Family Home Learning Cards – Group 1

PEN Family Home Learning resources have been developed for families to play and learn together at home. All the activities that you do at home with your child are very important in supporting your children to understand and enjoy ‘how to learn’ a skill for life! The purpose of family home learning is to encourage our children to become interested, curious to want to find out and explore the wider world, so they can grow, develop and have the confidence and skills to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. Making time, to play, talk, and share learning with your children every day will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a learner. The resources we have developed will suit children in the Early Years, Key stage 1 and 2. The hope is that families will be able to all join in and learn together. No special expertise is needed, there are no wrong answers, just a willingness to get involved and have fun! The activities do not require huge levels of preparation so can fit into home and family life and we have included links and more ideas if the theme catches your child’s imagination and they wish to explore further. Usually we trial all our resources with our member schools and families prior to making them available to buy, but due to the current unique situation we are releasing them to the general public for free. Just go to our shop to download them. We will release new resources at the end of each week and take the current ones down. Members will have permanent access to these resources. If you would like to become a member, you can do so through our website. If you would like to feedback to us, please contact [email protected]

COVID-19: Continued PEN support

In this challenging time, when schools are working hard to put together home learning resourceswe’d like to reassure you that PEN is working as hard as ever to help you support your families.  We are developing a range of Family Home Learning Activity Sheets based around the curriculum. The resources will be suitable for all primary age children, the first of which will be available at the end of this week, with more available throughout the crisis period.   Whilst we understand that schools and parents will be keen for learning to continue at home, we feel it is important to acknowledge the huge amount of change happeningFamilies need time to adjust to living, working and playing together, so they can establish new routines that keep all members othe family safe and well.  PEN has a history of working closely with schools to respond to need, so please get in touch with us if there’s something we can do for you. In this unprecedented situation, good parental engagement is more important than ever and we’re here to support you in any way we can.  If you haven’t already, consider signing up for our mailing list or becoming a member. We’ll be trialling resources via membership in advance of sharing them with schools and community organisations.  Our membership is reduced to £150 for the duration of the crisis and gives access to lots of other resources you might also find useful in this difficult time. 

Latest activity figures on children and young people published

Children’s activity levels are on the rise, according to Sport England’s second annual Active Lives Children and Young People Survey. The report, covering the academic year 2018/19, was published in December, with figures showing an increase of 3.6% in the number of children in England doing an average of 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. That means that 46.8% of the nation’s children and young people are meeting the recommended level, with the increase driven by more out of school activity – including increases in active play, team sports and walking. Find out more and read the report here.

We are recruiting again for Active Families schools!

New schools needed for our successful Sport England Lottery Funded project!

Following a successful trial by 9 schools across Manchester, Parental Engagement Network is looking for 30 more Manchester schools to benefit from this fantastic funded project for start dates in September 2019, January 2020 and May 2020. To apply, please fill in and return the application form to [email protected] by 10th May. Any queries please ring 0161 860 5039 Active Families Project application form Recruitment Info  

This project is for your school if you want to:

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of families at your school
  • Improve children’s fitness levels and their readiness to learn
  • Develop the skills of parent volunteers to support other families and the school
  • Increase parental engagement and support the school’s community cohesion
  • Develop a longer term sustainable model to enable families to get more active together in a fun and accessible way
  • Enable families to develop positive networks and reduce isolation.
This project is aimed primarily at families from low socio-economic groups (parents whose highest qualification is GCSE, low paid workers or those on benefits). If these families are a minority at your school, we may still able to work with you but we would have to ensure that mainly the target families would access the project.

What does the project involve?

We will train a member of staff and three parent volunteers from each school as Family Activity Champions and enable them to facilitate groups of families to commit to becoming more active together, through:
  • A series of fun after-school activity sessions for families of all abilities
  • A free equipment pack for families to take home and use together
  • A series of home activity sheets, where families are given activities or challenges to do together at home to try and increase their regular daily activity levels
  • Prizes and certificates.

