Securing the Best Start to Life

Early years update newsletter

Please check here the latest edition of the Early years newsletter by Education Endowment Foundation. 

Understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood – a toolkit to support local action in the UK.

UNICEF UK and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL), have developed a resource to support local areas in a shared understanding of mental health in infancy and early childhood.

The toolkit aims to:

  • Help partners from different services and professions to develop a deeper, shared understanding of mental health in infancy and early childhood, and the factors that influence it
  • Support service leaders, commissioners and other decision makers and policy teams to develop whole-system responses to ensure babies and young children are mentally healthy now, and are supported to develop the skills they need to continue to be mentally healthy throughout their lives.
  • Provide resources, signposting, and conversation guides to support constructive local discussions, decisions and action about the needs of babies and young children in their area, and what more might be done to respond to these needs (including through strategy development across mental health, maternity, early years or Family Hubs & Start for Life).

Download the toolkit here

      FREE Webinar for Early Years Professionals

      On Wednesday 28th June 6:30-7:30, alongside the Early Years Alliance we are offering a 1 hour session for professionals working with children in the early years to discuss children's online experiences.

      The session will explore the risks of children accessing devices, and how to best mitigate against these.

      Book here.

      FREE Webinars for Parents

      Family Connect: screens in the early years

      DigiSafe  have partnered with the Early Years Alliance to offer a 1 hour webinar on Thursday 8th June 10-11am to parents of children aged 0-5 years, about simple steps to take to keep children safe when using online devices.

      Find out more here.

      Talking about wee and poo

      Join Eric for an evening webinar, led by their Helpline Advisors looking at common bowel and bladder  problems that children experience and how you can help overcome and manage them.

      Our Helpline team will help you to understand how bowels and bladders work, what can go wrong and what to do about it.

      The session will include:

      • Signposting to helpful resources
      • Tips and advice on how to help your child drink better
      • Help on introducing a daily toileting routine
      • Signposting on where and how to get help for your child at nursery, school or in your local health services.

      Resources and Updates

      Autism & ADHD

      Autism & ADHD was founded by Annie Clements and set up to support those living or working with Autism and ADHD.

      They have recently created some free information booklets on ‘Applying for PIP & DLA’ and ‘How to Apply for an EHC Plan’ (these can be downloaded by clicking on each title).

      If you want to sign up to receive their newsletter, you can also access a free training video called ‘Little Things that can make a Big Difference.’

      Read more here ? https://www.autismandadhd.org/?fbclid=IwAR0DEPzimrhl3A1llobTMNktKc5Vi7PIGMRGjZ1l4hgwS4LuCgHqSWMh8i0

      It's Mental Health Awareness Week!

      Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from Monday 15th – Sunday 21st May 2023. The official theme for this year, as set by the Mental Health Foundation, is ‘anxiety.’

      Play is essential for children's development and mental well-being. Jo Stockdale discusses the importance of nurturing play in children’s learning readiness.

      Click to read ? https://bit.ly/42LT4uA

      May be an image of 2 people, baby, people smiling and textWhy Families Love 50 Things ?‍?‍?‍?

      In this blog, 50 Things Enthusiast, Carrie talks about how 50 Things has had a huge impact on her children's lives and how beneficial it has been for their development.

      Click to read ? https://bit.ly/3o4y3fq


      Supporting Inclusion for SEND and Vulnerable Groups

      Support for schools on the legal responsibilities of SEND provision

      New guidance has been developed to provide clarity on schools' legal responsibilities for inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision.  The guidance was produced by Head Teacher Matt Bown whilst on secondment to Warwickshire County Council in collaboration with Warwickshire Legal Services. The guide offers a comprehensive summary of the legal requirements for SEND provision in maintained schools and academies, including nurseries, primaries, secondaries, grammar, specialist, and alternative provisions.The guide has been created with support from Warwickshire schools and Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services and is intended to inform and support professional conversations regarding the legal requirements for schools to ensure inclusion and SEND provision. It also provides a simple and easy-to-follow guide for schools and professionals, exploring inclusion and SEND provision in preparation for Ofsted inspections. The document is part of a range of resources available to support schools, including free training, the School’s Inclusion Charter, exclusions video, the SEND Local Offer, SEND Inclusion Guidance, information and advice, and webinars.We believe that this guide will be an invaluable tool for schools and professionals working in the SEND sector. It offers a clear and concise summary of the legal requirements for SEND provision, and we hope that it will help to promote inclusion and ensure that all students have access to the resources and skills they need to reach their full potential.The guidance is available here https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.warwickshire.gov.uk%2Fdocuments%2FWCCC-600065477-452&data=05%7C01%7Cantzelinakatsi%40warwickshire.gov.uk%7Cb7fd26dd105c49dad05908db56ffe5b2%7C88b0aa0659274bbba89389cc2713ac82%7C0%7C0%7C638199429280749451%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=uV3A3T3%2Fu%2BYgycZQDspoVAm1yHmJrCnFu4%2Be4%2F7S914%3D&reserved=0 for schools and professionals to access for free. We encourage all schools to take advantage of this valuable resource.If you have any questions about this new guide or require any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact us.Thank you for your continued commitment to promoting inclusion and ensuring that all students receive the best possible education.Sincerely,Johnny KyriacouAssistant Director Education

