Tag archives: workshops for parents and carers

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Family literacy

Foulds-School-22I have given workshops for parents, carers and families on supporting reading at home for over twenty years (this one was in a very deprived area of London), so family literacy is a subject very close to my heart. It is also incredibly important. All the research I have done for my courses on family literacy shows that family support for, involvement in and encouragement of reading has enormous impact on children’s attitudes to and attainment in literacy and wider learning. These are some of the reports and websites I have found useful in terms of data and good ideas for fostering family literacy:

I love hearing imaginative ways of supporting family reading. On a recent course a literacy coordinator in a school with little family involvement told us all about a great half-term challenge. Children and families did all sorts of everyday reading together like following recipes, reading maps, reading emails. They came back to school with wonderful portfolios full of pictures, videos and written work, and, more importantly, increased enthusiasm for reading. This week the Commons Education Select Committee heard from headteacher David Jones about the difficulty of engaging parents in reading initiatives, and how his school got round this. The clip is 19 minutes in. A different strategy used by a school where I gave a workshop was also very successful. They had a whole afternoon and evening of interesting reading-related activities, including demonstrations in every classroom. Their way of reaching the parents and carers they never normally see? All the demonstrators were their children!

Finally, if any proof is needed of the joy of family reading, here is a delightful video of a father and baby laughing together over a book.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Making Reading Fun workshop

It was a treat to give a workshop on making reading fun for reception through to year 2 parents and carers at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Stonebridge earlier this week. The school is very small and in a very deprived area, so the turn-out of almost fifty mums, dads, grandmothers and grandfathers was extremely impressive. Family literacy is so crucial – it’s a topic I often give training on – and I was delighted to be at a school that promotes it so effectively.

We set up the hall with large tables and covered them with loads of fabulous picture books. It was great to watch everyone poring over them and to hear the excited conversations about which they liked (pretty well all of them) and why, and how they might use them. We talked a lot about ways to help children enjoy books and reading, and to take the stress out of listening to children read.

What a lovely event. Lucky children to have such committed parents and carers, as well as excellent staff. I met them at an inset a while ago on using picture books across the curriculum, and very much admire the school’s approach to reading. I’m really looking forward to the key stage 2 workshop we’re planning for next term.