June 2019

June 2019


Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic condition where babies are born with poor muscle tone, have delayed physical and emotional development, learning difficulties and an overwhelming, insatiable appetite. There is no cure for this life-long condition. To prevent morbid obesity, people with PWS need to keep to a very low calorie diet, approximately about two thirds of that required by the general population and they will need to follow this throughout their lives.

This academic year Bladon House School are supporting the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK as one of our charities of the year. A number of our young people have Prader-Willi Syndrome and we are working alongside the charity to raise money and awareness. As this month is Prader-Willi Awareness Month we are taking part in the international ‘Go Orange’ fundraising campaign. Students and staff were encouraged to come dressed in Orange on Friday 24th May 2019. Special t-shirts for the event were ordered, with proceeds from the sale going to the charity.


Bladon Achieve Wellbeing Award Emotional well-being is a primary focus at Bladon House School. The end of 2016 saw the appointment of a Strategic Lead who solely focused on looking after the emotional well-being of staff. This has been successful with lots of initiatives being put in place to support staff whilst they are at work. These include termly spa treatments, discounted cinema tickets, yoga sessions, clinical supervisions, as well as a staff voice forum which takes place once every half-term. Positive changes have been noted with staff identifying that there has been a change in the atmosphere and culture of the school. Staff appreciate that senior leaders understand the challenging nature of the environment they work in and that interventions have been implemented. At the end of 2017 the school took on the Well-being Award for Schools through Optimus Education. Achieving this award would officially recognise everything the school does to look after the emotional well-being and mental health of staff and young people at the school. The process to achieve the award was very rigorous, the school worked to produce an extensive and detailed portfolio of evidence. Within this the school had to satisfy eight main objectives and evidence 48 individual key performance indicators. Evidence surrounded pupil voice, staff stress management and appraisal processes, staff training, reducing the stigma around mental health, communication with parents, working with external agencies and interventions put in place for students. Staff, students as well as parents completed questionnaires at the start and at the end of the award so comparisons in provisions could be made; significant changes were noted. For students we saw the introduction of art, music and drama therapy. As well as the new recent introduction of dogs onsite, which the students have loved. For parents we saw the introduction of a parent forum which takes place once a term. These meetings not only give the school another way to communicate with parents, it also allows parents to build a support network with each other. The school had a final verification visit for the award on the 22nd May 2019. The Adviser thoroughly looked through the evidence portfolio as well as spoke to a range of individuals including senior leadership, our chief operations officer, staff, students as well as parents. The adviser was very impressed and Bladon House achieved the Well-being Award for Schools with flying colours! Of course this is not the end. Just because the award has been achieved it does not mean that well-being work will cease. This is an ongoing process and staff will continue to work hard to maintain the award and the great ethos we have created surrounding emotional well-being and mental health. We can be reassessed for the award in three years’ time.

Julie Brown, Domestic who has worked for Bladon for 15 years. Martin Parry, Night Waking who has completed 10 years service at Bladon.

Rowden Win Bromyard Scarecrow Competition

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Huge congratulations to Rowden House School on winning this years Scarecrow competition. Special well done and thanks to Alina (Costumes) Linda (Scarecrow) and to the Rowden entourage who had a great evening parading through Bromyard town centre - you all so deserve this win.

Winslow Court were awarded a Certificate of Achievement for their Scarecrow entry. Well done to David, and all the residents of Winslow Court & Cedar Lodge who helped make this year’s entry and to the young men of Park House, who came along and joined in the procession on Friday night. What a fabulous weekend it's been - Well done West Midlands Learning Campus.

Team Alderwasley’s Inaugural Community Action Day This year, here at Alderwasley, we decided to change the focus for one of our INSET days launched our first ever Community Action Day. The aims of the day were: · Self-improvement Every member of our staff team volunteered to join one of our many “community projects” and spend the day working alongside their colleagues. We worked on 25 different projects, taking place both on the three school/home sites and in the local community during the day. The range of projects was as diverse as you could possibly imagine from totally redesigning and planting the Primary Play Area and Garden at the AHS site, to a group who spent the day litter picking at a range of local sites of interest…and almost everything in between! The day was agreed by all to be a thorough success and the original aims were more than achieved, with some incredible feedback from our community neighbours being received (including a request for our busking group to perform at a local event!) · School environment improvement · Local community improvement

ON THE FARM WITH THE CATERING TEAM AT BLADON HOUSE SCHOOL Here at Bladon we are lucky enough to have a farm onsite which we all like to make use of. The Catering Team at Bladon House School have a close relationship with all other areas in the school including the farm. In the past couple of weeks 27 lambs have been born with the help of our School Farm Manager, Tim Parker. He is always on hand to show students and staff around the farm and also let us handle the animals when possible. After work this week the Catering Team enjoyed a lovely afternoon handling the newly born lambs. We are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of piglets, which are due anytime now! In the picture from left to right Sheela Panchal and Claire Fletcher (catering assistants) Alison O’Neill (catering manager) and Sam Tilling (cook)

Fire Door Safety - Know your Stuff!

