Young Merton Together

Top news stories

Welcome to Young Merton Together – Director of Merton Children’s Services Rachael Wardell

Rachael Wardell, Merton DCSIn this edition I am very pleased to be able to bring you the new Children and Young People’s Plan for 2019-23 – My Family, My Future, My Merton. This sets out and will drive progress against a set of objectives shared by Children’s Trust partners, to improve the lives of our children and young people and their families across all aspects for their lives. It also states our shared vision to make Merton: A place where children and young people feel they belong, stay safe and thrive.

For the first time, the development of our Children and Young People’s Plan was directed and co-produced by Merton’s Young Inspectors. It is based on a set of strategic objectives which directly respond to and address the expressed needs of over 1200 young people who took part in an in depth survey, conducted at the start of 2019. Children and young people will also have a central role in monitoring and evaluating progress against the plan for which we, as staff, practitioners and professionals across the Children’s Trust are all accountable.

Over the coming editions of Young Merton Together we will be running feature articles on the exciting and impactful work being delivered, to achieve the objectives in the six outcome areas of the Children and Young People’s Plan. This newsletter will keep you up to date on progress against each one, giving you information about effective approaches to practice, and enabling you to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the range of services and resources that are available to support children, young people and their families, to enhance integrated partnership working.

In this edition, under ‘Being Healthy’ we give an update on the School Super Zones project which aims to improve how areas around schools can promote the health and well-being of the school and local community. For ‘Staying Safe’ we include information about the schools’ PSHE network with a call out to schools to get involved, to help them prepare for the upcoming statutory requirements for RSE (relationships and sex education). Our ‘enjoying and achieving’ section includes a focus on the work of the Merton Information and Advice for SEN and Disabilities Service – you can find out about the scope of their offer and a recent success for one young person and family supported by the service.

Merton’s youth parliament has been ‘Getting Involved and Having a Say’ about the council’s work to tackle the climate emergency; while the My Futures team, featured in the ‘Becoming Independent’ section, continues to offer its holistic and young person-centred approach to supporting vulnerable young people’s engagement in education, training and employment. Finally, we hear about the Disability M-Card and some new concessions that are available for families with children with SEN and/ or disabilities. This is an example of work under the ‘My Merton: community connections’ section of the Children and Young People's Plan.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas period and hope that you will find time for some rest and recuperation. I look forward to an energised New Year where we can continue to work hard to support our children and families so they know our borough is a place where they belong, stay safe and can thrive.

Best wishes,

Rachael

My Family, My Future, My Merton

CYPP imageMerton's Children's Trust is very pleased to be able to present our new Children and Young People's Plan: My Family, My Future, My Merton. The four year plan sets out the strategic priorities for securing improvements to the well-being of children and young people, which will be delivered by Children's Trust partners through our multi-agency partnership approach. The plan commits to priorities under six outcome areas - Being Healthy, Staying Safe, Enjoying and Achieving, Making a Positive Contribution, Achieving Economic Wellbeing, and Feeling Connected (family, friends and the community) - with the aim of making Merton:

'A place where children and young people feel they belong, stay safe and can thrive'.

As a demonstration of our commitment to the participation and engagement of children and young people across Merton we handed the development of our key multi-agency plan for children’s services over to children and young people themselves, led by our Young Inspectors. This began with a survey which went out to secondary schools in the borough and received nearly 1300 responses, as well as discussion groups with children and young people with SEN and/ or disabilities, with primary aged children, and with parents of children using early years services.

The final version of the plan was then put together with the Young Inspectors making sure that the strategic objectives of the plan address children and young people’s views and concerns. The plan has bee adopted by Merton Council and can be read here:

Merton Children and Young People's Plan.

Being healthy

Creating healthier spaces for London’s children to live, learn and play

Merton is one of 13 boroughs chosen to take part in the pan London project to set up School Super Zones. These are areas around schools – around a 5-10 minute walk – where we aim to create healthier and safer places for our children and young people to live, learn and play. The project is being rolled out across three schools in Merton, starting with Merton Abbey Primary School, and puts the participation of children, young people and families at the centre of planning and delivery. It is aligned with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), as well as some of London’s lead experts on evaluating complex health interventions.

It is known that being exposed to an unhealthy environment as a child can have a lasting impact on mental health, obesity, educational achievement and long-term conditions. Having healthy spaces and neighbourhoods is vital to giving children the best start in life and reducing health inequalities.

