01904 554277 york.learning@york.gov.uk
Get Ready for School courses
Early Start: Words, Number and Play courses
Learn Together: Fun with Phonics courses
'How Children Learn' and 'Keep Up' courses
How Children Learn to Read and Write courses
Managing Stress courses
Community Learning Champions

Calling all parents, grandparents and carers!

Do you want to give your child a boost with early speaking and reading skills?
Are you left puzzling over homework?
Would you like to build your child’s confidence for number skills and maths?
Do you want to develop your own skills, maybe get a qualification or two and think about your own future? (It’s never too late!)
Maybe you want to volunteer or work in a school or pre-school setting but don’t know where to start?

Our free* Family Learning courses are just what you need! (*subject to eligibility.)

“Evidence shows that the quality of the home learning environment is a key predictor of a child’s future – what parents do is just as important as who they are.”

Improving the home learning environment, National Literacy Trust

We’ve missed you! 

Some of our Family Learning courses have been running on Zoom and we will continue to have this as an option as some people have found it easier to attend.  However, we’re happy to say that we are now back face to face in some of the childrens centres and libraries and in 7 York primary schools: Burton Green, Carr, Clifton Green, Clifton with Rawcliffe, Fishergate, Hob Moor and Westfield … with one or two more coming on board. If your children are starting at or going to these schools, look out for Family Learning events, competitions and special offers.

Our popular Get Ready for School will be running again in May.  This is for parents or adult carers of any children starting at any of our local schools in September 2022.  It’s a great way to find out about building confidence and routines, and preparing your child (and yourself!) for the big day.

Did you know that even in “normal” times, children spend less than 20% of their waking hours at pre-school settings or school. Anything you can do as a parent or carer to support a child’s learning in those first few years of their life and at school will give them a real advantage. Remember, that as parents, carers and grandparents, you are experts too.

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!

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.

If you are worried about joining a group, please mention this to our enrolment team, and we can link you up with one of our tutors or a project worker to build your confidence and get you started.  We’re with you all the way!

Family Learning for You

Family Learning – for people like you!

“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.”

Family Learning … because learning together is fun!

The Background: The Family Learning team has been working alongside other professionals in York for nearly 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. In 2021-22, 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: fiona.himsworth@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.

It was a lot of things really… just to get me out and to get qualifictions because I don’t have anything like that. Also, when my little girls go to the crèche it gives them more confidence. I always try and do homework with them and it’s kind of helped me to help them. I think it goes back to the confidence thing, talking to people, doing stuff… I’m doing Children’s Centre Advisory Board as well. I would never have thought I would do something like that years ago.

[Since doing my Family Learning course] I’ve been doing a Level 2 Business Admin course through York Learning. I’ve already passed two assignments for that, and I’m hoping to pass it by September so when my child goes to school full time I’ll be able to get myself a job.

My youngest is chuffed and keeps telling me how proud he is. He’s coming on well now at school because I can help him at home with his reading and his English, and then he can go back to school and say “We did this at my mam’s”.

It’s given me a confidence boost. I ended up getting a job at Primark so obviously I’ll be working on the tills and that involves maths and (I’ll use my English) interacting with customers.

I’m doing a Level 2 WEA Helping in Schools course and then I’ll do Level 3 so I can be a TA and working a crèche and children’s centres or schools. I’m going to start college in September. I definitely wouldn’t have done any of this without going back to my roots and doing the Family Learning.

I did Keeping up with the children in maths and English with Family Learning and passed my Functional Skills qualifications at the same time as learning how children are taught in school and this has really helped me get a job as a Teaching Assistant, which I really enjoy.

If you are working with an out of work parent with children living at home who is low in confidence, anxious or isolated, we may be able to offer one to one support through one of our projects.

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.