Dear Parents and Carers,

The children in the Investigators hub have done some great work in their topic, where they have been policeman and fireman, caught a sandwich thief, had their classes set up as crime scenes (the tape on the doors looked so authentic, I felt I needed to explain to prospective parents that it wasn’t real) and then met some real police officers and sat in a police car. A number of them have wanted to wear the related dressing up clothes all week! Others confidently asked the officers questions and talked to them. One pupil was brave enough to approach the officer, take off their hat and transfer it to their own head!  It is wonderful to see the excitement and engagement in learning that this topic has brought!

In literacy learning many of the children are showing us how effective the ‘Song of Sounds’ phonics programme has been in supporting their literacy development including some of our younger pupils singing it whilst they write; they now know all of their initial sounds. Others are using it really well to help them blend and segment sounds whilst writing. A number of children have made progress in their communication this week using words such as ‘hello,’ ‘please’ ‘more’ and ‘no,’ asking for water play using a two phrase requests, saying their teacher’s name, when asked to find them in a group of pictures. One of our pupils said ‘Hello, my name is XXX what’s your name?’ to a visitor. Some of our pupils have worked really hard in interacting with those around them. One pupils managed to activate a whole switch it story independently and another used a switch for the first time.

Some of our older pupils have been learning about what it means to be a refugee and have written some dramatic diary entries to explain their journey from an unsafe place to somewhere safer. They are so proud of what they have written!

In the pool pupils have developed their gliding, floating and kicking techniques. Others have made star shapes and competed dolphin rolls (when you go from front to back whilst floating) and others have submerged and come up smiling! A number of children have gained more confidence moving round the perimeter of the pool, safely climbing out of the water and then returning using a slide entry. One of our pupils, who is working hard at learning to walk, walked independently in the water along a long line of submerged hydro blocks without extra buoyancy aids. Another sunk under the water, pushed from the side and for the first time travelled the width of the pool. Some of our learners with more complex needs played games with balls and bubbles and one found a swimming pool sign on a lanyard and pointed to it whilst in the pool area! Others have worked hard on their physical skill development tolerating musical mats and TacPac sessions better and working really hard in their walkers and standers.

We welcomed a new pupil this week who has been very confident exploring the new environment and settling into the new routine. Another pupil showed interest in one of his friends by touching his hands and seeking eye contact for the first time! It is so wonderful to see friendships developing amongst the children!

Makaton sign of this week: Outside

With the warmer weather here, thoughts turn to half term and many of us may visit the beach with our families.  Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space, but they can be unpredictable and dangerous. The best beaches to visit are those that are lifeguarded; a list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches is available at RNLI.org/beach.

Hazards on the beach include:

  • High and low tides – will the beach be there?
  • Sharp objects/litter hidden in the sand
  • Slippery rocks/big drops from cliffs and harbour walls
  • Unstable cliffs

Hazards in the water include:

  • Rip currents – they could drag you out of your depth
  • Jellyfish and Weeverfish, which can sting
  • Offshore winds that could blow you out to sea
  • Man-made structures like piers and groynes
  • Other water users such as power boats and jet skis
  • Cold water shock – anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement. Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. So even though air temperature maybe warm or hot, water temperature remains dangerously cold.

Understanding the signs and flags is a really good way to stay safe on the beach –

Red and white prohibition sign

Do not enter the water at any time. Swimming and other water-related activities are not permitted.

No lifeguards sign
There is currently no lifeguard service at this beach. You should exercise caution and follow all safety advice to protect you and your family.

Red and yellow beach flag

Lifeguarded area. Safest area to swim, body board and use inflatables.

Black and white chequered beach flag

For surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and other non-powered craft. Launch and recovery area for kite surfers and windsurfers. Never swim or body board here.

 Red beach flag

Danger! Never go in the water under any circumstances when the red flag is flying.

 Orange windsock

Indicates offshore or strong wind conditions. Never use inflatables when the windsock is flying.

The RNLI have produced a very informative guide to a safe and fun time at the seaside, which can be found here.

 Some good reminders about sun safety includes the five S’s:

Sunscreen – adults should use at least factor 30 sunscreen (SPF30) and children should use at least factor 50 (SPF50) even when it is cloudy.  Sunscreen should also have at least 4-stars for UVA protection. Protect your lips with at least SPF 30 lip balm. Make sure sunscreen isn’t past its expiry date (most have a shelf life of no more than 18 months to 2 years).  Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going out and re-applied at least every two hours.

Sun hat – a broad-brimmed hat that shades face, neck and ears

Sunglasses – wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes.  Wrap-around sunglasses are especially good for children.  Sunglasses should have a CE mark and British Standard mark.

Shoulders – remember to keep your shoulders covered.  If at the beach, a UV protective suit is good for children

Shade – seek shade, particularly during the hottest time of the day between 11am and 3pm when UV penetration is at its strongest

Building update 

Site Works over half term:

Site Establishment / enabling works

  • Set-up site fencing – Rainbow Fish and Starfish playground, gates to north & south of side road next to RAF block, fencing to site compound area to the left hand carpark, fencing to side road;
  • install site accommodation in compound area of car park and connect up with the school electricity/water supplies;
  • create temporary fire escape access from Hunter Block for Starfish and Rainbow fish classes;
  • create a separate contractors pedestrian access into the site compound directly from the front of the school grounds.

After half term the path at the Parents Gate (to the left of school as you look at it) will no longer be accessible.

  • Children will be met outside (where you currently wait) by their teachers. They will then walk in via the front entrance.
  • Please remain in your current waiting position to ease crowding around the other entrances. Some of our children who come in on transport walk fairly independently into school and we want to ensure they can continue to develop their independence skills in this way safely.
  • Please do come at your class’ arrival time to ease congestion and enable a safe and clam start to the school day.

The children will bring social stories home next week to help them with preparing for this.

Reminder of a Diary Date: Transition day Wednesday 6th July

Individual appointments with teachers for parents and pupils

 Have a lovely weekend everyone.

With very best wishes,

Catriona

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