Our school newsletter provides you with monthly updates and free resources on how you can develop parental engagement in your school or college. If there are any items or topics  that you’d like us to review in an upcoming newsletter, please do send us a note at info@theparentsguideto.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help where we can.

 

Browse through  our most recent newsletters below. 

July newsletter

 

The Parents' Guide to

July newsletter 2020

Dear schools and colleges,

We’re already well into July and we know schools will be closing for the summer holiday soon, if you haven’t already. This is our last newsletter for this academic year, and we’ve got some fantastic free resources, useful articles and chat opportunities for your parents, which we hope you will share with them ahead of the summer holidays.

Free guide: The Parents’ Guide to getting ahead during the summer holidays

(suitable for parents of teenagers aged 14-19 years) 

 

To support parents and their families over the summer holidays, we’ve created this free guide packed with ideas on things teens can try over the holidays that are enjoyable AND will help them get ahead. For parents of sixth formers, it includes tips on preparing for leaving school and what opportunities they might want to consider.

 

If you haven’t already done so, please share this free guide with any parents (or schools) you think may find it useful or direct them to www.theparentsguideto.co.uk/whats-next so they can download it themselves.

 

 

Live chats

 

We hope you’ll encourage your parents to join our free live Facebook chat sessions with Q&A opportunities, which are taking place later this month:

 

Six summer habits to help your child stand out from others with lockdown in mind (suitable for parents of teens aged 14-19)

July 9th at 7pm on our Facebook page 

 

Results day 2020 and what it means for GCSE and sixth form students (suitable for parents of teens aged 15-19)

July 28th at 7pm on our Facebook page

Deferred entry (suitable for parents of sixth formers)

 

Lots of parents have come to us concerned that their children wish to defer their 2020/2021 place to the following academic year. This may be a great option for some students, but it certainly isn’t for all of them. We’ve written an article explaining the pros and cons to parents so that they can help their children make the right decisions about deferrals – you can access it here.

Personal statement resources (suitable for parents of sixth formers)

 

For students still hoping to apply to university for the 2021/2022 academic year it would be great if they gave some thought over the summer holidays about the sorts of things that they might want to include in their personal statement – ideally returning to school with a completed first draft.

To help parents guide their children on how to think about personal statements, we’ve created a range of helpful tools:

 

 

 

Upcoming events over the summer holidays:

 

Awareness days, weeks and months are often an excellent opportunity to write to parents, whether in a newsletter, social media post or blog with timely, relevant content that can be planned well in advance.  Coming up over the summer:

 

July:

11th - World Population Day

To focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues

Find out more  >

 

17th - World Emoji Day

We use emojis every day, so why not celebrate them?

Find out more  >

 

24th - Samaritans Awareness Day

To raise awareness of the important work Samaritans does in the UK

Find out more  >

 

30th – International Day of Friendship

Through friendship we can develop bonds of trust and camaraderie between people regardless of race or beliefs

Find out more  >

August:

19th - International Youth Day

Organised by the UK, International Youth Day recognises the challenges faced by young people and the important role they play

Find out more  >

 

Download our free awareness themes, days and events calendar, click here.

 

 

Free support and guidance for parents

 

The Parents’ Guide to provides a range of free support for both parents of sixth form students as well as those taking GCSEs, including guides, useful articles, a Q&A system where we answer questions personally, live chats and a blog with the latest news. We cover all the important issues and will continue to provide timely and relevant information over the coming few months to help support parents during these challenging times.

Your parents may find this helpful, especially when school is closed for the summer, so do add  a link to our website www.theparentsguideto.co.uk/parents on your school or careers recommended / useful links page.

 

 

We’ll be back in September

 

This has been an extraordinary year, which has required so much innovation, flexibility and resourcefulness from everyone, particularly schools. It has been remarkable how much schools have achieved in such a short time, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all their staff. Funding, which is often a challenge, has been even more severely impacted and so we worked hard to produce free, useful and timely resources to enable you to provide extra support to your parents at a time when they were also under enormous pressure.  We hope you've found this useful and we look forward to continuing our support in the new academic year.

If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to cover ahead of schools returning in September, do send us an email and we’ll try to help where we can.

 

In the meantime, we wish you a very restful summer holiday.

 

Stay safe and well. Best wishes,

Vanessa and Darius

 

 "Parental engagement has a large and positive effect on children’s learning"

Department for Education, Gov UK

 

June school newsletter

Free downloads:

June newsletter 2020

The Parents' Guide to

June newsletter 2020

Dear schools and colleges,

Time has sped by since our last newsletter to you in May and we hope you’re keeping well during these exceptionally busy times for schools. To help you support parents who may be worried their children have got behind during the last few months, and with an eye on the rapidly approaching summer break, we’ve created The Parents’ Guide to: Getting ahead during the summer holidays, which is filled with ideas on what students can do over the summer to help them prepare for what they want to do in the future. 

