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The Halloween party for the children was a great success yesterday. Many of our pupils find Halloween a real challenge. Dressing-up and seeing others in costumes can be a real anxiety for some: especially if there are masks or face paint involved. Some find the games and social interactions and skills needed to function there really challenging. Some find the whole experience just so very exciting that they cannot self regulate their emotions effectively. By keeping it low key, with quieter music and less demands the party was a great success with no extremes of emotion or behaviours that communicated distress or anxiety. In fact all was suitably calm with every child fully involved and having real fun.
Thank you for your co-operation with this. The costumes that the children had were great and very appropriate to their age, stage and emotional needs. By having just three parent volunteers to help in the background with refreshments and other practical tasks meant that staff were able to focus fully on supporting the needs of the children. This also meant that there was a small group of sensory learners who had their own party with lots of sensory activities, which they all really engaged with and meant they had a great afternoon too. I watched as one made a potion from different coloured jelly, mixing and plopping the mixture between bowls: great fun! That level of participation and communication would not have been possible in a larger group or with lots of visitors. 
We really appreciate the all support from families, both when you are with us at events during the school day or in the evenings; and when that support is at more of a distance like yesterday. We are very aware that families are busy and can find coming to events difficult and we are trying very hard to make this as easy as possible by having events at different times during the week/day.  
As you are aware, the School Improvement Plan this year has an element within it where we will work with families to ensure that parental views and engagement in all sorts of ways is facilitated effectively. This includes establishing a more formal representative Parent Council/Group: so watch this space!