Grant holder
Karen James and Lucy Parker, Ludwick Nursery School
Project status

A project which aimed to nurture the relationship and connections between parents/carers in the local community and a nursery school in Hertfordshire.

Drawing upon Froebelian principles to develop ways of working with families and connections between home and school.

Project summary

Ludwick is an outstanding maintained nursery school with 190, 2-4 years olds on roll. The nursery aims to provide a happy, stimulating environment for children and their families.

"We put a great emphasis on outdoor learning and learning through first hand experiences. For example the children cook regularly, have forest school sessions, go for walks in the local community and learn woodwork."

Ludwick is the lead setting for Acorns Teaching School Alliance. Acorns is a well-established teaching school, with an early years specialism and provides courses, school to school support and training in Hertfordshire and beyond.

"We place a great emphasis on professional development of staff, all our staff are highly trained and encouraged and supported to develop their early years expertise."

Ludwick serves a diverse community with over 20 home languages, 55 children with SEND and 43 children eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium. There is also a high level of safeguarding need in the local area.

Whole school impact

"The Froebel training delivered to the staff, led to lots of positive discussion around how we engage with our parents and helped us to consider what we were doing for all families and what additional engagement and support some families might need.

We drew upon key Froebelian Principles to frame our discussion, e.g. thinking about how we work in a respectful way with our families and how we develop connections such as helping connect children’s learning between home and school.

From this training we have implemented some positive changes, for example, previously we would share a weekly overview of the learning in each classroom on a board for the parents. This would just detail each groups focus activity, so didn’t really give the parents much information about their child’s day or ideas on how to link their learning at home. Instead we trialled each keyworker sending weekly, emails to their parents, giving more information about what each group was doing and ideas for home learning. This also included sharing the outdoor learning that the children are doing which was something we hadn’t done before.

The emails have been very positively received and has increased the parental engagement on our online learning journal system, with parents posting photos and comments on experiences their children have been having at home."

Staff impact

"The staff who have been involved in helping to run the family sessions have greatly benefited from the training they’ve received. Our practitioner who has been doing the Froebel Certificate course has become a much more confident and articulate. She has established weekly family music sessions. We originally planned to offer music sessions for just one term but the parents have enjoyed them so much and we are now offer a morning and afternoon session each week and will continue these into the next academic year."

Parental impact

"We have observed parental impact in different ways, such as more engagement with their children’s learning as mentioned above. Parent feedback from our family sessions has included comments such as ‘a friendly, relaxed session’, ‘It’s lovely that I bring my baby and four year to the same session’.

One of our aims was to engage families who had a high level of need. A number of our families coming to our sessions are also receiving support from family services. "

Child impact

"Observations of children engaged in family sessions show high levels of wellbeing and involvement. One of our practitioners has also been observing the children who attend the music session during nursery time. She has noted an increase in confidence, for example one child who was quite shy, now seeks her out during nursery to ‘do singing’."