Special Needs Local Offer

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities: Local Offer

Key Staff:

Manager SENCO / ENCO (Educational Needs Officer): Sarah McGladrigan. BA (HON); EYTS

Deputy Managers: Gemma Masheter, Kayleigh Field, Dean Vella

Cliff House works closely with the LEA to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and / or disabilities.

Our Key Staff and Age Groups are organised as follows:

Deputy Managers: Gemma Masheter and Kayleigh Field

Baby Room:             0 - 23 months       Room Leader:     Lisa Vella

Play Room:            24 – 36 months       Room Leader:     Lauren Kearns

School Room:        37 – 60 months      Room Leader:     Dean Vella / Deputy SENCO


How does our environment meet the needs of children with SEND?

  • The building is wheel chair accessible: Ramp to side entrance and ramps to both exits leading to garden.
  • The ground floor rooms are all at the same level with smooth surfacing to allow easy use of a wheel chair.
  • All large pieces of furniture have castors to allow quick and easy reorganization of layout.
  • Low Level seating and tables for easy access to activities
  • Large play area which is easy to negotiate with a wheel chair
  • Height adjustable seating and play surfaces
  • Floor level activity areas
  • Playground covered in artificial grass, making it safe for children with mobility issues
  • Visual Time Tables and objects of reference used to aid understanding
  • Activities are differentiated to meet the needs of children with SEND
  • Key Staff have training and experience in working with children with a variety of SEND (Special Educational Needs)
  • Parents can pull on to the drive to allow safe and easy access to the nursery
  • All areas are well lit  

How do we identify children with SEND?

  • Referral made by Children’s Centre
  • Through our own observations and evaluations, tracking and recording children’s development in the Learning Journeys
  • Referrals and/or concerns raised by other professionals: Health Visitor; Speech and Language; Portage; etc.
  • Concerns raised by parents

How can parents raise/share their concerns with us?

  • Through face to face discussion at any time during the day
  • During the initial enrolment process
  • By email [email protected]
  • By telephone 01772 795368
  • Through our nursery APP
  • In writing 

How do we access support?

  • If a child has a clear and obviously identifiable need on enrolment which we feel requires additional advice and support, we will seek parental permission to send a Request for Guidance to the IDSS (Inclusion Disability & Support Service)
  • Through discussion and agreement with parents. Initially we will monitor the child and develop a Targeted Learning Plan 

How do we keep parents up to date?

  • Parents are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development through regular communication with the child’s Key Worker and the SENCO.
  • Reports and thoughts from any other agencies are shared with parents on an ongoing basis.
  • Parents concerns, ideas and issues are taken in to account when planning teaching and Learning activities.
  • The office is available to enable staff and parents to have confidential discussions
  • The SENCO and Key Workers are available to speak to parents throughout the day – either in person or by telephone 

Teaching & Learning

  • Teaching and Learning is developed within Cliff House taking a child centered approach.
  • An initial baseline assessment is made within the first 3 weeks of attendance. This is formulated taking in to account: parents’ thoughts, observations and concerns; observations noted by staff; input and / or reports from other agencies; any concerns / anxieties and opinions expressed by the child.
  • Children are continually monitored using written observations and photographs. This evidence is then collated each term to produce a ‘Tracker’. The tracker monitors the child’s progress through the EYFS.
  • Based on the child’s progress and development, the child’s Key Worker will plan activities to meet the ‘Next Steps’ for the following term.
  • In addition, children with SEND have Targeted Learning Plans in place which are written taking in to account the advice from the SENCO and any other professional agencies involved with the child.
  • Targeted Learning plans are shared with parents to support and consolidate development
  • Information is shared with parents in a variety of ways: in person within the nursery; by email; telephone; and in writing.
  • A parent information board and information leaflets are displayed and easily accessible within the nursery.
  • Regular news letters are sent home to keep parents updated generally
  • The SENCO (Sarah McGladrigan) and the child’s Key Worker will attend meetings alongside parents and outside agencies to support children with SEND
  • Every effort is made to guide and advise parents through the complexities of managing the educational and care needs of children with SEND
  • A wide variety of resources are available to, and are safe for, all children.
  • Sensory toys / equipment: Dark Den; Light up toys; Vibrating Toys; Chewable Toys; Enclosing / enveloping resources such as dens, bean bags, blankets, tents, etc.
  • A peripatetic music specialist visits the nursery once a week to provide activities which are appropriate and accessible to all children
  • Trips involving transport are planned taking in to account the individual needs of each child. Wheel chair accessible transport and safety seating are used at all times.
  • Appropriate staffing levels are planned to meet the needs of all individual children
  • Parent support is invited

When a child is enrolled at Cliff House

  • Parents are asked to complete an ‘All About Me’ document before their child commences nursery. Giving staff an insight in to the child’s home language; family dynamic; health concerns; cultural / religious practices; current level of development; etc
  • Through discussion and ongoing assessment, a series of taster visits are planned and actioned where the child will initially be accompanied by the parent/carer and leading to short independent visits.
  • A named member of staff is allocated to support the child’s transition to nursery.

When a child is transitioning to a new setting

  • A series of transition visits are planned when the child is transfer to a new setting.
  • Transition meetings are held with Parents and new providers to plan for the child’s educational needs and access arrangements
  • Reports, observations, plans and tracking are passed on to the new provider

Staff Qualifications and Experience

Sarah McGladrigan: Btec; BA (HON); Early Years Teacher Status.

Role: Manager - SENCO / ENCO
Experience:  Sarah has been the manager at Cliff House Nursery since 1990. Consequently, she has developed extensive knowledge and experience of working with children with a variety of SEN, including Autistic Spectrum Disorders; visual impairment; hearing impairment; speech and language delay; Downs Syndrome; physical disability; Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Sarah has accessed additional training in ‘Sign Along’; PEX; Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Speech and Language Development

Kayleigh Field: NVQ Level 3

Role: Deputy Manager
Experience: Kayleigh initially trained at Cliff House in 2003 - 2005. She then re-joined the team in 2005 as Co-Deputy Manager
Additional Training: First Aid; Safeguarding; CAF; Food Hygiene; S.E.N.

Gemma Masheter: NVQ Level 3

Role: Deputy Manager
Experience:  Gemma has worked at Cliff House since 2003. Beginning as an apprentice and working her way up to Deputy Manager
Additional Training: First Aid; Safeguarding; CAF; Food Hygiene; S.E.N.

Dean Vella: NVQ Level 3

Role: Assistant SENCO; Deputy Manager / Pre-School Room Leader
Experience: Dean has been a qualified Nursery Nurse since 2008. Doing part of his initial training with us and joining Cliff House as a permanent member of staff in May 2012.
Additional Training: Dean has accessed additional training in ‘Sign Along’; PEX; Autistic Spectrum Disorders First Aid; Safeguarding; CAF; Food Hygiene; S.E.N.

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