Little Acorns Children’s Club is a one stop childcare setting that caters for the needs of both preschool children and also provides breakfast club, afterschool and holiday play scheme for children attending local primary schools in Hainault, Barkingside and Chigwell areas. It is a warm and welcoming place with a caring ethos.
The club is committed to the achievement of high standards for everyone. A place which provides a stimulating environment for all children to play and learn.
At Little Acorns, every child is treated as an individual and given the opportunity to achieve their potential and to become confident learners regardless of their abilities. All children access a full range of activities through which they can develop and learn through play. Support is given to children with special educational needs so they have full access to the curriculum. They are in all activities alongside their peers.
The setting’s staff foster communication with parents and carers enabling them to play an active role in their child’s education.
We celebrate our diversity through valuing the beliefs, languages, ethnicity and cultures of each individual.
Practitioners at the setting come from different cultures and speak different languages in addition to English. Languages spoken include Italian, Urdu, Bengali (Sylet), Hindi, Gujarati, Ibo, Yoruba, Ga (Ghana). Our staff and children are also representative of different faiths. The above makes our families welcome as most are able to communicate in their own languages with members of staff.
The club works in partnership with the Redbridge Early Years and Childcare Improvement Team, Redbridge College (apprenticeship training), The Challenge Network, Fairlop Primary School, New Rush Hall School and St Francis of Assisi Church in Barkingside.
The setting is a member of the Preschool Alliance and Out of School Alliance.
Little Acorns opened in 2012 as an Out of School Club providing a Breakfast Club mainly for Fairlop Primary School, Afterschool Club and Holiday Club for schools in Barkingside, Hainault and Chigwell areas.
The pre-school opened in September 2014 and the setting is based in the community hall of The St Francis of Assisi Centre, Hainault. The hall is behind the church building on Fencepiece Road. The setting is therefore within walking distance of transport facilities to Barkingside, Chigwell and Hainault. It is also well connected to local schools.
The preschool is open five days a week from 9.15 am to 3.30 pm with half day sessions in the morning (9.15 am – 12.15 pm) or afternoon (12.15 pm – 3.15 pm). There are funded places available for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Little Acorns is an OFSTED registered setting and details of our last Ofsted report and other information about the setting can be found on our website.
The setting is based in a large modern church hall which is a one storey building. The setting is therefore on the ground level with adapted doorway, a ramp which runs from a spacious car park, and a disabled toilet with nappy changing facility all on a single level.
The setting has sole use of the premises and offers a large open plan learning environment for all the children which can also be partitioned into two large open plan areas as and when required. Part of the smaller section of the partitioned area is used as a quiet area for children in addition to a quiet reading section. The premises also have a very large and modern kitchen where snacks are prepared for the children.
Furniture is arranged to accommodate children with mobility difficulties and access is made possible by using floor level activities.
Passageways are kept clear at all times to follow health and safety regulations and to facilitate children’s mobility. The play areas have rugs on the floor to reduce noise levels.
There is free-flow into the outdoor area which has soft paving.
In addition to a purposely made toilet facilities for preschool children, the preschool children have sole access to a purposely made secure outdoor playground which is available all year round and the children are able to study nature, plant and watch their own vegetables/flowers grow in the small garden in the playground.
The out of school club and the preschool accommodates up to fifty children or more. All staff are friendly and all are DBS checked.
- Identifying children's needs
Our aim is to work closely with parents and carers being involved and kept informed of children’s progress at all times.
Children who are experiencing difficulties with their learning are identified as soon as possible through observations, discussions with parents and carers, routine health screening and discussions with colleagues so that appropriate support can be given from an early age.
All assessment is play based and follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum milestones.
We work in partnership with parents and carers to see if they have noticed any concerns or if they need support involving outside agencies when children do not progress or experience difficulties with their learning. This is done by written consent and permission from parents and carers.
These agencies include the Local Authority Inclusion/ SEN Advisor, SEN Early Years Panel (additional information on the remit of the group can be found on the Redbridge Local Offer website), Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, CAF Team and others.
These agencies will be contacted to provide suitable strategies to support children who have additional needs in a particular area of development. The agencies may be involved in the child’s transition to other settings and to school.
Some children are provided 1:1 support through SEN/Inclusion funding. Where funding is available one member of staff is allocated to support the child during the daily activities. The aim of the support is to assist the child develop and progress by putting strategies in place to develop relevant independence skills. Funding may be withdrawn once the child reaches the expected progress level.
Relevant information is sought and recorded from the parents or carers on admission where a child is known to have a recognised condition or ongoing medical needs. The records are kept in the child’s confidential folder.
All confidential reports and records of progress and reviews are kept securely in locked cabinet.
Records are passed on to another setting/school with parental or carers consent and permission
- Dedicated contacts
The manager of the setting Mrs Angela Kpalobi is the overall responsible person for SEN at the setting. She is responsible for ensuring that legislation is met.
