Securing the Best Start to Life
Ofsted EIF inspections and the EYFS
What schools, registered early years providers and childminders need to know about delivering the current and revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) and Ofsted inspections under the education inspection framework (EIF).
Early years inspection handbook for Ofsted-registered provision
This guidance will come into force on 1 September 2022.See the guidance that will come into force on 1 September.
Warning of Extreme Heat Conditions expected Sunday 17th to Tuesday 19th
"Beat the heat: staying safe in hot weather" guidance is for individual providers to undertake a full risk assessment when making decisions on whether to remain open or to close the setting in the event of extremes of weather. Providers should refer to government guidance and weather forecast updates over the coming days.
'Looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves' provides guidance on protecting children both indoors and outdoors, as well as information on how to spot and treat heat-related illnesses such as heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Early Education are holding an online briefing to go through the implications of the DfE’s early years funding consultation, with particular emphasis on the funding for maintained nursery schools.
Online briefing session
2-3pm on Thursday 14 July
For more and how to book see here.
How connecting with nature benefits our mental health.
Nature is an important need for many and vital in keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy. When it comes to mental health benefits, nature has a very wide definition. It can mean green spaces such as parks, woodland or forests as well as blue spaces like rivers, wetlands, beaches or canals.
Research at the Mental Health Foundation has shown that spending time outdoors has been one of the key factors enabling people to cope with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, nearly half (45%) of people in the UK report that they were visiting green spaces, such as parks, helped them to cope. It found that people visiting and noticing nature in particular was important in supporting their wellbeing.
This is a really important point, as it helps us to understand that a connection with nature helps unlock the mental health benefits – and it also gives us essential clues on how to maximise these benefits for our wellbeing.
You can read the report here.
Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools
Cllr Kam Kaur visits Trinity Catholic School in Leamington Spa
Cllr Kam Kaur, Warwickshire County Council's portfolio holder for education visited Trinity Catholic School in Leamington Spa, thus week to see for herself some of the progress that the school has been making since becoming an academy. We'll be showing more of Cllr Kaur's travels and thoughts on the schools she visits next term.
Working together to improve attendance
Guidance to help schools, academy trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities maintain high levels of school attendance including roles and responsibilities
From September 2022, this will replace all previous guidance on school attendance except for statutory guidance for parental responsibility measures. The Secretary of State has committed to it becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023).
‘Working together to improve attendance’ presents an excellent opportunity to improve attendance in Warwickshire. However, we also know provides additional challenges for schools, multi-academy trusts, governing bodies, and local authorities
There are a number of changes to be made and we will be working to implement all of these by September 2023. Further details to follow.
This is an exciting time for improving attendance and we look forward to working jointly with you.
The DfE have asked us to encourage all schools to sign up to Wonde to share their data. 149 Warwickshire schools have already signed up. If your school does not use Wonde, please read the how to share your daily attendance data guidance:
Share your daily school attendance data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Modernising school attendance and admission registers and setting national thresholds for legal intervention
Government consultation - Launch date 17 June 2022, respond by 29 July 2022.
The DfE are seeking views on new regulations for keeping school registers and draft thresholds for legal interventions to improve consistency across England.
The consultation can be found through the following link:
School registers and national thresholds for legal intervention - Department for Education - Citizen Space
If you wish to discuss this further, please feel free to contact the Warwickshire Attendance Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder to apply for home to school transport for September 2022
Please take this opportunity to remind parents of children who are moving schools in September or who are entering Post 16 education to apply for home to school transport as soon as possible.
All students who are entering post 16 education have to reapply, even if they are staying in the same school. In addition, all current post 16 travellers need to reapply for the 2022/23 academic year.
Application forms are available on our website.
The deadline to apply is Friday 22nd July 2022 – any applications made after this time may not be processed in time for the start of the new academic year
Please see here the July Safeguarding Bulletin which includes a Microsoft Form link for schools to update vital information about DSL contacts for the summer break.
The team is also sharing details about their integrated training offer for safeguarding and Send and Inclusion, the dates for DSL Network meetings. There is also attached slides for school internal safeguarding training for September and the revised Safeguarding Model Policy for schools and educational settings.
All of the information will be posted on the Warwickshire Safeguarding website and a final July update for the summer will be sent out at the start of next week which will contain a zip file of everything you need for September.
The Met Office issues extreme heat warning this weekend and into next week
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for Sunday and a red warning for extreme heat on Monday and Tuesday in parts of England, including Warwickshire, to highlight potential widespread adverse health effects for the public due to extreme heat.
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks.
Public Health Warwickshire has issued the following guidance to try and keep people as safe and well as possible:
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
- If you live alone, ask a relative or friend to phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.
