Cathays High School has been developing work with the community over the last couple of years. In 2014, a small group started with three parents to develop reading sessions in collaboration with the local library.
Their aim was to encourage reading among the community, to develop confidence in reading and to help their own children at home. The parent learning group was created to build a link between the school and the community.
The group has grown and developed Basic Literacy with ESOL sessions to encourage reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The group has built a close working relationship with the school and has helped with fund-raising and community development activities.
As more learners have joined the session, the school decided to provide them an accredited ESOL course. So far, four learners have qualified for entry level 1 and 2 and seven learners are waiting for qualification.
Noreen, a parent on the course says, “I stayed in the house for twenty years looking after my children. I want to do something new for myself, learn some new skills so that I can communicate and socialise with other people and then I can look for a job to help the community.”
The school has now developed a partnership with Adult Community Learning and has developed the range of courses for the parents and the local community. Ten-week courses include Agored Cymru accredited courses in confidence-building, child-care and digital skills. All group members are enthusiastic and would like to progress into further learning.
Daxa, is a parent of a former pupil and she started the courses two years ago. She had no English language skills and she says, “I improved my English communication through ESOL lessons and I built up my confidence.”
Cathays High School is committed to further develop their work with learner families to build their community bonds.
Christina Roy, a tutor for Adult Community Learning and a member of staff at Cathays High School says, “If the parents feel confident and qualified then they can pass on similar values to their children.”