At Heltwate School, we understand the many challenges and difficulties faced by parents and carers in raising happy and healthy children who also experience lifelong medical conditions and diagnoses, additional learning needs and often very complex disabilities.
Our aim is to work with parents, carers and other professionals in a non-judgemental, transparent, supportive partnership to progress the educational and care needs of the children and young people in our care. This starts early; when we first meet parents for transition to highlight the key policies and procedures in school. Parents will be asked to complete a home/ school agreement which outlines the expectations of the school, the parent and child.
Whilst we acknowledge that there is no magic wand, and that we may not always have immediate remedies, we will always be available to listen and consistently endeavour to do our utmost to support the needs of our students and their families, or signpost you on to specialist support whenever needed.
All students are individually important members of a colour, rainbow or Olympic College class or group and are taught by at least one teacher, and supported by a team of teaching assistants.
It is the class teacher and his or her support team that retain immediate pastoral responsibility for your child – they are your first port of call and main initial link for parents and carers. Teachers will discuss with you the best way to keep you informed. It could be using a Home School diary, a regular update phone call or e-mail. Parents receive termly curriculum forecasts and are notified of targets. Parents also receive information about how their child is progressing at school each half term. Class teachers will also send home a termly newsletter, which is also on the website. Regular letters are sent home in school bags or if you prefer via a regular text service.
There are informal parent consultation evenings in the Autumn Term and the Spring Term. Every year pupil’s progress is formally reviewed through an “Annual Review” of their EHC plan. Parents are invited to read, discuss and comment on the report. Other professionals may also need to be invited to the Annual Review.
As parents you will be invited to many school functions and activities. These would include such things as sports day, seasonal activities and special curriculum or activity weeks.
Should you need any advice or guidance, or wish to share information about your child, please contact the school’s main office on (01733) 262878. The class teacher will then either call you back or email, if you prefer.
Our Safeguarding and Welfare Manager, Mrs Debbie Shaw
Whilst the teacher and their team work with your child on a daily basis, and know and understand your child’s needs best, more specialist or commissioned support may sometimes be required to ensure that their holistic needs are met.
In such cases, you may be referred to meet with the school’s Safeguarding and Welfare Manager, who can support you with many issues:
- Early Help Assessments (formerly CAF) for commissioned support and extra help in managing and progressing the needs of your child.
- Supporting attendance at ‘Team around the Child’ (TAC) meetings, which formulate and co-ordinate specialised agency support.
- Attendance at Child in Need and Core Group meetings, arranged by Children’s Social Care
- Support with form filling and DLA/PIP benefit requests
- Signposting parents and carers to specialist support such as CAMHS
- Liaison with medical, therapeutic and other professionals to ensure that as a school we always do our best to meet and accommodate the needs of your child, providing them with 360° care and support.
- Medical support via the nursing service.
- Support with specific schools transport issues.
The school accesses the school nursing service who provide general medical health advice and support, the universal offer. It is possible to access this service for more general guidance, e.g. growth development, dietary requirements, personal care etc. For more complex medical needs e.g. epilepsy, asthma, feeding and medication in school we are supported by Cambridgeshire Specialist Nursing Team. All matters discussed with the school nursing team are confidential and parents will need to give their consent prior to any discussion. The school nurse may play an active role in aspects of the Personal Health Social and Citizenship curriculum across the school.
Pupils with additional needs may have access to a wide range of specialist support. The pupil’s EHC Plan may make it clear what support is needed and parents would be encouraged to discuss this with the class teacher. We work in connection and collaboration with other professionals such as Speech Therapists, Music Therapy, Play Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapists, and the Sensory Impairment Service.