How does it work?
Families Learning Together is based on practical activities for parents with their children, so it does not generate any marking for teachers.
Where answers are required, they are provided so that parents and children can check them together. It provides children with opportunities to explore and explain their maths thinking with an adult on a 1 to 1 basis - the best way of strengthening their understanding.
This is what makes it different from other IT programmes. All the skills are introduced through video explanations so that parents understand how you want them to help their children.
The resource covers year 1 to year 6 (see list of all units) and has an average of 16 units per year group, plus 3 'Using our Maths' activity sheet to revisit learned skills.
Each unit is designed to last for 1-2 weeks of short discussions and repeated activity.
In each unit you will find:
- A Parent Guidance document: this will guide parents through the key areas of learning for that unit, and how best to help their children. This document is their first point of reference when starting a unit.
- A 'what we are learning' video: these are introduction videos for parents to watch with or without their children. It summarises the learning target for that unit.
- Activities: these are usually video demonstrations/explanations of the activity, either done by the tutor or with a group of children. Some activities have printable sheets.
- An extension activity: to deepen their children’s understanding of the unit
What’s the best way to get the children started?
- Decide which unit matches your class maths focus, or which unit meets the needs of the children for revisiting, consolidating or extending skills.
- Differentiate the units chosen for groups or individuals. Choose units from other age groups (above or below) if needed. The Strand Guide details where you can find all the related units across age groups.
- Let the children and their parents know which unit they should focus on and the time period, (normally 1-2 weeks). Give them enough time to explore the activities – these are not just ‘one off’ worksheets but the focus for discussion over time.
- Decide whether you want the children to bring in any completed written work as evidence of their home learning. This will have been ‘marked’ by parents with their children from the answer sheets provided.
How can I support this learning and consolidate it in class?
Engaging the children with the chosen units, and possibly engaging their parents too will give them the best start.
- Watch the video of the chosen unit with the children (typically 3-4 minutes) to start initial conversation about the learning focus. The children will then go home familiar with it and will be ready to ‘show’ their parents.
- Revisit the focus of the learning in short sessions during the week/fortnight in class discussion to see how they are getting on. This could be an oral session of just 5 minutes. This will serve to prompt and encourage all children to use the materials at home.
- Link the home learning to class learning to follow up the same skills and understanding. This will motivate children to follow up at home.
- Set and follow up a deadline for the chosen unit – bring it to a completion with a short assessment activity in class, or peer discussion to share the learning and understanding that the children have strengthened in the period.
- You could ask children to keep a log of the units they have covered with parents too, which then allows for a Families Learning Together Log of parent comments to be maintained – rather like a Reading Diary, but for maths. An example format for this is provided for each age group with the unit titles inserted.
- Monitor how frequently children in your class are using Families Learning Together. A show of hands or discussion activity will suffice. Include data feedback about this to parents in Newsletters and at Parent’s Evenings.
- Talk about Families learning together with parents at Parent Evenings and other opportunities. This will deepen the home/school partnership. Consider including Families Learning Together in your Home/School Agreement and in your School Prospectus.
- And most importantly – give your parents feedback about how the children’s skills are developing as a result of Families Learning Together to let them know they are making a positive contribution to their children’s’ learning.
What about children who don’t have access to the internet at home?
If children do not have access to the internet at home, or a printer there are other options to engage them:
- You can watch the video of the chosen unit with all the children in school, then provide the printout of the concise Activity Sheets and Extension Activities for these families.
- In some cases it might be possible to set up Families Learning Together as a school club activity with an older pupil peer mentor, support assistant or parent volunteer for selected children.
How to join?
If you want to join as a school, you can apply online by clicking here or download the order form:
Download PDF or Download WORD
To find out more
Visit our FAQ pages for parents, schools and general information.