If you wish to obtain a copy of the Caterpillars prospectus then please send us an email, and we can send one straight through to you.
Caterpillars Montessori Pre-School Policies and Procedures Folder is kept in the setting and is available on request. Every parent is issued with a “Parent Handbook” following registration, which includes key policies for your information. An electronic version of our school policies is available if you prefer.
Caterpillars Montessori has a uniform sweatshirt or polo shirt which we request each child wear every day. These items are available to purchase from us at very reasonable prices. They are designed for comfort and practicality, and promote a feeling of group cohesion. What your child wears in combination with the sweatshirt or polo shirt is your choice, but we do request that each child wears comfortable and easy to manage clothes so that he or she may use the toilet independently where possible. Please do not send your child in any clothes unsuitable for floor work, messy activities or outdoor play!
At the beginning of each half term please bring to school:
- soft-soled indoor plimsolls or slippers, clearly named
- Wellington boots, clearly named
- raincoat / plastic mac, clearly named
- change of clothing (including underwear & socks as well as outerwear)
These should be kept in a bag on the child’s peg for him / her to access and will be sent home at the end of each half term. Please check sizes of plimsolls and boots at this point, and upgrade where necessary, as growth spurts do occur!
Please do not bring your child to school if he/she is ill, in order to prevent the other children from being infected. In line with our sickness policy, if your child has suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting, they should only return to school 48 hours after being clear of all sickness symptoms. Should your child be taken ill whilst at school, we will contact you or your child’s carer and ask for them to be collected. In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for us to obtain treatment from a doctor or casualty department. We request you sign the consent form and submit it to us at the same time as your Registration form and fee.
- SPECIAL NEEDS
Our aims are to identify a child with special educational needs as early as possible and to create an atmosphere where each child thrives through encouragement, acceptance and respect for their achievements. Camilla Bruce is our SENCO. Our full Special Educational Needs/Disability Policy and Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality Policy are freely available to parents – please ask a member of staff to see a copy of this, or any of the school policies, whenever you wish.
What Caterpillars Montessori offers children with Special Educational Needs.
How will Caterpillars Montessori know that my child needs extra help and what should I do if I am concerned about my child’s development?
At Caterpillars Montessori each child has a key person whose role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information to enhance each child’s wellbeing and development. Your child’s key person will make time to discuss any concerns that you might have about your child.
We encourage parents to share reports from other professionals (e.g. health visitor, speech and language therapist) in order to plan appropriately to meet your child’s individual needs.
Ongoing observational assessments are completed for all the children, linked to the Early Years Outcomes, highlighting ages and stages of development. This identifies individual needs and helps us to plan for each child individually to enhance their development.
Observations are discussed with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) Camilla Bruce and Supporting SENCO, Ruth Good. If your child’s key worker has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss this with you and plan together to support your child’s learning and development.
Our SENCO will offer support and advice to your child’s key worker and other staff in our setting. She may also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. Support and advice can be sought from the local authority’s Area SENCO to access additional services.
How will Caterpillars Montessori support my child?
As part of our registration process, you will complete “All About Me” which gives us key information about your child’s individual strengths, areas for development and needs. We will use this information to cater for your child in order for him / her to access the learning environment inclusively.
We understand that you are the most influential person in your child’s life. We aim to develop a partnership in order to work with you to support your child together, listening to you as well as your child.
Our SENCO will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), using the additional advice from the Area SENCO. She will also explain what other professionals may be involved and their roles. We will work in partnership with you to review the targets that have been set, plan new ones and share ideas for you to further support your child in the home environment to compliment learning at Caterpillars.
Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards IEP’s and your child’s key person oversees the strategies to meet the targets on the IEP.
Your child’s key person works with your child during the sessions he / she attends and is supported by the SENCO as well as other qualified educators. They will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary. The key person will maintain an overview of experiences, and progress, and the SENCO will work with all staff to ensure that the provision is appropriate.
