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Routines

In times of uncertainty routines are even more important. All children thrive on routine- it is important to their feeling of safety. Schools and teachers have set rules that apply all of the time- this allows the children to know what to expect and that feeling allows them to relax and not trigger their fight or flight response.

It is important to keep largely to the same routine most of the time e.g. week day get out of bed at 8, breakfast at 8.30, bed time at 8 etc. Weekends can be more flexible. Write this routine down and stick to it. It will help you get into a routine too which will help your feeling of control.

Setting up a timetable and share it with your child – giving them some limited choice- another way that they can feel in control- would be a good idea. You can control the choice and lead the direction they go in whilst still giving them the feeling that they have some autonomy e.g. Shall we put the exercise session before or after the maths session today? Shall we do the chores first or after our maths session?

Mental Health and Well-being

We recognise that it can be challenging to be at home with children who have special educational needs and disabilities whislt school is closed.

There is a new government release on how to stay well during lockdown which has guidance below including links to mental health support services:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Below are a list of other webiste which you may find useful:

https://www.kooth.com/ This site is a online children’s counselling service

Shout provides free, confidential support, 24/7 via text for anyone at crisis anytime, anywhere.

ChildLine provides a confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

The Mix provides a free confidential telephone helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.

www.place2be.org.uk 

NEW Story Time! Click on the picture to play the story or song.

ducks(1)maxresdefaultc and l part 1c and l part 2lost dog part 1lost dog part 2pigs part 1pigs part 2book coverpart 1 ouchpart 2 ouchpart 3 ouch

School Work

All year groups have home learning pages for ideas for activities for home learning. Here are some ideas specific to children with SEND:

  • Choosing work from a other year groups page is a great way of differentiating.
  • Using concrete apparatus really helps with maths e.g. get the lego pieces out for doing calculations (our website shows our calculation policy and has lots of practical ideas).
  • Practise spellings in fun ways e.g. write each letter in a different colour, use tiny writing, use huge writing. You cut out the letters and they put them in order, play pairs and snap with sets of key words. Start with four words that look completely different then add more as your child learns to read them.
  • Use websites such as Hit the Button, MathsZone
  • Don’t make reading too onerous. You could read a page or sentence then they read a page. They could write their own version of the book using the words in it, they could write questions about the text for you to answer.
  • Practise reading the first hundred high frequency words.
  • Search SNIP spelling programme on the internet for some great activities to teach spelling and reading- we use this in school. With this programme it is important that you start at the beginning and work your way through- don’t miss pages out.
  • Here is a Facebook group that you can join to gain and share ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1862382620565348/?ref=share

  • There are futher SEND specific learning resources on the home learning page

horrid henry part 1horrid henry 2(1)horrid henry 3(2)tigertiger(1)Anthony Brownepart 1 lolapart 2 lolapart 3 lolapart 1 lola(1)lola 2lola 3

Home learning packs

Here you can find home learning packs which we will update every week.

 

Weekly challenge

Coming soon

Feeling in control

One thing that is common amongst children with special needs is that they don’t feel in control of their own lives. They spend so much more time with adults; often into adulthood, that they miss out on a very important aspect of growing up- becoming independent.

Our self-esteem is closely linked to the confidence we have in making decisions for ourselves. This starts with small decisions such as which toy to play with, eating for ourselves, choosing when to go to the toilet. All of these decisions include trial and error and children growing into confident adults need to go through this process. For children with special needs this doesn’t happen as much, and therefore their decision making ability and self- esteem is hindered. This may result in melt downs or children becoming unnaturally quiet and withdrawn. 

You can help by showing that you trust them to make good decisions- for example you tell them that you need their help- maybe to do a job for you (remember dusting and putting on the washing is an important life skill), doing some chopping of twigs for the compost, helping you sort the cupboards out. Praise them for doing a great job, let them hear you tell friends on the phone what a great helper they are being for you. Be specific with praise – don’t say you are a good boy… do say you are really good at making sure everything is shiny when you dust.

Show them that you make mistakes and let them make their own mistakes. It may seem easier to do things for them yourself, but use this time to get them to learn a new skill such as dressing themselves or making their own drink. One new skill a week would be a great start to helping them feel more in control, and will help you immensely.  

Relaxation

During this time of uncertainty, doing breathing exercises and meditating can be beneficial to relieve anxiety.  Guided meditation are good for clearing  the mind.  

Here are some links to some meditation and breathing exercises below that you can have a look at if this is of interest to you.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZToicYcHIOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYu87TvO_aM

Trying to relax, be mindful and breathing exercises can reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.  Here is a link to some relaxation techniques from the NHS.

https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/resource-library/relaxation-techniques/

Cosmic kids has some great resources for developing mindfulness. Try the peace outs

https://www.cosmickids.com/

Update from Mrs Woodley 20.4.2020

Children and families with SEND

I have been speaking to many families of children with special educational needs. I am aware that these unusual times are even more tricky and challenging for our families. Not only do the children lose their structure and routine that they would usually have in school but we parents and carers lose our support network and time for ourselves and to recharge our batteries.

Your Own Mental Health

First of all I’d like to say – be kind to yourselves- we need to be in our best mental health to help our children. That means don’t feel guilty if you take ten minutes to sit watching ‘Come dine with me’ with your child instead of reading with them. Some mindless TV or book reading (I’m not suggesting War and Peace) is a great way to unwind. Exercise does this too- lots of families have been having a daily session of Joe Wicks

https://inews.co.uk/news/education/joe-wicks-youtube-workout-kids-pe-lessons-live-watch-when-time-today-coronavirus-lockdown-2505733

also

https://www.bing.com/search?q=online+exercise+for+kids&form=EDGNB3&mkt=en-gb&httpsmsn=1&msnews=1&plvar=0&refig=2e3c351b610c4f4ce2218dba05310152&sp=3&ghc=1&qs=AS&pq=online+exercise&sk=PRES1AS2&sc=8-15&cvid=2e3c351b610c4f4ce2218dba05310152&cc=GB&setlang=en-GB

Why not join in with them? At least you’re not worrying about anything other than your prize ornaments on the mantelpiece when you are boosting your feel good hormones and having a laugh too.  You could all take it in turns to choose the video for the day.

