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Family Support Worker

Debbie Shaw and Rhianna Finnegan are our Child & Family Support Workers


Hello everyone!! We're Debbie Shaw and Rhianna Finnegan, Peterbrook’s Child & Family Support Workers. 


We are based in the community room (formerly the science hut), at the back of the school. This is a room for parents, pupils and families to use; meetings are held here, there is a parent notice board with all the latest information about what’s going on locally and it includes information about other services and how they can offer support to families..


We support families in different ways:

  • We listen and appreciate parent issues and offer suggestions and advice for individuals and families. We also sign post to other services available within Birmingham and Solihull.


  • We support children on a 1:1 basis, listening and working with them in different ways
    • Anger management and control
    • Key transitions, including moving between schools/classes
    • Development of pupil self-esteem and confidence
    • Friendship issues / bullying, including social networking
    • Family issues: bereavement, new baby in the family, parent’s separation / divorce.  

In addition, we support families through a programme of home visiting. 


These are the following family and pupil support programmes underway:

Family Learning Programme: a partnership between Peterbrook Primary School and Solihull College.

We have a good working relationship with Solihull College, where parents have worked towards a functional skill either in English and Maths. During the year the parents and there children have also had the opportunity to work together on joint projects.  They have created poems, maths games and cooking simple fun cakes.


Family Day Trips:

Since 2012, there have been lots of opportunities for families to attend family day visits to exciting destinations. These include days out to Weston Super Mare, Conkers, Birdland, Umberslade Farm and annual trips to pantomimes.

The parents shared their thoughts about the day; here are some of their comments:


~ “We had a really good time at the farm today, me and the girls really enjoyed it” ~   and

~ “The trip to Umberslade Farm was great, with lots of interesting activities for the children to do so that they didn’t get the chance to get bored.  Very well organised, a really good day was had by all” ~


Playground Pals:


During a series of workshops, I train Year 5 pupils to become Playground Pals in both the infant and junior school playgrounds.  The playground pals are on the playground to play games with the children and to ensure all of the pupils are happy and having fun.


Keep Cool:


Keep Cool is a programme which is produced by 'The Children’s Society' charity and is delivered to year 5 pupils in small groups.  This weekly pupil well-being programme promotes the building of healthy relationships and safety in the home.


According to need, we also deliver group work to pupils exploring anger management and friendships.


Understanding your Child’s Behaviour programme:


The group runs for 10 weeks and it is based on an approach developed in Solihull that has been helpful to parents. A as result of participation in the programme, children’s behaviour tends to improve.  Each session focuses on a different child-centred issue for e.g. child’s development, sleep, feelings and play.


Some of the parents have commented that positive changes have happened as a result of their participation in the group; here are a couple of them:


~ “I am more positive, observe more and give more praise using a calmer approach when dealing with situations” ~

~ “I have been more positive and I let my children be more independent. I'm more understanding and I'm learning” ~


Solihull Active: Eat Well, Move More:


This is a 10 week programme working with the pupils and their parents to live a healthy lifestyle, they look at both physical exercise and nutrition.


Family Themed Activities:


These are fun art and craft activities that both parents and children take part in together after school. These have included making mothers and fathers day gifts, Christmas and Easter activities.  


Children's Support Drop-in:

Every Wednesday lunchtime: This idea was suggested by the pupils at Peterbrook. It's aim is to listen to any pupils (years 3- 6) who have any worries at home or at school, especially regarding the SAT's Tests, friendships, bullying, etc. we listen and offer support and practical advice.  

Peterbrook Primary School, High Street, Solihull Lodge, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 1HR

Tel: +44(0)121 4302545