Securing the Best Start to Life

Road Safety Video - The Active Adventures of Warwick Bear

A new story, written by Louise Newham and illustrated by Mike Jackson, will be shared with primary aged children throughout Warwickshire to promote active travel and encourage children, young people, and families to explore alternative modes of travel to and from school.

This story follows Warwick Bear, Warwickshire's road safety mascot, as he searches for healthy, environmentally friendly, and fun ways to travel to school.  Throughout his adventures, Warwick Bear meets some incredibly special superheroes who help him see that it is always better to travel actively.

Actor and Warwickshire resident, David Bradley, who some of you may know from his roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, helped launch the new book with a very special reading which was captured on camera.  The full video is available to watch here:

Ofsted Education Inspection Framework, inspections and the EYFS

Ofsted are often asked lots of questions and encounter many myths about their EIF inspections. They have answered the most frequently asked questions on the EYFS and on inspection practise  and have updated this guidance this month.

 Click here: Government publications Ofsted EIF inspections and the EYFS

Ofsted state they are not in the game of tricking people or catching them out. They are looking to see settings and schools as they are and do not want people worrying about what they think is required, when that may not be the case.

If you have not yet read this guidance it may well be worth a read and if you do come across other frequent misunderstandings  Ofsted encourage you to get in touch.



Ofsted has published the first of a series of reviews on early years education.

The review underpins the inspectorate’s new strategic focus on early education and giving children ‘the best start in life’ following the Covid-19 pandemic.

This report draws on a range of published research to consider how early years practitioners deliver high-quality education for children from birth to 4 years old.


Free Winter Toolkit for your setting and families

The Early Years Alliance has launched a free Winter Toolkit for early years providers containing a series of useful resources to help you — and your families — to navigate the unique difficulties you may face in the winter months.

Non-fiction in the early years

The Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework refers to non-fiction books and their role in enhancing language development and children's knowledge of the world around them. 

National Literacy Trust resources provide guidance on how to read and explore non-fiction texts with young children, accompanied by a booklist of recommended texts to try in your setting.

Best start in life: a research review for early years

When you’re thinking about how children will progress while they’re in your care, you’ll need to think about what you want them to learn, and how you’ll go about helping them to do so. Sometimes, you’ll need to tell or show them what to do if it’s a new experience for them. Then, you’ll give them a chance to try it themselves.

At other times, you might let them play first and then step in to suggest things they might like to try as they continue the activity. It all depends on the child – and judging what will work best is up to you, as you know them as individuals.

Have a look at Ofsted’s new early years research review 'Best Start in Life' which has just been published to find out more.

Supporting Inclusion for SEND and Vulnerable Groups

SENDIAS webinar to provide special educational needs and/or disabilities support for families in Warwickshire

Warwickshire parents, carers and young people are invited to join a webinar to learn more about the support available through Warwickshire SENDIAS.

For parents, carers and young people just starting out on their SEND journey there can be a lot of questions. What does it all mean for you and your child? Where do you go for support? What are your rights and what does the law say? If you find yourself asking these questions, or just wondering where to start, then you could benefit from attending the latest Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) webinar, hosted by Warwickshire County Council.

Taking place on Monday 21 November at 12.30pm, the webinar will introduce Warwickshire’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS) and the ways in which the service can support families who are navigating their way through the SEND system.

SENDIAS provides free information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEND from birth to 25, and their parents and carers living in Warwickshire. They have a team of accredited local advisors who offer confidential advice on all matters relating to SEND. The service is commissioned by Warwickshire County Council however all information and advice provided to families is completely impartial.

The service advises on all matters related to SEND including, but not limited to, assisting families to speak to schools about SEND support for their child, helping families understand professional reports as well as the law and local policy and supporting mediation and tribunals.

During the session, attendees will hear from members of the SENDIAS team who will explain their role and clarify the support on offer to families, and when and how this can be accessed. There will also be the opportunity to take part in a question-and-answer session.

The webinar will take place on Monday 21 November, 12.30pm - 1.30pm and anyone can register to attend the webinar here.

The event is the latest in a series of webinars hosted by Warwickshire County Council in partnership with Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice aiming to offer informative sessions for families on a range of topics in relation to SEND. You can watch previous webinars online here.

For more information on SEND support in Warwickshire visit the Local Offer webpages or the Local Offer Facebook page.

Sign up to receive the monthly SEND Warwickshire newsletter here.

Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools

Teaching School Hub Newsletters

Please find below the latest edition of our Teaching School Hub Newsletter: 

Item for your newsletters

Stay safe and well this winter

The challenges of winter and rising living costs can affect your health and wellbeing.

For information and support to help you take care of yourself and those you care for, visit Warwickshire County Council's webpage warwickshire.gov.uk/wellness. A booklet featuring much of the information on the webpage has been sent to households and there is a copy of the guide on the page which can be downloaded.

