Families Matter Bitesize E-bulletin - February 2021

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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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Back to School

Platform to Talk - Back to School

The Parental Engagement Team continue their successful ‘Platform to Talk’ programme with a special session to coincide with schools re-opening.

The ‘Back to School’ session will explore ways parents can re-establish routines, understand and manage worries and help children return to school successfully.  It will acknowledge what children have experienced during school closures and provide a space for parents to talk.

Platform to Talk - Back to School

Friday 12 March, 10am - 11.30am

For more details and for the Zoom invitation, email us stating the session title along with your child’s age and school’s name.


Healthy Families online workshop

To coincide with Salt Awareness Week, the Parental Engagement Team are delivering a special Healthy Families online workshop.

This interactive session will inspire families with creative ways to reduce salt intake without compromising on flavour. Join us to pick up some ideas for quick, easy meals and discover ways to get the family a bit more active!

Wednesday 10 March, 10am - 11am

For more details and for Zoom invitation, email us stating the session title along with your child’s age and school’s name.

Old Flo

Story competition time with Old Flo

Canary Wharf Group are inviting students from secondary schools in Tower Hamlets to participate in a short story competition with the theme of Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman sculpture, known as ‘Old Flo’.

The winning entry of the competition will receive an Apple iPad Air, and a cheque for £1,000 which will be donated to the respective Tower Hamlets school. The winning short story may also be featured in the Short Story Stations at Canary Wharf. 

The deadline for entries to the competition is Friday 26 March 2021 at 5pm.

Enter here >


Family Fun Sheets!

Children learn best through ‘hands-on’ experiences. Since they are spending more leisure and learning time online, it’s important they have a break from ‘screen time’ and the chance to have fun, be creative and explore real life materials too. We have developed a series of family fun sheets which will be sent to all primary schools in the borough fortnightly.

The sheets are packed full of creative ideas that will support learning, play and wellbeing.

Keep an eye out for the resource in your school newsletter or you can request a family fun sheet by emailing the Parental Engagement Team.

Parent Sessions

Parent sessions to support children’s learning and wellbeing

Join one of our fun informative parental engagement sessions, meet other parents, share experiences, ask any questions, and pick up some handy tips from experienced practitioners to help you support your child’s learning and wellbeing.

Upcoming sessions include:

  • Learning in the Early Years
  • Mindfulness
  • Reading at Key Stage 1/ Key Stage 2
  • E-safety and Learning
  • Healthy Families
  • Maths at Key Stage 1

Get involved >


World Book Day at the Idea Store

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 4 March, the Idea Store have a week of online activities for families to get involved in and share their love of books.

Activities include design a book cover, meet an author, read around the world, and more.

World Book Day >


Reading workshops help celebrate World Book Day

To help kick off World Book Day celebrations on Thursday 4 March, join our online reading workshops for parents of either Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 children.

Sessions will explore the importance of books and reading together for pleasure. Parents will also gain an insight into how reading is taught at school and discover ways to support children’s reading development at home. 

Reading at Key Stage 2:  Wednesday 3 March, 5pm - 6pm

Reading at Key Stage 1:  Friday 5 March, 10am - 11am

For more details and for Zoom invitation, email us stating the session title along with your child’s age and school’s name.


Education, health and care plan (EHCP) virtual workshop for parents

The Tower Hamlets & City SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) are offering an online workshop for parents to provide key information about the EHCP process. Parents will discover the purpose and process of an EHCP as well as exploring the elements of a good EHCP

Thursday 11 March 2021, 10am - 1pm

For more information and for Zoom invitation details, contact Tower Hamlets & City SEND Information Advice and Support Service by email or call 020 7364 6489.


Online sessions to support parents with secondary school appeals

National Offer Day for secondary school places is Monday 1 March.

For more information on the notification process and what to do if you have not been offered a place at one of your preferred schools, please visit the schools admissions webpage.

The Tower Hamlets Transition Support Service are providing virtual information sessions to support parents with the secondary transfer appeals process throughout March.

For more information call 020 7364 1533 or send the team an email.  

          Book your place >


Holiday Childcare Scheme awarded prestigious ‘Millie’s Mark’

The Tower Hamlets’ Holiday Childcare Scheme has been awarded Millie’s Mark - a national recognition that demonstrates commitment ‘above and beyond’ the minimum requirement for children’s first aid - making it the first holiday childcare scheme in the country to have been recognised in this way.

The scheme provided childcare this February half term for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

The next scheme will be Easter, 29 March – 9 April 2021.

Read more >


#EveryChildOnline: Tackling digital disadvantage in Tower Hamlets

One-in-four school children in Tower Hamlets (approx. 10,000 students) are digitally disadvantaged; unable to access online learning because they have no device of their own, no connection to the internet, or both.

Even with plans for children to go back to classroom learning in March, there’s a real danger that this disadvantage will translate in the long-term to an education and opportunity gap between children with access, and those without, in Tower Hamlets.

The council and its partners are looking to raise £1 million to make an immediate impact where it’s needed most before they begin the long-term work of ensuring every single school child in Tower Hamlets has both the kit and the connectivity to 'level up' the digital divide and help those in need access their online learning.

Donate Now >

Road Ahead

Get ready for the Tower Hamlets Annual Parent Conference

Families Matter: The Road Ahead | Tue 16, Wed  17 and Thu 18 March

A conference planned with parents for parents. 

As the government announces its ‘roadmap’ to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in the months ahead, the Parent and Family Support Service welcomes parents, carers and guardians to join the first virtual conference with keynote speakers, webinars and workshops taking place over three days to fit in with busy family life.

Booking information will be released shortly. To receive an alert when the booking process opens, email us to register your interest.

Did you know that Tower Hamlets offers other email newsletters to keep you up to date on a variety of topics?

  See the list and sign up!