The Principal of LVS Ascot, Christine Cunniffe, played a starring role on ITV’s This Morning show on Thursday 3rd September, brought in to offer expert advice and tips to parents and children preparing for the return to school this week.
As head of a large all-ability school combining day and boarding pupils from a range of backgrounds, Christine was the ideal person to join the discussion with Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and life coach Jeff Brazier to discuss a whole range of results from a recent NetMums survey which revealed what makes parents and children anxious as the new school year looms.
The survey unearthed concerns such as 59% of respondents worrying how their children will cope moving up a year, and 58% concerned about whether they will stay friends with the children they know, and Christine was able to provide useful advice to the This Morning audience of around 1 million people. She suggested that school provides a great opportunity for children to mix with as many different social groups as possible, telling Holly Willoughby: “It is good to spread your friendship groups around and mix with lots of groups so friendships are not so intense – for example having friends within your netball team, music groups, tutor group and more”.
With LVS Ascot being an all-through school where children can develop from 4 years old right through to 18, moving up a year is a far less daunting prospect than it can be in some schools but Christine was still able to offer some valuable advice to all parents: “Children will pick up on your anxieties – they have their own worries and don’t need to see yours as well so try not to pass on your worries to them”.
As well as speaking as Principal of one of Berkshire’s leading independent schools, Christine was also able to give a parent’s view on the topic with her own three children having attending LVS Ascot, including her daughter who received outstanding GCSE results last month. These contributed to the school’s increase in A* and A grades which were seen at both GCSE and A-levels this year, despite a fall in the figures across the country.
Christine thoroughly enjoyed her national TV experience on the famous couch, saying: “It was fantastic to meet Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby and be able to offer advice to parents at an anxious time. Having been through it many times myself as both a parent and LVS Ascot Principal, I can empathise completely and hopefully managed to provide some tips to help manage the situation. We find one of the best ways to develop students and alleviate any anxiety is to build their confidence – inspire them to be enthusiastic about their education and help them excel at their own personal talents – so whilst it can be a difficult time, in many cases pupils can’t wait to come back”.