      Working Together Charter

      A new county-wide charter has been launched in Warwickshire, aimed at improving services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The charter, which has been developed through collaboration between Warwickshire County Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board, Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice, and IMPACT (young people’s forum for SEND), sets out a commitment to effective participation and will guide the design, development, and experience of SEND services in Warwickshire.  You can see the new Charter here > file:///C:/Users/Lmow/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/H97AG2TJ/SEND%20Working%20Together%20charter%20FINAL.pdf As teachers, you will know that providing support for SEND students is a vital part of our work. This charter is designed to help us do that more effectively, by bringing together the different partners involved in the provision of SEND services with children, young people, and their families to ensure that all individuals receive the support and assistance they need to reach their full potential. The charter will be underpinned by a number of key commitments, including creating a welcoming and caring space, open communication, valuing everyone’s contributions and working in partnership towards shared solutions. Developing and nurturing each these commitments will in turn build trust. We believe that these commitments will help to ensure that SEND students are able to access the support they need when they need it. While the Working Together Charter focuses on guiding partners to improve SEND services, we encourage schools to note that it is consistent with the School Inclusion Charter, which provides a framework for their approach to students with special educational needs and disabilities. By aligning with both charters, schools can ensure that their work with SEND students is consistent with the broader effort to support these individuals and their families.If you have any questions or would like more information about the charter and its principles, please do not hesitate to get in touch.Sincerely,Johnny KyriacouAssistant Director EducationWarwickshire County Council

      Celebrating Warwickshire’s Family of Schools

      Summer Term 2023 Headteachers' Conference

      Reminder - Summer Term 2023 Headteachers' Conference

      Summer Term 2023 Headteachers' Conference

      Tuesday 6th June 2023 (9.00am – 1.30pm, registration from 8.30)


      Stareton Hall, Stoneleigh Park (NAEC), Stoneleigh, Kenilworth, CV8 2LZ

      Keynote Speaker:

      Leora Cruddas CBE

      Chief Executive, Confederation of Schools Trusts

      Agenda to follow shortly.

      Coventry & Warwickshire Teacher Network CPD Events - Secondary Summer Term

      Secondary Dance Teacher Network - Dance in non-traditional spaces

      Wednesday 7th June 2023, 4.30-6.00pm

      Daimler Powerhouse, Coventry

      Looking for exciting ways to bring a new wave of inspiration to your students and their choreography?

      Both Motionhouse and Ascension Dance tour exhilarating outdoor work to festivals, high streets and other non-traditional spaces, taking performance to people who  ordinarily wouldn’t visit theatre spaces and enabling them to engage with dance in their community.

      Join Motionhouse and Ascension at the Daimler Powerhouse in Coventry to explore how each company approaches and creates work for non-theatre spaces. Discover how your students can take their choreography out of the classroom or studio and into different spaces across the school grounds.

      Secondary Visual Art Teacher Network - Art, Outdoors & Creative Journaling

      Thursday 6th July 2023, 4.30-6.30pm

      Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park

      Indulge in a tour of the latest Compton Verney exhibition, led by curator Amy Orrock, which focuses on nature, environment and design. You will also have the opportunity to explore the outdoor Living Symphonies installation before participating in a practical session, led by Creative Arts and Therapy facilitator, Lindsay Jane Hunter.

      Lindsay will guide you to discover how creative practices can be adopted in urban spaces as well as rural settings through creative journaling processes. This opportunity will present you with new ways to approach arts interpretation in the classroom, supporting meaningful reflective and therapeutic experiences and encouraging students to take a more flexible approach to the visual arts.

      Secondary Drama/English Teacher Network - RSC, The Empress for English & Drama teachers

      Thursday 6th July 2023, 4.30-6.30pm

      Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

      This free workshop at the Belgrade Theatre, led by an RSC practitioner is for both English and Drama teachers. As well as offering insight into the play, we will explore productions choices made for the production playing at The Swan Theatre from early July.

      Whether your students are studying the play or not, this meeting will give you a chance to network with like minded colleagues and pick up drama approaches to use back in your classroom.

      All events are free for all KS3-5 teachers, support staff and trainee teachers based in Coventry & Warwickshire. Light refreshments will be served and there will be plenty of opportunity for networking and peer support.

      For further information about the Coventry and Warwickshire Teacher Networks email: teachernetworks@rsc.org.uk 

      School capacity form

      WCC is required to report the total capacity of all Warwickshire schools (including academies and special schools), as part of the annual statutory DfE SCAP survey.
      Please complete the online form here with details for your school: https://forms.office.com/e/Y8g6E1d78p
      Not all questions are relevant to all schools, the estimated completion time is 10 minutes.
      If possible, a response by Friday 19 May would be much appreciated.

