The Rapid Relief Team Worcester contacted headteacher Suzanne Beston during the first lockdown in 2020. Families were in dire need at that point and RRT sent boxes regularly, the staff went into school on delivery days to drive around the estate and drop boxes off to the families.
Read the blog to find out how RRT Early Bird Learning Kits have supported children at the Perry Wood School.
‘We have one boy – the thinnest palest child – who struggles to eat. He looks undernourished and gets distressed and aggressive at times.’
If he is having a bad day, staff take him to an area outside the classroom, make him a cup of hot chocolate and then give him a Breakfast Bar so he has time to settle.
‘Sometimes he just needs to vent. We make sure he’s safe, secure and well fed. Ensuring that he has that time to talk about things because that’s what he needs.’
Although he still finds it hard to be in class or to mix with others in the playground, Suzanne is delighted with his progress. ‘If you had asked me this time last year whether that boy would still be in school, I would probably have said no. But he’s back to full time now.’
The Early Bird Learning Program hasn’t just effected one student at the Perry Wood Primary School, it has helped a lot more.
Perry Wood School dealt with one student, who’s attendance was extremely low and didn’t enjoy school. The staff made home visits and offered to collect the girl and walk her to school where they gave her Breakfast Bars.
She loved the breakfast bars and thoroughly looked forward to them each morning, she was given her own breakfast bowl and cutlery, also part of the Early Bird Learning Kits, she used these in breakfast club. Following the support she was given from the staff and with help from the Early Bird Learning kits, her attendance increased and so did her results. In her final term her attendance rose to 52%, she caught up academically and reached the KS2 age related standards in all areas.
‘Thanks to RRT, we could feed her and get her in to school more regularly.’
Since Covid19, staff have been teaching children how to use a knife and fork correctly as well as teaching them how to socialise when they are sitting up at a table. The Early Bird Learning bowls and cutlery have been able to provide the children with something they can develop from.
The school population has changed in the six years that Suzanne has been head. The school is working with families to get them into employment, including CV writing, links to local colleges, setting up a parent hub, getting experts to run mental health courses, and encouraging parents to get qualifications.
‘The parents are creating a community garden within the area,’ said Suzanne. ‘At the moment they’re growing tomatoes and beans. They are now creating their own food.’