We created the Early Years Provision because we recognise that, for a number of different reasons, some children do not always get the best of the starts or the sort of experience that we know helps them to be happy and successful at school. We believe that the sooner we can help and support these children and their families, the greater chance they have of learning new ways of behaving and become happier and more successful both in and out of school.
The Early Years Provision, which opened 3 years ago, is housed in a purpose-built building, which consists of two classrooms, a therapy room, family room and age-appropriate playground. We took a long time to create the building, having looked at lots of other provisions that were successful with working with young children and their families. We can work with up to 16 children with no more than 12 children on site at any one time, in two classes of six.
We see the Early Years Provision as being able to provide a small, emotionally secure setting where staff can make children feel accepted and valued as well and teach them in a way and at a level that the child can accept. Staff can also model appropriate behaviour and provide a supportive relationship, which helps the child, parents and mainstream colleagues. In short, children who attend can go though the learning experiences they may have missed and begin to build trusting relationships with reliable and consistent adults and with their peer group. This will help children to establish a foundation for healthy emotional development, enhancing their self-confidence and ability to take responsibility for their own behaviour, which in turn increases their chances of educational success. The Early Years staff team consists of two teachers, two nursery nurses and a child psychotherapy team.
Children attend the provision for mornings only, returning to their mainstream school placement in the afternoon. Early Years staff support referring schools by working on an outreach basis, and by keeping regular contact through the use of a daily report. Referral forms, which outline the referral process, can be found below. Schools agree to send a member of staff to work with their child for one morning week for training and continuity. Schools also have responsibility for making travel arrangements for the children who attend, which includes collecting them at lunchtime.
Careful assessments of the child’s cognitive and emotional needs are carried out by the staff team who, in consultation with parents and other professionals, develop strategies to meet individual needs. Relationships in the group are managed positively, so for example when disagreements develop, as they inevitably do, children are helped to reflect on what happened and how they could manage it differently next time.
The Early Years Provision is a part of the New Rush Hall Group, which is a range of provisions working with children who present difficulties with managing their behaviour in school. You can learn more about the work of the Group from other areas of this website.