Special Needs

Freshfield follows the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs. Miss Simcock is the Inclusion Manager. Should you have any concerns about your child’s development please discuss these with Mrs Martin, Mrs Richardson Co-Headteachers or Miss Simcock.  If you would like to contact our Inclusion Manager, please contact Miss Simcock by telephone 0161 442 6944 after 2.30 pm or by email  If you have any complaints regarding SEND provision please see our Complaints Procedures on the Policies page.

Special Needs includes delays and difficulties with learning, speech and language, behaviour, medical and physical disabilities.

It is important that Special Needs are identified as early as possible so that we can put together, along with parents, a structured programme of support for as long or short a period as is necessary. The school frequently works with a number of outside agencies including:

Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visitors, Educational Psychologists, Sensory Impaired Service, The Child Development Team at Stepping Hill Hospital, Social Workers.

A copy of the school’s Special Needs Policy is available for parents here SEND policy – Feb 21

Here is the Stockport Outcomes Framework

Parents, carers, young people and the workforce worked together across the local area to co-produce a set of Outcomes that we all want to achieve for children and young people.

The agreed statements are:

  • I feel Safe
  • I feel part of my local community
  • My voice is heard and acted upon
  • I enjoy good health and wellbeing
  • I am happy and have people I can trust
  • I am confident and able to reach my goals
  • The people who love and care for me are enabled to do this

Entitlement Framework – please click to view or download

Stockport Local Area Co-production Charter

co-production_charter_-_oct_2020_launch_version – please click to view or download

ELSA Training

We are very pleased to announce we are the only Nursery School in Stockport to have a fully qualified staff member with this qualification.

What is ELSA? An ELSA in a school is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.

Please see below link for further details.

ELSA Network


Freshfield School Offer

Please click here to download our Freshfield School SEND offer information

Click here to find out more about the local authority SEND

Click here to view the Send improvement journey e-newsletter Feb 2020

Click to download - SEND Code of Practice

SEND Frequently Asked Questions

At Freshfield Nursery School, we try to:

"Be a safe, happy place where we know everyone and value them, and where all the children are acknowledged, accepted, and fully supported, whatever their needs"

We welcome every child, and their families, whether they need extra help or not. We value and celebrate children as individuals.

We encourage children to thrive by helping them to make progress.

What are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?

We know that children are all different. They grow at different speeds, they learn different things at different times, and they grow up to be good at very different things.

Sometimes at nursery we meet children who need extra help with some parts of their development.  We try to help these children using our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) policy.

We try to identify these children, assess them to find out what extra help they need, and plan to help them in the best way we can.

Sometimes, a child arrives in nursery with an existing diagnosis, from a health visitor, for example, and sometimes we notice that someone isn't making as much progress as we expect. 

For example, we meet children with:

  • speech and language difficulties (communication and interaction)
  • difficulty understanding and learning
  • difficulty hearing properly (sensory impairment)
  • difficulty seeing well (sensory impairment again)
  • physical or medical difficulties
  • difficulty adjusting to nursery as social and emotional children
  • behaviour that may need to supported by adults.

These children are entered into our SEND register.

How do we know there is a need?

We love to meet children and parents before they start nursery school. It's wonderful to start getting to know the while families in a visit or a phone call. You can tell us about any worries now.

Nursery staff can contact Health Visitors, Speech Therapists, or the Early Years Consultants if families are already talking to these teams.

As children settle into the nursery, all our group leaders will keep records of their progress, and if we have any worries, we will talk to parents quickly.

How will the school tell us about concerns?

We have meetings with parents regularly through the year. We'll also ask to talk to parents quickly, if we think we need to.

Please come and talk to us if you have any concerns during the year.

We will not contact anyone outside the school about the children's progress or needs unless we have asked you and you agree.

With some children, we will arrange extra attention in small groups (intervention groups) in school. We have teachers with special training to run these groups in language, wellbeing and behaviour.

Who are the best people to talk to about my child’s difficulties?

Our group leaders are continually monitoring progress and are regularly available to discuss and share information. However, it is helpful if parents can make an appointment to see their group leader. We also have an Inclusion Manager, Mrs E Irlam, who has obtained the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting children who may need some additional support.

What are the different types of support for my child?

If after ‘in-school’ intervention groups some extra support is seen as necessary, parents/carers may be asked to give permission for the school to refer their child to a specialist professional e.g. Early Years consultant, speech and language therapist, an educational psychologist or the Child Development Unit. (CDU) This will help school, and yourselves, understand your child’s particular needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in school e.g. some individual support or changing
  • aspects of teaching to support them better
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific expertise
  • Group or individual work with an outside professional

How will the curriculum and teaching be adapted to help my child?

We always work hard to get to know all our children really well. Our teaching and learning focuses on the interests and developmental stage of the children. Our indoor and outdoor environment is planned to provide challenging and exciting activities. We ensure all equipment and resources are accessible to all children regardless of their needs, with every child having access to the indoor and outdoor environment.

How will both you and I know the child is doing well and how will we support the child’s learning? How will progress be measured?

We use the Graduated Approach to Support Children with Additional needs and use the ‘assess, plan, do and review’ cycle when assessing the children. This cycle is reviewed termly. All the children are assessed through OPAL (Observation of Play and Learning) that records evidence of achievements. We are skilled at assessing development by observation and we regularly track children’s progress through the OPAL milestones. When required, we also assess through the Early Years Developmental Journal. If we feel a child needs some extra support within school, we will consult with parents to set next steps for learning in the form of a Support Plan. The Support Plan includes set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound targets (SMART), which enable your child to develop at their own pace. These targets are monitored every term and we ask parents to contribute to this process. Provision maps are also used to help us structure a child’s day through consideration of the current approaches that are successful, and ensuring personalised adaptations are in place.

