Committed to Community: Ravensbury

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    • 00:05

      [GUITAR PLAYING]

    • 00:19

      LINDA SHAW: Hello.My name is Linda Shaw, and I'm head teacher hereat Ravensbury.I've been here since 1990.[MUSIC STOPS WITH RECORD SCRATCHING]Hang on a minute.We moved!Come with me.Much better, don't you think?Come on in.

    • 00:39

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: Good morning.

    • 00:42

      NARRATOR: During Linda's 15 years as head teacher,she's seen the local community experiencetimes of high unemployment and instability.However she also embraced the optimismof the late '90s when the new government targetedEast Manchester as an area of regeneration.

    • 00:56

      LINDA SHAW: The implications of thatfor the school was this feeling of-- thingswere going to happen.This investment in the community led to peoplebeing proactive in that principleand the idea of regeneration.This is a favorite part of the building.

    • 01:18

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: It's where the light comes through.It's also a very quiet-- I know it's not particularly quietnow, because it's lunchtime-- but a really quiet partof the building where children transferfrom one part of the building to the other.

    • 01:31

      NARRATOR: The school's rebuild was made possibleby several partners, including the East ManchesterRegeneration Company.And this new building is somethingLinda is very proud of.

    • 01:40

      LINDA SHAW: Excellent sports facilities.Excellent ICT facilities.

    • 01:45

      NARRATOR: However she still looks back rather fondlyon the old Victorian, two-building school.

    • 01:52

      LINDA SHAW: We had two buildings-- one school,two buildings-- but they weren't on the same campus.And so we liaised an awful lot on the way,on the journey from one building to the other building.We made a lot of contacts in that journey--on that journey-- and talked to a lot of people, and so on."Ravensbury Primary School."

    • 02:13

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: We've come a long way since then, I think.But there it still is-- in our memories, anyway.As I say, this is the route that Iwould walk every morning, many times during the day.And you'd meet people along the way.And they'd chat with you and tell you what was going on,and I could ask.And it really was a way of finding things out and finding

    • 02:36

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: out what was happening in the community.Morning!

    • 02:38

      SPEAKER 1: Good morning.

    • 02:39

      LINDA SHAW: Good morning.

    • 02:40

      SPEAKER 1: How are you?

    • 02:41

      LINDA SHAW: I'm all right.We don't see each other as much as we used to do, do we?I really miss talking to you, anyway.But you know where I am.Yeah.I walk around the school now rather than up and downbetween the two of them.

    • 02:53

      SPEAKER 2: Get your exercise, I bet.

    • 02:54

      LINDA SHAW: I do.It keeps me busy.Keeps me healthy.

    • 02:58

      SPEAKER 2: Keeping fit, anyway.

    • 02:58

      LINDA SHAW: All right, then.See you.See you soon.See you!Bye!And so I would go on.This was a big congregation point.It was deliberate, from my point of view,but they were having a chat with me on the street, informally,and it more or less kept things on an informal, friendly basis,

    • 03:19

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: which was a-- it was good strategy on my part, I thought.And it helped me get to know the community and people in it.Morning!Morning!I think that's all about using the strategies that you'vegot-- the tools you've got, if you like-- to buildyour knowledge of a community.

    • 03:40

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: And knowing the school's place in that community-- whatthe school could do and what schoolis about within the community.And so here we are.We're arriving now where the old junior building used to be.And I used to go in through these gatesand into the junior building and dowhatever I needed to do there.

    • 04:12

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: When people come to work here at Ravensbury Community Schoolthey become, if you will, not only teachers,teaching assistants, cleaners, lunchtime organizers,but they become community workers.

    • 04:24

      NARRATOR: Two of Linda's colleagues,Anne Roberts and Kay Hudson, work in the nurseryand also undertake transition and outreach work.They therefore become the first pointsof contact for the parents.

    • 04:35

      KAY HUDSON: We're going to see a little boy who'll be startingin the nursery after Easter.He's nearly three years old.The family are known to us.Both Anne and I taught the mum, Jane, and the dad, Stephen.

    • 04:48

      ANNE ROBERTS: Generally we both take on different roleswhen we go into the house.And I'll speak more with the parents,and Kay will speak with child involved--get down on the floor and play with him, and things like that.Kay takes along a toy box with herwith lots of different things in thatwe would use in the nursery.

