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Advice for Parents & Carers

At SCA we understand the current situation will be a challenging one for the whole household. Not only are the students suddenly at home and trying to continue their learning but you the parents and carers are trying to juggle supporting your child at home as well as keeping other plates spinning too. 

Below we have provided a list of helpful external agencies that may be able to support you with things such as mental health, financial help and also getting essential items such as food and medicine delivered to your home. We have also posted helpful tips and advice to support your childs home learning journey.

If the Academy can do any more to support you please feel free to get in touch with us on sca.concerns@salfordcity-academy.org

Remember we are in this togther and we will come out stronger the other side.

Team SCA

 

 

Home-school Survival Toolkit

Educating your children at home can be overwhelming, remember nobody expects you to replace the teacher! Manchester Local Care Organisation and Healthy Schools Manchester have put together a Parent/Carer Home-School Survival Toolkit which they have kindly let us share with Salford parents and carers.

It includes a list of educational resources that are available to you, tips on helping children stay active and burn off energy and good advice on building a routine around working from home and looking after children. Click here to access the toolkit.

Knowledge Organisers

To support you child with their learning during this difficult time, our staff have put together knowledge organisers, which contain all of the key learning required for each subject.   These knowledge organisers can be found by clicking the link below.  They are accessed using your child's regular school log-in, and are organised by subject and year group.  

https://salfordcityacademy.sharepoint.com/sites/StudentResources

To best utilise the knowledge organisers, can I please direct you to the knowledge organiser section of the website, which contains some videos showing how best to support your child in using them.

 

https://www.salfordcity-academy.org/curriculum/knowledge-organisers

 

Support Guids and Advice

Parent Support to engage Home Learning - Here

Parent Guide Supporting your Child with Anxiety - Here

Support you child with Home Learning - Guidance for Parents and Carers HERE

Supporting our Children with social distancing and self isolation - Guidance for Parents and Carers HERE

What to do if your child is unwell of injured during this time - Click Here

Advice to parents from Think U Know, how to keep your child safe on line - Click Here

 

 

ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS

 

  • Schools have not ‘shut down’ – Although most children will not be able to physically attend school you will still be able to communicate with senior leaders or teachers. Email sca.concerns@salfordcity-academy.org if you need any general information or advice.
  • Expect stress – This is an uncertain and unpredictable situation, stress and anxiety are normal. However, if you continue to be concerned about your child’s mood / anxiety, please email the SENCo laura.dawson@salfordcity-academy.org who may be able to signpost you to additional supportive services.
  • Don’t try to replicate a full school timetable – It won’t be possible for a variety of reasons. Giving yourself and your children permission to accept this can be a big weight lifted.
  • Help children stay connected to their friends – Friendships are a key resiliency factor for children and young people. Most children see their friends nearly every day of the week and so not being in contact with them for some time might be upsetting. Is it possible for children to talk to their friends on the phone? Perhaps establish a group Skype or WhatsApp call? Perhaps they could write letters to each other.

  • Have a routine and structure – Having a plan and a predictable routine for the day can be very reassuring. As adults we like to know what is going to happen, and children like this too. A consistent routine lets everyone be secure about the plans for the day. It is often useful to involve children in creating this routine, so that they feel part of the plan, rather than the plan being imposed on them. You could display the routine using a timeline, or maybe pictures and visuals. Encourage children to develop independence by referring to their own routine/plan themselves.
  • Don’t worry if the routine isn’t perfect – Remember, this isn’t a normal situation. If you find that planning and sticking to the routine is causing more stress, friction or conflict, then it’s OK to be more ‘free-flow’. Perhaps be guided by the activities that children want to do.
  • Avoid putting too much pressure on academic work – Most parents and carers aren’t teachers and so it’s OK not to be doing ‘school work’ for six hours a day. It might be more important to be spending time together, building relationships, enjoying shared activities like reading or drawing and reassuring children, as opposed to replicating the school timetable.
  • Reduce access to rolling news – It is important to keep up to date with new developments and announcements, but it can be hard to switch off from the constant stream of news from media outlets and social media. Reduce the time spent hearing, reading or watching news – at the moment it might be overwhelming for adults and children. Try to protect children from distressing media coverage.
  • Supervise children with screens – It is likely that children and young people will be using screens more often over the coming weeks e.g. phones, tablets, gaming consoles and the internet. If this is the case, make sure they are supervised. Ensure appropriate content filters are active – the UK Safer Internet Centre offers guidance on setting up parental control. Try to ensure all children have a balanced range of activities each day. Involve children and young people in these discussions so that they feel part of the plan.
  • Provide reassurance about exams being cancelled – Young people may now be concerned about the announcement that exams later this year will not be going ahead as planned. They may feel like all their hard work has been for nothing. Reassure young people that the Prime Minister has said that all children and young people will get the qualification they worked towards, but acknowledge that the plan is a bit uncertain right now. Reassure young people that the government and Department for Education are working on a plan.
  • Play – Play is fundamental to children’s wellbeing and development – children of all ages! It’s also a great way to reduce stress in adults.

