Message from John and the Team Friday 20th May 2022

Hi everyone,

How is everyone? I hope you’ve had a good week at home, and I hope that you’ve felt that your son or daughter has had a good and enriching week in school. It’s been a very nice week, with lots going on. The weather helps, but there have also been lots of lovely sporting activities, outdoor lessons and all sorts

Another really nice thing is that the pupils voted to have a Jubilee party on Thursday. They can wear red, white or blue – or any combination! They are choosing the contents of a Jubilee picnic, from a range of mouth-watering dishes! Excellent!

This is a Smile Through Sport thing that the PE guys sent to me and looks good. Have a great weekend everyone, and as ever, thanks for all your support


We’re prioritising e-safety in the school and want to talk about it with you whenever we can. This is on the e-safety blog this week, and called “What Parents and Carers need to know about WhatsApp”. Sounds good, everyone uses that these days don’t they?. Here’s the link – it’s interesting, I’ve had a look

Stole this image from a primary school’s website


You Said, We Listened: Relationship, Sex, Health Education

The team working on this really important area have been consulting and seeing what you at home have said about everything. Here are some inks that you may find helpful and interesting. They had a bit of a  low turnout for their Spring 2022 Parent Forum, so they decided to collate some information to share with you regarding the parent and student consultations that have been carried out over the last year. They’ve also included their journey of how we have implemented the new statutory outcomes so far and information regarding our SEND assessment tool. I really enjoyed looking at this – it’s so much better than when I used to teach this kind of thing! Sometimes difficult, but always important stuff!

The first one is more primary, the second one more secondary, if you’re thinking about the ages or stages of the pupils

Primary Forum

RSHE Primary Forum Statutory Outcomes Shared with teachers and therapists Medium term planning Parent Consultation Online Policy Refresh TD Resources Created a TD shared folder DfE recommended Steering Group TD Whole school NCS Student Consultation Secondary x 2 Collaboration NCS George Stephenson

Achievement & Progress: Parent Consultations, and Coffee & Catch-up

We’re very much looking forward to discussing your son or daughter’s progress on The Wheel at the new Parent/Carer Consultation that we’ve set up, whereby the Class Teacher will make contact and arrange a date and time with you at a convenient within the two weeks

  • beginning 27th June
  • and beginning 4th July

Please do book an appointment at a convenient time during this two weeks, face-to-face or on Teams, whatever suits you better. We anticipate that about twenty minutes will be enough

At the meeting the teacher will go through progress on The Wheel, and anything else that’s relevant too, that you may need to talk about, like Key Drivers, Annual Review targets, safeguarding or perhaps e-safety or other training that you would like

I hope that it will prove to be helpful and interesting, and indicate to you how your child is making Progress – and if they are not making progress, what it is that we are doing about it

If it goes well, then we’ll do one of those every term, so three times a year, towards the end of each term, so in late Nov/early Dec; March or April depending on when Easter is; and in early July

Also, we are organising Coffee & Catch-up sessions, where you can chat with each other, see some aspects of the school that perhaps you haven’t seen yet, and talk to people in a slightly more relaxed manner. Thee are what used to be the Coffee Mornings. Departmental heads will be in contact about those. Again, these will be three times a year, but in the first half of each term, so roughly in October, February and perhaps May

Hopefully both of these events – one more informal, one more formal – will be helpful. It will be good to see you in the school after all this time

The Wheel



Reading is a priority for the school, whether that is reading to help prepare our students for adulthood and the world, for pleasure, or in the phonics program that Becky F spoke about last week. I’ll repeat a bit of it here again

Phonics is continuing to be a big focus particularly within the ELTBA pathway, with students continuing their daily lessons and trying out some of our new books. When learning early reading skills it’s really important that students have a chance to read books that include only the sounds they know (these are called decodable books). It’s great for building confidence and we’re seeing students really respond well to being able to read a little more independently!

All of the books in our Phonics Library are fully decodable, so the staff team know which week of our phonics program the students are on, and which books they can choose from. We’re building our Phonics Library gradually and getting feedback from students and staff as to the types of books they’re enjoying. The non-fiction ranges were proving very popular, so we were pleased to add more non-fiction books in today. With the help of Abi & Jayden, two of our school council reps, they’re ready for students for next week!

