The Monkey House Nursery School





Name               Nickie Cheetham

Date               30th June 2014 this update April 2020



  1. How does the Early Years’ setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?


At The Monkey House we have both a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and a Behaviour Coordinator (BECo) who working closely with the rest of the teaching team and outside agencies to ensure that every child is given the necessary support to participate in all activities on offer and reach their full potential.


Every child has a Key Person, whose role is to get to know the child, ensure they are happy and settled, along with making observations, recording progress and planning activities to help with the child’s next steps. Always ensuring that parents and carers are involved in the planning of next steps and have access to records at all times. It is during this observation and recording phase that any concerns can be picked up and shared with parents and the SENCo or BECo.


Being a small Nursery School enables every member of the teaching team to know every child and it therefore gives the opportunity for parents to talk to any member of staff about their child. We operate an open door policy which results in good working relationships being formed between staff, parents and carers.


The Monkey House Nursery School is a Makaton using setting; we have worked with families with children with various special needs but in particular those with visual impairment, those on the autistic spectrum and downs syndrome. We have built up strong links with outside agencies and charities in particular, Portage, the Visual Impairment Advisory Teachers, THOMAS Outreach workers and The CVI society.



  1. How will Early Years setting staff support my child?


Our SENCo or BECo will plan and oversee all support needed for any child who requires additional support. They will lease with you, any involved outside agencies and the Key Person in order to effectively monitor your child’s progress. When necessary individual education plans (IEPs) or behaviour plans are drawn up in consultation with all who are involved with your child, these are constantly monitored and evaluated to ensure that they are effective.


The amount of support your child needs will be tailored specifically for them, this may mean one-to-one assistance, small group work for example language groups, or support from an adult to be able to access the activities on offer.


We will work closely with you and outside agencies to ensure that the support offered and the frequency is appropriate and beneficial, this constant communication ensures that everyone is working on the same targets. We pride ourselves in our openness with parents and they feel that we are always available to speak to when they need it.



  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?


Staff at The Monkey House ensure that the curriculum is adapted to meet every child’s individual needs. We use the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for more information please go to


Every child is unique and we therefore feel it is appropriate and essential to allow children to explore and investigate in a ‘child lead’ rich environment with adult support when necessary; ensuring safety and extension of experiences as well as offering opportunities for developing potential all based around the child’s individual interests.


The level of support supplied for each child is differentiated specific to their individual needs and will vary from activity to activity in order to enable each child to access what is on offer and learn at their own level.



  1. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?


We as a team are very open to support all parents with their child’s needs and development; you are most welcome to talk to your child’s Key Person, the SENCo or any member of staff at any time, there is always somebody available at the beginning and end of every session. Alternatively you can make an appointment to speak to a specific member of the team either in person or over the telephone whichever is most convenient.


Every child has their own individual online Learning Journey which contains observations and photographs of their time at The Monkey House, this is always available for parents to see online once they have set up their secure login. A child’s achievements and next steps are also recorded in their learning journey and parents / carers are actively encouraged to contribute.


As part of these online Learning Journeys we have access to EYFS trackers which are used to record and track progress and aid the setting of next steps. Reports are written every term that show progress and the next steps that the setting is going to work towards. Parents are given an opportunity to comment on the progress recorded to ensure that we have a holistic view of your child’s development both at home and at Nursery School.


If your child has additional needs and are being supported with an IEP or Behaviour plan then these are generally reviewed every six weeks, this would involve a meeting with yourselves as parents / carers, the child’s Key Person, SENCo and any outside agencies that are working to support your child.



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


Your child’s Key Person is responsible for ensuring your child is safe and secure; both emotionally and physically throughout the transition from home to Nursery School, during each and every session and later on with the transition into school. Due to the small size of our Nursery School any member of staff is able to take on this role in the absence of the Key Person.


All staff are trained in current First Aid procedures and hold up to date certificates. If your child requires medication during their time at The Monkey House then this medication is stored in a secure place. A record is kept of all medication administered along with the dosage and time administered this record is signed by yourself and the Nursery Staff member who administered the medication.



  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?


We have a team of 5 members of staff, two qualified teachers, one with a BA(Hons) in Education and Training Studies, one with a BA in Early Education, two with a level 4 and one with a level 3 qualification. All staff have basic Makaton training whilst one has completed the advanced course along with THOMAS training (specialist support for children on the Autistic Spectrum).


We can access support from the Services for Young Children Area INCO, services at the local Children’s Centres, specialist advisory teachers and Health visitors. Also we are able to directly refer children to the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) team.


  1. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?


At The Monkey House Nursery School we feel it is important that the training that staff receive is relevant and can be put into practice as soon as possible, we therefore ensure that staff are equipped with the knowledge that they need as needs arrive. Relevant courses are researched and places booked, alternatively in-house training is arranged if outside courses are not available.


Our SENCo has received training for helping children with visual impairments, THOMAS training and advanced Makaton, play therapy and Level one DDP (dyadic developmental practice/ psychotherapy). All other staff have completed an introduction to Makaton course, this is a sign language programmed designed to help children to understand and be included, signs are always supported by spoken language. Along with Makaton, symbols are used to give visual guidance as to what is happening next or to aid children to make choices.

