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COVID-19 Update - Information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Update 17th June 2021

UPDATE FOR FAMILIES

Dear families

The government’s announcement on Monday 14th June that the easing of restrictions would be delayed sadly means that we must also delay any further changes to what we are doing.

Social Events

We had hoped to run a couple of events in June/July including a trip to Densholme Farm for all families and a trip to William’s Den.  Unfortunately these plans are now on hold until we know that restrictions can be eased further. 

In the meantime we are trying to sort another set of dance parties so that we at least have some opportunity to socialise in the next month.

If possible, and depending on staff/volunteer availability we hope to be able to organise some sort of meet up over the summer holidays again dependent on what the government say in their next announcement.

We are also working on our plans for later in the year (including Christmas party plans which are well underway!)

Downright Special Fridays

We will continue as we are at the moment so:

  • All groups back face-to-face (morning and afternoon)
  • Morning Group Lessons 10-11am, followed by socially distanced Magic Bag until 11.30am
  • Morning 1:1 lessons 9am

We won’t be resuming our full Downright Special Fridays with snacks, coffee and free play until September. 

Outreach Visits & Support to Schools/Nurseries

  • These are continuing and at this time of year often involve annual review meetings and support with transition.
  • Our teaching staff are visiting schools in person, as well as attending meetings online

Training

We have several online training courses planned for the rest of the term including our very popular ‘Introduction to Working with Children with Down syndrome.  For more info on this and other course have a look on our website: https://www.downrightspecial.co.uk/training

We also have a session planned for parents and carers on Sensory Processing Training, on Tuesday 13th July 7pm-9pm.  The course will be delivered via MS Teams by Scarlett Leedham, Connect Specialist Therapy Services. Book your place here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/downrightspecial/sensory-processing-training-for-parents-carers/e-ejgoal

If you have any questions or would like support with anything then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

The team at Downright Special

COVID-19 Update 21st May 2021

UPDATE FOR CHILDREN WHO ATTEND FRIDAY GROUPS

Now that further easing of restrictions have been announced we can share with you our plans for getting all our Friday groups back face to face at Bodmin Road Church!

As with everything we have done during the pandemic we are taking a small steps approach as follows and summarised in picture below:

Step 1 Friday 21st and 28th  May

  • Magic bag is back! The current groups 1-4 (led by Lauren, Sam and Laura) who are face-to-face will change their lesson times to all be 10am-11am so that they can all get together at 11-1130 for Magic Bag
  • No change for any other morning or afternoon groups

Step 2 After Half Term (Friday 11th June & Friday 18th June)

  • All groups back face-to-face mornings and afternoons
  • Morning session restricted to  lessons and magic bag only

Step 3 From Friday 28th June (assuming no change to current government roadmap)

  • Morning Session Returns Fully with Free Play, Snack time, Coffees, Lessons and Magic Bag.
  • Afternoon group – continue face to face as usual

If anyone has any questions then don’t hesitate to get in touch with your group teacher or you can call the office on 01482 420160.

Our outreach visits to schools and nurseries continue, we have an online training programme planned and we are also planning some face-to-face social events to take place in the coming weeks.

We can’t wait to see you all!

Best wishes

The Team at Downright Special

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.

Best wishes

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:

  1. We will continue to deliver sessions online until the Easter break
  2. After the Easter holidays (week beginning 12th April) and in line with Step 2 of the government’s plans, we will begin a phased return of face-to-face sessions.  We don’t know yet exactly what the guidelines will be for social distancing etc. so at this stage we can’t be more specific about exactly what this means for each individual group but we will let you know as soon as we can and hopefully that will be before the Easter holidays.

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):

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
  2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. All those 75 years of age and over
  4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)  - This is where adults with Down Syndrome sit.
  5. All those 65 years of age and over
  6. Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group –This is where young people age 16-18 who have Down syndrome and unpaid family carers sit
  7. All those 60 years of age and over
  8. All those 55 years of age and over
  9. All those 50 years of age and over
  10. Rest of the population (to be determined)

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. 

  • For children who normally attend online from school with their TA and are continuing to attend school during this lockdown then the lessons will offered online as per usual
  • For children who normally attend online from school with their TA and will be at home during this lockdown, then parents are very welcome to attend the lessons with their children instead if they wish. Again the group teacher will be in touch with you to discuss your preferred option.

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.

Training

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”

You will find all the training info on www.ticketsource.co.uk/downrightspecial or on our website (https://www.downrightspecial.co.uk/training).

Other Support

If there is anything at all you need from us then just get in touch – email office@downrightspecial.co.uk 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:

  • Support advice and resources for parents and carers – please call us on 01482 420160 or email office@downrightspecial.co.uk if you would like help or advice with anything -whether your child currently attends a group or not.
  • Support, advice and resources for schools and nurseries
  • Attendance at Annual Review meetings
  • Reports for, and help with Education, Health and Care Plans.
  • Help with completing DLA forms
  • On-line training (see our website for more details or book a place on https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/downrightspecial)
    • 5th November Curriculum Access and Differentiation
    • 12th November Supporting Positive Behaviour
    • 3rd December Developing Language and Reading for Children with Down Syndrome (Includes Colourful Semantics)
  • Support to new or expectant parents
  • A library of books and resources that you can borrow (we are happy to send anything out that you may wish to borrow).

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 office@downrightspecial.co.uk.

We continue to offer the following services:

  • Telephone support to new parents or parents who are expecting a baby with Down syndrome.
  • General support and advice by telephone or email on all aspects of the care and education of children with Down syndrome in Hull and East Yorkshire.
  • Weekly Facebook Live ‘Magic Bag’ singing and signing sessions for Downright Special families on our closed Facebook group for parents.( Get in touch if you’d like details of how to join).
  • Resources emailed or printed and posted out to families.
  • Information, advice and resources for schools and nurseries.
  • Downright Special Friday ‘lessons’ via Zoom for the children who usually attend our sessions (and are in the groups who usually work at a table).
  • Support with EHCP assessments, annual reviews and reports.
  • A closed Facebook Group for parents / carers to share information, worries, news, keep in touch or just have a general chit-chat.
  • Signposting to other services.

Latest advice on the impact of Coronavirus on people with Down syndrome can be found here:

https://www.dsmig.org.uk/covid-19-and-down-syndrome/

The Down’s Syndrome Association also has information and Easy Read resources available:

https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/news/corornavirus-information-resources/

The latest NHS advice can be found here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Advice from the government can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thanks everyone for your understanding. Take care and stay safe.

Best wishes from all the staff at Downright Special.

Down Syndrome Awareness Week March 2021

Down Syndrome Awareness Week was 15th - 21st March 2021. Click here to find out more.

 

From Twitter

Friday Sessions

During the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, our Groups are now a mixture of online and Face to Face sessions. Contact us for more details.

Can't attend a session?

Please let us know if you cannot attend a session - either contact your group leader direct, or contact the office on 01482 420160 or office@downrightspecial.co.uk

Friday Visitors

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.