- Stay cool indoors: Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
- If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
- Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
- Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling.
- Check the latest weather forecast and temperature warnings
- During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief, take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into open water to cool down.
Find out more about the Met Office’s amber heat warning.
Stay safe this summer
Over the summer holidays Warwickshire County Council is sharing top tips and advice to help us all stay safe and well over the summer months
– we would appreciate your support in sharing the below article in your newsletters, encouraging parents, carers and families to keep an eye out for our messaging and campaign.
Looking after ourselves by being safe in the sun and looking after our physical and mental health are all important to support our wellbeing. The summer holidays can be a great opportunity to spend time outdoors and with friends – follow the Warwickshire County Council hashtag #StayWellThisSummer for tips and advice about staying safe in the sun, along with ideas for things to do in Warwickshire and to stay up to date with the latest messages.
You can follow WCC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Literacy for All: Accelerating Reading Progress in Warwickshire Schools
It doesn't matter how great an educational idea or intervention is in principle: what really matters is how it manifests itself in the day-to-day work of people in schools (Sanetti and Collier-Meek, 2019)
Following the success of the Accelerating Reading Progress Webinars, the School Improvement Team are working in collaboration with the Educational Psychology Service and are pleased to be inviting schools to be part of a new pilot project. The project aims to support schools to embed the EP Recommended Literacy approach in order to accelerate the reading progress of all children and young people with literacy difficulties, including young people with associated diagnoses.
This approach has been developed in partnership with Staffordshire CC, with over 140 Staffordshire schools now at different stages of implementation, and a database of over 235 children demonstrating accelerated reading gains.
Feedback from schools:
‘This intervention has accelerated progress for many of our pupils. It was very useful to have an assistant EP visit and for them to help shape and refine our delivery of this intervention.’
‘EP Literacy approach has had a very positive impact on both staff and pupils. Staff are enthused to deliver, as they can see the impact of the programme’.
‘We have tried the EP approach to reading this year, and most of the children have made great progress. It has literally been life changing for some children to go from below expected to almost greater depth in their Y2 SATS.’
Feedback from parents:
‘Reading was a pleasure not a chore’
‘Really pleased so far with the progress he has made. Thank you.’
Participation in this pilot project is free to access as part of our work supporting schools in line with the county’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pilot will run for the duration of the Autumn Term 2022 and the 30 available places are open to any Warwickshire setting that would like EP support to embed this innovative, evidence based approach within their schools.
Please Register your interest and you will be invited to the engagement meeting via Teams on 13th or 15th September, at 3:45pm, to find out more.
Find the flyer here.
Don't forget to register for Be Well this September
Join us on Tuesday 15 September from 4pm for an online session about mental wellbeing, aimed at those working with children and young people. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from other settings about initiatives they've put in place to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing. This session is part of Be Well: a week of online sessions for professionals, focusing on improving mental wellbeing across Warwickshire, taking place from 12-16 September.
Registration will open in the next few weeks, but express your interest now to receive a reminder during the first week back at school. Attendance is free, and you will be able to attend as many sessions during the week as you wish.
Warwickshire County Council highlights support for victims of honour-based abuse on National Day of Remembrance
Warwickshire County Council and its partners including Warwickshire Police Equip and Refuge, paused to remember Warwickshire victims of honour-based abuse and reiterate the message to Warwickshire victim-survivors, #YouAreNotAlone help, and support is available to you.
The National Day of Remembrance (14 July 2022) came about as a result of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed, who was murdered by her parents because she refused a forced marriage.
Forced marriage and honour-based abuse are examples of activity known as Harmful Practices. Other forms of Harmful Practices include, but are not limited to:
- Murder (so-called honour killings)
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Warwickshire County Council and its partners work closely with agencies both locally and across the UK, to ensure the perpetrators of these illegal crimes are reprimanded with a custodial sentence.
Signs that a young person maybe a victim of honour-based abuse:
- Do older adults in the family talk on behalf of a person?
- Is the person travelling to a country with a higher risk of forced marriage or FGM?
- Is the person travelling abroad for a wedding or special event?
- Is the person concerned they may not return to college or school?
- Does the person seem anxious or scared or are they vulnerable?
- Consider if “honour” is held high within their community.
For help go to:
Libraries across Warwickshire are inviting children to participate in the ‘Gadgeteers’ Summer Reading Challenge from Saturday 16 July 2022
This summer, children aged 4-11 can visit Warwickshire libraries to meet the Gadgeteers characters and to get involved in a science and innovation themed Summer Reading Challenge.
