Life changing learning

North East Learner
North East Learner

Story:Carrie Hedderwick

The North East Learner has been widely delivered in the neighbourhood and contains a wide range of classes for all for leisure and career purposes or for improving your English, in various venues, starting now.

Adult and family learning can benefit health, community cohesion, social integration and family wellbeing, particularly for children from disadvantaged groups. According to NIACE, ‘parental engagement in family learning has a large and positive impact on children’s learning, giving children greater confidence and self-belief, with measurable benefits to their literacy, language and numeracy skills.’

Parents who attend classes in local schools are more likely to be volunteers and to attend other courses of learning than adult students in other venues. These parents can contribute to the life of their schools- as governors, classroom assistants, mentors or simply by developing the confidence to support their children with positive attitudes to learning.

I went to Whiteways Primary School to speak to some ESOL students – Arwa, Adala, Rahila, Kassem, Angilla, Khadra, Samia & Eshrak ; their enthusiasm and dedication are impressive. Some people work towards a certificate for a completed course, others just want to be more fluent in English. Writing, reading, listening and speaking are the four areas to each ESOL level. Some people find a college set up daunting with a timetable less likely to fit around family commitments – so to study at the same school as their children is easier.

Whiteways runs classes on sewing, IT, Makaton (sign language), Zumba plus. The courses are run as part of the City & Guilds system, and so exams can be taken whenever the students are ready.

Students gain in confidence and independence – improving employment prospects. I spoke to one student who is now a lunchtime supervisor. Students’ children like to become the teacher, correcting their mum’s work this role reversal is a bit strange sometimes for adults!

Groups of students go on various trips, locally and further afield, creating a lot of new friendships and interests.

Studying locally has so many advantages easy access and getting to know and be part of what is happening in your community.

North East Learner online: For regularly updated news, information and course listings for each new term, check the Adult Learning Guide website:

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-10-06 19:30:10.
The content of the page was last modified by Alice Kirby on 2016-10-12 17:21:17.

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