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Choosing preschool for SALT?

(5 Posts)
Outofstrategies Fri 20-May-16 09:28:07

DD will turn 3 at the end of August and so is starting school nursery 15 hours a week in September. We are lucky to have the choice of 2. Let's call them A and B. I have visited both schools in a professional capacity and as a parent, but only briefly so have a reasonable feel for them.

DD has just had her first assessment with the speech therapist who has identified issues with expressive language but she is too young for actual interventions and it is more about providing the right environment. We have been put on the list for a group session that starts in October and she will be reviewed after that.

School A is a well established school with a lovely early years provision. I have been very impressed with the staff of all levels and the children. It celebrates its diversity and I have been impressed by behaviour, although it serves a fairly deprived area. It has a strong Program of SEN support and all the early years staff have SALT training. DD has been offered an afternoon place 5 days a week. It is about 2km away and DD is unlikely to get a place there for reception. I am intending to defer her starting reception so it is likely she will stay at the nursery for 2 years.

School B is expanding this year from a junior school to a through primary. All the early years and KS1 staff are new. It is an unknown quantity. They have not been able to tell me much about their provision except "We have a SENCO and the staff know what they are doing". It is an academy chain. In the junior school I have witnessed low level disruption on every visit. It has much less diversity and serves a slightly better area. DD has been offered our preferred option of 2.5 days. It is an easy walk and DD is very likely to be given this school for reception.

Ofsted for what it's worth rate both as good.

If you have made it this far through the post I would be really grateful if someone further down the SALT journey than me could offer any advice that could help me decide on the school. The new school (B) might be fine, would allow us to do lots of things on her days off and would certainly be convenient. (I am currently a SAHM with a baby). Or is the provision at the other school (A)worth it? Especially as it will (almost certainly) mean moving her at the start of reception?

treeagate Sat 21-May-16 20:25:17

From a school viewpoint ( I am an SEN TA with responsibility for SALT in early years) I would say a lot depends on how much work you are prepared to do at home as school is only part of the picture. I would ask each school if they are prepared to buy into SALT support for your child in school if required and who will be delivering the daily 1:1 support in school. Ask to meet them and see how you get on with them. School may also be able to offer a narrative ( storytelling and language) group to support your child.

Why are you deferring entry, does your child have additional needs apart from SALT?

Finally I would say children who go to school attached to nursery and have additional needs do tend to fair better as school are aware more of their needs before they land in reception.

Dejavunotagain Sat 21-May-16 20:34:19

Thank you Tree, I am thinking of deferring as she would have been in the following year anyway if she not arrived a bit early. I am hoping too that it will give her more time to catch up with her speech and also based on my own classroom experience. I feel that we start to early in the Uk anyway and have seen lots of children struggle with the transition into year 1- especially given the current pressure for academic progress in KS1.

treeagate Sat 21-May-16 20:44:48

I would check your chosen schools policy then as in some schools deferring a year will mean you miss reception and go straight into year 1. You will need the head teachers permission to defer a year and also the permission of your chosen middle school as again it is st the head teachers discretion.

In my opinion you may find you do not need to defer a year if you find the right school as reception is an extension of nursery and I have seen some amazing development of children in reception classes.

Good luck

Dejavunotagain Sat 21-May-16 20:48:33

Yes I'm looking in to it. I now believe that the rules have changed and it is down to the cancel allocating places not the individual school. It is only an option if she can do reception... i have also seen many children thrive in reception... Only to struggle hugely with the current KS1 curriculum and demands.

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