Archive for “July, 2021”

Education Minister announces delay in elements of the ALN implementation

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language has today announced, that despite significant progress being made in preparation for the implementation of the new ALN system,  it has become clear that the impact of the pandemic cannot be ignored.   

The message consistently being shared is of the need for further space and time to manage and plan for aspects of this important programme of reform alongside the new set of expectations for education settings from September in relation to Covid.

The Ministers announcement means that children newly identified as having additional learning needs (ALN) will still move to the new ALN system from 1 September 2021.

However, for those children who attend a maintained school (including a PRU) and who have already identified SEN via school action or school action plus, the new system will apply from 1 January 2022, instead of 1 September 2021.

The delay is to provide EY’s ,schools and FE’s the period between  September and January to reflect on guidance, make preparations , and to engage those with already identified SEN in School Action or School Action Plus with their transition to the new arrangements.

To support the implementation, the WG will publish technical and practitioner versions of the implementation guide, which will help people to navigate the processes and requirements for transition to the new system.

These materials will be published early in the Autumn Term together with an additional guide for parents and families.

Written Statement: Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act 2018 Implementation (14 July 2021) | GOV.WALES

Datganiad Ysgrifenedig: Gweithredu Deddf Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol a’r Tribiwnlys Addysg (Cymru) 2018 (14 Gorffennaf 2021) | LLYW.CYMRU

11 Fun Ways You Can Keep Your Kid Active during Pandemic

This is a guest post, by Charles Vallena of TheSleepMatters (

The pandemic can keep children restricted with the number of activities that they can do at home. Unlike the usual setting without the imposed health protocols and community rules, becoming fit and active with the coronavirus pandemic can be a struggle.


Health experts advocate for children to make physical activities part of their daily lives, promoting healthier growth and helping them maintain the appropriate weight for their age. To keep children engaged in physical activities, check out these fun ways that will help them enjoy being active.


1. Do sports at home


Experts recommend children stay active with at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Playing sports is among the most efficient ways to keep your children competitive and active at the same time. Sports at-home – roller blades, swimming (if you have a pool), and even shooting some hoops, can keep them very active during the pandemic.


Sports have a lot of interpersonal, emotional, and physical benefits for children. It develops their motor and social skills, and it also promotes self-confidence. Most of all, sports are fun to play for all ages.


2. Learn how to play the guitar

Letting kids become musically inclined will let them explore more of their interests. Learning how to play the guitar keeps their minds sharp. Music experts at Guitar Junky said even young kids can try learning a few chords and let them enjoy the instrument on their own.


kids guitar is easy to find and portable so they can continue to learn playing the instrument at home or your nearby music school. Aside from the guitar, you can also let your children learn other musical instruments, and let them choose the instrument to learn with the given time.


3. Get them into kids’ yoga


Wondering how you can keep your children interested in yoga when you are not an expert? There are a lot of online yoga classes that you can take with your children. There are yoga videos that are fun and challenging for kids and parents.


Aside from varied yoga poses, yoga also keeps them focused, developing their mental growth. Yoga videos are great for those kids who love screen time because they can enjoy watching while also learning how to be active.

4. Make a fun obstacle course


Another thing that spells out fun is having an obstacle course at home. You can always build your obstacle course that  you can design and construct based on their physical capabilities.


Ninja ropes and old tires can be used to make a DIY-obstacle course.  Nevertheless, DIY obstacle courses are fun ways to keep kids active, while also helping you recycle old or unused tools and objects. These obstacle courses also encourage creativity and resourcefulness for your kids. 

5. Play indoor games

Simple indoor games like hide and seek, board games, and even their toys, can promote physical activity among children. Indoor games are more fun especially when parents, or their siblings, interact and engage with their play.


Encourage children to spend time off their screens and let them have fun with their toys at home. There are a lot of age-appropriate games that make children more physically active. Make sure to let them play with safe and non-toxic toys for their indoor games.


6. Grow plants

If you want your kids to be responsible, giving them a pet is ideal. But, if you want to train your children on how to be responsible while still being physically active, let them grow their plants, but teaching them how to cultivate plants or grow flowers makes them more responsible, as they learn how to take care of their plants daily.


Gardening is something you can enjoy with your kids, especially in activities like trimming stems and watering the plants.  While this activity can get them dirty from time to time, it can teach them to become more responsible and allow them to be more aware of their surroundings.


