Hello, I am Sarah Walker and I am the Parent Support Adviser at St Joseph's.
My role within the school has been developed to provide a confidential and impartial service to all parents, carers and their families where they can get information, advice and support on a range of topics or issues which may or may not be related to education.
The ethos behind my role is that a settled and happy child will be a happier and better learner in school and more able to reach their potential. Therefore, if you any worries or problems, such as money worries, or your child's behaviour if I can help you with them I will. Once the problem is identified it is then possible to find solutions. Although I will often work with the parents as well as the child the focus of the work will always be for the benefit of the child.
I am a neutral link between home and school and unless there is a safeguarding concern the work I do with families can remain confidential.
Here are some of the many reasons parents contact me:
If you wish to talk with me I can be contacted via the school office, on my mobile : 07815503382 or by email email@example.com
I am in school although I can make appointments outside of these times if it is more convenient for you.
Money - help with energy bills
I have lots of information on how to switch to a better value energy supplier, plus information on grants and help if you are in arrears with your bills.
Please contact me if you would like some more information.
Clubs, Activities and support for children with SEND
There are many groups and organisations who can support families and children. If you would like to talk with me about what support you need I can help you find the best support available. One of our parents highly recommends Friends and Families of Special Children who have given her a lot of support plus her children get the chance to take part in a huge range of out of school activities.
Also the Horizons Sailing Charity for children who are 8 or over and can swim, is a great club to go to. They meet every Thursday evening plus Saturday mornings in the summer. In the winter when sailing isn't possible they run a wide range of events on a Thursday evening.
I have put links to some websites below :
Plymouth Information Advice and Support also produce a monthly newsletter listing all the activities available to children with SEND and their families:
Another part of my role is to keep families up to date on clubs, events and activities available in the local community and more widely across Plymouth and its surrounding areas. I am also responsible for the Children University at St Josephs. If your child takes part in clubs in or out of school and they want a Passport to start collecting stamps towards certificates please ask them to see me.
Where possible I will provide a link to information about the events on this site, but also please check the school notice board in the playground by Class 1.
Whats on in Plymouth?
Lots of information about a wide range of events and activities happening in Plymouth over the next few months, including the popular Christmas treasure trails, The Soapbox Theatre at Devonport park, sports events, Art, History and much more!
AND... Whats on in Devonport?
Have you been to the Devonport Live Cafe in George Street? I can vouch for their cakes!
But it is also a community hub, where you can find out more about what is happening in your area, what support is available, get ICT help, go to a craft group and there is also a mother and toddler group there every Wednesday. For more information take a look at their website:
Free School Meals
Although every child in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible for free school meals (Universal Free School Meals), it is still important to let us know if you think you are entitled to Free school meals in order for us to be able to claim pupil premium funding that could benefit your child in school. If your child is in year 3 or above and you qualify they would then be able to have a free school meal everyday.
Are you in receipt of any of the following?
- Income support
- Income based jobseekers allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child tax credit most recent award notice – with no working tax credit AND annual income not exceeding £16,190
- Guarantee element of state pension credit
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act.
If so, not only are you entitled to free school meals for your child but St Joseph's can claim for additional funding, Pupil Premium, which can help provide a range of benefits and support for your child.
Please come in and speak with either myself or a member of the office team if you think you may qualify.
Like Free School Meals, children who have one or more of their parents serving in the Armed Forces qualify for an additional Pupil Premium. This funding provides additional learning and emotional support for the children if needed, the HMS Heroes Keep In Touch club, and the opportunity to take part in HMS Heroes events.
If you have not already let us know that your child has a parent in the Armed Forces please let us know so that we can access this vital funding.
Are you looking for a year round after school and weekend club for your child? Have you thought about sailing? Horizons Sailing Club is based at Mayflower Marina and is primarily for disadvantaged and disabled children who live in Plymouth. Children should be aged 8 or over and being able to swim is useful. They meet every Thursday evening throughout the year plus Saturday mornings in the summer months. In the winter when they cannot sail they host a wide range of activities on the Thursday evening session. They charge a minimum donation of £1 per child per session but if you can and want to pay more they will appreciate that. For more information see their website
Plus Horizons Sailing sessions can be added to your Children's University passport if you have one.
This is a great website to find out events and activities for the whole family in Plymouth
Can you sing? Or your Child? would you like to join a choir? Phoenix Chorale based at St Peter's Church, Wyndham Square, have an adults and junior choir (10-16 Years)
For information about getting involved or going to their events please go to their website: