As school leadership teams across Wokingham borough work hard to ensure their schools are safe for when our pupils return to their classrooms in September, we are also here to offer help and support to parents with their children’s educational and emotional needs.
Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services and ward member for Emmbrook.
Wokingham Borough Council is reaching out to parents to raise awareness of the courses available to help them support their children’s emotional and educational needs.
The council’s adult education programme helps residents of all ages and backgrounds to develop the skills and confidence to improve their health and wellbeing, as well as their job prospects. During the current pandemic they’ve been supporting parents whose children are suffering from anxiety, whether this be an ongoing issue that has been heightened by lockdown or something that has come about as a result of this unprecedented situation. The council’s team recognised that the extended lockdown had the potential to increase anxieties amongst young children and worked swiftly to put together a two-hour online course to help parents recognise signs of anxiety in their child.
During the course parents are shown how to respond positively to a child when displaying anxiety, as well as helpful techniques for supporting their child to manage their anxiety. The course also provides information on where parents can find further help and support. So far 52 parents have attended the nine courses that have been run to date and more are planned for September.
“A lot of children and young people will be feeling anxious and worried about what is going on and this is a normal response to the situation. Home schooling has been a huge change and challenge for both parents and children to deal with and there may even be some apprehension about the idea of returning to school in September,” said Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for children’s services and ward member for Emmbrook.
“We are here to help both parents and young people. As school leadership teams across the borough are working hard to ensure their schools are safe for when our pupils return to their classrooms in September, we are also here to offer help and support to parents with their children’s educational and emotional needs.
“The course to help prepare parents to manage their child’s anxiety has been very well received and will return during the autumn term, along with our key stage 1 and 2 courses for parents who would like help to support their children with their English and maths homework.”
The council’s English and maths courses are very popular with parents who have either forgotten how to do some of the maths or have never been taught the grammar that is now a requirement of English. It is also well attended by parents who have grown up abroad and therefore may not understand the English education system and how these subjects are taught, as well as parents who may be interested in returning to employment as teaching assistants.
These courses to help to manage a child’s anxiety are aimed at children with low level anxiety. Parents whose children are displaying more moderate to high levels of anxiety will be referred to other support within the council via education psychologists and mental health support teams, which also offer parenting courses.