What can I do as a parent to support my child with…Down’s Syndrome?
- Show your child how to do something rather than tell them – this can be easier to follow.
- Look out for changes in mood or behaviour. If something is wrong, they might not be able to tell you.
- Encourage your child to take part in lunchtime clubs and after school activities to build friendships.
- Start preparing your child for healthy adult relationships . They will be involved in sex education lessons, but having these conversations reinforced at home is really important.
- Encourage small steps towards independence, such as helping to make the dinner and cleaning their room. Showing them how to complete these life skills will be beneficial long term.
- Provide opportunities and support for making both big and small decisions. Try to offer positive choices that minimise risk and the likelihood of failure.
- Have a set routine that your child can follow in the morning – eat breakfast at the same time and set off for school at the same time every day. This will help them to know what’s happening and feel more settled.
- Set and follow a routine to take care of hygiene needs.
- Encourage exercise; it can really help with teenage stress and promotes positive self-esteem and good physical and mental health.
- Wind down before bed and follow the same bedtime routine each night.
What can I do to support myself with my… Down’s Syndrome?
- Make sure I have everything I need for the day in my bag. It might help to pack it the night before so I am not rushing in the morning.
- Follow my hygiene routine – have a wash and put deodorant on in the morning.
- If I would like some more social time at school I can come to breakfast club to be with my friends.
- If I have a problem in a lesson, tell the teacher or the teaching assistant in the room and they can help me.
- Go to a lunchtime or after school club for one of my hobbies. This will help me to make new friends.
- Recognise when I am feeling sad, angry or overwhelmed and tell a trusted adult who can help me.
- Think about what subjects I enjoy at school and what I am good at. This might give me some ideas for what career I’d like to have in the future.
- Come to the Learning Resource Centre if I need some quiet time at break or lunch.
- If I need extra help with my organisation, or any help with my homework I can go to homework club and a teacher will help me.
- If I am confused or frustrated about anything that happened at school, tell my parents and they can help me.
- Do my night time routine before bed. Avoiding looking at my phone or tablet too close to bedtime will help me sleep better.
What are we doing as a school to help students with…Down’s Syndrome?
Before the student arrives at Archbishop Holgate’s
- Meg Holmes, the school’s SENDCo, attends the student’s last EHCP / MSP review of Year 6 to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school.
- Students with Down’s Syndrome will get the option of a second, quieter transition visit to Archbishop Holgate’s in a small group and with their teaching assistant if possible.
- Staff will know about an individual student’s learning needs through the SEND register and key information may also be passed on through training or any relevant plans/paperwork that is in place
During the school day
- Quality first inclusive teaching in the classroom.
- Access to breakfast club and homework club if needed.
- Regular check-ins with pastoral staff to make sure students are ok and to check whether any issues have arisen.
- Access to the Nurture Group class.
- Teaching assistant support in the classroom.
- Access to visual timetables if needed.
- Support to attend any trips and visits to ensure a holistic mainstream school experience.
- Use of the intervention room and Learning Resource Centre as a quiet space if needed.
- Access to lunchtime and after school clubs to encourage friendships and conversation practice.
- Regular CPD opportunities to attend courses run by Down Syndrome charities
- Whole school learning opportunities during staff meetings
Key websites for more information:
- Down Syndrome Association www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
- Down Syndrome International https://ds-int.org/
- York Down Syndrome support group: https://www.ydssg.org/
- Down Syndrome Education International: https://www.down-syndrome.org/en-gb