Drayton & Taverham

Open the box for some fun ideas

Just Regional
Nov 4, 2022 3 mins read

A life teaching children has inspired a Sprowston headteacher to set up workshops to show parents and carers more about how to support their children’s learning and development in a fun way.

Isabel Stubbs, who is head of Cecil Gowing First School, had the idea after setting up stay and play sessions at her school and realising how important it was for families to meet and support each other.

“I became interested in how I could offer more information and fun experiences to families and combine my extensive knowledge and experience of child development to create an even bigger impact on children’s and families lives,” she said.

“I appreciate that sometimes parents and carers do not want to be associated with school premises, so we are facilitating our sessions in venues around Norwich that are convenient, comfortable, and offer a different environment.”

The first event will be on Thursday, December 1, at the Diamond Centre, School Lane, Sprowston, and will focus
on creating a “storybox” – a simple cardboard box which becomes the background scene for a story and uses imaginative play to help speech and language development.

And Isabel said they were all put together using things most families have around the home.

“In these times of economic recession and environmental difficulty, it is more important than ever that we all learn to be creative with what we have and think about how we can recycle, reuse and reduce our waste,” she said.

Sessions include a cuppa and a biscuit and she is hoping to spread them beyond Sprowston next year, exploring venues in Thorpe St Andrew, Drayton, Taverham and Hellesdon.

“I really want these events to be an opportunity for parents and carers to meet others and have a little time to themselves. 

“Looking after children is such a rewarding but all-consuming activity, so these sessions offer a little time out, while learning and sharing interesting information about how our children learn, while having some fun, too!”

Isabel is supported by two local nurseries, Once Upon a Time and Sprowston Nursery Playgroup, plus Sarah Chapple who also works at Cecil Gowing.

“We have so many ideas to create affordable play kits and resources for families to enjoy together,” she said.

“I have a passion for crafting so this is just an ideal step for me, too!”

The school’s stay and play sessions are held every Wednesday morning from 9.30am until 11am in the school hall.

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