Family Learning with Oxfordshire Adult Learning is a way of helping parents and carers to support their children’s learning and development.


Through courses and workshops, such as budgeting or cooking, Family Learning encourages interaction and engagement between parents/carers and children, whilst also gaining skills, confidence and knowledge to support their children’s education.

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

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.

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.

What courses can I do?

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

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
  • Parenting
  • Pound stretcher maths (budgeting)
  • Helping parents into work
  • Messy play
  • Animation

Family English, Family Maths and Family English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses can lead to accreditation from Entry to Level 2.

In each session, the tutor works with the parents and carers on aspects 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.

The Family Links 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.

How does it work?


The Family Learning team can 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, and we will deliver it.

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.

To initiate a discussion on course design or to enrol on a course, contact us at oal.curriculummanager@abingdon-witney.ac.uk with your ideas and contact details and we will get back to you. You can also call the Admissions team on 01235 216 400 and they will be on-hand to help you through the enrolling process.

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