Parenting Courses

I have been kindly passed some details of parenting courses that are coming up in the New Year.  I wanted to share the details of these as they are fantastic courses!


Time Out for Parents: THE TEENAGE YEARS 

A 7-session course on Monday evenings starting 20th January for parents of 11-16 year olds

HARTLEY WINTNEY – St John’s Church Centre, Fleet Road, RG27 8ED

January 20th, 27th; February 3rd, 10th, 24th; March 2nd, 9th (no session on 17th February – half-term) – 7.30 to 9.30pm (refreshments from 7.15pm)

Book by email to and include a contact phone number

There is no charge for attending but donations are invited to help cover costs.  £25 is suggested which includes the course handbook (otherwise £7.50).

Course facilitators: Ken & June Shorey – telephone 01252 843803


Time Out for Parents: THE TEENAGE YEARS 

A 7-session course on Thursday evenings starting 23rd January for parents of 11-17 year olds

BASINGSTOKE CENTRAL – St Mary’s Eastrop, Goat Lane, RG21 7PZ

January 23rd; February 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th; March 12th, 19th (no sessions 30th January or 5th March) – 7.30 to 9.30pm

To book a place or for further details, email or telephone 01256 464249

Course fee: £10

Course facilitators: Philip & Elizabeth Hiorns and Cathy Hawkins


Time Out for Parents: THE PRIMARY YEARS

A 6-session course for parents of 4-11 year olds on Thursday evenings starting 23rd January

ARBORFIELD GREEN Community Centre, Sheerlands Road, RG2 9ND

January 23rd, 30th; February 6th, 13th, 27th; March 5th – 7.45 to 9.45pm (refreshments from 7.30pm)

To help cover costs, participants are invited to make a voluntary contribution of £30/parent

Book online at

Course facilitator: Alison Green – email or phone 07742 045686


Time Out for Parents: Understanding and Helping your Child with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER 

A 4-session course for parents of children with ASD on Wednesday mornings starting 26th February

ALTON – Four Marks Primary School, Kitwood Road, GU34 5AS

February 26th; March 4th, 11th, 18th – 10.00am to 12.00 noon

To help cover costs, participants are invited to make a voluntary contribution of £12/parent

To book a place or for further details, email Gill Jacobs at:


Information about all the Positive Parenting ‘Time Out’ courses is on the Care for the Family website at

Kind regards

Mrs Greer

Top Ten Tips – Getting Your Children to School on Time

Welcome back and I hope that you had a lovely summer break.  It’s at this time of year when it is hard to get back into a routine so I wanted to list some top tips to hopefully help.

  1.  Establish a good bedtime routine.  Everyone needs a good nights sleep to function effectively the next day.
  2. Try to be as prepared as possible for the next day.  Get your children to pack their bag, find their water bottle and put things that don’t need refrigeration, in their lunch boxes.  Leave these things in a sensible place ready to pick up in the morning.
  3. Keep a list displayed where the children can see what they need for each day.  Encourage them to check it for themselves.
  4. Keep a tray or folder for all of the school letters.  This will remind you all what needs to be handed in.
  5. Some children need time to wake up slowly (just like us adults!).  Try setting an alarm clock 20-30 minutes before you want them to get up.  Set another to go off at 10 minute intervals.  We all love to snooze!  :)
  6. Try keeping uniform all in one place, a box or a drawer so it can always be found.  As it’s getting colder, put some of it on the radiator so it’s nice and warm on those cold mornings.
  7. Allow some negotiation, or limited choice, of what is eaten for breakfast; this will reduce the time spent arguing instead of eating.  Have these discussions when you are not in a rush!
  8. Have a check list or visual pictures of what needs to be done before leaving for school.  List them in order so they can progress through it.  Give stickers or small incentives for success.
  9. Set realistic goals that have a reward to speed up the process e.g. get dressed before you have breakfast, no TV or electronics until breakfast is eaten.
  10. Leave in enough time to get to school on time.  When we rush, it can get us flustered or stressed.  Allow extra time in the winter months for defrosting the car or walking on icy pavements.

If you are struggling with routines or finding it hard to get your child/children to school on time, please come and have a chat with us in the Pastoral Care Team.  We will always try to help.

Things to do over summer

Summer is quickly approaching and I know as a mum myself that it can be hard to find things to do.  I thought I would share some ideas and websites that I have used in the past.

This has some lovely places to go in Hampshire – not all free but some ideas you might not think of.  :)

For those of you who like the outdoors or maybe have dogs, there are some lovely walks near us.

This summer happiness challenge is a lovely resource and has some nice ideas of things to do.

I hope you find some inspiration from this post.

The Ark

Anxiety – what is it?

It is the time of year when children start to worry about moving up a year or leaving to go to a new school.  This is normal and we all have “what if” moments.  It’s about knowing what is normal to you and what you can do to help yourself.

Here are some top tips, which I have found from the Hampshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) website (details below):

  1. Worries and anxiety are common; everyone worries so it’s important to remember you are not alone. Some worries may seem very real and very scary. Tell someone how you are feeling no matter what your worries are, even if you are worried about doing so. There will be someone who will listen and try to support you.
  2. Although anxiety feels horrible, remember these feelings will pass and the physical sensations cannot harm you. Remind yourself that you have been anxious before, that those feelings passed, that you coped and were OK. If you need to, use activities, such as watching TV, spending time with friends, reading, making things and listening to music, to help manage until you feel a bit better.
  3.  You cannot avoid all the things that make you feel anxious so face your FEARs with confidence following these four steps;
    • Focus – rather than worry about the past, future or the unknown, focus on the present moment, the here and now
    • Expose – the more you face your fears the easier it will become to manage
    • Approach – the fear of experiencing anxiety is often worse than the situation you are avoiding. Face your fear and see for yourself that the situation probably isn’t as bad as you are predicting
    • Rehearse – practice anxiety management techniques.

I have included some helpful websites which have tips on relaxation and mindfulness, plus a wonderful service called Relax Kids.  Kath runs sessions with children to empower them with techniques for relaxation.

Relax Kids

I hope you find this information both helpful and useful.

The Ark – Pastoral Care team



The importance of a good night’s sleep 😴

The importance of a good night’s sleep is vital to a child’s learning.  Please have a look at the following link from the NHS:

In this era of screen time and gaming, it is always good to remember family time and winding down before bed time.  At least an hour before bed should be technology free.  Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake.  Encourage your child to read, listen to an audio book or some music before going to sleep.  Have a chat with them about their day.

Remember – Too Much Selfie Isn’t Healthy!

The Ark