Our Foundation Stage is a specialist provision for children with speech, language and communication difficulties. The children have access to a small group learning environment for all activities, with a high adult to child ratio. The group is led by a teacher, a speech and language therapist, and a classroom assistant who has received internal training to support children with language difficulties and who understands the children’s specific needs. The foundation stage group may be a combination of nursery and reception children depending on our current cohort.
The children are provided with a broad and balanced curriculum, including the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which is adapted for children with language and communication disorders and to meet their individual learning needs. It is based upon learning in small, progressive steps with opportunities to gain full mastery of each skill before moving on. The curriculum is delivered by a teacher who is trained and experienced in working with children with language and communication difficulties and who provides multi-sensory specialist teaching.
Throughout the year the children are taken on trips outside school where they may have the opportunity to integrate with others, such as trips to the zoo, local shops, and the park. Joint placements with mainstream nurseries are possible.
The children receive intensive speech and language therapy input. Speech and language therapy is an integral part of the Foundation Stage curriculum. Daily group on-site speech and language therapy is delivered in school by a speech and language therapist who works with the class throughout the week. Children also receive individual speech and language therapy if required. All language used throughout the nursery activities is modified to account for the children’s needs. There is close liaison between the therapist, the class teacher and all other staff involved with the children. Makaton training is delivered as part of our continual professional development programme.
All children receive two group occupational therapy sessions a week. Our Occupational Therapist is an integral member of the nursery team and is involved in our planning, target setting and ongoing assessment for all the children. She can also provide individual therapy if it is felt to be necessary and/or it is written on their statement/EHCP.
IEPs are set once a term and monitored half-termly. Parents are given copies of all IEPs. Parents receive termly curriculum plans which detail the themes and topics for each subject being covered. Parents are invited to regular events, to meet others socially, for support, and to participate in learning opportunities. Parents are welcome both to chat informally and to make appointments to meet with the foundation stage teacher and other staff as and when required.
When the children are nursery age they attend from 9.00-12.15. They begin to attend full time school in reception the term they turn five. In the afternoons the curriculum continues to focus on the seven areas of learning in the revised EYFS with input from the teacher and the speech and language therapist.
Blossom Lower School is an independent specialist setting to which the phased approach in the Code of Practice does not apply. As an educational setting we make provision which is over and above that which could be made in an LA mainstream setting for a child with a statement. The provision made is in fact over and above that which can be made in many LA specialist language units.