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Family Engagement Archive

Mums' Confidence Workshops

West Park has been successful in getting some funding from Creative Black Country to run some confidence-building, drama sessions for mums in school. We’re having lots of fun already in the Eco Classroom every Wednesday during Spring 2019.


Mums' Confidence Workshops


On Wednesday 20th March, the group of 10 mothers from West Park performed their play Distant Memories to a packed school hall - full of children, mums and guests from our local community.  They performed brilliantly. Given that most of the group had never performed before, and that the piece was devised, written, rehearsed and performed in front of an audience in just 3 weeks, their performance was quite remarkable. Here are some of the audience comments:


It had me in tears. Just the most amazing project. What the world and our society needs more of right now. 


Inspiring. Moving. Educational. Informative. Beautiful. Heart-warming. Encouraging. Thank you. More please. 


So many different backgrounds; good to have slides to show the beauty of the places people call home. Sensitive choreography. My eyes pricked with tears as the children came to join their mothers. I was left with a feeling of togetherness.


Mums' Confidence Workshops


Lots has been happening since the last blog post! Some of us went to see Stan’s Cafe’s The Capital at the Arena Theatre - eye-opening performance, with no spoken words. 

The women have been busy writing about themselves. We’ve created a piece of devised theatre out of their stories which we’ve called Distant Memories. We’ve also rehearsed at the Newhampton Arts Centre, and are getting used to performing under theatre lights in the hall. Tomorrow afternoon we have a technical rehearsal and the next day the mums will perform Distant Memories in front of an invited audience, including guests from the city. Given that most women in the group have never performed before, they are doing absolutely brilliantly. We’re all excited!

All school mums are welcome to watch the performance, but you must let the office know you are coming, please, so we know how many chairs to put out! 

Distant Memories Poster 2.jpeg

Mums' Confidence Workshops



This week we have focused on the different roles that the mums have – as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, aunties, nieces, friends, etc – and the accompanying feelings that go with these different roles. We have explored the power of personal stories being told through theatre. For the first time we left the ‘safety’ of the Eco classroom and had a session in the hall. The women were brilliant at ‘owning’ the new, much bigger space. Most mums are now saying that their confidence is definitely growing. From the outside that is very apparent. Hopefully you will also think that photos speak for themselves.  We now have a two week gap when we won't meet, but then our work recommences in earnest!


Mums' Confidence Workshops



We are now in week 4 of our project and have started to explore more deeply what theatre is, what can be expressed through drama, and how. There were some really powerful moments last session, as the mums started to communicate more dramatically, both physically and vocally. What is fabulous about this group is the participants’ openness to trying out new things. That’s how confidence can grow. 

Other news: most of the mums went to NAC to see Uchenna Dance’s Hansel and Gretel performance. It was great to see them supporting their local theatre.


Mums' Confidence Workshops


We’ve been thinking about the word ‘confidence’. It comes from the Latin ‘confidere’ meaning ‘to have full trust’. So we have been playing lots of trust games as we get to know each other. Through drama exercises we've been exploring leading and following and where our comfort levels lie.  Everyone is learning to take more risks and is becoming more willing to make a fool of themselves! In our sessions we laugh a lot!


For over five years, the school has been exploring ways of engaging with parents (including newly arrived parents), or sometimes other family members, to encourage them to support their child/ren’s learning in more creative ways in the local area. The activities usually involve groups going out of school to new places to do new pursuits for a whole term. The educational value and the sense of community generated as a result are very evident. Lasting friendships form across cultures and generations, skills are developed, including collaborative, confidence is built and knowledge of and engagement with the local area grows. The school community is enriched by the visibility of parents in school, who often share their experiences as learners in whole school assemblies.


The purpose of the group:


  • To encourage parents to support their children’s learning creatively

  • To discover the joys of life-long learning together

  • To learn about and engage with what’s on offer locally

  • To do new activities in new places, crossing new thresholds

  • To generate even more of a sense of community in school

  • To welcome newly arriving families

  • To develop new and lasting friendships

  • To acquire new skills and interests

  • To build confidence

  • To work collaboratively and cross generationally

  • To increase the visibility of parents in school

  • To have lots of fun!

Details of the next group start date will be sent out via a letter. If your are interested, please call in at the school office.


Lisa Harrison

Group facilitator

Early Bird Maths

Do you want to help your child enjoy maths and improve their maths skills? Then why not come and join us every Thursday morning from 8:20 – 8:45 in the ECO classroom.  Find out what we offer by visiting our Early Bird Maths page.

Maths Workshops

The focus of the workshops has been on developing children’s mathematical fluency in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. We have looked at the four operations and the types of questions children will be exposed to in their year group to develop this. If you have missed out, then the photographs show some of the sample calculations used during these workshops. Hopefully this will give you a bank of questions to explore with your children.  Fluency is the key to mathematical learning.

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