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Bentilee Nursery School

A Local Authority school catering for children 2-5 years old.  We offer 15 hours part time provision over 2 and a half days a week.  We have strong links with Treehouse Children's Centre and work collaboratively to support families as a whole.  

We have a Head teacher, a teacher and 6 early years practitioners, a teacher support assistant  and a family support worker to give you and your family the best possible support.

 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Miss Juliet Levingstone
Contact Position
Head teacher
Telephone
01782 235065
E-mail
office@bentileenursery.co.uk
Website
Bentilee Nursery Website

Where to go

Name
Bentilee Nursery School
Address
Dawlish Drive
Bentilee
Stoke-on-Trent
Staffs
Postcode
ST2 0HW
Notes

We situated inside Treehouse Childnre's Centre.  We have our own entrance on Dawlish drive.

Other Details

Availability

Referral Details

Please contact the school direct. 

Other notes

As a nursery school we treat each child as an individual and will gladly invite parents to see our provision to ensure it meets the needs of your child.

Local Offer

Local Offer

Contact Name
Juliet Levingstone (Headteacher) or Jayne Grindey or Nicole Forrest (part time Nursery Lead teachers)
Contact Telephone
01782 235065
Contact Email
office@bentileenursery.co.uk
Local Offer Age Bands
0-4 years
4-11 years

Schools Extended Local Offer Response 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

At Bentilee Nursery School we aim to provide high quality support for the following special educational needs:

  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Communication and interaction,
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Sensory and/or Physical/Medical needs.

 

How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Children are assessed before entry to the Nursery on induction/ transition visits into the school, including observations at past settings and home visits as part of the baseline assessment for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We use this information as starting points for learning and to develop a personalised learning journey which shows appropriate support and challenge for every child. As part of the induction process parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns with the class teacher and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). 

  • At Bentilee Nursery School the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is the class teacher and a member of the Senior Management Team.
  • Children’s progress is tracked in the 7 Foundation Stage Curriculum areas of learning hand assessed on an on-going basis by their Key Person using significant comments, Special Books and the Stoke-on-Trent Learning assessment tool. There is rigorous tracking of pupil progress termly.
  • Staff moderate a child’s records in each other’s key person groups at least fortnightly.  That means a child is chosen and staff are asked pertinent, challenging questions to ensure progress is on track and effective support is being put in place. 
  • Each half term you are given time to meet with the Key Person to discuss progress and devise an achievable target together which can be worked on together at home and at school. This is the time to be able to voice any concerns and for us to work together to find a course of action to support.
  • We expect that all pupils achieve at least the expected level of development and an increasing proportion of pupils are expected to exceed their expected level of development.
  • The nursery school believes in observation of children learning through play, as well as directed teaching.  This allows us to early identify any special educational needs and intervene appropriately to support learning and development.
  • We have an open door policy.  If a parent has a concern they are encouraged to speak to their Key Person, teacher/SENCo, The Family Support Co-ordinator, or the Headteacher.
  • Staff here are all very experienced in working with early years children and have had professional development training to support the development of their skills. 
  • We are lucky to have external support by SEN professionals like the Educational Psychologist and SEND advisory service who are specialists in the SEN field and are able to offer advice on teaching strategies. 
  • We also use two part time members of staff to carry out speech and language assessments and work with children in small groups on personal social and emotional development, attention and basic skills to support building confidence and self esteem.

It is really important to remember that a child identified as having a special educational need will not necessarily have it for the rest of their life.  Many just need to learn the strategies to support their learning in a different way and for this to become embedded. 

How will the setting support my child/young person?

Having identified needs we seek to match provision to those needs. In The Early Years Foundation Stage teachers plan play based activities to match the individual needs of the children.  Specific interventions are used to help to accelerate pupil progress. These are monitored through regular staff meetings and the tracking of pupil progress.

