It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, learning’s coming home!

Halton Borough Council has launched a new scheme for parents and children to learn together. And participants at one school found a World Cup workshop scored with parents and pupils alike.

The football themed event combined learning with fun.

The project was pioneered at Widnes Academy where an earlier ‘Bird Café Workshop’ saw about twenty parents and their children taking part in activities including making bird feeders, making bird masks and identifying different types of birds.

This was followed with a two week ‘Fun with Reading in Reception and Key Stage One’ course, attended by six parents and their children with the intention of developing parents’ skills in terms of reading with their children.

In May 2018 Family Learning tutors ran a two week ‘Fun with Phonics in Reception & Key Stage One’ course, with the school, attended by eleven parents and their children with the intention of developing parents’ knowledge and understanding of the current phonic curriculum in schools.

Other schools involved in Family Learning over the last academic year include: Fairfield Primary, Hallwood Park, Westfield, Victoria Road, The Brow, Runcorn All Saints, St Bede’s Infants, St Martin’s, St Mary’s, Hale Primary, Halebank, St John Fisher, The Holy Spirit and St Michael’s.

In June Halton Borough Council’s Family Learning team ran a ‘World Cup Workshop’ for Reception and Key Stage One children and their parents at thirteen primary schools in Runcorn and Widnes, including Widnes Academy, Halton Lodge, Spinney Avenue, Simms Cross and Astmoor, during which activities including:

• Scoring as many ‘ping pong’ ball goals as you can in one minute
• Designing a football kit
• Making football players, football boots, footballs and trophies out of play dough
• Matching a variety of facts to countries involved in the World Cup
• Making flags for countries involved in the World Cup

As a result of hosting these four events Halton Borough Council’s Family Learning Team presented Widnes Academy with the first ever ‘Gold Award’ for participating in four Family Learning events in one academic year.

Jessica Williams, Widnes Academy School Teacher, said: “The four Family Learning courses that we have run have had a positive impact on our school this year, finished in style by a World Cup Workshop attended by over forty parents, grandparents and children. Family Learning courses are fun for every member of the family.”

Halton Borough Council Family Learning Tutor, Jo Pritchard , said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Widnes Academy this academic year, working with parents and grandparents to help them to support their child’s work both at school and at home.

” In terms of next year, we already have two courses (Fun with Grammar and Fun with Number) and a Science Workshop booked in for the Autumn Term.”

From September 2018-19 schools that host two Family Learning courses in one academic year will receive a Bronze Award and those that host three a Silver Award.

The Family Learning team consist of two tutors: Jo Pritchard (English) and Sarah Wild (Maths) who are both highly experienced former primary school teachers and are available FREE of charge to all schools in Halton.

They deliver courses including ‘Fun with Reading’, ‘Fun with Phonics’, ‘Fun with Numbers’, ‘Online Safety’ and ‘Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing’ as well as one off ‘Science Workshops’.

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children, Young People and Families. Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “This kind of scheme is of great value to both children and families.

“We have had great feedback from participants.”

If parents are interested in doing a Family Learning course in school to help their child then they need to ask their child’s school to get in touch with us: contact either Sarah.Wild@halton.gov.uk or Joanne.Pritchard@halton.gov.uk.

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