Routine

Routine in times of uncertainty is even more important. All children thrive on routine- it is important to their feeling of safety. Schools and teachers have set rules that apply all of the time- this allows the children to know what to expect and that feeling allows them to relax and not trigger their fight or flight response.

It is important to keep largely to the same routine most of the time e.g. week day get out of bed at 8, breakfast at 8.30, bed time at 8 etc. Weekends can be more flexible. Write this routine down and stick to it. It will help you get into a routine too which will help your feeling of control.

Setting up a timetable similar to the one suggested by Ms Boutalbi, and sharing it with your child – giving them some limited choice- another way that they can feel in control- would be a good idea. You can control the choice and lead the direction they go in whilst still giving them the feeling that they have some autonomy e.g. Shall we put the exercise session before or after the maths session today? Shall we do the chores first or after our maths session?

Feeling in control

One thing that is common amongst children with special needs is that they don’t feel in control of their own lives. They spend so much more time with adults; often into adulthood, that they miss out on a very important aspect of growing up- becoming independent.

Our self-esteem is closely linked to the confidence we have in making decisions for ourselves. This starts with small decisions such as which toy to play with, eating for ourselves, choosing when to go to the toilet. All of these decisions include trial and error and children growing into confident adults need to go through this process. For children with special needs this doesn’t happen as much, and therefore their decision making ability and self- esteem is hindered. This may result in melt downs or children becoming unnaturally quiet and withdrawn. I have already mentioned giving your child small choices during the day to help.

You can also help by showing that you trust them to make good decisions- for example you tell them that you need their help- maybe to do a job for you (remember dusting and putting on the washing is an important life skill), doing some chopping of twigs for the compost, helping you sort the cupboards out. Praise them for doing a great job, let them hear you tell friends on the phone what a great helper they are being for you. Be specific with praise – don’t say you are a good boy… do say you are really good at making sure everything is shiny when you dust.

Show them that you make mistakes and let them make their own mistakes. It may seem easier to do things for them yourself, but use this time to get them to learn a new skill such as dressing themselves or making their own drink. One new skill a week would be a great start to helping them feel more in control, and will help you immensely.  

School Work

We have already spoken about a good balance of work in our general posts for all children. Some things specific to children with SEND:

  • Choosing work from a previous year’s page is a great way of differentiating
  • Using concrete apparatus really helps with maths e.g. get the lego pieces out for doing calculations (our website shows our calculation policy and has lots of practical ideas)
  • Practise spellings in fun ways e.g. write each letter in a different colour, use tiny writing, use huge writing. You cut out the letters and they put them in order, play pairs and snap with sets of key words. Start with four words that look completely different then add more as your child learns to read them.
  • Use websites such as Hit the Button, MathsZone
  • Don’t make reading too onerous. You could read a page, sentence then they read a page. They could write their own version of the book using the words in it, they could write questions about the text for you to answer.
  • Practise reading the first hundred high frequency words.
  • Search SNIP spelling programme on the internet for some great activities to teach spelling and reading- we use this in school. With this programme it is important that you start at the beginning and work your way through- don’t miss pages out.

Of course if your child has an EHC then we will be sending new packs of work as you request them.

I will continue to add ideas for activities as I find/ get them.

 

Other information

Covid 19 Support for parent carers and children and young people 2020-03-18 14:53:48+00:00

 20-03-18 14:53:48+00:00

Public Health England have produced an easy read version of their Advice on the coronavirus for places of education.  You can download it here. https://junipereducation.org/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-parents-on-home-learning/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Juniper%20Express&utm_campaign=parent%20page%20link&dm_i=4Q6C,BK49,FBI17,19VVY,1

 

Here is a Facebook group that you can join to share ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1862382620565348/?ref=share

Ideas for relaxation

 Here is some advice sent to all of us by Miss Hilton- I thought that it was great advice and thought I’d share it with all of you.

 

During this time of uncertainty, I find doing breathing exercises and meditating quite beneficial to relieve some of the anxiety I feel.  I tend to do guided meditation as  I can sometimes find it hard to clear my mind.  

 

Here are some links to some meditation and breathing exercises below that you can have a look at if this is of interest to you.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZToicYcHIOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYu87TvO_aM

 

Trying to relax, be mindful and breathing exercises can reduce tension and focus our awareness on the present moment.  Here is a link to some relaxation techniques from the NHS.

https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/resource-library/relaxation-techniques/

 

Remember, feeling anxious is a perfectly natural reaction to a situation like this, you are not alone in your fears and concerns, and we are all in this together. 

 

Advice from Place2be (counselling service)

  • We have written a piece about talking to children about coronavirus, which has proved a popular resource. You can access this here.
  • We also have a piece aimed at parents and carers on how to look after the family’s mental wellbeing at this time, which can be found here.
  • Nicola Noble, Co-Head Teacher at Surrey Square Primary School (one of Place2Be’s long-standing partner schools), has written a blog on how to talk with children about school closures
  • A range of tools and resources have been released on the Mentally Healthy Schools website which includes toolkits for primary school teachers, parents and carers
  • We are also signposting young people to Shout, the crisis text line which we are proud to partner with
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