A popular annual activity in the library calendar, the Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to borrow and read six books, which can include eBook and eAudio formats, over the course of the summer holidays. Through taking part in the free Challenge, and with materials available from Warwickshire Libraries and the Challenge website, children will be able to join six fictional Gadgeteers. The characters – brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford – use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests, from fashion and technology to cooking and music. Children who successfully complete the challenge will receive a certificate and medal.
The Gadgeteers will help to spark children’s curiosity about the world around them and encourage them to feed their imagination over the summer holiday. They will be boggled by brilliant facts, gaze at the stars, and be inspired by tales of creativity and invention. Browse the fantastic Summer Reading Challenge collection here.
In addition to the reading challenge, Warwickshire libraries will be hosting a range of free events for children to enjoy during the summer, including an action-packed storytelling adventure game with Pyn Stockman called “The Lost Book of The Magic Flying Ship”. Each session will be packed full of puzzles, clues, and creative tasks to find the lost book and imagine a fantastical design for a magic flying ship to travel through portals and save all the trees and flowers from the terrible sorcerer who has taken them away. Free places for this activity will become available to book on the links below from Saturday 16 July:
Kate’s Storytree ‘Stories of Innovation’ sessions will also be taking place, sharing inspiring tales of Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin and other great innovators who shared their talents with the world. Using cotton reels, corks, egg boxes and a variety of craft materials, children will also make their own puppet to take home as part of the event. To book onto a free ‘Stories of Innovation’ session, places for this activity will become available on the links below from Saturday 16 July:
Look out for more fun events and activities in Warwickshire libraries in keeping with Summer Reading Challenge themes of innovation and creativity; why not try ‘Let’s Make Lego Inventions’ and ‘Let’s Make Racing Robots’, or there is Brilliant Bridges, Bees & Butterflies, Racing Rockets and more. To find out more about children’s summer holiday activities, you can ask in your local library or keep up to date by signing up to the Warwickshire Libraries newsletter.
The Summer Reading Challenge reaches over 700,000 children across the UK each year in partnership with public libraries. The Challenge continued to reach well over half a million children across the UK in 2021 as lockdowns eased, motivating children to keep reading during a difficult time. Families told The Reading Agency that taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helped their children to enjoy reading more, feel more confident about reading and ‘feel better’ during a tough period. Family use of libraries also increased amongst Challenge participants, with more than 130,000 children joining the library as new members.
Since 1999, the popular Challenge has encouraged children to read for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent the ‘dip’ in reading skills while children are out of school. By providing fun reading activities, the Challenge will support families and teachers by providing free-to-access recreation and learning resources – all created to keep children inspired to read. The digital Summer Reading Challenge platform will encourage children with limited physical access to the library to take part in the Challenge.
The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery receives the Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2022 as voted by primary school students
The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery has won the Warwickshire Junior Book Award 2022 following a vote by Year 5 and 6 pupils in primary schools across the county. The annual Award is hosted by Warwickshire Schools Libraries Services (WSLS) with the objective of encouraging more students to enjoy reading for pleasure through school and library settings.
The Warwickshire Junior Book Award is a summer term initiative delivered in primary schools between April to July each year, with an exciting reading list carefully selected by the experienced WSLS team. The shortlist of books chosen for pupils to read this year included:
- Twitch by M. G. Leonard
- The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery
- The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr
- Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traoré
To participate, year 5 and 6 students were encouraged to read all four books from the shortlist and to vote for their favourite book as the winner, using the criteria that the book must simply be ‘a good read’.
The initiative culminated in a final award ceremony on the 12 July at Warwick School in Warwick, where students from 21 of the 26 participating primary schools attended to find out which author was pronounced the winner as voted for by their cohort. This was the first face-to-face WSLS Junior Book Award since the pandemic began, with shortlisted author Lesley Parr attending in person, three more shortlisted authors joining via video, as well as having County Councillor John Holland and Warwickshire Libraries Service Manager Ayub Khan in attendance.
Warwickshire Schools Library Service organised and hosted the Junior Book Award 2022 and are grateful to have received support from Warwickshire Libraries Reading and Learning team, the shortlisted authors and publishers, and Warwick Books. They are also a friend of Child Friendly Warwickshire, which is bringing the county together in a collective effort to ensure all children and young people have a voice that is heard, that they are safe, happy and healthy and that they are equipped with the skills to have the best lives they can. To find out more, visit the Child Friendly Warwickshire website.
WSLS services are available to support schools and education settings through a wide range of reading and curriculum resources, awards, initiatives, training and more that will engage children and young people and help foster a love or reading. To find out more about the WSLS, visit https://sls.warwickshire.gov.uk
If your school would like to take part in the Junior Book Award next year, please email WSLS at email@example.com or phone 01926 413461.