7. Do a backyard camping


Nothing is more exciting than enjoying backyard camping at home. Involve your kids in setting up camp, gathering some ingredients for some outdoor s’mores, picking up wood for the campfire, and having some fun camping games. Backyard camping is something they can look forward to in these times, and you can still let them enjoy camping even at home.


8. Make DIY projects

One of the things that spark creativity in children and parents is fun DIY projects. There are a lot of easy DIY projects that they can do at home –tie-dye shirts, slimes, sock puppets, playdough, even their fort. The possibilities are endless with the DIY projects that you can make at home.


9. Have dance parties at home


Dance parties at home are fun ways to keep active. Children are more active when engaged with music. Funky and groovy songs let them throw their dance moves on the floor. There are a lot of trendy dance challenges on the internet that will encourage them to learn those moves.


10. Have a game night with the family


Charades, freeze games, twister, and treasure hunting are fun game night activities. Schedule a game night with the whole family to let your kids have something to look forward to. Game night encourages social skills, graceful winning or losing, as well as following rules for kids. Games are also great for bonding with the family.


11. Cook and bake with your kids

Cooking or baking with your young ones is very beneficial for both parents and children. Cooking and baking are low-intensity physical activities as it involves walking, upper arm workout, and even fine motor activities. Kids learn a lot from cooking or baking simple recipes. It also promotes confidence and it lets them explore their taste and other senses.


Experts recommend kids have about 60 minutes of physical activity every day for healthier mental, emotional, and physical growth. Even amid the pandemic, your kids can still be active in a lot of different fun ways.


Being physically active in the eyes of your children can set a great example for them to follow. You must engage your kids in age-appropriate activities, and they should be enjoyable so they will anticipate more activities in the coming days.


Bethan’s story

Sharing your experiences, the challenges you’ve overcome and any support we have provided, can help us in so many ways: when we talk to parents to reassure them they’re not alone and show what you can achieve with the right support.

When you tell us about your experiences including any help you have received from SNAP Cymru, we can share your stories to help even more families across Wales. This lovely feedback was sent to us this week from Bethan who was looking for an appropriate placement for her son David. We were thrilled to read it.

Maybe you used our Helpline or website for advice on a difficult situation or had more in-depth casework support from us.  We’d love to hear from you. If we have supported you, tell us how and why you got involved with us and how it helped.  You can use the feedback form on the contact page or let your local family and young peoples officer know.  

We love hearing from you.  

Bethan’s story

To whom it may concern,

 I am writing to express my upmost gratitude for the help I have received from SNAP Cymru and Donna Morgan.  Below is a summary of our journey:

I had been striving for 18 months to get my son David into the right placement, which would be able to meet his exhaustive list of needs. The relationship with David’s school had broken down. I felt the LA were supportive of the school and didn’t ‘hear’ my concerns and queries. At this point I had hit rock bottom. I then got in contact with SNAP Cymru and arranged a meeting via Teams with the LEA, school, SNAP and myself.    On the morning of the meeting, I was completing my list of points in preparation when my mobile phone started ringing.  Upon answering the phone, I heard a very unfamiliar, friendly strong valleys accent, it was Donna.   At this point I felt very anxious and apprehensive as David’s case was extraordinarily complex lengthy and in depth.

Donna amazed me with her expansive knowledge, she was highly informative, friendly, and helpful.   From that day forward my life changed for the better, for once I felt I had a chance to get David the provision his needs warrants.  What followed over the next few weeks can only be described as an informative journey, that I will not forget.

Donna worked tirelessly on my case, educating me, informing me about  statement content, panels, processes and transitions.  Donna very much became one of my rocks.  

Donna’s passion, determination and knowledge coupled with her superb people skills, complete professionalism and friendly demeanour completely shined through during every conversation, meeting, and email.

 Thanks to Donna:

  • I have a better understanding of statement process.
  • A passion has been awoken in me to pursue a job within advocacy, to one day help parents like me.
  • David has been awarded the appropriate provision.

I do struggle to find the words which fully express my gratitude to Donna Morgan and SNAP Cymru. Without your service many families would be in dire situations.   Thank you Snap Cymru and Thank you Donna Morgan.

Best wishes

Bethan Bodman

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