Securing the Best Start to Life

Looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves

There is a 90% probability of heat-health alert criteria being met between midnight on Friday 17 June and midnight on Sunday 19 June in parts of England.
Staff should be made aware of the risks to young children and how to manage them.

Sensory food education

Sensory food education is a fantastic way of helping children build a positive relationship with food and eating. One of the three prime areas of learning and development in the EYFS is Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED).  A key part of this for children in your care is learning how to look after their bodies including through healthy eating.This brilliant article from TastEd shows how you can easily incorporate sensory food education into your early years setting.

Writing in Reception

The Department for Education (DfE) brings you a teacher's perspective of making final judgements against the new writing Early Learning Goal for the new Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP).

Read about how this school have adapted their approach to assessing writing following the reforms and how they use the new writing ELG to assess their children’s writing to support transition to year 1.

Music in the early years

Music acts as both a foundation for, and a viewing glass of, children's development. It can support early maths, young children's communication and language skills, and their personal and social development. But it can also help you understand the real child.

Find out more about the importance of music in the early years and how you can use it as a practitioner in the latest edition of the Foundation Years blog.

Questionnaire by Connect for Health

Starting school for the first time is a significant milestone for every child, and often a scary and exciting time for them and their parents/carers. Connect for Health want to make sure all children and families have the support they need with their health, wellbeing and development to prepare for this. This questionnaire helps to identify when families may need support and advice in order to help children meet their full potential as they enter education. A school nurse will review the questionnaire and may be in contact with you.

The questionnaire should be completed online by all parents/carers with a child due to attend a Warwickshire school for the first time in September. It will be open for completion from June through to August.

Further information about the questionnaire and how to complete it can be found here: https://www.compass-uk.org/parent-carer-questionnaire-heap/ 

The following leaflet about the questionnaire is available for families: A5 leaflet – https://cutt.ly/sr-hq-a5leaflet

Download the App. Help your child to thrive: 50 things to do before you are five.

The 50 Things To Do app features activities to support the different stages of development for children from birth until they are five years old.

This incredible app is now available to residents across Warwickshire and all residents need to do is download it from their phone or tablets app store.

50 Things To Do Before You're Five gives you 50 activities that parents and carers can support their children to try out. It’s a great way to tick off fun, free or low-cost activities for under-fives.

All activities within the app are built around resources and amenities within local communities, encouraging families to visit places and take part in fun things to do on their doorstep, such as visiting local libraries, museums, parks and green spaces.

The activities aim to support early education and develop children's social skills and can include anything from looking at books, singing songs and rhymes, painting and drawing, playing with letters and numbers, through to being with others or going out and about on outings and visits.

Presented through a mobile app, it’s easy to access and conveniently available whenever the moment arises for a new activity. There is also a wealth of helpful information within the app to support families and professionals working with children.

The app will also be used by early years settings and schools across the county and promoted to families by a range of professionals working in SEND services, Health, Public Health, Libraries, Community Groups, Adult Education and Family Hubs.


Helping under-5s live active and healthy lives — Early Movers

How active are the children in your setting?

A reminder that it is a statutory requirement of the EYFS (3.59)that children have daily access to outdoor activities.

It’s useful to do a check on levels of physical activity in your setting—how much time do children spend sitting or engaged in activities in which they have very little opportunity for gross motor movement ?

The British Heart Foundation recommends a daily minimum of 3 hours physical activity for under 5s.

Useful resources:

Supporting Inclusion for SEND and Vulnerable Groups

Warwickshire SEND newsletter

The latest Warwickshire SEND newsletter is now out. It covers how you can build your confidence to have effective early conversations, our new Young People's Forum and the latest progress against our action plan to improve support for children and young people with SEND in Warwickshire. Plus, support for unpaid carers, an insight into a typical day for a SENCo and some lighter news stories to make you smile.

Read the June edition of Warwickshire SEND here.

Don't forget to share with your family and friends (there are some handy links at the top of the newsletter to help you do this easily). And if you want to make sure you don't miss any future updates and news on SEND in Warwickshire then you can sign up here

SEND parent/ carer webinar on 'Early Conversations'

Please find below some useful notes from our last SEND parent carer webinar on 'Early Conversations': 

The next webinar is 19th July 2022 - Speech & Language Therapy with colleagues from Health.
Register for this webinar using this form.
NB all the webinars to date are in the 'Get Involved' section of the Local Offer (scroll down)

Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools

Gateway Alliance & Staffordshire Research School Primary Cognitive Science Programme

Primary Cognitive Science

A modular programme for Primary practitioners, brought to you by Staffordshire Research School & Gateway Alliance.

