A visit at Arden Primary School

At a recent meeting, Robeena Rana from Arden school reported that
“I and other school staff witnessed that after the Wider Family Learning craft based courses for a selected group of quiet and shy children there was a remarkable shift in their behaviour.”
The children came along with their mums and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Robeena continued, saying “the changes we have seen in them were amazing. They had smiles on their faces every time they finished a product. Some of them gave a bouquet of flowers they made to their teachers. The teachers felt that those children achieved a better understanding of working with their parents and wanted to participate in class more. Every session was amazing, just watching, I felt at ease and comfortable with the delivery and resulting engagement.”

It is always re-assuring that all our hard work is appreciated and so we salute their success with a big Thank You to Claire Bond (the tutor for this class) as well as all the other tutors who always make an extra effort!

Scarlet Scardanelli – Family Learning Organiser


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A New Teaching and Learning Manager


As TLM Ruth Meah has joined the team at the beginning of term. Here she is with Laura Johnston and Sabia Khanum at Hodge Hill Primary school for a hand-over meeting with Family Learning Organiser Scarlet Scardanelli. Sabia, who enthusiastically had looked after the Family Learning activities at the school had a change in role. From now on it will be Laura who will be working with us on another series of courses. Ruth met both of them and we discussed the future programme. Scarlet Scardanelli, Family Learning Organiser

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Family Learning at Yorkmead School

In February Yorkmead School hosted a Wider Family Learning course delivered by tutor Melba Warner on the topic of sewing titled “Pins and Needles”. It was wonderful to see male and female attendees get really involved with the embroidery work, and even continue at home. The feedback was great and some of the photos demonstrate wonderful work that was completed during the course.

This workshop was enjoyed by all families and this is reflected in the attendance and the feedback provided by the families. Not all Parents and children were familiar with the concept of sewing before attending this workshop, and it was from this workshop that they started to develop a basic understanding. Some parents were familiar with sewing and were keen to develop these skills further and worked well supporting the children in sewing. The fabrics used were inexpensive and in most cases were left over, demonstrating to the parents that sewing and textiles does not have to be an expensive hobby – some parents brought in recycled materials from home for their projects.

Parents had fed back that they continued sewing outside the workshops with their children so that they could improve, and because they enjoyed it. There were four boys in the class, they too were very hands and had said that they enjoyed creating soft furnishings.

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Some great feedback from the Introductory Family Learning English course, delivered at a hostel for vulnerable families.

“The feedback from the survival English course was very positive. One lady from Syria found it very useful She had very little English to start with and is now able to deal with simple day to day situations herself rather than rely on interpreters.

I believe a few of the ladies who attended have since contacted South & City College to enquire about other courses.

During our needs assessments with new residents ESOL classes are regularly requested. If we could have more courses run at our hostels, that would be great”

Sarah – Centre Manager

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Family Learning Success Story

I first met Jetta’s mom at Birchfield School some two years ago. She had recently moved to the UK with her family and so her daughter Jetta had not long started at the school. When the Family Learning Programme was offered to mom, she knew it would be a great opportunity to help Jetta settle into school as her English was limited.

Mom showed great enthusiasm and enjoyed attending the programme consistently throughout. Her personal goal was to become a Qualified Nurse. She had experience in Italy but needed to qualify in the UK. However, she did not know what she needed to do. It was suggested through the Family Learning Programme that she enrol on a Health and Social Care course and a further English course to achieve Level 1. She promptly followed this up.

We met by chance at Perry Beeches School where she is employed as a cleaner. It was so good to see her again and to learn that she had completed a Health and Social Care Course as well as improving her English and was moving on the next Level of the course. She is happy to be doing what she enjoys, Jetta is settled in school and she has a job to support the family.

Ruth Meah – Family Learning tutor. February, 2015

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Family Learning Works

Something to brighten Monday morning. The following email was received from Mrs Tapper, the Deputy Head at Nelson Primary School, Ladywood.   

“Hi Hafsha

It was lovely to meet you this morning and to find out how we can continue to work together to support our pupils and their parents.

We have been so fortunate over the past years to receive financial support and the commitment of your adult tutors to engage parents in their children’s learning.

The relationship between school and parents has developed due to these Workshops. Parents have often said how much they enjoy coming into school to work with their children and find out how they can help them at home.

Children are enthusiastic about their learning and feel really proud when their parents come into school.

These workshops have helped to raise attainment across the curriculum areas and now play a huge part in our school.

So thank you once again and we look forward to working together in the future.

BW Denise”

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Hot of the press from Clifton School

Clifton School has just finished a successful programme with Tutor Rita Gill, to the theme of “ Up-Cycling”.
There was a lot of discussion around recycling and sustainability topics, and it was a great way to make something beautiful and useful at no cost.

The parents and children chose four topics together: Sock Puppets, Potato Printing onto old shirts to be used as aprons, Hand Held Stick Masks for acting exercises and a Mini Garden made from empty water bottles.


The feedback was fantastic:
– “Thoroughly enjoyed by parent and child.  Rita is a good caring teacher and she          engages with parents and children well.”
-“Brilliant time spent with my child.  We had FUN!”
– “Me and my son made a crocodile (sock puppet) I think we should do this more often.”
-“We really enjoyed making the hand puppets, I think as parents we should have more activities like this. Well done! Fantastic Idea”

Some children do not get as much quality time with their parents as others do. Family Learning is a great opportunity. It addresses this fact and gives parents more confidence at the same time.

Well done all!

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