Our ethos of inclusion is central to who we are and what we do.  We create a caring, friendly and nurturing environment where all children can thrive socially, personally and academically and we accommodate children from all backgrounds and with a variety of needs. 

If a child has a disability or medical condition, we work with the family to ensure full access to the curriculum. 

For children with special education needs or disabilities, we provide support - sometimes 1:1 - and nurture, to give the best possible start to their education, and we work closely with other specialists and support agencies to access all the support available.  Early identification of needs and arranging appropriate interventions from the earliest stage will improve outcomes for children.  Our SEN policy is published on the policies page of this website.

The Local Offer

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to publish information (the ‘local offer’) on services and provision across education, health and social care for children and young people aged 0 - 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see more clearly what services are available for children with SEND in their area and how to access them.

You can read more information about Hertfordshire County Council's Local Offer by clicking the link below:

Our SEND Offer

The requirement to publish SEND information extends to schools and early years settings.  The questions and answers below form the school’s SEND information report and outline our SEND Offer and how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.  This information was last reviewed January 2019 and is updated annually.

At Batford Nursery every child is treated as a unique individual. Each child has a ‘key person’ working alongside a teacher. A fundamental part of the key person’s/teachers role is to develop a trusting and sensitive relationship with parents and children and to enable respectful sharing of information.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can ask for a time when you can discuss this in private with your child’s key person/teacher.

Alternatively, you can discuss this in private with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co- ordinator) – Ms Laura Butler.

Reports from other professionals, such as health visitors, paediatricians and speech and language therapists help to identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports, in order for us to plan appropriately to meet your child’s needs.

At Batford Nursery ongoing observational assessments are made of all children. These are linked to the Development Matters ages and stages of development – This in some cases can help to identify individual needs. If your child’s key person/teacher has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss it with you in private, and plan together with you to support your child’s learning and development.

Laura will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in our setting. She will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs, if necessary. Support and advice will be sought from the Herts Early Years’ Service Team, always with your permission.

For more information about the arrangements for admission for disabled pupils, please see our admissions policy which can be found under the ‘admissions’ section of our website.

Every child at Batford Nursery has a key person as well as an overseeing teacher. On starting at Batford you will be given an ’All about Me’ sheet to fill in about your child. This will help us to share information about your child’s strengths, interests and needs.

We will continually work with you to support your child, listening to you and your child.

Laura will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by using an Individual Support Plan. We also access advice from other Early Years professionals including specialist teachers and educational psychologists. Laura will explain who may be involved and their roles in supporting your child.

Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards Individual Support Plans and your child’s key person/teacher/SENCO will oversee the targets on the plan.

Your child’s key person/teacher will be in most sessions your child attends, fostering a relationship with and gaining an understanding of your child. They will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary.

We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the targets set on the Individual Support Plan, planning new ones together and giving you ideas to use at home to support your child. We promote an ‘open door’ policy to ensure we are welcoming and respectful to all.

We constantly involve your child in their education, enabling them to make choices and engage in activities/experiences that are of interest to them. Through ongoing observations and knowing your child, we will have a clear understanding of what your child enjoys and their level of wellbeing and involvement.

If necessary, your child will have an Individual Support Plan made for them by the SENCO and key person/teacher based on the child’s needs. They might also have an ‘IAELD’ (Individual Assessment of Early Learning and Development) which shows their development within each key area of learning. In addition each child has an online Learning Journal which contains observations, individual plans, targets and photographs of your child’s progress, interests and development.

When starting at Batford Nursery School, you will be given a login name and password to access the ‘Tapestry’ website and your child’s online Learning Journals from home. You will also be able to comment on the observation and send in any home learning via the ‘Tapestry’ app or website. We provide training in the autumn term to teach parents and carers how to utilise this online system and offer support.

We will differentiate the curriculum as appropriate, for example, making use of a visual timetable to support a child to understand the nursery routine and make choices of where they’d like to play.

The SENCO will seek additional training for staff, if appropriate, to meet your child’s needs.

At Batford Nursery School, assessment systems are in place, which are all linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ages and stages of development.

Every key person/teacher plans for their weekly activities based on each individual child’s targets and needs – weekly planning is displayed within the nursery.

Regular review meetings are held to discuss your child’s Individual support plan targets. These meetings might also focus on how the parent can support their child at home.

Termly parent update meetings are held with the child’s key person/teacher & SENCO.

Our open door policy means you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis and provide ongoing two way communication between us. If appropriate we set up home/ school communication book.

If parents/carers work or are unable to attend with their child, telephone calls or emails are welcome to update you on your child’s progress.

Newsletters are sent home on a half termly basis to keep you up to date with what is happening at nursery.

Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach to your child’s learning journey.

Practitioners provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day- to-day care of all our children. Should your child display unwanted behaviour we will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour.

Each child is ‘screened’ termly for their levels of wellbeing and involvement and targets are set if appropriate.

Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. Should your child require regular prescribed medication then a named member of staff will be responsible for the administering of this and you will be required to fill out and sign a ‘medication administration form’.

Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment. Visual strategies-such as a visual time table can be used to help children understand routines.

At Batford Nursery, we use ‘Makaton’ signing to help emphasise language to those children who may benefit from a visual prompt. This tool is used throughout the Nursery on a daily basis and is encouraged through song, story and a ‘sign of the week’ for children to learn.

The nursery has a variety of safe and quiet areas to retreat to if your child is tired or needs some quiet time to themselves.

The nursery is able to undertake personal care such as nappy changing.