    • 05:09

      ANNE ROBERTS [continued]: Generally she settles herself downand gets to know the child.Are you ready to come to our nursery?In the meantime, I usually speak to the parentsabout the nursery-- ask them if they'veany worries or concerns.And usually we build up quite a good friendship there.And one of your concerns was that Jackwas starting to behave the same way as Jessica.

    • 05:31

      ANNE ROBERTS [continued]: So we've got the help earlier for Jack.Sometimes the parents don't say a lot.Other times they tell us lots and lots of things.Quite often when we return to school the telephone will ring.And it may be a parent that we've visited who'sjust thought of something.But we like that.We like to know that they feel comfortable enougheither to call in to school and see us or to phone us.

    • 05:54

      NARRATOR: Though most young parentsface such typical problems as behavior, discipline,and toileting, other parents face more specific problems,which Anne deals with confidentiality.

    • 06:04

      ANNE ROBERTS: As an outreach workerI work with the most vulnerable families.I have to build up a trust within the familiesand hopefully offer as much support as possible.

    • 06:17

      AMANDA: My name's Amanda.My youngest of four, Annie, goes to Ravensbury Community School.Anne Roberts is visiting to talk about the funding.And I'm expecting that Annie'll be given a place, whichshe has in the past.I have personal problems of my own, from time to time.

    • 06:39

      AMANDA [continued]: I have good days and bad days, up and down.The school has helped and intervenedand got Annie on play schemes, holiday schemes,which have been really useful and helpful for both of us.It's helped me not isolate myself.Whereas instead of going in and being worried about who

    • 07:00

      AMANDA [continued]: I'm going to speak to, I know who's there, straight away.I can phone the outreach worker and sayI'm coming in at a certain time, and they're always there,on hand, to help you.With the help of the school I've startedcollege, September just gone.I've just done my first exam and passed,which I'm pleased about.Now I know Annie's getting such good education,

    • 07:22

      AMANDA [continued]: with me leaving school without any qualifications at all,it's an opportunity that I've been givenand I'm working hard at.

    • 07:31

      ANNE ROBERTS: We've secured the fundingfor the second year for Annie.

    • 07:34

      AMANDA: Yeah.

    • 07:35

      ANNE ROBERTS: So you can continue with your course.

    • 07:38

      AMANDA: I know.I was worried at one point I'd have to--

    • 07:41

      ANNE ROBERTS: I know two weeks ago youwere thinking about leaving.But don't worry.All those issues have been resolved.

    • 07:47

      AMANDA: I was apprehensive with the thoughtof an outreach worker, to begin with.As with most people, I think, on low support,you automatically think that you'regoing to have someone interfering and taking over,which wasn't the case at all.

    • 08:08

      AMANDA [continued]: Like I say, I was put at ease.It was explained properly to me.And now it's a lifeline.It really is.

    • 08:21

      LINDA SHAW: I think you've got be very careful when you engagein this sort of work, because the community-work sideof things, if you like, obviouslyis all interwoven with your work with the children.But you can get drawn and taken along a pathoff parental concerns, family concerns, community concerns.

    • 08:45

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: And so you've got to recognize that therecomes a point when these issues are obviouslyrelated to the children's educationbut can't be solved by you.So then you've got to look aroundfor people that can help.

    • 09:02

      NARRATOR: Kath Taylor works for the local family support unitand runs the parent survival course at the school.

    • 09:08

      KATH TAYLOR: The parent survival course is basicallyhelping parents choose different strategieson how to handle unwanted behaviorthat they're receiving from their child.

    • 09:17

      SPEAKER 3: It's just a case of when he really, really,goes for it and freaks out.It's just I don't know how to, you know,calm him down without me freaking, at that point.

    • 09:26

      KATH TAYLOR: The FSU also providefamily support for the parents.So once you come on the parent survival course,if there's other problems within the family,we can help sort that out for them as well.

    • 09:36

      SPEAKER 4: Don't shout at me.I said, what have you done?He says, well, if you don't shout at me, I'll tell you.Which I think's good, because then the--

    • 09:46

      SPEAKER 5: I'd started the parent survival courseto get help with my children, because theywere swearing and wetting the bedand just generally messing around.

    • 09:57

      SUE: --instead of hiding it from meand then me having to shout because he's lied.But he'll actually come up and tell me what he's done wrong.

    • 10:04

      KATH TAYLOR: Well done.I mean, that is quite a big step, isn't it?

