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“Hopeful” Parent Conference

1st Feb 2022

On Saturday 29th January, Holme Grange welcomed Gardeners’ World presenter Frances Tophill as they held their 3rd biennial Parent Conference entitled “Healthy Me, Healthy Planet”.

Mrs Robinson opened the conference by saying, “Over the last two years we have filled our school with the language of hope despite these difficult times. It’s important for us to take time for ourselves so that we can support our young people and fill them with hope too.”

As part of our commitment to the parent body, the school gathered speakers on a range of topics linked to the two main themes of wellbeing and sustainability. Frances led a workshop helping budding gardeners correctly identify trees & shrubs while walking around the school campus. “Trees are a seed of hope” she said as she began her keynote speech where she examined the journey that a tree, in this case a field maple, takes from a seed to full maturity and how it touches the lives of many people along the way. She also touched on the wide range of career opportunities involved in horticulture and her own route into gardening which she described as an “accident” when she took up an apprenticeship.

Delegates also heard from Helen Rutherford from the Sleep Charity who explained the importance of creating and maintaining good sleep habits for children and adults. This kickstarted the school’s newest research project which starts this week. Pupils, parents and staff will complete sleep diaries for three weeks at which point the school’s Research Lead, Mr Jack Taylor, will analyse the data and feed back results.

Subjects discussed in other workshops included beekeeping, anxiety, sexual harassment, fast fashion, crafting and many more. The conference was rounded off with a speech from Bea Harrison on behalf of Teach the Future, a youth-led campaign to repurpose the entire education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis. One parent described “an absolutely amazing and inspirational day which made me genuinely think about the changes we can all make to a healthier and happier society”.