Dawn House School

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Principal’s Message to Parents – 15th October 2021


Happy DLD awareness day!


Dear Parents and Carers


A big thank you to all of your good wishes over the last few weeks. Who ever knew there was such a thing as a ‘Get well soon cake card’!! I am in school today for the first time and plan to be back and up to full speed when we return on November 1st.


I think I also need to send out some ‘get well’ wishes to some of you, as I know that with the ongoing appearance of Covid, and the nasty coughs, colds and sickness bugs that have been going around quite a few of you, your children and the school staff have been unwell. Let’s hope that a two-week break will help everyone’s recovery.


There is little for me to tell you about school with not being there, so this letter will have a different focus.


While I have not been at school, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, something I love when I have (or make) the time to do. Some of my reading has been for pleasure, magazines and some easy reads and some has been reading about education, schools and children. I re-read one of my all time favourites about the ‘amazing teenage brain’ and another about the ‘Awesome Power of sleep ‘, another called ‘How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk’ (I’m always drawn by an interesting title!) and am part way through ‘The book you wish your parents had read (and your children will be glad that you did). It has got me thinking that developing our staff library in school (which is a little dispersed!) and creating a library for parents might be a good idea. Not only will we be able to share interesting new ideas and learn about things that fascinate us, but we will all be modelling to our children that reading can be a lovely way to pass the time as an alternative to other things like TV and gaming. Many staff in school will know that I also enjoy reading aloud from books, sometimes to classes and sometimes to staff as part of INSET. There are so many great messages and amazing things to share.


So, my request to you is to ask that if you an tell us about any books that you have found useful, maybe about your children’s needs or about education or anything else relevant, that you let me know so that we can buy them or if you are able to, you might donate them to our school library? Once we can allow increased access into school, and have had time to put the library together, you can come and browse our library and borrow anything that you fancy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and look forward to receiving your contributions.


This week, as I started to have more energy I attended the NASS Conference. NASS (The National Association of Independent Schools and Non-Maintained Special Schools)is the association that is the voice of the non-maintained special school sector, promoting the role of highly specialist provisions like Dawn House School within a modern inclusive education service and supporting the choices of children, their families and carers. The conference is always a great way to hear about what is most important and upcoming in our schools. We have discussed safeguarding, mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff, the latest Ofsted news and expectations, new curriculum ideas amongst other things. It is the first opportunity we have had in the last 2 years to meet with people working in similar schools to share examples of good practise, learn from each other and bring new initiatives back to our own schools.  As we often say, ‘every day’s a school day’!


So here we are at the end of the first half term of this year at Dawn House School.  It's been great to hear about the Dodgeball tournament that groups attended this week. It seems that we have some real stars amongst us and its great to have the opportunity to mix with children from other schools. I know Mr Rose has lots of ideas and links to events like these for all year groups as we move forward in the year.


It’s been a busy half term overall. There have been a lot of changes, some anticipated and others not so, but we look forward to continuing our ‘re-set’ in November and December. We hope to have our Winter Sports Day on the 5th November (if we feel we can invite parents then we will).

We are also pleased to be able to host our annual Parents Consultation Day on Saturday 20th November.  The day gives all parents the opportunity to visit school in person to meet the teachers and therapists who work with your children to receive information and feedback about the work children have been dong in school. We will be using the school hall and classrooms to ensure people will be well spaced and would ask that everyone where possible to use face coverings to keep us all as safe as possible.


This year we will be asking for parents/carers to book individual appointments using a new booking system through Parentmail, you will receive information about this in the first few days after half term so please do look out for it. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on the day.


Christmas Card Designs

It's that time of year again, for students to create their own Christmas card design. Hopefully you would have received the letter already sent home, along with the design sheet and an order form. 

To allow time for designs to be printed on cards we need your child's design and relevant forms back by the 1st of November 2021 so they can be returned to you before the end of term. 


Any profits from the cards sold, will go to 'Friends of Dawn House' to support the positive experience of pupils in school. 


If you have other family members, who would like their artwork produced as Christmas cards, please send in their designs as well.  We look forward to seeing the children's creations again this year, following the great response from last year.  Please return forms to your child's form tutor.


As a parting note, I should let you know that from mid-November, we will be starting work to repair the school roof. We will be sharing details about any particular impact this may have for you and the children The contractors will be talking to the children and staff in an assembly and we will use Parentmail to share any updates with you. There will be an impact on parking, something which is already a concern. We do ask for your patience, understanding and courtesy as we put steps in place to ensure the safety of all those who access our school site.


Wishing you all a healthy half term,