Free guide: The Parents’ Guide to: Getting ahead during the summer holidays

 

Written for parents of teenagers between 15 and 18 to read over the summer holidays, this guide includes information on how their children can:

  • Find out more about themselves and what they like;

  • Develop life skills;

  • Stand out from others;

  • Decide which subjects to study next;

  • Understand apprenticeships;

  • Select the right university and the UCAS application process;

  • Write a personal statement; and

  • Other options if academic learning is not for them.

 

This guide is not written so parents do the work for their children! It’s a source of ideas and inspiration so they have plenty of suggestions to help encourage and direct their children.

Please share this free guide with any parents (or schools) you think may find it useful or direct them to www.theparentsguideto.co.uk/whats-next so they can download it themselves.

Support for your parents:

The Parents’ Guide to provides a range of free support for both parents of sixth form students as well as those taking GCSEs, including guides, useful articles, a Q&A system where we answer questions personally and a blog with the latest news. We cover all the important issues and will continue to provide timely and relevant information over the coming few months, as well as answer questions, to help support parents during these challenging times.

Your parents may find this helpful, especially when school is closed, so do add a link to our website ww.theparentsguideto.co.uk/parents  on your school or careers recommended / useful links page.

Upcoming events in June:

 

Awareness days, weeks and months are often an excellent opportunity to write to parents, whether in a newsletter, social media post or blog with timely, relevant content that can be planned well in advance.  Coming up in June:

 

8th-14th – Diabetes week

A week dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes and to help raise funds

Find out more  >

 

6th – 14th - Bike Week

An annual celebration to showcase cycling and the benefits of being more active

Find out more  >

8th-12th – My week of work

A programme of activities which link to the workplace, organised by Oak National Academy

Find out more  >

 

8th – 14th - Carers Week

To recognise the difficulties and challenges faced by carers and the contribution they make to others

Find out more  >

 

15th – 20th – Small charities week

To celebrate and showcase the work of small charities

Find out more  >

 

15th – 21st – Refugee Week

To celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK

Find out more  >

 

22nd – 28th - National Picnic Week

To promote the benefits of eating outside and with other people

Find out more  >

 

We’ll be back in July

 

We wish you well over the coming month and look forward to getting in contact with you again in July.

If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to cover, do send us an email and we’ll try to help where we can. If you were forwarded this email and want to subscribe, click here. Meanwhile,

              

Stay safe and well. Best wishes,

Vanessa and Darius

 "Parental engagement has a large and positive effect on children’s learning"

Department for Education, Gov UK

 

May school newsletter

Free downloads:

May newsletter 2020

The Parents' Guide to

May newsletter 2020

Dear schools and colleges,

 

We hope you are keeping safe and well and settling back into the new term.

Most of you have already downloaded our free guide: The Parents’ Guide to coping with school closures and we hope it’s proved useful. If you haven’t already downloaded it, do take a look here.

Our monthly newsletter (term time only) has been created to provide you with resources and ideas on how to increase parental engagement usefully. We hope you find the following resources and ideas helpful.

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week: 18th May

 

As we’re starting week seven of lockdown, for some families the new routine is getting easier and for others it’s getting more difficult. The novelty factor has worn off and the reality that life is not going to revert to normal any time soon is daunting. With Mental Health Awareness week later this month, here is some advice and resources you might find useful to share with parents to help them over the coming weeks.

1. It’s OK not to be perfect! Everybody is finding adjusting to the new normal difficult. We’re not used to spending all day, every day with the people we live with – no matter how much we love them. There are bound to be short-tempers, cross words and frustrations. Accept this, acknowledge this and, as far as possible, give everyone in the family some time to themselves every day.

2. Don’t try to be all things to all people – it’s not possible. You are a mum or a dad – and you are a brilliant mum or dad. But you are not your children’s friend, you are not their teacher, their grandparent, their sibling or their adventure leader. Don’t try and fulfil all these roles for your children; be the best parent you can be, help them where you can and encourage facetime so they can keep in touch with those they are missing. Don’t exhaust yourself by pretending you can fill in all the gaps – you can’t.

3. Taking up a new hobby during lockdown is not for everyone! Lots of companies have offered free activities/memberships to help stave boredom while we’re staying at home – and that’s a fantastic thing and wonderful if you have members of the family that want to benefit. Don’t feel guilty if you are struggling to cope and don’t feel you have the time (or energy) to introduce something new into your lives:- that’s OK too.

