A new project aims to improve the communication and language skills of early years children in Morecambe.
The Early Years Home-School Partnership at Poulton-le-Sands C of E Primary School has received £39,000 in funding from SHINE.
Only 40 per cent of children arrive at school on track for a good level of development in communication and language, and just a quarter of new starters are meeting the expected level of development in literacy skills. This means that many children are beginning primary school with significant ground to make up on their peers.
The project aims to improve this situation by working closely with parents of early years children and giving them the knowledge and confidence to support their children’s learning at home.
A member of staff is leading the project, which is to be delivered over three years, and a key focus is the building of relationships between the school and parents.
Through a series of “stay and play” sessions, and resource packs, families will be shown how, through play and conversation, they can help bring on their child’s speech, communication, and language.
Liam Marshall, Deputy Headteacher at Poulton-le-Sands, explained that a key aspect of the project is building a strong relationship with parents and carers, rooted in trust and mutual respect.
As well as offering support to parents, in a non-judgmental way, the new staff member will be able to spot at an early stage any potential support the families may require so that they can arrange bespoke provision on a family-by-family basis.
“Your first year at school is very different to anything you’ve ever done before – and that applies to both children and parents,” explained Liam. “So whatever level your child is working at – whether they need some additional help or whether they require further challenge – they will still get the extra support to push them to reach their full potential, regardless of their academic attainment or personal circumstance.”