How will Caterpillars Montessori prepare and support my child to join you, transfer to a new setting or to primary school?
We recognise that every child settles in to a new environment differently and we work with you to ensure that the settling process is bespoke to your child’s individual needs. We discuss the strategies together to make your child’s experiences positive so that he /she can build a secure and trusting relationship with their key person when they are away from you. We are committed to a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child.
We will meet with other professionals e.g. health care professionals to put in place transition planning/health care plan, or to seek relevant training before your child starts.
If your child should attend another setting whilst with us or leave to go to another setting we will invite your child’s new key worker / teacher and SENCO to attend sessions with your child to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
We will hold a transition meeting at your convenience, to plan transition for your child into their new setting, giving the new setting time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make, sharing targets on your child’s IEP’s, and minutes of review meetings along with any other information that may be relevant to your child.
It may also be possible to arrange for your child’s key person to attend settling in sessions at your child’s new setting with them, to help promote a smooth transition.
Who can I contact for further information or if I am concerned about my child’s development?
Your child’s key person is your first point of contact if you would like to discuss your child’s needs. Camilla Bruce and Ruth Good are able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Families Information Service, health visitors, speech and language therapists, children’s centre staff, and the inclusion officer for our area. We can contact the relevant professionals with your permission.
Our SENCO is also our practitioner for promoting positive behaviour and can offer advice and strategies to cope with unwanted behaviour.
If at any time you are unhappy with an aspect of our provision or practice we would ask that you come to us to discuss the matter to see how it can be resolved. If you are still unhappy, our Complaints procedure is available in our Policies and Procedures Folder. Ofsted contact details are also displayed in the parent information file.
Who is responsible for enabling and supporting inclusive practice?
Camilla Bruce and Ruth Good are responsible for creating and reviewing inclusive policies and procedures and ensuring that staff attend relevant training, to ensure staff meetings take place to explore SEND and inclusion issues, ensure the environment is inclusive, and to provide information for parents. They also promote our open door policy to ensure Caterpillars Montessori is a welcoming and respectful environment for all.
How will I know about my child’s progress and areas for development?
Every child has an individual plan which is created after the tracking assessment is completed every term. This highlights progress and areas for development with reference to the Early Years Outcomes. We have systems for ongoing observations which help us to measure progress and plan next steps. The observations, assessments and plans are shared with you and, with us, you are encouraged to contribute to the individual plan for each area of learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design). This provides home learning opportunities which will enhance each child’s development further and keeps you well informed about your child’s progress.
If your child joins us between the ages of 24 months and 36 months we complete a progress check for the prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal Social and Emotional Development). This clearly informs you about your child’s strengths and areas for further development.
Our open door policy means that you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis, and provide ongoing two way communication between us. Email and telephone calls can be used if parents work and are unable to bring/collect your child from nursery school.
We also upload newsletters termly onto My Montessori Child, to keep you up to date with what is happening at Caterpillars Montessori.
What support is there for my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?
Our staff members are welcoming and friendly. We use an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach for your child to flourish. We role model positive behaviour, and we are consistent in our day to day care of all our children. Children at Caterpillars are stimulated, happy and calm!
We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs. We ensure that personal care, such as changing nappies, is done with respect.
Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary, and staff will be trained to give the appropriate medication for your child if required.
Activities are adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment, and visual strategies are used, such as “Now we will …… and next we will….” board to help them to understand our routines. Flash cards are also available for your child to express how they are feeling about a particular activity/event, and the Communication, Language and Literacy Area provides a safe, quiet area to retreat to if your child feels tired, or needs some time to themselves. Your child’s key person will support your child during such times.
What specialist services and expertise are available at Caterpillars Montessori?
All key workers have at least a level 3 qualification in childcare and education and the SENCO, Camilla Bruce holds Montessori qualifications in the 0-2 yr and 2-6 yr age ranges. Our supporting SENCO, Ruth Good, holds Early Years Professional Status and a BA (Hons) degree in English and Montessori qualifications in the 0-6 yr and 6-12 yr age ranges.
