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Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area

Newsletter 24 March 2021

Message from our Chair

We are now approaching the end of what I know has been a very challenging term for you all. As I write this message, this is the first week when all pupils have returned to school. I am sure that there will have been challenges but I hope that all has gone as smoothly as possible in the circumstances. It is good to hear children’s voices once again in the playground!

As an Opportunity Area we have been reflecting on how best to support you post-pandemic. Each one of you will have different priorities although I expect that many are the same. Some of our programme offers are bespoke to individual schools and others are universal offers available to all schools. Included in this newsletter are details of the projects on offer but please do continue to visit the Opportunity Area website for the latest news and information.

Lastly, I am very pleased to share with you the good news that the Department for Education has confirmed an additional year of funding for the Opportunity Area programme. This means that the programme will now be continuing until August 2022. This is very good news for Fenland and East Cambridgeshire as we continue on our mission to raise attainment, raise aspirations and extend career opportunities for the young people who live and go to school in the area. We shall be particularly focusing on supporting vulnerable pupils and vulnerable schools to overcome the challenges that Covid-19 has presented. It is vital that we all work together to provide a coherent support system for children and young people from the early years through to employment. This extra year’s funding will further our quest to overcome barriers to social mobility and transform young people’s life chances. I will update you next term on plans for Year 5.

Good luck for the final few days of term and I hope you have a well earned rest during the Easter holiday.

With best wishes,
Tricia Pritchard

Contents

In this newsletter:

Opportunity Area Updates

Opportunity Area Extension

We are pleased to announce that the Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed an additional year of funding for the Opportunity Area (OA) programme. Therefore, Year 5 of the programme will run until August 2022. This is wonderful news for the area, as the good work already started can be continued during a time it is needed more than ever.

We will be sharing more information about our plans for Year 5 in due course but wanted to share this exciting news with you in the meantime.

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Early Years Training Booklet

We have put together an Early Years Training booklet for those of you who have signed up for training as part of the Early Years Offer. This document summarises all the dates and key information about the training courses.

Upcoming training dates:

  • Five to Thrive:
    • Brain development and positive parenting: Five to Thrive as a model for promoting secure attachment – Thursday 15 April 2021
  • Making it REAL:
    • Making it REAL Full Training – course starts with session 1 on Monday 12 April 2021
  • Cambridgeshire Communication, Language and Literacy Modular Pathway:
    • ICAN Early Talk – Friday 16 April 2021

If you have any queries about support for Early Years in the OA, please contact Pirjo.Mudd@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

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New Opportunity Area Offers

STEPs Refresher Training

STEPs is a therapeutic, whole-school approach to managing behaviour. Following on from previous funding for STEPs Tutor training, the OA is offering fully funded 1-day STEPs Refresher training for up to two members of staff for schools within Fenland and East Cambridgeshire. 

STEPs Tutors should attend Refresher training annually to keep up to date and be able to continue to deliver training within their setting. You must have completed the 3-day STEPs Tutor training previously to access the Refresher.

More information about the offer and how to register is available at the OA website STEPs Refresher Training webpage.

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Ongoing Opportunity Area Offers

OA Webinar Series

The OA Webinar Series continues to host fully-funded online workshops and resources covering a wide range of topics. We have received fantastic feedback about the series, so we encourage you to sign up if you have not done so already.

If you have already joined the OA Webinar Series group, we would like your feedback. We would like to hear whether you feel there are any gaps in the information provided in this webinar series. For example, we are currently focusing on speech and language, English as an Additional Language (EAL) support and governance. If there are any areas you would like support with, please complete the one-question OA Webinar Series Survey.

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One-to-one Teacher Training Support

We are funding a bespoke one-to-one guidance service for all those over the age of 16 who are interested in training as a qualified teacher, be that a first career or those looking to change careers.

As part of the guidance service, the team is running online information events, via Zoom, for prospective teachers. The next event will take place on Wednesday 21 April, 6:00–7:00 p.m. For more details about the service and how to join the next information event, visit the OA website One-to-one Teacher Training Support webpage.

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Additional Updates

Talking Together in Cambridgeshire

The Talking Together in Cambridgeshire (TTiC) 2021 funding round is now open!

TTiC runs across Wisbech, Huntingdon, North East Cambridge City, March, Chatteris, Meldreth, Melbourn and Duxford. TTiC offers grant funding for community-based projects that aim to boost the communication, language and literacy levels of children aged 0–5. More information and details about how to apply can be found in the TTiC poster.

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TEEMUP Schools Study

Teaching Effective Early Mathematics and Understanding in Primary (TEEMUP) is looking for 100 state-funded primary schools in the East of England and bordering local authorities to take part in the TEEMUP study. This study evaluates whether the TEEMUP professional development improves children’s mathematical and self-regulation outcomes in Reception and Year 1. More details can be found in the TEEMUP Schools Study information sheet.

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If there is anybody who you think would like to receive this email, please feel free to forward it on. Email Fenland.EastCambsOA@cambridgeshire.gov.uk to be added to the distribution list.
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