Family Learning

What is Family Learning?

Family Learning is a way of helping parents and carers to support their children’s learning and development, and to understand why this is so important. Through courses and workshops, Family Learning encourages interaction and engagement between parents/carers and children; at the same time, gain skills and knowledge to support their children’s education.

Family Learning courses give parents and carers the opportunity to develop their confidence and improve their skills in many areas, from budgeting to cooking. Family Learning courses in English, Maths, IT and ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) can lead to Level 2 accreditation.

Family Learning mainly works with targeted groups of adults and children who it is felt are most likely to benefit from the support offered. It is a free service.

How does it work?

The Family Learning team will design a course to meet the needs of a particular group or community. Tell us what you would like your group to gain from the course; we will deliver it. To initiate a discussion on course design, email us at with your ideas and contact details and we will get back to you.

Whatever the subject, the focus is always on finding ways to help parents/carers support their children’s development and learning, whilst giving the adults the chance to work on their own skills.

The partner organisation using Family Learning (e.g. school, children’s centre, housing association, health centre etc.) are asked to help recruit the targeted learners but (for certain courses) you can also enrol yourself. Call 01235 216400 and the Admissions team will be on-hand to help you through the process.

Fully qualified tutors run workshops and short or long courses in schools, children’s centres, libraries, arts centres, and community rooms – wherever there is a need and space. Tutors liaise with other professionals (teachers, support workers, outreach workers) so that both adults and children gain maximum benefit from each course.

Family Learning often works in partnership with organisations such as the Library Service, Oxford Museums and National Careers Service broadening and enhancing the learning experience for both adults and children.

What courses are there? 

Workshops: Parents/carers and children always work together for the whole session on a fun activity such as:

  • Puppet & mask-making
  • Arts & crafts
  • Kitchen science
  • Comic fun
  • Time to cook!
  • Making music

Short courses: These offer a ‘gentle’ introduction back into education and learning for some adults. Children may be in the session for part or all of the time, depending on the nature of the course. Short courses include:

  • Healthy cooking on a budget
  • Story sacks
  • Songs & rhymes
  • Getting ready for nursery/school
  • Keeping up with the children
  • Mark-making
  • Parenting
  • Pound stretcher maths (budgeting)
  • Helping parents into work
  • Messy play
  • Animation

Longer courses: Family English, Family Maths and Family ESOL courses can lead to accreditation from Entry to Level 2. In each session, the tutor works with the parents and carers on some aspect of children’s learning, whilst developing the adults’ skills in a supportive atmosphere. Children usually join them for the remainder of the session to share an activity.

Family Links: The Nurturing Programme will help you to build on your existing parenting skills and will help you think about:

  • Why your children behave as they do
  • The feelings behind behaviour (yours and theirs)
  • Different approaches to discipline
  • Developing co-operation and self-discipline in your children
  • The importance of looking after yourself

This Programme is for anyone who cares for children: parents, grandparents, guardians or carers. It can be accessed through 10-week parenting courses run from various venues across the county. This is your chance to make a difference in your children’s lives and develop an emotionally healthy culture within your home.

Previous learners have said:
‘It’s been so useful, The ultimate benefits will include the way my children now parent their children and so on, so I can see the massive value to society and in the future.’

‘I loved the interactive, humour-filled and nurturing approach.’

All Family Learning Courses are open to parents/carers of children of any age and are for any adult who has care of a child. There are some eligibility criteria for non-British adults – if you think you fall into this criteria please ask for details by calling 01235 555585.

Courses are fully funded by government which means you don’t have to pay a penny to attend them. Call 01235 216400 and our friendly Admissions team will be on-hand to help answer your questions you may have, and enrol you onto a family learning course.