1. How does Little Burrows know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have a special educational need or disability?
At Little Burrows, every child is an individual and staff are experienced in observing and assessing the next steps for the children. Your child will be allocated a Key Person who will be responsible for your child's development. The Key Person completes observations on your child during their time in our early years setting. The Key Person will also share information with you about your child's development and we encourage you to also share information with the Key Person about your child's development at home. The information gathered from assessments, observations and with speaking to you, supports the Key Person in planning your child's next steps to support their development. Through this process if the Key Person has any concerns about your child's development, they will speak with you and the setting's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO). A one page profile would include sections about what the child likes and dislikes, what makes them happy and how they want to be supported. If you have any concerns about your child, you should speak with your child's Key Person who will consult the nursery's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator or you can speak with the setting Manager. For a child with SEND, a meeting with the SENDCO will be necessary so their needs can be identified before the child starts at Little Burrows Montessori and any reasonable adjustments can then be made to the nursery environment.
2. How will the Staff support my child?
Your child's Key Person will work in partnership with both you and your child. We fully encourage you to share information regularly with the Key Person. Our SENDCO will also be on hand to support you and your child. We also have regular contact with our Area SENDCO. We will involve you along the way and invite you to regular meetings where you will be included in the decision making of what aims for development are set for your child. If required, with your permission, we can make referrals to other professionals such as the Speech and Language therapist.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
Every child is seen as an individual within our setting. The Key Person, through talking with you, your child and through observations, will get to know what your child's interests are. They will also get to know how your child prefers to learn. Using this information assists the Key Person in adapting activities to support your child in accessing the Early Years curriculum. Various strategies are used to support the children, for example, "now and next" cards of what to do now and what to do next, use of makaton and differentiation of activities.
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?
A member of staff will speak with you at each session, you will have regular contact with the SENDCO and you will be able to speak with the Manager. Your child's progress is recorded in their Learning Journey through written comments, observations and photographs and with input from you as well, such as photos taken at home or on holiday. You will be invited to meetings with the Key Person, SENDCO and any other professionals involved. We can also give ideas of what to do at home to support your child's development and, if required, we can also visit you at home. At Little Burrows Montessori, we operate an "open door" policy and staff are always available to discuss your child's progress and development and to help you support your child.
5. What support will there be for my child's overall well being?
During the first session a one of our teachers will meet with you and your child and discuss the ‘all about me’ form you will be sent prior to starting. We allow parents to stay until they feel their child is settled and ready. This may take a few sessions. We will work with the parents to ensure we do what is best for the child. A Key Worker will be allocated to your child once they have settled and it is clear who they have formed an attachment with. Although Key Workers play an important role in your child’s time at nursery all our staff have responsibility for collecting observations, working with your child and ensuring they feel safe and secure in our nursery. Promoting positive behaviour is important to the setting; we have a behaviour policy and work closely with parents to ensure all children feel secure in nursery. We follow a gentle approach and will discuss positive behaviour strategies with parents. We will discuss any behaviour concerns with you in order to maintain a consistent approach between home and nursery. If a family member or friend who we have not met before is collecting your child, we will ask for a password or photograph. (Children will not be allowed to be collected by individuals under 16 years of age.)
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Little Burrows Montessori?
We work with all professionals as required for each child and always encourage these people to come and visit the relevant children in the setting. With parental consent, we can contact our area SENDCO who can support us further. We work closely with other early years professionals who come into our setting. You will always receive a copy of any report written by us or by other professionals and you will always be invited to meetings. We also work alongside our local children centres that can provide further support if required.
7. What training have the staff had who are supporting children with Special Educational Needs?
The Little Burrows Montessori team of practitioners have experience of working with children and families with SEND. The SENDCO's have both attended the most recent SEND Code of Practice training. We have early years practitioners who have experience of working with children with Autism. The staff continually receive and refresh their training. All staff are qualified within Early Years or are currently studying for qualifications. The nursery owner has a degree in Early Years teaching and over 20 years experience owning and managing settings. Also two of our team is a qualified primary school teacher and one previously was an Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for EYFS and SEN at her previous school.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside Little Burrows Montessori, including trips?
At Little Burrows, we do not go on any trips, however at the Lightwater setting we do go on forest walks and walks around the nursery setting. Risk assessments are completed and we take a mobile phone and a first aid kit. Any medicine needed by a particular child who may be going on the walk will be taken along by the Key Person. Where needed we may use a pushchair so all children can attend.
9. How accessible is Little Burrows Montessori?
We will work closely with all parents to access any specialist equipment that may be required. We are happy to make any reasonable adjustment to our environment that may be required. At the Lightwater setting there is one step to the outside area from the nursery. The outside area is flat and the field to the astro turf is also flat.
At the Staines setting our main teaching areas are upstairs.
Where needed visual timetables are used to assist children with the daily routine and communications. We have story books in different languages representing the languages of children attending our setting.
10. How will Little Burrows prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer to a new setting or school?
Before your child joins the nursery, we encourage you to visit the setting so that you can both become familiar with the environment. We work closely with each family to develop a settling in routine to match your child's needs. If your child attends another setting, we share the child's "Next Steps" with that setting. We liaise with local schools to arrange visits for their teachers to visit the children at Little Burrows Montessori to aid the transition process to the new school. During this visit, your child's Key Person will have time to discuss your child's needs and share their Learning Journey with them. As part of the transition, your child's Key Person can also visit the new school with your child if it is close by. A report is produced by the Key Person when your child leaves Little Burrows which can be passed on to the school.
11. How are Little Burrows Montessori resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs and disabilities?
We are able to apply for funding from Surrey County Council to enable the nursery to employ an additional member of staff to work with your child if needed or we can apply for a specialist grant to purchase specialist equipment. Although each application is carefully considered, we cannot guarantee that funding will be awarded. Government funding is available for two year olds with special education and disability needs.
12. How is the decision made about my child's needs and how much support will my child receive?
The Manager and SENDCO will work closely with you to determine your child's needs. The SENDCO will have regular meetings with you alongside any other early years professionals involved with supporting you and your child. Regular staff meetings are held to ensure all practitioners are made fully aware of any additional support that a child may require. Also, the Key Person will be able to identify whether the child requires any extra support through observations made. A "support plan" will be made as necessary which will involve the parent and this will be regularly monitored and reviewed.
13. How are the parents involved at Little Burrows Montessori? How can I be involved?
Strong relationships with parents are important to the nursery. We operate an "open door" policy. Newsletters are distributed every week discussing what we have done that week and what parents can do to support their child further. Every summer, we organise a Sports Day where all parents are invited to watch and participate. At Christmas, the children perform a short nativity where parents can come and join in some singing with their children and share a mince pie. We also have a Face Book page to keep parents updated with all aspects of the nursery.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
More detailed information is available in our Policies, specifically Little Burrows Montessori parents are welcome to view our policies at any time.
If you would like to discuss your child's needs before making a decision about your child starting at Little Burrows, please contact the owner, Claire Freeth, on 07730220804 or email