Pre-school fun activities help prepare children for school

Communities / Tue 25th Aug 2015 at 07:22am

Delivered in various locations across the town, the four-week programme provided a range of indoor and outdoor play-based learning opportunities aimed at improving pre-school children’s skills to ensure they are more likely to be ready and able to learn when they start school.

The Council’s Community Development Worker, Julie Cochrane, worked in partnership with Children’s Centres, Great Parndon Community Association, Harlow Museum, Rainbow Services and a range of other agencies to deliver the programme and has received some very positive feedback from partners and parents.

Comments included:

“Excellent morning – good fun and educational.”

“Really enjoyed the day, learnt a few things as well.”

“Lovely session, lots to do, enjoyed the trail. Thank you.”

Some of the activities were also supported by a group of 10 student volunteers from Passmores Academy. Students had the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and gain some practical experience in delivering quality activities for preschool children and their families.

Harlow Council, Essex County Council and other organisations as part of the Harlow Strategic Partnership for Educational Attainment, chaired by the Council’s Chief Executive, are working together to help ensure children are ready for school. This programme of activities will go towards the partnership meeting its pledge “To work together to give every Harlow child every opportunity to fulfil their full potential.”

Commenting on the programme’s success, Councillor Emma Toal, Portfolio Holder for Youth and Community, said:

“It’s been fantastic to see so many families taking full advantage of the sessions held as part of the school readiness programme.

“In 2013 only 38 per cent of pre-school children were classed as being ready to go to school. The Harlow School Readiness Project began in autumn that year and by 2014 the number of school ready children in the town had increased to 59 per cent. This shows that, although there is still work to be done across the town, great progress is being made.

“The success of the programme this summer goes to highlight the impact the Harlow Strategic Partnership for Educational Attainment is having through partnership working.

“We hope that all the families that took part in the school readiness sessions found them enjoyable, informative and have inspired them to continue their children’s development in preparing them to begin school.”

For more information about the Harlow School Readiness Project, please visit: www.harlow.gov.uk/school-readiness

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