BWI Newsletter January/February 2024

Dear parents and carers,

We have had a fantastic first month back at school and it is only a week until half term! As well as all of the fantastic learning happening around school, we have had class assemblies, IEP meetings for pupils with additional needs and our NSPCC assembly and workshops. Next week is Children's Mental Health Week and we will be marking this in school throughout the week. Place2Be launched the mental health awareness week in 2015 to empower, equip and give a voice to every child. This year's theme is 'My Voice Matters'. My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves. When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem.

During the week, we will have a Mental Health Assembly as well as dedicated sessions in class. Our Children and Family Team will also be sharing updates with the pupils on the support we can provide and access to help them when facing challenges. On Friday, we will be having a non-uniform 'Dress to Express' day and pupils can come to school wearing whatever they feels expresses them.

Concerns about the mental health of children are regularly featured in the news and can add further worry and stress to families. At AFJS, we are dedicated to providing and accessing support for our children and their families. Please remember our Children and Families Team can be contacted anytime via email at or by calling the school office. Mrs Smythe and Miss Ingle can offer support with any concerns affecting your child and family (not just school-related) and will usually offer a tea or coffee as well.

If you are interested in learning more about Children's Mental Health or looking for advice and strategies, further links are included below.

Place2Be Parenting Support Parenting advice from child mental health experts. This includes practical tips to support children’s wellbeing and behaviour and covers a range of topics in articles and video format. Topics include: anxiety, building resilience, friendships, shyness, co-parenting and many more.

Young Minds parents page includes an a-z guide of mental health as well as a guide to mental health services. The web page also includes up-to-date advice around current events and how to discuss these with children and young people.

The NSPCC website has advice to help support children who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings or self-harm. There is also a mindfulness guide for families and advice on mental health and parenting.

If you would like to support Children's Mental Health Week, you can donate to Place2Be by clicking on this Just Giving link.

We hope you continue to find this newsletter helpful and would welcome any suggestions about the content to ensure our community are receiving the information they find most useful. You can share your ideas by clicking on the link below.

from Mrs Watson-Tate :)

Inclusion Updates

Specialist Services

At AFJS we work collaboratively with a number of other professionals to identify and support a child or young person’s needs. This includes local authority services which we subscribe to and teams within the NHS. As the number of services, referral routes and acronyms can be confusing, some brief details about these services are included below.

We subscribe to Warwickshire's Specialist Teacher Service (STS). Specialist teachers use qualified staff who have received further training in: Social, emotional and mental health, Communication and interaction, Cognition and learning. They provide targeted and specialist support for children and young people in schools and other educational settings. Our Specialist Teacher is able to complete learning assessments, screening tools and class observations to help identify areas of need and provide recommendations.

Warwickshire Educational Psychology Service (WEPS) - Educational psychologists use their training in psychology and knowledge of child development to assess difficulties children may be having with their learning. They support education settings to promote children and young people’s learning, development, social and emotional wellbeing.

We can involve the Specialist Teacher/Educational Psychologist in line with our Graduated approach.

Integrated disability service (IDS) - the integrated disability service provides a range of services to support children in their early years and in mainstream education settings. IDS work in mainstream schools to support children with complex needs or physical disability. They work with children in the county with hearing loss or multisensory impairment.

Flexible Learning Team- the flexible learning team provide educational support for children and young people who have medical needs and are unable to access their usual education setting.

Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) work in partnership with families, health care professionals and education staff to provide effective and personalised care. Speech and Language Therapy input may involve assessment, individual or group therapy, indirect therapy programmes and support for families and settings.

Occupational Therapy - the Occupational Therapy service works with children and young people who have a wide range of physical and learning needs that impact on their participation in daily life. This includes physiotherapy and sensory support.

Coventry and Warwickshire RISE - Rise is a family of NHS-led services providing emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Further information about these services can be found on Warwickshire's Local Offer. The link to this page can be found on the SEND section of the school website.

Contact Us

We regularly monitor the provision for pupils with SEN and keep up to date with research and further training. If you have any queries about SEN Provision please contact the dedicated senco email address or come along to the coffee mornings on Wednesdays.

Videos and Webinars

Thank you for your feedback on our BWI newsletter. We have been asked to provide signposting to videos and webinars so we will continue to add to this section. If you have any requests for topics, please let us know.

Boundaries and Rules Virtual Workshop delivered by Warwickshire Family and Relationship Support. This 1.5-hour workshop looks at some reasons why children behave the way they do and offers insight and strategies to help guide their behaviour. It is for parents/carers of children of all ages and includes: how and why boundaries support children’s development, parenting strategies that can be used to support boundaries such as rules, praise, routines.

Barnados Online Safety Webinar for parents is based on current research and best practice to promote online safety for children. Barnados objective is that parents leave the webinar feeling empowered and have practical tips that will help their family stay safer and be happier on the internet.

Healthy Body and Mind - Support for all of our Farmers Families

This newsletter is the new place to find links and signposting to a range of support that families can access. This will include ongoing services – such as the Family Information Service – as well as those that are most relevant to the time of year or newly released.

Warwickshire's Children and Families Team are hosting a number of workshops for parents about a range of topics such as sleep and understanding behaviour, all free of charge - click here to see if there is anything may be useful for you

SearchOut Warwickshire is here to help you find and access organisations, services and events that are local to you - things that will help you stay active, healthy, happy, and well. They also provide further information about services and support available from local organisations and groups for families with children and young people aged 0 to 25, who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The Community Autism Support Service offer free bite-sized, one-hour sessions for parents and carers covering topics such as routines, meltdowns and communication. Find out more about Toolboxes here.

If you or your child are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact the Rise Crisis Team by calling 08081 966796 and selecting 'option 2' at any time of the day or night. Please note that it is an advice-only service overnight from 8pm to 8am. In an emergency call 999.

The Family Information Service phone line is a freephone number to enable anyone to contact them for support. You can call them on 0800 408 1558 with anything - even if they can't help, they may be able to point you in the direction of someone who can!