Channel Island-based charity Every Child Our Future (ECOF) is to provide training opportunities for early years professionals to support children’s early literacy and development in Guernsey.
ECOF is able to do this because of its partnership with Guernsey’s Committee for Education, Sport and Culture (ESC).
Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) is a training programme developed by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and aims to equip early years practitioners to build parents’ knowledge and confidence so that they can help children with reading and writing, and create a positive home learning environment.
The training will be delivered to 40 locally based practitioners across April and May. The participants will be split into two groups, one which will receive the training in person and the other remotely.
The training will benefit groups and practitioners across the community who are involved in providing developmental support to children and their families such as preschools, the Guille-Alles Library, Bright Beginnings Children’s Centre and Nursery, Le Rondin School, Education Services, the Speech and Language Team, and the Child Development Centre.
The NCB derived the programme from The REAL Project, research that was led by two Sheffield University professors. It uses a framework called ‘ORIM’ which is based on the idea that there are four main ways in which parents can help their children’s literacy development – Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and Model.
Andrew Bichard, Manager of ECOF in Guernsey, explains why the charity are helping to facilitate the training: “Reading, writing and communication are fundamental skills that most children master without diﬃculty, but for those who struggle the effects can be far reaching. It’s our mission to close the education gap for those children, and we know to do that we have to work with their primary care givers and provide them with the tools, knowledge and confidence to support their child.
“We’re very excited about the programme and would like to thank everyone who has supported us and been working behind the scenes to make it a reality. Amongst those, of course, is our partner ESC who has been a joint driving force behind the project, and also our wonderful corporate sponsors – PwC, Specsavers, Rothschilds & Co, and KPMG. Without their support this truly wouldn’t have been possible.”
Ruth Sharp, Head of the States of Guernsey’s Early Years Team, said: “Making it REAL is a brilliant programme steeped in esteemed academic research. This is a fantastic opportunity to skill up local practitioners and has proved be extremely effective in eliciting long term improvements with literacy. We’re very proud to have helped facilitate the training and look forward to seeing its positive impact for years to come.”