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E d u cat i o n m at t e r s

by Nick Andrews

What effect are you having?


n response to queries from Vale Life Magazine readers, I am looking at three different types of parent for this edition and how they can affect their children at school. The absent parent The need for work and travel by the parents can bring enormous stresses into a family – and we often see the result of these stresses in schools. It is all too easy for a parent to arrive home and start to change the ground rules set up in their absence. This can be disastrous for the child. Who do they follow? There is a clear need for a ‘management contract’, agreed by both parents, as to how the child behaves and what happens in the home. There will always be stress points … TV watching times, meal times, pocket money, to name but three. So if consistency is the key, the best thing to do is work carefully and

Bucks FWI

consistently on the family contract when the family is together. Find out from everyone involved what the key areas are and address them openly and explicitly – there really is nothing to fear from taking these issues seriously enough to write them down and publish them somewhere in the home for all to see and refer to. The parent as a ‘pal’ I was talking to a mother recently of a boy with an attention deficit disorder (ADD) and a regular disruption to her evening. Her husband comes home at around 7pm and feeling that he should ‘get involved’ promptly regresses to a 7 year old - their son gets so over stimulated that bed and

sleep are out of the question until nearly midnight. It is all about being authentic; you care and are genuinely interested in the tales of football in the playground or friendships being made or broken but you care from a position of who you actually are, the age you are and the parent you are. Can you be a friend as a parent? Unequivocally No! You can be a friendly parent though. The parent as a step-parent It is vital to remember that step parents are often building a new life and leaving past hurt behind and may not always remember everyone else involved. Children involved may have to accept the arrival of a new ‘competitor’ on their patch. Furthermore, other children may have been transplanted into the home and all of the issues around status and security will need sorting out. It is a difficult time for everyone involved, that can only be addressed

Nick Andrews

Education Matters with ‘honesty and respect’. The adults involved must take charge and ensure everyone agrees the new rules and expectations. At school we often had to deal with the result of a lack of explicit boundary setting at this critical time. So, if you are absent – make sure you respect the rules when you return; if you want to be closer to your children be a friendly parent not a parent friend and if you are a step parent; take special care to establish fair and consistent boundaries for all the children in your care. Parents are a vital pillar of the identity of a child in their care; pillars are strong, straight and resilient – I guess that’s you then! l Nick Andrews is a retired headmaster who now works as an educational consultant and can be contacted on:

with Kim Edwards

Cake bakers & trouble makers?


ello! We’d like to introduce ourselves on behalf of the 122 WIs (Women’s Institutes) in Buckinghamshire. Are we ‘Cake Bakers and Trouble Makers’, as dubbed by TV historian Dr Lucy Worsley, OBE? Do we just make jam, and sing the WI hymn Jerusalem at meetings? Either way, there’s a lot more to the WI than you might think! How did the WI ‘happen’? Back in 1915, during the first World War, the need was seen for communities to support the production of food, and for more women to get involved as men joined the Forces. Women’s organisations campaigning for suffrage in the early 20th century redirected their energies during this terrible time, and as a result the concept of the WI, originating in Canada in 1897, was born here - there are now around 6,300 WIs nationwide, making the WI 36

Vale Life : Nov/Dec 2018

the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. You can find out where your nearest WI is by checking on our website: Joining costs £42 for 2019 and includes regular meetings and events, and the national magazine WI Life. You can choose how involved you get in your group - come along and make new friends, enjoy different speakers or take up new activities, crafts and causes. Members organise extra trips out to all kinds

of places of interest, at varying cost, such as Speaker’s House and the Houses of Parliament, Winchester Cathedral Flower Festival, mini holiday breaks, Newmarket Stud, museums, art galleries and theatre trips... If you feel strongly about a social or environmental issue then there’s the chance to campaign. Currently the WI is taking up the cudgel against microfibre contamination in our oceans ‘End Plastic Soup’ - we were on the case before David Attenborough! We also arrange miniconferences with this year’s selected expert speakers to present on the subject of Modern Day Slavery. This half day conference is on 15th November at the Ridgeway Centre

in Wolverton near Milton Keynes. Come and join us if you’re reading this in time! More information on our Events page on the website. We’ll be introducing you to different parts of our Group in the coming months. Watch this space for stories from Creative Crafts, Leisure & Lifestyle and Science & Society and more! Any questions? We’re on Twitter, FB and Instagram @bucksfwi l Buckinghamshire Federation of

Women’s Institutes, Stuart Lodge, Stuart Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 6AG T: 01494 526685 E: W:

Profile for Charlie Trott

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2018 Edition  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury, Thame, Tring, Wendover, Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Waddesdon, Winslow and surrounding villages.

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2018 Edition  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury, Thame, Tring, Wendover, Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Waddesdon, Winslow and surrounding villages.