A PRIMARY school’s parents swapped Barry for Hawaii when they graduated from a family-orientated scheme and adopted a summer theme.

18 High Street primary families celebrated the end of FAST – the Save the Children’s Families and Schools Together programme supported by Morrisons.

The award-winning project strengthens and builds positive relationships between schools, families and local communities to ensure children thrive at school.

The voluntary eight week programme is available to all families with young children.

It encourages mums, dads and children to perform everyday tasks together such as sharing a family meal, playing games and spending one on one time with each other.

Families have also been introduced to other mums and dads in the school.

Children and parents at High Street celebrated the final evening with a Hawaiian themed party during the last week of term.

FAST site co-ordinator, Lesley Matthews, said: “The project has had a direct impact on parental engagement within the school and the wellbeing of families. This culminated in a fantastic Hawaiian graduation ceremony where 18 families graduated with their extended families and friends joining in the celebration.

“I would like to thank all the team members and volunteers who worked very hard over the eight week period to support the families, and also to thank the families for taking on the weekly challenges. Thanks also to Helen Cocco from Save the Children and to Morrisons for funding the project.”

Head teacher, Sian Howell, added: “This is the best project the school has been involved in promoting the importance of families involvement with their child’s learning and development.”

"The Soroptimists of the Barry and District Club said they had enjoyed their opportunity to participle in the FAST project as its ethos reflected the aims of Soroptimism which was ‘to educate, empower and enable’.

They said: “Our partnership with High Street School has been rewarding for the members and we wish the families involved in the project every success in the future. "

Parent Veronica Ayres, who took part in the FAST programme, said: “Initially I was very unsure as to what FAST was. With two little girls aged four and nearly three, I thought we would go and find out. My husband used to join us half way through once he had finished work. Both of our daughters’ confidence has grown enormously and we have made a lot of new friends. We have also got to know the staff at High Street Primary School. We can't thank all of the staff and the volunteers that have made this possible and to Save The Children for the funding. We would definitely recommend FAST to other families.”

Head of Save the Children in Wales, Mary Powell-Chandler, said: "FAST makes a huge difference to the families that take part. It brings together the key elements in determining a child's success; their school, their family, and the community. FAST ensures that children are given the support they need to thrive."

For details, visit www.savethechildren.org.uk/fast