Take The Learning Home Programme

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1 Take The Learning Home Programme GUIDEBOOK FOR FACILITATORS SUPPORTING PARENTS & CHILDREN WITH THE TRANSITION TO PRIMARY SCHOOL & STRENGTHENING PARENT-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS DUBLIN SOUTH WEST INNER CITY NEYAI CONSORTIUM

2 Overview of Parent Child Hub The Dublin South West Inner City Parent and Child Hub is a universal preventative family support service delivery initiative open to all parents of children aged from zero to six years living in the Dublin South West Inner City area. The model was developed in the context of the Dublin South West Inner City National Early Years Access Initiative (NEYAI) project: Integration of Services and Continuum of Care Demonstration Model for Children 0-6 Years undertaken in the Dublin South West Inner City area by a Consortium of 11 partners: Barnardos Rialto Family Centre (lead agency) Dublin City Childcare Committee Fatima Children s Day Care Centre Health Services Executive Speech and Language Therapy Department St Joseph s Pre-school Dolphin House Crèche Tír na nóg Pre-school Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies Trinity College Dublin Rialto Springboard Project St James s National School Early Childhood Ireland The aim of Parent and Child Hub is to support and improve preventative service delivery to children 0-6 years through providing them and their parents with multiple access points to universal support. These include those services that might in the first instance help prevent problems from arising for the family and those that could help identify problems and supports needed at an early stage. At the core of the Parent and Child Hub model is supporting the parent as the child s key primary support to support their child and the recognition that better outcomes for children can be achieved through supporting their parents. The approach is based on progressive universalism, which involves combining universal services with targeted interventions for parents and children with additional needs. Interventions at this level aim to strengthen informal support networks which in turn can lead to better outcomes for children. The Parent and Child Hub is underpinned by the Dublin South West Inner City NEYAI consortium partners approach to integrated working which involves services the working together as one unit with the goal of enhancing frontline service provision to meet the needs of children 0-6 years and their families in the area. The aim is to harness the collective efficiency and effectiveness of the partners to provide a seamless continuum of services to children aged zero to six and their families. The approach is based on the premise that integrated working can lead to better functioning of front-line services which in turn can lead to better outcomes for children. For those accessing services through Parent and Child Hub, the experience should be seamless, needs-driven and 2

3 Level 1 Universal Service Provision The Parent and Child Hub Information & Advice Speech & Language Pre-School Link Service Schools Transitions Visits Transition Information Talks Individual & Joint Parent Support Public Health Nurses Parent Workshops Parents Groups Stay & Play Groups Pre-Schools Take The Learning Home Pre-School Central Application System Referral on Level 2 Low to Vulnerable needs TARGETED SERVICE PROVISION Level 3 High to Complex needs TARGETED SERVICE PROVISION Level 4 Complex to Acute needs SPECIALIST SERVICE PROVISION based within the local community. The Parent and Child Hub makes a range of resources, supports and experiences locally accessible by parents, including: guidance and support relating to parenting and child development; signposting to other resources, services and supports; Stay and Play groups providing opportunities in the community for children 0-3 and parents to come together to share experiences and learn; The Stepping Stones Transition Programme to support children with their transition from pre-school to School The Take the Learning home Programme supporting children in junior infants through improved parent- school partnerships Supporting Speech Development And Language Acquisition in the pre-school through Speech and Language Therapy and Pre-school Collaboration ( Pre-School) Link Service 3

4 Contents Introduction 5 Session 1 6 Session 2 7 Session 3 8 Session 4 9 Session 5 10 Session 6 11 Session 7 12 Session 8 13 Resources & Handouts 17

5 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME INTRODUCTION Introduction Take the Learning Home has been developed under the Dublin South West Inner City National Early Years Access Initiative (NEYAI). It is one strand of a Transition Programme called Stepping Stones which has also emerged from the initiative. Final Reflections... The aim of Take the Learning Home is to support parents with their child s transition to primary school and strengthen the parent-school relationship. It encourages parents to gain hands on experience of how children learn in the Junior Infants year and empowers parents to get actively involved in the school setting. What we did... The programme was designed by members of a Transitions Working Group. The programme took inspiration from a similar programme in Barnardos in Athlone called Building Bridges. The Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Coordinator and Project Worker planned, facilitated and evaluated sessions on a weekly basis. This guidebook has been developed to assist others to role out the programme. How we did it... An eight week programme is facilitated by the HSCL and Project Worker. Four sessions are run with parents covering activities such as meeting the school team, exploring parents own experience of school and expectations for their children. The programme delves into Aistear, The National Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and the Primary School Curriculum. Parents are introduced to classroom based activities and get first hand experiences of how children learn in school environment. The last four sessions are parent-child groups. The parents carry out classroom activities with the children and discover how learning is promoted in the classroom. Two of these sessions are classroom based so parents get to see what happens in the classroom environment! In this guidebook 8 session plans are provided along with handouts and suggested materials. Plans can be adapted to suit individual services/schools. Review forms for each session are included to help evaluate each session once it has been completed. Sessions run for 1.5 hours and ideally 2 facilitators should run the group although depending on resources this may not always be possible. 5