Working together to improve school attendance


  1. Working together to improve school attendance is now the attendance guidance that should be used for schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities. 
  2. Improving attendance: good practice for schools and multi-academy trusts. There are some really useful effective practice attendance webinars produced by the DfE in conjunction with schools, with good or improved attendance, sharing their good practice. It is highly recommended that your attendance lead/champion access this free resource.
  3. Additional attendance resources are available on the Education Huband Teaching Blogs
  4. Sign up to share your daily attendance data with the DfE.  65% of schools In England are now sharing.  It will become a requirement at some point this academic year.
  5. Compare your school data - You can now use a public data dashboard to compare your school data with up-to-date national, regional and local authority figures for pupil attendance and absence in England. This will be updated every 2 weeks. You can sign upto take part in research and give feedback to help the DfE develop the reports.
  6. The code ‘X’ code can no longer be used in the attendance register to record COVID-19 related absence.

Contact Us

If you wish to discuss any issues relating to school attendance, please feel free to contact the Warwickshire Attendance Service:



Free Year 7 - 11 Coherence Opportunity 2022

This project focuses on participant teachers working together to analyse, deconstruct and trace through the curriculum a selected key topic area, developing insight into effective teaching approaches, and considering the implications for longer term curriculum design.

Free Opportunity - Primary Oracy

This Work Group explores the use of oracy to support mathematical understanding in the classroom.

Free Secondary Early Career Teacher Community

This free programme is designed to support secondary early career teachers (teachers in their first two years of teaching) in developing specialist knowledge for teaching mathematics (relating to number), drawing in associated pedagogy, and including lesson analysis and lesson design, thus enabling them to better understand, teach and support students in maths in the classroom.

Supporting All Children with Social & Emotional Learning

Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR)

The inspection data summary report (IDSR) has been updated. The update is now live and can be accessed here:

Ofsted | Inspection Data Summary Report

We have added the following data:

  • Key stage 4 attainment and progress data for 2022
  • Key stage 4 subject entries for 2022
  • Key stage 5 average point score per entry for 2022
  • Key stage 5 best 3 A levels and AAB including at least 2 facilitating subjects for 2022
  • Expanded pupil movement section covering latest 3 years and movement into alternative provision
  • Updated stability data & disadvantaged pupil group data (key stage 4 only)

At this time, we have not added new multiplication table check data and two term absence for 2021/22. We will include this in a future update, as soon as we are able to.

For further information please see the IDSR guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-inspection-data-summary-report-idsr-guide

If you have any questions, please email the team at: School.Performance.Data@ofsted.gov.uk

This, and all future updates to the IDSR will also been announced on the IDSR News Page:

IDSR: news and updates: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/idsr-news-and-updates

Families in Warwickshire encouraged to have their say on children and family centres

Our children and family centres are already working well for families, but we want to make them even better!

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has appointed an organisation called Place Group Consulting to ask residents of Warwickshire to share their views on our children and family centres to help shape the future of the service.

Open until 9 December, the survey seeks the thoughts and experiences of families who have used one of the children and family centres, as well as those families who have never visited a centre and any reasons for this. The feedback from the survey will help to shape the future service delivery, ensuring that it meets the needs of families in Warwickshire.

Feedback is particularly welcomed from parents, carers and family members who have never used a children and family centre so that we can understand why this is and if there are changes or improvements that can be made to make the centres more accessible for them.

The Council has 14 children and family centres across Warwickshire, offering support for families with young people aged 0-19 (25 with SEND). Following a re-design of Warwickshire’s children centres, the children and family centres, as they are now, commenced operation in September 2019. The current independent review will allow us to assess how well the needs of Warwickshire children and families are being met by the existing centres. 

We would appreciate if you could share the link to the survey with your parents and carers through your newsletters or any other communication channels. Please do encourage them to complete the anonymous survey, helping to shape how our children and family centres will be run in the future. Families can submit their feedback by Friday 9 December online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WCCreviewofCFCS

If you would like to share your professional views on our children and families centres or you have any questions about the review, please contact Liz Entwistle, WCC Family Wellbeing Commissioner, Children and Family Centres on 01926 742589 or email lizentwistle@warwickshire.gov.uk. Alternatively, if you wish to give direct feedback or would like to organise a time to speak with Place Group directly, their lead researcher David Noble can be contacted on david.noble@place-group.com or 07711 518366.

Families can find their local children and family centre by visiting www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childrenscentres

Presumption Competition Launched to open a new 2FE Primary Free School in Warwick District

Warwickshire County Council has identified the need to establish new provision in Warwick District.  Therefore, the Local Authority is seeking proposals from Academy Proposers interested in sponsoring a new primary 2 form entry free school.

This provides an exciting opportunity to support the provision of school places as part of the urban extension that is currently building out to the South of Leamington/Warwick.

Please use the following link to access further information on the required provision and timelines for the presumption competition

Presumption Competition Link

Young Poet Laureate 2022/2023

We are delighted to announce the position of Young Poet Laureate 2022/2023 has been awarded to Emily Hunt, a pupil from Kineton High School. 

The Laureateship is open to anyone aged between 13 and 17 who lives and is educated in Warwickshire and 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. This year’s winner, Emilywill be mentored by published and prize-winning poet and writer Brenda Read-Brown.

