Mrs Pod's SEN and Support Blog
Welcome to Mrs Pod's Blog
Support for Parents: Anxiety
Support for Parents - ADHD Part 1 (Q & A)
News from the our children's perspective
I now have an Assistant Blogger: Evie Ces-Maneiro (Year 5) who is going to write on this blog providing views from the perspective of children. Evie's first blog is about Lockdown. She has interviewed a few children (as reporters do!) and added their views to her blog. I think it's marvellous and I'm sure you will agree.
When we are all back in September, please do approach Evie (bearing in mind our distancing) if there is anything you think we should add to the blog. It is so important to get the views from everyone in school, especially when the piece of writing is so interesting and well written. Well done Evie!
A Child’s Lockdown Blog by Evie Ces-Maneiro
Hello! I have decided to write this blog of people's experiences of Lockdown from the child's point of view. Most of us don't like Lockdown. We haven't been able to see friends and holidays have been cancelled but people have found new talents, likes and dislikes.
Cooking has been a fun activity for families to do together and some children have made amazing crafts..
Parents that haven't been furloughed have been very busy during Lockdown and that can
have its advantages for us children as they don't know if you're playing outside or working!!
People have been playing with pets a lot more and have been spending more time outside together, especially during the heatwave.
Children have got away with watching loads more TV and playing a lot more video games. We’ve found new ways to communicate whilst being apart, like Zoom. Let’s face it, lots of us wouldn’t have learnt to video call if it wasn't for Lockdown!
Homeschooling feels a bit weird. It’s strange having your parents teach you and not always having the time (or the knowledge!) to answer your questions. It’ll be nice to go back to school and have our friends around us and a teacher teaching us again. However, this has been a time that has taught everyone something and we’ve realised lots of new things that could be useful in the future.
15 June 2020
BACK TO SCHOOL Story Boards
The children in the Keyworker groups, who have been coming in to school, wanted to assure all of their friends and peers that returning to school is fun and fab!
They have produced some story boards showing a day in school as they see it. We are happy to see lots of mention of fun and there are lots of smiley faces drawn. Please show this to your children who are returning to school so they can see they are going to be happy too.
Thank you to the lovely children who made up these story boards - all their own work! Fab!
Back to School Story Boards
3rd June - Support for Parents - Talking Therapies
28.May 2020 ....
To Return or not return … THAT is the question!
We are available to answer any questions you have on returning your children to school, especially where they might be anxious.
Of course, we are not able to make choices for you, however, we can help to return children with particular needs in a supportive way.
As you will see on the website, there are videos to prepare your children with how school will look. You can do a great deal in preparing your children in terms of what they can expect.
Do remind them, the staff are still in school. Where possible, they will see the same teachers in their year groups. Mr Woodbridge is still in place looking after the whole school and will be visible to children throughout their days in school.
If you have any concerns about how to return your child with ease then please email: SENCO@wessexprimary.org and we will do what we can to make the transition as comfortable as possible.
For those children not returning to school, we hope they can still be in contact with their teachers. If anyone is concerned about joining Zooms or have any concerns about the work available, then please do contact SENCO@wessexprimary.org and, once again, we will do whatever we can to alleviate any worries.
We are very lucky at Wessex to have wonderfully caring and dedicated staff who go over and above for all children in their care.
Mr Woodbridge, Mrs Maskell and Mrs Pope (alongside Mr Porter and other members of staff who have frequently given their time) have worked tirelessly to make the school building as safe as possible for children and staff and made plans following Government guidelines to ensure children are as safe as can be, but also feel welcomed and cared for.
We are looking forward to seeing the children again and in continuing their journey through Wessex.
So, if there is anything we can do to make the transition easier …email us at:
11 May 2020 – ELSA Support
Many parents will be aware that we offer emotional support in school by trained ELSAs. This stands for ‘Emotional Literacy Support Assistants’. We have ELSAs in both KS1 and KS2 and, apart from talking to children individually, they are around to support children in lessons and at lunch and play times.
Lisa Richards is our Lead ELSA at Wessex. I have asked Lisa some questions that will explain a little more about how she and her team support your children.
