A total of 60 families from Derry have this year been part in a pioneering project focusing on the central role parents play in their child’s educational development.
The Family Questing Project has been organised by the Outer North Partnership.Its leaders work on an individual basis with parents and the whole family to support them as the main educators.
Community Learning Partners Ruth Heaney and Elaine Young visit the family homes, offering Learning Resource Packs and additional support every week for a 12-week duration. The families complete a weekly task such as visiting the library, baking or playing a board game together, as well as taking questing trips.
Since it started in February, the pilot programme, which is co-ordinated by Fiona Page, has targeted 60 families with preschool, P7 or Year 10 schoolchildren.
Recently, a group of 20 Year 10 boys from St Brigid’s College travelled with their families to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin to watch Ireland win 4-1 against the USA. There were also trips to Crumlin Road Gaol, Burnswick Moviebowl and Dundonald Ice Bowl.
Ms Page said: “Some families have said that they really didn’t know that their child was struggling with literacy/ numeracy until they sat down to do the questing tasks with them. Parents have definitely noticed a difference in their child’s educational confidence as well as relationships in the family becoming stronger as a result of the programme.”