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St Mary's Catholic Primary Schools Trust

Junior School



Dear Parents,

Each term of the school year presents us all with particular challenges and joys. The summer term in particular is a busy one - a time of growth and discovery for all our children.

With a crowded school diary it is easy to forget to take time to spend time simply with our children.

With this in mind, here are some suggestions for all children and parents that you might like to try between now and the summer holiday.


1          Time to be

When was the last time you made time as a family that was completely unstructured? So often we fill free time with plans because we worry about keeping everyone entertained. We all need a little ‘down’ time to spend with each other, to listen and to catch up.

The local park is a great place for this (and it’s free).


2          Time to eat

The media is full of advice for parents about healthy food options for children. Equally as valuable is time put aside to cook and eat together. It’s sometimes hard to resist the easy option of fast food, especially when we are all tired. Taking time to cook with children helps them to learn about food, and makes everyone appreciate the meal more when it is served.

Even better, especially in the early summer, is to actually cook with ingredients that the children have grown themselves.


3          Time to grow

A window box or a grow bag is all you need to plant and grow simple foods. Children get real pleasure from tending plants and waiting for them to mature.


4          Time to listen

Listening to music has become a much more complicated process for our children. It is only twenty years since CDs were the main way to listen to music - now they are nearly redundant. As a result, few people put aside time anymore to listen to a whole album - what really old people used to call an LP.

It’s quite an experience for a child to sit down with an adult for fifty minutes and listen to a whole piece of music by the same artist. It makes children ask questions and helps conversation with older family members.

If you are not confident with music, how about sharing an old film with your child?


5          Time to sleep

Summer months often mean evenings out and late nights. It’s important, though, to remember that children need plenty of sleep, and that adults show that they value peaceful sleep time.