We will post monthly any articles from The Beacon which we feel parents and carers will find useful (a copy of the previous report from the Beacon is below).
What’s happening at The Beacon…
We would like to thank all professionals and YP volunteers that attended our open day.
If you are interested in joint working projects or would like to access the building at Station street, send us an email.
The Beacon is now open every Monday 08:30 – 18:00 for open access and drop-ins for young people.
Breakfast Club – tea, coffee, juice, toast available 08:30 – 11.
Transition (18-25) drop in 1-3pm.
Young people and professionals can drop in at any time.
Research, Policy & Guidance
Want to prevent kids from using drugs and make it stick into young adulthood? Get the community involved and intervene before they’re teens, say researchers from the University of Washington | EurekAlert, USA
Based on our recent report (PDF) of the same name, this video calls for a rethinking of the government’s drugs policy to take a more public health-led approach | Royal Society of Public Health, UK
The findings in this report paint a complex picture of student drug use, one that has both positive and negative impacts on students’ lives. In doing so, it contrasts with some university, college and students’ union drug policies, which see student drug use wholly as a problem to be eradicated through suspensions, evictions and surveillance | NUS, Release UK
Parents spend a lot of time worrying about the influence of peers on teen substance use. A new study examines if there is a genetic component that drives teens’ desire for risk taking and novelty | Science Daily, USA
Researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney are reaching out to young people who participated in a landmark 2012 trial to assess the long-term impact of school-based drug and alcohol prevention programs | NDARC, Australia
The death of a student who took ecstasy as a “final fling” following the end of her university exams has prompted a pathologist to warn young people against fooling themselves into believing they are immortal | Telegraph, UK
‘Helen’ criticises lack of support after her son was groomed and made to sell drugs in rural areas | Guardian, UK
A London teenager who became caught up in “county lines” drug dealing has revealed how a boxing and mentoring programme in Croydon has helped him turn his life around | Evening Standard, UK
As part of a BBC Wales Investigates programme gang members agreed to speak anonymously about what they do. This video is part of a more in-depth examination of the so-called County Lines drug phenomenon | BBC, UK
Jermaine Lawlor was recruited by a gang in east London when he was 13 | BBC, UK
Suggested Homework activity from Mr Hubbard
We all like to be told when something has gone well. Last year was our best ever and we have by far the best staff team it has been my pleasure to work with. As a school leadership team we try and give our staff as much praise as we can but research show that the most powerful praise for staff comes from the young people themselves.
It would be much appreciated if you could get your child to write a brief ‘thank you’ note to the staff that have made the most difference to them over the past year. How and why has this member of staff improved their experiences at Elmwood?
FRIENDS OF ELMWOOD
All parents and carers are warmly welcomed to Elmwood School and are invited to join the ‘Friends of Elmwood’ group. Regular coffee mornings and invitations to other events are made throughout the year. Our work with parents and carers was recognised with the the Leading Parent Partnership Award in 2013 which was reconfirmed following reassessment in November 2016.
The School was recognised for its range of involvement with external agencies, the regular and varied sessions for parents to come together, how parental engagements forms a key part of the School’s Raising Achievement Plan and the celebration of achievement for both pupils and parents.
Three parents met with the Assessor and stated how pleased they were with the level of support they receive, the high level of confidence in staff and the supportive environment the School offers. Parents appreciated the termly attainment and progress meetings and feel well informed about their child’s academic achievements. The new technological methods of communicating such as the use of ‘MarvellousMe’ was praised and parents felt that their views and feedback were taken into consideration when making decisions.
Our certificate is now proudly displayed in reception for all to see Parents can access can access the LPPA website by clicking on the link below in addition to reading our final report: http://www.lppa.co.uk/
We employ two Family Welfare Officers who are there to help support any parent or carer who needs help and guidance.
