Dear Parents and Carers,
We have had a great week back in school. I have had some really interesting conversations with pupils and a number of them have been using an increasing number of words or signs, communicating more clearly and maintaining focus on the conversation. One child said “hello” and waved at an adult too. Lots of children have made significant progress in their toileting this week which is a terrific step in developing independence. I enjoyed a fantastic session where children were sounding out and writing words despite getting covered in shaving foam as the children splatted the picture that corresponded to the word they had spelt! In another lesson pupils were working really hard at sounding out words and using adjectives. In a science lesson about magnetism one pupil showed that she had understood. She searched the class to find out what was magnetic and what wasn’t. She then came to an adult and showed them her magnet with what she had collected and said “they all stick.” When they adult asked if this meant that they were magnetic or not, she replied “magnetic.” Another pupil has been working hard on using a joy stick to move his ‘car’ around school. One of our youngest pupils who really struggles not to run everywhere, walked to his bus consistently this week. Some of our pupils enjoyed a trip to Lewes Castle on Wednesday and had a great time. Some were able to remember that the castle belonged to William the Conqueror and identify what it was made of. One pupil saw an ammonite fossil in the museum there and told an adult “that’s an ammonite, look it says on the sign!” When asked what an ammonite was, she replied “it’s from lots and lots and lots and lots of years ago when there were dinosaurs alive.” We also had some great work (and outfits) celebrating World Book Day yesterday. In a number of classes the children wrote their own class stories. Others took part in treasure hunts using objects of reference, symbols or decodable phrases. Within this, one pupil was able to navigate the school independently, another named the places they needed to go to, another could identify the symbols for the rooms he needed to find and some pupils read each of the decodable phrases independently. Two pupils sat together and shared a book in the dark tent and some others had fun exploring ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ roleplaying alongside the story. And finally in one class the children made delicious looking caramel sandwich cookies called Alfajores as part of their topic visiting South America. They looked amazing and worthy of a Bake Off win!
We still have a number of cases in school and the guidance for special schools has not changed very much. Staff and secondary aged pupils in special schools are still required to undertake twice weekly testing because of the vulnerability of our community. Please do follow the government guidance in the link provided should you or your children experience Covid symptoms or have a positive test result.
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 understand.
For many years we have been encouraged to take steps to look after our physical health but it is equally important that we all take steps to look after our mental and emotional health. All of us can benefit from increasing our resilience to the stress life throws at us and to increase our wellbeing and although the worst of Covid seems to be over, the effects of it are still being felt by us all.
Young Minds have a useful ‘Supporting Parents Helpfinder’ with tips, advice and support out how to support their child’s mental health. Find the help finder here: https://youngminds.org.uk/supporting-parents-helpfinder/
However, it is equally as important for us as parents/carers and adults in our school community to look after our own mental health and emotional wellbeing too. The charity Mind offer some useful information on their website about mental health, mental health conditions and ways of improving emotional wellbeing such as mindfulness, talking therapies and a range of online resources.
Many of us use apps in our everyday life for anything from shopping to entertainment to travel. There are now more and more apps that can help with anything from managing our general wellbeing to those for more specific health conditions. Whilst apps can be useful, they are not a replacement for seeking medical advice if you have concerns about any symptoms you are experiencing. The charity Mind have compiled a list as a guide to apps available to support your wellbeing; most are free to download and are designed for adults, you can read more here
Finally, Bright Sky is a mobile app and website for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or who is worried about someone else. The app can be downloaded for free via the app stores. Launched in partnership with Vodafone, the app includes questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, and a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse.
The website is focused on how to spot the signs of domestic abuse, advice on how to support someone you have concerns for, and ways to find help.
Have a lovely weekend everyone.
With very best wishes,