6 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Session Plan 1 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Welcome Parents (15 mins) 2. Explain consent form (10 mins) 3. Parents become familiar with school settings, structure and the roles within the school i.e. HSCL, Teacher, Learning Support, SNA (20 mins) 4. Explore parents own knowledge of the school and their own experience of primary school (20 mins) 5. School Orientation - parents will become familiar with the school environment (20 mins) 6. Parents Feedback Forms (5 mins ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Welcome parents with tea/coffee, 1(a) Introduce an ice breaker Ask each person to talk to the person next to them: your name.. child s name. where you went to school.. something you like to do with your child 2. Discuss Consent Form (handout 2) Give detailed overview of consent form ensuring all parents understand. 3. HSCL will inform parents of the school structures and roles within the school 4. Break parents into groups to discuss their experience of school, flip charts maybe used or this can be done through an informal chat, facilitators can note comments on flip chart. 5. Tour of the school 6. Parents fill out feedback forms for session RESOURCES REQUIRED: Labels, Parent welcome packs (consent forms included), Tea/coffee/refreshments, Flip chart/stand, Markers Handouts: Welcome pack, feedback forms 6

7 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME SESSION PLANS Session Plan 2 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review last session (20 mins) 2. Ground Rules (10 mins) 3. Tea & Coffee Break (10 mins) 4. Introduce Teacher/Principal to Parents (20 mins) 5. Hopes and Expectations for your child (20 mins) 6. Parent Feedback Forms (10 mins) ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Review using a flip chart note points parents discuss from previous session 2. Ground Rules Using flip chart, explore ground rules which parents feel are important for the group, use handouts on ground rules to cover topics that may not have been considered by the group 3. Parents are offered tea and coffee 4. Introduce parents to Junior Infant Teachers/Principal teachers and parents have informal discussion a. name b. where they went to school. c. interests/hobbies 5. Tree of Hope exercise a. break parents into groups b. use flip chart paper to draw a tree c. encourage parents to write in words to describe their hopes and expectations for their child on cut out leaves d. display on wall and share with big group e. look for similarities and difference each group has 6. Parents fill out feedback forms RESOURCES REQUIRED: Tea/coffee/refreshments, Flip chart/stand, Markers Handouts: Ground Rules and feedback forms 7

8 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Session Plan 3 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review last week session (15 mins) 2. Introduce Aistear and Primary School Curriculum (30 mins) 3. Tea and Coffee Break (10 mins) 4. Hands on activities focusing on early maths, fine motor skills and pre-writing skills linking to Aistear Themes (30 mins) 5. Parent Feedback Forms (5mins) ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Using flip chart review last week s session with parents. 2. Introduce Aistear Themes using posters, give overview of primary school curriculum using handouts sourced from NCCA website 3. Tea and coffee break 4. Play Dough use play dough to introduce early maths concepts discussed from handout. demonstrate to parents how play dough maybe used to teach early maths concepts grouping numbers size big and small measuring ingredients count to 10 make number count how many are left Discuss maths at home..how parents can help Parents take play dough home to use with their children. 5. Parents fill out feedback forms RESOURCES REQUIRED: Flip charts, markers, play dough, Handouts: Play dough recipe; Early Maths in Junior Infants; The what, why and how of children s learning. Feedback forms 8

9 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME SESSION PLANS Session Plan 4 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review last session 2. Introduce Jolly Phonics 3. Tea/Coffee Break 4. Importance of Story Telling 5. Feedback forms from parents ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Using flip chart review main points parents reflect on from previous session. 2. Jolly Phonics what is jolly phonics handouts on jolly phonics jolly phonics how it is taught in junior infants sound books in junior infants example of a jolly phonics song pre-writing skills using sand, whiteboards how parents can support children at home 3. Tea/coffee Break 4. Story telling introduce parents to story telling using book Going on a Bear Hunt and Owl Babies discuss the language/vocabulary we can use with children.ie title, author, illustrator, publisher discuss key words within story and concepts i.e. over, under, through; sequencing, repetitive language, predicting, actions, active learning 5. Feedback forms given to parents RESOURCES REQUIRED: Flip chart, markers, tea, coffee Handouts: Book list, Jolly Phonic handouts, feed back form. 9

