WE2 An empowering curriculum

Warwickshire wins bid for new funding to support family services

Funding has been secured to expand the help and support that the council can offer to local children and families. We are one of 15 new areas selected to join three early adopters and be part of the Government’s Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme.

This programme supports local authorities to adapt and adopt one of three children’s social care innovation projects in their own area. We will be working closely with Leeds City Council on the Family Valued programme. The project focuses on changing service-wide ways of working with children and families so that support is done with them and not to them. It aims to build strong relationships with children and their families and connect them with the communities in which they live.

The three demonstrator sites have shown that working with a family’s strengths and helping them to find their own solutions creates stronger, more resilient family units. This new investment will support the council’s objectives to enhance services and extend the offer of early help to make sure that families get the right support, ensuring children’s needs are met.

The funds will be used specifically to expand the Family Group Conference (FGC) Service which supports families to identify their strengths and build on these to find solutions and resolve their own issues. The Special Guardianship Support Team who provide help for grandparents, aunts and uncles to help children to stay within their wider family will be extended and further training and support will be rolled out to partner agencies.

For more information about this visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/children-families


Supporting learners with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is more common than autism, is seen more commonly in girls than boys and affects around two children in every primary classroom, but despite this, it is not widely known about.

Previously known as Specific Language Disorder (SLD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI), DLD means that a child has significant, on-going difficulties understanding and/or using spoken language.

A young person with DLD may also have other difficulties such as; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and / or speech sound difficulties.

Language disorders can also be associated with other medical conditions such as ASC (Autistic Spectrum Condition), genetic conditions (e.g. Down Syndrome), sensorineural hearing loss, physical impairment, severe learning difficulties or brain injuries. 

There are many difficulties that can be experienced as part of having DLD such as:

  • paying attention in class
  • understanding instructions and new information
  • remembering what has been said
  • limited vocabulary and finding their words
  • telling narratives
  • putting their thoughts into words - their meaning may be lost or unclear
  • joining in and social skills
  • understanding and managing emotions

This is not an exhaustive list, as DLD can manifest itself in different ways depending on the individual and their specific needs may change with time.

How do I support a young person with DLD?

  • Remember your universal strategies!
  • Ensure there is a Communication Friendly Environment which takes into account visual support systems, the teacher’s delivery and the environment of the school.
  • Grab their attention — say their name before asking questions or giving instructions so they know they have to listen.
  • Visual cues (demonstration, gesture and pictures such as Widgit) will help them understand and remember information.
  • Use simple sentences and short instructions. Check they have understood instructions or new information.
  • Give the young person more time to think, find their words and express themselves.
  • Praise their effort and acknowledge what they have said, to support their confidence in speaking.
  • Encourage them to communicate with you however they can, accept gesture and facial expressions.                                             

If you would like further information about strategies or have any concerns about a young person in your school, please contact the Area Manager for your area using the contacts below:

North STS: Louise Hunt or Paul Fellows – Tel: 01926 413777

East STS: Claire Batchelor – Tel: 01788 338130

South STS: Tammy Mason – Tel: 01926 476600

Invitation to launch of new Protective Behaviours resource pack

Protective Behaviours ResourceA new, comprehensive resource has been developed to help primary and special schools support children to develop strategies for self-protection, teaching them how to recognise and trust their own feelings and boost self-esteem.

The new curriculum pack is part of the Protective Behaviours work, which has been at the heart of the Taking Care scheme for the past 18 years. The Taking Care scheme aims to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in Warwickshire by teaching them how to keep themselves safer in a variety of situations.

Protective Behaviours is an internal process, meaning that each person applies the ideas to their own unique experience. It is essentially a safety awareness and resilience building programme which helps children and adults to recognise any situation where they feel worried or threatened and explores practical ways to stay safe.

The programme has become well embedded in the majority of our primary schools, with the Protective Education Curriculum Resource pack, written by the Taking Care Project Manager, Ann Seal, now on its third edition.

Following a suggestion by headteacher, Jen Roberts, Ann invited staff from across the special school sector to come together to share practice ideas and as a result of this, and Ann's own extensive experience that she has picked up over the years, a brand new and comprehensive resource pack has been developed. 

Launch events

Protective Behaviour schools have been invited to a launch event, where their delegated staff member can join others in exploring the new resource, in the hope that this will encourage lots of use back in their schools. The events will take place on 5, 12 and 18 November 2019. If you would like to attend the launch event or require further details, please contact Sophie Morley on 01926 742601 or email sophiemorley@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Whole school training

It is highly recommended that you book in some whole school training if: less than 90% of staff have been trained and/or it is more than five years since you received whole school training. If this is your school, or if you just wish to provide a refresher for your staff, then please contact Ann Seal - email annseal@warwickshire.gov.uk

We are excited to hear what schools do with the resources and we would encourage you to keep Ann updated with your pictures and successes so these can be shared with others too.  

Help to raise awareness of foster carer opportunities in Warwickshire

There are approximately 70 children and young people across Warwickshire currently seeking foster care. Foster care provides a safe place for children and young people when they need it most, and can range from providing a safe place to sleep for a night to long term placements with a range of other types of fostering in between.

Foster carers are always needed throughout Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council are focused on placing children within the county, allowing children to be near their school, friends and family, making the move into foster care a more stable transition for them.

Foster care involves a range of different types of care; some types of foster care can be done alongside employment, and others require full time commitment and cannot be carried out while in other employment, however for those options the payment is salaried.

Your support to help us reach a wider audience, helping to raise awareness of the foster carer opportunities at WCC is important to us so we can recruit more foster carers into our team. This case study from one of our foster carers who specialises in parent and child foster care, illustrates how this role has impacted the foster carer, the support she provides to a parent and their child and how this has allowed her to spend more time with her family compared to her previous employment.

We ask for your kind support to help share this message in your newsletters and communications to parents, it may help someone who has been thinking about foster care make the decision to support children and their community and pursue a new career path.

Fighting for the Wellbeing of Young People

The Youth Sport Trust and the 401 Foundation 

The Youth Sport Trust (YST), founded 24 years ago, is on a mission to improve the wellbeing of all young people by helping them deal with the issues facing them today, such as loneliness and a decline in mental health and resilience.

Ben Smith is a YST Wellbeing Ambassador, endurance athlete and founder of the 401 Foundation. He has been fighting to raise awareness of the harmful effects of bullying for the past five years.

Together, YST and the 401 Foundation have an amazing track record in helping the young people of the UK. 

This academic year they are embarking on a new challenge to raise £1 million to support the wellbeing of our young people - and they need your help.

The USA 2020 Challenge: Journey to Wellbeing Education Programme

In a feat of extreme endurance, which will take him 104 days, Ben will be running one marathon in all 50 US states and cycling between them - a staggering total of 18,500 miles!

YST will be working with Ben to shine a spotlight on his challenge, encouraging schools, organisations and the community to fundraise for him and, in return, providing schools with inspirational education resources, which will allow them to follow Ben's progress whilst taking part in their own Journey to Wellbeing.

They hope that by working together, they can raise £1 million to fund vital mental health initiatives in schools and local communities across the UK, whilst giving schools and young people practical ways of embedding wellbeing in their daily lives.

To register to take part in the USA 2020: Journey to Wellbeing Education Programme today visit the website: https://www.youthsporttrust.org/USA2020.


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