School’s boosted by the local VIPs

Teaching assistant Anita Wylie with volunteers at Charles Saer School, Fleetwood (from left) Joanne McCaul, Paula Young, Natalie Jones, Mrs Wylie, Lindsey Stark, Vicky Smith and Sarah Belk
Teaching assistant Anita Wylie with volunteers at Charles Saer School, Fleetwood (from left) Joanne McCaul, Paula Young, Natalie Jones, Mrs Wylie, Lindsey Stark, Vicky Smith and Sarah Belk

MEET the VIPs of Charles Saer Primary School in Fleetwood.

They are some of the members of the school’s Volunteer Induction Programme, which is taking the idea of class helpers a step further by putting them on the road to qualifications.

From simply reading to youngsters in class, the mums and dads are now adding extra skills which will eventually lead to NVQ qualifications as teaching assistants.

Leading the group is high level teaching assistant Anita Wylie.

She said: “Part of my job is to get the local community more involved in the school.

“Those who come in are also helping the PTFA so that stretches out into the community and it’s working really well.

“It raises the profile of the school, which is good, but apart from that I have seen the parents changing in a positive way.

“They are so confident and it has a knock-on effect on the children here at the school.

“When they see their parents coming into school they then have a different attitude to the place themselves.

“Now I‘m doing a foundation degree for teaching so it shows the path these people could be on as well.”

Apart from learning the best way to conduct reading sessions with youngsters they are picking up other skills to make them useful about the school, which is based on Grange Road.

Mrs Wylie added: “It’s important for the parents to be able to teach the children to spell the words and sound them out in the correct way.”

Natalie Jones has daughter Rylea, aged eight, at the school and another girl Keira in the school’s nursery.

She said: “I been doing this since September and I’ve really been enjoying my time here.

“Eventually I hope to get a full-time placement in the nursery.

“I have found it very rewarding working with the children.”

Head teacher Carolyn Thackway said the group was proving a great success.

She said: “We are getting our home-grown, trained set of people here at the school.

“When you get people who come from different schools they might not have the same ethos or attitude or approach to the children but all these people know exactly what this school is about.”

She added: “It’s lovely having parents coming in helping in but they don’t always know how to support the children in the best way because we don’t have enough time with them.

“We want the school to be part of the community and this is a way people can feel they can come in and take part, and it has so many benefits.”

Members of the VIP scheme who weren’t available for our photo are: Jay Woods, Julie Fuller, Angela Leech, Soreya Cowell and Matthew Bastin.