BWI Newsletter November 2023

Dear parents and carers,

It has been wonderful to see so many of you join us at the Open Afternoons this week. The children have loved sharing their learning with you and our teachers are very appreciative of the contribution that families made and for the positive feedback they received from many of our school community.

As we start December, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Abbots Farm! Years 3 and 4 are working hard during their Christmas play rehearsals. Years 5 and 6 are practising carols and we have had a fantastic whole school Panto already. While we know that Christmas can be exciting and magical for many, we are also aware that the Christmas season can be a very challenging time of year for children and families for many reasons. For this reason, we have included links and information for accessing support at Christmas.

As well as the Christmas information, we have included feedback from our pupil survey completed during Anti-bullying Week as well as updates relating to Special Educational Needs. 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 :)

Pupil Voice

From the 13th - 17th November, we partnered with the Anti-Bullying Alliance to mark Anti-Bullying Week. This year's theme was Make A Noise About Bullying and through assemblies and class activities we explored this further.

As well as this, we have completed our biggest survey to collect pupil views on relationships, behaviour and belonging at Abbots Farm Junior School. The results of this have been overwhelmingly positive with over 92% of the children sharing that they felt happy, safe and included at school, that their teachers teach them how to behave well in school and that the school rules are fair.

The children were asked how the school could be improved further and it was a pleasure to read through the responses and see how positively most of the pupils feel about school. While some of the pupils' suggestions - such as a heated indoor swimming pool - may be tricky to achieve, we have been able to agree on a number of whole-school actions. Additionally, staff have spent time with those children who were not feeling as positive about school to explore what support can be offered to ease their worries and concerns.

Inclusion Updates

Sensory Aids

We are able to provide a range of aids to support children experiencing sensory difficulties such as noise sensitivities. If you feel your child requires sensory aids (such as ear defenders, fidgets, transition objects) but prefer to provide equipment from home, please get in contact with your child's teacher. We can add this to a Pupil Passport so that all staff are aware of any sensory differences and can be useful if any assessments or further referrals may be necessary in the future.

Provision Map

If you have been informed that your child is receiving additional support in school, this information will be detailed on a Pupil Passport. These can be accessed at anytime by logging onto EduKey Provision Map. This is also where Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Pastoral Support Plans (Behaviour support) can be accessed. If you are aware that your child has a plan, please contact us if you do not have log-in details for Provision Map.

Mental Health in Schools Team

We are delighted to be able to add to the provision in school now that we are partnered with the Mental Health in Schools Teams. The Mental Health in schools Teams offer short term support to children and young people who are experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate mental health difficulties. This might include anxiety (for example; separation anxiety, panic, some lower impact obsessions and compulsions, generalised anxiety (worry and social worries) and low mood. They are also able to offer some support for difficulties that might require a more intensive approach and will signpost to other services if they aren’t the right people to help.

The Mental Health in Schools Team is also delivering a parent workshop on Helping Your Child with Anxiety on Tuesday 9th January, Tuesday 16th January and Tues 23rd January from 2pm-3pm. If you wish to attend the workshop, please contact the school office.

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.

Support at Christmas

Free Webinar - Creating a Calm and Connected Christmas with your Autistic Child

Christmas can often cause stress and anxiety for an autistic child. To help support families - Act for Autism are running a webinar on creating a calm and connected Christmas on Monday 11 December 2023 from 8 to 9pm. Click this to book a place

Accessible Christmas Events

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry - Cinderella. Accessible performances: Captioned (30 November), audio described (9 December) and British Sign Language (8 December)

Dobbies Garden Centres, nationwide - Santa's Quiet Grotto - available at centres across the country for children with additional needs - Friday 8 December 2024

Warwick Castle - Sensory-friendly after dark light trail - various dates

You may have heard that the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme team were able to offer SEND Family Experiences for the first time during the summer. These experiences were available to families where at least one child/young person was eligible for benefits-related free school meals (FSM) and had an education, health and care plan (EHCP).For Winter HAF, there will be funded SEND Family Experiences at a variety of venues across Warwickshire. Eligible families can complete the online form. The experiences on offer this winter include family swim sessions, Stratford Butterfly Farm, Twycross Zoo and several festive pantomimes. Each eligible family can book a maximum of 2 experiences, with entrance and food costs covered for every member of the family.If you would like further information on the HAF Programme, please visit

Other Support at Christmas

Side by Side is supportive online community provided by CW Mind for anyone experiencing a mental health problem. You can access the community any time, including on Christmas Day and other bank holidays.

Rugby Foodbank will be including a Christmas Hamper (Christmas Dinner) in food parcels provided over the next two weeks. Please contact Miss Ingle if you require a foodbank voucher and she will be able to provide you with further information.

The Money Saving Expert has a handy list of tips to reduce costs at Christmas. This guide covers everything from budgeting for the big day to how to get gifts at reasonable prices and when to book train tickets in advance.

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!