Supporting the Home Learning Environment
Parenting and the quality of the home learning environment has been found to have a greater impact on children’s achievement than any other aspect of children’s lives. What parents do with their young children at home, is the single most important factor in helping children learn and develop, it is more important than social class or parental qualifications. The effects of positive early home learning experiences have been found to benefit children’s educational attainment into secondary school.
The home learning environment is not just about learning opportunities available. It includes relationships parents have with children and experiences children have with their families.
Early years practitioners are in an excellent position to inform, support and guide parents in helping children to learn at home.
This page is designed to provide settings information to share with parents. It includes ideas for activities, resources and advice to enhance the knowledge and skills of parents and carers.
You can find more information in this short video clip: Foundation Years Vodcast: Tips to improve the home learning environment | From pregnancy to children aged 5 years
Bolton Family Hub Programme
Families can find out what’s happening at their local Family Hub and other locations in Bolton by taking a look at the Bolton Family Hubs Spring 2024 (most activities begin week commencing 8th January 2024). Printed programmes are available in Family Hubs, Libraries and other locations whilst stocks last.
The programme can also be accessed on the Bolton Council website which is enabled with a ReachDeck toolbar to support greater accessibility. For example, a user can highlight text to read aloud, or translate pages into other languages. When visiting the council page, look for the 'red and white ReachDeck logo' at the bottom right hand corner of the screen; click on it to enable its use.
Celebrating Chinesse New Year and Shrove Tuesday
- Chinese New Year 2024 – Year of the Dragon
- Chinese New Year Story - CBeebies - BBC
- Shrove Tuesday: BBC Tiny Happy People (13th February 2024)
Supporting the prime areas of learning
Communication and Language
- Five Golden Rules
- Tips to promote communication and language development
- GM 10 Top Tips for Talking
- Start for Life: Learning to Talk
- BBC Tiny Happy People
- How can early years practitioners use Tiny Happy People?
- Words for Life: Talking to your child when out and about
- Words for Life: Walk and Talk Cards
- Words for Life: Chat, play, read interactive activity booklets
- Small Talk
- Supporing multilingual children resources for educators (bilingualfamily.eu)
- How to raise a bilingual child resources for parents (bilingualfamily.eu)
- Look, Say, Sing, Play - Brain-building tips | NSPCC
- Communication Cookbook 4-6 years (childrensspeechtherapyni.com)
- The land of make believe (hanen.org)
- The Communication Trust (speechandlanguage.org.uk)
- Look, Say, Sing, Play Brain-building tips | NSPCC
- Get little ones moving at home - Greater Manchester Moving
- Moving for children 10 tips for movement - Greater Manchester Moving
- Early Years Outdoor Learning and Play - Learning Through Landscapes
- Things to do in the woods - Woodland Trust
- Playful ways to support 7 Fine Motor Skills in Babies and Toddlers - Brookes Blog
- Activities to develop fine motor skills - Learning Resources
- Helping under-5s live active and healthy lives — Early Movers
- Physical activity for early years: birth to 5 years (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- 6 of the Best Outdoor Spring Activities | Famly
- Bolton's Let's Keep Bolton Moving (letskeepboltonmoving.co.uk)
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Ideas for teaching children about emotions
- Challenging behaviour a parents guide to support - YoungMinds
- Behaviour management, tips and tools
- 4 steps to family problem solving with positive behaviour support - Brookes Publishing
- Early Education - Food to share recipe book
- NHS hand washing guide
- Smriti Halls' guide to introducing a new baby to their big brother or sister
- Best Start - Building resilience in young children (beststart.org)
- 10 practical tips to help children cope with strong emotions - BBC Tiny Happy People
- Introducing toddlers to baby brothers or sisters, how to prepare - BBC Tiny Happy People
- Early Development | ZERO TO THREE
- 10 Fun Indoor Activities that Boost Young Children’s Development - Brookes Blog
- Words for Life: reading and story time
- BookTrust: HomeTime for children aged 5 and under
- BookTrust bookfinder
- National Literacy Trust, Family Zone
- CBeebies Alphablocks
- National Literacy Trust, supporting literacy by ages and stages
- 11 fun animal activities that encourage early language and literacy skills - Brookes Blog
- What's On for Under Fives – Bolton Libraries and Museums (boltonlams.co.uk)
- Bolton Library Events | Eventbrite
- Join the library – Bolton Council
- Bolton Libraries - Click and collect service
- CBeebies Numberblocks
- CBeebies puzzles: Activities to support problem solving, number games and more
- White Rose Maths
- NCETM: Numberblocks at home
- Numeracy - CBeebies BBC
Understanding the World
- Activities for children and families | Educational DIY Projects -The RSPB
- The parent’s guide to teaching children about diversity - scholastic.com
- 50 things to do before you're 11¾ - National Trust
Expressive Art and Design
- Musical Development Matters in the Early Years
- Bolton Music Service: Shared Sounds - YouTube
- Bolton Music Service: Riggedy Jig - YouTube
- Bolton Music Service: Knock Knock Knock - YouTube
- Bolton Music Service: Finger Families - YouTube
- Bolton Music Service: Chop Chop - YouTube
