As the dreaded phrase (quick! cover your ears) HOME LEARNING looms over parents across Scotland, some of us are thankful to see it nearing an end with others building their patience and energies for a longer stint! From the start, with the added pressures of family commitments, working from home and keeping children purposefully busy while at home – #teamindigo knew we would have to work fast to support our families. We are glad for our Early Years families it is now nearing the end but are prepared now to continue that support for our older school aged families.
When we found ourselves back in a lockdown situation again in January 2021 (not the New Year start we were hoping for), we knew straight away that we were in a different situation to where we were at during the last lockdown. We recognised that there were going to be increased expectations of school learning engagement with school aged children and the parental responsibilities that come with that, that a much higher proportion of working and learning parents would be working from home and that being in lockdown during the dark cold January months, simply would not be the same as our first lockdown experience so our initial Indigo TV offer would need to be revisited.
We also knew the impact missing nursery during the last lockdown, had on our children’s learning and development too therefore #teamindigo had to pull a different cape from their superhero closest this time…….and along came ‘Indigo at home ‘– our fun focused, curricular based activity programme, supporting learning and development at home. We were conscious that we wanted to provide focused support for our Early Years families at home without adding to the pressures parents were already juggling, especially those with school aged children too. We wanted to create something that could be explored when it suited the family, that helped them make the best use of the time they were planning on spending together anyway, whilst at the same time supporting our children’s learning in a focused way.
At Indigo Early Years, the month of January is always an important time for pre-school children, beginning to prepare for the transition to school. Therefore, using the information we gathered on the impact to children’s levels of concentration, engagement and relationships from the lockdown last year, #teamindigo knew that it was our responsibility as Early Years innovators, to help minimise the impact this time around and continue on our journey of raising attainment together.
We revisited our existing learning plans for the term ahead and began considering how we could transfer that learning to the home environment in an accessible way for our parents, meaning that the children still attending nursery and those at home would be working consistently together. As luck would have it, Glasgow City Council, Leaders of Early Learning (LEL) team contacted us with a treasure trove of learning opportunities that they had put together, all adapted to suit working with parents. After some of our senior staff took part in their webinar and spent some time looking at the resources shared on the LEL blog, it was clear that these were fantastic resources that could help short cut the adaptations we were looking to make to support our continued learning journey. Huge Indigo shout out to GCC LEL team – thank you so much!
Our social media platforms have come alive with new learning, prompts and curiosity inspiring experiences for our families but more importantly, videos and photos of our families trying it at home. It energised the team, and brought smiles to our families to be able to remain connected with Key workers and most importantly for our children to see their friends exploring the same learning as them.
Our wellbeing calls to keyworker groups have continued. They continue to be an important and treasured way in which families and keyworkers can share how they are feeling, offer support and now provide tailored individual learning support to parents for their child as they engage in the ‘Indigo at Home’ programme – staff and families now have one to one time to discuss individualised learning opportunities at home.
Our 3-5 staff team have been supported with the newly created ‘Indigo at home’ staff guidance booklet, giving background information on the benefits of learning at home, families being key role models and ways in which to gain information from families to support children’s tracking records in nursery. And we are excited to share that our 0-3 senior team are currently working on an exciting ‘Indigo at Home’ learning programme for our younger children under 3’s too – WATCH THIS SPACE!
We know that this will continue to help us provide the best possible outcomes for our children in a genuine spirit of partnership and collaboration with our families. Indigo at home is providing a vital foundation to support the ongoing development of parent partnership and Family Matters, our whole family support approach. We know how tough it is for our families and we are here to support them in whatever way is best for them and our new Family Matters, Family Support Co-ordinator is doing that right now.
Meet Roisin, our Family Support Coordinator
We are excited at the prospect of all of our children and families returning to nursery in the week ahead and that our older children and young people will return soon too; safe, happy and ready to continue their learning journey…..CLASS of 2021 – YOU’VE GOT THIS!!