The School have subscribed to a fun and motivational tool that supercharges family conversations about school and facilitates better at home support. It helps families to celebrate their child’s good work and reinforces positive behaviours. All parents and carers who have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer are provided with individual log ins enabling them to be kept informed of their child’s activities and achievements at school.
The link to the site is: www.marvellousme.com.
A quick reference guide answering common questions like joining up, logging back in and seeing a child’s history can be found below.
THE PREVENT STRATEGY
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. An information leaflet explaining what this entails is on the leaflet below. If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school. Our Single Point of Contact (Prevent Lead) is Mr Simon Hubbard with Bev Bailey, Family Welfare Officer as Deputy SPOC.
LAUNCH OF EDUCATE AGAINST HATE
The Government has launched the above website http://educateagainsthate.com – which is designed to equip parents as well as schools with the information, tools and resources needed to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people.
CHILDREN AND SEXTING
Sharing information online is now part of everyday life. Digital devices can capture, store and share personal information in an instant. We are all at risk of oversharing personal and private information but none more so than children. Children are at risk of sharing too much personal information with strangers and with other children. Most children use the internet to explore social and personal relationships safely, but it is all too easy to be put at risk. Keeping children safe on line is of paramount importance; further details on becoming a ‘Gooseberry Guru’ can be found on our safeguarding page.
Sexual exploitation is a crime that parents and carers should be aware of. Support can be found by clicking here.
COPING WITH SELF HARM
Below is a useful document that parents and carers may find useful in coping with self harm.
FREE ONLINE RESOURCE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
MindEd for Families is a vital online resource providing evidence-based advice and information for family members concerned abut their child’s mental health. The site has been developed in partnership with YoungMinds and co-written with parents and carers. The resources are engaging, ineractive and accessible on all mobile and tablet devices. Find out more – www.minded.org.uk/families.
All parents and carers are warmly invited to come along to coffee mornings. A number of parents/carers and outside organisations have previously enjoyed coffee mornings as you can see from the pictures below.
Our Family Welfare Officers have tried to incorporate an event or a speaker at the coffee mornings but the preferred option from parents and carers is for a more relaxed informal event where they can speak to each other about their day to day lives, offer each other advice and use the time to catch up. Events held during the year have included Contact a Family (stress management), Safer Internet Day, Fund Raising and Sports Day.
Our coffee morning held on Tuesday 27th March was a supportive coffee morning with the opportunity for the completion of DLA forms and signpost to services such as bereavement support, Counselling, Women’s Aid and so forth. Parents had access to laptops to type letters with support. Questions about post 16 provision or anything around transition were up for discussion as well as the national challenge scheme for Yr 11’s. Our Family Support Team were thrilled with the turnout by parents/carers which included our parent governors, Suzanne Hill and Tina Ashford as well as our Vice-Chair, Mrs Rose Burley.
Our coffee morning held on Tuesday 15th May 2018 was supported by Paul Higgitt, Healthwatch Manager at Healthwatch Walsall who organised for two colleagues, Tom and Ros to attend. Parents and carers views were gathered around CAMHS, Healthwatch and autism transition services. A big thank you to the many parents and carers who came along and supported the event.
Our last coffee morning of the summer term 2018 took place on Tuesday 3rd July at 10.30 am which was a transition event. This allowed new parents/carers to meet with Bev and James, our Family Welfare Officers, and to complete some paperwork. They were welcomed by some of our existing parents/carers as well as parent governors. A huge thank you to all who attended; it is important that new parents feel comfortable and confident in sending their children to Elmwood. We are looking forward to receiving the new Year 7 pupils in September.
We have organised for PACE training to be delivered at our next coffee morning being held on 9th October starting at 9.30. It is important for parents/carers to try and attend as many children are online and may not be aware of who they are speaking with. Parents against child exploitation will be an informative workshop aimed at supporting families to keep their children safe. Please try and come along.
SCHOOL MEAL MENU
Parents and carers are able to access what food is in on offer from the School Kitchen via the menu below. Only one of the A, B or C options will be available.