Many thanks to the parents who have sent in their preferences about literacy/phonics training. We’re working on a plan now and you’ll receive more information shortly

Allotment Corner & Therapy Focus!

Sandpipers visited their allotment again to check progress of vegetables they planted last week, plant flowers for pollinators and worked towards their communication targets choosing an action from symbols

Planting, watering, digging, potting…………………

They even found lots of creepy crawlies and minibeasts along the way to add to all of their sensory experiences

Jack using a big mack with switch to choose PLANTING after listening to his options. It was a hard decision deciding which to plant, Jack chose the greenfly infested plant. We hope it survives!

Lola chose DIGGING so she used her arm movements to push the soil away with a garden hoe. She explored the different textures of soil and weeds

George chose WATERING and discovered a snail and ladybird! Although he loved the ladybird, he wasn’t very impressed by the snail.

We cant wait to explore more next week

Absolutely loving the allotment news updates – such a lovely thing to do!

Lesson of the Week – Outdoor Learning with David

Over the past 2 weeks, the KS4 Outdoor Learning group have been building shelters. Last week, they made tarp shelters, as groups, that they could use themselves. This week, they made natural shelters to protect Gandalf, a plastic figurine, from rain, a watering can. Lots of the students were successful in making shelters that kept Gandalf dry. This looks brilliant!

Our lovely Outdoor Learning area

Another Lesson of the Week – PE, but this time with David again!

The Key Stage 4 Wednesday afternoon small PE group has been working on their navigational skills over the last three weeks. This has included using a compass to make 2D shapes and using grid references to find locations on the main yard. This week they did some orienteering and at each control they then took part in a challenge. These included, throwing a catching a ball, shooting a hoop, scoring a penalty, racket juggling and running challenges, amongst others



Another Fabulous Thing That Happens

There was a really nice thing happening in post-16 Enterprise this week where they were creating an ice cream shop to raise money for the homeless. I, like many people, had a mint Cornetto, and enjoyed it very much! Thanks Matthew, that was great stuff


Sunflower Watch with Woodpeckers!

The photo won’t come out so I’m going to have to add to this on Monday or just give you double the photos next week! ☹☹☹

Makaton Signs of the Week

It’s really good that we are ding such a lot of work on Makaton now, I’m really pleased about it

This week Julie and the team are looking at our Zones of Regulation (If I haven’t talked about that I can do so in a future blog – I’ll go back and check to see if I have). Anyway, for those, the pupils need to know colours, so the four colours are the signs of the week

You can see what it’s all about on this video, and when we do these Coffee & Cath-ups this is exactly the sort of thing that we could look at together

Engagement Star of the Week

Our Stars of the Week for the Engagement Pathway are Jack and George. They had a great music session this week, they worked together as a team and did some fantastic turn taking, in music and other subjects. Well done, both – complete STARS!!! 

 ELTBA Star of the Week

This week the team would like to give the ELTBA Star of the Week award to Edward in The Wood Pigeons.  The class team are really impressed with Edward’s attitude to his learning and his ability to get on with his work and do his very best each and every time.  He has been a hardworking superstar!  We would also like to give a shout out this week to Aurora and Connor in the Woodpeckers for some fantastic paired work they did as part of their Science where they had to complete a sorting activity.  They worked amazingly together

STARS!!! All three!!!!!

The Sort Activity

More Stars of the Week

Puffins have been doing ‘MOVE to Garden’ this week with their OT.  Each student was given a task to complete about the quad area in our department.  As you can see by these lovely photos, the team kept everyone busy!

Oscar has been doing some great work in his Rebound sessions, and working hard towards his targets

Oliver has been on the tricycle twice this week, strengthening his legs and having fun at the same time

Two definite STARS!!! 


Finally…..#1 PROM!

Our first official Prom, happening at the school in July!

Finally finally…..

This looks like fun if you’re into this sort of thing

The Summer Fair! On the 16th July!

Look on Eileen’s blog! Can’t wait!

All the very best to all of you, from all of us here

John & the Team

The Wheel