    • 10:07

      SPEAKER 5: One of the mums on the course helped me,a couple of years ago, with my six-year-oldthat was wetting the bed at the time.And I wasn't used to children wetting the bed.And she explained to me how she'd sorted out her child.

    • 10:19

      KATH TAYLOR: We all play with our kids.Yeah?But we're going to show you a new way of how to play today.

    • 10:26

      SPEAKER 6: You should know your colors by now.Here, do you want to play with this one?How about that one?Push out.Or you can build it up.

    • 10:35

      KATH TAYLOR: Right.Just want to stop there.And how did that feel, Sue?

    • 10:40

      SUE: Didn't feel very good.

    • 10:42

      KATH TAYLOR: Why?

    • 10:43

      SUE: She's telling me what to do, what to play with,what colors are what.

    • 10:47

      KATH TAYLOR: Well, mums try to teach.Is that not what we do with our kids?[AGREEMENT FROM MOTHERS]Yeah?

    • 10:52

      SUE: No, it's the way she was doing it.She's asking me what color it was,and I was saying the color.And she was like, no, you know what color that one is.It's green.It's not blue.It's green.That one's blue.

    • 11:03

      KATH TAYLOR: Did anyone feel like-- I do it that way?[AGREEMENT FROM MOTHERS]

    • 11:06

      SPEAKER 7: I did, at first.

    • 11:07

      SPEAKER 8: You just do it without realizing it.

    • 11:08

      KATH TAYLOR: Yeah.

    • 11:09

      SPEAKER 5: I would say to any other parent that'sgoing to come on the parent survival coursethat it's a good idea.You meet a lot of friends.You have a good laugh, but you alsolearn how to help your children and how to help yourself.

    • 11:26

      LINDA SHAW: A lot of the activities that go on hereare based on goodwill, volunteers,people getting engaged because they feel that they're helpingeither the children's education or activities that are goingon there, out in the community.But inevitably other things do involve funding.

    • 11:46

      NARRATOR: As well as funding from the school budgetsand government grants, Ravensburyalso gets a helping hand from local businesses.

    • 11:53

      ANNE ROBERTS: They've donated a trolleywith eggs in and two toasters.Unfortunately I'm going to ask themif there's any possibility that they will exchange the twotoasters for one-- for a four-slice toaster--because in the nursery we need to make 120 slices of toastevery morning.

    • 12:15

      CLERK: [INAUDIBLE].

    • 12:16

      ANNE ROBERTS: That's brilliant.But you may think I'm really cheeky now.You're not filming this part.Let me just prepare her.No, it's just that is there any possibilityof that being changed to a four-slice toaster?Because we make 120 slices a day.

    • 12:32

      CLERK: Right.

    • 12:32

      ANNE ROBERTS: Do you know what I mean?And we'll need an extra plug.The plug socket's only got one plug.

    • 12:38

      CLERK: No difference in price, is it?

    • 12:40

      ANNE ROBERTS: No, there won't be anything.

    • 12:41

      CLERK: What we'll do-- we'll get this refunded.

    • 12:44

      ANNE ROBERTS: Will you?

    • 12:44

      CLERK: I'll leave that there.I'll go and get the four-slice.

    • 12:46

      ANNE ROBERTS: Oh, you're good.She's good, her.Tell you what.For the soft toy we'll be selling raffle ticketsat school.Hopefully raise some funds that can go towards some treatsand goodies for the children.And also the donation of eggs will alsoraise funds, because they'll go into a big raffle.

    • 13:10

      CLERK: There you are.

    • 13:11

      ANNE ROBERTS: Oh, that's fantastic.Thanks a lot.Very generous.We've got six eggs for Easter.

    • 13:20

      LINDA SHAW: Oh, brilliant!I think that Ravensbury staff-- the people here--are pretty unique.Well, I would say that, wouldn't I?But it comes in the approachability of people,their sense of humor, and their enthusiasm for things.And they will think something's a good idea

    • 13:45

      LINDA SHAW [continued]: and engage in that straight away.So it's that accessibility that people have-- if you like,that informality and that sense of humor that makes Ravensburya very, very special place.

Committed to Community: Ravensbury

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Abstract

Ravensbury Community School has strong ties to its community and the parents of its students. These ties benefit the school and community in the form of parenting education, financial support, and outreach.

Committed to Community: Ravensbury

Ravensbury Community School has strong ties to its community and the parents of its students. These ties benefit the school and community in the form of parenting education, financial support, and outreach.

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