Letter from Gillian 25.6.21

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope that everyone remains well in spite of the rising number of Delta variant Covid infections in West London. At school we continue to be vigilant and on a daily basis we maintain our Covid secure measures. Staff are wearing face masks throughout the day, rooms are well ventilated, additional cleaning of high frequency touch surfaces continues and adults adhere to social distancing requirements whenever possible.

Please note that if a young person presents as being unwell with respiratory symptoms during the school day we will contact you and request that the students goes home and if possible has a PCR test so that we can keep everyone safe. We have not had a positive Covid-19 case in the school community since January.

Please also note the following information.

Summer Holiday Scheme

St Ann’s will be offering a summer scheme during the period Monday 26th July to Friday 30th July. As in previous years places will be limited but we hope to offer everyone who would like to attend, some days on our fun filled holiday scheme. More details to follow next week.
Consultation on earlier finish to the school day from September 2021

At the end of May we sent home a Parent/Carer Consultation on changing the finish time of the school day from 3.15pm to 3pm. To date 40 families have responded but because this is such an important decision we would like to invite anyone who hasn’t yet responded to do so. Please see the link on the text message sent to you this afternoon. Please disregard this message if you have already shared your views.
Year 14 students leaving dateAt the beginning of this school year, the Year 14 leaving date was published as being Wednesday 14th July, however because of the disrupted school year we feel it is more appropriate for all students to finish on the same day. The last day of term for all students is therefore Thursday 22nd July at 2pm.

Please ring the school office if you have any queries and in the meantime every good wish for a very pleasant weekend.


Telstar – Specialist High Need Provision

St Ann’s prides itself on being a highly inclusive school. It has a long history of including students with extremely complex behavioural needs through supportive and positive behavioural management strategies.

In November 2015 building on our wealth of collective practice and informed by research, we ‘launched’ Telstar class which offered a highly personal, nurturing, child-centred approach for eight students, facilitated through a cohesive, experienced team providing 1:1 support.

Timetable, structure and routine no longer shaped the learning day. Instead a variety of motivating, multisensory based activities were constantly available, with students being free to choose to participate or not. This student led, play based, low demand learning approach enabled students to feel more relaxed and consequently they quickly became more motivated to engage. Over time they made substantial gains in their ability to self regulate, to communicate and to interact with staff and with each other.

This innovative provision was so successful that in July 2019, funded by the Local Authority a £1.6M RCL build project began on site to create a high specification, purpose built Telstar for up to 15 young people. This was to replace the double portacabins that had previously housed Telstar students and staff. 

In September 2020, in spite of inevitable delays caused by the Covid pandemic, the new Telstar provision was finally opened to students. We are delighted with our new facilities and the part we played in helping to design them. Telstar is truly designed and built around the very special needs of our young people. It is light, airy and welcoming and has a fluidity of design that enables students to see what is going on around them so that they are encouraged to be curious, to participate and to achieve. Telstar boasts highly specialist lighting with colour wash options, a large teaching hall, an Audio Visual room, an elevated soft play area, a cinema corner, a wet classroom, a therapy room, and a large, well equipped life skills area. There is easy access to the outside space which is surrounded by beautiful mature trees. The grounds have been carefully landscaped and include grassy areas, decking, swings, a covered sand area and a sunken trampoline. 

Telstar students are responding very positively to their new provision which greatly enhances the delivery of their bespoke curriculum pathway ie ‘learning to be,’ to have agency and to develop self-regulation skills and functional life skills, both within school and in the wider community. Parents, carers and staff all want the same thing, for our young people to be happy, to be safe, to be able to impact on the world around them and as young adults, to take advantage of the rich variety of experiences that life holds. We believe that Telstar offers this opportunity.

Support to Buy Food

Children and families in Ealing who receive benefits will get an offer of support from the Council to buy food over the autumn half term.

You can find more details on the Ealing Council website.

St Ann’s School brings catering inhouse with Chefs in Schools

We are delighted that catering at St Ann’s has now been taken in house and we employ our own Chef and Sous Chef through the Chefs in School Programme. 

Chefs in Schools was set up in Hackney to revolutionise school catering. Using professional restaurant chefs, Chefs in Schools transform school kitchens by upskilling staff so their school kitchens are run in the manner of a professional restaurant kitchen. 

The team now cook everything from scratch with fresh ingredients and bake bread daily.

Grace and Alex your new chefs

Grace was the head chef of a corporate catering company in East London for 3 years before joining the school – baking and all things pastry is where her heart is!

Alex used to run a street food business at Kings Cross selling Bánh mì, he loves to cook food from South and SouthEast Asia and he’s passionate about all food culture. He is also running a kitchen garden project with the students centred around sensory exploration and play.

“We’ve been really welcomed by all of the amazing students and staff  here and are enjoying it so much – positive changes are happening already with the students’ food and eating which is so encouraging and rewarding.” Grace and Alex.

Students have greatly enjoyed their new school meals this term as evidenced by big smiles and empty plates!

Jeans for Genes Day Friday 18th September 2020

Who does Jeans for Genes help?   

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Jeans for Genes is a charity that raises funds for research into serious and often life-threatening genetic disorders affecting thousands of children and young people. Funds also provide laboratory equipment and facilities, as well as valuable advice and support for families and carers.

We are again marking Jeans for Genes Day, on Friday 18th September, but in a slightly different format to previous years.

We will be encouraging everyone (students and staff) to make a donation of £2 and to wear or have some denim: blue, black red or green – any colour and anything, jeans, shorts, skirts, waistcoats, jackets, hairbands, bandanas, hats and bags! 

If you have any old denim items that we could cut up as part of our artistic creations these will be very gratefully received!

On Friday each class will organise a different Jeans for Genes activity and join in a special zoom assembly.

Please help the students to choose some denim and if possible send in £2 to help support the vital work of Jeans for Genes. Please place any donations in the envelope provided. Thank you!

New Medical Room

On Friday 22nd March 2019 we were delighted that the Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell officially opened St Ann’s new medical room. Extensive work was undertaken during the summer holiday to remodel an existing classroom in the Victorian building and create a bright, welcoming, fully equipped medical room. Access to hugely improved facilities has enabled St Ann’s excellent nursing team, to even better meet the complex medical needs of our young people. Professor Shahid Khan (Parent Governor) made the keynote speech. However as always the contributions of adults was eclipsed by the sheer exuberance and enthusiasm of St Ann’s students, particularly during their rendition of ‘We’ve got rights’ and the especially commissioned, interactive poem, ‘Nurse, Health Care Assistant, Quick, Quick, Quick!.’

We would like to thank Ealing Council for investing in our young people’s health and in supporting the school’s work to systematically remove barriers to learning so that all students can ‘enjoy and achieve’ and look forward to a good quality adult life.