The aim of the Merton Abbey Primary School Super Zones project is to improve air quality around the school; increase journeys made by active travel modes to and from school; increase healthy options at local convenience stores; increase the use of local parks by pupils and teachers; and raise awareness and understanding about the environmental determinants of health in the vicinity of the school and thus raise awareness of public health and public health interventions.

Michael Bradley, Merton Abbey Primary School head teacher said:

The Superzone project has already helped our staff to connect with key professionals from the local authority and the wider community. We want our children to become active members of their own community, who make positive changes to their local area.  The Superzones project has great potential to help us in that work’

Merton Abbey Primary School’s community, including pupils and parents, participated in three engagement workshops followed by a communal ‘walk home’ where participants took photos of the environment and talked about how it impacts on their wellbeing. Issues raised included traffic congestion around school gates at drop off and pick up times, air quality, safety concerns on walking routes due to poor lighting, under-use of green assets, litter, as well as lack of public art and community ownership of public spaces.

In response to this a number of actions were developed in partnership with the school community and council officers including anti-idling promotion, allowing the school to take ownership of a local park, and reviewing the placement of street lighting.

This first project will be evaluated in Summer 2020, and then rolled out to a further two schools.

For more information about the project please contact Merton’s Healthy Places Officer poppy.middlemiss@merton.gov.uk.

Staying safe

Merton schools’ PSHE network

The Merton PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education) Network, established in July 2018, is a collective of Merton primary and secondary PSHE leads, as well as borough staff, that meet to support the delivery of high quality PSHE in all schools.

The network was established with a view to support staff with current training needs, sharing of resources and best practice, problem solving, responses to local and national initiatives and opportunities for PSHE education. Staff who attend frequently comment on the value of engaging with other leaders, as well as providing opportunities for partnership work between schools.

To date, the network has been successful in: providing opportunities for secondary school student leaders of LGBTQ+ education to deliver workshops in local primary schools; cross-phase strategy sharing by student ambassadors for mental health; showcasing services, available locally and nationally to schools and young people, that have been commissioned by the borough such as Loudmouth Education and Training, Spectra and Free2B; and sharing training from the DfE and PSHE Association on implementing policy changes.

As a result of the network’s think-tank style discussions, training on RSE (relationships and sex education) policy writing has been provided by the borough, with RSE remaining the primary focus of the network in preparation for statutory RSE from September 2020.

This network seeks to continue to support the collaboration of primary and secondary schools to ensure high quality provision for the personal development of all young people in Merton. The network also provides a great professional development opportunity for staff to get together and collaborate with colleagues in the same area of leadership.

The network meets at Rutlish School once per term, and is led by Rebecca Doherty. All PSHE leads from primary, secondary and alternative settings are welcome, as well as organisations that are looking to connect with schools. 

Upcoming meeting dates: 

  • 4 March 2020 2.30pm-4pm
  • 17 June 2020 2.30pm-4pm

For more information and to book a place on at the network meeting please email: rebecca.doherty@rutlish.merton.sch.uk  

Enjoying and achieving

Are you looking for information, advice and support on SEN and/or disabilities?

MIASS Fran and ShaziaFran Turko and Shazia Khan deliver Merton’s Information, Advice and Support Service for SEN and/ or Disabilities (see image left). They tell YMT about the range of support that is available in Merton and nationally for children and young people with SEN and/ or disabilities.

In Merton we are committed to working in partnership across children’s services including schools to support the health and well-being and education of children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities (SEND) 0-25.

For advice and information about the identification of SEN and/or disabilities and ongoing support we encourage parents and young people to first contact their school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Learning Support Advisor, class teacher and other professionals who know the child or young person.

In addition parents and young people can find a wealth of information and advice, as well as contact details for support services, online at the Merton SEN Local Offer website. Also, the Young Merton website for children and young people has details of activities, events and other opportunities for all children including those with SEN and/ or disabilities.

There are national support organisations too: The Independent Advisor of Special Educational Advice (IPSEA) has a website of information and resources and offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. In addition Contact for families with disabled children, provides guidance and information via their website and helpline (0808 808 3555; available 9.30am-5pm, Monday-Friday, free from UK landlines and UK mobiles; Press 1, to speak to an education adviser, press 2 for all other helpline enquires).

Where young people and their families who live in Merton have explored these options for support, but require additional direct and specialist help and advice including appealing to a Tribunal, they can also contact our service - the Merton Information, Advice and Support Service for SEN and/ or disabilities (MIASS).

This free service provides impartial advice and guidance to parents, carers and young people aged 0-25 with regard to the identification of special educational needs and the requirement for multi-agency support, including health and social care interventions and applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); all members of the team are trained in the statutory framework. We can also support families at meetings with the local authority and can arrange informal meetings to challenge a decision of the local authority prior to tribunal.

The answer machine and email inbox is monitored daily including during school holidays. We work with approximately 450 families a year and receive between 5 and 10 phone calls a day. We respond to all contacts within seven working days at the latest and will prioritise cases where children are out of school, at risk of exclusion or where there are legal proceedings. We support parents, carers and young people at meetings at school, with class teachers and SENCos as well as doing home visits and in their offices at Joseph Hood Primary school.

For a lovely example of the impact of our work please read the case study article: ‘Thank you MIASS I could not have moved forward without the support’.

If you are working with a child, young person or family who needs support for SEN and/ or disabilities then please encourage them to speak to education and other professionals who work with the child or young person and to use the online directories. If they still need further support please ask them to contact MIASS on 020 8543 8854 or email: fran.turko@merton.gov.uk and shazia.khan@merton.gov.uk.

 

 

‘Thank you MIASS I could not have moved forward without the support’.

Fran Turko and Shazia Khan from Merton’s Information, Advice and Support Service for SEN and/ or Disabilities (MIASS) have shared case study, to illustrate one example of the positive impact of the service:

A mum contacted the service for support for her son of secondary school age who was struggling to cope and not progressing in his learning. He had been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and was finding the mainstream environment overwhelming.

She heard about the service by recommendation from a profession, and contacted us because her son had been excluded and was refusing to go to school. We were able to give her support over the phone and at a review of the young person's Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). His presentation in school and progress was reviewed by a professional and it was identified that his needs could not be met in that particular setting, despite the school putting in place lots of support.

We then worked with the family to identify and visit potential alternative schools, resulting in a placement with more support. The young person is now attending school regularly again. Mum said:

‘Thank you MIASS I could not have moved forward without the support’.

If you are working with a child, young person or family who needs support for SEN and/ or disabilities then please encourage them to speak to education and other professionals who work with the child or young person and to use the online directories. If they still need further support please ask them to contact MIASS on 020 8543 8854 or email: fran.turko@merton.gov.uk and shazia.khan@merton.gov.uk.

 

 

 

 

Getting involved, having a say

Young residents shaping action on the climate emergency

Merton Youth Parliament plus another young resident with a particular interest in climate change, were joined by four scrutiny councillors from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to take part in an event, during local democracy week in October, to address a question posed by the Youth Parliament: What is Merton council doing to address their responsibilities on climate change in order to secure the future of our young residents?

The meeting, chaired by the Youth Parliament, included a presentation from Merton’s lead for climate change, Councillor Tobin Byers (Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and the Environment). He outlined that the council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and committed to working towards becoming a carbon neutral council by 2030, and a carbon neutral borough by 2050, with support from government through legislation and funding, and from residents through behaviour change.

Dominique Hill, Climate Change Projects Officer, also presented at the meeting giving an overview of the work that the council has undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since the implementation of its Climate Change Strategy in 2009. The Council has now committed to working towards making its own buildings and services carbon neutral by 2030 in order to lead by example within the borough.

The Council is currently developing a Climate Action Plan to set out what needs to happen in order to achieve both the Council and borough-wide targets across a number of areas including building and energy, products and waste, transport, behaviour change and engagement, green spaces, investments and sustainable diets. The action plan will be informed by a number of work streams including internal discussions within the Council, an external working group (Merton’s Climate Emergency Working Group) and a public consultation. The Climate Emergency Working Group is formed of local residents and representatives from community organisations (such as Sustainable Merton) with relevant professional expertise and community reach. Tobin highlighted the crucial role of young people in shaping this work and invited the young residents to share ideas on the best ways forward. The young representatives were also invited to join the council’s Climate Emergency Working Group to continue to contribute to this work in the long term. A young resident has now become a formal member of the working group.

