The most important teacher in your child's life is you

Children spend less than 20% of their waking hours at school or pre-school settings, so parents and carers who can support a child’s learning will give them a real advantage.

Not sure where to start? Don’t know enough about how children are taught? Didn’t do well at school yourself? You are exactly who these courses are for!  Many people come along to find out how children are taught at school and then decide to do adult qualifications for themselves too – it’s never too late!

If you’re worried about joining a group, please speak to our enrolment team about linking up with a tutor or project working to build your confidence and get you started.

What will I do?

In our relaxed, small group settings, you will share your thoughts, concerns and ideas with our experienced adult tutor and other learners; you’ll make resources and talk about activities to try out at home; you’ll adapt ideas to  help your child and gain confidence to speak to school or settings about their progress and find new interests for yourself. Many of our learners have gone on to volunteer and work in schools and early years settings, along with a host of other jobs. Others do it just for fun and to see the friends they’ve made along the way.

Our course offer changes regularly, so we can meet the needs of parents and carers in your area. The courses available to you might include:

How children learn English and maths at school

Focus on how children are taught at school, making resources to try out and talk about, identifying what you already do and talking about how you can extend their learning at home.

Fun with Phonics

Unravel the mysteries of phonics and give you lots of tips, games and activities to do with your child to help their early sound and word recognition and reading skills.

Early Start

Focus on your child’s speech, language and communication. We try out and talk about activities and ways you can support their development and widen their experiences at home and in the outdoor world.

Keep up with the children in English & maths

Explore and develop your own English and maths skills, still in the context of what children learn at different stages but also working towards your own qualification.

1, 2, 3, go!

Look at how every day activities involve numbers, shapes and patterns, and how the questions you ask can help to develop your child's thinking and understanding.

“I don’t know what I’d have done without Family Learning. It kept me going through lockdown knowing I had people I could talk to!  The ideas we shared really helped to take the pressure off too.”

The Background: The Family Learning team has been working alongside other professionals in York for over 25 years. Whilst courses are continually evolving to meet local and national priorities, you can be assured that we’re in it for the long haul!

The team is made up of qualified teachers, with up to date primary and early years knowledge, experienced support staff, and a manager with many years experience of targeted outreach and community development.  We deliver workshops and courses across the city, in key areas, schools and community venues – and now online too – providing support for parents, grandparents and carers to build strong home learning environments for their children and to move on and achieve in their own lives too.

Evidence Based: Data collected both locally and nationally as well as numerous research projects have shown that Family Learning programmes have multiple impacts, on the adult learners, their children, their families and their communities.* which is why it’s so effective in raising aspirations and breaking cycles of disadvantage. We are being supported by Shine Educational Trust and Huntington Research School, working with a number of schools to monitor the impact of Family Learning adult learners on specific aspects of children’s progress at school, particularly through those important early years.

How Does It Work? We are funded by central government, through the Adult Skills Budget, so all of our courses are FREE to eligible adults.  Our targets are to widen participation, break cycles of disadvantage and support adults to increase their skills in supporting children’s learning but also in gaining adult qualifications in English and maths for themselves.  (Almost one third of adults don’t have English skills at level 2, needed for many jobs; in maths it’s over a half.)

We know that all parents want what’s best for their kids – even if sometimes there are huge barriers to overcome which makes this very challenging – but having children is a great motivator for people to engage in learning – and this is why Family Learning is so successful. If you are reading this, you probably know families who may want or need just that little bit of additional support and we are always keen to take referrals from schools, pre-school settings, local area and health teams, and partner organisations.

If you would like one of us to come along to talk to your team, please get in touch: helen.clarkson@york.gov.uk

Together we can make a difference!

Our local offer is based on the EAST model:

Easy Courses are adapted to work with learners at a level they feel comfortable with, setting group and individual SMART targets, working collaboratively to achieve their aims. Progression pathways are planned so that learners are able to build on what they have learned and move on to higher level courses, including some with access to nationally recognised qualifications.
Accessible We have courses both face to face and online (using Zoom) and can support people to get started if necessary.  We run workshops and courses where possible in early years settings, in schools, libraries and community venues, close to where people live, often with free childcare available, at times to fit in with school and nursery drop off and pick up times.
Sociable One of the best things about Family Learning is the connection between tutor and learners. We encourage our adult learners to share their learning experiences and tips, fully acknowledging the fact that parents are experts in their own right. Friendships made through Family Learning classes often remain long after the courses have finished.
Timely Our support is there when people need it at times in their lives when it matters to them, when they have young children or at key transition stages, for instance when a child starts primary school or when the adult is looking for employment or a change in career direction.

If you are, or are working with parents who want to return to work, we may be able to provide careers support through the RISE project.

Get started with Zoom, access the internet, build confidence with apps and Microsoft programmes, run meetings online or get formal computing qualifications.

Ask us about becoming a Community Learning Champion to promote our courses and find out about other things going on. Great for CVs, you’ll also get support from the Family Learning team.