 

Additional resources and support:

Mentalhealth.org.uk  - A range of downloadable guides focused on improving mental health  - Access website

NHS - Guidance on mental health and staying at home – Access website

Young Minds – Looking after yourself during lockdown – Access website

The Parents’ Guide to – What to do if your child’s anxious about coronavirus – Access website

 

Useful apps:

https://www.headspace.com

https://www.calm.com

 

 

Fun learning activities:

 

Some parents may find supporting their child directly with home learning challenging, but learning doesn’t have to be confined to the qualifications their child is taking. Here are some fun and creative ways parents and children might want to learn or interact together.

 

Set a cooking challenge:

Why not give your teenager the challenge of cooking dinner for the entire family? If they are already an experienced cook, you might want to add to the challenge by choosing the ingredients for them and then getting them to come up with their own recipe based on these ingredients; if they’re less experienced, get them to cook along with an online chef or follow a recipe. Even better if your child is leaving home to go on to university – they can create their own recipe book!

 

Jamie Oliver on You Tube

BBC Food

The Parents’ Guide to family recipe book template (link above)

 

 

Explore the family tree?

Perhaps your child could begin making a family tree, with photos and personal stories of family members they know, going further back in history as they do more research. This duals as helping to create a sense of belonging and certainty during a time when life has changed suddenly.

 

Geneology for beginners

 

 

Cultural activities:

You might want to get your child to take a round-the-world trip by visiting two or three virtual museums. They could either choose museums in places they'd like to visit, or work around things they enjoy - such as natural history, space, modern art, sculpture or a specific artist. If they're not interested in art, why not enjoy a trip to the theatre? The National Theatre is streaming a different play each week, which you could watch as a family on the TV.

 

National Theatre

 

 

 

The impact of cancelled exams on schools

 

Many parents are very anxious about how their children will be graded without examinations – and some are bombarding schools with queries and pleas for favourable grading – which has been extremely time consuming for school staff. Consider sharing our blog with parents about how the process will work, how it impacts their children’s choices for this autumn and what parents can do to help their children stand out to potential educators and employers. We’re happy to take parent questions and we hope this might help reduce your workload during these challenging times. We’ve also included suggestions on what teenagers can do during lockdown to improve their prospects.

 

Upcoming events in May:

 

Awareness days, weeks and months are often an excellent opportunity to write to parents, whether in a newsletter, social media post or blog with timely, relevant content that can be planned well in advance.  Coming up in May:

 

1st- 31st National Walking Month

A month dedicated to get Britain walking with a focus on the physical and mental benefits it can bring – and whilst we can’t choose where we to go during lockdown, at least some of us can all enjoy some walking as part of our daily exercise routine …

Find out more  >

 

1st- 31st Local and Community History Month

 A month to encourage people to investigate, discover and explore their local history

Find out more  >

 

4th – 10th Sun Awareness Week

To raise awareness of the long term harm caused by the sun and to promote safety when outside

Find out more  >

 

6th – 12th Red Cross Week

To celebrate the positive work done by the Red Cross since it was established

Find out more  >

 

9th World Fairtrade Day

Part of a global movement to make sure all labourers are paid a fair wage for their work

Find out more  >

 

11th-24th Foster Care Fortnight

To celebrate and recognise the important work foster carers provide

Find out more  >

 

11th- 17th National Vegetarian Week

A chance to learn more about vegetarian food and the added benefits it may bring

 

17th National Children’s Day

A focus on the importance of raising happy and healthy children

Find out more  >

 

17th International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

To raise awareness of LGBT rights

Find out more  >

 

18-24th– Mental Health Awareness Week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this Week focuses on raising awareness about mental health and what we can do to help ourselves and our loved ones who maybe struggling with their mental health

Find out more  >

 

21st  World Day for Cultural Diversity

Hosted by the UK, World Day for Cultural Diversity aims to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity

Find out more  >

 

28th - World Hunger Day

To raise awareness for the 800 million people who do not have enough food to eat

Find out more  >

 

 

Download our free Awareness Day calendar here, and make sure you never miss an opportunity to engage with your parents.

 

We wish you well over the coming month and look forward to getting in contact with you again in June, with some useful resources to help families begin thinking about their next steps – whether it’s applying for an apprenticeship, university or finding a job. If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to cover, do send us an email and we’ll try to help where we can. 

Stay safe and well. Best wishes,

Vanessa and Darius

"Parental engagement is a powerful lever for raising achievement in schools"
Harris & Goodall, University of Warwick

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Wherever we refer to ‘parents’ we mean ‘parents and carers.’ This includes grandparents, older siblings or any other  person with significant caring responsibilities for children.