12th March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

The children have had a terrific first week with almost everyone learning in the school buildings and it has been lovely to experience the buzz of a busy school again.

Please refer to last week’s letter for coronavirus specific information.

Diary Dates

Red nose day

Next Friday (19th March) is Red Nose day and we are going to have a pyjama day! If your children would like to they can wear their pyjamas and bring in a donation (suggested £1) to help raise money for a worthy cause.

INSET Days

  • Monday 19th April (this was postponed from 29th January)
  • Friday 28th May (this was postponed from 22nd February)
  • Friday 25th June (as planned)

Whilst not common for children of primary school age to engage in self-harming behaviours, it is not unknown.  Self-harm can be easily missed or misdiagnosed in this age group.  If a primary school child is found to be self-harming it can be a sign that there are difficulties in the child’s environment.

All sorts of upsetting events can trigger self-harm and children who have emotional or behavioural problems or low self-esteem can be particularly at risk from self-harm.  Individual characteristics can also be associated with an increased risk of having self-harming behaviour; sensory deficits, poor expressive language, autism, severe or profound disabilities and poor mobility. Suffering a bereavement or serious rejection can also increase the risk.  In young children with learning disabilities or ASD, self-harming behaviour may begin as a self-stimulatory behaviour, an attempt to communicate (anything from being bored to wanting a drink or a hug), letting people know they are distressed, a way of keeping people at a distance. Examples of self-harming behaviour may include: 

  • Hair pulling
  • Head banging against hard objects
  • Deliberate self-grazing,  scratching or skin picking
  • Biting themselves
  • Hitting parts of their body
  • Poking eyes, ears or nose
  • Vomiting; sticking fingers or objects down their throat to encourage gag-reflex

Positive behaviour strategies should be used to support a child that is self-harming:

  • Observe and try to understand the reasons why a child is exhibiting self-harming behaviour; are they trying to communicate?
  • Are they attempting to seek attention from someone?
  • Are they bored and engaging in self-harm because it is stimulating?
  • Boost the child’s self-esteem and sense of belonging by focussing on things they are good at
  • Maintain routines, boundaries and positive behaviour management strategies
  • Try not to react to the self-harming behaviour
  • Provide positive encouragement if they show safer ways of expressing feelings
  • Consider any stresses in the school/home environment that can be changed

The National Autistic Society has produced a guide for parents/carers and for professionals

Last but not least!

Our wonderful pupils have been terrific this week. They have impressed me by remembering the routines of the day. I have seen some great writing about tractors, posters about handwashing and being kind to our friends. Some children have made some lovely bread and flown to Greenland in their role play learning. Others have made Rangoli patterns (see below) and Holi inspired cards. The year 6 pupils have impressed me by talking, listening and focussing for considerable lengths of time in their PATH annual reviews. Others have used giant Numicon to explore 1:1 correspondence. Others have asked me how I am or greeted me so politely. Lots of photos to follow in the newsletter.

Very best wishes for a lovely weekend

Catriona

 

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