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at the preschool has the responsibility for the day-to day management of the SEN procedures.
Her name is Mrs Raihana Sharmin who has undertaken the following relevant training in addition to attending various SENCO Forums:
- SEN Modular Course
- Promoting Play and interaction for SEN.
Deputy SENCO : Mrs Sheetal Parmar
- Behaviour Management
- Supporting Children with social Communication Difficulties
The SENCO has the responsibility to:
- liaise with parents/carers
- liaise with outside professionals in regards to children’s individual needs
- advise and support other practitioners in the setting
- ensure that appropriate learning and outcomes plans are in place
- ensure that background information is collected, recorded and updated
- take the lead in monitoring and reviewing any action taken to support the child
- ensure that appropriate records are kept for all children with SEND who require agencies support.
The setting manager is available to assist by giving support, advice and guidance at all times.
- Involving children and their families
- Parenting advice
- Planning and review meetings
- Advice on how to support learning at home
- Regular contact between parents/carers and the setting
- Range of support available
- EYFS Curriculum planning differentiation
- Specific teaching interventions
- Partnership working with other professionals
- Additional support strategies
- Support for communication needs
- Support for behaviour
- Support for health needs
We make use of augmentative communication (examples are Makaton signing, visual timetable, objects of reference and visual aids) to support children’s speech and language and social communication development. Children are encouraged to provide feedback on the learning activities provided.
- Measuring children's progress
Little Acorns Preschool :
- All activities are differentiated to meet children’s needs and allow full access to the learning curriculum.
- Formal assessment meeting held at end of term and progress report is given to parents with details of child’s progress across the EYFS.
- The Two Year Progress Check, an additional assessment, is also compiled when the child is two years. This assessment covers the child’s attainment and progress in the PRIME Areas of the EYFS (e.g. Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language; Physical Development)
- The Steps to Outcome tracker for children with SEN is also used to monitor progress. This is based on the EYFS Prime Areas of learning and development and the Early Years Development Journals.
- Ongoing regular observations which are monitored by the manager.
- When a special educational need is identified, children’s progress is monitored through an Individual Outcomes Plan (IOP) which identifies agreed outcomes and targeted small steps for a child. The IOP is reviewed termly with parents and carers and outside organisations when relevant.
- Transition progress checks records are passed on to relevant primary schools with parental permission when child moves to primary school.
- Support and training for school staff
Our training plan is closely linked to the setting’s improvement plan.
Recent training attended by staff:
- Supporting Children’s Communication and Language through storytelling
- Supporting Behaviour in the Early Years
- Promoting Play and Interaction – children with SEN
- Identifying and supporting children with Social and Communication Difficulties (booked).
- SEN Modular
- SENCO Forums attended termly by the SENCO and SEN conferences held through the Redbridge Early Years and Childcare Improvement Team. Little Acorns is a member of the Preschool Learning Alliance and therefore the SENCO and all staff at the setting have access to monthly childcare magazines, access to online training and use of information from SEN professional websites.
- The SENCO shares any information with all staff at our monthly staff meetings to ensure all staff are kept up to date.
- All training records of the staff are held on files and are available on request from the manager.
- Accessibility of the school
- All resources at the setting are located at children’s level in clear, labelled boxes
- Visual time table and other displays are used at all times by staff during circle time and at all general routines
- Children use their photos to sign in and at snack times
- Photos of staff are displayed in the foyer and pictures of the practitioners and children carrying out various activities
- Makaton signing is used by staff and taught to children during circle time and general routines
- Children’s toilets are fully accessible and provided with stools and easy reach washing facilities
- Nappy and other changing areas are discretely located on the premises
- The garden is fully accessible to wheelchair users and to people with gross motor skills difficulties.
Our practitioners speak other languages: Italian, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Ibo, Yoruba, Ga, Twi and Hindi enabling them to communicate with parents and carers who do not have English as their first language.
- All the practitioners at the setting are welcoming, friendly and approachable and create a happy, relaxed and safe atmosphere at our preschool.
- A risk assessment is completed daily by a nominated trained risk assessment officer and also for outings to ensure health and safety is maintained at all times.
- With funding, one to one support is provided for those children who may require intensive support to access learning activities.
- All activities are differentiated according to children’s level of development
- Transition arrangements
If any IOP is in place, there will be a transition meeting with the the key person from the new setting, the SENCO and any professional agencies involved to plan introducing your child to the new setting or school.
- Support and training for parents and carers
- Parent consultation
- Links with Children's Centres
- Further information
We value parents and carers’ expertise and deep knowledge of their children. Parents and carers comments are included in assessment and review.
For further information or to arrange a visit regarding your child’s needs, please ring Little Acorns Preschool to talk to our SENCO or manager.