Fire Doors are a vital part of a buildings passive fire safety system. If they are installed correctly, and inspected regularly they will provide fire protection throughout a building, thus protecting life and property. All staff should know what to look for when completing monthly inspections or come across a fire door that does not fulfil its function.

The list below gives general guidance for inspecting fire doors. 1. Does the door shut fully against its door stop, (Not Wedged Open)

2. Are all seals in place, i.e. across the head and both long sides of the door or frame 3. Is the gap greater than 3mm at the head and the sides of the door and frame 4. Is the gap greater than 7 mm at the foot of the door 5. Are all items of door furniture in place and working correctly, i.e. Hinges, handles, latches, door closers 6. Is there any damage to the door, frame or glazing, glazing beads missing or damaged 7. Do magnetic hold open devices work correctly, release when the fire alarm is tested. 8. And do nominated final exit doors release the magnets when fire drills are completed 9. Record any checks or findings in to the fire log book as a record

If you do come across any of the above please ensure that you either place onto the maintenance request system or report it to a senior member of staff.

Quality Matters

Staff Surveys I sent out a staff survey to all the children’s homes just before Easter in early April. Response rates were quite low but overall responses have been very positive. I read every response and met with the Registered Managers to discuss how we can improve quality. We are working hard to pull out the important issues and will feedback to all staff. In the discussions with Registered Managers they have suggested how to improve return rates; for example at Aran Hall School it has been suggested we have the survey written in Welsh and at Rowden House School the management team have agreed to allocate staff time to complete the survey. We have agreed we will repeat the staff survey after SEPTEMBER for children’s homes. We will try to take on board the lessons learnt from the children’s homes when we do the staff surveys for adult homes, which take place in late June/July. Remember your views are important to us – if we know about an issue we can address it and we are always looking at ways to improve our services. Great Feedback I have been really impressed with recent feedback from families and visiting professionals. When I visit sites and when I read the monitoring reports I often read about staff going above and beyond their roles. Sometimes these events are one off, such as the hospital visits that have been very successful, on other occasion’s it is parents’ feedback on the progress of the children and comments about how they cannot believe how well their children are doing. A major challenge for us all is consistency but as a team we do exceptionally well. Although we do have heroic individual events the events with greatest impact are those where you, as a team work together. I would like to applaud all our teams, services and sites who work to enhance the quality and life chances of our young people, residents and service users – it is appreciated by everyone, including, Head Office Directors and Managers. The feedback I receive is that services in the SENAD Group are well respected and provide a quality service. I am proud to work for the SENAD Group and with your on-going support we will continue to grow our reputation.

Brian Lock Group Quality Improvement Manager

Supporting Emmerdale's Super fan!

When S's Support Worker arrived at her home at 6am S was dressed and ready to go. She said she was so excited about the visit to Emmerdale! She had a bag ready for her squash, spare set of clothes and her handbag. The car journey to Leeds was 2 hours and 25 minutes. S was very calm throughout the journey and chatted the whole way. Singing a lot to songs with her Supporter. They arrived at the hotel for coach pick up to go on village tour at 8:50am. They walked around the village set, following the tour. S kept saying she was in her element and was loving it, taking lots of photographs on her phone. They listened to the tour guide closely and enjoyed hearing about the joys of Emmerdale since 1972. There was a lot of walking at the village tour. The walking made S feel a bit anxious but was reassured by her supporter and given time to rest. SW began to drive home at 12:30, stopping at the services for a break and for a 10 minute sit down with a drink. S sang all the way home in the car and they arrived back home at 15:30 and agreed they'd had an amazing day.


Chloe is the newest member of the WMLC domestic team – joining us on 22nd March. Chloe has joined the team to provide additional support to improve standards in the education environment however since joining she has proved herself to be a invaluable member of staff by stepping in to fill any shifts including working in the kitchen. She is a polite, friendly and bubbly young lady who is proving herself to be an asset to the school. Chloe attends Holme Lacy College where she is studying Animal Management &Welfare.

Welcome to the team Chloe.

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. As the month of May saw an increased focus on mental health and a designated mental health awareness week, our EAP provider has shared some information and tips to help all colleagues. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in happiness. Scientific studies are showing many benefits from mindfulness in all aspects of our lives which appear to affect people of any age in an extremely positive way. These include our relationships, performance at school or at work, sports performance, our physical and mental well-being as well as positively affecting levels of empathy and compassion towards others. Being mindful is something which is actually quite easy to do but in today’s busy world it is easily forgotten and very few people do this naturally. Through practice and patience anyone can learn and benefit from this technique. Techniques: Relaxation – Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or “mantra” that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra. Body sensations – Notice subtle body sensations such as an itch or tingling without judgment and let them pass. Notice each part of your body in succession from head to toe.

Some suggestions to increase mindfulness and taking notice: Resolve to walk more often and notice your surroundings, paying particular attention to anything you notice which is new. Pay attention to the food you eat and how the foods you eat make you feel.

