Around 100 families from across the Island attended the Isle of Wight Council’s Annual Family Learning Awards last week (Friday 9 July).
The event took place at Brading Roman Villa and provided an opportunity to celebrate Family Learning activities that take place in Island schools throughout the year. It also aims to acknowledge and thank the schools and partners including Extended Services and 0-7 Partnership Pilot for participating in Family Learning which provides parents, grandparents and carers with an opportunity to return to learning whilst supporting a child’s education.
Colin Peak, IW Council Director of Children and Young People opened the event and certificates were presented to each of the participating schools by Cllr Dawn Cousins, IW Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr David Pugh, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council and Steve Beynon, the council’s Chief Executive. Chrissie Blow, Skills for Life Development Officer presented certificates to some of the parents who had taken literacy qualifications as part of their programmes.
The special Laura Groves Award for Community and Family Involvement was awarded to Helene Allen from Oakfield Primary School. This award is supported by the Community and Family Learning Service and Pan Neighbourhood Partnership and recognises staff who enable, encourage and support families and members of the community in school life.
Helene Allen from Oakfield Primary School was nominated by Laura Fairhurst, the school’s Head Teacher, for her exceptional work in supporting family learning within the school. Helene has set up healthy living events, carnival workshops and started a ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ club in her own time. She works closely with teachers at the school to ensure Family Learning is an integral part of the school day.
The award is presented in memory of Downside Middle School Teacher, Laura Groves, who died suddenly in 2009. Her parents Pete and Glyn Groves presented Helene with her award on Friday.
As well as the presentations, the families attending the event were able to access the Roman Villa and enjoy colouring activities, make badges and paper plate puppets as well as have a go at circus skills with members of the family learning team.
Cllr David Pugh, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “It was a pleasure to present the schools with their awards. Family Learning plays an important role and helps to raise achievement in schools by presenting learning as a family activity. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
Colin Peak, Isle of Wight Council Director of Children and Young People, said: “The day really showed the commitment of the staff and the great impact that the Family Learning programmes have made to a large number of people’s lives. It never fails to move me to see the growth that is so apparent, particularly for those parents and carers involved for whom this represents a step back into learning.”