Inclusion & Transitions

At Little Learners Nursery we have an Inclusion and Transitions Co-ordinator who supports practitioners with all issues based around the Inclusion of all children and their families and the different types of transitions that they go through.

This includes children with additional needs, children and families with English as a second language, moving rooms within the nursery and starting school. When children are going through a transition the practitioners are supported by a Transition Programme that details what happens next and parents guidance notes.

When English Is A Second Language

Little Learners Nursery, based on a large University campus, has a high percentage of children with English as an additional language. We embrace all the languages that our children, parents and early year’s practitioners use and try and implement them into our everyday practice.

When a family first visits our setting they are greeted by a bilingual staff team who, where possible, are available to assist parents with transitions of information, support when filling out important documents and feedback on their child. The staff are then also available for the child if needed. For example through support during play, at story time, during mealtimes, routine changes or when the child is feeling unsure. We believe this offers a great support service for both the children and their parents.

Within all of our rooms there are bright, colourful visual routines for the children to follow. This is an excellent way of explaining the daily routine without the need for spoken language. As the child becomes more familiar with the routine, language will build up and they will be able to talk through the different parts of the day. There are different visual routines in different areas of the nursery including hand washing, potty training, snack times, what to do at mealtime and the full daily routine. There are also welcome boards displaying parent’s examples of the languages that are spoken within that room and at home.

To support the child we have a data base of common words used in 15 languages. We also ask the parents for any other words that they feel the child and key person may need while at nursery. This gives the key person some simple understanding and so being more aware if the child is asking for something or trying to explain something. This also helps the key person to build a relationship with the child.

Throughout the year we hold special events where parents can take part and become involved in their child’s time at the setting. We also encourage parents to come in and read stories and play with the children in their home language. The children enjoy new and different experiences and are often intrigued when parents visit and use dialects they are not familiar with or ones that they use at home. We are aware of how important it is to encourage the use of both languages at home and at nursery and the benefits that can be gained for the child.

So that we can provide the best possible care and education for each child we ask parents to come in and have a Watch me grow appointment where we give the parents feedback on their child’s progress and development while at nursery. This is also an excellent time for the child’s key person to discuss the child’s level and understanding of English, their use of their home language at nursery and their use of English at home. During this time the key person may have some questions on how the child is progressing at home. These can be important as if the child is using little or no English at the setting it is harder to know their level of development. We believe good relationships with parents helps to aid our knowledge of the child and so provide them with the best possible care and education.

Within the setting we have many resources and techniques that support children who speak additional languages. These include dual-language books, posters of familiar scenes that may encourage the use of language, a list of simple songs in different languages that all the children can learn, practitioners who can sit with children during story times to help point out key features and give explanations, practitioners who can produce flashcards for the children to use to encourage language.

Bookstart is a national programme that encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books with their children from as early an age as possible. Health professionals will give babies a bookstart baby pack before their first birthday. Either health professionals or early year’s practitioners will send out a bookstart+ pack to children aged between 18-30 months and a treasure chest to children aged between 3-4 years. Bookstart provides dual language books and guidance material that are available in 28 languages.

Home Visits

Home visits are offered to all children when they start at Little Learners Nursery. This is a time where the child’s new key person and the Inclusion and Transition Co-ordinator can visit the child and their family at their home.

The key person can observe how the child behaves in their familiar surroundings with familiar people. This is also an ideal time for the key person to talk with the child’s family about their interests, likes and dislikes, other groups they may attend, hobbies that they may have, the child’s dietary requirements and any other information that the family feels is important to know.

A record of the home visit and discussion will be made and a copy will be given to the parents.

School Visits

When a child is preparing to leave our setting to start at primary school we make an action plan on how we are going to support them in their transition. The child’s key person will then continue this in the room with the child and prepare them for their new school through activities, books and conversation. The parents will take the child to visit the school up to three times before the child starts.

The Inclusion and Transition Co-ordinator will contact the child’s new school and arrange a time to visit. This is a time for the Inclusion and Transition Co-ordinator and the child’s new teacher to discuss the child’s current level of development, actions that they have been working towards, the child’s likes and dislikes and any other relevant information.

The Inclusion and Transition Co-ordinator will also hand over the child’s Learning Journey with observations, example pieces of work and notes made from Watch me grow appointments.

A record of the visit and discussion will be made and a copy will be given to the parents.

If you would like more information on the School Transition Presentation or to discuss your child's transition to school please speak with Jade Shafi who is our Transition Co-ordinator.

Settling In Visits

We offer minimum of three free pre-visits which usually take place over a period of one to two weeks. The number of visits may be extended based on the needs of individual children. During this time your child will be provided with a visits diary which you can complete with them after each visit. Visits are conducted in the morning (9.30am to 11.30am) or in the afternoon (1.30pm to 3.30pm).

First Visit

A stay and play session, during this visit we encourage the accompanying adult to play with the child and to assist them with engaging in activities as appropriate. If you’ve not already been introduced to your child’s key person you will be able to meet them during this visit.

Second Visit

A stay play and go session, as this is the second visit it may be appropriate to leave your child for a short while to bond with their key person, this will be decided between you and the key person based on the individual needs of the child. Much the same visit one you should encourage your child to engage in activities with your support.

Third Visit

An unaccompanied visit, all being well this may be the visit where your child stays accompanied only by their key person for no longer than 2 hours. During this time the key person will engage your child in a number of activities appropriate to their age and stage of development while offering continued reassurance where needed.

Special Educational Needs

The nursery has an appointed Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who works with all practitioners who care for children with a range of special educational needs. The SENCo attends training and network meetings in order to keep skills up to date and relevant. The SENCo also co-ordinates all multi-agency work with other professionals including speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, physiotherapists and early years inclusion advisors. The SENCo can offer advice and support to parents of children with special educational needs and work with the child and their family to deliver them the best possible care and education.

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact Jade Shafi who is the nurseries appointed Special educational needs co-ordinator.

Reading University Students' Union

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