What did parents say?

Share Bears

Parent Comments across 3 schools:

“My child has loved Share Bears, we have managed to spend quality one on one time together.”

“Share Bears has really got my child into loving books.”

“I liked the idea behind it and my daughter was very excited by it!”

“I think all the sessions I attended were very well organised and very enjoyable.”

“I think it is a great way to keep up to date with your child’s learning.”

“It was good to spend time with my child in the school environment.”

“It’s nice to have an understanding of what’s being taught”‘

“I have loved coming to Share Bears, the activities have been amazing!”

“Doing Share Bears is good fun for the adults, also the children. Seeing their faces when you walk in is priceless and it gives them something to look forward to.”

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to take part. I hope that you get more books so we can take part again!”

“I joined Share Bears to help my child with learning to read, to learn the best ways to encourage her.”

“Thank you for giving us parents the opportunity to come into the school and bond as well as learn.”

“My child always asked if it was Share Bear day and got excited when he knew I was coming in .”

“Really great workshop, lovely to interact, read and make with my child. Miss Crawshaw and Mrs D run it really well and make you feel very welcome.”

“Thank you for giving us parents the opportunity to come into the school and bond as well as learn.”

“It has give me more of an insight into what my child does at school and how I can continue to help at home.”

“Both me and my child have thoroughly enjoyed Share Bears with both the contents and activities provided. It has given me a good opportunity to get a better insight to their day and the way they are taught, and I would definitely recommend it to others as well as for other children.”

“I am really grateful for Share Bears- we love it! Parents are so busy, I think it’s nice the school does this. It helps parents to sit and learn with their child. It also taught me how to encourage my son with his reading.”

“The Share Bears programme has helped my child to improve his reading. It’s also helped my wife and I to be part of our child’s academic progress.”

What was the impact on parental engagement?

Share Bears

Parental enjoyment and engagement with the sessions was clear, with the majority of parents attending every weekly session across the eight weeks.

Responses from the questionnaire (see previous posts) showed that parents very much enjoyed the programme, citing that they enjoyed spending time with their children in school, understanding more about how to engage their child in reading and learning more about how the school teaches reading.

Results from the parental questionnaires also showed that parents felt they had learned more about the different types of questions to ask their child, and that their child had shown more interest in reading together since starting Share Bears. (See results from Cycle 3, School B).

100% of parents in all cycles said that they would recommend Share Bears to others – and 100% of children said they would come along if we developed a new programme with more books!

What was the impact on the children?

Share Bears

Case studies at School A, Cycles 1 & 2 showed that children who attended Share Bears had made more progress across book bands than children who did not attend.

100% of the children who attended Share Bears in the case study for School A (Cycles 1 & 2) were recognised as ‘regular home readers’ (3 times a week or more) by their class teacher.

Case study children in School A that attended Share Bears recorded higher scores for ‘Speaking’, ‘Listening & Attention’ and ‘Understanding’ from the EYFS profile, than children who did not attend. They also recorded a higher average increase on their starting scores as a group in these areas, than the children who did not attend.

Consequently, the majority of children who attended the Share Bears programme continue regularly read at home, and make good progress in reading within Year 1, with the vast majority of attendees in Cycle A on track to pass their phonics test this year (statistics on request). This is in stark contrast to their initial baseline assessment on entry to school, where the majority of attendees were assessed as below average in Communication, Language and Literacy on entry to Year R.

What’s next for Share Bears?

Share Bears

At present, the programme has been rolled out at three schools, two of which have completed three cycles (8 week programme) already. Ideally, guidelines for other schools to implement the programme would be contained within a manual, with all resources available electronically from a website for download to print in their own settings. Hard copies of the books can be used again and again for each cycle delivered.

Feedback from parents at the three schools said that the majority would like to attend a similar programme in the next year group (KS1). Books suggested by parents included more Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl, and traditional tales and fairy tales- although I am currently researching less well known tales by newer authors to share with families, as many of the current stories were already known to parents and their children.

Further funding would allow school to purchase more books and create supporting resources for the literature, to develop into more story sacks. Ideally, an eight week programme for children and parents in Year 1 and Year 2 could then be created- with staff instruction to support parents with the more complex texts, questioning and understanding required at the end of KS1. These story sacks could then link further to homework, with accompanying projects focusing on topic areas that may not be explicitly taught as part of the curriculum at present- as well as encompassing the art activities as enjoyed by both the parents and children!

Beyond the current 4 school partnership that I work for, I would love to create an online platform with access to all the comprehension and home activity resources for other schools to access. If schools are readily equipped with the books (although an this may be an initial investment, they can be stored and used for years to come) they can access the bespoke comprehension questions and activities, and share ideas and feedback within a professional forum. A manual would be produced to support schools with the running and management of each session, as well as train staff to deliver the programme. This would include additional resources, such as templates for letters and posters to promote the programme, pre/post questionnaires to measure impact and access to support with set up.

Current ideas I am working on at present for KS1 include:

Finn the Little Seal – with links to project work on plastic pollution and polar animals (Science/Geography links)

Shampooch- with links to pet and animal care (Science/PSHE links)

The Monster Cafe- links to mythical beasts and creatures, role play restaurants, recipe creation (English/DT links)

(Art idea from Pinterest)
(Art idea from Pinterest)
(Art idea from Google Images)

As per the aims set out earlier within the blog, purchasing further texts for KS1, and using funding to develop a web platform and manual to support other schools would help to…

Improve parental engagement in schools, focusing primarily on schools with high level of disadvantage.

Ensure professionals are comfortable and competent to model effective comprehension and questioning for parents.

Foster a culture of home reading and love of books in families.

Provide children in disadvantaged areas with access to high quality, stimulating texts from a range of authors and genres.

Further support school outcomes in English and early reading.