Nursery World reports that results from a trial of a parental home learning project on children’s development during their time in nursery, in which staff were trained to work closely with parents and to support them in helping their children to learn, found that parental involvement had a significant effect on children’s home learning environment. In most cases it also improved their academic progress.
An evaluation of the Parental Engagement Network (PEN) Home Learning Project was carried out by the University of Oxford’s Department of Education and has been published today (22 November) by the Sutton Trust.
Eighteen schools from Greater Manchester, which recruited 167 families, took part in PEN’s Engaging Parents Effectively project, which prioritised disadvantaged three- and four-year-olds and those eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium. Half of the schools were allocated to the intervention group, while the other half to the control group.
Under the trial, staff in intervention schools were trained in the Home Learning Project and delivered the ‘intervention’ to families over the course of an academic year. Parents were invited to attend two to four workshops per term and took home activities and Playclub bags to use with their children at home related to maths, phonics and other aspects of the EYFS.
Parents and teachers measured children’s outcomes before and after the programme.
According to the evaluation 90 per cent of parents found the project ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’.
One parent from Newall Green Primary School said, ‘It has helped my son’s confidence and helped him to concentrate (he can’t sit down for more than a few minutes). They were all great activities. Our best had to be “Get Active” (counting star jumps) and “Shape Hunt”. It helped me to understand my son.’
Looking at the impact on staff, the analysis reveals that 94 per cent of staff reported they had gained confidence and skills in working with parents through the training and implementing the project.
Read more about the project Study highlights benefits of parental involvement in home learning
Does your school encourage parents to be more proactive in their child’s education? Please tell us your thoughts in comment or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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