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Crawley teacher launches new alternative to traditional teaching for 2-7 year-olds

Launched in Horsham at the beginning of July, Reading Rabbits! is a new interactive way for teaching young children.

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Ava Labelle wanted to create something that would make learning fun and inclusive for children with all abilities and learning styles. Having been a teacher in Crawley for three years she decided to go it alone with her own phonics learning centre, turning a dream into a reality.

Founder Ava Labelle.

Reading Rabbits delivers interactive phonics classes in what they describe as “a fun, messy learning environment to help shape confident learners.”

Ava says:

“I believe that the enjoyment of learning  should be at the core of every lesson, particularly for the youngest learners.

We offer classes for ages 2-7 and have a unique SEN class with plenty of multi-sensory learning opportunities. Whether parents are looking for the best possible transition into school, consolidation of sounds to support their child’s reading or wanting to get ahead- Reading Rabbits can help them on their journey.”

“There are many tuition centres in the local area, but there are not any that focus purely on the younger years, and the learning styles needed for young children to succeed. Reading Rabbits hopes to fill this gap in the market to provide a fun alternative to traditional tuition.”

“For our preschool classes, children have the opportunity to be fully immersed in play based activities, which focus on the letter sound for that session. Parents are fully involved in the 45 minute classes to share the special moments of phonics learning together and can support their child with that letter sound at home.”

The centre had its first open day in Horsham last weekend which was a huge success.

You can find out more at their website: www.readingrabbits.co.uk


Community

Extra mental health support in Crawley schools to be developed

West Sussex has been successful in a bid to develop extra mental health support in schools across two pilot areas.

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New specialist Mental Health Support Teams will work with children in over 20 schools in a joint partnership between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Following an analysis of need, the one-year pilot will be rolled out in north-west Crawley and in Bognor Regis and Felpham.

The specialist teams will:

• Provide one-to-one support to children with mild to moderate mental health issues, building on the support already available

• Work alongside school counsellors, nurses and designated mental health leads and introduce or develop their whole school or college approach 

• Liaise with external specialist services to help students with more severe needs to get the right support

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“One in nine young people aged five to 15 are believed to have a mental health condition and we know early intervention is crucial. So I’m delighted that West Sussex school children will benefit from this exciting new pilot and I look forward to seeing it progress.”

Dr Patience Okorie, Clinical Director Crawley CCG, said:

“This is an exciting development and has come at a time when we have seen increasing need for emotional and mental wellbeing support amongst young people. We recognise the need for early intervention and support and had found there was a huge gap for this.

“The new pilot service is a great opportunity to ensure young people get the help they need at the right time and the right place.”

Alison Wallis, Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are so pleased that we were successful in our bid for this new service and that we will be able to improve and build on the early and preventative support that we currently provide for children and young people in West Sussex.

“Young people spend a large proportion of their time at school, so it really does make sense for there to be teams based in schools who are specially trained in how to support young people if they raise concerns about their mental health or emotional wellbeing. 

“I am really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this pilot service will make.”  

The Mental Health Support Teams will now be developed and should be up and running in West Sussex by September 2020.  

It is part of NHS England’s ambition to roll out the specialist support nationally to reach up to a quarter of the country’s young people by 2022-23.

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