Please be aware that new guidance has been introduced with regards to non payment of school meals. Details are contained within the letter from Walsall Council below.
FREE BOILERS – the Free School Meals Team have been working in partnership with British Gas who want to help families who need help with their heating by saving money on utility bills and free boilers for FSM eligible households. If you want more information about this scheme please contact Scott Southall on 01922 658373.
CONTACT A FAMILY BULLETIN
Inside the latest newsletter from Contact are suggestions for inclusive family fun with theatre shows, cinema and family days out. There is also a previous of free workshops coming up in the Autumn.
FRANK F HARRISON BIKE LIGHT PROJECT
The above is a positive early intervention engagement project which is available to any of our young people. Frank F Harrison Community Association manages the MotoX facility which has a good size main scrambling track as well as a small training track for developing riding skills. The programme runs for 10 weeks and the aim is to provide positive activities, improve confidence and self esteem, increase learning opportunities, enable young people to take on roles of responsibility and inspire them to achieve. Please complete the application form and return to School if you wish to apply for the project. Bike Light Project Referral Form
SUCCESSFUL COMPUTER BID
Our Family Welfare Officer, Bev Bailey, was successful in securing six laptops through the Area Partnership funding for Walsall. The laptops are available for use by parents and carers when needed for such things as writing a CV, searching for jobs, housing etc. Parents and carers can either phone and book an appointment slot or use them during coffee mornings.
HEAD’S TOXIC CHILDHOOD PRESENTATION
Mr Hubbard, Headteacher, has produced a presentation for parents/carers around the Toxic Child book by Sue Palmer. A copy of this presentation is available below and Mr Hubbard will happily speak to any parent or carer who has any questions raised from the presentation.
REFERRAL TO WALSALL PSYCHOLOGY HUB (WPH)
If a child in School is displaying negative behaviours at home and does not fit the CAMHS remit or has a diagnosis of autism/extreme behaviour, our Family Welfare Officers are able to speak and pass details onto WPH. Parents are always contacted in the first instance for their consent and given an explanation as to the role of WPH. WPH will then contact the parents to arrange a suitable appointment.
If a parent is struggling with some form of low level mental health, anxiety, depression, worries or bereavement, our Family Welfare Officers can recommend the parent to the WPH. The parent has to phone and make an appointment. If School feel that the appointment needs to be more urgent we can consult with WPH. A number of sessions are usually offered to parents.
Case study a) – one family on long term child protection, parents needs not met, a counselling service was offered to mom. Due to the relationship with Family Welfare Officer and parent, WPH was offered. Mom was supported with making the appointment. Support given to attend appointment. Mom is able to talk about trauma from the past going back to when she was a young girl. Mom is enjoying attending sessions and feels it is benefitting her.
Case study b) – a Year 10 puil was showing some signs of anxiety which was manifesting in negative behaviours at home. The anxiety was around difficulties he was having outside of School and he was bottling this up continuously and resulting in Children’s Services being contacted and Police involvement. Several visits were made to WPH to discuss and talk through these anxieties. This has resulted in an improvement in his emotional state. Parent accompanied the pupil to all of the appointments.
WPH are based at The Haven, 55 Upper Forster Street, Walsall WS4 2AB. Telephone 01922 649000 from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
All pupils have access in School to a staff mentor – do you know who your child’s is? Check out our new mentoring form on the Letters and Forms page.
All staff have been allocated an attendance buddy who is responsible to verbally welcome back that pupil after a period of absence. This way pupils feel valued upon their return and helps to generate a greater sense of belonging within Elmwood’s Learning Community.
Is a new and exciting project offering support, advice and guidance to help improve your life. Please see attached leaflet from Manor Farm Community Association for more information. Manor Farm leaflet
LOCAL YOUTH CLUBS
Parents and Carers may be interested in finding out more about youth clubs in the local area – details of which can be accessed by clicking here.