Local Offer

Local Offer

How does Abacus know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

We believe that the parents are the primary carers/educators for their children, so we use the information given by them before the children start. Then we will follow this up with observations and assessment of the children.

If you think your child has a special need you can talk to our Manager Fiona Dewis who is Abacus’s Manager/ Safeguarding Officer and Special Educational Need and Disability coordinator (SEND).  We can then work together with parents to observe, evaluate and create an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) , this will have achievable measurable targets for the child to work towards agreed by Abacus and parents.

We have previously had children with behaviour problems, Speech delay, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy and heart problems. To help with these children we have sought extra training to ensure their needs are met.  We also liaise with the local children’s centre to seek support for the parents and ourselves. So if your child has a need we have not experienced before, we will obtain training required to ensure their needs are met.

What is your induction process?

You will be invited into  Abacus to look around.  You will be taken on a tour of Abacus where exits and areas of learning will be shown to you.  Forms will be given to you to complete. Then you will be invited in for an induction where your forms will be checked, deposits if required to be given and relevant paperwork,  you will be introduced to your child’s keyworker where you can discuss your child’s needs.  Your child will be given pictures of their new keyworkers to take home and familiarise themselves with.  Before your child starts at Abacus you will be encouraged to come in for play sessions with them. This gives them the opportunity to get used to us and see you talking to us before you leave them on their first day. The amount of stay and play  sessions you bring them in for is up to you, some children need more sessions than other.  On their first day with us, you will be encouraged to leave straight away so the child gets used to us from the beginning.  If your child gets too distressed we will telephone you to seek your advice.

How is your day structured?

We have a daily routine which is supplemented with a photographic time line.  We use the time line to help children who are  unsettled or ask questions like, When is mummy coming?  By using the time line the children can see where we are throughout the session and what is happening next.


How is the curriculum at Abacus matched to my child’s needs?

In the pre school area, every child is allotted a keyworker group where they will stay until they go to school.  The keyworker and take regular observations of the children during play, then use this information to plan activities to meet their needs. Alongside observations we use the guidance from The Early Years Foundation Stage.  This includes Development matters which describes  the stages of development for children from birth to 40-60 months. From this we can assess what stage of development the children are at and plan activities to develop their understanding in these areas.  There are 7 areas of learning in Development matters, of which 3 are prime areas and 4 are specific areas.  The prime areas are Personal Social and Emotional Development,  Physical Development and Communication and Language. The specific areas are Mathematics,  Literacy, Understanding of the World, and Expressive Arts and Design.

All of this is monitored by Fiona Dewis to ensure all practitioners know their children and can work effectively to ensure their needs are being met.

How will I know how my child is doing and what support is in place for them?

You will be  invited in to Abacus once a term to review your child’s learning journey with their keyworker.  We complete progress forms which we use to assess which stage of development the children are in and will suggest ways to develop their learning.  There is an area on this form where parents can make comments. For instance if they have any concerns or specific areas they would like us to work on.  This is then discussed and implemented into the keyworkers planning. If you have any concerns at any time however, please feel free to discuss them either with your keyworker or Mrs Dewis.  We can then discuss the way forward from there.

If English is a second language for you or your child, we can seek support from the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) who can help with translations and support for you or your child.

What training do the staff supporting my child receive?

We have 8 members of staff who have been with Abacus for years.  They bring with them their life experiences as parent/carers.  All staff have a personal development review yearly. From this we assess what training they require and book them onto relevant courses.  At present 6 of our staff have 1st Aid training .  All staff have safeguarding training which is renewed every 3 years.  This year we have sought manual handling training for a child with cerebral palsy, epilepsy training from an epiliepsy nurse for a child with seizures, medical training for a child who has peg feeding and awaiting training for appropriate use of oxygen tank for the same child.

5 staff have level 3 in childcare.  All the others have attended courses relevant to the settings needs and have regular supervisions to ensure their performance is monitored and reviewed.

When staff attend training courses they feed back to staff at staff meetings and action any points relevant to us from the training.

How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including school trips?

We like our children to be supervised on a 1:2 ratio on outings.  This way the children can hold a practitioners hand to ensure their safety at all times.  Please read our outings policy for more information.

We try to have regular outside outings like a trip to the library or shops.  Recently we took the children out to search for conkers and leaves that have fallen from the trees and brought them back to the setting to explore.  The children also visited our church to look at the coloured windows .

If we have a trip that requires transport, we seek your permission and give you details about this.

How accessible is Abacus?

We have a ramp leading to the front door for wheelchair access.  We also have a ramp leading to the garden which can be accessed with wheelchair.

How will my child be helped with transition to school?

We liaise with schools with transition needs for the children.   If children need extra support we will arrange meetings with the school, parents and any professional relevant to discuss and agree how their children’s needs will be met.  The school that most of our children go to is Court Lane Infants with whom we have a good relationship.

How can Abacus ensure that the support will be in place to meet my child’s special educational needs and disabilities?

We seek support from our local government to ensure we have the appropriate skills and equipment in place for when your child starts.  We have received 1:1 funding for a child with cerebral palsy.

We also complete a CAF ( Common Assessment Framework) on the child.  From this all professionals involved with the child are invited in for TAC (Team around the child) meetings where the needs of the child/family are actioned.   These meetings are usually carried out 6 monthly to ensure that needs are regularly reviewed and actioned.

How will a decision be made and how much support will my child be given?

The decision is made by talking to you about  your child’s needs, staff discussion about the best way to provide support, talking to our local area SENCO and any outside agencies needed.  If your child has not already have a CAF then one will be completed as mentioned before.  Once all relevant forms are completed an IEP ( Individual eduacational plan) will be completed by ourselves and yourself.  Once an IEP is completed, the planned extra work can take place and be regularly reviewed to ensure that the child’s needs are being met.

Also relevant professionals will be contacted and assessments and recommendations will be made on the support that will be needed.  This will then be actioned by us if you are agreeable to this.

All contact with other professionals and extra work that may need to be activated are done with parents’ consent.

How are parents involved in the setting?

Abacus is governed by a parent Committee where we depend on our parents to elect a Committee to oversee the running of Abacus and have overall responsibility. This gives the parents an opportunity to make decisions on how Abacus is run and to help with our development.  The Committee help raise funds which we use to get more resources for the children, and also support Abacus by giving advice and support for meetings and interviewing prospective employees.

Also parents can volunteer to help at Abacus.  Both positions require DBS to check for suitability to work with children.  Parents are also invited to help with outside trips. We have been to the library, shops and also visited an old peoples home to sing for them.  If you have a talent for reading, we would love you to come in and read stories to the children, or if you have a profession you would like to share, you can come in and show the children what you do.