their own interests in a specific subject.

Orchard Barns has a strong key person approach and each child will work and play in small groups with their key person for part of the day which enables staff to gain insight into each child’s characteristics and learning styles, thus providing opportunity for individual learning and development of confidence and self-esteem. Children of all ages are encouraged to make decisions and take responsibility. Staff have the experience and confidence to select the best approach ensuring each child develops at their own pace.

Throughout the Nursery children are encouraged to be polite and respectful both to peers and adults and staff are consistent in their approach to managing behaviour so the children have a clear idea of what is expected.

To support all children within a fully inclusive environment, Orchard Barns has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator who works closely with key practitioners and outside agencies to ensure all children are afforded the optimum opportunities for development.

We actively welcome visits from members of the community and children are able to participate in French lessons as well as music and dance.

SEND Local Offer

An overview of the kindergarten

“What kind of nursery is Orchard Barns ?”

Orchard Barns Private Kindergarten is a well established nursery rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted. The nursery is in Ardleigh , a small village near the thriving town of Colchester which has fast rail links to London. It is located amongst apple orchards and fields providing children with superb play and learning opportunities. We take children from the age of three months to five years, each age group has its own separate accommodation in well furnished rooms with appropriate resources. We are registered for fifty four children to attend daily and are open from 8am to 6pm with a variety of attendance patterns available within these hours.

We are an inclusive nursery focusing on the individual child. Each child has their own dedicated special person or keyperson who is the first point of contact for parents/carers. We provide effective support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) starting from our first contact with parents/carers and their child. We make sure that additional needs are identified early and offer provision suited to the child’s specific individual needs. There are SEND co-ordinators in the nursery who are experienced with working with a range of professionals and outside agencies and who can support parents/carers form links with the most appropriate agencies if needed. We are familiar with how to access additional funding for enhanced provision, working in partnership with outside professionals to support children with SEND, should this be appropriate.

We are confident that our provision can meet the specific needs of

children with SEND providing the highest quality care and education.

Accessibility of the Kindergarten

“How accessible is the nursery for children with SEND?”

Orchard Barns building is divided into four age appropriate rooms. We are happy to make any reasonable adjustment to our environment that may be required. There are different outdoor play areas including a large paddock with fixed play equipment, a garden divided into different areas including sand boxes and a smaller courtyard area used for small group play. These areas may need reasonable adjustments according to specific needs. Risk assessments highlight any steps needed to make the outside areas conducive for all children.

Identifying children’s additional needs

“How will the nursery know if my child needs additional help and how will the nursery share information with me?”

A child may join us with aneed already identified or concerns may be raised by their keyperson or other staff through continuous observations and assessments which informs all planning in the nursery. Parent/Carers would always be the first point of contact and any relevant history or concerns would be discussed with them.

They would be invited to meet with their child’s keyperson and SEND

Co-ordinators and participate in discussions about the support proposed which would take the form of a One Plan including a one page profile.

We would use the graduated response cycle where observations are

assessed, a One Plan prepared which would detail any interventions and support, resources to be used and expected impact and outcomes with a clear date for review. The one page profile would include sections on what people like and admire about the child and include things they don’t like; what makes them happy and how they want to be supported.

Parents/Carers may be advised on how to help their child at home

continuing strategies put in place at nursery if appropriate. They would always receive copies of One Plans and would be invited to the review assess and plan part of the graduated response cycle of Assess, Plan, Do and Review. Their child’s keyperson would be their on going contact who they would see every time their child attended nursery.

Range of support available to my child

“What different kinds of support are available to a child with SEND”?

Specified individual support (One Plans)

Appropriate resources would be sourced

Small group activities

Differentiation of activities

Support for behaviour

Support for health needs

Support for communication needs including visual timetables, Makaton symbols and picture exchange communication systems (PECS)

One adult to support the child access the learning environment around them and engage with their peers. An application for funding for such an adult would be made but we cannot guarantee allocation.

Measuring children’s progress

“How will the nursery know how well my child is progressing and how will they inform us about this?”

The keyperson would closely monitor the child’s progress through observations and continuous assessment. The keperson would consider the targets in the One Plan as agreed with parents/carers and see if the specific targets have been met. The plan would be regularly reviewed and updated with parents/carers involved at all stages.


“How would the nursery ensure my child was included in all aspects of nursery life?”

Great care is taken to treat each child as a person in their own right with equal rights and responsibilities. We ensure all early learning opportunities are inclusive of children with SEND and achieve this through differentiation and support. We acknowledge and celebrate a wide range of religious beliefs and festivals. Children whose first language is not English have full access to early learning opportunities and are supported in their learning. The child’s family would be supported as a whole for example relevant information would be translated if required.

Specialist and outside agencies

“What agencies might be involved with my child?”

All external partners we work with are vetted in terms of safeguarding. Agencies involved could include Area SEND co-ordinator, Health Visitor, Speech and Language Therapist, Hearing Impaired Support, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Specialist Teacher and other agencies offering relevant support.

Parent/carers would always be consulted before we asked outside agencies to become involved and would be kept fully informed about any visits by such agencies.

Support for parents/carers

“What support would we receive as parents/carers?”

Daily handovers with your child’s key person would provide opportunities to discuss any concerns or questions.

Regular reviews of One Plans to which Parents/Carers would be invited to find out their views on how their child is progressing, their hopes for what their child can achieve in the future and including any recommendations from outside agencies.

Starting kindergarten/moving on to primary school(Transitions)

“How will the nursery prepare my child to attend / move to primary school?”

We have a comprehensive induction process involving as many visits as parents/carers feel are necessary. There would be opportunities to meet the child’s keyperson and exchange information about the child and the nursery including practical matters such as holiday entitlement, fees etc.

The key person would find out as much as they could about the child including other agencies involved if any, and matters such as diet, medication etc.

Parents/carers would be invited to leave their child for a trial visit when the child would spend time with their keyperson and enable them to meet the other children in their room.

For a child with SEND a meeting with the SEND co-ordinator will be necessary so needs can be identified before the child starts and any reasonable adjustments to the environment made.

Once a child is settled into nursery life it may become necessary to move rooms depending on their age. This transition is handled very carefully with visits arranged to the child’s new room and opportunity to meet their new keyperson. All relevant information including One Plans would be shared at a meeting between the new keyperson and the previous key person. Parents/carers would also have an opportunity to meet the new keyperson.

When the time comes for children to move onto Primary school contact would be made by the nursery and the reception class teacher of the relevant school would be invited to visit the nursery and meet the child.

An enhanced transition package of sharing strategies, latest One Plan visits by professionals etc. would be put in place with Parents/Carers involved.

The keyperson supported by the nursery SEND co-ordinator would pay particular attention in preparing the child for transfer to primary school to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Dedicated contacts at the kindergarten

“Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my child?”

The Key Person

The Manager

The SEND co-ordinator

Relevant names and contact details will be supplied on request.

Support and training for staff

“Have any staff received specialist training in SEND?”

We identify training needs and support all staff in relevant training. The SEND co-ordinators have completed SEND training and have undertaken additional training, most recently one of them attended the Early Language Development Programme training. She then cascaded this training to other staff in the nursery to help develop their practise.

A training programme detailing the new SEND Code of Practise (2014) is due to be rolled out in our area and our SEND co-ordinators will be attending if they are allocated a place. The SEND co-ordinators have already both completed the Essex County Council Early Years and Childcare course Early Years Overview of SEND Code of Practice 2014.