Dear Parents and Carers,
The children have made some amazing progress this week; the highlights being that one child took 8 independent steps for the first time, another managed a whole day learning in class and another independently made a child size gingerbread man complete with eyes, nose, mouth and buttons for their waistcoat. They then looked after their gingerbread man all day including taking it to the top of the climbing frame! There have been some extremely polite and kind conversations; on passing a child in the corridor I said “enjoy your lunch” and they responded “and you” and when I said “have a nice weekend” they replied “I hope you have a nice weekend too.” There has been some great work at Forest School with some of our youngest pupils helping with sawing wood for the fire, keeping safe and listening to instructions as they did so. Others have made bird tables using wood and drills. Others greatly enjoyed puddle jumping. Some children have started responding to verbal instructions and a number of pupils have developed their communication skills further by using more words and using them in context whilst others have responded really well to their visual communication books. Others have been using ‘more’ and ‘finished’ switches and vocalising more. Some children have used words they haven’t used before such as ‘go’ and ‘there’ and others have increased the amount of time they are talking for. A number of pupils tried new fruits this week, with varying degrees of enjoyment! Others have progressed in their engagement in learning, exploring a greater variety of sensory materials and developing waiting skills, for example. A number of children have continued to make progress in their physio programmes working on their sit to stand ski and when using their walkers. Others have been developing their life skills by helping out with hoovering. A number of pupils have created delicious cheesecakes too. I went to a lovely café today where a pupil gave me pizza, “cheese and pepperoni” and his own creation “eggy spread”. I asked what the ingredients were and was told it was made from “apple and chips” and “eggs”… a new Masterchef in the making!
The good news is that two classes that have been in bubbles will be back to normal next week. 3 classes remain in bubbles and one other class went into a bubble today. This means we continue to be short staffed in some classes and may have to make class closures or put in rotas at the last minute. Please do be vigilant and do not send your child to school if they are poorly. Thank you for your support.
In order to help everyone in our community to sign better our SALT team provide us in school with a sign of the week. This week’s sign is love.
INSET day: Friday the 18th February
All staff will be completing some mandatory training on online safety for part of the day. All staff will also complete some online training on equality and diversity. Some staff will be completing their mandatory manual handling refresher training. Our teaching assistants will be attending a variety of teaching and learning workshops led by our some of our teaching staff (guided and shared reading, supporting children’s literacy through play, supporting aspects of engagement and intensive interaction).
Half term: Monday 21st – Friday 25th February
Each year, Safer Internet Day is celebrated across the globe in over 170 countries and explores a new issue or theme which is impacting the lives of young people. It is supported by names that include Apple, Netflix, Roblox, LEGO, Samsung, Vodafone and celebrates young people’s role in creating a safer internet, whether that is whilst gaming or interacting with their friends. This year, Safer Internet Day was on 8th February with the theme ‘All fun and games?’ promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, and using it responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively. From gaming and chat, to streaming and video, young people are shaping the interactive entertainment spaces they are part of. The platforms young people use are spaces for connection, community and collaboration, which is why it is important for them to foster supportive relationships and respectful communities, whilst being equipped with the skills they need to keep themselves and others safe in these spaces.
Parents and carers play a key role in helping their children stay safe online. The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert on the internet to help keep your child staying safe online! The UK Safer Internet Centre, has loads of advice and resources to support you as you support your child in using the internet safely, responsibly and positively at home. They have put together a webpage for you as a parent or carer #PlayYourPart in this year’s Safer Internet Day.
You will find advice and guides on phones, laptops, smart speakers, games consoles, tablets, smart TVs and social media here. They also offer guides and resources for foster carers and adoptive parents here.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has a Primary Zone for ages 3-11 with films, storybooks and other fun sites, with plenty of information to help children enjoy their time online and stay safe on the internet.
Help children remember the SMART rules:
Safe – keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information online, including email address, phone number and password
Meet – meeting someone you have only met online is dangerous. Online friends are still strangers.
Accepting – accepting emails, messages, opening files, images or texts from people you don’t know can be dangerous
Reliable – someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet might not always be true
Tell – tell a parent, carer or teacher if someone or something online makes you feel uncomfortable or worried
And finally, to help bring us adults up-to-date on the language children use in their online spaces, Internet Matters have provided a list of words so we can level up our lingo! Check out their texting dictionary to learn and decipher the text abbreviations, acronyms and dialect being used by children and young people to communicate with their friends!
Have a lovely weekend everyone.
With very best wishes,