FOR PARENTS

Family Support with COVID-19

15th September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 Thank you all for your continued support as we work to transition your child back into full time school. As is typical in any autumn term, we have a number of children and staff who have typical cold type symptoms. In normal circumstances we would of course manage this but given the current situation we need to be vigilant that we are checking for any potential COVID symptoms. As a reminder the symptoms for children are:-

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Of course with our young people it is quite difficult to assess how they are feeling, especially on the last point. Therefore can I ask all parents to remain vigilant and not send in their child if they have any of the above symptoms and to arrange a test. I know that tests are now quite difficult to access and if your child is in school and develops symptoms that we are concerned about, we will do our best to send a home test back home with them. However please note all schools were only issued on the 1st September with 10 test kits. Of course we are trying to obtain more.

If we have to call you about your child please be available to collect them. If you are working and this will difficult, please ensure that your second and third emergency contacts are available and at the ready. In order to contain the virus we have to act fast and whilst we have all precautions in place to isolate a child who is showing symptoms, this is becoming increasingly complex if we have several children at the same time and if we cannot get them back home quickly. Please let your school Family Liaison Officer know if you have any concerns about collecting your child or if any of your contact numbers have changed.

We all need to work together at this time and I am very grateful for your continued support.

Kind regards,

 

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

Eagle House Group

18th June 2020

Dear families  

 I hope you all continue to stay safe and well.

 I thought it might be helpful to update you again with news from across the schools. We have gradually and in line with social distancing rules been increasing our daily pupil numbers. We are working with you to include your child, albeit part time, where we are able. I know that some of you are not yet comfortable in sending your child back, which is perfectly understandable and very helpful given the circumstances we are facing.

Thank you to those parents whose children are at home and for the fantastic work you are doing with them. I hope you continue to feel fully supported by the contact you are receiving from the staff but please let me know if you need any additional support or resources. Please be assured that we are constantly reviewing our daily rotas to include as many children in school as we can and will let you know if we can offer time in school as soon as we are able. The schools are working hard to make the school environment as safe as we can with the use of ‘zones’ or ‘bubbles’ so that there is less movement across the school. The children are coping with this change amazingly well and keeping to the rules. They have all done so incredibly well to adjust to such radical and unexpected change and we are very proud of everyone.

Many of you have asked about what might be happening in the summer holidays. I am so sorry that we have so far not been given any directive from the Department for Education  but we are working with our colleagues from the National Association of Specialist schools to try and find out. As soon as I am advised I will let you all know. The Group is keen, whether the schools are open in summer or not, to make the equivalent of free school meals payments to any family who is struggling at the moment. Please write back to me if you would like our help in this matter.

I also wanted to assure those families from BAME communities that we have worked to reassure the children about the recent news coverage about the impact of COVID on BAME families and of course the recent tragic death of George Floyd in the US. The children are, like us all, bombarded with news stories that can confuse and worry them. Out teams have added support where necessary and we have a resource book for families which helps explain the issues. This is now posted on the resources page of our website. Eagle House Group is built on diversity and we are here to represent some of the most marginalised young people in society, as ever we will continue to embrace diversity of thought and practice to ensure everyone counts. If your child is particularly anxious please let your therapy team know and they will offer additional support and strategies.

Thank you again for all your lovely messages of support. 

Kind regards

 

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

Eagle House Group

BAME community issues

The following is a resource book for children who are confused and need explanation about the recent BAME community issues that have been dominating our news of late, it can help families explain what is happening across the world with regard to the Black Lives Matter movement.

14th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Important letters to parents regarding the recent new Government announcements.

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

Eagle House Group

12th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Tops tips this week from our speech and language therapists and occupational therapists

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

Eagle House Group

15th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope you are all keeping fit and well. Now we are  in our 4th week of lockdown and with the sunshine appearing, if is getting increasingly hard to keep our young people with autism indoors and motivated. My own daughter continues to struggle with the loss of her daily routines which entirely revolved around being out and about, going to her various activities. Like many of our youngsters she has coped incredibly well but sadly the TV and DVD player didn’t quite make it when she realised that Easter meant staying put and not following our usual family routine. Why do our young people always damage the things that are the most important to them and leave us, as parents, scrabbling around to find an immediate replacement?.

Anyway, I am therefore delighted to see that the Government has recognised that for some people with Learning Disabilities and Autism, this is a particularly stressful time and that going out once a day for  ‘exercise’ is not enough. As a result, they have relaxed the rules somewhat for young people who just are not managing with one walk a day.

The guidance published on the 9th April now says ‘If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional’.

This is of course not carte blanche for us all to run off into the wilderness (tempting as that is) but it does create a little bit of flexibility for those of us who are finding lockdown unbearably difficult. I appreciate that some of you may have young people who are perfectly happy being holed up in their rooms and enjoying the lack of demands, but for our physical guys this will allow us to take short, more frequent ventures out, even beyond the local area. As with everything we have to follow the social distancing rules and I suggest you have your “autism alert card” with you if you get any looks or tuts from members of the public. If you don’t have a card, they can be downloaded at

https://www.autism.org.uk/~/media/nas/our-services/coronavirus/i-am-autistic-a5-print.ashx?la=en-gb

Every little helps as they say. 

