-Early Years Bulletin

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Early years bulletin

7 December 2023


Share your thanks with a school superhero!

Calling all parents and carers! If someone at your school has gone above and beyond for your family, Teach Portsmouth are asking you to share a special thank you message.

Teach Portsmouth are encouraging families to thank a school superhero as part of an initiative to celebrate staff members. Your child might have been supported by a teaching assistant to overcome challenges in the classroom or a head teacher who has provided strong leadership in your community.

There is no restriction on who can be thanked (as long as they work and are still based at the school). To share your thank you message, visit the Teach Portsmouth website and complete an online form. Thank you messages will be shared with schools, at the end of the year in a special format for all to see.  

Find out more


The DfE have published new information and guidance on supporting babies and young children with their mental health.

The guidance:

  • explains how we all have mental health just as we have physical health, and this includes babies and young children
  • explains how practitioners can support positive mental health in early years children
  • includes emotional and behavioural support strategies to use in early years settings
  • links to further reading and resources

For more guidance on supporting children in the early years, visit the Help for Early Years Providers website.


The Beacon House website has a wealth of advice including coping with change, sensory overload and how to just be you at Christmas.

Visit the Beacon House website


This winter, Portsmouth City Council will provide a food voucher to all families with children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in reception year through to year 11.

Families will receive an £80 supermarket voucher for every eligible child attending school in Portsmouth and will help families with the rising cost of living this winter.

For families who find accessing the internet difficult, please speak to the school who can order a paper food voucher.

For all other families, they will receive an email from Edenred (noreply@edenred.co.uk) after 27 November, this will contain a code which will allow them to claim their electronic food voucher.

If families have any questions or problems, they should speak to the school who will be able to help.


As the weather starts to get colder and we approach the winter months, think about accessing a warm space.

There are friendly, warm spaces in your local community. These are places where you can meet others, take part in activities, get a warm drink or meal, or spend some quiet time away from your home.

Find a warm space in your area 


You're eligible for free winter flu and COVID vaccines if you are:

  • Over 65
  • Pregnant
  • Live in a care home
  • Have certain health conditions
  • Work in a frontline healthcare role (including carers)

Flu can be especially nasty for small children, but a quick, safe and free nasal spray vaccination at your GP practice can protect them from the worst of it. 

You should get your vaccines as soon as possible to stay safe this winter. You can book to have your vaccines at a local pharmacy or your GP practice.

Visit: www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations or for any COVID vaccination-related enquiries, you can call the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID helpline on 0300 561 0018 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 1pm).


Free winter family fun day for those families in receipt of free school meals - booking required. 20 December, 9.30am - 1.30pm at the John Pound Centre.

Find out more and book here 


On 25 January from 10.00am - 1.00pm, Portsmouth City of Sanctuary will be hosting an awareness session for professionals who are working with families and individuals who are NRPF (no recourse to public funds). This session will cover the legal complexities of NRPF, destitution and entitlements of those that are NRPF.

Book your place here


Take a look at the training on offer from Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership. 

PSCP Core training

LADO workshops


The next HAF Fun Pompey programme will run from 16 – 23 December. See a full list of HAF funded activities here. See a list of pay as you go options with HAF providers here

There is a fantastic range of activities and events including some for all the family. You can visit Santa’s Grotto, go sailing, play in a 3×3 basketball tournament, panto visits, go ice skating and plenty more. There will be good, tasty food including some Christmas themed dinners and the odd festive treat!

HAF Fun Pompey referral form

HAF Fun Pompey Wonderful Winter poster

HAF Fun Pompey Festive Flex poster

HAF Fun Pompey programme


If you haven't already, please don't forget to share the starting school poster with the families of those children who are due to start school in September next year.

Download the poster

Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch