I am be available for calls, messages and emails during the school day. I may not always be able to respond straight away but I will always get back to you so please do leave a message. I can also book in evening phone calls if this is easier for you. Please also feel free to leave messages and emails during the evening which I can pick up and respond to the next day.
Useful free to access website
Go Noodle is free to access "GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!"
Using praise to shape your child's behaviour
Talking with Children
Some really useful quick acces information via video clips on this link about what when and how to share information with chidren in the current situation and helping them with their emotions - useful in the Covid situation and general principles for all the time.
If you've got car enthusiasts in the family and a printer then this might be a good link for you (think it's going to appeal to adults as well as children).
If you've been doing more in the garden with your children over the past few weeks, you might like to take a look at the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show this year - which I read will have tips and ideas for home gardens.
Want to increase your child's ability to keep going when things get tricky?
Keeping children focused on a task can be challenging - especially if they feel it is too hard, or have a tendency to give up quickly. Here are some tips to try which are drawn from the Incredible Years course we run each year in school.
Word play games
I hope you managed to celebrate VE day in some form over the weekend - there was certainly a lot of 1940's music playing in the sunshine on Friday in my locality. It's started me thinking of all the opportunities for verbal communication games with our children whilst we have more time together and no where to go - I've attached some starter ideas, I'm sure you can also make up your own.
Word games can be helpful to keep children going on long walks (or drives in different times), or keep them longer at the table at mealtimes.
These kinds of interactive games are also great for children with low focus and boredom levels as there's no setting up or rules to learn. They are also a great distraction tool if the kids are becoming unsettled.
My favourite one to quell the riots at mealtimes was the silence game - how quickly a group of children will fall silent when someone mentions `first one to talk ...'.
For any of you who have sadly lost loved ones in this difficult time and would like to access advice on supporting children through this, here are two links to organisations providing information and also on-line chat and phone advice services. There is also a poster of a local charity offering bereavement support based in Swindon. I am also available on the phone and email - and can help to answer questions and source information for you if this would be helpful.
Trip to the Zoo?
Several families have told me they are enjoying following the virtual tours and webcams from zoos around the world - here are three of them and I'm sure you can find some more. There are also learning pages for those childrenwho love animals and might practise some learning skills this way.
I was asked about easy recipes for using with children this week - here are three of my favourites. My other go-to with children is (if you can find it atm) a packet of bread mix for `just add warm water' - see what bread shapes they come up with.
Are you missing the shops?
I love this idea from one of our parents - especially as it looks like it would take up quite a lot of a rainy day! And could be something children across the ages can join in with
- Design and cut out some play money with the children
- Can you make a till with a cardboard box
- What kind of shops can you set up at home (I remember a shoe shop once when my girls were small - lots of fun with dressing up went with it)
- Maybe you could make some price tags?
Play opportunities for: role play together, imagination, sharing, turn-taking, construction.
Learning opportunities for: practising number skills/adding and taking away, sorting and categorising, writing.
Children engage in and learn best through play when we:
- remember things don't have to be set up perfectly
- can let the children lead with their ideas
- give enough help when they need it but try not to `take over'.
The Hub @ BA15
The Hub is a great local resource which is still offering Food Parcels to famililes in need at this time. If you are struggling to get hold of food, waiting for a benefis claim to be processed, not receiving your usual income - you can either collect or have a delivery of an `essentials' food box from the Hub.
Indoor Play Ideas
I found this site today, not suggesting anyone purchase from the site, but if you scroll down there's a nice list of indoor play ideas that might be useful - I particularly like the life size drawing and `tape roadways' - it also reminded me of when we used to have birthday parties for my children's favourite toys - musical bumps parachute game style with a blanket!
Time for your own learning ...?
For anyone with some free time on their hands .... I've been given the link to Wilthsire College distance learning courses - which are all FREE. There's a wide range of courses on there, this might be a good time to learn something new or start preparing for your next steps ...
With the rain this weekend I thought you might like an activity session with less running around - I've had a go this morning and feeling energised now No previous experience necessary - - though I couldn't get the foot parts quite right!
I am adding new information just below so no need to scroll all through to find the latest - but if you are new to this page, do browse through the previous information.
Have you seen the toilet roll challenge? See what you can make from a used toilet roll and things found around your house - I'll post my effort later and you can email me pics of yours!
I found this poster this morning and thought it is a really useful reminder for those tricky moments when your child is in meltdown
One more for the garden
With the lovely sunny weather here are some suggestions for your time outside:
Clare's Law - Keeping safe in relationships
If you’ve got some old flour in the cupboard here’s some easy recipes for making modelling materials at home:
Today we have two links forwarded by parents. A fun game for supporting the younger children with reading
and a link to
the kids kitchen network which is a place to find and share tips and recipes (it’s free), as well as on-line cooking sessions you can join in with at home.
Having a routine for the children during this time can help with feeling ore organised and in control
Our Family-School Link Worker (previously Parent Support Advisor) is Debbie Lewis.
What I can offer to you as parents in my role as Fitz Family School Link Worker:
* Providing support for you to talk to me about any worries you may have about your child or that your child has either in school or at home
* Helping you with communication with school or at home
* I can attend any school meetings with you to provide you with extra support
* Signpost you to local resources such as the food bank and debt advice
* Provide you with tips, resources and links to other services on practical issues such as bedwetting, homework, additional needs, mealtime worries, anxious children, benefits and much more
* I am always happy to meet up for a chat and can offer both one-off and on-going support
Please do not hesitate to contact me by: phone or email (see above) or catch me in the playground after school.
Incredible Years Courses
I can offer these courses to you which focus on building children’s confidence and co-operation over 4 or 12 weeks.
What other parents say about Incredible Years:
“Without hesitation go on the course, the time you spend attending it is only a fraction of the time, yet it will reward yourself and your children until they become adults.”
“This is a course for all parents and children, not only parents who are finding it difficult, I wish I had done it before.”
“Playing with my children is enjoyable using the child led approach.”
“It is good, especially to feel like you’re not on your own.”
“My children go into school calmer and more confident in themselves.”
“It has helped me and my husband to be more of a team with discipline/behaviour. We try to come up with combined strategies and we talk them through more now.”
“The children argue less getting ready and finishing tasks is quicker.”
“It helped me in approaching situations and trying to think in the way of my child’s brain helps me to understand them better. Reduced the arguments and I am more relaxed compared to before the course.”
Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)
Information from the police:
Domestic violence and abuse is a devastating crime that shatters the lives of victims and families.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) – often referred to as “Clare’s Law” after the tragic case of Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in Greater Manchester in 2009 – was rolled out across all 43 police forces in England and Wales.
The Scheme allows the police to disclose information regarding an individual’s previous violent and abusive offending to their partner, where this may help protect them from further violence and abuse.
Based on the information provided within an application, we will carry out a range of checks. If these reveal a record of abuse, or suggest a risk of violence or abuse, we will consider sharing this information.
Our aim is to help people to make a more informed decision on whether to continue a relationship and provide help and support when making that choice.