External Support

Financial & Food Support

  • Mustard Tree - Currently offering food parcels/foodclub 2 parcels per week its £2.50 for 10 items and possibly more. They will do emergency food parcels at no cost for families that cannot afford £2.50, will deliver and also the shop is open Mon and Wed 10am for families to collect in Eccles. Contact No is: 0161 505 0974 

    Address for Eccles branch : 16 Southway Eccles M30 0LJ (if you can collect) Ancoats branch is open Mon to Fri 10am 2pm for collections also.

  • Salford Assist - People in crisis who don't have money for food or heating can call for assistance on 0800 694 3695 
  • Spirit of Salford Support to Local families in Salford with money and/or food worries      www.salford.gov.uk/spiritofsalford
  • Salford Loaves & Fishes – 0161 737 8775   www.salfordloavesandfishes.org.uk  Support for families, Monday to Thursday each week.
  • Salford foodbank website:   www.salford.foodbank.org.uk

St.John’s Church - Clifton. Contact  Kim  07435156151

St.Thomas’ Church – can deliver in the afternoon to your door). Contact Avis  07544058011

  • Salvation Army Office, Station Road, Swinton - Present between 10am and 12pm and collect from there
  • Benefits (jobcentre plus) 0845 608 8531
     
  • Universal Credit Help  www.direct.gov.uk 

 

Mental Health & Safeguarding

  • 42nd Street – 0161 228 7321 www.42ndStreet.org.uk – stress, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, they have a long waiting list but the website is good for self-help.
     
  • Samaritans - call free 116 123  www.samaritans.org
     
  • Childline - 0800 1111   1-2-1 counsellor online  www.childline.org.uk
     
  • Runaway Helpline – call or text – 116 000 free even if you have no credit.
     
  • Mind – www.mind.org.uk   Tel: 0300 123 3393 – Anger, Mental Health, Anxiety.
     
  • DV – ChildLine 0800 1111 or www.thehideout.org.uk
     
  • BEAT charity for eating disorders – 0345 634 7650  www.b-eat.co.uk
     
  • Victim Support – 0845 3030 900   www.victimsupport.org.uk
     
  • Alcohol & Drugs – Achieve – confidential advice, support to those who need help with drug, alcohol. 0161 358 1858 www.gmw.nhs.uk
     
  • Hopelineuk 08000 684141 Papyrus prevention of suicide in young people.
     
  • Salford Bridge  Children’s Social Services – 0161 603 4500 (8.30am – 4.30pm) / Duty Team out of hours 0161 794 8888  Make a referral on line if necessary www.salford.gov.uk/children-and-families/safeguarding-children/worried-about-a-child
     
  • Salford CAMHs  - 0161 518 5400
     
  • Salford Royal Hospital – have a PANDA unit for children who express or present a serious risk to taking their own life, parents turn up and wait to be seen.
     
  • Gaddum Centre – Young Carers – 0161 8346069
     
  • School Nurse – Liz Halliwell – Tuesday to Thursdays – 0161 206 3819  website: www.srft.nhs.uk
     
  • Early Break, Young People & Family Service, help with Alcohol & Drugs  0161 723 3880   e:info@earlybreak.co.uk or www.earlybreak.co.uk
     
  • Rapid Response Team – NHS Crisis Care Pathway via Salford CAMHs – 0161 211 7260 (urgent support) or advice from 111

 

Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) will have had some extra support or been working in a slightly different way at school, so it’s helpful to speak to your child’s teacher or the school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) about what worked best for them when learning in school. If you do not already have it, their individual learning profile/ plan may help you understand the skills they were working on. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your child to complete a full day of learning, as this is not realistic or possible for most families. This could be a great opportunity to work on specific skills, or learning linked to their interests.


General Guidance to Support Learning


Work in short bursts – three separate 5 minute activities with a short break in between might work much better than one longer 15 minute activity.


Build in breaks and lots of praise and rewards, this will make it fun for both of you. Try to use little rewards (e.g. stickers, smiley faces, high fives) that can be traded in for a ‘bigger’ reward at the end of the day or week (such as time playing a favourite game, or completing a chosen activity with you).