  • Our tracking systems and Inclusion register ensure that information on every child is to hand.
  • All interventions are delivered by early years specialist staff.
  • The Family Support worker, Kate Gowland is at hand Tuesday to Thursday to support.  She can support a specific need and help support parents with strategies to use at home e.g. modelling reading etc
  • The Health Visitor runs parenting groups in partnership with the school
  • Progress and pupil attendance are monitored regularly.
  • The SENCo monitors the delivery of the interventions through observations, monitoring children’s work, staff and pupil discussions.
  • Parents are partners and very much part of the decision making process and are partners in identifying teaching and learning targets, at half termly parent consultations/target setting meetings.  We use targets from the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum as well as using child development targets.
  • We work with the Children’s Centre staff closely and use each other’s expertise to support with interventions in school and with parents e.g Growing together
  • Extra resources will be made available to borrow if a child is off sick for some time.

The Governing Body is reported to termly about how every child is progressing. Children are not named to respect confidentiality. The linked governor with responsibility for SEN is Mrs.Ann Harvey and her assistant is Mrs. Louise Foden. They will be particularly looking at developmental ages achieved in the different areas of learning and will be asking questions about children who are not making expected progress. Mrs. Harvey has vast knowledge and experience of early years.  She will ask staff questions as a critical friend, to challenge what she sees on learning walks around school, and on joint observations of teaching and learning. 

How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
  • In our school parents bring their child into the school daily and collect them daily.  There is daily opportunity to make an appointment with your child’s Key person, the SENCo or Headteacher to discuss your child’s progress.
  • Parents are partners and very much part of the decision making process and are partners in identifying teaching and learning targets. This can be done at half termly parent consultations/target setting meetings. The school will arrange these. 
  • We also have a Family Support worker, Kate Gowland who has a Family Room where you can meet and discuss your child.  She is in school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • The Family Support worker runs half termly  “Family Learning” workshops which enable you to do activities with your child at school and get ideas about how to develop them at home.
  • We also work in close partnership with the Children’s Centre staff and they can support learning programmes workshops alongside the Nursery.
  • Staff analyse children’s progress termly so we are able to see the areas your child is doing well in and the areas they need more help in. 
  • Half termly we have “stay and play” events where parents are invited into school to see the activities we do with your child and to play alongside.  This is an opportunity to ask staff questions and models activities that you can do at home to support your child’s progress.
  • In our half termly newsletter and on our website we regularly show photographs of our curriculum activities which could be extended at home.
  • The school gives out weekly home/school links activities which enable you to support your child’s learning at home and bring them back into school to celebrate.
  • Your child will receive a weekly library book for you to share at home with a reading diary.

Our curriculum is arranged over half termly topics with a specific curriculum focus e.g literacy/science that changes each half term.  The curriculum is flexible to meet children’s differing needs.  Your “unique child’s” interests are brought into activities daily.

  • All children have a balance of free flow play indoors and out as well as teacher focused activities over the day, so children who prefer to learn outside get the opportunity to learn through play there, and children who prefer to learn indoors get the opportunity to learn through play there as well.
  • We set up the indoors and outdoors spaces with active learning play based activities around the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum 7 areas of learning which are Personal, social and emotional development, Communication and language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive arts and design.  Children therefore have access to every area each day and will be able to develop skills in all areas. Activities are differentiated, that means they are planned to address certain groups of children’s learning needs, this includes introducing new learning as well as practicing learning they already know to challenge children and move their learning on.
  • Staff monitor and assess learning daily and from observations and evaluations plan the next steps for your child to make progress, and plan appropriate activities.  
  • The school runs small intervention groups to support speech and language and attention.  These are run in collaboration with outside agencies at times like the City music school or using speech therapy programmes.
  • We use other Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum tools to support planning for SEN children e.g Locke and Beech.  The steps to leaning achievements are often broken down into smaller steps and this allows us to plan and adapt provision effectively to meet every child’s individual needs.
  • As an inclusive setting children with SEN are not excluded from any activities, including physical activities.  Staff make reasonable adjustments to ensure they have the same experiences e.g. a member of support staff will give one to one help to a child or supportive equipment is put out to support like a different chair or a ramp.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?

We have an open door policy and you can ask your child's key person any time informally.  We have termly target setting meetings where you meet the key person and discuss progress together and set a new target.   We send home weekly home/ school links work for you to help your child with as well as reading diary and book for your weekly comments. 