10 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Session Plan 5 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review last session with parents 2. Prepare parents for children joining the group 3. Carry out activity with parents/children to discuss early maths concepts Making play dough 4. Parent supports child with early maths concepts 5. Parent feedback forms ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Discuss last session with parents using flip chart 2. Discuss the planned activity with parents Making Play dough. Highlight early maths concepts discuss in previous session. Children are collected from classroom. 3. Welcome children, introduce play dough activity, 4. Support parent-child interactions 5. Parents fill out parent feedback forms RESOURCES REQUIRED: Flip chart, markers, tea, coffee Handouts: Book list, Jolly Phonic handouts, feed back form. 10

11 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME SESSION PLANS Session Plan 6 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review previous session with parents 2. Parents experience classroom environment 3. Parents observe and engage in Early Maths activities with Junior Infant Class 4. Parents regroup to discuss their experiences with tea and coffee 5. Parents feedback forms ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES 1. Review the previous week with the parents using a flip chart 2. Parents will be introduced to Junior Infant teacher and their class. 3. Teachers will carry out early maths activities through: group activities maths games sorting objects shapes colours patterns/sequences counting lengths fine motor skills lacing songs/rhymes visual aids 4. Parents will regroup to discuss their experiences 5. Parents will fill out feedback forms RESOURCES REQUIRED: Pre-planning arranged with Junior Infant Teachers, Flip chart Handout: Feedback forms Take The Learning Home 11

12 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Session Plan 7 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review previous session and outline to Parents session structure 2. Introduce parents to Junior Infants Classroom environment 3. Parents will observe teacher and interact with junior infant class 4. Regroup to reflect with tea/coffee 5. Feedback forms ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES 1. Using flip chart review previous session, inform parents of the plans for the session. Give parents information on activities been carried out in the classroom jolly phonics 2. Introduce each parent to teacher and children in each room 3. Parents will be encouraged to join in the activities within each classroom and observe the teacher 4. After the classroom visit, the group will meet to reflect on their experience in the staff room 5. Parents fill out feedback forms RESOURCES REQUIRED: Pre-planning session took place with Junior Infant Teachers Flip chart required for review Handout ; feedback forms Take The Learning Home 12

13 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME SESSION PLANS Session Plan 8 DATE: LOCATION: FACILITATOR (1): FACILITATOR (1): OBJECTIVES: 1. Review previous session and discuss plan for session 8 2. Children join parents for final session 3. Child parent activity 4. Evaluation 5. Presentation ACTIVITIES/EXERCISES: 1. Review previous session with parents using flip chart and discuss layout of the session with parents 2. Facilitator collects children from classrooms 3. Children and parents are introduced to activity - Hand painting and poem 4. Parents fill out evaluation forms for Take the Learning Home 5. Children and parents are presented with handprint and poem in a frame. (Child s teacher also includes handprint). RESOURCES REQUIRED: Frames/laminator, paint, wipes, aprons Handout: Poems and feedback form Take The Learning Home 13

14 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Review Sessions OBJECTIVES: ACHIEVED: NOT ACHIEVED: CHANGES MADE TO THE GROUP/SESSION PLAN: WHAT WORKED WELL IN GROUP (GIVE DETAIL): WHAT DID NOT WORK WELL IN GROUP (GIVE DETAIL): PLANNED FOLLOW UP: SIGNIFICANT INCIDENTS: SIGNATURES OF FACILITATORS: SIGNED: DATE: SIGNED: DATE: 14

15 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME SESSION PLANS Parent Rating Form DATE: NAME: Please help us keep on track. We want your views and feedback on the session. Please be honest as this will help us ensure the sessions meet your needs. WHAT ARE THE MAIN IDEAS YOU ARE TAKING AWAY TODAY? ANYTHING PARTICULARLY HELPFUL TODAY THAT YOU WOULD LIKE MORE OF? WOULD YOU LIKE ANY CHANGES TO THE SESSION OR IS THERE ANYTHING MISSING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE INCLUDED? PLEASE RATE HOW MUCH YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ABOUT THE SESSION TODAY? 1) I FEEL THE GROUP WAS HELPFUL TO ME TODAY 2) I FELT UNDERSTOOD AND SUPPORTED BY THE GROUP AND GROUP LEADERS TODAY 3) I FELT THE GROUP COVERED THE TOPICS I WANTED COVERED TODAY DISAGREE STRONGLY AGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE STRONGLY AGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE STRONGLY AGREE STRONGLY ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD? 15

