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St Stephen's

Building Each Other Up in Love and Learning



Relieve the Christmas Holiday Anxieties with a Social Story

The holiday season often changes EVERYTHING for our households. Our schedules, what we eat, what we wear, who we are with, and what we do.  Of course, it brings anxiety!  Kids get tired, stressed and hungry during these times too. Why shouldn’t we prepare and inform all kids of the changes and transitions that are about to occur? If your child benefits from social stories, we have rounded up some printable sociable stories for you that you can adapt for your child.  They not only will help your child have a more fun filled and enjoyable Christmas, but you and all your family.   

Attached is also information on what a social story is and tips on how to write them with your child.

If you want to discuss how  these through please contact Mrs Mulholland or stop her in the playground and she will be able to talk you through how to create a social story for your child. 

Autism Friendly Party Tips

Christmas Ideas for Professionals

Christmas Tips for Grandparents

Christmas tips for Parents & Carers

Christmas Visual

Countdown to Christmas


You are invited to our Children's Wellbeing Service Coffee Morning - Here's the poster for a previous event, to show you what to expect, but we'll be posting details of future sessions here. Watch this space ...              

What The Children's Wellbeing Service Does…

The Children's Well;being Service offers two programmes for 

  • parents who would like support with managing their child’s anxiety
  • parents who would like support with managing their child’s everyday tricky behaviour

The anxiety programme consists of eight sessions - four face to face sessions (each an hour long) and four shorter phone sessions (up to half an hour long).

The behaviour programme consists of nine sessions - five face to face sessions (each an hour long) and four shorter phone sessions (up to half an hour long).

These sessions aim to empower parents/carers by helping them understand their child’s difficulties and by providing tools and coping strategies they can use with their child. We call this Guided Self-Help.

Supporting mental health in young children

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on kids of all ages, but even little kids can learn how to cope with mental health challenges. Here are some tips on helping young children manage big emotions and build confidence.


  • Validate and name feelings. It’s important for little kids to know that big emotions are normal and manageable. When they’re upset, let them know that you hear them: “It sounds like you’re really angry right now. I feel that way sometimes too.”
  • Solve problems together. Talk over what’s bothering them and brainstorm solutions, instead of just telling them what you think they should do. To get kids talking, lead with curiosity and ask open-ended questions: “What was the most fun you had today? What was the toughest part?”
  • Model managing difficult feelings. If your child sees you angry, nervous or scared, bring them into the conversation. Tell them what you’re feeling, why, and how you’re going to handle it. This helps them learn to do the same.
  • Use positive attention. When your child takes a step (even a small one!) to cope with a hard emotion, praise them right away. For instance, if you see your child take a deep breath in the middle of a tantrum, jump in: “I like that you took a deep breath! Let’s take another one together.”
  • Set aside special time together. Pick a time each day when your child will get your undivided attention for whatever activity they choose. Knowing they have that to look forward to will strengthen your bond and help them handle stress. Even five minutes makes a big difference!


  • Praise perseverance. Praise kids for their efforts (“Nice job practising for the whole fifteen minutes!”) as much as their accomplishments. This helps them internalize that their work matters and that they don’t need to be perfect.
  • Encourage their interests. Whatever hobby or activity your child is into, support them in pursuing it. Following their passions helps kids develop a sense of identity and build skills that translate into confidence.
  • Model positive self-talk. Try to avoid criticising yourself in front of your child. You can even show kids how to correct critical thoughts in real time: “I called myself stupid when I forgot the keys, but I know I’m pretty smart most of the time. Forgetting something from time to time isn’t a big deal.”
  • Show the love. Let your child know that you think they’re great, whether or not they do great things. That means lots of affection and affirmation when they win, when they lose, and even when they drive you nuts.
  • Look out for signs of a bigger problem. If your child has consistently low self-esteem that doesn’t improve over time and gets in the way of their daily life, consider getting support from a mental health professional.

More Resources from the Child Mind Institute

Speech and Language Resources

The Speech and Language website has been updated with lots of resources to make it easier for parents to access information based on the child’s age and needs.  Just clock on the link below to access these resources:

The SEND Advisory Support available online
Please could all schools promote this with parents of children who have SEN.

The virtual support service is for both the wider community and schools in their response to supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). The local authority is working in partnership with CCG colleagues, NHS providers and third sector organisations to provide this SEND Advisory support line.

Learning maths at home with SEN
Some top tips from our AfC Maths Adviser, Christina Wood:

  1. Start with revision of known concepts.
  2. Make it practical.
  3. Base activities in real (home based) life.
  4. Create bite size chunks rather than long lessons.
  5. Provide worked examples.
  6. Provide a worked example with errors...can they spot them?
  7. Ask them to explain something to adult or sibling.
  8. Suggest a game to play.
  9. Provide visuals (try looking at
  10. Be selective when suggesting websites to parents. Make sure you’ve looked at them first and direct them carefully to the resource you want them to use. Have a look at

Growth Mindset Programme for schools
The Emotional Health Service have developed a 10 week programme around growth mindset and resilience for schools to send out to parents and young people (there is a different version for primary and secondary). Please see resources for Week 1 and Week 2 below.

Week 1 resources 
Week 2 resources 

New resource on the Local Offer
This resource was found by our local parent carers forum. The document is originally from Wales and has been tweaked to include local phone numbers. It contains a wealth of advice and a range of activities for families to try at home. Please share and promote the link along with the other materials you have shared with parents.

The resource can be found on this page.

Wellbeing if the school should have to close again...

The school closures are out of the ordinary for all of us, but for those children with anxiety or additional needs, it can be really upsetting. Please read on to find some resources that may be helpful for parent carers of children and young people with SEND or children and young people themselves.

Please also click here for a guide to wellbeing and SEND services and support.

You can also click here for further information fro the NHS about Coronavirus and how to protect your mental health. 


Sensory challenges for autistic pupils

Phoebe Caldwell is an Intensive Interaction practitioner working mainly with autistic children and adults, and the author of many books including The Anger Box: Sensory turmoil and pain in autism. In this article Phoebe explores the sensory challenges that autistic pupils may face in the classroom, and outlines ways in which staff can reduce sensory overload.

Click here for the full article.

Christmas tips from the National Autistic Society

Please click here for useful and practical tips and guidance from the National Autistic Society, to help you manage the Christmas season:

Christmas Tips...for parents and carers

Christmas tips...for grandparents

Christmas tips...for party planning