...building a brighter future for children with Down Syndrome
COVID-19 Update 25th March 2021
Plan for Friday Groups
Dear Families and Schools,
As we head towards the next step of easing of restrictions we have reviewed our plans for after Easter as detailed below:
Friday Group Sessions
As planned, from Friday 16th April we will begin the phased return to face-to-face Friday sessions for the children attending Friday groups.
Initially the return will be only for our youngest children in Groups 1-4 (group led by Lauren, Sam and Laura) who usually attend on a Friday morning.
Sessions will involve staggered start and finish times, our staff will have regular Lateral Flow Tests and we will follow all the Covid guidelines to make everything as safe as possible. Our risk assessment has been updated and will be available to view on our website soon but please ask if you would like to see a copy before then.
For children who attend with their teaching assistants from school (Katie’s Morning group 5, afternoon groups 6 and 7 and Nicola’s Groups) we will continue to deliver these sessions over Zoom or Teams. We consulted with all our schools and had a mixed response to returning to face-to-face in April and so for continuity we will stick with online sessions for now. We will review this again before May half-term with the hope that we can return to face-to-face delivery for those children as soon as possible.
Each group will shortly receive an email with further details of dates and times so please keep an eye on your inbox.
Outreach Visits to Nurseries, Pre-schools and Schools
After Easter our teaching staff will resume in-person outreach visits to schools, where schools are happy for this to happen. Our risk assessment for this has been updated and again, will be available on our website soon but do ask if you would like to see a copy before then.
If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s Downright Special teacher or call our office on 01482 420160.
The Team at Downright Special
COVID-19 Update 25th February 2021
Plan for Friday Groups
Following the government announcement on Monday evening about the plans for lockdown easing we have been looking at what this means for how we run our Friday sessions.
Based on the information available at the moment the plan is:
Thank you all for your support and understanding during the last twelve months. It hasn’t been easy for us all but thankfully it looks like the end is now in sight!
Take care and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any member of the Downright Special team if you have any questions or need any help with anything.
COVID-19 Update 29th January 2021
Some of your young people may be eligible for a vaccine soon, or you as unpaid carers may also be eligible so we thought we’d pull together some of the latest information and easy read resources that you might find helpful.
COVID-19 Vaccination Easy Read Resources and Videos
For young people and adults who may be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination there are a few easy-read resources available to help explain more about the vaccination and what to expect.
Vaccine Priority Groups
The government has published priority groups and information on conditions that deem someone to be in the 'at-risk' group (government website link here). In summary, the phases and priorities for vaccination are (as of 13.01.2021):
Note about Unpaid carers: Unpaid carers are those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person (child or adult) whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. This means unpaid carers are now in priority group 6.
We would advise that every parent carer gets in touch with their GP to make sure that they are listed (coded) as their child’s official carer. If you need a carer definition to share with your GP you will find one on the Royal College of GPs website here: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/carers
Do let us know if you come across any other useful resources that would be good to share with others.
COVID-19 Update 5th January 2021
We hope you all managed to have a good Christmas and stayed safe and well. We aren’t having the start to the New Year that we all hoped for but we wanted to let you know that our staff are still working remotely and are here to offer support to you, your children and their schools or nurseries.
Downright Special Friday Groups
For children who attend our Friday groups then we are continuing to offer these sessions remotely wherever we can and our teaching staff will be in touch with each group individually to let you know the plan. Resources will continue to be sent to home or school as appropriate.
Outreach Support to Schools and Nurseries
Our outreach education support to nurseries, pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools continues. The only change for now is that we will stop doing in-person school / nursery visits except for in exceptional circumstances. Instead we will continue to offer regular support to settings via Teams or Zoom online meetings.
As we have been doing throughout the pandemic, we will continue to attend on-line annual review meetings, write reports and provide support with Education, Health and Care Plans. Our teaching staff are available for schools and nurseries to contact them at any time for help with any issues or to help with providing resources to support differentiation in the classroom.
We have a comprehensive programme of online training already scheduled for this term and this will also continue. We are hoping that the current situation means that in some ways it might be easier for teachers, TAs and SENCOs to attend as this was the case during the March lockdown, so please do encourage your child’s school to have a look at what is on offer. Schools will be receiving emails about the training but sometimes it helps for parents to give them a nudge!
The first training session is on 14th Jan 3:30-4:30pm “Colourful Semantics for children with Down syndrome”
If there is anything at all you need from us then just get in touch – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01482 420160 and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
Also remember our closed Facebook group for parents is a good place to ask questions, share worries or share any helpful tips and information for others. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DownRightSpecialNetwork
Take care and stay safe.
COVID-19 Update 2nd November 2020
Following the recent government announcement that a second lockdown will be in place from 5th November, we will be temporarily stopping our face-to-face Friday lessons at Bodmin Road Church.
For those families affected by this, your teacher will be in touch over the next day or so to explain what we will be able to offer instead. We hope that we will be back face-to-face on Friday 4th December if the lockdown ends as currently planned on 2nd December.
For those children who were already in a group delivered online, nothing changes. Those lessons will continue online as planned throughout the lockdown period.
We also continue to offer the following:
Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this tricky time. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments or questions or need help with anything.
Take care and stay safe.
COVID-19 Update 14th September 2020
In preparation of welcoming people back to our Friday sessions and looking to a return to the new "normal", the following risk assessments have been produced explaining some of the mitigations we look to put in place.
General COVID-19 Risk Assessment - for attendees to our Friday sessions
Outreach COVID-19 Risk Assessment - for situations where we operate in the community.
We continue to work on the finer details to re-establish the Friday sessions, and hope to provide more information on that soon.
COVID-19 Update 12th May 2020
All Downright Special Friday sessions, all social and fundraising events and training courses continue to be cancelled in line with current government guidelines.
Our teaching staff are working from home and you can still contact us by phone and email if you need help with anything. You can contact your teacher direct or contact us on 01482 420160 or email email@example.com.
We continue to offer the following services:
Latest advice on the impact of Coronavirus on people with Down syndrome can be found here:
The Down’s Syndrome Association also has information and Easy Read resources available:
The latest NHS advice can be found here:
Advice from the government can be found here:
Thanks everyone for your understanding. Take care and stay safe.
Best wishes from all the staff at Downright Special.
During the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, our Groups are now a mixture of online and Face to Face sessions. Contact us for more details.
Please let us know if you cannot attend a session - either contact your group leader direct, or contact the office on 01482 420160 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We regularly have visitors to our Friday sessions, whether they be healthcare professionals, friends from the community or old faces returning to have a catch up with us.