Applied Cognitive Science: Evidence into Practice

Through this ONLINE programme, based on robust research & evidence, participants will explore…

  • What does the research say?
  • What are the implications for my planning?
  • Examples, case studies & avoidances
  • A chance for reflection – What do I need to do more of & less of to apply these principles of research?
  • So how do I do strategically put this evidence to work to give it the best chance of success?

Programme Overview:

This modular programme is being run over 4 online sessions:


Weds 5th October 

15:45 – 17:15

Memory – Research - ST, LT, capacity, retrieval and encoding, dual coding & misconceptions

Weds 19th October 

15:45 – 17:15

Explicit Instruction and Deliberate Practice

Weds 9th November 

15:45 – 17:15

Retrieval, Spacing, Interleaving - Evidence and practical application

Weds 23rd November 

15:45 – 17:15

Generative Learning & Schema and considerations for the curriculum, lesson structures and varied examples


Facilitated by Evidence Leads in Education (Staffordshire Research School) – Jade Pearce & Jeremy Baker

With Primary Specialist Co-Facilitators:

  • Bryony Harrison – Hillmorton Primary School
  • Matt Tyler – Claverdon Primary School
  • Jen Taylor – St John’s Primary School


PRICE… £150 per person



View the Programme Flyer

Gateway Alliance CPD Subscriptions 2022-23 - NOW AVAILABLE

The Gateway Alliance CPD Subscriptions for academic year 2022-23 are now available. Purchasing the CPD Subscriptions early offers schools the best value for money.

The programme provides targeted CPD for senior leaderssubject leadersSENCosearly years specialists, classroom teachers and teaching assistantsschool business managers and early career teachers.

Through these programmes you will have access to the best new and innovative practice from leading national and international speakers, authors and educational thought-leaders. GA networks are facilitated by a range of experienced trainers and consultants working alongside school practitioners, providing a fantastic opportunity for colleagues to learn together, network and share practice.

The programme for 2022-23 will be a really great mix of both face to face and online sessions and full details of speakers, dates and venues will be published early in the autumn. 


To celebrate ten years of providing high quality professional development to schools, this year we have a unique offer for schools to access all courses for just £2,300, which is a saving of £1,000! With Gateway providing 42 different training events, this equates to just £54 per event!

To access this great offer… Purchase ALL 10 CPD subscriptions (you will need to purchase 2 Curriculum CPD subscriptions to access all 10 curriculum subjects) and, at checkout, use voucher code: WHOLESCHOOL+

Other offers and discounts*… 

Small Schools - (less than 120 pupils) receive a 10% discount 

Recommend a Friend – recommend a new school & you receive a £50 voucher + they receive a 20% introductory discount.

For more information please visit: https://gatewayalliance.co.uk/subscriptions-guest/

or contact: 

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). 

Local Authority Communication and Advice

As part of our new responsibilities, we will developing robust communication processes to ensure we can work effectively with schools to provide support and advice when required.

This will include providing each school with:

  • guidance on how schools, the Attendance Service and other partners should work together
  • clarity around what support schools should already have offered and the point at which the local authority will become involved in individual cases
  • a named point of contact in the Attendance Service who can support with queries and advice, and with whom Targeting Support Meetings will be held.
  • opportunities for all schools (regardless of type) to regularly come together to share effective attendance practice. This is not intended to be resource intensive and can happen in person or online (including through newsletters, webinars, or virtual drop-in sessions).

Attendance Network Drop-In Week

The Warwickshire Attendance Service are running an attendance ‘drop-in’ week in July 2022, aimed at school attendance leads and attendance coordinators.  This will be series of informal meetings using Microsoft Teams.  The Warwickshire Attendance Service Leadership team will be available to provide updates and to answer your questions in relation to new requirements.    

The week will be 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th July 2002 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Additional time will be available afterward if required. 

Should a member of your school wish to attend and ask questions, please can they email was@warwickshire.gov.uk  and include their name, school, position and all the dates they wish to attend.  Please can they put as many dates as possible, as we may sort the meetings by school type, depending on the demand.  It would be beneficial to have questions in advance with this email but not essential.   We will email invitations to the appropriate meetings during week commencing 27th June 2022.

Data Sharing

We are being asked by the DfE to encourage all schools to sign up to data sharing.  We have been told that we will be provided with access to the shared data by the end of June 2022 and will then contact those schools not currently sharing to provide support.  Further details can be found at the following link:

If you are in the process of changing your MIS or have plans to and have any questions, then please contact us.  We will arrange a call back from our ICT team to discuss this in more detail.

DfE Webinars for Schools

To support the transition to the new ways of working, the DfE is holding a series of webinars.  These webinars are a good resource with schools sharing how they have improved their attendance.