  1. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?


Parents/Carers are always asked to sign consent forms before trips and outings. We as a team feel it is important for all children to be involved in all aspects of Nursery School life and that includes trips and outings. Every effort will be made to ensure that your child can access fully whatever is planned.


Risk assessments are carried out before all outings take place and are made available for parents to see. When the Monkey House Nursery School is on a trip or outing then we ensure that our adult to child ratio is higher than normal, either one adult to every two or three children dependent on their age, sensibility and the type of venue. We ensure that children are assigned to specific members of staff to ensure that they are supervised, no child goes astray and that there is no unauthorised access to the children. All staff and volunteers are made aware of our policy for supervising children when on outings and have had the opportunity to discuss the relevant risk assessment before the trip takes place.



  1. How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Indoors and outdoors)


The Monkey House Nursery School operates in the village hall in Mapledurwell. The front door is accessed by either a small set of steps or a gentle slope. The building is all on one level providing easy access for wheelchairs and buggies, there is an accessibility toilet and nappy changing facilities.


The children have free-flow access to an outside area of tarmac at the front of the building along with occasional access to the large grass playing field for larger outdoor activities and a fenced playground that has been designed for use by under 5’s.


  1. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting / school?


Settling in sessions are offered tailored to the child’s needs in consultation with the parents/carers. We would seek to obtain appropriate advice and guidance from any agencies involved with your child and any specialist equipment would be in place prior to your child starting with us. During settling in sessions you and your child will be introduced to their key person, this is also an opportunity for you to make sure we know any specific information about your child that will help them settle quickly and become part of the nursery school.


At the Monkey House children are supported through transition both when they join the setting and as they move on to primary school. We ask parents to let us know which Primary school their child will be attending and then invite the relevant Reception class teachers to visit the children at the Monkey House.   A transition meeting will be arranged with parents and teachers for any child with additional needs. A formal transition report is prepared outlining your child’s progress, current attainment along with their interests which with your permissions will be passed onto the new setting or school.



  1. How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?


At the Monkey House Nursery School we offer EYE funding for 3 and 4 years old’s and are also registered to accept children that are eligible for the 2 year old funding. In addition to this we accept children using the 30 hour funding. It is also possible for The Monkey House to apply for Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding for your child if appropriate. A meeting is held with you and the SENCo to discuss how the funding should be spent for the benefit of your child. The majority of the time the funding would usually support your child with one to one time with their key person or the SENCo though the week.



  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?


If your child has a diagnosis before starting at The Monkey House then all the professionals involved with your child along with yourselves will meet with the SENCo and any other key staff at the Monkey House prior to your child starting. This will ensure that we all have a full understanding of your child’s needs and the support they will require in order to be able to fully participate in the activities at nursery school.


If your child does not have a diagnosis but you have concerns or your child’s Key Person at the Monkey House has identified a problem then a meeting will be held with yourselves in order for us all to explore ways of supporting your child.


The amount of support provided is dependent upon your child’s needs. The SENCo puts together an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Behaviour Plan in collaboration with yourselves and your child’s Key Person; this is reviewed every half term. At the review the impact of the support will be assessed and moderated as required. At The Monkey House extra support is put into place promptly and supported by all members of the team, the teaching team at the Monkey House has never turned down the opportunity to support a child.


  1. How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?


The Monkey House encourages parents to share any specialist ability or interest they have with us that could benefit the children. This could be something that would involve a one off visit or more regular visits to the setting.


We issue a newsletter every half term which gives parents information and news of forth coming events such as Harvest Festival, Nativity Play, Annual Fun Run and Sports Day. Parents and family members are always welcome to attend these events, giving you the opportunity to support the children in their efforts as well as providing an opportunity to socialise with other parents/carers.


Children’s Learning Journeys are always available for parents to look at and contribute to online. Following feedback from parents we have now set up half termly coffee mornings for parents to stay and chat to staff in a relaxed atmosphere.


Parents are always welcome to stay for a session to see first-hand how the session runs and the things that the children get involved in.


We distribute questionnaires yearly to all parents and carers in order for you to give us feedback on our performance and offer suggestions on how we can improve in an anonymous way. Alternatively a member of staff is always available at the start and end of each session to chat to any parent.


Parents and carers were given a draft copy of this document and asked for comments prior to this final version being produced. The final version reflects and includes any feedback that was given.


  1. Who can I contact for further information?


Your primary point of contact is Nickie Cheetham, Monkey House Head Teacher and SENCo.

During nursery hours (Mon- Fri 9-3) our contact details are

Telephone: 07778 031691


The Monkey House email address is


Further information can be found on our website

Or on our Facebook page


If you need to make contact out of nursery hours you can contact Nickie on tel: 07778 031691 or email


The Monkey House Nursery School has an open door policy and we try to make ourselves available to talk to parents as much as possible. If you require to speak confidentially then we have access to a meeting room.