At the event, the young people proposed recommendations to take to Cabinet. These focused on: sharing information on air quality around schools and facilitating educational programmes for children and families; increasing in the supply of dockless hire bikes for use by Merton residents; raising awareness of the impact of light pollution; and creative ways to improve and encourage recycling in the community.

The recommendations were taken to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission in November and will be presented to Merton Council’s Cabinet on 16 December 2019. Cabinet will then decide how it wishes to respond to the recommendations of the joint scrutiny exercise.

For more information on our work to tackle climate change please contact the Climate Change Projects Officer Dominique.Hill@merton.gov.uk. For information about Merton’s Youth Parliament and other children and young people’s participation and engagement opportunities in Merton please contact the service manager Chelsea.renehan@merton.gov.uk.

Becoming independent

Holistic and young person centred approach to NEET prevention

My Futures Team

Merton’s My Futures Team tell Young Merton Together about their approach to supporting vulnerable young people to secure positive futures:

The My Futures team supports young people aged 14-19 in the borough who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or who are at risk of becoming NEET. We support young people holistically, aiming to understand their individual needs and circumstances in order to provide the right support to unlock their potential. The young person’s views and ideas are at the centre of our work as this will maximise their potential for engagement and the achievement of positive outcome.

The young people that we work with often have poor mental health including anxiety, school phobia, behaviour problems and severe depression, have experienced neglect, have Special Education Needs and Disabilities, are involved in offending behaviour, have low school or college attendance or have been or are excluded from school or college.

Owing to this complexity and range of need we offer young people a range of support options including one to one and group work sessions and a summer holiday programme of activities and new opportunities aimed at inspiring, educating and building connections with support workers and peers - out of the 27 young people who attended during the 2019 summer programme, only one young person did not have an Education, Training or Employment destination for September 2019.

We use a variety of tools to support each young person, including the signs of safety model to measure the risk around each case and the wider family, and genograms to explore the underlying reasons behind disengagement. This runs alongside the planning and implementation of sustained long term placements into education, training and employment.

Follow this link to find out how ‘ Sandra’ who had been NEET for six months, was supported by the team to tackle the anxiety and low mood which prevented her from engaging in further education. She has now been in college since September and has a part time job.

Our team is based in secondary schools across the borough and in the community, and includes a SEN and disabilities specialist keyworker, a Youth Offending Team specialist keyworker and a counsellor. We identify those in need of support through a tracking process and via referrals from staff and partners across the borough, including schools, who work with children and young people.

In addition we work in partnership with Merton’s Towards Employment programme which links young people with work, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and London Universities widening Participations teams, running workshops to break down the barriers for disadvantaged young people gaining access to University.

Please follow our media pages which are for young people and professionals and include information and updates regarding support around education, training and employment opportunities.

twitter@myfuturesmerton – Twitter

insta@myfuturesmerton – Instagram

facebook@My Futures Merton – Facebook

One young person’s journey into education and employment

Merton’s My Futures Team tells Young Merton Together about ‘ Sandra’ who had been NEET for six months, and was supported by the team to tackle the anxiety and low mood which prevented her from engaging in further education. She has now been in college since September and has a part time job.

Eighteen year old ‘Sandra’ was supported by one of our key workers because she had been NEET for   6 months. She described that she had ‘always struggled at school’ and her parents described her as having low mood and anxiety. She had low self-esteem and motivation, and little willingness to engage with day to day activities; attempts to improve her mood had been met with resistance. At her first session the key worker explained to Sandra that the support on offer would be tailored to her expressed needs, interests and abilities, and that sessions could be held at home. This enabled her to open up and to set a plan to meet the keyworker once a week.

At the next session Sandra discussed triggers for her low mood, and completed a genogram of key relationships and the impact of these in her life. The key worker was able to identify that Sandra’s low mood played a key role in her resistance to discuss and explore employment opportunities. They agreed to go on a ‘dog-walk’ together as Sandra had said that this activity lifts her mood.

During the walk Sandra was able to share her knowledge about the local area enabling her to experience an equal rather than hierarchal relationship with the key worker. This was a turning point for Sandra. She was able to discuss her feelings about being a young women, having money, future relationships, physical aesthetics and how these are all important aspects of an individual’s self-image and identity. At the same time the key work was able to highlight to Sandra the positive impact that education, training, skills and employment can have on her self-identity.