Join a club / meditation class.

Look for the good in those around you.

Do something kind for others.

Help out a friend in need.

Finally Say thank you to a colleague who has pulled out all the stops to help you.

Emotions – Allow emotions to be present without judgment.

Cope with cravings – such as chocolate and allow them to pass.

Pay attention – Notice external sensations such as sounds, sights, and touch that make up your moment-to-moment experience. The challenge is not to latch onto a particular idea, emotion, or sensation, or to get caught in thinking about the past or the future. Instead you watch what comes and goes in your mind, and discover which mental habits produce a feeling of well-being or suffering. Learning to take notice and be more aware of the present or being ‘mindful’ can have a great effect on your personal health and wellbeing.

Say thank you to the next person who treats you kindly.

Spend time with a loved one and notice all the special things about them.

Please remember all the information and support services that are available from our Employee Assistance Provider, Health Assured. For more details talk to your Human Resources Officer.

Support our New Facebook Pages

We now have Facebook Pages for Alderwasley Hall School, Pegasus School and Rowden House School, as well as the SENAD Group Page. Look out for the SENAD Group bright spark. Each school has staff who are Page Editors. They need your help to share the great work you do by providing them with content for posts and by liking and sharing the posts, as well as encouraging parents and professionals to like the page and posts too.

Page Editors are:

Alderwasley Hall School Emma Illingworth

Paul Burrows Karen Tatham Bernardo Vega Ed Michell Pegasus School Lyndsey Prince Clair Slatter

Rowden House School Debbie Gibbs Lizzie Rowley

Japanese Theme Day – West Midlands Learning Campus

Once again, the catering team at WMLC continue to raise the standard of themed events within the group.

Donna & Chloe hosted a Japanese theme day creating an authentic Japanese menu for the young people and staff to try new flavours.

The menu included no fewer than 9 authentic Japanese dishes:

Katsu chicken curry Teriyaki beef kebabs (V) Honey & sesame kebabs Sticky coconut rice Osaka noodles Cauliflower tempura Goma-ae Japanese vegetables Lemon Dorayaki Coffee Jelly

It is fair to say that the staff and young people enjoyed trying these new flavours/dishes and had great fun trying to eat with the chopsticks.

The team are busy planning for the next big event in July – celebrating everything Spanish.

Well done to Donna, Chloe and all those involved in making the event a success.

Ecclesbourne Lodge

Shout out to Laurel Howell from Ecclesbourne Lodge, who successfully completed her QCF Level 5. Well done Laurel!!

Here are some photos of the wonderful house parties and food our Activity Champion, Laura Davies has put on since becoming champion last year, Halloween, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Laura also organises fun activities, we have had a pancake hunt for Pancake day Laura goes above and beyond when planning the theme and is extremely artistic in her approach. The buffets she prepares with the young people and staff are absolutely stunning. She completes lots of prep beforehand, googling ideas to get the most impact. Laura has also organised successful events out in the community which again have been enjoyed thoroughly by the young adults at Ecclesbourne. These include a Christmas Market visit, theatre trip to Peppa Pig, Garden centre at Little Eaton, adult soft play and the adventure farm park. A huge thank you from me and the Young People at Ecclesbourne Lodge for her dedication and enthusiasm

S enjoying the beautiful local area. He has come a long way since moving into Ecclesbourne Lodge in September 2018. He enjoys the country walks and regular sensory swimming, as well as successful visits to hospital and the Doctors.

As part of their ASDAN young adults at Ecclesbourne Lodge been decorating planters and planting herb to use in the kitchen. The young adults on Fern house have made mushroom garden decorations. R also decorated the Minion potato plant and planted some sprouted potatoes with idea of tending the new garden area and seeing how things grow.

Do you know a School Leaver Looking for Their First Job? Apprentice Administration Assistant

Full time fixed term position - 52 weeks Apprentice Salary Scale – £3.90 per hour 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm

This is an exciting opportunity to join our existing administration team of four people. We are looking for a self- motivated, highly organised individual to help provide administration support in the school office. Experience of MS Office is essential as are keyboard accuracy and proof-reading skills. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, an eye for detail, the ability to prioritise and multi-task whilst remaining level headed in fast-paced busy environment.

We are committed to supporting learning to achieve annual development targets (Apprenticeship or other qualification).

In return, we offer 33 days holiday (including the bank holidays), a company pension scheme, an employee assistance programme and a commitment to professional development, with opportunities to attend internal and external training courses. We have free parking on site, subsidised meals and are situated in a beautiful location.

The SENAD Group is dedicated to equality of opportunity in all areas of work, education and care.

For further details apply to Sharon Harrison, HR Officer, on 01629 821410 or email sharon.harrison@senadgroup.com.

We are committed to safeguarding those in our care; all employees are required to obtain an Enhanced DBS Disclosure and follow Safeguarding Policy and Practice Closing Date: Monday 17th June 2019

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