Help for managing possible back to school anxiety.

Hi, I’m sure the children are all looking forward to getting into school or back to school, especially to see all their friends again. After such a long time away from school and given the current situation it would be perfectly natural for people to have some anxiety about coming back. If this is the case please have a look at the attached documents which may help you.

TRANSLATED BEAR HUNT ACTIVITIES.

Hi, for children moving into P1 the council has been promoting the use of ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ as a theme for the transition. Please see posts below for activities relating to this book. The nursery also has a Twitter page with lots of Bear Hunt activities. Here are two more resources that have been translated to help access for all. Mr Innes.

Online Numeracy and Mathematics Events in June

There are some free online events to support parents help their children with numeracy and mathematics taking place now.  Check out the National Parent Forum of Scotland website and the information below.

Welcome to the latest edition of our e-newsletter!

Hello again,

It’s good that so many of you are reading this newsletter. I hope that you find it helpful. Being a parent can often feel like a thankless task (!) and I would like to take this opportunity to give all parents involved in their parent councils or in school based activities, fundraising committees etc etc a big round of applause. As volunteers you are a valuable resource to your school community and during Volunteer’s Week, especially in these strange times you deserve a big thank you. Your contribution does not go unnoticed by me or any of the NPFS team and we are grateful to you all for your continued support. Keep up the good work.

I have some exciting news about a series of parent and child numeracy events that the NPFS are hosting. We have heard from many parents that they don’t feel able to support their children with maths and these events are designed to help boost their confidence. Details of the sessions and information on how to join are below.

As always, please send us your thoughts, concerns and worries. Local Authorities are working on their plans to help support parents and children, while learning at home, for next term. They will communicate with you over the coming weeks, and into the summer holidays so you and your children know what to expect before school starts but if you feel unsure what any of this information means then we will try our best to help you.

Keep in touch and have a good week….

Yours, Joanna 

We know that parents are working hard to balance the challenges of Covid-19 and whilst we are not expected to be teachers, our support in promoting and engaging our children in their learning, continues to be of great importance. We are also aware that when supporting learning at home, many parents report that they find maths a particular challenge. Parents have highlighted that they often lack confidence with numeracy and mathematics, perhaps as a result of their own experiences at school, or as a result of children learning maths in ways that may differ from how they remember being taught.

Whatever our confidence level is – numeracy and mathematics continues to be very important to our daily lives, whether that’s managing money, baking or sports.

The NPFS is working in partnership with ‘Count On Us’ with support from Education Scotland to bring 8 online numeracy and mathematics events for parents in June 2020. These ‘Learning Together’ sessions will focus on the use of interactive and visual methods to help you and your child confidently engage with numeracy and mathematics problems, whilst supporting learning at home. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This initiative from the National Parent Forum Scotland perfectly captures the leadership and creativity of our education partnerships in Scotland and I am pleased to see it introduced.

“This approach brings to life the key themes of our Learning Together report on parental engagement and our Making Maths Count report produced by the National Profile-Raising Group on Mathematics.”

These free events are intended for parents with children currently working at First level: Primary 2 – 4 (P2, P3, P4) or Second level:Primary 5 -7 (P5, P6, P7)  numeracy and mathematics, as outlined within Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).  The content of each session has been produced in consultation with Education Scotland to complement the wide range of learning activities, provided by local authorities and schools during this current context. The sessions will cover themes that are explored within CfE across the age ranges of five and twelve years of age.  However, as children move through levels at their own developmental pace, parents with children currently outwith this age range may also find the session beneficial and are also invited to attend.

