Tag Archives: Family Learning

CLD Response to Covid-19: South Lanarkshire Council

Community Learning and Development (CLD) response during COVID -19 lockdown

We have been absolutely blown away by the amazing response of the community learning and development (CLD) sector to the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst the lockdown led to the abrupt suspension of most face to face CLD activities, from the start we’ve heard examples of how community workers, youth workers, adult educators and family learning workers in both the public and third sectors have continued to support learners and communities with dedication, creativity and kindness. Across Scotland, CLD practitioners have been supporting community initiatives to deliver food, medicine or provide vital social contact to vulnerable families and isolated people. They have been engaging with young people through imaginative digital youth work; adapting learning activities to be accessible online, by phone or through resources to use at home; and helping to extend the reach of school and community hubs for children of key workers and vulnerable families. Many CLD providers are now playing a key role in helping to develop local and national recovery plans.

We have collected some case studies from the West region that we are going to highlight over the next couple of weeks.

Education Scotland is aware that there is more amazing work out across Scotland. We plan to capture more so that we can keep sharing the fantastic work that CLD has delivered and continues to deliver in the recovery phase and into the future.

South Lanarkshire Council – CLD – Youth, Family and Community Learning Service  Activity Packs

Across South Lanarkshire, Youth, Family and Community Learning Teams have been busy creating activity packs to support children, families and young people of all ages, including ASN, during the period of lockdown. These packs are designed to engage with new learners and to maintain well established relationships with our communities. They can help alleviate boredom and improve the mental health of young people by giving them activities that they can carry out on their own and with their families.

The packs are bespoke, learner centred, and are prioritised for young people and families who have limited access to technology or printing facilities. Packs are delivered directly to the homes of young people and families. This allows invaluable face-to-face contact (from a 2m distance) with the community and the opportunity for staff to offer support if required. Over 1000 packs have been delivered to households since the end of March. The activity packs have a diverse content and include resources to enable young people and families to carry out the activities. Themes for packs have included: Health and Wellbeing; STEM; Family Learning; Cooking on a Budget; Music activity; Baking; Gardening and many other fun and educational activities for people of all ages.

Examples of 2 activity pack initiatives below:

After School Club Busy Bag

The After-School Club Busy Bag was developed as a way of engaging remotely with the vulnerable families and young people who would normally access the clubs each week within Glenlee Primary and Loch Primary. The bags are made up weekly by CLD staff and delivered to young people on their doorstep.

The Busy Bags began as large activity packs which included colouring-in sheets, pens, paper and skipping ropes, and have been followed by weekly themed top-ups. These top-ups have included “Make your own Crispy-cakes” and “Grow your own Sunflower” kits. All of the resources and ingredients required to complete the activities are contained within each pack, to ensure there is no additional cost to families.

3 of the After-School Club volunteers have also been a fantastic help developing and researching resources for our packs. One of the volunteers has piloted her first Busy Bag unboxing video this week. This has allowed her to engage remotely with the After-School Club young people and has also given her tasks to complete whilst she is self-isolating due to her being a young carer.

Quotes from Learners:

“ My son is really enjoying the Busy Bags, it’s keeping him off the ipad and Playstation and it’s giving us time to sit together. There is a wide variety of activities for him to pick and instead of playing Fortnite on the computer, he loved filling out the Fortnite word search and activity sheets” –Mum of P5 St Cuthbert’s pupil

Due to the Busy Bags, my daughter now has something to look forward to each week, she looks out for staff arriving every Thursday. Thank you so much” –Mum of Loch Primary pupil

 “I loved making the crispy cakes, please can we have more baking busy bags it’s so much fun!” –P5 Glenlee Primary pupil

Cambuslang Universal Connections (UC) CLD Family Activity Packs

Cambuslang UC CLD have been maintaining links with the families they work with on their family learning programme through the delivery of over 60 Family Learning Packs to these families during the lockdown period.

The packs contain a range of fun activities for families to complete together and links directly to a weekly family craft activity that is uploaded to Facebook (the resources for undertaking this activity are contained in the pack)!

Parents have indicated that using the packs has been fun, has allowed families to do things together, has reduced boredom and that they have enjoyed participating on the linked the activities on Cambuslang UC Facebook!

Some quotes from Learners:

‘The packs are excellent, a good time filler and a good mixture for the different age groups. We are enjoying doing the activities together as a family, my daughter really liked the Covid 19 time capsule booklet.’

 ‘The packs are amazing. I feel very happy watching my son enjoy using the pack. I also enjoyed getting involved in the rainbow scavenger hunt.’

