As part of Maths Week Scotland, we are highlighting math and numeracy programmes recognised on the SCQF. The first of two blogs is from Alan Milson, Community Learning and Development at Glasgow Clyde College on 'Supporting Parents Supporting Children Numeracy and Mathematics Level 1' at SCQF Level 4 with 4 SCQF credit points.
In order to support parent and carers to support their children in STEM topics, Glasgow Clyde College’s Community Learning and Development team have developed a credit-rated SCQF level 4 unit which helps parents and carers to become proficient in areas of mathematics and numeracy in order to become the educators of their own children in these areas.
The unit titled Supporting Parents Supporting Children (Numeracy and Mathematics Level 1) focuses on helping parents understand the ideas and language of Curriculum for Excellence and the correct mathematical language used when engaging children in maths alongside a firm grounding in the core maths and numeracy of CfE Level 1. This gives them both the confidence and the skills to become parent educators to their children.
In the Review of Family Learning Supporting Excellence and Equity by Scottish Government in 2016, it suggests that the reason we have a family learning approach is to support, equip and build capacity amongst Scotland’s parents in order to capitalise on children’s opportunities for learning. It sees this as an important step in raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
However, it also recognises that in order to impact on children’s individual attainment, aspiration, and personal learning journey, a family learning approach must be seen as a catalyst in helping adults take up adult learning and training opportunities, gain employment and attain new skills as part of the family learning cycle.
This unit supports the connection between the importance of delivering family learning that supports adult learners in their learning and one that effectively supports children’s attainment and aspiration. This particular unit does this by supporting a critical area of family learning provision such as maths and numeracy in partnership with other agencies such as schools.
It also focuses on the importance of involving learners in the creation and delivery styles of the family learning programme. The unit equally focuses on understanding effective evaluation as an important part of ensuring quality and relevance of family learning provision.
Feedback from parents and partner organisations has been very supportive of both the content of the units and the approach taken in targeting STEM provision within families. Parents and carers have commented on the fact that they have been able to increase their own knowledge and understanding of a topic they found challenging to the extent that they were comfortable to work with their children. As one parent stated “for the first time I was able to sign my son’s homework knowing I had helped him instead of asking the teacher for help: I felt great”
The success of this unit has now led to calls for further units to be developed in other STEM areas, which take a similar approach to supporting family learning.
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