The following sessions saw a change in Sandra’s outlook on her own future, and she was then open to completing job and college applications. By the spring of 2019 Sandra was planning for further education and was clear that she wanted to do a course that she would enjoy. By the September Sandra had enrolled at college, and agreed to retake her maths and English GCSE’s. Sandra has now successfully completed three months of college and has a part time job.

Please follow our media pages which are for young people and professionals and include information and updates regarding support around education, training and employment opportunities.

twitter@myfuturesmerton – Twitter

insta@myfuturesmerton – Instagram

facebook@My Futures Merton – Facebook

My Merton – community connections

Merton's disability M-Card: parking benefits get even better!

We are always working to offer more benefits for our M-Card holders. Parking Services in Merton have worked with us to allow M-Card holders to benefit, with immediate effect, from the following:

  1. M-Card holders are now entitled to 30 minutes parking at school drop-off and pick-up times in pay and display and / or permit bays and on yellow lines only in the immediate vicinity of the school. Parking on the zig zag lines at any time is strictly forbidden.
  2. Holders can get 2 hours’ parking in the immediate vicinity of children’s centres in pay and display and / or permit bays and on single yellow lines.
  3. Buy one hour of parking and get one free at Peel House Car Park, lower level opposite Sainsbury’s in Morden (note: This can be used when visiting Merton Civic Centre).

Parking officers have been asked to allow one hour extra on top of a valid ticket’s purchase time when displayed with an M-Card on your dashboard. Maximum stay: 2 hours

  1. NEW! Buy one hour of parking and get one free in Merton’s open spaces at Abbey Recreation Ground, Tamworth Recreation Ground, Wimbledon Park, Haydon’s Road Recreation Ground and Morden Park. Parking officers have been asked to allow one hour extra on top of a valid ticket’s purchase time when displayed with an M-Card on your dashboard.

To be able to benefit from any of the above, you must display your child’s M-Card clearly on your dashboard

How to apply for an M-Card (Eligibility criteria apply). https://directories.merton.gov.uk/kb5/merton/directory/advice.page?id=jO8hiyX2kMw

Please note: If a PCN is issued, you will need to appeal in the normal way to Parking Services, with a copy of your M-Card.

Latest news roundup

National Autistic Society award for Raynes Park High School’s Access Centre.

'the Access Centre provides personalised educational and therapeutic support rooted in an understanding of the strengths and challenges of each autistic student'

RPHS NAS award

We are delighted to be sharing the fantastic news that, after two years of hard work and three days of inspection in July, the Access Centre (ARP) at Raynes Park High School has been accredited by the National Autistic Society (NAS) as having achieved the expected standards for a mainstream school working with students with a diagnosis of autism.

The Award Committee considered that the school has achieved the standard required by Autism Accreditation and therefore awarded the status of Accredited to The Access Centre, Raynes Park High School.

Accredited status is awarded to provisions where staff have a good working knowledge of methods and approaches which produce positive outcomes for students with autism. The support offered in the school is effective and person centred, overall reaching the standard expected by Autism Accreditation. The quality of practice is reflected in the majority of feedback from the students with autism and/or their families.

The accreditation report stated:

“The committee found compelling evidence that the Access Centre provides personalised educational and therapeutic support rooted in an understanding of the strengths and challenges of each autistic student. The Access Centre provides a calm and safe space for students to work, relax and gain confidence. An effective key worker system is in place and students are supported in emotional self-regulation and in overcoming barriers to mainstream inclusion. They are well prepared for transition between year groups and to and from other settings”.   

This showcases the hard work and dedication given by every member of the team in the Access Centre towards the inclusion of our students in the mainstream school environment. We are pleased to say that we are the only secondary school in London to have achieved this accreditation. ​

For more information about Raynes Park High Schools Access Centre for children with ASD please contact the Head of Access Centre Samantha Kuti: skuti@raynespark.merton.sch.uk

The LODown newsletter

Lo Down image

Read the latest edition of The LO Down, Merton’s new SEN and disability Local Offer newsletter!

