Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

The Beacon Church Preschool

Come and join the fun at the Beacon Church Preschool. Meet our experienced staff team who aim to give each child the necessary support to develop their potential at their own pace, in a warm, caring atmosphere, like an extended family. Our focus of fun and friendship in a safe. secure and stimulating environment offers equal opportunities to all children and families. We meet in two bright, airy rooms with access to a garden and large sports hall. We are open Monday to Friday 8.30-2.30 for 38 weeks a year, following local school term times. Sessions start at 9.00 with an earlier 8.30 start for those who need it, we have flexible afternoon finish times to meet the different needs of your child and family 12.00am, 1pm and 2.30pm.
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Venue/Contact Details
Canford Heath United Reformed Church
Canford Heath United Reformed Church
Mitchell Road
Canford Heath
BH17 8UE
See Journey Planner on right-hand side of this page, where you can view bus, car, and train routes from your location.
Childcare type
Pre-School Playgroup
Provision type
  • Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Overall limit on childcare numbers
Eligible to take 2, 3 & 4 year old entitlement
  • Computers
  • Outdoor Play Area / Garden
  • Visits and Outings
  • Car Parking
  • Accessible Toilet
  • Disabled Car Parking
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Refreshments / Snacks
Times and Costs
Opening times:
Monday 08:30-14:30, Tuesday 08:30-14:30, Wednesday 08:30-14:30, Thursday 08:30-14:30, Friday 08:30-14:30
  • School Term Time Only
Cost per hour: £6.50
Other Costs:
We operate a 10% reduction in fees for siblings. Additional charges : £1.00 per session to go towards the cost of consumables to all our families with the exception of two free funded places per class a one off administration fee of £10.00 at registration.
Ages, Booking Details and Referral Information
From 2 years to 5 years
Referral route:
  • Self Referral
Referral process:
  • Please contact Anne or Heather by: e-mail or telephone 01202 686965 for an application form or to arrange a visit.
Vacancies and School Pick Ups / Drop Offs
Immediate vacancies
Vacancy information
No vacancies until September 2024
Number of vacancies
Ofsted URN
Last Inspection Judgement
Last Inspection Date
Religious and Additional Needs Provision
Additional needs supported:
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Behaviour, Emotional & Social Difficulty
  • Eating Or Drinking
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Medical Condition, including Allergies
  • Speech, Language & Communication Needs
  • Toileting & Hygiene
  • Visual Impairment
Languages spoken
  • English
Religious / cultural provision:
Religious ethos with United Reformed Church.
Special dietary provision
Vegetarian, Diabetic, Wheat free, Gluten free, Sugar free, Lactose free and Dairy free
SEND Local Offer SEND

How do you communicate with the parent / carer whose child has SEND?

We work closely with parents of children with SEND to create and maintain a positive partnership. We consider that parents are experts on their children and will actively seek the exchange of information both verbal and written. We will always find time to meet and talk with parents. Meetings with parents will be regular and flexible, according to individual needs, and we will ensure that a quiet and private meeting place is available. All discussions with parents will be treated with the strictness confidence.

Our SENCO will work with all our staff to ensure our SEND provision is relevant and appropriate. We use the ‘graduated approach system’ for identifying, assessing and responding to children with special educational needs. This means using a step-by-step response through the various levels of intervention which are: a discussion of a concern, targeted support, specialist support and Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Our SENCO will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support through their own Individual Learning Journey at the setting. We share written SEND Support Plans or EHCP and if appropriate a Health Care Plan, and use tapestry an on-line assessment tool to share observations, photos, reports etc.

They are usually able to chat through any concerns at the start or end of a session. Or for parents who are not able to drop off and pick up we are also happy to share information with you on the telephone or via e-mail or your child’s tapestry account. For children with Support Plans they will be reviewed more frequently, and new ones planned with you, the child’s key person and SENCO usually half termly. For children for whom communicating is difficult or those who also attend another setting e.g. child minder we often use home school-books that can carry information about their day and progress between families and settings.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions we have adapted many of our procedures and practices to maintain safety, this includes how we receive visitors to the setting and how we communicate with families. Please talk to us if you would like to know more.

How do you help children settle into your setting?

On induction to our pre-school the SENCO and parents share information about the strengths and needs of the child to create a positive partnership. We want all children to feel happy and safe with us and to have fun, so starting from the very first visit children are welcomed into the setting and families are supported through the “settling in process” for as long as this takes. This includes:

  • an hour play session at the setting with a parent/carer,

  • introduction to their key person

  • a home visit from their key person and manager

  • planned start days so not all new children are starting at once and their individual visits and start dates have a short time between them.

  • staggered hours so that a new child stays for a short period of time and builds up to their planned hours attendance.

  • children may bring something from home with them or a comforter.

  • Families receive a welcome pack of information and children a photo of their key person.

By observing the children and working with families children will settle at their own pace and build good relationships with their key person and all the setting staff, the setting has a family focus and children are encouraged to refer to their adult helpers as “Auntie” Each child has a key person (a named adult) who works closely with each child and the family. They welcome and look after your child and are responsible for their developmental records and sharing information on a regular basis with you (these form their learning journey) they may also identify a possible individual need.

