News

INSPIRATIONAL RESOURCES FOR BUDDING TEACHERS LAUNCHED ON TEACH PORTSMOUTH NEWS HUB

A new resource designed to inspire future teachers has launched, aimed at those considering their career options. With many people working from home and looking after children due to school closures, the Teach Portsmouth news hub provides the information needed to start a career as a teacher regardless of industry or background.

Through a range of inspirational content pieces designed to offer a realistic picture of teaching locally, the news hub highlights the breadth of opportunities available in Portsmouth.

Those interested can find information on how to apply for teacher training, interviews from Portsmouth-based teachers and case studies from local providers.

Cllr Suzy Horton welcomed the launch of the news hub: “There are so many heart-warming stories from teachers waiting to be told. The Teach Portsmouth news hub will be the best place to locate news, inspirational stories and interviews from those who matter most – our teachers.”

“With COVID-19 impacting our daily lives, it’s more important than ever before we celebrate the positive stories coming out of our community at this time. If they inspire someone to consider teaching, then that’s fantastic.”

The launch of the news hub coincides with the ‘your time to teach’ campaign designed to reassure local residents that teacher training continues for September. Initial teacher training providers have shown their support for such a resource.

Cate Worrall, principal of Portsmouth Primary SCITT (School centred initial teacher training) backed the launch of the news hub: “This year, we’ve reaffirmed the immeasurable impact teachers make on the whole of society. We are happy to support the Teach Portsmouth news hub and any opportunity to showcase the inspirational stories coming out of Portsmouth at this time.”

The Teach Portsmouth news hub will offer weekly content updates including video interviews, frequently asked questions and topical pieces suitable for those who are new to the profession or those who have recently qualified.

Lynn Nicholls, Schools Direct Leader at Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance supported such an essential resource: “We are proud that Portsmouth residents train to teach with us and become extraordinary teachers in local schools. Trainees always talk about how welcoming the teaching community is in the city. Having the Teach Portsmouth news hub is going to be a brilliant way to see and acknowledge the work teachers do and the difference they make.”

For more information on teacher training in the city as well as inspirational content, visit teachportsmouth.co.uk/news

Reading Well for Children Collection

The NEW Reading Well for Children Collection has launched this week. Originally known colloquially as Books on Prescription, Reading Well for Children recommends reading to help children understand their feelings and worries and cope with tough times. The books cover themes such as emotions, bereavement, worry and bullying. The books have been chosen by children, carers, health experts and librarians. They are endorsed by leading health organisations such as NHS England, Mind and the Royal College of GPs.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) and includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers. The book list can be viewed here.

This collection acts as an accompaniment to the Shelf Help Collection that launched a few years back and was aimed at teenagers.

These books are available in all Portsmouth Libraries and Pat Garrett from the Library Service can supply copies of the official leaflet which lists the books and explains the collection to schools upon request. She can also supply A4 posters for school libraries.

A Powerpoint presentation explaining the collection for the purposes of staff meetings and training is also available upon request.

For further information contact Pat Garrett at [email protected] or 023 9268 8259.

Inspectors praise support for children in Portsmouth who need mental health support

Organisations across Portsmouth have been praised for their support for children who need mental health support as well as those suffering from abuse, neglect and exploitation. In December 2019, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and HMI Probation (HMI Prob) carried out a Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of the agencies involved in providing support to children in Portsmouth.

Schools, the NHS, the police, the council and voluntary organisations are particularly commended for working closely together in a strong partnership, for their learning culture and for their innovation and creativity, helping to ensure that children in Portsmouth are receiving the emotional well-being and mental health services they need. The quality and flexibility of the specialist mental health service, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), is highlighted, as is the effective response to children presenting to the A&E department at the QA Hospital. Hampshire Police were commended for their commitment and understanding of children’s needs and for responding in an appropriate way. It was noted that public resources were being used efficiently through good joint commissioning of services.

Derek Benson, chair of Portsmouth Children’s Safeguarding Partnership, said: “Overall we are very pleased with the outcome of the recent inspection of the effectiveness of the city’s approach to children who need mental health support. The report praises the support provided to children from a strong partnership across schools, the NHS, the police, the council and the voluntary sector. This is a testament to the way different organisations supporting children and young people in Portsmouth, including our strong local CAMHS service, work together to make a difference every day. The inspection highlighted areas where we need to improve and we know we must n never be complacent. We will continue to work closely with children and their families to improve services further to ensure they get the support they need.”

The report identifies ways in which services could be further improved, including a consistent focus during planning and assessment of services on how they impact on children at the point of delivery.

The full report can be found here.

All aboard! Apprenticeship bus inspires next generation with exciting futures

Amazing opportunities in a wide range of apprenticeships await secondary school students aboard the apprenticeship bus from 4 – 6 February as part of National Apprenticeship Week. This year, the bus will be arriving at schools across the city for an additional day.

The initiative is led by Shaping Portsmouth and other partners including The University of Portsmouth, The Solent Apprenticeship Hub and Stagecoach. The bus was first launched in 2018 with the mission to inspire secondary school children to consider apprenticeships as an alternative after education.

Exciting Project for Developing Curriculum Materials

As you may be aware there are exciting plans for Tipner West Regeneration. We are really keen to involve schools and would like to see some curriculum materials developed around the project.

We would like to work with some SLEs and/ or other strong teachers to develop some curriculum resources locally and then potentially engage with a publisher at a later stage.

Ideally this would involve both primary and secondary colleagues and would look to cover a number of curriculum areas, geography, science, engineering and maths are obvious ones, but it could potentially go broader than that too. There will be an initial workshop to find out more, discuss the project plans and scope the potential of this work.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 29th January 4-5.30pm, Conference Room B, Civic Offices.

Depending on the level of interest and availability, we would look to commission a number of teachers to work both individually and collaboratively to develop (and potentially pilot) some resources.

If you are interested in finding out more or to confirm your attendance at the workshop please contact Sarah Christopher 07825 492712  [email protected]

Looking for Volunteers?

At the end of January Portsmouth’s Volunteering Hub (Portsmouth Together) will be holding a Volunteering Fair across three days at the Tesco Extra in Fratton Way. This will be a fantastic opportunity to recruit local volunteers to your school. Over the last year we have worked with Portsmouth Together to recruit over 20 new governors, and we can also use the event to promote other opportunities e.g. listening to children read. There is no obligation to accept all volunteers – an informal interview and/or trial period can be part of the agreement, and volunteers would be expected to undertake a DBS check where appropriate.  

To promote a volunteering opportunity at your school please provide brief information on:

  • The role – what you are looking for the volunteer to do
  • When they will be needed – e.g. weekly, monthly, and also if there is a regular day of the week/ time of day you need someone
  • Any specific skills and experience you are looking for, or that no specific skills are required

Please can you send this to [email protected] so that I can get the responses collated into an information sheet for distribution at the event.

Alison Critchley