We have good links with our local Children’s Centre and we can sign post you to support which is available through there, for example Parent support workers, inclusion officers, and social care. We can offer support through the services of our Local Authority, with your permission, and if your child’s needs are identified as a specific need then the team with the expertise in this area will take up the support for the child and the setting in meeting your child’s needs.
Our SENCO attends termly network meetings to keep up to date with the latest information and news.
How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
When you join us at Caterpillars Montessori, you will be issued with our Parent Handbook which explains how we deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage through our curriculum using the Montessori Philosophy. By regularly liaising we make sure that your child’s needs are being met at school as well as at home and we share strategies.
If your child has specific identified needs, we will work with the team, supporting your child and explain to you how we are acting on advice given by other professionals to support your child.
We will aim to have a brief chat with you daily about how your child was during the session and you will have the opportunity to share relevant information.
How will my child be included in experiences away from the setting?
We will endeavour to include parents in the planning of any visits off site to identify hazards which may affect your child. We carry out a risk assessment linked to the visit which highlights the needs of all the children including parent and supporter prior to our trip. We will share any action plans that are put in place to maintain the safety of your child during the visit. We can prepare a photo book for your child so they know what to expect on the visit. We will share photos of the children’s experiences through our social media pages so that you as parents are totally up to date with what we are doing.
We will also take along any aides or medication your child may need. All visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children.
How accessible is the setting environment?
If you are a parent who does not have English as your first language, we can involve another family member who speaks English, or arrange for an external interpreter.
We use photographs to capture significant developmental progress which are shared regularly with parents.
Visual prompts and displays are used to support children to understand daily routines and our ground rules for outdoors and inside.
Accessible toilets and changing facilities are available, and there is mobility access to the building and to the outdoor learning environment. We have multi sensory activities as part of our provision. Policies and procedures are updated regularly and are available for parents either electronically or in the folder in the entrance lobby.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you we will identify what support is required.
Extra support will be put in place if necessary with the aim of encouraging and promoting your child’s independence and confidence.
Ongoing partnerships with both you, other professionals and ourselves, will support the decision making process.
Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within our nursery school in consultation with you, and other professionals where necessary with your permission.
Our SENCO will advise you on the process of applying for extra support, and the Inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence submitted by the setting and other professionals who are working with you and your family to support your child.
Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan further support within the setting.
The Area SENCO or other professionals working with our SENCO will support us to plan targets on the IEP. The IEP will be written with you and will include how you can support your child at home.
Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths and needs, and how best to support them.
For further information please contact us, and speak to our SENCO Camilla Bruce on 01948 710123 / firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome children at Caterpillars Montessori from birth. Before your child starts at Caterpillars, a pre-start visit with you is advisable to help your child feel familiar with the environment and to meet the teachers. If you would like to apply for admission for your child, please complete the Registration form enclosed with this prospectus. We require a non-refundable Registration fee of £20.00. We will try to accommodate you for your preferred sessions but unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed.
- MINIMUM NUMBER OF SESSIONS (For children not yet recieving government funding)
For the benefit of your child as well as other children in the group, the minimum number of sessions that your child can do at Caterpillars Montessori is two. This should be on separate days so that there is a regular and consistent attendance to school. A session is from 9.00am until 12.00pm or 12.00pm until 3.00pm.
How will my child cope with a non-Montessori environment at age 5+ ?
Being given the physical and emotional space of the Montessori environment in order to ‘find themselves’ and to develop a sense of value and self-worth, the child leaving the Montessori nursery for a larger Reception class is ideally positioned to form new friendships and relationships. Time after time we have experienced Montessori children moving into their Reception class with self-confidence and independence.
Academically, the Montessori curriculum more than covers the national standards. We have first hand experience of many local schools in both the state and independent sectors, and can discuss in detail with you how we meet any ‘entry requirements’ atReception if this is of concern to you.