On-going observational assessments are made of all children and are linked to the Early Years Outcomes and Development Matters ages and stages of development (as outlined in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage). We also undertake a ‘progress check at age 2’ which supplies parents/carers with a short written summary of their child’s development. Reports from health care professionals may identify a child’s individual needs and we will include these in the child’s learning and development.

What help and support does your setting offer to children with SEND as they move rooms or move on to school?

We share all documentation such as support plans, assessments, observations and invite the new school/preschool to visit our setting to observe the child and share information. We hold transition meetings to plan for a child moving into a school or new setting. This usually includes parents, preschool staff, new school/preschool staff and SENCO, any other relevant professional involved with the child. At this meeting we can plan a way forward to make the transition as smooth as possible e.g. arranging extra visits to the new setting, making photo book of the new setting, introducing the child to new key people etc.

How do you find out how each child likes to learn?

Your child’s individual preferences and interests are the basis for planning fun, targeted activities so they can learn as they play at their own pace. We observe the children at play, noting their choices and build on their experiences with new ideas to add interest and consolidate learning skills. The environment is set out so that children can access as much as possible for themselves and adults respond positively to requests to access other equipment or resources.

There are visual timetables and photo cards for learning routines, and times to play with an adult or in a small group and in bigger groups. We complete a termly cycle of Plan, Do, Assess, Review for each child so that we can measure their progress and record in their learning journey, assessments follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This helps to identify children at risk of delay, those with delay and those who may be working ahead of the expect stage of development. We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of assessment, planning, provision, monitoring and review of your child’s progress.

All families also have a termly consultation with their child’s key person to review their progress and plan new targets, children on support plans have additional half termly consultations. Our class planning is available for you to see at every session in a large floor book, there is also a weekly notice board with ideas and prompts and regular emails. You are welcome to chat to your child’s key person at the beginning or end a session. Once your child has settled into the preschool you are also welcome to come and join us for a session if you are able, we also invite families to special events e.g. church service, nursery rhyme challenge, sponsored events etc.

Inclusive practice / SEND training and expertise within this organisation

The staff team have had much experience over a period of many years welcoming and supporting families of children with SEND. A base the staff team hold an additional special educational needs and disability qualification. The team take part in regular SEND training opportunities and individuals share and teach others. These include Signalong training, Understanding Autism, supporting speech and language development. All are also first aid trained. We have a named staff member for behaviour management. Our class SENCOS attend termly updates with the Local Authority.

Medical training to support children with individual needs is undertaken before the child starts attending the setting, this would usually be with the child’s community nurse, current staff have been trained with epilepsy, diabetes, anaphylaxis. Our preschool works very closely with the Local Authority Early Learning and Inclusion team and have regular visits and contact with our Area Senco, we also work with Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Portage, Educational Psychology, the local Children’s Centre and Health Visitors. All information is shared with you and your feedback and participation encouraged. The children are all seen as unique individuals and key persons will plan activities and outings for all the children in their care with their interests and planned learning goals at heart.

We would therefore usually take the children out in smaller groups where they are matched with adults who know them well and other children with similar interests and goals. Activities will take into consideration staff ratios, group size, any special equipment e.g. walking aids, emergency medicine, distance, weather, children’s health and timings. Staff prepare as much as possible, visit in advance and complete risk assessments. For local excursions e.g. visit the library permission is usually given on our registration forms, for trips further afield we would seek additional parental permission and offer an opportunity for parents who may wish to come along on special visits e.g. see how they make pizza at Tesco.

Whether they are going outside on a number hunt, to buy snack from the supermarket or to catch a bus somewhere else our preschool children are frequent visitors around our local community and no child is excluded from this. Children are supported to understand their health needs e.g. to eat healthily, take exercise, have good hygiene, manage runny noses etc. All of our children are at various stages of gaining independence with their personal care and staff sensitively encourage and support children at whatever stage they may be so that they can become confident and as independent as they are able.

Whilst it is not our policy to care for sick children who should be at home, we are happy to administer medicines as part of maintaining a child’s health and well-being or when they are recovering from an illness. There is a procedure to follow which forms part of our health and hygiene policy including permissions and details for correct administration.

For children with a medical condition, adults support them to manage their condition and maintain good health from using inhalers to eczema creams and restricting known allergens etc.

Some children may require a Health Care Plan this would be a comprehensive account of what would make a medical emergency for this individual child and what to do, this would usually be made with parents and health care professionals. We ensure that emergency medication is always available, and have a photo card system that ensures all staff are aware of individual children’s health needs including known allergies etc. We are a nut free preschool. There is also a quiet area for children who are tired to rest.

The information in this SEND report was updated November 2020.

Are your staff DBS Approved?
Do you have a First Aid Policy?
Do you have Public Liability Insurance?
Recognised as:
  • 2 Year Old Early Education Provider
  • 30 Hours Free Childcare Provider
  • Tax Free Childcare Provider
  • 3 and 4 Year Old Early Education Provider