Webinar theme 

23 June 2022 (16:00-17:00)

30 June 2022 (16:00-17:00)

Previous Webinars can be found at the following Link:

‘Working together to improve attendance’ can be found at the following link:

‘Improving school attendance: support for schools and local authorities’ can be found at the following link:

If you wish to discuss this further, please feel free to contact the Warwickshire Attendance Service.


NPQ Registrations Open for an October Start

John Taylor Teaching School Hub have partnered with Ambition Institute to deliver NPQs. There are 4 Specialist and 4 Leadership National Professional Qualifications, and an additional support offer for Headteachers.

Please check below for more information. 


Download here the file.

Introducing the Outdoor Education and Learning Strategy

Hello, my name is Alistair. I will be helping to deliver Warwickshire County Council’s new Outdoor Education and Learning Strategy.

The great outdoors has so much to offer all of us, and we are keen to enable all Warwickshire children to access the wide-ranging and profound benefits of outdoor education and learning. We’ve been listening to what our schools have said about what more could be done to encourage outdoor education, and this feedback has informed the creation of our Outdoor Education and Learning Strategy. The strategy will make it as easy as possible for your schools, early years settings and other education settings to provide amazing, regular outdoor learning opportunities for our children and young people.

Early Years settings already have a requirement to embed outdoor learning for children, and many settings across Warwickshire already provide amazing daily outdoor experiences regularly.

As part of the Strategy, we’ll be setting up an online hub for outdoor education practitioners, full of information about great places to take young people, local knowledge and useful resources. We will also be creating a professional development network for practitioners, which will provide networking and training opportunities, and to help create a strong culture of outdoor education across Warwickshire settings.  

Look out for an email this week coming from outdooreducation@warwickshire.gov.uk, which will include a copy of the Strategy. Please share this with your outdoor leads, educational visit coordinator or the most appropriate person in your school. If you have any questions or want to get in touch about outdoor education, please feel free to email me using the address above or call me on 01926 413780.

Thank you!

Alistair Carvell.

Outdoor Education and Learning Strategy Coordinator – Warwickshire County Council


Further training opportunities from Sonia Gill at Heads Up

Following the success of the ‘Breaking the Glass ceiling to good’ and ‘successful difficult conversations’ training delivered by Sonia Gill please see below two further events that might be of interest to you:

Free 1-hour webinar: How to make genuinely outstanding schools (https://ukheadsup.com/events/h2msgo/)Discover why only 6% of schools in the UK gain or maintain 'outstanding' compared to 24% of the schools Heads Up work with.

Moving to Outstanding: Best practice from recently outstanding headteachersThurs 24th November 2023, £295+VAT for your SLT to attend https://ukheadsup.com/events/movingtooutstanding2022/

FREE Primary Mathematics Professional and School Development Opportunity - Mastery Readiness Work Groups

Origin Maths Hub (funded by the Department for Education) are delighted to offer primary, infant and junior schools in Warwickshire access to places on this free, fully funded programme of mathematics support

This opportunity involves teachers taking part in free collaborative mathematics training through half-termly workshops, and free bespoke support with half-termly school visits, to help schools to introduce teaching maths for mastery approaches into maths lessons - key to promoting a deeper and sustained understanding for all students. 

The key areas focused on are effective leadership, structures to support change, teacher CPD relating to teaching for mastery, classroom culture and attitude to mathematics (within teachers and pupils).

Support is tailored to each school’s specific needs, working with teachers and leaders within a school, as well as giving teachers the opportunity to work closely with teachers from other schools in the Work Group. 

It is free to take part, and after successful completion next academic year, you can move automatically to a Teaching for Mastery Development Work Group in Autumn 2023 (which is also free, and includes a £1000 participation grant to be paid to each school for taking part). 

Please use this link to find out more and register. 

Early Career Framework registration is now open

Early Career Framework registration is now open!
For Nuneaton, Bedford and North Warwickshire schools.
To register your ECTs with John Taylor Teaching School Hub and Education Development Trust click here- ECF Postcard - Digital Buttons.pdf

Primary STEM Conference

Music in Warwickshire - Have your say

Youth Voice Music Survey 2022

To help us better understand and meet the musical needs of all children and young people in Warwickshire we have commissioned an online Youth Voice Survey in partnership with Coventry & Solihull Music Education Hubs and the Midlands Arts Centre.

Please could you help us by promoting the survey to your pupils and their families?

Please could schools promote and share the survey:

  • In newsletters or weekly bulletins
  • Via social Media
  • In music lessons, form or tutor time  

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and could be done in form time, as part of a music lesson.  

Click here to Have Your Say!

The survey will be open until Friday 8th July.  

