Welcome to the new Parent’s Blog!
This is a designated area to share ideas and information with other parents. This term’s blog focuses on activities the pupils can do, opportunities where parents can get together to socialise and share experiences.
Below are some reviews on local activities and links to their website:
Torbay Leander Swimming Club
My son swims at the club every Monday at 6:30pm and from Thursday at 6:00pm. He was willing to swim at the Plainmoor pool because Mayfield school had introduced him to it and consequently he knew it was warm enough. He had rejected my local pool, but the opportunity to take him to swimming lessons is definitely worth the extra journey time. Mike, one of the volunteer swim teachers, took my son under his wing when I explained the challenge for the club would be a little different. 6 months have passed and my son is now swimming each week with no extra consideration necessary, now that he is settled into the routine. I recommend Torquay Leander swimming club to other parents.
Cost varies depending on the number of hours swimming, but I pay £32 per month for 90+ minutes of lessons per week, including school holidays. 4 out of 5 stars, only dropping 1 because the building is a
little modest with ‘make-do’ seating for parents.
This is a social club that my son enjoys, based in a church hall in Barton. The club specifically caters for kids requiring extra consideration. Monday evening is for teenagers I think. Wednesday evening is for the younger kids. My wife drops off my son at the club at 6:30pm and picks and collects him at 8:00pm. He enjoys the club and looks forward to going on most occasions. The events range from indoor games, to radio station broadcasts, to takeaway meals, to BBQs , to trips to the cinema etc. It’s £3 per week plus snack money for the kids. I know many of the kids at Mayfield School frequent this club. 4 out of 5 stars, only dropping 1 because I want to reserve 5 stars for activities my son raves about. I’d like a regular
opportunity to share ideas with other parents, do contact me if you fancy going for coffee at M&S whilst the kids are at phab club.
South Devon Gymnastics
I’ve just started taking my son to a gymnastics club in Paignton (near ASDA). He doesn’t want to go, but I’m determined that he should get a little fitter, and theoretically he should love running about. The
club is mostly frequented by girls, but on Friday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:00pm there is a beginners group that happens to be all boys (though I’m not sure if that is intentional). It suits my son in terms of what is physically expected of him. The club allows me (exceptionally) to stay with him the whole while, because otherwise he wouldn’t join in. It’s a struggle for me, but I’m determined to give it a good go. The teacher is ok, and needs my support to get the best out of my son. The cost is £17/yr for insurance, ~£25 joining fee, ~£7/wk. So the cost mounts up, and makes me wince when I think of the marginal gymnastic potential and value to be realistically gained, but what can you do. Score 3 out of 5 stars, because my son doesn’t enjoy it, neither do I, and it costs more than I want to pay. But I’ve set my mind on giving it a go to help counteract the body weight he is beginning to put on.
Riding for the disabled at Erme Valley
Mayfield school use this facility during the week apparently, but I only found that out after my son had started attending on most Saturdays between 10:30 and 11:30am. Peggy Douglas MBE runs the club
and is totally reliant on volunteers. But what excellent, considerate and well trained volunteers they are. This is my son’s favourite activity. 5 out of 5 stars all the way. The cost is £10 per week as a minimum. The kids get a good 30 minutes of riding in an indoor arena, on horses each with a gentle temperament. The kids get training on how to ride and treat the horse properly. This club is the real mcCoy run by very experienced staff. There are associated social occasions too. This club isn’t a business and it needs to be
understood that we as parents need to put a little time in of our own, not that I’m a great example. Suffice it to say that the volunteers and the club is not to be taken for granted. Lastly I should emphasise that the club has a hoist for children who require it. Children have a person on either side of the horse to hold them on if necessary, plus another volunteer to lead the horse. If you thought a physical handicap may preclude your child, then think again because you may be pleasantly surprised. And to be clear, my son really and truly would not even touch an animal before he started, and now he rides. It’s been a wonderful emotional journey.
Lifeworks is a charity based on the Dartington Hall estate, led by a CEO Richard Hanlon. I can vouch for him having met him recently. They have a property in Torbay providing respite care on contract to Torbay Council I think. They are a charity-come-business. Last year they offered children and adults requiring require extra consideration a chance to do 3 activities for which they could be awarded a
‘triathlon’ themed certificate in an award ceremony in Dartington to give them that valuable sense of accomplishment for having tried new things. The same activities are being organised again this year I
think starting June 2nd with surfing in North Devon. The surf teachers are professionals and are given a brief profile of the child they take into their care for the lesson. Wetsuits are provided and a changing area and more. The kids/adults get to ride on the boards while the instructors either hold the board or otherwise assist. It’s great. All you have to do is get yourself there. Oh and by the way the parents can join a lesson of their own too if you want. I did and can’t wait to do it again this summer. A second surfing session takes place at Bigbury Bay later in the summer. Other activities at other locations include trampolining and cycling (including recumbent cycling). Optional cost ~£50 for all 4 activity dates, though can be free if that suits your means. 5 out of 5 stars because it really helps to embrace the Summer season. I hope to combine the occasion by taking my son camping in North Devon around the date of the surfing. Anyone fancy joining us?
I’m always on the look out for socialising with other parents to share ideas, so do let me know if you’d like to meet for coffee sometime outside of normal working hours, or perhaps a lunch time. I would be
particularly interested to hear the experiences of a parents with a child around 15+ that could help advise me what I should be planning for my son. What pitfalls to avoid and what opportunities to seize
Mr S Marks.
If you would like to contact Mr Marks, please contact Nadia at the school for his contact information.