- Bolton Music Service: Early Years Network Resources (padlet.com)
- Bolton Start Well at Home | Facebook
- Bolton Families Information Service
- Let's Keep Bolton Moving
- Bolton Library and Museum Services | Facebook
- Bolton Library and Museum Services | Twitter
- Internet safety - Help for early years providers - GOV.UK (education.gov.uk)
- Pre-school (0-5) online safety advice | Internet Matters
- Foundation Years vodcast on online safety | From pregnancy to children aged 5
- Early-Years-Practitioners-using-cyber-security-to-protect-your-settings.pdf (ncsc.gov.uk)
- Toddler and tablets: Ten First Steps
- Smart parenting in the digital age
- Use Parental Controls to Keep Your Child Safe | NSPCC
- Exploring Play and creativity in Young Children's use of Apps: A Guide for Parents
- Teaching Your Child about Internet & Online Safety | NSPCC
- Online safety for children with SEND | NSPCC
- Bolton Start Well EYCLDS: Screen Time
- Speech and Language UK: Screen Time Myth-Busting for Parents and Carers NEW!
- Internet Matters Guide Balancing Screen Time 0-5s (internetmatters.org)
- RCPCH screen time parent fact sheet
- The WHO: Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5
- HFSA - Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service: Get a FREE home fire safety assessment
- Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service: Making referrals for home safety assessment on behalf of others
- Healthy lunch ideas - Healthier Families - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Working with Families: Healthy Start Scheme - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk)
- Food to share recipe booklet - Early Education (early-education.org.uk)
- Oral health - Help for early years providers - Promoting Good Oral Health at Home - GOV.UK (education.gov.uk)
- Encanto Magic Bubble 2 Minute Toothbrush Timers with guide 2022 - YouTube
- Blippi tooth brushing song - Google Search
- Water safety - Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service
- Parents Resources | Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK)
- Child drowning prevention: Water safety for kids (capt.org.uk)
- Accidents to children - RoSPA
- Risk Factors | Royal Life Saving Society - Australia
- Drowning (who.int)
- Baby and toddler safety - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- RNLI Beach Safety – Top Five Tips To Stay Safe By The Sea
- Winter Water Safety | Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK)
In the spotlight
In this section we spotlight what is working well for settings and good examples of practice.
We would love to see your ideas to support parents and other practitioners. Please send ideas to StartWellBookings@bolton.gov.uk (mark email 'In the spotlight').
Don't forget to use the hashtag #earlyyearsinBolton in your Facebook and Twitter posts, so that we can see the great work you are doing and maybe feature it in this spot!
Red Lane Primary School - ideas to support home learning
"We recognise and value that parents are children’s first educators and have a prolific impact on their children’s education. We understand the important role they have played in their children’s education so far and the role they will play in educating their children in the years to come. We therefore seek to involve our parents and carers fully in their child’s educational journey.
Here at Red Lane we take great pride in supporting our parents and wider families with home learning. We know that developing children's communication, personal social and emotional development alongside their physical skills is essential, so this is always a priority for us. All children have home learning activities which are prepared by the staff, relating to the topics they learn in school. Nursery rhymes are sung in school and copies of these are sent home to support parents at home.
Over the years we have prioritised personal social and emotional development. We support parents by creating toilet training and dummy packs which are sent home each half-term with families, based on their child's needs. We know that these skills are challenging and we offer our parents as much support as possible.
We also have a range of take home bags which are designed to help parents develop communication skills at home. We offer story bags with a high quality text and props alongside phonic bags which support early reading skills."
Vicky and Rhian, Red Lane Primary School.
Guidance and documents to share with parents and carers
What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents - Published by the East London Research School and the Department for Education (DfE) - published September 2021. Why not signpost parents to learn more about their child's development by sending out pages 100 - 103 of the guidance?
DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY or ACCESS TRANSLATED GUIDES (URDU, BENGALI etc)
Home Matters: making the most of the home learning environment - Published by a consortium of charities, funded by the Department for Education (DfE). This is guidance for schools, nurseries, local authorities and public health partners. See working with parents from page 15 for some helpful ideas to supporting families in the home learning environment.
DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY
Birth to 5 Matters - This document supports parents to understand the stages of development from birth through to five years using the guidance published by Early Education on behalf of the Early Years Coalition.
DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY
The Education Endowment Foundation talk about the impact of parent engagement projects and how to implement successful strategies in your setting.