01375 372723 Buxton Road, Grays, Essex, RM16 2WU admin@treetops.thurrock.sch.uk
Head Teacher: Mr J Brewer


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****Treetops School Nursery Provision****
This has had to be temporarily suspended due to the high demand for places.
In consultation with the local authority, it was decided that priority for places be given to pupils of compulsory school age.  We hope to re-establish this provision in January 2021.
Entry Criteria

Any child entering the Nursery will meet the following criteria:

  • Have an autistic spectrum disorder and require daily access to staff trained in Verbal Behaviour ABA.
  • While the main presenting need will be ASD, it is likely that children may have other special educational needs including speech and language difficulties or have the potential to be a high achiever.
  • Be aged between two and five years.
  • Where no specific diagnosis of ASD has been made, it is anticipated that children will present with the triad of impairment affecting social interaction, social communication and imagination.


Admissions will be made by Thurrock Council’s Education Department. It is accepted that not all children will have a statement of Special Educational Needs prior to admission. In these circumstances a placement for assessment will be considered by the SEN Case Management Panel, where the decision about suitability for placement will be made. All potential admissions will be in consultation with the Headteacher and Governing Body of Treetops School.

Starting Nursery

Before the children start school they will receive a home visit. The purpose of this visit will be:

  • To establish first contact with the parents/carers and the child.
  • To spend some quality time with the child.
  • To exchange information
  • To begin to build a most valuable relationship between the school and the parents/carers.Parents will be shown the Assessment of Basic Language and Learner Skills (Partington and Sundberg 1999) at the home visit and the Nursery Instructor will discuss your child’s needs and development in detail. This important information will guide the school’s assessment upon entry to the Nursery. The child’s reinforcers will also be discussed, along with any problem behaviours that may be interfering with the child’s learningThe first few weeks at the nursery will be used to get to know the child and to pair effectively with them. Pairing is a time when the therapist gets to know the child. They will give favourite items unconditionally in order to pair themselves and their voice with reinforcement. The first few weeks will also be a time of assessment.


The Week

The children receive 20 hours of individual therapy a week, consisting of five hours a day from Monday to Thursday. Although the setting for this will mainly be the VB Nursery, home programming will take place where appropriate and parents will be invited into school for training when necessary. Fridays are used by the staff to update or discuss programmes, and for outreach support and meeting training needs both in Treetops School and at other schools across the Borough. The programme runs for 43 weeks of the year (one week extra at Easter, and three weeks of the Summer Holiday).

The Day

Children attend school from 9.00am – 3.00pm. The children work one-to-one throughout the day, either in class, outside, in the library or soft play room. The day is broken up into small sessions of natural environment training and extensive teaching at the table.

Children have the opportunity to do a small group day activity each day. They have the opportunity to access the six areas of the Foundation Stage every day. The six areas are Personal and Social development; Language and Literacy; Mathematics; Knowledge and Understanding of the world; Physical Development and Creative Development. Each child has an individual programme which outlines their individual areas to be worked on and includes access to the Foundation Stage Curriculum where appropriate.

Dinner and snack times are an important part of the therapy session. The children may have a school lunch, or bring their own lunch and snacks from home, along with any other reinforcing items that the child may need to learn to ask for. They will ask for their favourite foods and drinks at snack times, but their reinforcers will be available to them throughout the day.

Tidying is an important part of the daily routine, and is used as a teaching and learning opportunity. Children are taught to tidy their space before moving to the next activity.

After Nursery

It should not be assumed that children who have a place at the VB Nursery will automatically transfer to Class 1 or VB1 in Treetops School. Each child’s progress will be carefully monitored and an informed decision made by the parents, and all those involve in supporting the child, as to the appropriate school placement. This may be a place at Treetops School on a VB programme or a place in a mainstream school with support, or another school place.

Handling Difficult Behaviours

Children with autism can display challenging behaviours, which may interfere with their learning, and disrupt the learning of others. When dealing with these behaviours staff follow the Treetops behaviour policy guidelines. We aim to reduce unwanted behaviours and teach appropriate replacement behaviours through encouragement and positive reinforcement. Where a child is in danger of harming themselves or others, they’ll be safeguarded.

The Parents’ Part

We feel that the link between home and school is an essential part of the child’s progression. This is achieved through the use of home/school link books, and the child’s current target folder which is sent home weekly. We expect parents to support their child’s programme by following the basic principles of ABA and implementing parts of their programme at home guided by our team of therapists. Support and training will be provided to help parents do this effectively. This will ensure that their child will learn appropriate behaviours and new skills at a faster rate, and generalise them into the home setting.

Clothing Requirements

Although it is not a requirement that nursery children wear uniform, we do encourage it. We feel it sets up good foundations for future schooling and the Treetops embroidered t-shirts do look very smart!

Children may need spare clothes for messy play, swimwear and suitable weather clothes for outdoor activities. All clothes should be clearly labelled.

Toilet training

It is quite usual that children entering the Nursery may need extra support with their toileting. This will be targeted at a suitable time in their programme after the child has paired well with their therapist. We use the guidelines set out by Foxx and Azrin. We have excellent toilet and nappy changing facilities, and a shower.

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