Sandown School Young Carers' Group
At Sandown we recognise that sometimes a child who has caring responsibilities at home might need a little extra support to help them get the most out of school and so we have set up our Young Carers Support Group.
The whole school is committed to ensuring that all our children, including Young Carers, can access and engage with their education, with the right support where necessary, to achieve their potential.
We have 2 designated Young Carers leaders in school, Mrs Male and Mrs Skinner. Mrs Horrocks, SENCO, supports the group on behalf of the Sandown Senior Leadership team. We also have a school Governor, Mrs Rowe, who is taking a special interest in and responsibility for our Young Carers' Support Group. They will ensure that families and pupils are aware of the group. They can be contacted via the School Office by phone or in person. Pupils can speak to Mrs Male, Mrs Skinner or Mrs Horrocks at any time during the school day or they can leave a confidential message in the box located securely in the School Office.
We have excellent links with external agencies and can make referrals to get support for Young Carers and their families, if they would like us to. We would only share information with professionals and agencies on a need to know basis in order to get the right support. The school actively seeks feedback and ideas from young carers and their families to shape and improve support so we would be pleased to hear your views.
The school uses Pupil Premium funding to minimise any barriers to education and learning experience by eligible Young Carers.
What is a Young Carer?
At Sandown a Young Carer is “a child in Year 1 and above who provides care to another family member who has a physical illness or disability, mental health problem, sensory disability, severe learning disability or who has a substance misuse problem”. We include in this children living with siblings who have any of these difficulties.
What do we do?
We meet once a month at lunchtime in the After School Club Room. We have our lunch together, either a school meal or packed lunch, and then enjoy activities together.
On 24th February 2016 we had our first meeting where we started to get to know each other as a group.
On 23rd March, after we had eaten lunch, we had fun painting Easter Eggs to take home. We made a bit of a mess and ended up with some glorious colour combinations on our eggs!
On 27th April we had lunch as usual and then chatted about what we hope to be able to do at our next meetings. In the summer we are going to have a tea party so we made invitations to take home. We hope that the person we help care for, or one of our parents, will be able to come to the party.
On 25th May, after lunch, we went to the new play park in the North Deal playing field. The rain held off for us and we all enjoyed playing on the new equipment, especially the rope climbing frame.
On 4th July we had a party at the play park. We were very lucky as the weather was brilliant, the first really hot day we’ve had for ages. Some of our parents and the people we help care for joined us there and we had a great time playing together. We had drinks and snacks and it was lovely to meet some of the other young carers’ families. We took some photos, which you can see here.
On 27th September we were lucky the weather was good so after lunch we went to the play park. Our group enjoyed being outside and having fun together on the play equipment.
On 1st November the whole school had a visit from Kent Fire and Rescue Service and we were very lucky that Debbie stayed on to have lunch with our Young Carers group. We had the chance to ask her any special questions we had about being safe at home and it was very nice to have her sharing our lunchtime meeting.
On 6th December for our Christmas meeting we had lunch together as usual and then we got ourselves ready for an exciting afternoon. We went to The Chequers Kitchen for an afternoon of Christmas Cooking and we made chocolate yule logs. First we watched one being made and then we got started on making our own cakes. We whisked eggs, sifted flour and mixed everything together and then waited until a delicious smell came from the ovens. Then we made the chocolate icing and rolled our cakes into a log shape. We decorated them with icing sugar and Christmas shapes and they looked absolutely fabulous! We didn’t make too much mess but there was a lot of chocolate everywhere! We each took our cakes back to school and then home and everyone said how lovely they were. We enjoyed the afternoon very much and were proud of our baking skills. Look out for our photos on the Young Carers’ notice board and in the gallery below.
At our first meeting of 2017 (10th January), we had lunch together as usual and then we all looked at the photos Mrs Skinner took when we went to the Chequers Kitchen before Christmas. We each chose 2 photographs of ourselves and wrote a few words about our cookery afternoon to make a display for our noticeboard. Some of us helped decorate signs for the board and the rest of us played games or drew pictures until it was time to go back to class. Mrs Skinner has made a lovely display of our photos for everyone in school to see.
- www.nhs.uk/Conditions/social -care-and-support-guide/Pages/who-can-help-young- carers.asp