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FAMILIES

relationships based on mutual respect
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We pride ourselves on the relationships we have with our parents and carers and can think of no other way of working than in true partnership with them. We value and respect every single family, no matter what their circumstances, and make every effort to welcome the whole family.

We introduce ourselves using our first names and similarly, use theirs when speaking to parents, believing this immediately breaks down an unnecessary barrier and puts everyone at ease.   

We plan brief home visits to all our families before they start with us, to say hello and introduce ourselves on their home ground. We also invite the parents to a Welcome Evening in school, to meet the staff and find out information about the way we work and what to expect. 

Parents are then invited to join their child on their visits to school, building the time up over a few days. This enables us to get to know each other and begin to consolidate the relationships.

 

And then, as well as having contact and conversations with parents on a daily basis, at drop off and pick up times,  we invite parents and carers into school to talk about children's learning and find out more. We call these days 'Family Fridays' and organise them in groups, with the key person leading the session and keeping it informal and focused on the children and how they can support learning at home. 

When children are based at the Cottage, parents are invited on the last Friday of the residency to join their children for a Family Hike. This means parents, grandparents, carers help the children to prepare the picnic, fill their water bottles and get ready for setting out on a hike for the whole day. In a very relaxed and informal way, the staff use this time to talk with the families about how learning takes place in the great outdoors and the amazing benefits it offers. So far, these family hikes have been a great success, with brilliant feedback from our families about how much they've learned, not only about their children, but also about nature.

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