Now more than ever, it is so important to provide additional home learning support for children and their carers. With support from the Department for Education, we are delighted that What Works for Children’s Social Care is fully funding places for up to 1,200 children who have or have had a social worker to participate in the Our Skills programme.
Delivered in partnership with Campaign for Learning, the Our Skills programme will be open to children typically identified as Children in Need (CiN), Children subject to a Child Protection Plan (CP), and/or Children Looked After (CLA) along with their parents or caregivers. The project will be evaluated to help us understand its impact.
What Our Skills is all about…
The Our Skills course, based on Family Skills*, is designed to support parents and carers of children in Reception and Year 1 to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence in supporting their child’s literacy, at school and at home. As well as reading to children and listening to children read, parents and children can enjoy making up stories, playing games, and having fun with sounds and words through songs, actions and rhymes. The Our Skills course is delivered in 10 sessions. The programme will aim to strengthen relationships and the Home Learning Environment and build resilience.
Our Skills will combine discrete input for adults as well as opportunities for children to join their parents/caregivers to learn together. The course will provide 10 x 2 – 2.5 hour weekly sessions – each leading to home activities for adults and children to enjoy doing together.
The Our Skills Programme is being re-developed so the course can now be delivered virtually, through a blended model or face-to-face. This means participants can fully participate despite any national, local and school-based COVID restrictions. We will work with participating schools to establish what is best for each setting, ensuring delivery is in line with national, local and school-based safety measures.
Our Skills sessions will now start after February half-term and will run until May half-term 2021 (this is a change from January – April 2021).
Benefits for schools
There are significant benefits for participating schools including the opportunity to:
- participate in a national project specifically designed to benefit children with social work support
- contribute to robust and independent research evidence on the impact of a family literacy programme on raising the attainment of children with experience of social work support
- host a free Our Skills course
*What’s the connection with Family Skills?
Our Skills is an updated version of Family Skills – a free family literacy course which focuses on parental engagement to help improve the literacy skills of reception class pupils with EAL. Click here to find out more.
Here are some snippets of feedback from Family Skills from parents:
‘I learned about teaching methods through interacting with my son. I felt supported and I used what I learnt from the course at home with my child. I understood that there are many ways to teach children and, obviously, learning them enriched my education, too’.
‘The games are a brilliant way to support. It’s fun, but very effective learning’.
And from a teacher’s perspective:
‘This course has been fantastic & as a teacher I’ve definitely seen the benefits & how the information & insight passed on to the parents involved has really boosted their confidence.’
The Family Skills toolkit was a finalist in the 2018 ELTons awards in the Local Innovation category: “An innovative, high-quality, thorough approach which supports community learning.” 2018 ELTon awards judge
Sounds great, how do I sign up?
If you would like to get involved in Our Skills as a delivery provider or host school,
or if you have any questions, please contact Karen Dudley on [email protected]