Just a few days left to sign up for the British Dyslexia Association’s free webinar with AJ and Curtis and Move Beyond Words!
Tuesday 4th August 2020
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Are you a young person with dyslexia? Do you want to learn more about expressing your creativity through dance? Then the British Dyslexia Association’s got a treat in store for you!
Ambassadors AJ and Curtis Pritchard (of Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island) will be co-hosting a free, interactive webinar with the British Dyslexia Association and Elizabeth Arifien and Charlotte Edmonds – founders of Move Beyond Words, a movement based company exploring the many layers of dyslexia. Taking place on 4 August, this webinar is for all children and young adults with dyslexia and will give you the chance to ask questions, share your experiences, and learn to express yourself through dance.
There will be a series of discussions covering personal experiences of dyslexia, careers and school life. They will also be talking about dancing and achieving your dreams. After each topic there will be a guided dance activity – and they will even encourage you to find your own groove.
What is Lockdown Legends?
Lockdown Legends is a project to recognise the fantastic achievements of our young people in Kent. Whether it is to acknowledge their efforts at home, in the community, or through schoolwork, clubs or their own personal development KCC want to hear about it and celebrate it! Open to all young people across Kent aged 8-19 (25 with SEND)
What sort of things count?
There is no defined list but things such as shopping or volunteering for the community, helping at home, helping friends or relatives, being a great home learner, learning a new skill or developing a talent, writing songs or making things. The options are endless!
Who can Nominate a young person?
Nominations can come from anyone! Friends, parents, carers, teachers, professionals or the individual can self-nominate.
How will KCC recognise the achievements of the young person?
All nominees will receive a certificate, then each week/month, a selected few will feature in a you-tube video / photo montage that will be posted on KCC’s You-Tube Channel and share on their youth social media pages.
Who will make the selections?
KCC’s nominations team will consider all the entries each month and notify those that have been selected. As Lockdown measures are lifted, they hope to involve young people in the selection process and in the compiling of video interview footage for their channel.
What happens after Lockdown?
KCC hope that this project will evolve over time to celebrate the amazing achievements of our young people, perhaps with themes, e.g. Summer Legends, Rainbow Legends etc (any ideas you have let us know).
How do I nominate a Young Person?
Do we need consent?
Yes! Consent will need to be obtained from the parent / carer for any young person under the age of 16 that wants to take part. Young people over the age of 16 can complete the consent themselves. Please use the consent form here
Who do I contact for more information?
General Enquiries Lockdownlegends@kent.gov.uk
Learning Curve Group run distance learning qualifications, allowing you to gain skills without having to attend a classroom. Upon successful completion you will receive a Level 2, nationally recognised qualification. They’re great for expanding your knowledge, exploring new avenues that interest you and they look fabulous on your CV!
They have 40+ courses covering key sectors and topics including Mental Health First Aid, Understanding Autism and Children & Young People’s Mental Health.
Follow the link below to register your interest:
Terms and Conditions:
In order to continue with their Health and Care Engagement activities during this difficult period, CCCU’s Recruitment Leads are preparing some presentations which provide an insight into the individual Health related programmes that are offered at Canterbury Christ Church University.
They hope to be able to provide presentations on all their Health programmes on a periodic basis. This week they have provided details of their BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography course.
Children’s experiences will vary tremendously some will have enjoyed lockdown but most will have found it difficult and be traumatised to some degree.
Some children may have had to deal with:
- Parent made redundant or furloughed
- Parent works in the NHS
- Family member is seriously ill
- Not enough food to eat at home
- Caring for younger siblings at home
Spot the issues
The age of the child will have a significant impact on how they display anxiety and other issues.
An older child suffering from anxiety.
- Lack confidence
- Be tired
- Have angry outbursts
- Have a lot of negative thoughts
- Start avoiding everyday activities
A younger child may show:
- Be irritable, angry, tearful or clingy – they might get angry or irritable quickly, and be out of control during outbursts
- Be tired – due to difficulty sleeping, waking in the night, bad dreams or wetting the bed
- Have difficulty eating – they might seem to lose their appetite, or eat very slowly
- Be constantly worrying or having negative thoughts – they may find it hard to concentrate as a result
- Be tense and fidgety – they might find it hard to sit still or ask to use the toilet more often than usual
- Have physical symptoms – they might complain of tummy aches and feeling unwell
Some children may have experienced specific events that they found extremely frightening and dangerous, such as a family member being hospitalised suddenly. This sort of experience can trigger a traumatic stress reaction.
A child suffering from traumatic stress might:
- Be unusually tired – from finding it hard to sleep or having bad dreams and nightmares
- Become fearful – they might be clingy and anxious about being separated from their parents or teacher
- Seem to regress in their behaviour – they might start bed-wetting and thumb-sucking again; or become irritable and disobedient
- Seem preoccupied – they might be unable to concentrate or be preoccupied with thoughts and memories of the event, which they may or may not talk about
- Have physical symptoms – such as headaches and tummy aches
Following a bereavement, a child might show any of the following responses:
- Alternating between play and sadness – they may appear to be sad and withdrawn one moment, then start playing the next
- Tiredness – they may seem exhausted or listless, and find it difficult to concentrate
- Mood swings – they may suddenly become withdrawn, anxious or despondent
- Regression and loss of skills – their academic progress may seem to deteriorate, they may develop a speech impairment or stutter, they may revert to “baby talk” or thumb-sucking
- Anger and frustration – they may display aggressive behaviour
- Lack of response, or denial – some newly bereaved children might not present any behaviour associated with grieving, or deny their grief altogether
What can you do to help?
