EDUCATION & LEARNING SUPPORT SUB-PROGRAMME
Parents: Learning opportunities for parents will be facilitated by BELONG in collaboration with schools and other community education providers. Where necessary, BELONG will directly provide education and training which enables parents to better support their child in education. Learning together will be encouraged and provided for through supplementary activity sessions.
Work with specific families on improving the parents’ links with schools, the children’s take up of educational improvement opportunities and the schools’ communication with families will also be undertaken through the Schools Sub-Progamme.
Children: Additional education support clubs will provide a broad range of support for specific BME (and in particular Traveller) children and parents to improve children’s educational achievement and to help to make school more enjoyable. Activities will include:
- Additional support for children to enjoy, learn and achieve through in school and out of school activities supported by School-based and Board-based support workers.
- literacy/numeracy support will be provided for BME children falling behind their class average, as a complement to the mainstream literacy and numeracy support
TRANSITION SUPPORT SUB-PROGRAMME
Activities for parents will focus on developing knowledge of the transition arrangements from primary to post-primary school and facilitating their full participation in the decision making processes. These activities will be delivered in liaison with schools and education authorities and support will be scheduled in line with the statutory timetable for transition.
SHARED LEARNING: IMPROVING PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT
BELONG will facilitate streams of communication between the school and the families where language or cultural perception of the institutions might affect fluency in the communications. BELONG will also record these interventions in order to create a manual of good practice in communicating with BME families.
The above facilitation of communication is being facilitated via Parental Engagement Action Projects
6 schools accepted invitation to avail of BELONG’s Proposed Parental Engagement Action Projects.
BELONG was able to offer financial support to undertake Parental Engagement Action Projects to support the work of our BELONG Schools Cluster in the Dungannon area.
Proposed Parental Engagement Action Projects demonstrated potential to meet BELONG’s intended outcomes of:
- Increasing the number of BME parents engaged in schools;
- Increasing schools’ awareness and understanding of BME communities and their cultures and traditions.Some Proposals addressed additional BELONG outcomes which was particularly welcome. These intended outcomes included:
– Increased levels of literacy and numeracy among BME parents;
– Enhancing capacity and capabilities among BME parents and communities
Schools will also be supported to involve more BME parents in the representative and participative structures of the school community and these activities will be audited and assessed to determine the level of participation enjoyed.
BELONG will organise ‘learning clusters’ of schools in order to advise on good practice in relation to ways of engaging and communicating with the BME parents (translations, cultural awareness, literacy problems). Learning and good practice will in this way be disseminated more widely through seminars, publications and action projects.
- September 8th 2014 Additional Education Clubs will recommence in Craigavon, Coalisland, Warrenpoint and Bessbrook.
- Parent week event October 2014
- Parent and child learning together cluster meeting September 2014.
- Last Friday of every month during term time- Education advice in Coalisland between 10am-12pm.