Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you have all had a good week. There has been some terrific learning in school this week, including some wonderful sensory learning this week. One of our youngest pupils interacted really well with her team, giving eye contact and verbalising to communicate. She also picked up an object in both hands and enjoyed engaging with the lights on a sensory trolley remaining focussed for some considerable time. One young man had enormous fun in a puddle on a school trip! Other pupils have decorated biscuits (the taste of which prompted some spontaneous communication for more!) and others created art work beautifully, showing increased focus and attention. Another pupil showed really good independence skills when coming into school and was able to problem solve.
It has been lovely to see some blossoming friendships, development of play and interaction skills within a number of learning activities in school. Some of our older pupils showed real kindness in asking another pupil over to be included in what they were doing. Two pupils who had not interacted before and generally prefer to play by themselves or alongside others started a game at forest school which involved them communicating, watching what the other was doing, waiting for a reaction and then acting. It was a real tear jerker moment! As it was when another pupil saw that a friend was upset and said ‘don’t worry, I’m here for you!’
There have been great strides in communication too with one pupil saying ‘more’ and ‘thank you’ and others signing with hand over hand support for the first time and others using communication devices to help make fruit kebabs. Other pupils have developed their writing skills, writing words using word mats, starting to hold a pen to make marks and using shaving foam to make letter shapes. Other pupils have worked hard on their phonics skills and one pupil is accessing books independently. Finally one pupil has completed a 48 piece puzzle this week!
The developments we see in the pupil’s communication, attention, focus and in learning across the curriculum is fabulous and I do hope it gives you a positive end to the week to hear about all the fantastic learning taking place in school.
It is World Mental Health Day this Sunday (10 October). The coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns and the resulting economic uncertainty have had a significant impact on the mental health of many, including children. Your Mind Matters supports children, their families and professionals working with them at this critical time. They are providing advice, resources and information about local services, events and training.
The government has launched a Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support the nation’s mental wellbeing. The website includes expert advice and practical tips for all of us to help you look after our mental health and wellbeing, including that of our children.
Funded by the Department of Education, Young Minds have produced a guide for children and young people with SEND https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/children-and-young-people.pdf
With furlough ending and cuts to Universal Credit, it is a good opportunity to check whether you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Contact supports families with children with SEND. They can support in ensuring you are receiving all the right benefits https://contact.org.uk/help-for-families/information-advice-services/benefits-financial-help/
With very best wishes for a wonderful weekend.