Kind regards,  

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

Eagle House Group

8th April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers
 
I hope you are all safe and well. It is a pleasure to see the photographs each day of the children who are in school and to also hear from those of you who are at home. We are now into week 3 of the current lockdown situation and the only saving grace is the weather has a least taken an upturn. I hope you are all managing to get out for your once a day fresh air break.

I wanted to remind you that many of our staff are busy working on resources for you to use at home, so please check back on this page where we have uploaded new resources today for you.  As ever if you need any help or support just let us  know by return and we will contact you as a priority I will continue to provide you with updates and please be assured that we are stringently following all Department For Education guidance and will notify you if anything might impact you and your child.

Take care, keep well
 
Julia Pithouse
Chief Executive

2nd April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

The amazing therapy team at Eagle House School (Mitcham) have created a wealth of resources for you to use with your children for those children using PODD to visual support in talking about emotions. Please remember that if you require additional resources and activities, you can liaise directly with therapists at your child’s individual school at

This will ensure that if the therapist you might usually liaise with is unavailable, your email will be picked up from someone else in the team.

Warmest regards from

The Eagle House School Mitcham CA Team

30th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We will soon be approaching what would have been the end of term and the start of the Easter holidays.

In the current circumstances however, we have been asked by the Government to remain open to support those families who are Key workers and those whose children are the most vulnerable. As a result all Eagle House Schools will remain open throughout the Easter Holidays with the exception of Good Friday (10th April) and Easter Monday (13th April). We have already made contact with those of you who work in critical services to make arrangements for your children. We would also like to say a big thank you to each of you for the amazing work you are doing.

I would also like to say a big thank you to the rest of our parents who are looking after their children at home and supporting us to remain open whilst we have limited staff resources. We will continue to support you as much as we can and if you need any help or support, even during the Easter break, please contact us and we will be available to support you.

The Government has today published guidance for parents on supporting children during this time of uncertainly and there is a section on autism, although I have to say it doesn’t really suggest very much  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

Finally we have also updated our schools safeguarding policies to reflect the current situation. It explains how we will continue to manage safeguarding all of our children and how you as parents/carers can raise any concerns. It can be found on the parent support page on our website https://eaglehousegroup.co.uk/family-support-with-covid-19/

Please keep safe and well and I am always happy to talk to parents and you can contact me anytime at julia.pithouse@eaglehousegroup.co.ukor 07703 745198

Kind regards,

Julia Pithouse

Chief Executive

PLEASE NOTE – Please don’t forget that you must not send your child back into school, particularly after a period of isolation, without letting us know first. We are trying to plan our staffing each morning and desperately need parents/carers to tell us the day before if their child is due back. Please contact:

Eagle House School (Sutton) and 6th form at Strawberry Lodge please contact your Head teacher at Francesca.arocas@eaglehousegroup.co.uk telephone 07398 128 505

Eagle House School (Mitcham) please contact your Acting Head teacher at lorraine.titchener@eaglehousegroup.co.uk telephone 07904 630 781

Eagle House School (Bramley) please contact your Head teacher by email at tom.milson@eaglehousegroup.co.uk

Many thanks for your continued support, keep well and call us if you need any help or advice.

Example timetables – 

If you are home with your child/children, here is a suggested timetable to you might want to try or adapt to keep some sense of routine and structure – for you and your child!

Other resources – 

As the lockdown is now entering the third week, many of our children may be suffering with increasing anxiety and exhibiting challenging behaviour. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation have released the information to support families in this situation and this invaluable guide may bring some answers to get through these extraordinary circumstances

How to explain the virus to your children – the following social story is a brilliant resource to share with our pupils and their siblings. We love the graphics and simple, non scary way of explaining COVID 19 in a very reassuring way –

Mencap also have an easy read version –

Plus, a family shares their action to get through Self Isolation – 

Here are two more social stories that might help you explain what is happening. One is an animation so it might be more visually appealing!

One of our EHS Sutton parents has suggested the following website as a great resource for families trying to cope practically and emotionally during the Covid-19 outbreak –

Everybody knows “Grandma’s Law” – “first you eat your vegetables, then you get your desert”. This is actually based on scientific evidence that a non-preferred activity is more likely to happen if it is followed by a preferred activity

Play skills support children to learn communication skills…

For a child with sensory processing difficulties, sleep can be a tough one to master. Firstly, the world is too bright, too loud, too stimulating, or worse, not stimulating enough. Secondly, the neurological processes that work between body and brain are disrupted, so the neurological behaviours that create sleep may be disordered and not functioning well.

Support with Bereavement –
We understand that explaining the current COVID 19 situation to your child with autism in incredibly difficult even with the aid of social stories and visual support. We truly hope that none of our families will need to draw upon our pack of bereavement resources but recognise that this could be a situation that you may have to explain. We have therefore produced a pack of resources. As with all our on-line strategies, please contact us if you would like any individual support

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Eagle House School (Mitcham):

020 8687 7050

Eagle House School (Bramley):

01483 912 080

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020 8661 1419

Eagle House School 6th Form (Strawberry Lodge):

020 3745 8760

Schools' Business Office:

020 8770 7788

Schools' Business Office

 

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Chancery House

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St Nicolas Way

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