Emily was crowned Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate winner following a selection day at Rugby Library earlier this month. Four high calibre candidates took part in a workshop with award-winning poet and writer Steve Pottinger, who shared creative tips and advice about how to successfully deliver poetry performances.

The candidates then each took part in interviews and performed two of their own compositions in front of the judging panel, this included sharing their ideas about the Young Poet Laureate role. The day culminated in the judges selecting Emily as Young Poet Laureate 2022/2023. The Young Poet Laureate competition is run by Warwickshire Libraries and supported by Poetry on Loan; an initiative supported by Arts Council England.

For more information about the Young Poet Laureate scheme please email libraryevents@warwickshire.gov.uk

Education Sufficiency - Annual Update 2022 (pupil forecasts)

The Annual Education Sufficiency Update has been published on the WCC website here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/schoolandlearningstrategies (towards the bottom of the webpage).

This update presents the latest pupil forecasts for each planning area in the County, with details of any new schools or school expansions that are required as a result of increased pupil numbers.

Forecasts are not provided for each school, but it is hoped that planning area forecasts will be helpful for school leaders in anticipating likely pupil numbers in their area in the coming years.

Forecasts include all mainstream primary and secondary pupils only, with other commentary provided relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Provision including Special Schools, as well as post-16 provision.

Representatives from the WCC Education Capital & Sufficiency team will be attending primary and secondary school Consortia / Area Network meetings to discuss the update and any sufficiency issues. 

Additional bank holiday

The 2022/23 school term dates calendar has been updated to include the additional bank holiday on Monday 8 May 2023.

Please find below 

Rangers spread Christmas cheer across Warwickshire Country Parks

Countryside rangers have been busy preparing a packed programme of activities for the winter months, with a feast of Christmassy events guaranteed to get the whole family into the festive spirit.

On top of the regular school visits organised by Education, Health and Community Rangers at both Ryton Pools Country Park and Kingsbury Water Park, the team have scheduled a variety of fun and educational festive activities.

For the eco-conscious looking to add a touch of Christmas to their homes, the ‘Rustic Reindeer’ workshops at Kingsbury Water Park are one to look out for. During November and December, rangers will help visitors through the process of making a wooden reindeer, full of character, that can sit proudly in the garden or home.

On Saturday 10 December, children can come along to Kingsbury to learn how to design and build a woodland shelter that’s camouflaged, big enough for their team and waterproof(ish!), as the popular den-building event returns.

 At Ryton Pools Country Park children can take part in a ‘Fairy Merry Christmas’, in which they’ll decorate their own willow Christmas stars and help the fairies hunt for their missing decorations. Once the decorations are found, youngsters can help decorate the fairy Christmas tree and enjoy toasted marshmallows around the fairy fire.

 Again at Ryton Pools, those with an artistic persuasion might jump at the opportunity to create their own Christmas wreath. With all natural materials provided, visitors are free to bring along other decorations of their choice to add a more personal touch. These friendly, informal events are a great way to get that festive feeling ignited, especially with mulled juice and mince pies included.

Starting on 3 December, over weekends and throughout school holidays young visitors will be able to take part in the Christmas Cooky mystery trail at both Kingsbury and Ryton Pools. Trails have proved immensely popular in the past, offering great value entertainment with trail sheets costing just £2.

With all events requiring prior booking, rangers are urging those wishing to join in with the festivities to book their place quickly, as tickets are limited and are expected sell out quickly. Tickets are available now via the Warwickshire Country Parks Eventbrite page.

For more information about Warwickshire’s Country Parks, visit: www.countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk

Do your bit to keep antibiotics working

The 18th – 24th November is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. We are asking schools to help support the campaign and share information about how to reduce viral transmission. We’ve drafted an article below for newsletters to remind people of the small things they can do to help reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.  

Public Health England have put together some great resources which can be used in school, showing the children the importance of washing their hands, along with some fun and gross facts! Did you know that a sneeze can travel the length of a double decker bus? 

You can download the posters below: 

What are Microbes?  

Meet the bugs 

Beat the bugs – spreading the bugs 


Do your bit to keep antibiotics working  

It’s that time of year when the weather is getting colder and we may be more susceptible to colds and other bugs going around.  

Antibiotics are essential to treat bacterial infections, but they do not work on viruses, so antibiotics cannot treat infections such as colds and flu. Taking antibiotics when they may not be needed, encourages harmful bacteria that live inside us to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when we really need them.  

There are some key things that we can all do to keep our antibiotics working: 

  • Prevent infections and stop them spreading by:  
  • checking you and your family have had all your immunisations 
  • washing your hands regularly with soap and water (especially before eating, after going to the toilet, and after coughing/sneezing) 
  • catching coughs/sneezes in a tissue (and binning it) 
  • Remember, cold/flu viruses and stomach viruses, like norovirus, can’t be treated with antibiotics - they usually get better with rest, fluids and over-the-counter remedies.  
  • Only take antibiotics when you need them, when advised by your GP.  
  • Always take your healthcare professional’s advice on antibiotics 
  • Always take the full course of any antibiotics you are prescribed and never share with others. 

For more information, and for ways to help the fight against antibiotic resistance, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/ 

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life