 ‘Thank you for the great packs we have received, loved the video

 ‘They were great, fantastic! The kids enjoyed doing the activities, particularly the dot to dot and the colouring. There was a good variety for different ages’.

 

‘The activity packs are fun and very good. They provide something different for the children to do other than school work. They are still learning and the variety of activities holds their interest longer. This gives us as parents a much needed time to relax and do other things. My child likes the dot to dots and colour by number using addition as this helps her number work.’

CLD Response to Covid-19: Dumfries & Galloway Lifelong Learning

Dumfries & Galloway Lifelong Learning Team

Continuing our case studies on the amazing response of CLD during COVID-19 lockdown, we now want to highlight practice from Dumfries & Galloway’s Lifelong Learning Team.

The team adapted quickly by transferring programmes to online platforms. This quick response ensured they could continue to offer learning opportunities in:

  • Adult learning
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Adult Literacy and Numeracy
  • Family Learning,
  • Digital,
  • Accreditation Learning opportunities

The team adopted a social practice approach to choosing which digital platforms to use. They surveyed learners to establish which digital platforms they already had access to, and were comfortable using. The team then began a steep learning journey of their own as they quickly developed their own skills to use these platforms effectively, and safely. This resulted in the team being able to offer these learning programmes on a range of platforms.

To help remove barriers to digital participation within vulnerable groups, the team provided a number of solutions including the lending of equipment, with additional set-up support. For example, iPads that were purchased for the Syrian Refugee families were delivered to homes fully set-up.

The programmes don’t just focus on learning and skills development. The team recognised how key it was to support the health and wellbeing of their learners in such challenging times, something that is especially important in the rural geography of Dumfries and Galloway.

The team secured funding from several charities/organisations which enabled them to provide learning packs with a health and wellbeing focus to over 200 vulnerable adult learners. The strong relationships the team already had with learners enabled them to customise the packs to meet individual needs. For example, some contained pots and seeds to support the delivery of relaxing STEM learning activities. The team delivered the packs to learners’ doors. Due to the geography of the area, many vulnerable learners were living in very isolated conditions and this was their only face to face engagement. Having this socially distant contact enabled them to have a general conversation about how they were coping. Many were living in very challenging circumstances and the CLD Team were able to support them with a range of issues including crisis grant applications, housing issues, accessing free school meal entitlement and additional shielding packages.

      

                               

The support provided by the team didn’t stop over the summer. The success of the adult learning packs helped to secure further funding from the National Lottery for 200 family learning packs which the staff delivered to the doors of families across Dumfries and Galloway over the summer holidays. These packs provided a range of fun learning activities for the family to do together. They also contained basic resources to create their own activities, for example pencils and paper. Again, this provided an opportunity for a face to face check in with families and ensure they were accessing all the support they needed. For example, they were able ensure that ESOL families were accessing Scottish Government Covid-19 Guidance. For families where the parents/carers were isolating, they were help to make additional deliveries of learning resources for the children to ensure they could continue to learn together over the summer break.

 

          

The children were very excited to receive their parcels!

In addition to delivering the packs, the team also ran a virtual summer programme for 4 weeks in July. Each day of the week had a different theme- Motivate Monday, Try it Tuesday, Walk Wednesday, Take a trip Thursday and Fun Friday. Activities included a virtual live life well course for adults, cooking, virtual Peep sessions, themed walks, quizzes, STEM sessions, photography workshops, family challenges, dance and yoga, crafts and games and more. This ensured that there was a wide variety, something for everyone.

The programme was delivered through social media platforms the families were already accessing. Participation rates in the summer programme were very high with most activities reaching an audience of 2, 000 and some reaching nearly 5,000. Feedback from the participants was very positive with many sharing photos and stories of them engaging in the activities  on their own social media feeds.

The move to a digital platform has enabled the team to expand their social media presence. One Lifelong Learning account alone went from just over 1,000 followers to 8,000 with posts reaching over 1.5 million accounts, including many other learning providers and families in the UK engaging with our content.

The impact on the team, both in terms of their practice and confidence levels has been significant. Staff who were nervous about introducing digital platforms into their practice have reported that the peer support colleagues and partners provided has been invaluable, as they develop their skills and approaches. The team are continuing to develop their digital skills to enhance their learning offer, not replace face to face delivery. This will ensure that moving forward, learners now have even more opportunities to engage in a blended learning model which meet their needs.

You can find out more through their social media channels: LIfelongLearningDGC Facebook  @DgcLearning