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Research Backs New Scheme to Get Parents to Do Their "Share" of Childern's Homework

Originally Published 17 September 1999

A new scheme that gets parents and older primary school children to share in the experience of homework has received considerable praise in the first independent assessment of its worth.

The scheme, Share (Key Stage 2), was developed by national education charity CEDC (Community Education Development Centre) to help primary schools develop homework strategies. Dr Ann Lewis, from the University of Warwick's Institute of Education praised the scheme for its ability to motivate school children to do their home work and for the way it brought parents in touch with schools, inspiring them in some cases, to seek new learning opportunities for themselves.

This project which has a strong focus on numeracy and literacy follows a pilot programme for Key Stage 1 children. The Share activity books, which teachers use to work with parents and children, develop children's reading, writing and maths skills. They link to the National Curriculum and frameworks for literacy and numeracy. Parents and children use the books at home and parents meet teachers to discuss their progress and develop their skills.

"Teachers are under pressure to improve Key Stage 2 results. Involving parents contributes to pupil progress and helps develop a positive attitude to learning. It helps parents by offering shared learning in group sessions each week," says CEDC's Lisa Capper, who is managing the project.

Parents can gain accreditation from the process too and are able to use it to progress onto NVQs, training or employment. In her assessment of the scheme Dr Lewis noted that it inspired parents to seek out other learning opportunities for themselves. She said:-

"Some Share parents began community or adult education classes such as First Aid, computer skills, library courses and have gained confidence through Share work."

Note for editors: Here are details on 2 schools in the scheme who are happy to be contacted:

Annesley Primary School, Forest Road, Annesley, Woodhouse, Kirkby-in-Ashfield NG17 9BW Tel: 01623 468 8061 Headteacher: Gregg Abbott
Alderman Richard Hallam School, Avebury Avenue, Leicester LE4 OFG Tel 0116 262 1543 Headteacher: Phil Jones

For further information please contact:-
Dr Ann Lewis, Institute of Education
University of Warwick, Tel 024 76 523492

Lisa Capper, CEDC (Community Education Development Centre)Tel 024 76 655700