Questions to Mrs Richards (Lead ELSA):
1. What exactly is Emotional Literacy?
- Understanding and coping with feelings about ourselves and others
- Developing high self-esteem and positive interactions with others
- Being emotionally literate helps children focus better on their learning
2. Which areas will an ELSA spend time supporting children with:
- Self- esteem
- Social skills
- Friendship skills
- Anger management
- Loss and bereavement
3. How do ELSAs work?
- There is a regular slot for each child during the school week for 30-45 minutes
- Sessions can be individual or in small groups and tailored to the child’s individual needs
- Sessions are fun and might include role-play, puppets, board games, arts and crafts and stories
- They include time to talk
- A pupil’s progress will be reviewed against pre-determined targets on a half termly basis
4. How can parents be involved / help?
- By informing the class teacher if there are any issues that may be affecting your child
- By encouraging your child to speak to their teacher or Mrs Richards or Mrs Pod to see about putting their name down for support
Some of your children will know Mrs Richards and her team through having 1:1 or group sessions.
If you think this is something that would benefit your child or you would like us to call you to chat this through further, then please email: SENCO@wessexprimary.org or call the Office.
2 May 2020
Hi parents and children,
Over the last few weeks I have been trying to speak to some of you and your children to see how you are all managing. I am hearing children say they are missing their friends and their teachers but enjoying spending time with their families.
Thank you to those of you who have produced some magnificent cards and posters thanking workers in the NHS! These will be much appreciated, I'm sure.
Lots of you have described how you are spending time, (apart from home learning, of course) baking cakes, making models out of Lego and cardboard, painting pictures, compiling projects and filling scrap books with information found; including pictures drawn or downloaded. Lots and lots of lovely ideas.
We have really enjoyed speaking to you and hearing your lovely cheerful voices. If you would like a call, then just ask for your adult to email me at SENCO@wessexprimary.org and I can organise for one of us to give you a call and have a chat.
I have been busy trying to identify some of the amazing bird calls I have been hearing. I think that either my hearing has improved or the birds are louder! Some say it's because the air is clearer and their songs are carrying in the skies above. I also have a pair of binoculars to see the birds in my garden, however, my dog, Teddy, doesn't like me looking at him through them and he barks as soon as I get them out. Ha Ha!
We miss you all. Keep safe and we look forward to hearing from you and receiving your messages.
19th April 2020
Dear parents and children,
We hope you all had a great Easter.
We are now a few weeks in and the novelty may, for some, be wearing a bit thin.
As teachers, we often change our strategies for motivating children as we go. What works for one term can lose its novelty factor and children are quick to lose interest. Perhaps you are experiencing the same at home. If so, chat with your children and find new strategies and rewards. Children are amazing and often come up with the answers for us.
This week and next we will be sharing details of websites and courses online to support parents. These will be themed according to area of need that will be in the blog title for ease of access. If parents have useful websites to share then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember you are not alone. We are here to help and can draw upon the knowledge of our Inclusion Team to offer advice and tips on areas you feel we could support with. All of your questions and comments are important to us.
Please send us some samples of work the children are doing. Our team delight in seeing children’s work and in keeping in contact with them and you.
More to come ....
15th April 2020
Hi everyone, thank you to those of you who have sent emails and asked questions. I have started with a question that has been echoed by many with possible ideas below:
Dear Mrs Pod - I am having trouble getting ****** to do all their home learning. I have gone as far as taking away their I-pad but that has caused an even greater explosion in the home and I am hesitant to do that again as it was so painful for all the family. However, I do need some consequence. Should I continue in this way?
This is a very common question from parents. First of all, remember you are doing a brilliant job! Your child(ren) is fed, watered, dressed and hugged. The feedback we have had from teachers is that parents are being very creative and managing to do a great job occupying their children and getting most of their home learning completed well. Often, whilst juggling their own at-home working commitments.
My advice is three fold: Firstly, PICK YOUR BATTLES. If most of the home learning has been done on most days then negotiate with your child(ren) in a positive way and let them know you are going to reward them for all the work they have done and let them off for the odd day here and there. Better to have 4 days of good work completed than part of 5 days under duress with the whole family negatively affected.
Secondly, make sure they are completing the work away from their usual play areas so they can be in the right mind set for what they are doing and their heads are in 'school' mode. They could have special pens/ pencils to use, a special drink they have whilst completing it, a certain place to sit ... reminding them they are in 'home-learning' mode.
Thirdly, encourage them to communicate with their teachers by sending in their work or pictures of activities they are involved in as they will get positive feedback and encouragement to continue. I know the teachers have been delighted to see the learning happening at home and they miss the children so. They could also share their home learning by email to Grandparents and /or other family members.
Positivity and encouragement are often more effective than sanctions in the longer run. Remember that 'every moment is a fresh beginning!'
Please continue sending in your questions or tips for other parents.