Schools With Roots resources
As part of our Schools With Roots project, we understand that there is a gap between primary schools and families that are often considered ‘hard to reach’. These families may be unable to engage in school because of their struggle with precarious work, insecure housing, immigration status, or complications with physical and mental health. Language can also be a major barrier for families who speak English as an additional language (EAL). Pupils from marginalised backgrounds can fall behind their peers as a result of this. At Maslaha we work with UK primary schools to provide support on how to better engage with these families while taking an anti-racist approach.
The coronavirus pandemic raised many challenges for schools and families. The recent Education Endowment Fund (EEF) report has shown that school closures over lockdown heavily impacted the most disadvantaged pupils, causing learning progress to be reversed. The report also makes it clear that schools being able to communicate effectively with families play an important role in academic outcomes for all ages.
Another report by Public Health England highlighted that the pandemic has impacted black and brown communities far worse, due to the longstanding inequalities these communities face in health, housing, education and employment. The structural racism black and brown communities face means that many parents and pupils have suffered considerably during lockdown. In this context, how schools communicate with families becomes more important than ever.
What We Did
We worked with UK primary schools to develop a range of accessible educational resources that are translated in several different languages, to address the needs of these marginalised pupils:
1. Learning Through Play – A series of short films containing 20 cheap and easy activities that families can do at home with their early years children. Translated in English, Urdu, Sylheti, Somali and Polish.
2. Getting Ready for Reception – 10 simple things parents can teach their child before they start school. This resource is available in a video format, or in a poster format, in English, Urdu, Sylheti, Somali, Polish, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Turkish.
3. Helping your child develop literacy skills – our videos contain fun activities families can do at home to support their child’s education in Early Years and Key stage 1 and 2. Translated in English, Turkish, Somali, Sylheti, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, and Portuguese.
4. Keeping your child safe online – our online safety video contains advice for parents in English, Turkish, Somali, Sylheti, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, and Portuguese.
5. How to use Zoom and Google Classroom (for parents) – video tutorials for families to better understand how to use these online tools to support their child’s education. Translated in French, Polish, Turkish, Urdu, Slovak, Portuguese, Sylheti, Somali and Romanian.
During our work with schools, we also saw the need for schools to become more actively anti-racist in order to better engage with families considered ‘hard to reach’. We developed the film ‘Anti-racism from day 1’, showcasing advice on how schools can become an environment that feels safer for black and brown communities to participate in.