North Shore teacher Suzanne Kerr – an educator of 30 years – understands more than most how with the right advice, tools and skills, parents can better support their children to flourish. She has developed a series of workshops to bring parents and educators together to address the social, emotional and academic needs of children in 2020. Introducing The Parent Code.
As the Head of Senior College at Wenona (an independent girls school in North Sydney) and a leader in student wellbeing, Suzanne’s passion for education is driven by a desire to nurture the flourishing and excellence of the young people in her care. Over the course of her career she has noticed an increasing level of complexity in the lives of our young people.
Says Suzanne, “As both a parent and an educator myself, I know how hard it can be to raise children today. The greatest agents for raising children are their parents and teachers. This protection is most effective when we work together.After all, learning shouldn’t finish when a child leaves school at the end of the day, and with parents on board, it is much easier to help students reach their potential.”
Having implemented a highly successful Parent Program at Wenona, and also completed a Master of Education (Student Wellbeing) at The University of Melbourne, Suzanne has gained a deeper theoretical understanding of the positive impact that a successful parent/educator partnership can have on student success, not just at school but throughout life. She is launching The Parent Code to bring her expertise to a broader community. Offering a range of workshops aimed at addressing different social, emotional and academic needs, The Parent Code has been designed to help parents gain a stronger understanding and insight into their child’s journey at school and beyond.
Mastering Year 12
The first workshop, commencing in September, is aimed at parents whose sons or daughters are in Year 11 and are about to embark on their final academic program. ‘Mastering Year 12’ will alleviate uncertainty about what lies ahead, helping parents to support their children during what can be a very stressful year. It can be tricky to help children maintain their momentum academically, yet also support them to find balance and experience the joy in what is their final year of school. This workshop helps to demystify the world of NESA and the HSC by clearly explaining what is meant by internal assessment, external assessment, rankings, ‘directive terms’, UAC and opportunities beyond school. But it also offers practical advice on how to support children socially and emotionally in Year 12.
The Reality of Starting High School
The second workshop, beginning in October, is designed for parents whose sons or daughters are in Year 6 and are about to begin high school. ‘The Reality of Starting High School’ will help parents to support their children as they make the transition from primary school. Balancing tips and strategy with laughter, this workshop addresses topics around friendships, social media, academic expectations, co-curricular activities, and most importantly, open and honest communication. Maintaining the family equilibrium with a smile is the goal of this workshop!
Individual and group offerings
Although upcoming workshops are aimed at parents with children in Year 6 and Year 11, The Parent Code has a range of workshops for parents Years 5 – Year 12 and Suzanne is also happy to work with individual families or groups of parents, tailoring sessions to different topics, challenges or issues that they may wish to address. By equipping parents with the right tips, techniques and strategies, they can tackle the heady world of adolescence with confidence.
Says Suzanne, “I am excited to bring the Parent Code to the wider community. The Parent Code is built on the understanding that when parents and educators work together, we are the greatest protective agents for our children.”
When our children are young, it’s much easier to share our worries and concerns with others, seeking advice and offering support. But as our children grow up, it becomes more complex for parents, and it can sometimes feel that we are navigating our way through adolescence alone. The Parent Code is designed to build strong, meaningful connections so that parents feel empowered and young people thrive.