BWI Newsletter October 2023

Dear parents and carers,

As we come to end of the first half-term of this academic year, it has been wonderful to reflect on the excellent start to the year we have had at AFJS. Through class assemblies, parents evenings and SEND meetings, it has been great to welcome so many families into school and celebrate your children's successes together.

A particular highlight has been the impact of pupil leadership now that we have House Captains, House Ambassadors, Play Leaders, Digital Leaders and an Eco-committee now in place. We are thrilled to be able to offer these opportunities as not only do they increase pupils' engagement and self-esteem, pupils also develop valuable personal skills such as communication, team-building, problem-solving and decision making.

As you know, we are sharing this additional newsletter in response to requests for further communication relating to behaviour, welfare and inclusion. We hope that you are finding it useful and continue to welcome further feedback on what types of information or updates you would like to see included. If you have any suggestions please click the link below to complete a form. This month, we have updates and plenty of celebrations relating to behaviour at school, information about the types of support we provide to children with Special Educational Needs, updates from the Children and Families Team with an explanation of the Early Help process and links to services which you may find helpful.


We hope you all have an enjoyable and restful half-term holiday.

from Mrs Watson-Tate :)


It has been an absolute pleasure to see so many examples of positive behaviour across the school this month and to have the opportunity to share these with you.

Our class teachers have been thrilled to send Positive Postcards to a number of children who have impressed them and we know the children have delighted in receiving them. Today, we were also able to celebrate a number of children who earned our half-termly Over and Above awards.

While we are eager to celebrate individual pupils for their achievements, we have also seen much excitement across the school since we launched The Wheel at the beginning of term. During Friday’s celebration assembly, Mrs Webb spins the wheel which lands on a positive behaviour that we are looking to spot the following week. This includes: presentation in books, good manners, behaviour in the lunch hall and many more. The class who demonstrate this skill the most earn an extra break! Mrs Webb also does a secret spin so there are two opportunities to impress.

During Learning Walks, we have also been monitoring the start of the day and have been pleased to see the children have settled well into the routines of their new classes. There is a strong sense of calm and productivity which sets the tone for the rest of the day.

It’s very important to us to celebrate positive behaviour as this reinforces our school values and contributes to a calm, supportive environment which is conducive to learning. We also recognise that our pupils are developing socially and emotionally as well as academically. Because of this, there are occasions when children do not demonstrate our school rules and may require further support to do so more consistently.

In the coming weeks, we will be collecting the views of all pupils in relation to behaviour at school so that their voice is included as we continually work to maintain high standards of behaviour.

Our approach to teaching pupils with SEN

Children with SEND have a Pupil Passport and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with personalised targets, which are reviewed and co-produced with parents / carers, pupils, teacher and the SENCO. Pupils with SEND will receive different types of support, which match their needs, so that they can achieve their best, become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and make a successful transition into adulthood.

Quality First Teaching: The best available evidence indicates that great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve pupil attainment. Our Teaching and Learning policy details our approach which includes explicit instruction, scaffolding and metacognitive strategies which are all key components of high-quality teaching and learning for pupils. Class teachers are fully aware of the differing needs within their classes and are adaptive in their teaching and support to reflect this. Just a few examples of reasonable adjustments include: scaffolding tasks, access to alternative methods of recording such as ipads, visual aids such as task steps, visual timetable, now and next boards as well as sensory supports such as chair bands and fiddle aids.

Interventions: In addition to this, we complement high quality teaching with carefully selected small-group and one-to-one interventions. Provision is carefully matched to children's needs and interventions are broadly categorised by the four areas of need set out in the SEND Code of Practice. Below are some examples of interventions delivered at AFJS by school staff and external support services.

Comunication and Interaction: Speech and Language Therapy, Socially Speaking, WordAware

Social, Emotional and Mental Health: Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA), Drawing and Talking Therapy, Counselling, Play Therapy

Cognition and Learning: Precision Teaching (Early Numeracy and Literacy Skills), Nessy Reading and Spelling, Reading for Meaning, Toe by Toe, Phonics

Physical and Sensory: Moves Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills

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 senco2421@welearn365.com or come along to the coffee mornings on Wednesdays.


What is Early Help?

You may have heard of Early Help during Parents Meetings or newsletters and be unsure of what it is. Early Help is the support available to children and families who may be experiencing difficulties of any kind. The purpose of Early Help is to put in the right support at the right time so that problems are less likely to escalate to a point where the child becomes vulnerable or in need. Early Help is sustainable so that problems are less likely to re-occur. All children, young people and families in Warwickshire are entitled to receive Early Help. This means offering information, advice, guidance, and support to families as soon as a concern emerges, or seems likely to emerge. This is part of Warwickshire's Spectrum of Support.

Warwickshire's Spectrum of Support

Early Help at Abbots Farm Junior School

Our Children and Families Team are available to discuss any concerns your children and family are experiencing and can provide support both in school and by accessing additional services on behalf of families. With your consent, they can open an Early Help.

This involves working with families to complete A Pathway to Change. This is a document to identify strengths and needs and discuss what types of support are available. An action plan is also created so that there is a shared understanding between everyone involved and a record for families. Regular meetings (approximately every 6 weeks) are then held to review the plan and ensure meaningful positive change is happening for children and families.

If you feel an Early Help would benefit your child or family, please contact the Children and Families team by calling 01788 576074 or at their dedicated mail address pastoral2421@welearn365.com

Children Previously Looked After

A previously looked-after child is a child who was in care to an English or Welsh local authority when they were adopted, made subject to a Special Guardianship Order (SGO), or a Child Arrangements Order (previously Residency Order). Schools receive additional funding for children who are previously looked-after. This is known as Pupil Premium Plus funding. Funding is allocated to, and then managed by, the school the pupil attends. Although the funding does not need to be used exclusively for eligible pupils, schools must use the funding for the purpose of raising the educational attainment of eligble pupils. In line with the 3-tiered approach in EEF’s pupil premium guide, activities must be those that: support the quality of teaching, such as staff professional development; provide targeted academic support, such as tutoring; and tackle non-academic barriers to academic success, such as attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support.

In order to ensure we receive the funding to provide this support, please contact the school office if you believe your child is eligible.

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 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/warwickshire-children-and-families-17595309993

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.

The Rugby Autism Network has information about Autism-friendly screening of films in local cinemas for anyone planning a film trip over half term. https://rugbyautismnetwork.co.uk/autism-friendly-cinema/

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!