Hundreds of youngsters across Greater Manchester and Merseyside are to take part in a project that will give parents the confidence to support their children’s development at home.
The Vantage Academy Trust of nine schools around Manchester, Salford, Bolton, and Knowsley, has received a grant of more than £42,000 from education charity SHINE to fund the initiative.
Over two years, a series of informal events, including coffee mornings and stay-and-play workshops, will be held for parents and carers of early years children at the trust’s schools – Knowsley Lane, Knowsley, Gorton, Manchester, SS Simon & Jude, Bolton, St Barnabas, Manchester, St Hilda’s, Trafford, Willow Tree, Knowsley, St Paul’s, Salford, St James’, Manchester and St Augustine’s, Salford.
These sessions are designed to help the school build stronger relationships with parents while providing bite-sized information to support their child’s communication and language skills.
Meanwhile, nine “school-home hubs” will be established, each operating as a community learning support group for pupils and families with the highest needs.
The hubs will deliver family learning courses and drop-in sessions for families. It is hoped they will allow the schools to build more open relationships with parents and help to break down any barriers.
A new website will also be developed that will include video clips and fact sheets, containing simple tips and advice, to help build parents’ confidence.
It is hoped the programme will help children make the move from early years into primary school, and ultimately result in increased attainment.
Emma Dilworth, Acting Principal, Willow Tree Primary, said: “We recognise and value the role that parents play in supporting our work and this is an amazing opportunity to build such strong bonds. We are very grateful to SHINE for supporting us in this venture to make a huge difference to lots of little lives.