All staff are qualified or have accessed child development training and have experience working with the Early Years age group.

We benefit from having a working partnership with the Family Centre ‘Inspire All’. The nursery works closely with the centre and we are able to access the advice and support which they offer. This support might be given directly to parents in relation to any concerns they have expressed e.g. in relation to behaviour, financial worries or toileting issues.

Hertfordshire Family Centre Service,
Sopwell House, Mandeville Drive,
St Albans AL21 2LE.
Tel: 0300 123 7572

Working closely with you and your child will enable us to build stronger relationships and further understand your child’s needs.

Our SENCO attends termly network meetings to keep up to date with the latest SEND information and news.

We are supported by the Hertfordshire Early Years’ Service, a service which helps Early Years settings and Childcare practitioners provide the best possible experience for all children. The team will support practitioners in meeting children’s individual needs through offering phone advice, observing individual children in the setting, suggesting ways to support individual needs, planning next steps with practitioners and parents and sign posting to training.

Parental agreement will always be obtained before the Early Years Team become involved with any individual child.

We have regular contact with the following professions;

  • Speech and Language Therapist

  • Paediatric Occupational Therapist

  • Paediatric Physiotherapist

  • Educational Psychologists

  • Specialist advisory teachers

We also have a partnership with Loreto Drawn Together, a charitable organisation that provides a Parent/Infant and Under Five Specialist Service offering emotional support for parents and infants, delivered largely through art therapy to identified children in our setting.

Our SENCO, Ms Laura Butler, attends termly network meetings to keep up to date with the latest information and news. Laura has completed the national award for SEN coordination.

One of our ‘Learning Support Assistants’ has completed additional training on working with children with SEND.

There are three ‘expert teachers’ working within the setting.

Eleven members of staff hold Early Years qualifications (level 3). All included SEN modules as part of their training.

All staff regularly attend training. A record of staff training is kept on file and relevant training can be viewed on request.


If you are a parent/carer who has English as an additional language, we can arrange to get another family member involved who may speak English, to attend any meetings. Signs, posters and pictures will be translated or dual languages used.

We have one disabled toilet with wheelchair access and our doors leading out to the garden are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair – there is a slight slope to the outdoor area to allow free flow outside into our garden. The garden is flat in many areas and suitable for all children to access.

We can explain the limitations of the building and would make reasonable adaptations to existing resources to ensure all children can access them.

For further information please refer to our accessibility plan on the Policies page of our website(written in compliance with paragraph 3 of schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010).

We will assign a key person/teacher, before your child joins us for his/her settling in sessions. We also visit every child at home before they start at the setting.

We also offer settling in sessions where you can stay for part of the session, and offer a flexible settling in period, if your child is having difficulties settling in. We will arrange further settling in sessions if needed.

We can provide a photo book for your child to have at home to become familiar with their key person, staff, the routine of the session and activities being offered.

This also gives us the chance to get to know you and your family, and provides the opportunity for you to share with us details of your child’s needs and the involvement of other agencies, and agree with you a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child. This can also be done in a meeting before your child starts if you prefer.

We will meet with other professionals, Team around Child or Multi-Disciplinary meeting e.g. health care professionals to put in place transition planning/health care plan, or to seek relevant training before your child starts.

If your child should leave to go to another setting we would invite your child’s new key person/teacher and SENCO to attend sessions with your child to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.

We will hold a transition meeting at your convenience, to plan transition for your child into their new setting or school, giving the new setting time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make. We will share targets on your child’s Individual support plans, along with any other information that may be relevant to your child.

It may also be possible to arrange for your child’s key person/teacher to attend settling in sessions at your child’s new setting, to help promote a smooth transition.

All necessary documentation will be passed onto the receiving setting/school. The Learning Journals will also be passed through onto the schools to enable the new setting to gain a holistic picture of your child. The journal will then be passed from the school to parents.

We are able to apply for ‘Exceptional needs funding’ from Herts County council. This funding will be used to support your child within the setting.

We are able to apply for ‘Early Intervention’ funding to help support children who require additional support during their time at Nursery.

We are able to apply for funding for 1:1 support, if required. We will fund staff to attend specific training.

Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you, the key person, the teacher and SENCO we will identify what support is required.

Extra support will be put in place if necessary, with the aim of enabling your child to become independent within the environment and to access learning at all levels.

Ongoing partnerships with you, other professionals and ourselves will support the decision making process.

Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within the nursery, in consultation with you and other professionals where necessary, with your permission. Our SENCO will also advise you on the process of applying for extra support.

Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.

Other professionals working with our SENCO will support the decision making process to plan targets on the Individual support plan. The plan will always be shared with you and might include how you can support your child at home.

Staff meetings and team meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child know your child’s strengths and needs and how to best support them.

Children in receipt of EYPP funding currently receive £302 per child per year. As a school we publish how this is spent and details of its impact on our website.

You are involved in identifying needs, information sharing, identifying targets as well as formulating the next steps to focus on at home and in the setting. You will be invited to attend review meetings where we will review progress towards these targets. Your permission will always be sought before involving outside agencies.

We actively encourage parental input into the online learning journals, to provide a whole picture of your child’s interests and fascinations.

If you wish to discuss your child’s needs prior to starting at Batford, you need to contact either Sarah Hedges (Head of School and Day-care) or Laura Butler (SENCO).

You are welcome to discuss concerns or progress with your child’s key person, the teacher or SENCO at any time.

Batford Nursery School, Holcroft Road, Harpenden,AL5 5BQ
Tel: 01582 713872