The LO Down is a termly newsletter for parents and carers of young people and children with SEN and/ or disabilities. The LO Down brings you updates about services and support in Merton and the surrounding area. Just click on the link under 'Downloads' on this page

Fostering Recruitment and Permanency Team

fostering teenagers

We are very excited to be part of the innovative Mockingbird Project, in conjunction with The Fostering Network. The Mockingbird Family Model is a community based model offering ongoing support for foster carers through respite care by offering regular sleepovers, as well as peer support, joint planning and training, and social activities. The model enables improved stability of fostering placements and is a way to strengthen he relationships between carers, children and young people, the fostering service and birth families.

Merton Council urgently needs more foster carers for teenagers, sibling groups, (to keep them together, when they come into care) and carers for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. If you have a spare bedroom, some childcare experience and a desire to help children and young people get in touch today. Fostering changes lives, find out more about the difference you could make.

If you are a Merton Council Employee and you successfully recommend someone who goes onto get approved as a Foster Carer, you will receive £250.

Our Foster Carers are supported 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, they receive on-going and comprehensive training and an allowance of up to £514 per week, per child.

Find out more:

 

Adopt London South

ALSAdopt London South is a new Regional Adoption Agency partnership of 9 local authorities - Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth. Our specialist adoption staff find families for children, we recruit adopters and we offer post adoption support to children, families, birth parents and adopted adults.

For all letterbox communication email: Letterbox_EnquiriesALS@southwark.gov.uk.

Visit our new website www.adoptlondon.org.uk.

Perseid School receives fourth consecutive 'Outstanding' from Ofsted

Perseid School pupils and staff are celebrating, following a glowing Ofsted Inspection report which sees the school continuing to be graded ‘Outstanding’. The inspection took place on July 3 2019 and the school was praised for maintaining the outstanding quality of education since the last inspection.

Ofsted inspectors observed that pupils are ‘very happy and enjoy school’ and acknowledged the effective and positive working relationships between pupils and staff, commenting that ‘staff engage pupils in activities but encourage them also to develop their independence’.

The inspection found that the competent and committed governing board have high aspirations for the school; and the senior team provide excellent leadership within the school, adding that middle leadership is extremely well developed and plays a significant part in school improvement. The report also highlighted that development points identified at the previous inspection have been successfully addressed and the provision has further developed.

The Inspection report highlighted specific areas of strength:

  • The school’s vision of being ‘an inspiring visionary school, blazing a trail for outstanding holistic learning’ was demonstrated perfectly.
  • There is a very strong culture of safeguarding throughout the school.
  • The curriculum meets the needs of individual pupils exceptionally well…pupils follow a very personalised curriculum...Activities to develop pupils’ attention and engagement are highly effective.
  • There are a good range of visits to the local community and beyond…pupils are also given opportunity to participate in enterprise projects and charity days, promoting their independence.
  • Pupils relate their learning effectively to the world outside school… older pupils are given specific roles and responsibilities in the school.
  • Pupils are very well prepared for the next stage of their education or training…pupils are confident about their transition to new classes.

Executive Headteacher, Tina Harvey said:

'We are delighted that the Inspectors have recognised the achievements of our pupils and the support from our staff team, governors and families. We are determined to continue building on the successes achieved to date and to continue delivering the high quality of learning that ensures our pupils achieve beyond expectations'.

For more information, please contact 020 8648 9737; office@perseid.merton.sch.uk

Morden Primary visits the Queen at Haig Homes

Morden primary secondary schoolPeta Blow, head teacher of Morden Primary School tells YMT about their visit:

On Friday 11 October Queen Elizabeth II officially opened 68 new houses on the Haig Housing Estate. Haig Housing is for ex-military personnel and their families. Some of the houses line Queen Elizabeth Terrace. It was the first day for the Queen to resume official duties after returning from holiday at Balmoral. The Queen has been the Patron of Haig Housing since 1952.

Naomi, a Y2 child at Morden primary, was invited with her family to present the Queen with a bouquet of flowers.

Children of Morden primary then lined the route for Her Majesty to sign some official photographs. She spoke with many of the children who were absolutely thrilled that she took their bouquets of flowers personally from them!

Queen Elizabeth then revealed the plaque that officially opened the new houses – to the delight of the children. Two Morden children shouted, “You’re the best Queen ever” resulting in her Majesty chuckling in delight. This was captured by the media and the Sun Newspaper started a survey, “Is the Queen the best monarch ever.”

It was a day that will live in the memories of all involved forever and we are thankful to Lisa and Julie at Haig Homes for involving our school in this momentous occasion.

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life