Information for Parents of Students with SEND
Your child’s teachers are continuing to deliver our planned curriculum through live teaching on the Microsoft Teams platform. We are working hard to ensure that all students are confident in using the technology to support their learning while they are at home. Teaching staff have also been trained to consider how they can adapt the curriculum to ensure that it is accessible for all learners, and we have used the national research as an evidence base to review our practice. We have also spoken to a number of SEND students and their families to get their feedback on the positives of remote education and any barriers that they may be experiencing. We are still here and eager to help!
Here are some ways to support your child at home:
• Develop a routine for the school day – start the day with the pastoral check in at 9am with your child’s form tutor.
• Consider using a visual timetable of your child’s lessons, with timings and subjects on it.
• Set up a designated workstation with your child’s laptop and equipment so that they have everything to hand.
• Encourage your child to have a movement break away from the screen in between lessons – lesson times are slightly shorter to allow for this and to manage screen time for students and teachers.
• Encourage your child to take part in our new enrichment offer which focusses on creative activities, physical exercise, personal development and emotional wellbeing.
Asking for Help
• Your child can use the chat box during the lesson to ask a question and get help from the teacher.
• The teachers will be using quizzes, raised hands and the chat box to assess any misconceptions during the lesson.
• Upload your child’s work into the chat box for immediate teacher feedback.
• Your child can email their teacher if they need more help or they are uncomfortable having a public conversation – you can also email staff directly from your child’s email address. The email addresses are on our website.
• Discuss with your child how they learn best and what they find difficult, so that you can identify useful strategies together. Encourage them to be independent by talking about how they approach getting ‘stuck’ or not understanding something.
• The files section has all of the lesson resources and power points – you can review lessons after the live teaching to go over any new knowledge, or preview the content for the next lesson
• There are support guides for all aspects of Microsoft Teams on the website to help you navigate the platform.
Teaching Strategies and Curriculum Adaptations
Our teachers have been trained to use the following strategies with our SEND students:
• Link the lesson into the bigger picture of the subject and the knowledge that your child has already learnt
• Deliver new content in short chunks to help with concentration
• Allowing students time to process text without the teacher talking
• Building in lots of pauses and checks for understanding during the lesson to make sure that everyone keeps up
• Making sure that any new vocabulary is explained
• Using worked examples and modelling to support the independent tasks
• Using quizzes and the chat box to check on any misconceptions
• Giving students advice on how to work independently and how to ask for help
• Showing visual prompts to back up verbal instructions
• Checking in with students who have SEND and targeting questions
• Support students to manage their anxiety and emotions by providing lots of praise and reassurance
• Having fun with our students to keep their sense of belonging
• Model organisation skills such as planning for extended writing and using checklists
Managing Anxiety and Wellbeing
• We recognise that learning at home can be a challenge, and we are all adapting! Focus on the positive achievements of your child, and encourage a growth mind set where they overcome challenges and difficulties.
• It is normal to feel anxious when we have to manage change during a global pandemic. Talk to your child about their feelings and suggest ways to cope with and contain their anxiety.
• Encourage your child to maintain their friendships virtually so that they don’t feel socially isolated.
• Some students with sensory issues or ASC may find live lessons overwhelming and uncomfortable. The alternative is to complete the work in the files sections of Microsoft Teams, and continue to have a dialogue with the teacher and submit work for marking and feedback. Let us know if this is the case so that we are aware that your child has an adapted plan.
• Ask your child’s Year Leader for a pastoral check in and they will offer support.
• Look at the www.mymind.org.uk which is the CAMHs website and has lots of advice and strategies.
• Support your child to ring the Young Person’s Helpline on 08081964147 to access support from trained mental health professionals
• We can refer your child for virtual support around healthy relationships and their emotional wellbeing – ask your Year Leader to do this for you.
Other Sources of Help
• Contact Mrs Canham, Assistant SENCO for a more detailed discussion of how we can support your child.
• Contact Mrs Canham if you would like to book in a session with a TA to support your child.
• Contact your child’s Year Leader for support – they know your child really well and will be able to advise and help you. If they are not the right person to help, they will contact the right person in school. Click here to go to our Key Contacts page.
• Look elsewhere on our website – as well as this Remote Learning section we also have a COVID section. We try to add links to the work that is being done on Wirral by a range of other agencies.
• Let us know if you need help contacting any agencies or the Community Paediatrician team.
To mark Childrens Mental Health Week and to support young people to manage their mental wellbeing, the 0-19 Health and Wellbeing Service in Wirral is launching ChatHealth, a new text messaging service for 11-19 year olds.
Young people across Wirral will be able to find confidential advice and support from their local school nursing service on a range of health and wellbeing issues, including anxiety, bullying, relationships and emotional health, by text.
ChatHealth is currently available between 9am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday (including school holidays and excluding bank holidays) and can be accessed by texting 07480635538.
You can find out more at ChatHealth.
Thank you all for your efforts with home schooling – we appreciate your support!
Ms Weekes, SENCO
Mrs Canham, Assistant SENCO