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

Every June since 2008, people from across the UK have celebrated Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM). With celebration, education and efforts to raise awareness of the histories and experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, GRTHM helps to tackle prejudice, challenge myths and to amplify the voices of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people.

For more information please download: 

Open day at Lisi Aerospace in Rugby

Please see below information for an open day at Lisi Aerospace in Rugby.

STAY SAFE – avoid open water swimming!

Don't swim in open water

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council alongside partner Warwickshire Police are advising people against swimming in open bodies of water.

Lakes, pools, rivers/canals and quarries are all examples of bodies of open water which can carry many dangers for swimmers which can be fatal.

The risk is especially high if you are swimming alone and have no one there to assist if you get into difficulties. There is also a risk to others who can lose their lives in attempting a rescue.

People regularly get into difficulties and even experienced swimmers can find themselves quickly in trouble. The water is usually much colder than people expect – particularly if people move away from the shore or enter deep water, there are hidden currents, unexpected obstacles and weeds under the water which people get caught up in and cramp can quickly set in.

The water is also often unclean and carries a risk of a risk of catching waterborne diseases such as Weils disease- caused by rat’s urine. Many of our lakes are also used for fishing, which means there could be fishing line in and around the water, which swimmers could get tangled in.

Children and teenagers in particular, who do not realise the dangers, are attracted to such activities. Therefore, we are asking parents to talk to their children to highlight the dangers.

We understand the temptation to take a dip outdoors to cool off in hot weather, but please stick to using one of the borough’s fantastic indoor pools or leisure centres.

It is the advice of Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, THAT THE ONLY WAY TO STAY SAFE IS TO KEEP OUT OF THE WATER.

If you see someone in difficulty in the water – call the emergency services, DO NOT ENTER THE WATER yourself, we recommend that the following action should be taken:

  • Call for assistance from the emergency services.
  • Do not attempt to go into the water.
  • Instruct the casualty to keep still to maintain heat and energy.
  • Try to find something that will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole, branch or item of clothing.
  • Throw this or reach out to the casualty with it. Then, making sure that you are stable on the bank by lying down or getting someone to hold onto you, attempt to pull the person to shore.
  • If you cannot find something with which to perform a reach rescue, try to find something that will float, to throw or push out to them until assistance arrives.
  • Keep talking to the casualty to reassure them
  • If the rescue is successful the casualty will need to be kept warm and treated for shock and should be taken to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected by their ordeal

For more information you can also visit: https://www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water


NEW Art for Wellbeing courses June-July'22

Please check here free courses and workshops by Art for Wellbeing Warwickshire 

Clean Air Day

This year for Clean Air Day the Warwickshire Road Safety Education Team and Clean Air Warwickshire have partnered up and produced a clean air day pack for our Warwickshire Primary Schools. This pack is a guide to how you can get involved in promoting Clean Air Day in your school which is happening on 16 June 2022.

Included in the pack is:

  • Clean Air Day Newsletter Excerpt
  • Cars Idling Pledge
  • Social Media Clean Air Day Posts
  • Social Media Active Travel Posts
  • Living Streets Practical Ideas and Tips
  • Clean Air Day Competition details

To request a pack for your school please email roadsafetyeducation@warwickshire.gov.uk.

We would love you to share any photographs or work that your school has produced that can be shared on our twitter account @WCCSafe_Active, Facebook @WCCSafeActiveTravel and on our website www.safeactivetravelwcc.co.uk.

Warwickshire Road Safety Education Team and Clean Air Warwickshire are also running a Clean Air Day competition for schools. Competition details can be requested by emailing roadsafetyeducation@warwickshire.gov.uk or cleanairwarwickuk@gmail.com

A school caterer from Telford Infant School has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award

A school caterer from Telford Infant School has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award that recognises her unwavering commitment to the children she cooks for.

Alyson Marsh, who works for education catering specialists, Educaterers, as Head of Kitchen at Telford Infant School, has been shortlisted for the LACA (The School Food People) Awards in the Unsung Hero category.

Alyson said: “I am excited to be nominated for a national award. Everything I do is for the children I work to serve. I really love my job and there is no better satisfaction than seeing happy faces and clean plates. The award is very much a reflection of the whole team that I work with at Telford Infant School, all of whom I couldn’t do without.”

Caroline Alexander, Managing Director from Educaterers said: “We’re thrilled that Alyson has been shortlisted for the LACA Awards. Alyson really is an excellent manager and is celebrated as a fantastic team player who always goes out of her way to provide help and assistance to colleagues. Her passion for food and the children she caters for is evident in her kind and supportive manner.”

To find out more about Educaterers and how they can help your catering needs, please go to https://educaterers.co.uk/

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