I don’t have children. Despite the highly personal enquiries of random Barclays telesales
BSS : May I call you ,Becky ?
BSS : Do you have children Becky?
BSS :Are you likely to have children?
Me: Um, that’s a bit personal
BSS : Because Life Insurance would provide for your children
Me: “The future children I am not sure if I am even planning on having yet.”
BSS : Yes
Me : Well if I decide to have children in the near future I will be sure to contact you as soon as possible.
Anyway I digress , not currently having children means I have missed out on the whole back to school thing but talking to people I have a glimpse of how stressful the start of the new school year can be .
Weirdly sorting through paperwork, I found a newspaper cutting that describes my Infant School’s staged approach. The year before we formally started school the school put on joint activities for parents, teachers and children to introduce us delicate young thing to the rigors of state education in the 1980s. One of these activities was apparently a nutrition and cookery course, there is me in the bottom picture second from the left making Paddington Bear Cheese Biscuits.
The food learning course echoes much I what we heard from Jamie Oliver in his School Dinners and Ministry of School programmes , just 20 years earlier (Oh God,I feel old)
“Children learn words, weights and health through (food learning) packs and also learn some cookery. Over 30 mums come into school and help with the nutrition lessons.”
Full Text Partners in the Classroom ( Bristol Observer Thursday September 30th 1982) ( I have corrected a number of spelling mistakes)
A partnership between parents and teachers ensures new entries to Ashley Down Infants School can begin their education in a secure and familiar atmosphere
The year before a child joins the school parents are given the opportunity to bring their son or daughters to community area sessions once a week.
Mrs Ruth Squires, Headmistress said “We encourage parents to take part in this because when the child starts school it is far less traumatic if they already know the building the teachers and have experienced the atmosphere.”
Visits to the school become more intense the term before a pupil starts and they can visit up to three times a week, Their introduction is further softened by a staggered intake during the entry terms which means only five children start each day and for the first few weeks they attend on a part time basis.
Mrs Squires said “Again this helps the youngsters, In smaller groups they feel safer and also the teachers get the chance to assess the needs of the individual .
Coming in on a part time basis is similar to nursery school and helps then to adjust.
The parents involvement continues with fortnightly family assemblies where classes get the opportunity to show parents and fellow pupils what they have been learning.
Parents also assist with special food activity lessons. Mrs Squires has introduced a special food learning pack. Children learn words weights and health through the packs and also learn home cookery . Over 30 mums come into the school to help with the nutrition lessons
Mrs Squires explained this helps to keep the children in small groups and having mums around encourages a more familiar atmosphere, Over 64 children will start at Ashley Down before Christmas . They will be supervised by teachers in structured play which is design to bring coordination and curiosity to learn. Mrs Squires said we have a great set of parents and caring staff the combination produces a secure atmosphere for the children to learn in. In fact we are often surprised by the high standards of the children’s work. “