Last Updated: Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Cathkin Community Nursery, South Lanarkshire

What is this?

Cathkin Community Nursery created active learning activity packs for families to use at home. 

Who is this for?

For all with an interest in Scottish education. 

What we did:

Teacher complied active learning activity packs with lots of good examples of active learning including recipes and photos of how to do activities. These were sent home to families.

Staff kept in touch with their keyworker group using learning journals, posting videos and challenges for families to take part in. We had a ‘Focussed Friday Family Fun Challenge’, encouraging everyone to join in and gain their certificate which was sent digitally when complete. Videos were uploaded to our closed Facebook page of staff reading stories, singing songs (some using Makaton) with links to other websites they could get good ideas from. Some families gave staff challenges too. We recommended apps e.g. Book bug. Staff did a bake off challenge which families voted on.

Weekly Facebook updates were posted and responded to. Staff took the opportunity to complete Open University courses online (some taking 14 weeks). They participated in online learning and took part in webinars, updating and improving our skills. We all took part in self-evaluation of QI 2.3 Learning, Teaching and assessment and planning tracking and monitoring focussing on meaningful next steps in learning. An action plan was made and we are putting this in place.

Graduating children were given a socially distanced door step graduation, given a USB with a graduation video, pictures of their time with us, print out of their learning journals and a pack to help them with skills for school including scissor skills, whiteboard and pens and emotions cards with getting ready for school activities and links. Rainbow transitions with additional information about the children were sent to schools and returning parents were asked to fill these in for us to let us know how much their children had learned and new skills mastered during the lockdown.

A Teacher had her own closed Facebook page giving ideas on active learning from early years throughout primary. She advertised this on our Facebook and 10 parents joined this group too.

Who we involved:

We feel through digital platforms we kept in touch with our families well and encouraged them to share their learning from home. We were able to recommend websites, apps etc. for people to use. Open university free courses were used well with the majority of staff undertaking at least one of these.

The difference it made:

We feel that the additions of learning videos kept families interested throughout lockdown. With all staff being involved with videos, all children responded well to these and we were receiving feedback through messages and families sending photos of what they had been busy with.

The weekly update on Facebook always generated responses in messages and photographs from our families. Families were taking ownership of the content and after our challenges a few families sent tasks for their child's keyworker to do. Real life learning took place in an active way and as we kept in contact so well through learning journals online and on Facebook, we kept up the enthusiasm for learning. Our families enjoyed taking part in challenges and gaining their digital certificates

What we will do differently in the future:

I think that working from home has helped us as a whole staff team to realise what a brilliant resource online journals are and how we can activity engage our families with learning. From coming back we have been speaking to parents and highlighting the importance of logging on the learning journals and checking the Facebook page, as these are our main forms of communication at present. We put our learning leaflets, newsletters and messages on these platforms. We are enjoying our socially distanced drop offs where we can catch up.

Staff have also started a termly keyworker child phone call so we can speak to parents for a short call to catch up and answer any questions. Parents are aware to call in or email in with any questions or queries too.