SCS Newsletter 14.02.2020

It was a very powerful end the half term with our 'Family Learning Week'. The partnership with you helps us make teaching and learning personalised for your child. It was excellent to see parents and carers observe and take part in learning activities, get training on technology and strategies, and connect with one another through the Family Learning Week days to explore links beyond the school day.

Parent Council - The Parent Council met on 7th February 2020. It was great to see so many Class Representatives join the discussions. School governor Colin Reader also joined the meeting and discussion points with Monika, Laura, Matt, and Vijita. The Parent Council started with a discussion on their 'terms of reference' and agenda areas. The key topics in the discussion:

1) The school based NHS Leads for Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy met with the Parent Council to share updates on the service. There was a discussion on health passports and exploration of potential parental engagement for some of their NHS focus groups.

2) The financial challenges schools are facing which included an overview of the national, regional, and local financial landscape. We then discussed the school's focus on ensuring the core provision to maintain the high standards through our individual curriculum pathways. There was a discussion on the school charity and current fundraising priorities.

3) The Avenue Road safety focus remained a discussion point as well. The school worked with Camden Council and the Met Police Safer Roads team to track speeds and involve pupils in the road safety project. Parents shared information about the 'Hidden Disabilities' lanyard which is recognised by the London transport teams. A group of parents have also created an online petition to raise awareness for the zebra crossing we are seeking to support our pupils engagement in the local community.

Details for each topic are the focus of this week's newsletter.

Hidden Disabilities Lanyard

The Hidden Disabilities 'Sunflower' originated in 2016 when London Gatwick Airport asked "How can we recognise that one of our passengers may have a non-obvious disability?". The answer was to create a lanyard with a simple sunflower design on a green background. It was intended to be a subtle but visible sign enabling airport staff to recognise that the wearer (or someone with them) may require some extra help, time or assistance when moving through the airport.It is starting to be recognised globally and has been adopted in the UK by all of the major airports, many supermarkets, railway stations, leisure facilities, in the NHS and an increasing number of small and large businesses and organisations.

The school has purchased a 'Hidden Disabilities' lanyard for every pupil in the school. We will send these home once they arrive after half term break.

Read more about this excellent initiative here: hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/about-hidden-disabilities-sunflower

Hospital Passport

The hospital passports discussed at the Parent Council were focused on supporting families in sharing important information on your child. Parent Council Representatives shared how emotional it can be to go through the diagnosis and timelines with the range of medical professionals. This is an example of a Hospital Passport that was discussed at the meeting. If you are liaising with a specific hospital trust, ask them for their Hospital Passport template. We are here to help you fill this out. royalfree.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/disabled-facilities/patients-with-a-learning-disability/hospital-passport

Swiss Cottage School Charity

The Swiss Cottage School Charity has three key aims:

1) To fund specialist equipment and learning opportunities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability at Swiss Cottage School

2) To raise awareness of Special Education Needs and Disability in the local, regional and national community

3) To develop partnerships which promote the social inclusion of pupils at Swiss Cottage School

The Charity has funded Curriculum workshops such as Oily Cart, Artists in Residence, Regents Parks adaptive cycling, Life Skills community trips, Residential trips, Horse-riding, and daily fruit for all pupils. The Charity led a focus to establish two new bespoke sensory rooms. The current focus is on the funding for new minibus provision that meets the new London emissions requirements. These are the fundraising priorities:

The charity reports to the national Charity Commission. We have six Trustees. Three trustees are from the school (Principal, Chair of Governors, Vice Chair of Governors) and three are independent trustees. All volunteer their time to work with key charitable organisations, funders, and donors to support the needs of the school community. If you have links to organisations or friends who are interested in supporting the school charity, please inform reception.

Find more information on our website: swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/support-us/fundraising

The school website also has a link to the school charity's Just Giving page: justgiving.com/scs

You can also raise money for Swiss Cottage School Charity with the click of a button. Each time you use the 'Give as you Live' link when shopping online, you are raising money for our school charity. Every £ counts! Share this with friends, families, colleagues, and your community to raise funding for special educational needs. Find the link and more information on our website: swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/give-as-you-live

Petition for Zebra Crossing at Avenue Road

A group of parents have created a petition to support the priority and process of gaining a zebra cross at the entrance of the school. Please show your support through this link: www.change.org/p/camden-council-zebra-crossing-at-swiss-cottage-special-school

Half Term

Monday 17th February to 21st February 2020

The school is closed next week for half term break. Pupils return to school on Monday, 24th February 2020. Have a safe and fun half term. We look forward to welcoming you back.

These dates can be found on our website: swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/for-parents/term-dates

Other News

Anna Kennedy Online (AKO) Autism Expo event at Brunel University London on Saturday 28th March: AKO is a charity dedicated to raising awareness of autism to help support and inform families and carers. The tickets are £10 per adult and all children under 16 are free. For more information please use this link: akoautismexpo.co.uk

Useful Information

Other Important Dates:

2nd, 3rd, 4th March 2020: The school will complete the annual Challenge Partners QA Review (an external team completes a full school 'peer review' which is like a school inspection)

5th March 2020: World Book Day