Try to keep things as normal as possible encourage them to play and do their normal activities.
Encourage children to talk:
- Create opportunities to talk within the day. Don’t force it: create opportunities where these conversations can occur naturally
- Create safe spaces to talk, such as quiet spaces, many children find it easier to talk when sitting in the passenger seat in the car.
- Label feelings and link them to body cues and behaviour – use phrases such as ‘I noticed …’, ‘I wonder if …’ and ‘Could this be …’ Sometimes children don’t know how they’re feeling, so by suggesting an emotion and linking it to a behaviour you’re helping them make sense of their emotional responses and giving them the opportunity to confirm or correct you
- Allow for comfortable silences, show open body language and listen actively
- Normalise what they’re feeling, and reassure them it’s ok to feel this way. Use examples from your own life to illustrate times when you have felt a certain emotion, how it felt and why
- Acknowledge the child’s views/worries/pains and listen to what they say, e.g. “that sounds really difficult”, “is there anything I can do?”
- Reassure the child that they are safe
- Try to answer questions as honestly as possible, in an age-appropriate way. It’s ok to say that you don’t have all the answers
- Ask questions rather than give advice, to help the child generate their own solutions or coping mechanisms
- Use empathy, rather than sympathy
- Let them know you’re grateful to them for opening up, e.g. “thank you for sharing that with me”
The Blob Tree can help
Print out and ask your child:
- Which Blob do you feel like today?
- Why do you feel like that?
- Which Blob would you like to feel like?
- What could we do to make you feel a little bit more like that blob?
A really helpful routine is to regularly ask children
- What have you done today?
- What is a positive thing that has happened
- Anything to get off your chest?
Another is to get them to score themselves out of 10 of how they are feeling 10 being amazing and 1 being absolutely awful. Then ask how they could move up one point.
The UK’s medical model is about sickness not health and wellbeing. So instead of focussing on helping people to be brilliant we focus on making them less ill. Positive psychology is instead about helping people to be their best selves. To be brilliant.
You can help yourself and your children by using some of the methods. I will link to resources at the end.
Most people have a tendency to dwell on negative thoughts and feelings and this tends to make them a bigger issue. Mindfulness is about controlling and managing your thoughts and feelings. There are lots of ideas on line and YouTube is a great resource. Just search ‘mindfulness for children’.
Something I have found helpful is to ask children some questions about their worries.
- Is this a problem that is actually happening or is it something that might happen
- How big is this problem from 1 – 10, 1 being death and 10 being no problem at all
- What do you think you will think about this in a week a month a year
- What might make it a little bit better
One of the best ways to reduce the impact of negative feelings is a gratitude journal. This can be a simple book where children write or draw three things that they are grateful for. There are some lovely journals available via Amazon for example
Books and Resources
Kooth Kooth is an online counselling service for young people and is funded by Kent County Council. Young people can access our service by logging on to www.kooth.com where they can speak privately to a BACP qualified counsellor through a text-based chat. ThinkNinja
ThinkNinja is an app specifically designed to educate 10-18 year olds about mental health, emotional wellbeing and to provide skills young people can use to build resilience and stay well. ThinkNinja is built on CBT principles, a psychological talking therapy based on the theory that our thoughts, feelings and our behaviour are all connected. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better How ThinkNinja works? ThinkNinja® addresses a range of issues including stress, anxiety, low mood, or having unhelpful thoughts. All of which can be triggered by the pressures of modern life, such as exams, struggling to make friends or social situations. The user is coached by the WiseNinja, powered by artificial intelligence and the skills of a clinical psychologist. Why choose ThinkNinja? ThinkNinja® is free to download for all children and young people with the correct access code, and can be downloaded via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
If you are starting Year 8 in September, there is short summer activity for you to complete over the next few weeks. The countdown to the next chapter in your exciting Hartsdown adventure has started and I’m very much looking forward to seeing you on Sept 2nd. To help your tutors and myself prepare for this, your participation in this short activity will give us a great opportunity to get to know more about you, as well as give you a chance to reflect on the last few months and consider what the next year might hold for you.
Simply click on the link below and the rest will explain itself as you go through.
Have a fabulous summer, stay safe and we’ll see you all again very soon.
Head of Year 8, Hartsdown Academy
Here at Hartsdown Academy we are committed to supporting the wellbeing of all are students. We are therefore delighted to inform you about a service to support the wellbeing and resilience of our students that is now available.
Kooth provides a safe, secure means of accessing help via the internet. By accessing Kooth students can benefit from:
- A free, confidential, anonymous and safe way to receive support online.
- Out of hours’ availability. Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop in basis.
- Online Counselling from a professional team of BACP qualified counsellors is available via 1-1 chat sessions or messaging on a drop in basis or via booked sessions.
- Discussion Boards which are all pre-moderated allow young people to access peer to peer support.
- Online Magazine full of moderated articles many of which are submitted by young people offering advice and guidance on a huge range of topics.
- No referral is required. Young people can register for kooth independently at www.kooth.com
To use the service or find out more visit www.Kooth.com