What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer provides information and guidance on services for children and young people, aged 0-25, with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). This website contains information about education, health, social care, preparing for adulthood and leisure at https://www.wiltshirelocaloffer.org.uk


The SEND team at South Hills City

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is Zoe Mackinder. She has been the SENCO at South Hills city for 10 years and has overall responsibility for ensuring that the needs of every child in the nursery are met. She attends regular training sessions with Wiltshire County and is qualified in using BLAST, ECAT, ELKLAN, Speech and Language and PORTAGE

The Deputy SENCO and Speech and Language Co-Ordinator is Sarah Mewes she attends regular training and takes our BLAST groups.

How does South Hills City know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have Special Education Needs?

At South Hills City, we pride ourselves in getting to know individual children and identifying their needs, in the transition period, with their designated keyperson a baseline assessment is completed. Also an All About Me and an All About Me Wellbeing form is completed with the parents so we are fully aware of the child’s individual needs and interests before they start in the setting. Parents are encouraged to talk to their keyperson and SENCO if they have concerns or if the child has already been identified as having Special Education Needs to enable the Nursery to set up a Team Inclusion Support Meeting (TISM) so the appropriate training and provision can be provided for the child when they start. In our setting we have an open door policy and a meet and greet in the morning and at pick up time, if a parent wants a confidential word they can arrange a time to meet with the SENCO and keyperson.  

The role of the keyperson is to work alongside parents and the child to build a strong relationship. The keyperson will do observations to make sure the child is developing in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we also track against Every Child’s a Talker (ECAT) which is based on speech and language and all two year old children have a two year old check which is to enable practitioners to provide early intervention provision so that additional support can be put into place. We also build up a profile in a child’s learning journey and all these assessments help us to identify if a child needs extra support.  

If a practitioner or parent has concerns the Special Educational Needs Co-Coordinator (SENCO) is contacted and concerns are shared in a meeting.   The SENCO will then undertake assessments and if necessary do a My Plan meeting involving all the professionals that will support the individual child’s development and this my plan will set out clear targets for the practitioners to implement to support the child. A My plan is reviewed six weekly and all relevant professionals will review the child’s progress together alongside the parents.  

How will South Hills City support my child?

South Hills City has the philosophy that all children should be educated through a broad balanced curriculum which is tailored to meeting each child’s individual needs. Children develop at their own rate, and in their own ways, whatever their stage of development all children are supported to reach their full potential; this is done by the SENCO who will oversee the child’s development. The SENCO will alongside the Manager refer a child with the parent’s consent to the relevant agencies. The SENCO when they have received the reports will draw up an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and this is shared with the parents and the child’s keyperson. The SENCO and the keyperson will ensure that the targets are worked towards and the SENCO will oversee and review the child’s progress weekly either changing targets if not achieved or progressing the child in their development.

Accessibility and Inclusion

The nursery is on one level and has access for a wheelchair and where necessary a ramp is provided. The main doorway to the nursery is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and the toilets have hand rails. The nursery uses visual timetables and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) as a means of aiding communication with children who may need support in this area and these visual aids also aid the non-verbal communication for younger children and for children with English as Additional Language (EAL) to enable them to communicate effectively their needs.

Transition at South Hills City

At South Hills City Nursery before a child starts at the Nursery we offer settling in sessions where a parent comes along with the child for the first time and thereafter on their own and this enables the keyperson to build up a relationship with the parent and child before they start at the setting.

When a child moves into a new classroom, the keyperson will do a transfer record and the new keyperson will do an “All About Me” and “All about Me Wellbeing” form and these are completed to ensure the new keyperson and parent build up a relationship to ensure a smooth transition into their new classroom.   The child will also have settling in sessions prior to their move.

At South Hills City nursery we understand that transitions from nursery to school can be both exciting and anxious time for parents and children.

We believe that planning for transitions in partnership with parents can ease a child’s entry into school. Activities are planned in advance over a period of time, to prepare the children going into school this helps reduce stress for a child enabling them to settle more quickly and progress in their learning.  For children with Special Educational Needs (SEND) the transition can be more difficult, we try to make these as smooth as possible by supporting both child and parent. The child’s keyperson and SENCO will be preparing the child for school during the months ahead. A transition report will be done by the child’s keyperson providing the school with clear support plans for the children alongside Individual Education Plans (IEP) and My Plans. A Local Inclusion Support Meeting (LISM) will be arranged with the School before the child starts and this will involve the parents, the Nursery SENCO and the School teacher and SENCO and all other professional agencies involved thus giving the school a full picture to enable them to provide the correct support for the child.


Behaviour difficulties are supported by all staff, alongside the parents. The SENCO will ensure each child has an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP) in place to support their needs. The child and family along with the area inclusion support and other agencies i.e. Portage Plus, which is a service devoted to supporting children and families with behavior difficulties, will work together with the nursery to ensure the child receives the amount of support needed.


South Hills City has a policy in place to support behavior, Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and Inclusion. Every child has a choice and a voice. Children are invited and supported to play learn and develop and reach their full potential.