To sign-up to the WSLS newsletter, visit https://sls.warwickshire.gov.uk/subscribe
Carers Trust (HofE) awarded the contract for the All-Age Carer Wellbeing and Support Service
We are pleased to announce that Carers Trust (HofE) has been awarded the contract for the All-Age Carer Wellbeing and Support Service, which is due to begin in October 2022. During the tender process it was critical to us that we had representation from across the carer spectrum, including working carers, parent carers, older carers and of course, young carers.
We wanted real views from real unpaid carers.
So, during the tender we had the privilege of working with young people with caring responsibilities. Their thoughts and comments were invaluable during the evaluation stage, especially when it came to reviewing the provider response to the coproduction question. The young people were able to give their own thoughts and feelings about what they would like to see in a provider.
We want to say a big thank you to the young carers who worked with us. We would also like to say thanks to the safeguarding team at Race Leys Junior School for facilitating. Race Leys is a best practise example of an amazing initiative for young carers. After identifying young carers, they are able to provide the individual young person with practical skills to assist with their caring responsibilities, while at the same time supporting them with their wellbeing and educational development.
Having awarded the contract to Carers Trust (HofE), we are working to get the service up and running, whilst developing and shaping its offer to carers. While we do this, we are always looking for young people with caring responsibilities to come and have their say about the services they want to see.
If your school has young people who would like to participate, please register them by clicking here.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you be Warwickshire Libraries’ next Young Poet Laureate?
Warwickshire County Council Libraries are delighted to announce that the competition to become Young Poet Laureate 2022/23 is now open.
The search is on for the county's eighth Young Poet Laureate, who will succeed Daniel Wale in the role for 2022/23.
The competition is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who lives and is educated in Warwickshire, and who would like to perform their own poetry to an audience. The Laureateship is a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to develop their writing skills and take part in events and activities across the county under the mentorship of a professional poet. Past Warwickshire Young Poet Laureates have performed on the radio, on film, at festivals and led their own poetry workshops.
Applications are now welcome before the deadline of 6pm on Thursday 6 October 2022. The judges will then get to work and shortlisted candidates will be notified by Friday 28 October. They will then be invited to take part in a Selection Day which includes a workshop with a professional poet, a short individual interview with judges and a performance in front of an audience at a public event. This will take place at one of Warwickshire’s libraries on Saturday 5 November. Please ensure when applying that you are available on this date.
The Young Poet Laureate competition is run by Warwickshire Libraries and supported by Poetry on Loan, an initiative supported by Arts Council England that promotes contemporary poetry throughout public libraries in the West Midlands.
To apply, applicants need to:
- Be 13-17 years old.
- Live and be educated in Warwickshire.
- Fill in the Application Form (available in the weblink below)
- Submit three poems. One should be inspired by Warwickshire; one should be about or inspired by libraries and the third can be of your own choosing.
- Submit a personal statement and explain in 250 words:
1. Why you want to be Warwickshire Libraries’ Young Poet Laureate
2. How you would promote poetry to the diverse range of people
To submit an application, or for help with any questions about the application process, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/youngpoetlaureate or email email@example.com
Four of Warwickshire’s Country Parks in the running to scoop ‘UK’s Favourite Park’ title
People across the country have a chance to give national recognition to their favourite local park, as voting opened last week for this annual contest run by green space charity, Fields in Trust.
Almost one million people visited Warwickshire’s Country Parks over the past twelve months. Local parks have acted as a sanctuary for many in recent times and the UK's Favourite Parks award celebrates the contributions these spaces deliver for our neighbourhoods and communities and gives an opportunity to say ‘thank-you’ to our wonderful team of park rangers.
Four of Warwickshire’s fantastic Country Parks have been nominated for the award – Kingsbury Water Park, Ryton Pools, Burton Dassett Hills and Hartshill Hayes. Voting started on Thursday 7 July and there are just six weeks for you to help these parks scoop this prestigious accolade. You will find direct links to vote for one of the parks in the links below.
At the close of voting the parks with the most votes in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be named ‘National Favourites’ and the overall winner the UK’s Favourite Park 2022. Any park placing within the top 20% of nominations will receive recognition as a ‘Local Favourite’.
Fields in Trust is an independent charity that has been protecting parks and green spaces for almost 100 years. The popular UK’s Favourite Parks campaign has returned for the first time since 2019, and aims to shine a light on our green spaces and ensure that they continue to be celebrated in a post-pandemic world.
More information about the competition, and guidance on how to vote, can be found on the Fields in Trust website.
For more information about Warwickshire’s Country Parks, visit: www.countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk