Link to Learn
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, City of Sanctuary UK has adapted its efforts to provide direct support to those from sanctuary-seeking backgrounds, including in our ongoing Connect and Create programme. Launching in January 2021, Link to Learn aims to provide educational support to families and children from sanctuary-seeking backgrounds who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and subsequent school closures. These events have had worrying impacts on students’ educational engagement and achievement.
With home learning once again the reality for many amidst the new Covid-19 restrictions, schoolchildren from sanctuary-seeking backgrounds often find it particularly challenging to engage with home learning materials. Much to their frustration, families have described their struggle to support their children’s learning, citing a a lack of confidence, proficiency in English and understanding of the UK education system as key obstacles. Moreover, for both parent and child, the stay-at-home order further hinders those who are New to English from developing their proficiency in the language through social interactions.
Lack of access to ICT has been recognised a particular barrier for sanctuary-seeking communities, but even with access to a smartphone or laptop, children often find it difficult to navigate complex learning platforms and engage with online learning material.
In response to these concerns and at the request of some of our City of Sanctuary Ambassadors and local groups, City of Sanctuary UK has developed a home learning support project, Link 2 Learn, thanks to some generous funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust. This project will be trialled from January – March 2021, with the hope of extending if successful.
City of Sanctuary UK’s Homework Club takes place weekly on Wednesdays at 17.00 via Zoom and gives students aged 6-14 years old the opportunity to receive one-to-one support with homework and/or home learning materials. In the Homework Club, students are carefully matched with one of our volunteer tutors who they can meet virtually every week for guidance and support in completing their schoolwork, whilst tutors also provide consistent encouragement to combat disengagement and demotivation.
When registered, parents will receive a link to the Zoom call either by email or WhatsApp before the event each week, which they then simply need to click in order to attend the Club.
Do you know of a young person who might benefit from this support? Please discuss with their parent/carers and then email Megan at [email protected] with the name of the student, their age, details of the subjects with which they most need help and their parent/carers’ contact details.
Could you volunteer as a tutor? Please email Megan at [email protected] with your name, experience and confirmation you can commit to volunteering weekly until the end of March. Those with teaching experience and a current DBS certificate (or Disclosure Scotland if relevant) are particularly welcomed.
Coming soon, City of Sanctuary UK will be running a weekly hour-long storybook-based session with a focus on developing literacy skills in English. These engaging sessions, run by a qualified and experienced teacher, will include interactive games and songs and is aimed at young children with New to English parents.
If interested in participating in these sessions, please contact Megan at [email protected] for registration and log on details.