Waterside Academy

Support for Parents

Support for You and Your Family....

Over the course of your child's school life we know that there will be some times that may be more testing than others. As a school we encourage you to come and let us know if anything has changed at home that may impact on the behaviour or mood of your child either in or out of school. Similarly we are also here for you as parents. If we can't help we will generally know of someone who can, so please keep in touch.

The issue that you face could be behavioural, financial, bereavement or a multitude of others. It may be that your child needs further support and you need advice on how you can help them or you may have a family crisis and need additional support yourself, to help you to cope with other environmental factors in your life.

In addition to support offered by the school we would also direct you to the following links. These are organisations external to the school where you can seek confidential support.

Pleas let us know if we've missed anything and we'll endeavor to add it on.


Family Support Worker

Sarah Cafferty is available if you have any queries regarding parenting, finances, getting children to bed on time or just need some reassurance that you are doing the right things. Sarah can be contacted via the school office. We won't need to know why, if you would rather keep it confidential.

Please note that she sometimes has surgeries at school that parents can attend for 1:1 consultations. Please read our newsletter for details or check the diary on the front page.


Children's Centre

The Welwyn Garden City Children’s Centre Group comprises of Oak Tree, Waterside and Creswick Children’s Centres and is managed by lead agency Ludwick Nursery School.  They provide high quality care, education,  family support and adult learning opportunities for families and children aged 0-5.

Each Children’s Centre has its own service timetable tailored to suit the needs of the surrounding community.  Across the group they offer services such as Health, Midwife and Breastfeeding Clinic drop-ins, adult learning support such as parenting courses, boys development, baby massage, first aid/baby resuscitation, baby weaning talks and classes in  maths and English.  Groups run across the centres are Rhyme Time, Digital Drop-In, Toy Library, Baby Lunch Club, Stretch and Grow a Bootfit group too!  They also have a dedicated team of Outreach Workers who can arrange home visits to discuss your individual needs.



Family Support For You

 If you need help outside of the school day or at the weekend you can contact Family Lives. They were previously know as Parentline Plus.

Tel: 0808 800 2222



SEN Advice for Welwyn and Hatfield - DSPL

The DSPL (Developing Special Provision Locally) are a group of professionals and parents that meet half termly to review and develop the range of provision and support services available to their local community that:

  • Meets the needs of children and young people with special education needs and /or disabilities (SEND), aged 0-25, as close to home as possible.
  • Improves outcomes for wellbeing and attainment
  • Widens choice for children and parents/carers
  • Removes barriers to learning
  • Uses resources more effectively

...to find out more visit: http://www.facebook.com/DSPL5 or DSPL5 information


Contact Mr Sal the school's SENCo through admin@waterside.herts.sch.uk


Hertfordshire Autism Quality Offer

The Hertfordshire Autism Quality Offer aligns with the SEND Quality Offer - Hertfordshire’s statement on high quality provision and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The Autism Quality Offer describes the special educational provision that settings are encouraged to have available for children and young people who have autism or social communication needs and includes links to resources and training available to settings across Hertfordshire.

Please see...



Herts Direct

Log onto Herts Direct www.hertsdirect.org and click the link for Family/Child support for contacts to give support or advice with:

  • Children's support groups
  • SEN charities
  • Domestic violence
  • Food banks
  • Practical Parenting Courses
  • Bereavement support


Helping your child to read?

The English spelling code is one of the most complex in the world. It has evolved over hundreds of years and has had many different influences.

As a result, our words are made up of combinations of 44 different sounds but many of these sounds are spelt in different ways in different words.

Furthermore, we only have 26 letters to write these sounds down. This can lead to real confusion for children as letters combine together in different words to make different sounds.

For example, the letter ‘a’ sometimes makes the sound /a/ (c-a-t), or, with other letters, the sound /ay/ (d-ay) or the sound ‘air’ (f-air).  This can be overwhelming.

In order to help the children conquer this complex code, we teach it to them systematically, based around a system based on a programme called Twinkl Phonics

For more information please speak to your child's class teacher. 

What about understanding?

Being able to decode a text alone is not enough.

Children need to comprehend what they are reading and need to be actively taught key comprehension skills from a very early age.

We do this through comprehension activities linked to the stories the children come to read wand also through a range of different literacy activities based around core texts shared with the children in class.

We know that good readers question, check and engage with their own understanding – these are some of the skills we seek to develop.

We know that decoding and comprehension should not be taught in linear progression but need to be taught simultaneously.

Always check that your child has 'taken-in' and understood what they have read. 

How else can you help at home?

There is much you can do to support your child at home.

  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills and understanding.
  • Practise the sounds they know at home. There are flashcards available to buy from the office.
  • Listen to your child read every night. Find a quiet time to hear your child read and use lots and lots of praise to encourage them.

Look out for our Reading Workshops for parents and carers, where you can find out more details of how to help at home. Click here for some further ideas

If you need further advice or help with how best to help, please do ask your child’s class teacher who will be really happy to meet with you.

The School Family Worker website: www.wgcschoolspartnership.co.uk
Citizens Advice Bureau on: 03444 111 444 or www.whcab.org.uk
Advice Guide on: www.adviceguide.org.uk  for advice on everything from relationship breakdown to payday loan problems.
Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk   Telephone helpline 0808 800 2222
Young Minds: 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9.30-4pm) for parents/carers concerned about their child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Kids Hub: www.kids.org.uk/hub  01992 504013 support for parents and  carers of disabled children and young people aged 0-19 in Hertfordshire.
Children’s Services: 0300 123 4043 for any concerns about the wellbeing or safety of a child.
Support Group Leaflets/Information
Home-to-school agreement
Support for 'National Testing' (SATs) in year six...

Rowans, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 1NZ
A charitable limited company, registered in England and Wales No 10290954
Registered Office The Orchard Primary School, Gammons Lane, Watford, WD24 5JW

01707 321203