Each session will be delivered by Chris McKenna, founder and Director of ‘Count On Us’ Education. Chris has been involved in maths education in a variety of roles including Principal Teacher of Maths and as a Lead Numeracy Development officer at South Ayrshire Council. ‘Count On Us’ have worked with most local authorities in Scotland and have engaged with over 300 schools delivering educational support for learners, teachers and parents with overwhelmingly positive feedback. You can find out more about Count On Us on their website: https://www.countonus.org.uk

The themes, dates and times for each session are as follows,

1. 5th June ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Early Number Development
2. 9thJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Addition and Subtraction
3. 11thJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Multiplication and Division
4. 16thJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Fractions, Decimal Fractions & Percentages (Part 1 of 3)
5. 18thJune ’2010am- 10.45am, Theme: Fractions, Decimal Fractions and Percentages (Part 2 of 3)
619thJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Fractions, Decimal Fractions and Percentages (Part 3 of 3) 
7. 23rdJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Algebra
825thJune ’20, 10am- 10.45am, Theme: Problem Solving & Word Problems using Bar Modelling Approach
Click here for more information and to book your place at these events.

Volunteers’ Week 2020

The NPFS is comprised of Parents Representatives from across Scotland’s Local Authorities, who are all volunteers! This Volunteers’ Week we want to say a big thank you to all of our NPFS reps, and all of the hard work they do as volunteers alongside being parents, working, and all the other commitments they balance!

We know that parents across Scotland volunteer their time to support their schools and communities, and recognising the input of parents and volunteers is particularly important during these uncertain times – where we have seen volunteers come together and support their schools and communities through the challenges of Covid19.

Thank you to all of the NPFS reps, parent councils, parent forums, and all of the volunteers helping represent the parent voice and support Scotland’s schools and communities.

What is ‘Blended Learning’?
Schools and early learning and childcare (ELC) provision will reopen across Scotland on the 11thAugust 2020, as long as medical advice judges it safe to do so and all the necessary health measures are in place. Every school will need to put carefully considered measures in place to make sure it is safe for our children to return. This includes: cleaning, handwashing, increased outdoor learning and physical distancing etc. These plans will continue to evolve as the term progresses.

In order for physical distancing to work, it is likely that not all children will be able to attend school at the same time so some of the school week will be spent at home. There will therefore, be a blend of in-school and at-home learning from the start of the school year. This ‘blended’ approach is likely to differ across schools and local authorities as it adapts to different circumstances. For example, the number of days and the pattern of attendance will vary depending on available space and transport options.

Parents will still not be expected to be teachers. Children will receive face-to-face instruction from their teachers in school and be given work at home to consolidate what they have learnt. Schools are also beginning to think about the specific requirements of individual children, such as additional support needs and/or complex needs, as well as families needing extra support.

Many plans are being put in place to help support parents and children while learning at home. These plans are still being developed, but will look very different to a lot of the support that has been available since schools closed in March.There will be consistent, easy to use learning materials to support school work. National learning materials will also be made available to strengthen the offering from schools. Although not all the support will be digital, additional funding will be available for schools to support families that do not have access to online devices.

Local authorities and schools are still working on these plans. They will communicate with you over the coming weeks, and into the summer holidays so you and your children know what to expect before school starts.

Aye Feel 

YoungScot and Scottish Government have launched a new resource to hep young people manage their emotional well-being. Aye Feel is a new dedicated site hosted on young.scot. It supports young people’s mental health and wellbeing with quality-assured information, expert advice, peer content made for young people by young people, signposting to support organisation locally and nationally, alongside tips and practical skills to encourage resilience building and promoting a positive mind-set. Information and links to expert support, video diaries and live Q&As will be shared through YoungSot’s social media channels including via Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Youtube.

For more information visit their website.

Child Safety Week 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak has made us consider new challenges to safety. Although we are spending more time at home – this doesn’t;t stop our children from having accidents sometimes. The Child Accident Prevention Trust have lots of advice for parents to keep your family safe. Take a look at their website for more information and support.

Children’s Parliament – June Survey Open 


The Children’s Parliament are running monthly surveys to gather children views and experiences of the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to compete their June survey.

Parents – We want to Hear from You!

The NPFS are committed to representing parents and ensuring that your voice is heard in the decisions made around education.

Please do get in touch and let us know your thoughts.

You can email us your views on office@npfs.org.uk, or contact on us on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

Contact your local NPFS rep
Would you like to get in touch with your local NPFS rep and find out more about what’s happening in your area and how you can get involved? Is there an issue you would like to raise with the Forum? Or perhaps you have an event that you would like the Forum to support. If so, you can find the contact details of all our local reps here.
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