New scheme puts fun into fam­ily learn­ing

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ @ByrneChristy

PAR­ENTS and chil­dren are be­ing en­cour­aged to learn to­gether as part of a Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil scheme aim­ing to in­ject some fun into ed­u­ca­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants at Widnes Acad­emy found a ‘Bird Café Work­shop’ a hoot, while a World Cup event on Tues­day, June 19, is hop­ing to prove to be a win­ner with fam­i­lies too.

Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil said that the ‘Bird Café Work­shop’ saw about 20 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.

On June 19, Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil’s ● Coun­cil­lor Tom McIn­er­ney is backing the scheme for par­ents and chil­dren Fam­ily Learn­ing team will be run­ning a ‘World Cup work­shop’ for Re­cep­tion and Key Stage One chil­dren and their par­ents at 13 pri­mary schools in Run­corn and Widnes, in­clud­ing Widnes Acad­emy, Hal­ton Lodge, Spin­ney Av­enue, Simms Cross and Astmoor.

Ac­tiv­i­ties will in­clude scor­ing as many ‘ping pong’ ball goals as pos­si­ble in one minute, de­sign­ing a foot­ball kit, mak­ing foot­ball play­ers, boots, balls and tro­phies out of play dough, and mak­ing facts and flags for coun­tries com­pet­ing in the World Cup.

In May 2018 fam­ily learn­ing tu­tors ran a two week ‘Fun with phon­ics in re­cep­tion and Key Stage One’ course, with the school, at­tended by 11 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.

Widnes Acad­emy, as a re­sult of host­ing these four events, will be awarded with Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil’s first ever gold award for par­tic­i­pat­ing in four fam­ily learn­ing events in one aca­demic year.

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, Coun­cil­lor Tom McIn­er­ney, said: “This kind of scheme is of great value to both chil­dren and fam­i­lies.

“We have had great feed­back from par­tic­i­pants.”

Any par­ents who are in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing a fam­ily learn­ing course in school to help their child then they need to ask their child’s school to get in touch with the coun­cil’s fam­ily learn­ing team.

They sould contact ei­ther Sarah. Wild@hal­ or Joanne. Pritchard@hal­

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