Rathcoole Primary School concluded its highly successful Families and Schools Together (FAST) programme recently with a graduation event for parents and pupils.
Teacher Angela McMenemy described the initiative, aimed at bringing pupils and parents together in a range of after-school activities that help to promote good communication within families, as “a very positive experience for all involved.”
“The response from families was very positive from the outset. Twenty-four families signed up for the programme and attendance each week was outstanding,” she explained.
“We had eight different families across three ‘Hubs’ and each week one family from each Hub would win a hamper, with presents for each family member as well as a family game and a story book.
“These last two items were included to help encourage quality time spent together as a family which can often be hard to include in our fast-paced lives. The winning family would then cook a meal for the families in their Hub the following week.
“Parents really got into the cooking aspect of the programme and the range of meals provided had been well thought out and prepared to perfection.”
She continued: “The programme is very interactive and child orientated. Each session includes songs, games, arts and crafts, followed by the meal.
“There is also an opportunity for parents to have a cup of tea and pair up to have a chat about life in general as well as a ‘circle time’ activity where they can talk about how they feel the programme is benefitting their family.
“During parents’ time the children go off to ‘kids’ time’. We had a crèche, two age appropriate play rooms and also made use of the computer suite for some older siblings who were excused from school in order to join their families at FAST.
“I am delighted at how positive the programme has been in promoting self esteem and confidence within parents and children.
“It was amazing to witness how the children engaged with their parents and how much they enjoyed spending time together as a family.”