June school newsletter
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;
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.
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
6th – 14th - Bike Week
An annual celebration to showcase cycling and the benefits of being more active
8th-12th – My week of work
A programme of activities which link to the workplace, organised by Oak National Academy
8th – 14th - Carers Week
To recognise the difficulties and challenges faced by carers and the contribution they make to others
15th – 20th – Small charities week
To celebrate and showcase the work of small charities
15th – 21st – Refugee Week
To celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK
22nd – 28th - National Picnic Week
To promote the benefits of eating outside and with other people
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
May school newsletter
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
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!
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.
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.
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 …
1st- 31st Local and Community History Month
A month to encourage people to investigate, discover and explore their local history
4th – 10th Sun Awareness Week
To raise awareness of the long term harm caused by the sun and to promote safety when outside
6th – 12th Red Cross Week
To celebrate the positive work done by the Red Cross since it was established
9th World Fairtrade Day
Part of a global movement to make sure all labourers are paid a fair wage for their work
11th-24th Foster Care Fortnight
To celebrate and recognise the important work foster carers provide
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
17th International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
To raise awareness of LGBT rights
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
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
28th - World Hunger Day
To raise awareness for the 800 million people who do not have enough food to eat
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.