At Oasis Childcare Centre we value all children as unique individuals and endeavor to provide a safe, stimulating learning environment that promotes the concept of ‘lifelong learning’. We provide an environment in which all children are encouraged and supported to enable them to learn and develop to their full potential.
We monitor all children’s progress through weekly observations and assessments and identify children’s individual strengths, weaknesses and needs. We identify the specific needs of children with Special Education Needs/Disabilities and meet those needs through a range of strategies to enable children to achieve their full potential.
Our settings have trained Special Educational Needs Co-coordinators (SENCO’s) who have a wide range of experience in supporting children with additional needs (including speech and language support, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)). Our SENCO’s are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the setting’s SEN policy, and for liaising with their colleagues to coordinate provision across the setting. Our SENCO’s work closely with the manager and all practitioners in the setting, and with other professionals as required (such as speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) to support the needs of individual children and their families.
Oasis Visual Aid Support
At the Oasis we provide an environment in which all children are encouraged and supported to enable them to reach their full potential. We strive to provide a differentiated curriculum that meets the individual needs and abilities of all children and we use a wide range of visual aids across the age ranges to aid children’s communication and understanding skills.
Visual aids support many areas of a child’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Language and Communication skills. They enhance children’s listening and attention skills, promote children’s understanding by allowing them the time they need to process what they are being asked, and they support children with expressing their thoughts, feelings and ideas and to share their experiences. For children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), visual aids provide an important tool to give children a voice and enable them to communicate their needs and interests. Visual aids help children with SEN to make sense of the wider world and to understand what is happening around them. It is important that visual aids are used alongside language to aid children’s communication skills and promote language development.
Makaton is a language programme that supports communication using speech, signs and symbols and utilises non-verbal methods of communication. This allows us to make our communication visual and by slowing down our communication, it allows the children time to process and understand the language being used. We believe Makaton benefits all children in developing their language and literacy skills, and is not solely used for children with additional needs, although use would enable an inclusive environment should a child use Makaton to communicate.
Traffic light cards provide clear visual support to promote positive well-being. The three coloured cards (red, yellow and green) can be used to signal to children to ‘stop’ what they are doing (red), to wait or listen for the instruction (yellow) and/or to follow an instruction (green).
Now and Next
A Now and Next board is a very simple visual aid that can help children to understand changes in daily routines and support them to transition between different activities. It is a visual board with Now on the left and Next on the right with a space for a visual prompt/picture. You can use symbols or photographs to illustrate to a child what is happening now and what is going to happen next.
Choice boards are an effective aid to help children with SEN to communicate their preferences and visualise the decision making process. Depending on the age and stage of the child, you can offer 2 or more choices using pictures or symbols.
Spot timers are a useful tool for supporting children with increasing their focus and attention at specific activities. The adult can guide how quickly the spots are added/removed from the card, depending on the age/stage of the individual child, allowing the child to visualise how long is left at the activity. Spot timers usually consist of a large circle with 3-5 smaller circles inside, depending on the age/stage of the individual child.
Sand timers are a beneficial visual aid for supporting children with developing their understanding of waiting and enhancing their attention skills. Sand timers can be used in a variety of ways and enable children to visually observe the time they have left to complete an action, such as tidying up or waiting to take turns with a toy.
Visual Sequence Strip
Visual sequence strips use photographs or symbols to illustrate how to perform a particular sequence, such as washing hands, brushing teeth or getting dressed. The sequence strip breaks down each stage and gives children a clear visual of how to perform each step to complete the sequence. This supports children with SEN to develop their understanding of how to complete daily tasks and promotes independence.
Daily routines are beneficial for children as they provide opportunities for children to familiarise themselves with different events that happen throughout the day. A visual timetable breaks down the daily routine and uses photographs or symbols to illustrate individual events, such as snack time, story time, personal care etc. For children with SEN, visual timetables support children’s understanding of what will happen throughout the day by proving a visual sequence of the daily routine.
Emotion fans can help children express how they are feeling in a non-verbal way. They are particularly useful for children with SEN and those who struggle to verbally express their feelings and needs.
All of the above visual aids can be adapted into smaller, key fob versions for staff and parents to use when supporting individual children in the setting and home environment.
The Oasis Childcare Centre has partnerships/connections with:
Cornwall 'Family Services'
Services for Children, Young People and Families. A universal partnership with agencies, and services for all families and children. We actively engage with our own Early Years Teacher Advisor who supports and offers guidance to ensure best practice.
PreSchool Learning Alliance
We share some facilities and feed into the school, with whom we have a very good working relationship. During the final term of the academic year the Pre-School children regularly visit the Reception classroom and outdoor areas within the school. This provides fantastic opportunities for children of different age groups to integrate and supports a super, stress free transition into Ludgvan School Reception class for Oasis Pre-School children!
CB Childcare Consultancy
Our SENCO’s can contact the Early Help Hub for support and/or advice if your child or you as a family require additional support.
What is Early Help?
Early Help includes help provided in both early childhood and early in the development of a problem. Within Cornwall the Early Help Hub is the first point of contact when considering additional support for children and their families.
Support is provided: from pre-birth to the age of 18 (or 25 when the young person has additional needs) when the child, young person or family has needs that are not met solely by universal services.
It is single point of access for professionals, families and young people to access Early Help Services in Cornwall.
The triage team decides which Early Help service best meets the needs identified in the request for help. It is then allocated to the appropriate service within 48 hrs.
· Telephone: 01872 322277
· Website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/earlyhelphub
Vision for Early Help
Early Help in Cornwall aims to ensure that services to support children, young people and their parents are there when they need them. Early Help is about identifying problems at an early stage and providing purposeful and effective help as soon as possible once they have been identified, working with families to solve those problems before they get worse.
There are a wide range of services available through the Early Help Hub and you will be involved and supported at all stages.