Family Engagement During Covid-19


Due to changes in practice to keep everyone safe during the Covid-19 pandemic settings are beginning to explore new ways to engage with families, foster relationships and support family learning. EYESOs have begun to gather examples from settings across Highland to support you on your journey with this.

We are sharing some of the initial examples at the link below and would be very grateful if you are able to share anything that you are trying or have found is working well with your families with us here:  We will then collate and share these ideas with you to support your development of this.  The form will close on Friday 25th September.

Starcatchers have resources for encouraging family engagement through creativity

Starcatchers is Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation specialising in creating performances and exploring creative activity for babies, toddlers and young children aged 0-5 and the adults who care for them.

‘Wee Inspirations’ that can support family engagement.

Starcatchers’ Wee Inspirations are fun, creative ideas to engage little ones at home without a lot of kit, stress, nor pressure to ‘achieve’ anything. They are inspired by artists who work across Starcatchers’ different areas of work.

Professional Development for Early Learning and Childcare

Creative Skills is Starcatchers’ unique artist-facilitated training programme. We give early years professionals the confidence and skills to put expressive arts at the heart of practice.

For 2020/21 our resources will be online: Go to Creative Skills Online.

Next Outdoor Play and Learning Bitesize – Design Play Principles

A big thank you again to all of the staff who joined us for the Outdoor Play and Learning – Practical Considerations bitesize last Wednesday! If you missed this, you can find the recorded presentation and slides on the Highland Digital Schools Hub.

The next bitesize session will take place today from 4pm until 4.30pm. This bitesize will focus on the seven outdoor design play principles of David Sobel: adventure, fantasy and imagination, animal allies, maps and paths, special places, small worlds and hunting and gathering. This session will explore how these play principles shape outdoor learning environments and Highland practitioners will explain how they have put these play principles into practice. The session will be led by staff from the Early Years Education Support Officer team and will also feature input from practitioners within ELC and early primary settings. You can join the session using the google meet link below.

We hope to see lots of you there!

Promoting family engagement through reading.

Why not encourage your parents to share a story with their child or children by promoting the ‘Reading is Magic Festival’ and letting them know about suitable sessions that they can join with their children. You might even like to follow this up in your setting as well. See below for more details on the session and a link to Kristina Stephenson’s website.


Storytime with Kristina Stephenson: Sir Charlie Stinky Socks – The Tale of Two Treasures

Event time listed in British Summer Time
Age guideline: 4-7

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks returns for another fantastic adventure on the 10th anniversary of this bestselling picture book series

Age guideline 4-7

About the event

Join bestselling author and illustrator Kristina Stephenson in her home as she welcomes you to the wonderful world of Sir Charlie Stinky Socks – the bold, brave, little knight with a heart of gold.

Help Sir Charlie on his quest for hidden treasure as you follow clues and solve the riddles on a mystical map, in this magical, musical retelling of The Tale of Two Treasures, complete with puppets, props and songs. You’ll even learn how to make your own treasure chest.

This really is an event for the whole family, because storytelling, singing and creative crafting are fun for EVERYONE!

Teacher resources

Kristina’s website is filled with activities, videos and songs that can be used to support the event

How to access the event

Once live on the website you will be able to access the events through the event pages for free at any time until the end of 2020. From 2021 onwards a small donation will be required to access each event. For more information about the festival please head to our Festival Guide page.

Education Scotland’s Numeracy Professional Learning Resource.

Education Scotland have produced a suite of five professional learning papers, together with an accompanying guidance document and glossary, designed to support improved learning and teaching of numeracy in the Broad General Education. This is for all practitioners working with children from the early level upwards.

This professional learning resource has been created to enable practitioners to reflect on their own knowledge and understanding, highlight areas which children find challenging and outline effective approaches to support future learning and teaching in Number and Number Processes.

It considers the interactions, experiences and spaces and how they can support children’s understanding of number and number processes in the early level.