Blossom House 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 Foundation Stage is managed by a Speech and Language Therapist, with the team comprising an Early Years Teacher, additional Speech and Language Therapist, a teaching assistant who has received training to support children with language and communication difficulties, and an Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist. The children also have access to the Arts Psychotherapy team on a needs led basis.
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. The children are taken on trips outside school where they may have the opportunity to integrate with others, such as trips to the farm, local shops, and the local theatre. 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 three group occupational therapy sessions and two group physiotherapy sessions a week. Both our Occupational Therapist and our Physiotherapist are integral members of the nursery team and are involved in our planning, target setting and ongoing assessment for all the children. They can also provide individual therapy if it is felt to be necessary and/or it is written on their statement.
ISPs are set once a term. These are shared with parents who are given the opportunity to contribute. Parents attend a termly meeting to discuss the themes and plans for the term. This is also an opportunity to discuss vocabulary that will be used in lessons and can be reinforced at home. Parents are also 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 manager and other staff as and when required.
When the children are nursery age they are dropped off between 9.00 and 9.15 and stay until12.15. Children are legally required to attend full time school in reception from the term after they turn five, and therefore the full time reception class is usually available to join from the January of that year, depending on the cohort. In the afternoons the curriculum continues to focus on the seven areas of learning in the revised EYFS.
Blossom House School is an independent special educational setting. We make provision which is over and above that which could be made in an LEA mainstream setting for a child with a statement. The provision made is in fact over and above that which can be made in many LEA specialist language units.