PEN will provide:

  • A briefing for a senior leader and training for the staff supporting the project
  • A complete pack of resources, support materials and tip sheets for unlimited use throughout the school
  • Ongoing support and visits to the school
  • Opportunities to recognise, celebrate and publicise nationally the successful outcomes at your school
  • NVQ accreditation for Champions (optional)
  • Network opportunities for Active Families Schools
  • A reduced membership offer

If your application is successful we will need you to:

  • Allocate a member of SLT to have an overview of the project and support its development including enabling recruitment, publicity, monitoring, evaluation and celebration of successful families
  • Allocate one or two members of staff to be involved with the project including helping to facilitate the after school sessions at the school, supporting the Family Activity Champions and encouraging families to do the home and community activities
  • Recruit appropriate parents to be Champions and support them in attending the training
  • Identify and encourage targeted families to attend the sessions
  • Provide a hall, gym or suitable venue for approx. 10 families to do activities immediately after school one day a week for at least 18 weeks of the year
  • Ensure staff attend the briefings, training and review sessions
  • Make some equipment available for sessions. e.g. balls, beanbags and bibs
  • In the second year, pay a small contribution towards resources (approx. £300) out of the school’s Sports Premium funding
  To apply, please fill in and return the application form to [email protected] by 10th May. Any queries please ring 0161 860 5039 Active Families Project application form Recruitment Info  

EEF guidance on working with parents

The EEF has published new recommendations on working with parents to support their child’s learning, which reviews the best available research to offer schools and teachers four recommendations to support parental engagement in children’s learning. The guidance report, which you can find here, is designed to support primary and secondary schools to work with parents – particularly those from disadvantaged homes. It offers four clear and actionable recommendations which we hope will support an evidence-informed approach.

Welcoming our new Managing Director

We are pleased to introduce Janet Davies as PEN’s new Managing Director. Janet has worked with PEN since its beginning, as a trainer and consultant. She is excited about taking PEN forward into its new phase. She can be contacted on [email protected]. Emma Beresford has taken the decision to retire from her post as Executive Director of PEN, and has been responsible for recruiting and developing a team of dedicated and talented professionals who are committed to working with the organization as it continues to grow and transition to the next phase of development.   PEN has also moved offices. Our new address is: Parental Engagement Network CIC Ground Floor East Oakland House Talbot Road M16 0PQ

PEN founder Emma retires

Emma Beresford has taken the decision to retire from her post as Executive Director of PEN. Emma has been the founder and Executive Director of PEN since its inception in 2011 and has achieved a great deal in establishing and developing a highly effective community interest company with a national profile and reputation for delivering excellence. Emma has succeeded in securing significant amounts of grant funding from a range of national organizations and ensuring that PEN continues to thrive as a viable and financially secure business. She has been responsible for recruiting and developing a team of dedicated and talented professionals who are committed to working with the organization as it continues to grow and transition to the next phase of development. We are very grateful to Emma for her dedication, passion and commitment over the last seven years and we wish her great health and happiness in her retirement and freelance work.  
Ginger cat
No more sharing an office with Fudge the cat!
PEN has also moved offices. Our new address is: Parental Engagement Network CIC Ground Floor East Oakland House Talbot Road M16 0PQ

Raising boys’ achievement

PEN has been awarded a grant from the Headley (Sainsbury) Trust to help parents and carers in supporting boys’ learning and development and address the gap in achievement. We will develop a tip sheet for parents, a KS1 project including a workshop for parents and activities to motivate boys and another KS2 detective reading project particularly designed to appeal to boys. We are looking for schools to help us to develop and trial resources. Schools will get free training and resources in return for feedback. For training dates please see here.

