Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you had a lovely half term and the first week back has gone well for you. It was lovely to see those of you who came to face to face appointments at parents evening and we hope you found the discussion with your son or daughter’s teacher useful whether you attended face to face or online. The children have had a great first week back in school and they have settled into the new half term really well showing confidence in their routines, lots of willingness to engage and excitement about their learning. This shows us that the hard work invested last term in building relationships and establishing routines has been really effective in supporting the children to learn.

This week some of the children have found ‘ancient bones’ around school and it has been wonderful to hear their ideas about whose these could be and how old they are. They know they are old ‘because of the colour of them!’ Others had told me their learning is ‘too hard’ whilst enthusiastically telling me they had to make their letters smaller and write longer sentences and then showing me where they had managed to achieve this in their work! Some of our pupils have made strides in their communication; making recognisable sounds, letting us know what they like and don’t like and interacting with their friends. One pupil said ‘hiya’ really clearly to lots of people this week and another independently used ‘please’ when making a request. There have been some great moments on the playground with a group of girls building a lovely friendship, giggling and chatting on the roundabout together! Another child has played with friends in another class without needing staff support. One pupil has been demonstrating their scientific knowledge by classifying fruit and vegetables. Another, who has a love of snails, counted 17 of them with me on their way into school. They then demonstrated that they had been learning and listening by taking an empty shell to show their teacher rather than a live one, knowing that snails stay in the garden now. There have been noticeable increases in independence skills too with two boys who can be unconfident in moving around school independently bringing the dinner list to reception. Another child is now able to put their socks and shoes on by themselves. Some of our children have been developing their physical skills and are sitting and walking with increased stamina. Others have worked hard on being in class for longer. Finally, there has been much firework fun involving the use of lots of glitter and enjoyment of late autumn listening to the birds and eating toast cooked on the fire at forest school. When I read this back it is wonderful to see the breadth of learning and exciting opportunities that the children access in school.

Reminder: next Friday (12th November) is an INSET day and school is closed for pupils.

Hairdressing support: please find in this mailing a letter about support with hairdressing including the opportunity to access a barber in school. We do hope this is of use.

Safety in the dark

With the clocks having gone back last weekend and the nights’ drawing in, it can be quite an adjustment to our routines – from picking up children from clubs to walking the dog, common daily activities can be very different experiences in the dark!

For example, did you know that a number of deaths are caused when reversing on a driveway and hitting a child?  First Aid for Life offers some reminders to stay safe wherever you are going and whoever you are with, to help avoid the additional risks of accidents the dark can bring.

Christmas – 50 days away

For many children the second half of the autumn term is exciting as it includes many festivities and family get-togethers. Other children can find the next few months really stressful, not least of all autistic children or children coping with trauma.

Beacon House Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team have amongst their many resources, ideas for coping with Christmas: ‘The Christmas Storm: Surviving & Thriving At Christmas’ which can be downloaded here: https://beaconhouse.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-Christmas-Storm.pdf

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With very best wishes,

Catriona

 

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