Staff keep records on your child related to the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum that track progress in the Prime and Specific areas of learning.  Staff are constantly updating this and it is tracked through age related progress milestones.

Mrs. Gowland runs Family learning opportunities as well which allow you and your child to "play" and learn in a group situation.  These are run at least termly.  Letters and texts are sent out to give you time to plan ahead.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

A dedicated team of professionals, ensuring that your child meets their full potential.  These include teachers, early years practitioners and teacher support assistants in the classroom, the SENCO, the Family Support worker and the safeguarding team.

  • Each child has a Key Person responsible for their learning records as well as their personal, social and emotional well being.  Your child and you will make that special bond every time you enter the classroom as children self register and settle for Circle time.
  • Circle Time is a time where the Key person gathers their group together and they share snack, milk, and have quality time to talk about the day and practice key literacy skills as well as children just being given time to talk about themselves or what they do at home.  This develops emotional well being, a sense of belonging and develops self esteem so their confidence grows to take risks in learning as well as being able to  fail in a safe and secure environment and be ready to try again.
  • The Personal, social and emotional development of children is planned into the Prime areas of learning in the curriculum. In early years this is the most important part of the curriculum because it sets the foundation for children to learn effectively and at their true potential. Planning by staff with a focus on the unique child ensure staff work to develop each child as an individual and according to their needs, supporting and nurturing the child as they learn.    
  • Individual health care and dietary needs plans are in place and reviewed regularly supported by health visitors and other outside agencies 
  • The health visitors provide a regular drop in service as and when needed
  • Support staff are first aid trained.
  • Reverend Dave from the local C of E church regularly takes assemblies in school introducing the difference between right and wrong.
  • Attendance is monitored rigorously by the office manager and non attendance information is chased up daily. 
  • Our Family Support Worker, Kate Gowland works closely with families.
  • Our Parents Council make decisions about several aspects of our school life.
  • The safeguarding team provide support for our vulnerable families from the onset and seek to work in partnership.

Staff are trained in safeguarding children and the school’s procedures for safeguarding children are exemplary.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

We have highly trained staff in all areas of SEN working within school Staff follow a programme of continuous Professional Development to keep up to date with current initiatives. The Governing Body plays a strategic role in school ensuring the school does not try to operate alone but works in effective partnership with specialist outside agencies. The Governors are updated about SEN in the termly governors report as well as having a linked governor who acts as a critical friend to ensure effective provision is being provided to the best of the school’s ability.    

Health visitors visit the school regularly.They also attend our early years networking termly meetings to support the school and PVIs in the area. They support us with child development checks, to help identify possible delays or help in assessing a child’s developmental age level.

  • There are Family Support Workers in Treehouse Children’s Centre
  • The school has it's own social worker Lucy Palmer to call upon and we are par of the Better together project 

All parents/carers are consulted before the school seeks support from external agencies.

The SENCo works closely with families and the Family Support Worker. Referrals to the following health departments can be made.  These are usually done in partnership with the school.  Contact information is below for your information:- 

  • Occupational Therapists – Tel 01782 427450
  • Early Years intervention Service (Early Years Forum, Portage, Child Development Educational Development Centre) Tel 01782 231285. 
  • Speech and Language Therapists –contact Treehouse Children’s Centre, Bentilee, Tel 1782 233670 or 01782 234481
  • Paediatrician – University Hospital of North Staffordshire Tel 01782 7154444
  • CAMHS preschool for ASD 01782 408382
  • CAMHS family outreach service 01782 408382
  • For information on other agencies please look at www.stoke.gov.uk
  • We signpost parents to make appointments for hearing tests and diabetes etc., to rule out causes.  This is through your local GP practice. Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre  Tel 01782 231300.

Other agencies that the school works closely with are as follows –

  • Local Authority SEND Services which provide support for all areas of SEN. Tel 01782 232538, The Mount, Penkhull.
  • Education Psychologist Service 01782 4700 

All specialist expertise and support is chased up once the SEN panel has agreed to intervention support.  If the referral needs more evidence, and in some cases more time to pass, due to a child’s age, then the setting works hard with parents to collect further evidence and looking at ways the setting can make more reasonable adjustments in the mean time. The Portage service can assist with specialist equipment or sign post us to other establishments to borrow equipment.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Bentilee Nursery School is highly committed to providing opportunities for the continuing development of its entire staff. Staff take on an active role in their own development in order to meet the needs of all of the pupils that they teach.

