The Foundry Lane school motto is“ Working together” because we recognise that staff, parents and children are a team. Parents are the main carers for the first 4 years and know their child the best and then it also becomes our job to help them to grow into well-rounded young people. Obviously we educate children but we’re also about being a community and supporting parents and carers. We understand that bringing up children is the hardest job in the world! Over the past nine years we have been developing and improving the way in which we support parents and families. We recognise that family life is sometimes challenging and complicated and if we can support the adults in the family, the children have a greater chance of doing well at school. We have a Parent Partnership Coordinator, Jacqui Dowdell, who is employed specifically to support parents and families. The support that is on offer comes in a number of different ways:
Friday coffee morning, is very sociable. It's a chance to chat and catch up with other parents, especially after a busy week – to celebrate that you’ve got your child in on time every day, complete with book bag, library books, dinner money etc…! Coffee morning takes place in the school canteen and Jacqui is always available to offer help advice and support. There is also good coffee and chocolate biscuits, plus a chance to win a prize in the weekly raffle.
Incredible Years. A highly successful 10 week parenting programme that consistently has amazing results for those families who take part. It is designed for all parents who wish to develop and improve their parenting skills – to learn how to have more fun with their children. There is no suggestion that attending parenting courses means that parents are having problems, although it can really help if they are. It's mainly about learning some new skills to do a difficult job a bit better.
Handling Anger in the Family. Two sessions looking at how parents handle their anger, followed by two sessions that build on that learning, so that adults can better help their children to manage their anger in healthy ways. Anger is OK – it’s how we express it that matters and within the family environment is the best place to learn.
Get Set Go! Written especially for parents whose children will be starting in year R at Foundry Lane in September. Two sessions that will help to prepare both parents and children for school.
Other courses From time to time other parenting course are also available. These include courses for parents of pre-teens, especially to help with building good relationships and managing the transition to secondary school. "Parents Emotional First Aid" may also be offered at some point during the year, which is a course that helps parents to deal with stress and anxiety more effectively and builds their self-esteem, so that they are even more able to support their children.
One-to-one support. Jacqui Dowdell is always happy to make appointments to discuss any issues, and this can be done in private if that’s more helpful. These meetings could be a one-off, a number of sessions or on-going support. Help and signposting is available for parenting-related issues as well as problems relating to, relationships, housing, debt, bereavement etc.
At Foundry Lane we believe that if we look after families, then they can look after their children. So, even if you struggle to seek help for yourself, please do it for the sake of your children. We don’t want to judge, but we do want to help. To contact Jacqui, leave a message in the school office or email firstname.lastname@example.org .