      Teaching School Hub News - Secondary Edition

      Please find here the "Teaching School Hub News - Secondary Edition"

      Teaching School Hub News - Primary Edition

      Please find here the "Teaching School Hub News - Primary Edition"

      Low Carbon Warwickshire Network and Solar for Schools in Warwickshire

      The Low Carbon Warwickshire Network (LCWN) is working through its 30 community groups with the organisation Solar for Schools. LCWN hopes by this to stimulate our community groups to build beneficial relationships with their local schools and generate as much energy as possible on school roofs for the benefit of the schools.

      Please find more information here. 

      Engaging Children with Nature, the Environment and Climate Change

      If you’re interested in ways to get your pupils involved in nature, then you might want to have a listen to the latest episode in the Sustainable Warwickshire podcast series. The discussion focuses around giving children and young people more opportunities to connect to nature, in the hope that by doing so, they are more likely to take action to protect it.

      The podcast guests include Kristie Naimo, Director and Project Manager at Achieving Results in Communities Community Interest Company, who leads on a Children’s Forest project in Radford Semele (Leamington), and Diane Compton-Belcher and Sarah Gittins from Michael Drayton Junior School in Nuneaton, who have created an amazing outdoor education space for their pupils and embedded nature into their curriculum at every opportunity.

      To have a listen, search for Sustainable Warwickshire on Podbean, Spotify or Apple. And don’t forget to subscribe or download to make sure you don’t miss out on future episodes!

      Continuing Professional Development events

      There are two CPD events happening in Coventry this summer term.  

      Both cost £100 but if participants add the code TRP2223 when booking they will receive a reimbursement of £70 paid back to their school via BACS about 1-2 months later.

      Warwickshire’s Country Parks May half term activities

      The team of Education, Community & Health Rangers at Warwickshire’s Country Parks have been busy developing an fun-filled half-term activity programme. Whether it’s pond dipping or bat hunts, toasting delicious popcorn over an open fire or getting a Blue Peter green badge, there’s something to get every child immersed and engaged in Warwickshire’s unique natural landscape.

      For more information or to book tickets, visit the Warwickshire Country Parks Eventbrite Page.

      County event supports young people to be heard

      Last week (9 May) around 40 young people from across Warwickshire came together with county leaders for the first Child Friendly Warwickshire Youth Voice event.

      The event at Shire Hall, Warwick was attended by young people from the county’s Youth Council, Children in Care Council, Care Leavers Forum and IMPACT (SEND Forum). They were joined by children’s service managers, elected members and professionals from the public sector partners to talk about a range of local issues that affect them. 

      True to the ethos of Child Friendly Warwickshire, the event provided a platform for young people to ask questions, gain insight into the roles of the councillors, and ensure their perspectives were heard and valued. By actively engaging with the young councillors, Warwickshire County officials demonstrated their commitment to shaping policies and initiatives that align with the aspirations and needs of the younger generation. 

      With a focus on celebrating the youth voice, the event featured engaging activities such as drumming, salt sculptures, badge making and more. The atmosphere was vibrant as participants took part in four group discussions, addressing crucial topics: mental health and wellbeing, more things for young people to do, staying safe, and their experiences at school. 

      The feedback received from the young people in attendance mentioned how ‘inspirational’, ‘exciting’ and ‘interesting’ the event was and that they were pleased to have an opportunity to have their voices heard. Many left the event keen to make a difference in their community and are already looking forward to the next chance to get together. 

      Continue reading here

      Local community encouraged to offer support to unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people by becoming supported lodging Hosts

      Hosts are needed to support unaccompanied asylum-seeing young people moving into Warwickshire and the county council, in partnership with Barnardo’s, is looking for people with a spare room and a caring nature to come forward.

      Barnardo’s provides Warwickshire’s Supported Lodgings Service on behalf of the council which provides young people with a room of their own in a private home where they are a member of the household. The homeowner, or "Host" provides a safe and supportive environment, working alongside professional services to help and support the young person in gaining skills for independent adult life.

      As a supported lodgings host, people will have the chance to support a young person to learn skills to prepare them for independence. Hosts will have the opportunity to attend some training to support them in this role. Finally, hosts will also receive a payment to cover the costs of having a young person living in their home.

      For more information and how you can help please read here

      Let’s Talk Child Friendly Warwickshire

      A new episode of the Let’s Talk Warwickshire podcast has been released, exploring the Child Friendly Warwickshire (CFW) initiative. 

      The podcast series discusses important issues facing the communities of Warwickshire. This latest episode shines a spotlight on the exciting CFW programme, featuring a conversation between John Coleman, Assistant Director for Children's Services, Alice Battersby, Co-Chair of the Warwickshire Youth Forum, and Abbey Baker, Development Worker, along with our podcast host, Gail Downey. The podcast episode is available to listen to now. 

      The episode explores the innovative approach implemented by Child Friendly Warwickshire, which aims to ensure that all children and young people in the county are happy, healthy, heard, safe and skilled. Alice Battersby, representing the voice of Warwickshire's youth, highlights the issues that young people face today, while John Coleman talks about why this scheme is such a priority for the county council and Abbey Baker discusses how she has been expanding the network of supporters committed to enriching the lives of young people. 

      You can learn more about the initiative on the Child Friendly Warwickshire website. 

      You can listen to other episodes from Let’s Talk Warwickshire on PodBean. 

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