We have excellent Speech, Communication and Language programmes across the school, staff are Letters and Sounds trained and we are a recognised Stoke Speaks Out, Communication Friendly, Level 4 school. We have been trained in the Language screening programme and teach the programmed Time to Talk / Time to listen.

A team of staff have had autism awareness training.

  • The Headteacher holds the mandatory SENCO qualification
  • Support staff are trained in delivering specific interventions. For example recently all staff have had training on autism awareness and giving medication via a feeding tube.  Staff are trained according to the needs of the children in our care.
  • Medicines can be given to children who need them when prescribed by a doctor but only after an administering medicines form  is completed with parental consent.
  • All staff working with children are first aid trained.
  • Staff  have opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills by observing good practice in other settings/ attending networking meetings.
  • The SEND service offers training opportunities to meet the specific needs of children annually and we access the Special Schools training programmes.

Staff are deployed to work with children by matching their expertise with the needs of the child.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

We aim to give all our children the opportunity to succeed and reach the highest level of personal achievement. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for our children.

  • All children are included in school trips. Staff carefully select transport, activities and venues that are suitable for all children.
  • All children are included in all aspects of school life wherever possible by careful risk assessments, putting extra support in place where necessary.

Parents of children who are entitled to Pupil Premium Funding are invited into school discuss how funding can be used to support their child.  Some parents choose to use this funding to enable their child attend clubs, trips and activities outside of school.

How accessible is the environment?

Our Accessibility Plan (on the website- click parents and then policies) shows how the school continually is updating plans to make the space work effectively for all children’s needs and we continually remind staff and learners about the Equality Act 2010. We value and respect diversity in our setting and do our very best to meet the needs of all of our learners.

  • Our school is in Treehouse Children’s Centre on the ground floor. It has its own entrance along Dawlish Drive for people on foot and this is accessed via steps. You can enter via the Children’s Centre, and take the lift in the Reception area to the ground floor if mobility is an issue, and we are fully wheelchair friendly.
  • The nursery school indoors and out is all on one level.
  • Visual timetables are used with each key person so children are clear about what is happening when, as are prompts around the building e.g about toileting. Resources like these are updated as and when needed according to the needs of each cohort of children.
  • The nursery space in the building is organised according to the needs of the children
  • The Children’s Centre has a disabled toilet along the corridor to the school.
  • Toilets and cloakrooms are all within the nursery school room so staff can access children and their needs easily.  Nappy changing facilities are also available.
  • Additional Risk Assessments are carried out if a child has specific needs.
  • We work hard to build dialogue with parents through face to face meetings.

The governors Curriculum Committee review our accessibility plan.  Parents with specific children’s needs are invited to review meetings. 

How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?

To ensure a smooth induction into Nursery school parents and children are invited to the following

  • Stay and Play sessions the term before admission either through home invitation or in liaison with other pre-school groups locally
  • Staff undertake some home visits.

Additionally the staff will link with external agencies when needed, to put in place support for children with specific needs eg Health Visitor, Social Workers  etc

To ensure a smooth transition into Primary schools the school organises the following: 

  • Opportunities for the children to play at the Maple Court Primary
  • Opportunities for the children who attended this school last year to come to nursery to talk to our children about all the exciting things they do at Maple Court Academy 
  • Opportunities for Primary school staff to come into school and observe children/ speak to staff
  • Opportunities for Primary school staff to come into school and read stories
  • Opportunities for parents to take their child out of nursery and attend transition days at their Primary school
  • Meetings between Nursery staff and Primary school teachers
  • Meetings between the Nursery SENCo and the Primary school SENCo
  • Meetings between the Nursery Safeguarding officer and Primary school Safeguarding officer
  • Additional visits with the Family Support Worker if required.
How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

Budgets are closely monitored and are aligned to the School Development Plan. Regular reviews take place to ensure funds and staffing are best allocated to meet the needs of all children.