Early years and home learning

Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, raised concerns about children’s language development and the home learning environment and talked about needing to explore how “media and modern technology can help to raise awareness and build parents’ confidence around what they can do to help their child’s early language development.” “It is a persistent scandal that we have children starting school not able to communicate in full sentences, not able to read simple words.” Building on the Sutton Trust /Oxford University research which showed how PEN’s home learning project impacted on the home learning environment, PEN has applied to the Education Endowment Fund to undertake a larger research project in the North West.
“The home learning environment can be, understandably, the last taboo in education policy – but we can’t afford to ignore it when it comes to social mobility.” Damian Hinds – Education Secretary

Manchester schools: apply now!

We are looking for 10 schools to help us develop an exciting new national pilot project based in Manchester and funded by Sport England. The project will start in September and is one of just 22 projects across the country that has won funding. Do you want to:
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of families at your school?
  • Improve children’s fitness levels and their readiness to learn?
  • Develop the skills of parent volunteers to support other families and the school?
  • Increase parental engagement and support the school’s community cohesion?
  • Develop a longer term sustainable model to enable families to get more active together?
  • Enable families to develop positive networks and reduce isolation?
If so, apply to get involved in our new funded Active Families Project! What does the project involve? We plan to train a member of staff and three parent volunteers from each school as Family Activity Champions and enable them to facilitate groups of families to commit to becoming more active together. This would include:
  • After-school activities. This is block of six sessions of fun activities for families held directly after school one night of the week on school premises (A member of school staff would need to be present) Ten different families would do a block of sessions each term which would include a range of accessible activities such as games, skipping, treasure hunts and dance (a total of 30 families over the year).
  • Home activities. From these sessions families would also be given activities or challenges to do together at home to try and increase their regular daily activity levels. If they attend the six sessions and complete the home activities they get a bronze award.
  • Community Activities. As part of a silver award families would then be encouraged to access other opportunities and facilities in the community in the evenings and weekends (e.g. swimming, cycling, badminton, activities in parks etc.)
  • Families who could show that they had sustained increased activity over several terms would then get a gold award.
This is a two year project. During the second year we would offer continued support to help schools to embed the project and deliver successful elements of the project to a further 30 families (including enabling training and support of further Champions as required). There will be an option for Champions to get accreditation (e.g. level 2 City and Guilds Award in facilitating groups or working with parents) for their work. This project is to be aimed primarily at families from low socio-economic groups (parents whose highest qualification is GCSE, low paid workers or those on benefits). If these families are a minority at your school, we may still able to work with you but we would have to ensure that mainly the target families would access the project. We would need the pilot schools to agree to:
  • Allocate one or two members of staff to be involved with the project including helping to facilitate the after school sessions at the school, supporting the Family Activity Champions and encouraging families to do the home and community activities.
  • Recruit appropriate parents to be Champions and identify and encourage targeted families to attend the sessions.
  • Provide a hall or gym suitable for 30 adults and children to do family activities immediately after school one day a week for 18 weeks of the year.
  • Allocate a member of SLT to have an overview of the project and support its development including enabling recruitment, publicity, monitoring, evaluation and celebration of successful families.
  • Staff attending the briefings, training and review sessions.
  • In the second year pay a small contribution towards resources ( max £300) out of the school’s Sports Premium funding
  • Lend some equipment e.g. balls, beanbags and bibs.
In return, PEN will provide
  • Six days of comprehensive training for the parent volunteers (Family Activity Champions).
  • Briefing for a senior leader and training for the staff supporting the project.
  • Ongoing support and visits to the school
  • All the resources needed to help recruit families and run the sessions, including publicity, Active Family Bags, activity cards and resources to support the activities, family record cards, resources needed for the after-school activities, certificates and incentives etc.
  • Funding to support families to access activities.
  • Opportunities to recognise, celebrate and publicise nationally the successful outcomes at your school
Interested? If you want to find out more please come to a special briefing session to be held on Thursday 5th July at the Windrush Centre M16 7WD. There will be two sessions.
  • 2.00 – 3.00 OR
  • 3.30 – 4.30
Please email [email protected] to book a place at a briefing. Alternatively you can just fill in and return the application form by Friday 13th July to [email protected]. We will let you know by Thursday 19th July if you have a place on the project.