Try to set up a routine of work then play and keep general routines consistent. Routine is helpful for children, so try to keep bedtimes, mealtimes the same and add in some structure to the day. It may help to create a visual timetable. See this template for an example: https://search3.openobjects.com/mediamanager/hackney/fsd/files/daily_planner_to_support_structure_at_home.pdf .


Having a work then play system might include one, two or three learning activities before play, depending on your child’s ability and age. Don’t worry if things don’t always go to plan – leave it and come back to it later - tomorrow is another day!


Try to have some variety to the activities, but repetition is a great way to learn, so don’t worry about working on the same skills or activities a number of times; especially if your child enjoys them. This can help them remember.


Encourage learning through play and follow your child’s interests– children learn best when they are happy, relaxed and engaged. Practical activities may work much better than worksheets for your child (e.g. playing counting games, letter hunts, drawing around shapes, baking, writing a shopping list, working out how much money is needed for the shopping, etc.). Multisensory approaches are often helpful for children with learning needs – this means learning through seeing, hearing and doing. Remember children in school are not following the curriculum, so try not to feel under pressure to replicate a school day.


If the work you are being provided with feels too hard for your child, speak to your child’s teacher or their school SENCO; they should be able to provide you with different/ adapted activities.


Twinkl has online resources developed specifically for children with Special Educational Needs and is currently free to access for parents. Ask your child’s teacher what level to look at if you don’t already know (e.g. they may be working at an earlier key stage than their year group) https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/specialeducationalneeds-sen


Look after your own wellbeing. The following link is to a community chat room where people who have or support someone with learning difficulties can ask questions, discuss issues and share ideas and resources: https://healthunlocked.com/mencap


Managing feelings
Children and young people with SEND may feel a loss of control in times of uncertainty such
as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They may need extra words of reassurance, more
explanations or adapted explanations about the event, and more comfort and other positive
physical contact from loved ones.


Where possible, it can be helpful to explain any upcoming changes to routine and
circumstances before they happen and help them to plan and come up with solutions, such
as finding a hobby or doing exercises to relax and cope with anxiety.


It may help to support your child to create their own toolbox of strategies that they can use
if they are feeling upset, worried, confused or angry.

Managing Feelings
Toolkit. Coronavirus strategies.docx

For useful tips for talking about feelings, see Skills for Care advice.


The Special Needs Jungle has produced an article about staying calm and supporting children’s concerns about coronavirus: https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/calmingcoronavirus-
anxiety-children-everyone-else/


There are also a number of easy to read resources and social stories explaining coronavirus for children and young people, such as:
Covibook: https://660919d3-b85b-43c3-a3ad-
3de6a9d37099.filesusr.com/ugd/64c685_319c5acf38d34604b537ac9fae37fc80.pdf


Social story for younger and primary aged children: https://littlepuddins.ie/coronavirus-socialstory/
Easy read guide for older children/ young people:
.https://www.healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/easy-readadvice-
on-the-coronavirus-v1.pdf


For further guidance on coronavirus (COVID19) for those with learning difficulties please see
the Mencap website (includes easy read materials).


Further information
The Special Needs Jungle website has advice and guidance to support parents of children
with SEND at home (e.g. starting gently, ways to address the challenges of learning at
home): https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/coronavirus-lockdown-kids-setting-steady-pacehome-
learning/


The website also includes links to lots of visual resources, social stories, and multi-sensory
learning and wellbeing resources: https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/distance-educationresources-
for-children-and-young-people-with-send/


The Sensory Projects website includes lots of links to educational activities at home,
including those specifically for children and young people with additional educational needs
and those specific to learning about COVID 19 and the changes to our lives: http://www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk/covid19-resources?fbclid=IwAR38l-FHc0oJ9hqmbop6OQz_ziSYlaJwecxWqAgH9q-1QYsWFCmdKlv1NLg


Inclusive Teach A to Z of sensory learning activities: https://inclusiveteach.com/2019/05/13/the-a-z-of-sensory-learning-activities/


Education Otherwise Includes lots of ideas and links to support practical learning at home: https://www.educationotherwise.org/index.php/links/37-activities-teaching-and-learning


Story massage have put together a free resource booklet of 36 stories, email them to be sent a copy: mary@storymassage.co.uk


GOV. UK - Government guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus, which includes further advice and links: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-parents-and-carers-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak#helping-children-and-young-people-cope-with-stress

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