I met up with Mary Pat MacConnell, the Head of Wyndford Nursery in Glasgow and Rose Filippi from Maryhill Integration Network to find out more about the project that had been run at the nursery. Gathered Together are always looking for examples of good practice and we had heard that Wyndford nursery was a shining example of involving parents.
Wyndford Nursery is in the North of Glasgow in a housing estate, it is one of the areas in Glasgow with a high population of asylum seekers and refugees and there are a lot of languages spoken by the families who use the nursery. Many of the families are very socially isolated when they arrive, not knowing anyone or where to go to ask for help. Mary Pat described the “Well Chosen Words” project as being born out of “desperation”. One mother was really anxious about asking to take her child out of nursery early to allow him to go to a doctor’s appointment- she didn’t know how to ask this and the nursery was able to help her with literally finding the right words. This incident highlighted a need among the parents who had English as another language.
As Rose explained:
Wyndford Nursery partnered up with Maryhill Integration Network (MIN) to help develop the Well Chosen Words project. MIN is a charitable organisation that has been working to support social integration in the local community for over ten years. Working in partnership with MIN has supported the project via the staff skills and knowledge of engaging with communities from various backgrounds in a sensitive and informed way, harnessing the unique and valuable cultural richness they offer, and finding ways in which to share this with the wider community
Well Chosen Words is a project that engages parents with EAL needs in planning a framework for dialogue that will support their communication needs with regards to their child’s attendance at nursery, further engagement within the community, and ongoing development in education and learning. The project aims to engage parents to play a creative role in the development of support services and material available for parents with EAL needs.
The impact it’s made on the parents has been tremendous, helping them build confidence and support each other. The support in helping to get to know the local area and services has been really valuable, here are two parents- Mathieu and Naomi- talking about how the project has helped them and their families
For more interview with parents click here