2019 is looking extra bright for the Community at Torfield School in Hastings, East Sussex — why you ask? Well, Parents and Carers* are getting ready to begin their unique journey learning through play with their Children and EasyPeasy. Luckily Mrs Love — Assistant Head Teacher at Torfield invited me along to join in the fun! Never one to miss out on a Pod launch, I packed up my box of EasyPeasy props, stickers, t-shirts and a little extra magic in preparation for the day ahead — Hastings, here I come!
Photo Credit C/o EasyPeasy: Alison Love — Assistant Head Teacher & Steph Coleman — Community Manager
The EasyPeasy team are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Torfield’s wonderful Practitioners and Parents. We’re especially excited to further our shared vision to better engage parents in their child’s learning and development, and improve outcomes for children overall.
Assistant Head Teacher — Mrs Love organised a wonderful afternoon where Families could pop along to the school and hear more about what to expect from EasyPeasy. It’s great to see an increasing number of settings choosing to host events in various shapes and sizes to celebrate, spark conversation and engage with the Families experiencing the power of play over the coming 20 weeks. Not to mention the awesome chance for us to meet with Parents in person to build relationships and understand how we can support each individual.
Ready, Set, Go! Before you know it, the room has filled up and everyone is eagerly pouring tea, dunking a carefully presented chocolate treat and bonding over the scary seagulls that guard the Hastings skies. From the moment we started there was a wonderful sense of enthusiasm, eagerness and excitement in the room. Mrs Love was ready at every stage of the session — presentations launched expertly at the click of a button, game examples selected to give Parents a sneak peak of what to expect and beautifully crafted ‘feedback sheets’ so notes could easily be taken by the participants! I am always amazed by how thoughtful, resourceful and creative our community of Practitioners are and Mrs Love is absolutely no exception.
If you’re reading this and thinking, oohh I like this idea — I want to host my own event, then check out all the Pod Leader resources (including presentations) here
Inspirational game play When I was chatting with Mrs Love prior to the launch event, we discussed how best to run the session and the importance of empowering Parents using the platform to feel comfortable using EasyPeasy and adapting it to their individual home learning environment and relationship with their Child. Everyone likes playing and interacting in different ways, so ensuring Parents felt comfortable knowing that they could tweak ideas to suit them was a key outcome. We also wanted to convey through visual props and watching a handful of selected games just how accessible the games are. No expensive additional items needed here — no no! We laid out a few examples, such as; cotton wool balls, straws and colourful pipe cleaners. Most of our games involve the power of imagination, hands that can build extra tall towers or feet to jump across stepping stones.
It’s always helpful to practical chat through how EasyPeasy is actually delivered to Parents. It can sometimes feel a little daunting to try something new, so chatting through our web application helps to demystify the process and cover any tech queries before text messages start rolling in. Not only do we deliver practical games and activities straight to Parent mobile devices, but we also share tips, advice and guidance throughout the whole programme. No need to download anything from the app store or play store, we get right to it via a simple URL within a text. Click the URL and boom — you’re in! Instant access and resources ready to go in the palm of your hand.
“My Son loves the laundrette” The room unanimously agreed that they would love if their Child also loved outings to the laundrette as much as one Parent Son does. This insight paved the way for a highly insightful chat amongst our group about the types of activities their Child enjoys and how EasyPeasy could support these. So, we wasted no time in previewing the ‘Laundrette’ game which focuses on sorting laundry into the right colours before they are loaded into the washing machine. Perfect! We had instantly found a relatable example that would help deliver further joy and learning. Next up was Yummy Strawberries — we chatted about how you could introduce new food concepts with this game and that strawberries could be substituted for other suitable items.
I can’t wait to hear how Mrs Love and her Community get on with EasyPeasy when their Pod launches this month. It’s really wonderful to be invited into the homes and learning experiences of more and more Parents within Hastings.
Psst…want to know a secret? Our Head Of Education — Jane Bradbury and wider EasyPeasy team are currently developing extra content for our games in partnership with speech and language therapists. The aim of this development is to give parents extra support in observing and developing language and communication skills. These developments will be released to Torfield Parents across the programme, as well as other Pods. Stay tuned for the official update on this in the next few weeks.
We would like to give a special thanks to all the Families who joined in the fun and to the whole team at Torfield for their continued support, hard work and invitation to join the fun.
If this has inspired you to host your own Community event, EasyPeasy workshops or a Pod launch event then please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to get involved.
You can reach out to Steph Coleman — Community Manager directly: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and support.