This report evaluates the impact of the National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme in Glasgow, which ran from 2017 to 2019.
Early Words Together trains school staff and volunteers to help parents build the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to support their young child’s communication, language and literacy skills at home.
Since 2017, the National Literacy Trust has worked with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council to deliver Early Words Together in 25 schools serving areas of disadvantaged in the city.
An evaluation of the programme was undertaken between September 2018 and January 2019 by Dr Sarah McGeown, Senior Lecturer in Development Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr Lynne Duncan, Reader in Developmental Psychology at the University of Dundee.
Key findings include:
- Approximately 60% of parents reported that Early Words Together had helped them to be more confident and active in supporting their child’s development in relation to books, stories and talking to each other
- Over 50% of parents reported changes in their home environment, with particular increases in mark making and drawing, listening and paying attention to stories and their child asking to look at or read stories at home
- All volunteers had a positive experience of volunteering and 96% felt it had made a positive difference for the families they worked with
- Volunteers also reported specific benefits themselves, with approximately 60% reporting increased empathy, teamwork, self-confidence, adaptability and communication skills
- Practitioners reported greater confidence in interacting with parents and carers (52-78%), in addition to giving advice to parents about their child’s home learning environment (24-44%) and child’s language and communication (19-44%)
- Qualitative insights highlighted the benefits of the programme to develop and build positive relationships between families and nursery/school settings and staff