No one would dispute that the benefits of a visiting speaker to a class or a larger group of children can add significantly to their education. A good speaker can add a completely different perspective to the topic that the children are studying, they can introduce them to something new, they can inspire them with stories of triumph over adversity and they can ignite a spark inside a child that really could change their lives for ever.

Parents can often be harder to impress and the busy lives that everyone leads these days means that time is precious and consequently adults are understandably reluctant to give up their evening to come and listen to a speaker unless the subject really does interest them.

That said, parenting is an incredibly challenging task. There is not a ”manual” that comes with your first child telling you how to care for him or her until they leave home and if there were you would need a different version for every subsequent child. Consequently I believe that as a school we should strive to provide information on as wide a variety of topics as possible that are all loosely (and in some cases the link will be very loose!) connected to bringing up our children and helping them and us as we strive to give them the best possible start to their lives.

In the past we have covered areas such as study skills, values-based education and a polar explorer who spoke of the importance of preparation to help us with the challenges that we face in life. I aim to provide one of these each term and although I drew a blank for this term, I have people pencilled in to cover finance and dentistry for the Lent and Trinity terms. I will be looking to bring in a paediatrician who can speak with authority on general child-related illnesses as well and I was reminded of the importance of this when speaking with some people in Marchington over the weekend about sepsis or septicaemia. This is when the body fails to respond properly to an infection and begins to injure itself instead of fighting to cure the infection. It is not always easy to diagnose and the symptoms can be quite varied. However, it can result from any infection at all and the consequences can be fatal. I have put some leaflets in the entrance hall to the Manor House. Do please take one.

If you know someone who might be interested in coming to speak to our parents one evening do let me know and if you have a topic that you would like me to cover, again do get in touch and I will see if I can find someone who can help us out.

JG 21.9.16