Tooled Up Events
Guidance for Educational Settings
Following a Suicide or Sudden Death
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10th September, we are proud to have published a resource for schools, written in collaboration with suicide prevention charity, The OLLIE Foundation. This comprehensive guide will provide leadership teams in schools and other educational settings with the detailed guidance needed to coordinate an appropriate, helpful and safe response following the tragic event of a suicide or sudden death in their community.
This invaluable resource is available for free. Simply click the button below to view and download the PDF.
The home of evidence-based resources on all aspects of parenting, education and family life
Schools that are part of our Tooled Up Education community can provide their parents and teachers with access to Dr Weston’s exclusive resources, covering areas such as aspiration, resilience, mental health and behaviour.
As a member of the Tooled Up community you will have access to a whole host of evidence-based resources, which will enable you to support your children or students in a way that makes their lives and educational journeys both easier and more enjoyable.
Dr Weston's Wednesday Wisdom
In an ever increasingly busy and demanding world, Wednesday Wisdom provides a reflective 2 minute read every week that readers constantly tell us they look forward to. Full of topical and relatable experiences that help provide reflection, motivation and support in achieving a balanced family life.
Over the years, thousands of people have benefitted from, and continue to enjoy, the parenting and educational talks from Dr Kathy Weston at Tooled Up Education and have subscribed to Wednesday Wisdom. Join now for free to get your own weekly digest of motivating, interesting, and thoughtful parenting advice from Dr Weston herself.
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am to read your Wednesday Wisdom email. Perfect size for the time I have to engage and reflect and think about the topics you touch on. It helps me to evaluate my parenting and take a step back to look at scenarios that play out.”
Parent – October 2020
I am starting this week’s Wednesday Wisdom with an apology, to all ‘allergy parents’ or indeed anyone who lives with a severe allergy or allergies: I’m sorry I didn’t know what you go through. I feel motivated to say this following a webinar that I hosted last week with Professor Adam Fox of ‘Allergy London’ and Sarah Knight (CEO of The Allergy Team). This was a webinar for school staff across our Tooled Up Schools and addressed optimal strategies for reducing severe risk in school settings.
Parenting Question of the Week
Our Promise: We will answer all questions, and, whilst we may share your question and answer to help others, we will never declare who asked it.
Researcher of the Month
Dr Cele Richardson, Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer in the School of Psychological Science and Centre for Sleep Science at the University of Western Australia.
Dr Richardson’s research primarily focuses on sleep and mental health in young people. Sleep and internalising problems, such as depression and anxiety, commonly co-occur and she works to elucidate mechanisms linking sleep with emotional problems in adolescence.
Sleep problems are extremely common during adolescence and lack of or low quality sleep is increasingly being causally linked to poor mental health. Various research papers have examined how parents might be able to support teens to sleep better. Parental warmth has previously been found to protect sleep in early adulthood, yet the nature, directions, and mechanisms of this association were unknown. Our Researcher of the Month, Dr Cele Richardson and co-authors, have found that parental warmth is indirectly associated with better adolescent sleep through healthier sleep hygiene practices and that better adolescent sleep is often associated with greater parental warmth, because these adolescents have better sleep practices.
The study found that teens who reported higher levels of parental warmth had healthier sleep hygiene practices, were more likely to be early birds (have a preference for ‘morningness’), sleep longer on school nights and be less sleepy during the day. Good sleep practices were also linked to greater parental warmth, mainly because there is likely to be less conflict and strain on the parent-child relationship around bedtimes.
The paper confirms that good sleep hygiene is fundamental to getting high quality sleep. Engaging in fewer sleep hygiene practices consistently predicted worsening of sleep and daytime functioning, and teens at risk of inadequate sleep tended to engage in fewer sleep hygiene practices over time. The study showed that young people may increase unhelpful practices, such as reducing daytime activity to conserve energy or using substances to promote sleep and minimise daytime impairment, in an effort to overcome poor sleep. This can inadvertently contribute to sleep troubles.
Implications for parents
Parental warmth may protect against developmental changes in adolescent sleep, partially by improving sleep hygiene practices. Parents should foster a warm relationship with teens, providing them with emotional support, encouragement and spending time together doing shared activities. Try to approach interactions about sleep in a loving and caring manner, not in an authoritarian way. Sleep problems can place understandable strain on the parent-child relationship. It’s important to recognise that decreased parental warmth may further perpetuate poor sleep, creating a vicious cycle.
Implications for schools
This study support the inclusion of sleep hygiene content in adolescent sleep interventions. When it comes to school-based sleep hygiene interventions, many increase teens’ sleep knowledge without changing sleep behaviours, which is critical for actual improvement in sleep. Schools implementing sleep hygiene interventions should seek programmes that adopt a knowledge-to-action framework and those which foster teen’s self-efficacy and self-regulation of sleep. Schools might also like to create strong parent partnerships, emphasising the importance of loving, warm communication around sleep and more generally.
Tooled Up News
Is your teen working towards their GCSEs? Macbeth is a key GCSE text for many of our teens and we are extremely excited to share the arrival of our new Supporting Macbeth resources for our Tooled Up community. These are revision resources for Macbeth written with parental engagement and home study in mind.
Given that World Kindness Day was celebrated earlier this month, on November 13th, now seems a good time to talk about the results of a very large and exciting public science project. The Kindness Test was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 in conjunction with a team from the University of Sussex, led by our brilliant former podcast guest, Professor Robin Banerjee. A whopping 60,000 people aged 18-99, from 144 different countries filled out the online questionnaire, making it the world’s largest in-depth study on kindness to date.
"I thought the talk last night was absolutely fantastic. It really helped us to have a vision and how we can support [Child] to develop his resilience."Parent
"So informative - lots of food for thought as a teacher and a parent of two girls. Thank you."Parent
Merchant Taylor's School
"So informative, thought-provoking, practical, awesome!"Parent
South Hill School
"Thank you so much for such a wonderful Q&A, it was so informative and rich with information. I am certain our parent community will use all these resources!"School Welfare Counsellor
St. Catherine's British School
"Expert and engaging, Kathy gives rich, evidence-based guidance. You will come away inspired and empowered"
Dr Johnny Noakes
"It is no exaggeration to say that Dr Weston’s input into our pastoral programme has been transformational. Her presentation to more than two hundred staff was the most inspirational – and practical – training we have received on how to support adolescents through the changes of the teenage years."
Francis Holland School
"Kathy’s talk was engaging, interesting and highly informative throughout. She balanced factual information with personal advice and practical tips to ensure that the talk was relevant and accessible from the outset."
Sarum Hall School
"Just to say you are amazing at what you do.. really really informative and helpful to parents and can’t recommend tooled up highly enough!"
"I just wanted to say that it was great to meet you yesterday. Thank you so much for giving such an impressive and insightful talk. We have had lots of positive comments today about it. You struck just the right tone, and I know that the advice will have been invaluable to so many of our parents. It’s such a vital and important message and we are very grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and insights."
"Thought provoking, deeply engaging and totally relevant to every aspect of my work. Thanks so much for your passion and drive."
Stopsley Community Primary School
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