A grateful parent

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A few weeks’ ago we received this letter from Tulip, a parent whose child attends one of the SHINE on Saturday programmes. She writes…

“The SHINE Programme has profoundly influenced our lives and those of many parents and children who attend this school.

I have heard testimony from others parents about how important the SHINE programme has become to them and how it has, in fact, encouraged them to engage further with the school, their children’s education, and for a significant number their own education. Where in the past the parents may have been fearful of interacting meaningfully with their children’s teacher, now – partly because they are able to see the teachers in the more informal setting of SHINE on Saturday – they have found an increased confidence to approach and engage with teaching staff in general.

It is heartening to hear from a parent, as I have, that she has largely overcome her fear of school, a fear that was instilled in her by her own ‘negative’ school career.

SHINE provides for our children and their teachers a further opportunity to identify any skills gaps that our children have – the increased understanding of the specific needs of individual children gets fed back into the classroom. Another noticeable benefit has been the increased cohesion throughout the school of children from different year groups. At SHINE the children are organised in age divergent groups which has led to the young people communicating and learning together in a new way.

These links are still evident when the older children leave the school. I personally can testify to seeing my own children being hailed in the street by older children, who have now left the school and gone on to secondary school. For those of our children who will, in the future, attend the same secondary school, it will be comforting that there is someone they know they can go to for help if they need it. The range of activities on offer at SHINE have been exciting; both the on-site workshops and special trips to museums and out into the countryside.

A small group of our parents were invited to feedback about SHINE during the autumn term, and they were surprised themselves to identify a number of positive changes in their lives that can be traced back to the beginning of the SHINE programme. These included improved attendance, children who were better able to concentrate and who exhibited improved communication skills.

The Governing Body at the school has received regular reports of the SHINE programmes’ progress and has come to realise just how important the programme now is to the fabric of the school. I think that SHINE has helped, along with the expectations of the staff at the school, to ‘raise the bar’ for the whole school. Our parents have been very explicit in their praise of the programme and cannot envision a life without it.”

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We hope you’re encouraged to read about the impact this project is having.

Thank you for making a difference.