Additional needs at The Ark

This is how we support children with special educational needs and disabilities at the Ark

The information is called the “SEND local offer”


Q   How does The Ark know if children need extra help & what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs and/or disabilities?

A   Here at The Ark, children are treated as individuals: our staff are experienced in observing, assessing & planning their Next Steps.

If you have concerns about your child you can speak to the SENco (Special Educational Needs co-ordinator) who is here to help you.


Q   How will the staff support my child?

A   Every child has their own Key Person, who will work with your child.  They will get to know your child and plan their Next Steps, based on your child’s interest, which will be shared with you.  In addition to this, our SENco will make specific plans focused on your child’s area of need, which will be shared with you.  She is also able to make referrals to Paediatricians, Speech & Language Therapists, Physiotherapists & Occupational Therapists.

We are able to call upon the Area SENco for support if we need to.


Q   How will the Curriculum be matched to meet my child’s needs?

A   Every child is unique so we will plan for your child’s development, based on observations and evidence gained for the Learning Journal.


Q   How will you & I know how my child is developing & how will you help me support my child’s learning?

A   At The Ark we use a Tracker which is reviewed every 8 to 12 weeks.  This will plot your child’s progress, and of course be shared with you.  You will be able to see your child’s Key Person each session.  We will hold meetings every 6 to 12 weeks with our SENco & yourselves – this will be to discuss your child’s development or anything else you need.


Q   What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

A   We are able to call upon the Area SENco for more help or information to help your child if we need to.

Should your child require prescribed medication then a member of staff will be designated to do this.  You will be asked to fill in and sign a long term medication plan and staff will sign a separate sheet each time the medication is given.  Our staff all hold a Paediatric First Aid certificate; they have also had training in Epilepsy Awareness, Asthma, Epipen & Anipen training.  We are also able to call upon the Asthma & Epilepsy nurse if needed.

We promote Positive Behaviour and our staff are trained to support this.  They also regularly refresh their training.

Our SENco is on hand to offer advice.  We will work with you to provide a consistent and planned approach to promote Positive Behaviour.  At all times you will be the core of the Behaviour Plan.


Q   Do staff have experience and training in supporting young children with SEND?

A   All our staff complete training in different aspects of Child Development including SEND.  Our SENco has over 30 years experience.


Q   Does the setting access specialist services and expertise?  And what else is on offer within The Ark?

A   At The Ark we are able to call upon:-  Area SENco, Health Visitors, Speech & Language Therapists, Specialist Teachers, Children’s Centre, Family Solutions and many more.  At The Ark we also have Counsellors who are members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, as well as an Outreach Team – who will work with families within the home.

Our SENco runs a drop in on a Thursday afternoon from 1 till 3pm.  She is on hand to answer questions, help fill in DLA forms or help with anything else you may need.  She also runs a respite group for children with SEND.  For more information, please call in to, or ring the office.

We also have a Support Worker from the Women’s Refuge, Colchester running a drop in at The Ark once a fortnight.


Q   How will my child be included in any nursery trips?

A   At The Ark no child is ever excluded from an activity or outing.  Parents/carers are notified of any outings and asked if they wish to accompany their child.  The Ark will have already prepared a Risk Assessment for the trip, and we will also prepare one for your child with your help.  If your child has a 1 to 1 worker, they will be with your child at all times.  We take a First Aid kit, mobile phone & the children’s emergency phone numbers.  These are kept with the person in charge.


Q   How accessible is The Ark Centre?

A   The Ark is all on one level, it has wide doors, and so is wheelchair friendly.  We have a disabled toilet in the main building.

We will work closely with Parent/Carers, and Specialists in order to access specialist equipment if it is felt that your child many need this.

We use Visual Timetables to assist children with daily routines.  We are able to access books in different languages for children with English as an Additional Language, to aid with communication.


Q   How will The Ark prepare & support my child to join the Nursery or transfer to a new setting or school?

A   Your child will be given a date to come in & have a visit, with you present.  If we feel that your child would benefit from extra visits this can be arranged with the Nursery Staff.

If your child is leaving us to join another pre-school we will liaise with the new nursery.  We will make sure that their Learning Journal is up to date and this will be passed to you, so you can then give it to the new pre-school.

When your child starts school, we will arrange to meet the school SENco and class teacher – you are also invited to these meetings.  Between us, we will arrange extra visits; your child will go with their 1 to 1 worker on these visits.  We like to do the visits on different parts of the school day, so it becomes familiar to your child.  The class teacher is invited to come to the Ark, so they can see your child here.


Q   How will The Ark involve all Parents/Carers?

A   Parents/Carers are welcome to visit – you just need to arrange this with the Nursery Supervisor or the Office.  Our SENco is on hand, should you wish to see her.


Q   Who should we contact for further information?

A   Sally Johns Green – The Ark Manager, Bev Green – Office Administrator, or Roz Birch – Ark SENco.

More detailed information is in our Policies folder – you can ask at the office for copies of policies.

To put your child’s name down for The Ark please phone the office.