You may be aware that for the last year, we have been working with Islington on a research programme to develop understanding about best practice around children’s mental health and resilience in schools. The project is called IMHARS. We applied to be part of it and were chosen from a large number of schools, because of the quality of our practice through initiatives such as the Drayton Park Way.
As part of this programme, we have received training on the ‘Solihull Approach’, which promotes emotional health and wellbeing in children. An aspect of the Solihull approach is for professional practitioners working with children. Another is for parents, with a focus on deepening your understanding of your child.
Solihull for parents is an online programme, run through the NHS, which takes the form of a series of modules. It aims to help parents think about sensitive and effective approaches to behaviour management. It also empowers parents to build on their existing skills and develop a way of thinking to solve difficulties in the future. Examples of sessions include:
• How are you and your child feeling?
• Tuning into your child’s developmental needs
• Parent child relationship – having fun together
• Rhythm of interaction and sleep
• Self-regulation and anger
The way the Solihull parenting programme usually works is through the purchase of an individual license. These cost £39 each. We approached the NHS group that run the programme, called Ourplace, and have bought 1000 licences, for a year, at a significantly reduced rate. Ourplace have never worked with a school this way before and they are very excited to be piloting the model at Drayton Park. We are the only school in the country currently offering this facility.
We would like to offer all our parents the chance to engage in the Solihull parenting programme for free. A number of staff members at Drayton Park, who are parents, have given the programme a go, and found it to be thought provoking and instructive. We know that your children and your relationships with them are amongst the most important things in your lives. If you are interested in trying the Solihull programme, we hope you will find it an insightful tool for reflecting on the way you parent. Please do encourage other family members who look after your children, such as grandparents, to have a go too.
To access the course for the first time, follow these simple steps:
Our coupon code is: DRAYTONPARK
We have created a school email address for this project. It is Solihull@draytonpark.islington.sch.uk. If you have any questions about the programme, please feel free to email us and ask.
Since this is a pilot project with Ourplace, we are keen to gather feedback about the programme. It will help us decide whether we want to continue providing this facility to parents in the future. If you decide to engage with the programme, please do let us know, and also give us some feedback about it. You can do this by emailing us at Solihull@draytonpark.islington.sch.uk. If you want to give us feedback in a different way, we are putting a Solihull feedback box by the school office. Please put your comments on paper and drop them in the box.