As part of my role on the Governing Body, I recently had the opportunity to spend time in school to observe some of the SEN and inclusion interventions that take place.
The style of delivery from the teaching staff was adapted to suit each individual child to ensure that the appropriate support was in place to meet their needs, whether this be one-to-one sessions or group activities.
The children that I met were all happy and polite and there was an obvious connection between each child and the teaching staff so that the sessions were delivered in a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
All staff and Governors at Old Park are committed to ensuring that pupils with SEN, as with all of its pupils, get the help they need to access the curriculum and to participate fully in the life of the school.
As a governor, but also as a parent, I found the day hugely rewarding; It’s clear that there is a real enthusiasm from the children to want to learn fostered by teachers who care.
Written by Kelly Harding
A Trip to the Snowdome – A Governor’s Tale.
I recently volunteered to help out with the trips to the Snowdome in November. I thought it would be a great opportunity to witness our school and children out in the public and to see how much effort actually goes into these trips.
I was greeted bright and early by Miss Payne who ran through the itinerary of the day, all the health and safety aspects of the day and which children were being supervised by which members of staff, there was a great deal of information and I could tell there had been a great deal of preparation that had gone into ensuring the day ran smoothly.
The children came into school and were swiftly briefed by Miss Payne on the do’s and don’ts of the day and which member of staff the children were reporting too. Although the children were all excited Miss Payne confirmed they all understood the day and were ready to go so we boarded the coach and off we went.
When we arrived the children were sorted into their groups and we all entered the Snowdome, the children were all fantastic in staying in their groups and walking in single file. I witnessed another school from across the way with 30 children running across the carpark to get in and instantly felt a sense of pride for our children and staff on how organised and well behaved they are.
We eventually get into the first part of the trip, an open area where the children can run around and play in the snow. For some unknown reason I didn’t expect it to be as cold as it was and probably didn’t dress appropriately so after having 29 children pelting me with snowballs for half an hour I was well and truly frozen! The children had an amazing time, making snowmen, snow angels and recreating every scene from Disney’s Frozen that I can remember.
It was then time for the Santa show, The children took their seats and sat patiently waiting for the show to start. Out came Santa and of course the room erupted! It was a brilliant show, very interactive and was fun for both children and adults, I even managed to sit on Santa’s lap! (not by choice I might add)
Once Santa left to prepare for Christmas we all went to see Santa’s animals. There is an amazing array of different animals which I had no idea would be there, we had pigs, goats, rabbits, all sorts, but of course it was Santa’s Reindeer that stole the show with all the children trying to guess which one was Rudolph. We then all wrote our letters to Santa and went off for a well-deserved lunch.
After lunch it was time for my favourite part of the day, the snow slide! The children all queued up patiently and all took turns sledging down the big ice slide, some of the children have definitely got a knack for extreme sports and I can imagine Santa will be asked for a snowboard or two this year! We had a good hour of sledging and even the teachers attempted the slope with Miss Payne I think taking the crown for the fastest down!
Unfortunately, it was now time to go home and although the children were sad to leave, everybody understood it was time to go and got into their groups and marched back onto the coach without a single moan.
It was a perfect day for the children and I was truly amazed at how well behaved they all were. The day was flawlessly organised from the offset and all the staff that were involved really made sure the day ran without a hitch. Both the teachers and the children were a real credit to the school.
I feel very lucky to of been part of this day and being able to witness our children and school in action. We should all be very proud of our outstanding school, teachers and children.
I also recommend if possible taking your children to the Snowdome, it is an amazing experience but a word of advice…. Wrap up warm, you would never have guessed but there is actually snow there J Not that the name gives it away or anything.
Written by Philip Clarke
SEN and Inclusion Provision
I have been lucky enough to be able to spend some time in school recently being updated on the SEN and Inclusion provision which pupils of Old Park benefit from. I also had the opportunity to observe some of the interventions that the school deliver to help the children and the wide range of supporting activities that are run on a daily and weekly basis. It is fantastic to see the children so focussed and growing in confidence.
It is important to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive at school; that their needs are met and that they feel safe and content. It is always great to see the relationship that the pupils and teaching staff have with one another and that each child is invested in on an individual basis.
I also had the chance to attend an external “Emotional Coaching, Resilience and Trauma” training course recently which was primarily aimed at teaching staff from both primary and secondary schools but also had a range of people and professions there. The aim of the course was to encourage teaching staff to think differently about why a child may be displaying certain behaviours; that there is always something that triggers any emotional reaction (whether this is a child being upset, or being angry etc.). Teaching staff were there to ‘coach’ a child, enabling them to explore why they are feeling the way that they do, thinking about the behaviour/boundaries that are expected in school, and what they (with help from staff) can do differently in the future.
Towards the end of the training, everyone was asked to think about creating an action plan of how this concept could be introduced into schools. It was really positive to see that Old Park had already adopted this concept and have been following emotion coaching for the 12 months. However, there is still more to be done and so an action plan was created (part of this involved holding a coffee morning for parents/carers – Look out for this soon!) to allow the school to continue to develop and move forward in supporting children.
I am the parent of a child at Old Park and every time I have the chance to spend time in school seeing the positive culture that is evident throughout fills me with confidence.
Written by Kelly Harding