8th March 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

The children have enjoyed a great week in school including our superhero-themed World Book Day yesterday which has supported children to make great progress in their communication, language and literacy. They enjoyed meeting the author, Kate Thompson, and engaging in activities around her story, Superheroes Don’t Get Scared… Or Do They?

One child has used more signs. A number have made progress in intensive interaction sessions, one playing ‘peek-a-boo’ for 15 minutes and another responding more, especially to bubbles! One child has been working really hard on listening to adults and then completing work to earn rewards. Another said ‘bouncing has finished’ at the end of a session. One child has written some great sentences using adjectives and two children have started making letter shapes that represent the letters in their names. Another showed good reading skills, prompting an adult to read by pointing to the word. Another has been noticing more in the classroom environment and one has been using a choice board to help them complete learning tasks. Another joined in a musical mats session and was really engaged and calm. Another smiled to indicate that they wanted ‘more’ during a ‘What’s in the Box?’ session and another has been vocalising more and tapping their chest to indicate that they would like a turn during sessions. Another is using their communication book functionally for a range of things.

In maths, one child has enjoyed counting forwards and backwards to 10 and another has completed great sharing, recognising when there wasn’t enough and requesting more. One child showed 3 and 5 fingers when requesting an amount of skittles. There has been lots of great progress in social development this week with one child helping others to put their shoes on and another sharing with their peers. Three children played in soft play together and all left when it was finished and transitioned to their new places. Other children were using the Beetle Room, our sensory circuits room, together. Another has completed all of their work and has been able to change their ideas if they cannot find the correct Lego piece.

Within the sensory and physical area of learning, two children tried a piece of broccoli. One class has been working hard on their environmental control technology skills and have been using a software programme to mark make. They have also been taking turns to use a switch connected to a bubble machine. Another has allowed new adults to do TACPAC with them.

Finally, one class enjoyed Forest School and loved getting really muddy and one child went swimming for the first time in two years!

Safeguarding Spotlight 

The signs of child abuse aren’t always obvious, and a child might not feel able to tell anyone what’s happening to them. Sometimes, children don’t even realise that what is happening to them, is abuse. There are different types of child abuse and the signs that a child is being abused may depend on the type.

Common Signs

Some common signs that there may be something concerning happening in a child’s life include:

  • unexplained changes in behaviour or personality
  • becoming withdrawn
  • seeming anxious
  • becoming uncharacteristically aggressive
  • lacking social skills and having few friends, if any
  • poor bond or relationship with a parent
  • knowledge of adult issues inappropriate for their age
  • running away or going missing
  • always choosing to wear clothes which cover their body

Of course, these signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being abused, there could be other things happening in their life which are affecting their behaviour.

The NSPCC website has lots of helpful resources for keeping children safe.  They are also encouraging every adult across the UK to take a 10 minute digital training course to help all adults know what to do if a child needs help and where to go if you yourself need support.  The free online training course can be found by following the link here.

The NSPCC has also launched a new campaign in partnership with the Home Office to tackle child sexual abuse.  They are encouraging adults to contact the charity’s UK adult Helpline if they are concerned that a child could be at risk, even if they are not certain. Any adults concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing can contact the NSPCC helpline at help@nspcc.org.uk or by calling 0808 800 5000

Attendance Focus

Best attendance for week commencing 26 February:

Explorers Hub – Hippo class – 100%

Investigators Hub – Crocodile class

Engineers Hub – Sloth class

MOMENTS MATTER, ATTENDANCE COUNTS.  In February, the Government launched a national campaign Moments Matter, Attendance Counts.  This reminds families of the importance of children’s attendance at school.  The campaign responds to a worrying national increase in student absence from school.   The goal is to create a nurturing and affirmative bond between parents/carers and school, emphasising the pivotal role attendance has in enhancing a child’s overall wellbeing.  Good attendance helps children build positive peer relationships which is a protective factor for mental health and wellbeing.  Children also get to take part in a wide range of activities and trips, develop important personal skills and find a sense of belonging within the school community.

There are times when absence is unavoidable such as when a child is too unwell to attend. In a post-pandemic world, it’s sometimes difficult to know when children suffering from mild coughs and colds can and should be sent into school. To help parents there is advice and guidance from the Chief Medical Officer (Is my child too ill for school). For some families, the challenges around attendance are very real and there are significant barriers preventing children from coming into school. If you are struggling and need support, please contact our Family Liaison Officer, Kaarina Dougherty.

Please remember that, for all absence requests that are not related to medical appointments, an Absence Request form needs to be completed as far in advance as possible and returned to Kaarina Dougherty.  Holiday requests can only be authorised by the headteacher.

The sign of the week is flower!

 Upcoming date reminders:

  • Parent drop-in – week of 18th – 22nd March
  • Easter/Spring Fete – Saturday 23rdMarch – 2-4
  • Easter Raffle – Wednesday 27thMarch – in school time
  • INSET day – 28th March– school closed to pupils for staff training

Have a wonderful weekend.

Very best wishes,

Catriona

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