Family & Education

Parents turn out in force for JCoSS wellbeing evening

Initiative is part of wider pilot scheme in Jewish schools backed by the Jewish Leadership Council's schools' network, Pajes


JCoSS says it was surprised by the attendance at a session for parents on children’s well-being last week.

“When we were planning it, we were aiming for 80 people as a good attendance,” said Jessica Overlander-Kaye, the cross-communal school’s new emotional well-being practitioner.

“In the event, over 200 signed up. It was amazing to see so many parents wanting to come. And the feedback was they want more.”

Her arrival in January is part of a pilot scheme to improve well-being in several Jewish schools, which is supported  by the Jewish Leadership Council.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve been developing a number of initiatives,” she said. One event was a “drop-down” morning for year-eight children which was devoted to issues of body image. 

“It’s great we are doing work with children but we need to educate parents, too,” she said. “Hopefully, the approach will produce better and more lasting outcomes.”
The evening included a panel discussion with experts and the choice of two out of four workshops on adolescent development, online safety, drugs education and the impact of pornography.

The topics were chosen in response to what pupils want to talk about or staff concerns.

Parents may feel ill-equipped to tackle online safety as “they may not understand what children are doing,” Mrs Overlander-Kaye said. “A lot of children have two Instagram accounts —  the one their parents know about and the other where they do what they want to do.”

JCoSS is more planning more events for parents over the year.

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