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Safety, Learning and Respect - our three values. Welcome to Thornhill Primary School at the heart of our community

Weekly Message from the Headteacher

Parents often get a bad press - it is the hardest job in the world and one which you are never quite sure if you are doing well.  In the earliest days, it is quite easy, as a baby’s needs are simple and practical. Instinctively new parents know that babies need warmth, food, love and to be kept safe and clean. As babies grow, their needs become more complicated and by the time they reach school age, they are complicated beings with individual needs which often change on a minute by minute basis.

The media and internet have a million ways to advise parents on how best to be a good parent and many of these are contradictory and do little to feel parents with confidence. I am aware of how competitive parenting can feel as it can seem like you aren’t providing what other parents do in terms of holidays, gifts and treats. As a Head teacher, I spend a great deal of time with parents and children and I also work with families requiring support from Children’s Services. Children tell me that spending time with family members on days out or being silly at home, are their favourite things to do. They want parents who give them time, share their interests and provide unconditional love.

From a child protection point of view, parents are doing a good job if they ensure several basic principles are met:

Stable Home environment

  • Suitable healthy home conditions -the child is clean and is either given a bath/washed daily or encouraged to do so in an age appropriate way
  • Home is safe and carers do not argue aggressively and are not physically abusive in front of the children
  • Supervision of internet, TV and other media takes place - the child does not watch inappropriate films/TV or play with computer games which are inappropriate
  • Carer does not misuse drugs or alcohol or talk about feelings of depression/low mood in front of the children

Appropriate care and concern

  • Appropriate food and drink is available for development
  • Appropriate clothing- clean and fits well, suitable for the weather
  • Preventative care- dentist/ optician/ immunisations are carried out
  • Taught traffic skills and how to keep safe in and outside the home
  • Praise and warmth for child is obvious

Stimulation and learning

  • Carer takes child to child-centred places locally such as park, or encourages child in an age appropriate way to make use of local resources.
  • An active interest in schooling and support at home and school attendance is regular.
  • The child receives appropriate stimulation such as carer talking to the child in an interactive way, as well as reading stories and the carer playing with the child.
  • Carer provides consistent boundaries and ensures child understands how to behave

If these needs are met, consistently and with a child-focused approach, parents can be happy that they are doing a great job. If you are struggling with aspects of parenting, we may be in a position to provide support. We can also point families to local groups who provide non judgemental and practical support in our locality.

Enjoy your family this weekend – Mrs Figes

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