Save the Children
We are the main school partner for Save the Children in the South East of England and have been running a number of their programmes over the last three years.
The main aim for Save the Children is to make sure children don’t just survive but thrive. Because every child should be able to make their mark on their world and help build a better future.
In the UK Save the Children work with families to improve their life chances by increasing parents’ skills and confidence to support their child’s learning which can impact on children’s future. By focusing on early learning, Save the Children want to help make sure children across the UK realise their full potential.
Families Connect Programme
At Cliftonville our Families Connect programme has been developed in response to feedback from parents looking for more help to support their children’s learning. It offers support in three key areas: literacy and language development, numeracy and emotional development. Over the course of eight weeks, parents learn how to support their children’s education at home through a series of fun and engaging activities.
For more information see Mrs Lucy McAvoy
Building Blocks Programme (BBP)
Through the Building Blocks Programme we are teaming up with Thanet Early Help service in order to support our very youngest children and their families by helping to remove any barriers that may be hindering a Childs’ learning potential at home. We believe strongly that parents are the first primary educators of their children and want to support parents in this role through enabling them to provide playful learning experiences that support children’s development.
For more information see Mrs Cheryl Waumsley
Early Learning Communities
We are in the process of working in partnership with Save the Children and Thanet Early Help Services in developing an ‘Early Learning Communities’ with the aim of improving Early Learning outcomes for children across Thanet. This is part of a network of Early Learning Communities across the UK. An early year’s toolkit, drawing on evidence and consultation with practitioners, system leaders and families, has been developed and will be as a tool to guide strategy and activity in these communities.
The Need to Start Early
Early childhood, the period between birth and age 8, is the foundation of a child’s future health, growth, development and achievement at school and throughout life. Experiences during these early years shape brain architecture and have a direct impact on social, emotional and learning skills. This investment prospectus focuses on the first five years of a child’s life — an important window of opportunity in a child’s development.
Why are early learning opportunities so important?
During the first few years of life, approximately 700 neural connections are formed every second. These connections are dictated by the interplay of a baby’s genetics, environment and experiences, especially the child’s interactions with adults. These are the connections that build brain architecture — the foundation upon which all later learning and behaviour depend.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania studied the home environments of children at age 4 and again at age 8, and then observed their brain structure in late adolescence. They found that the amount of cognitive stimulation available at age 4 affected cortical thickness, which has been linked with intelligence, when these children’s brains were scanned many years later. And consistent with the importance of early experience, cognitive stimulation at age 8 did not show the same effects.
Children who are not exposed to early learning opportunities before age 5 are left at a distinct disadvantage.
Research from the Centre for the Developing Child at Harvard University shows that differences in the sizes of children’s vocabularies first appear at 18 months of age. On average, children living in poverty have heard 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers by the time they turn age 3. By age 5, half of all children living in poverty are not academically or socially ready to start school. Not only do these children start school at a disadvantage, many never catch up.
For more information about this programme please see Ms Claire Whichcord