Families Matter Bitesize E-bulletin

FM E-Bulletin

Welcome to your monthly bitesize e-bulletin from the Parent and Family Support Service.

In these uncertain times we understand the pressures parents, carers and families are under and provide a wide range of services and support for all parents and carers in Tower Hamlets.

We offer early help, targeted services and family support in partnership with schools and community venues and most recently due to the Coronavirus our services are available online through webinars, virtual meetings and forums.

Here you’ll find regular updates, information, advice, and opportunities for you to join one of our virtual networks, support groups or attend a virtual parenting session to meet other parents and carers, share your experiences and learn from each other.

For more information about the service, visit our website.

If you like this e-bulletin please share on social media, through community networks or your school website using the following share button, or you can click the hyperlink in the top right corner of this email.

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Your Digital Family

#YourDigitalFamily – join the fun

Does your family know its TikTok from its Twitter, Deliveroo from Discord or Bieber from Baby Shark?

The Parental Engagement Team has launched a fun new quiz which will test your family’s tech knowledge. The online quiz is suitable for parents and secondary school-aged children, who can take part from the comfort of their own home.

All you need to join is an internet-enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop. 

Feedback from parents who joined us for the January quiz:

“Thank you all. It was honestly such a nice evening with the kids to do this quiz.”

 “Was great to be off the telly and have some fun with other families and meet some new people.”

Don’t miss the next digital family quiz events - prizes to be won!

  • Fri 5 and Fri 12 Feb, 7pm-9pm

For more details and the Zoom invitation, email us or call: 020 7364 6398.

Child eating food

Booking for Feb half term Holiday Childcare Scheme now open

The Tower Hamlets Holiday Childcare Scheme is Ofsted registered and provides childcare for children aged three to 13-years-old.

Following government guidance the February scheme (Mon 15 to Fri 19 Feb) is only open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children, with a reduced capacity.

Our priority is to ensure that children and staff at the scheme are kept safe and we reduce risks as much as possible.

Book your place >

‘Platform to Talk’ virtual sessions for parents 

‘Platform to Talk’ virtual sessions for parents 

Now more than ever parents need a safe space to come together, share their experiences and get reliable information. That’s why the Parental Engagement Team are delivering regular ‘Platform to Talk’ sessions. The virtual sessions will cover a range of topical issues from health and wellbeing, family life, parenting, school and more.   

The next Platform to Talk session for parents of secondary school children will be on the theme of ‘Keeping teens motivated to learn’. With exams being cancelled, some young people may be feeling there is little point to online lessons.

This timely session will explore what can parents do to motivate teens and help prepare them for their future.

  • Keeping teens motivated to learn: Monday 8 February, 10am – 11.30am

Future sessions will be on:

  • Monday 8 March, 10am - 11.30am
  • Monday 12 April, 10am - 11.30am

To find out more, book your place or suggest themes for future sessions email us or call: 020 7364 6398.


Starting nursery

Deadline to apply for a nursery school place

If you are applying for a nursery place for your child to start in 2021, the deadline for completed applications is Tuesday 16 February.

Watch a short information film about applying to nursery schools in Tower Hamlets here.

Find out more >

Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week

Next week (Mon 1 to Sun 7 Feb) is Children’s Mental Health Week, organised by children’s mental health charity, Place2Be.

To kick off a week of activities, they are hosting an online assembly at 9am on Monday 1 February, in partnership with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy. It will be hosted by Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell and CBBC Presenter and Place2Be Champion Rhys Stephenson.

Visit the Place2Be website website to learn more and explore their free resources.

Free resources >

Parent sessions to support children’s learning and well-being

Parent sessions to support children’s learning

The Parental Engagement Team has launched a new schedule of online sessions for 2021. The sessions have proved to be an invaluable source of support for parents at a time when they may be struggling to navigate the new learning landscape. 

From information about new learning approaches including ‘blended learning’ to tips on supporting learning at home and staying healthy, the sessions provide a safe space for parents to share their experiences, ask questions and pick up some handy tips from experienced practitioners.

To accommodate parents who may be busy home-schooling or working, weekend and evening sessions are now being offered.

Find out more >

Donate your old laptop and help bridge the digital divide

Donate your old laptop and help bridge the digital divide

A new campaign spearheaded by The Restart Project seeks to bridge the digital divide by providing children in urgent need with laptops. The London-based technology charity is appealing to Londoners to donate their unused laptops so they can be repaired and distributed to disadvantaged students across the capital.

The Restart Project has teamed up with local not-for-profit organisations to prepare the laptops for reuse.

Donate now >

Ask for Ani at Pharmacies to get support for domestic abuse

Ask for 'Ani' at pharmacies to get support for domestic abuse

People at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown will be able to seek help discreetly by giving a code word to pharmacists, under a new UK-wide scheme.

If someone asks for “Ani” at one of the participating pharmacies, they will be given the chance to go to a private space to talk, to see if they need help from police or other services such as domestic abuse helplines. The name is an acronym for “action needed immediately”.

The scheme is available immediately in 2,300 Boots stores and in 255 independent pharmacies.

Supporting your child’s well-being and mental health

Supporting your child's wellbeing and mental health

To coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week (1- 7 February), the Parental Engagement Team are offering an online workshop to help parents support their child’s wellbeing and mental health.

In these uncertain times, children may be more aware of what’s going on than we think. They might not fully understand the news, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sense something is possibly wrong. This workshop will explore how best to talk to children about their worries and will emphasise the importance of paying attention to their mental health and well-being.

  • Supporting your Child’s Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Monday 1 February, 10am - 11am

For more details or to book your place, email us stating your school’s name and child’s age.

Does education need a reboot?

Does education need a reboot?

The COVID-19 pandemic, a greater commitment to anti-racism and the growth in activism is challenging education as we know it.

Lockdown has no doubt given us a new found appreciation for teachers, but it has also given us time to rethink priorities and reflect on the values which lie at the heart of education. This has fuelled a desire to reimagine education and the values it promotes.

How do you think we can reboot education? Watch this interview and be inspired.

Join the conversation by sharing your views on social media with the hashtag #RebootingEducation! 


Become a Covid-19 community champion

Become a Covid-19 community champion

Tower Hamlets Council is calling on residents to sign up to become COVID-19 Community Champion and help other stay informed and in tune with the latest advice.   

The programme is simple. Residents sign up to become Champions and the council then regularly shares up-to-date advice and information on Covid-19 with them. Champions then share the information with their families, friends and their wider communities, helping everyone make sense of it.  

Get involved >

Families Matter Magazine – Spring 2021

Out now: Spring edition of Families Matter magazine

Alongside the monthly Families Matter e-bulletin, the Parent and Family Support Service also produces a termly magazine full of local and national information on services to support families.  

Read it now >

Have your say on new SEMH proposals

As part of the planning to address social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, for primary school-aged children, the council has asked Ben Jonson and Bowden House Schools to develop a new provision at the Ben Jonson School site.

Links to the statutory notices for the prescribed alterations that are needed for the two schools to be able to deliver this new provision can be found via the Local Offer, and the contact details for representations are included in the statutory notice.

The closing date for any responses is Monday 8 February 2021, 5pm.

Have your say >

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