Frequently Asked Questions
Why these topics?
These topics have been chosen because they are areas that have changed or been added to the curriculum since most parents were at school. For example, phonics was only introduced as the primary method for teaching reading in 2005, grammar made a controversial comeback in 2014 and maths calculations change all the time. The statutory testing and secondary school systems are also often areas of confusion, so we hope to clarify these too.
Are the workshops value for money and worth the time?
In our opinion, yes! Investing time now in quality information and practical advice to support your child for the 7 years they are at primary school will save a lot of googling time in the future! It will also save you money in the long run, as you will know the most useful learning resources to invest in – ones that will make a difference.
If I have a pre-schooler, is it too soon to come along?
No! In fact, it’s a great time to get prepared for the journey ahead. As soon as your child is showing an interest in reading or maths, you will want to make sure that you have the tools to gently guide them. Teaching the letter sounds, for example, is preferable to the alphabet.
Won’t my child’s school offer something similar?
Some schools do offer workshops for parents – particularly in phonics – but in my experience, this is dependent on a teachers’ good will and time/budget constraints sometimes prevent them from happening. They also often take place during the day which is no good if you are a working parent. Bella Learning’s workshops provide a comprehensive overview of the topics covered, from pre-school to year 6 and offer parents quality training in a relaxed environment, at a suitable time and away from the distractions of your children!
My child is doing well at school – are the workshops still suitable for me?
Yes. These workshops are about equipping you with the subject knowledge to support your child across the years – so if they do find something tricky, they can ask you and you can help. They are also designed to allow you to be able to converse with your child about their learning, using the language they are using at school. Because the course gives an insight into the skills learnt across the years, it can help you know how to stretch and challenge your child in a suitable way too.
Can men come too? (We wish this wasn’t a question!)
Absolutely! We encourage Dads and other male carers to come along. Some customers have sent their partners to join the workshops after they have done them so that the whole family can be on the same page! At Bella Learning, we know how important it is that all members of the family are good educational role models.
Will I be asked to participate?
We run the workshops in a way that encourages a supportive environment where participants will feel comfortable to share ideas and information. Partakers can join in as much or as little as they wish and will not be ‘called’ upon to answer questions or put on the spot. If you are particularly shy or concerned about this, email Annabel in advance so she can put your mind at rest!
What if I’m embarrassed about my own lack of knowledge?
When I first started running these seminars, I was worried that they might be a little patronising or like ‘teaching your grandmother to suck eggs’. What became apparent very quickly, was that these areas of learning were very new and quite complicated, even for people with PHDs! So actually, everyone is in the same boat and we go on that journey together, no matter your starting point. Again, if you are particularly worried, get in touch with Annabel first.
I’m not a parent, but I’m interested in the seminars anyway – can I come?
Sure! We welcome anyone who is interested learning pedagogy and have had early years educators, teaching assistants and child minders join the sessions. In fact, its great for parents to have that extra perspective in the session and you will probably gain a lot from them too.
Are you a school, pre-school or nursery who would like to train staff in any of these aspects of the curriculum? Enquire here.