Each year, we run Family SEAL (Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning) sessions for our new Reception class parents.
These sessions are run for each class and for a series of 5 sessions over 5 weeks. The sessions begin with an introductory session, then a series of 4 other sessions. Each session takes the format of an adult session followed by an adult and child session where adults have the opportunity to explore particularly activities with their child in school. Any family member or friend can attend; you can attend any amount of sessions. Any children whose adults are unable to attend, complete the same activities with their school adults and take the activities home for adults to do at home as well if desired.
The sessions involve a great deal of craft, relaxation, games and activities that promote chat and fun, showing how we support emotionally and socially in school and talking about how adults support children at home.
Here are some comments from parents from our most recent sessions:
"I've thought the programme is very beneficial and feel lucky our school do it."
"I have got a better appreciation of what it means for Leila to be at school."
"I enjoyed spending time with my daughter in her school environment."
"I really enjoyed having one-to-one time with my son."
"I will take away memories of being able to be involved in my daughter's school."
"We will introduce more calming activities in to our family tie. Currently it's very activity based."
"I will take away how important one-to-one time is."
"My son loved the weather massage and I now regularly receive massage!"
“I enjoyed having a platform to discuss emotional issues especially as they relate to my child’s schooling. A sense that, as parents, we are working with the school as a team, for the all-round well-being of our child.”
“Lovely to see my son in his school setting. It was an opportunity to explore different emotions with him. It gave me new ideas and strategies for dealing with emotional problems.”
“I have got out of these sessions that we are all similar, we all fall out and stress from time to time. Time with my children is most important and most enjoyable.”
“I have enjoyed seeing my son’s enjoyment at having mummy in school. He’ll be proud when he gets his book.”
“This was a unique opportunity to create different crafts and activities and see how my child is in a school environment.”
“I have enjoyed learning a bit more about how school works and seeing how the children learn in their environment.”
“I will take away how important it is to spend time doing an activity together uninterrupted even if it is a very simple task.”
Seven years ago, our Year 6 children and their families participated in Family SEAL as Reception children. Since then, we have had a rolling programme of holding a series of Family SEAL sessions for our new Reception parents.
We thought it would be a great idea to offer a one off ‘Pop Up’ session to say goodbye to our Year 6 children and families and spend time reflecting on their time in primary and their aspirations for the future.
Mrs Godbeer spoke to Year 6 children for their ideas for the ‘Pop Up’ and designed the afternoon activities based on this. There was blind folded trust games, designing and making of cards, dressing up and a photo booth, photo frames for their memory photos, listening to stories they heard when they were younger, cake decorating, making worry dolls, messy trays of shaving foam and baked beans and much more!
Here’s what the adults said about the afternoon:
“My favourite activity was making the worry dolls. I liked the range of activities and spending time with my child.”
“I enjoyed spending quality time with my child and the photo shoot was great fun!”
“I enjoyed making the picture frame although the messy play was popular.”
“All of the activities were fun – nice to use playdough etc!”
“Plenty of choice of activities to suit all. Nice to catch up with other parents as we do not come into school much these days!”
“It all worked well. It was very well organised and resources. It was a nice idea to use the actual ideas from the children.”
“It was great to see everyone having fun and enjoying themselves.”
“I enjoyed the making activities the most as there was lots of talking and chatting going on!”