  • We use our Special Education Needs and Pupil Premium funding to target vulnerable children.

Provision is reviewed regularly to ensure that there has been an impact on pupil progress and that the funding is spent to benefit the children.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
  • Tracking of progress and analysing individual pupil data highlights children who are not making expected progress.
  • At weekly staff meetings we always have SEN on the agenda.  Key persons raise any concerns and we discuss next steps. Interventions are then put in place to support their learning.
  • We ensure pupils can access the curriculum by carefully planning learning according to individual children’s needs.
  • If interventions are not having expected impact, then the SENCo may refer to external professionals in discussion with parents.

It is important for parents to be aware that we are working together but if at any time you are not happy with any decisions being made you must feel that you can complain.  Of course we hope you would work with the key person, the SENCo, and the Headteacher and outside agencies.  If you are still not happy we would ensure you get opportunity to speak to the linked governor Ann Harvey who is also  the Chair of Governors.

How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?

Your child will be involved and consulted about their education through the school’s Pupil Passport.  This allows children to clearly state their likes, what they are good at, things they find hard, what they would like to be able to do, identify people that can help them, identify resources they need to help them and to identify additional support they might need.

Child’s voice is key to effective learning.  Your child is also involved in their education through talking to staff through play which signals to practitioners the next steps needed to help your child.  This can be seen in staffs planning.

In On the end of year summative report, your child also has more opportunities to comment on what they like, what they are good at and what help they need ready for the next school.

How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

Parents are the first educator of your child and your knowledge and importance in your child’s education is paramount.

  • The school has an open door policy and parents must always feel that they can come into school at any time.
  • The school involves parents in their child’s learning through meetings, workshops, newsletters, questionnaires, assemblies and information on the website.
  • Parents are invited to join the Parents Council.
  • Parents can also volunteer in school if it will support their child’s learning.
  • We encourage parents to support their child’s learning through reading books and a weekly wide variety of other homework activities.
  • Parents attend termly parent consultations/target setting meetings
  • Parents attend meetings with their child’s Key Person and SENCo if they have additional needs.
  • Staff are available at the beginning and the end of the day to address any concerns.
  • Family learning Workshops allow parents to work alongside their children in school.
  • “Stay and Play” sessions allow parents to be actively involved in their child’s education.

Parent workshops allow parents opportunities to understand how their children learn.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

Parents are the first educator of your child and your knowledge and importance in your child’s education is paramount.

  • The school has an open door policy and parents must always feel that they can come into school at any time.
  • The school involves parents in their child’s learning through meetings, workshops, newsletters, questionnaires, assemblies and information on the website.
  • Parents are invited to join the Parents Council.
  • Parents can also volunteer in school if it will support their child’s learning.
  • We encourage parents to support their child’s learning through reading books and a weekly wide variety of other homework activities.
  • Parents attend half termly parent consultations/target setting meetings
  • Parents attend meetings with their child’s Key Person and SENCo if they have additional needs.
  • Staff are available at the beginning and the end of the day to address any concerns.
  • Family learning Workshops allow parents to work alongside their children in school.
  • “Stay and Play” sessions allow parents to be actively involved in their child’s education.

Parent workshops allow parents opportunities to understand how their children learn.

What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?

For further information about Bentilee Nursery School please contact the school office in the first instance on 01782 235065.

School Prospectus’ are available on request.

Take a look at our website. There is a wealth of information about our school community on it.

The Headteacher and SENCo is Miss Juliet Levingstone.

The assistant SENCOs are  Mrs Jayne Grindey and Miss Nicole Forrest

The office manager is Mrs. Sue Ridgway.

The Family support worker is Mrs. Kate Gowland (in school Tues, Wed, Thurs)

To find out about the Stoke-on-Trent Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities please visit www.stoke.gov.uk/localoffer

We hope this situation would never arise as we believe in an open door policy and for parents to talk daily to staff and for us to work together.

However the school does have a Compliments, Comments and Complaints Procedure policy, that is on our website under policies with the procedures to follow.

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