Acorns is a community-led group overseen by an elected committee comprising education and early years professionals as well as parents and grandparents.
We provide early years education to approximately 40 local children between the ages of two and five.
Run by Manager Val Horspool, our staff team offers a valued balance of individual skills, experience and dispositions. There is a strong focus on professional development and Acorns regularly invests in training to ensure the members of staff are up to date on the latest concepts in early childhood education.
The Committee meets monthly to enable the smooth running of the setting including reviewing policies and planning fundraising activities. Parental involvement is highly valued at Acorns and all parents and carers are welcome to join the Commitee.
Acorns is situated in the centre of Masham at the rear of the Mashamshire Community Office and within easy walking distance of the library, primary school, church, market and playing fields. The setting was converted for the sole use of the group in 2003 and also includes an outdoor play area which the children have daily use, plus a ‘Jungle’ area visited several times a week.
Acorns also runs ‘Little Acorns’ , a baby and toddler playgroup from 09.30am-11.00am each Wednesday morning in Masham Town Hall.
We are a registered charity and member of the Pre-School Learning Alliance
Acorns Pre-school Local Offer
At Acorns Pre-school we pride ourselves on ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our practice, meeting the needs of all individual children and families.
Detailed below is information relating to our Local Offer:
• Our setting has a trained Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO attends regular meetings and feedbacks any updates to colleagues at staff meetings. She will liaise with other professionals, such as the Area SENCO or the Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT), when necessary to identify and gain support for an individual’s needs.
• On induction to the setting SENCO/key person and parents share information about the strengths and needs of the child. A home visit will be offered to parents, during which a child’s involvement with other agencies can be discussed. The child will always be at the heart of all we do. Parents views will be listened to and valued and together we will write an Individual Learning & Provision Plan (ILPP) to support the child’s individual needs and next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals when necessary. Any additional staff training will be sought before the child starts at the setting and any relevant documentation will be shared in setting to ensure appropriate planning is in place. A consistent approach will be agreed with parents to ensure continuity between home and setting.
• All staff have accessed child development and Paediatric First Aid training, and have experience of working with children within the early years age range. The SENCO has accessed specific training such as new to SENCO, Portage, visual/hearing impairment training and attends regular SENCO networks. The setting has good links with the local children’s centre, and staff signpost parents to support available there through parent support advisors, social care, health visitor etc. With parent’s permission the setting can seek advice from other professionals. In addition inclusion funding can be accessed to provide extra staff/resources to support a child’s individual needs.
• The setting supports young children to be independent by ensuring resources are accessible, differentiated activities and a flexible approach to routines. We can utilise visual timetables, puppets, photographs and objects of reference whenever appropriate. Advice from other professionals is welcomed to support learning in other areas of the curriculum.
• The setting is situated in a single storey, ground floor building, with accessible bathroom facilities. The outside area is located to the rear of the property with a large paved area. The physical environment both inside and out can easily be re-designed for easy access. We endeavour to include all children in off site visits and will seek advice from other professionals to ensure this is possible.
• Children/staff ratios are adhered to at all times in line with the EYFS. Extra staff will be employed when and if necessary to support individual needs.
• Ongoing observational assessments are made of all children. Evaluations from these contribute to ILPP’s. Working in partnership with parents ILPP targets can be reviewed and new ones planned. During staff meetings the setting will ensure that all staff working with the child know the child’s needs, progress made and next steps.