16 Resources & Handouts

17 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME RESOURCES & HANDOUTS HANDOUT 1.1 INTRODUCTION Introduction Parents are the most important people in their children s lives. Children learn about the world and their place in it through their conversations, play activities and routines with parents and families. Parenting is the most important and most rewarding role you will undertake in your life. That being said, parenting is not always easy and can have many ups and downs along the way. When it comes to your child s learning and education it is important to work in partnership with your child s school to support your child s learning. Children are learning 24 hours a day, and in Junior Infants they spend just 5 of these hours in school, the rest of the learning continues at home. You are your child s primary carer and it s important to take the learning home and build on the skills they learn in school. Partnership involves parents, families and practitioners working together to benefit children. Each recognises, respects and values what the other does and says. Partnership involves responsibility on both sides. (Building Partnership between parents and practitioners, Aistear) This Benefits of Parents & Teachers working together PRACTITIONER/TEACHER Build stronger relationships with the children and families in their settings Use the information to make learning more enjoyable Can help children develop a sense of identity and belonging in the setting Benefit from parents skills and expertise Can provide a more emotionally secure environment for child PARENTS Feel valued and respected More involved in their child s learning and development Share information Feel comfortable visiting the setting and talking to teachers Know more about their child s experiences outside the home Understand why early childhood care and education is important Have an increased confidence in their own parenting skills as educators CHILDREN Feel more secure and benefit more from the educational opportunities given to them Move from one setting to another with greater confidence Experience more connections between the home and school (Aistear, 2006) This Programme aims to help Parents Explore what happens for your child in primary school Get hands on experience in the classroom with your child Help to improve your child s self esteem Learn about the importance of play in the curriculum Become familiar with the school setting and your child s teacher 17

18 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS HANDOUT 1.2 GROUND RULES Ground Rules How to get the most from attending.. Be committed come every session if you can Try our activities at home Ask questions there is no such thing as a silly question Have fun! Participation Below are some rules that we have found helpful in making sure groups run smoothly, with everyone being respected, feeling safe and getting the most from attending. If you have any other specific needs or requests, discuss them with us! Confidentiality It is very important that private details remain confidential within the group no one takes outside the group any information given by another person. No Pressure Nobody has to agree with all the ideas in the programme. We encourage people to get involved but you should feel able to pass if you feel uncomfortable. Encourage each other We ask you take your turn and contribute to the group and also to listen to one another. Try to be encouraging and positive. Respect Difference There maybe people from different education backgrounds and with different ideas to you. We ask you to see these differences as providing richness to the group Child Welfare and Protection We all have a responsibility to protect and ensure the welfare of children. If something comes up during the sessions that makes us worry about the welfare of a child, we have a responsibility to address this. All concerns will be discussed with parents in confidence. 18

19 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME RESOURCES & HANDOUTS HANDOUT 1.2 CONSENT FORM Consent Form We must have your agreement to the following so we can work together, please see below: Records Records are kept of our contact with you and your child, such as attendance at the group and contact details. I agree to information being recorded and understand it will be kept safely and confidentiality maintained. Yes Child Protection I understand that the facilitators of this group may share information with the social work department or Gardaí if there are concerns about a child s safety or welfare in line with Children s First Child Protection Guidelines. Yes Participation I agree to my child: taking part in Taking the Learning Home Programme. I : agree to take part in Take the Learning Home Programme. Signatures: Child/Young Person: Parent: Parent: Facilitator: 19

20 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS HANDOUT 4.1 JOLLYPHONICS What is Jollyphonics? Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below. Letter Sound Order The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible. How does Jolly Phonics work? We ask you take your turn and contribute to the group and also to listen to one another. Try to be encouraging and positive. The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics 1. Learning the letter sounds Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue. 2. Learning letter formation Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters. 3. Blending Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words. 4. Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting) Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling. 5. Tricky words Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately. 20

21 TAKE THE LEARNING HOME PROGRAMME RESOURCES & HANDOUTS Handout Resources 1. Aistear The Aistear Toolkit (see link below) is the place where you can access lots of practical resources to help you get started with using Aistear. A variety of these resources have been used in this programme as listed below. Education/Aistear_Toolkit/ Handout 3.2 Handout 3.2 Handout 3.2 Handout 3.2 Wellbeing Identity and belonging Communicating Exploring and Thinking 2. The What,Why and How of Childrens Learning in Primary School Handout 3.3 Handout

22 INTEGRATION OF SERVICES AND CONTINUUM OF CARE DEMONSTRATION MODEL FOR CHILDREN 0-6 YEARS Notes: 22

23 STEPPING STONES TRANSACTION PROGRAMME NOTES 23

24 The Consortium Partners: Tir na Nóg Pre-School St. James's Primary School Barnardos Rialto Family Centre 560 South Circular Road Dublin 8 Tel:

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