Parents join children for lessons at Fakenham Junior School

Kerrie Coslett with her daughter Olivia (9) at the Curiousity Cafe held at Fakenham Junior School. P

Kerrie Coslett with her daughter Olivia (9) at the Curiousity Cafe held at Fakenham Junior School. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A curiousity cafe is bringing parents and teachers together to help children learn at school.

Community learning co-ordinator Dawn Fairbrother set the scheme up with staff at Fakenham Junior School 18 months ago.

'Parents come into school and work with their children, listening to a story or doing an activity,' she said.

'The message children get very clearly is that their parents value learning.

'The more value parents attribute to learning, the better children do at school.'

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Teacher Carly Tennent showed her lively class of seven to nine-year-olds, along with mums, dads and grand-parents how big a million was, using the story of Pip the penguin, number lines and blocks.

Hands shot up as Miss Tennent asked them how to make 1,000, 10,000 and 100,000, before finally unveiling a poster containing a seven-digit number's worth of stars.

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Then it was time of an outdoor maths hunt, with children and adults working together on questions.

'Maths is everywhere, have you ever noticed that,' asked Miss Tennent, as her charges pulled their coats on. 'Have you ever noticed that maths is all around you, you've just got to look for it.'

As pupils and adults pored over the question sheet, Miss Tennent said the cafes had increased parents' willingness to come into school, while children also appreciated the activities.

'Obviously they enjoy having their adults come in and work with them,' she said. 'They're really keen to show them their skills and what they know.'

Mum Kerrie Coslett, 36, from Hindringham, was taking part with her nine-year-old daughter Olivia.

'It's just nice to be involved and be invited into school to get involved with their learning,' she said. 'The children enjoy the adults coming in as well.'

Ms Fairbrother said cafes were held twice each term for children in years three, four and five. Special sessions are held for Year 6 youngsters, before they move on to high school.

'We really value parents coming into school,' she added. 'They're giving up their time to come out of work to come into school.'

As well as mums and dads, aunties, uncles, grannies, grand-dads and older or younger siblings are also welcome at the sessions.

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