What support will there be for the child’s wellbeing?

The children’s wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. An unhappy or anxious child may not flourish and we want all our children to progress in a secure and warm atmosphere. Our group leaders are experienced and well trained in dealing with the emotional needs of our children. We find the induction period allows us to support our children well. Smaller groups enable staff to get to know children and this is very beneficial, and supports us in settling the children on an individual basis. We are skilled at observing the children to judge how engaged they are in their learning. We use a five-point scale called ‘The Leuven Scale’ to assess children’s wellbeing and involvement. We believe the higher the levels of wellbeing and involvement we can achieve for the child, the more we can add to the child’s development and learning. We have two Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) and one Nurture Specialist. If we feel children need some extra support, we put in place small intervention groups and 1-1 sessions. Nurture groups are small groups that enjoy activities to promote good social interactions, independence self-regulation skills and positive wellbeing. We also have indoor and outdoor safe spaces in our nursery. These spaces provide a low stimulation area, which children can use to settle in, or have some quiet time. The children at Freshfield can use the safe space as a means of managing their own behaviour, by requesting time in it when they recognise their stress levels are rising. The safe spaces are also used for interventions and targeted group or 1-1 sessions to help children achieve their next steps of learning.

What is the specialist support?

If we think a child needs some extra support we may target extra time with a member of staff, either 1-1 or in a small group. We have strong links with outside professionals such as Portage, Speech and Language Therapists, and specialist nurses who can guide us in school. Sometimes parents are asked to attend support that is offered outside school, for example attending speech and language therapy sessions.

How accessible is the setting?

Freshfield Nursery School has many special features that can particularly support children with SEND:

  • The large outdoor learning environment which has been designed to enhance physical development in young children. It includes features such as slopes, a mud kitchen, a sand and water area and opportunities for climbing, balancing, swinging and riding bikes.
  • We have indoor and outdoor safe spaces available to provide calming, low stimulation areas for children.
  • Each group of children visits Nature School once a week with our trained Forest School Leader and wonderful support staff. Children learn to respect the outdoors. We aim to provide opportunities to develop independence and self-esteem where children can explore freely. The children work together, developing relationships and a sense of belonging. We also aim to encourage the children to take managed risks within the boundaries of safety.
  • Makaton, which is a communication system of using gesture to aid understanding and development of language, is used in school.
  • Visual timetables, choice boards and visuals are used to aid understanding, communication and request-making.

We follow statutory requirements. Our accessibility policy can be found on our website. Governors annually closely monitor and review this policy, and its effectiveness.

How do we support transition into the Reception class?

We enjoy strong links with the local Primary schools. When a child with additional needs is moving to another school, we will contact the school SENDCO and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support your child may need. We ensure all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

How are the resources matched to needs?

We match resources to the children’s interests and use and adapt these resources to meet individual needs. We have well established links with many outside agencies who can offer guidance on any specialist resources we may need. We also work closely with parents to gain a greater understanding of their child. If your child has a particular medical condition, we will contact their hospital and welcome specialist practitioners into school to support the team in the best possible care for the child. The asthma nurse is invited into school annually to update the knowledge of all staff.

Who else can I contact for support?

There are organisations such as “Parent Partnership” and specialist charitable organisations such as Parental Special Education Advice (PSEA) who can provide information and support for parents and their families. Please use the following link to access Stockport’s Local offer.

How are the children and parents/carers involved?

All our parents/carers are encouraged to be our active partners in their child’s learning journey. This starts before your child joins us. We ask parents to tell us about their child by completing a “My favourite things” sheet for their group leaders. In the summer term, before starting school, there are opportunities for parents to meet with their child’s group leader and other teaching staff including the Inclusion Manager and Co-Headteachers. Group leaders also send a video on Tapestry to introduce themselves to children and families, and we encourage parents/carers to send photos and videos back. We aim to continue this dialogue with parents/carers throughout the year. It is also important to us that children are listened to and their pupil voice is then taken into account. We use observations focused on identifying children’s interests and what is important to them. These are recorded onto a One-Page Profile. A One-Page Profile is a concise document full of positive and supportive information about a child which enables all staff to get to know the child, the things that are important to them, the best ways to offer support and ensure consistent approaches are used. We use the following headings:

  • What we love about…name.
  • What is important to me.
  • What helps me to learn best.

We actively involve parents/carers in the completion of the One Page Profiles. We want families to feel supported, confident, resilient and connected in their child’s learning journey. Stockport’s Co-Production Charter can be found on our school website.

How are the governors involved?

We are fortunate at Freshfield to have a pro-active and supportive governing board. The Co-Headteachers share termly updates if required, on the children’s progress and monitor carefully what is going on in school. Members of staff will never discuss individual children with governors. However, governors will make themselves available to talk to parents and are contactable if parents wish to raise any concerns.

Complaints Procedure

If you have any complaints regarding SEND provision, please see our Complaints Procedures on the Policies page of our website.

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
We are now accepting places within our two year old provision for September 2024. Funded and paid places available 15 or 30 hours, to apply please email or contact the school office on 0161 442 6944 or download the application from our website. 📚✏️⭐️

We are now accepting places within our two year old provision for September 2024. Funded and paid places available 15 or 30 hours, to apply please email or contact the school office on 0161 442 6944 or download the application from our website. 📚✏️⭐️ ... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

instagram Follow us on Instagram!

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.