Modelling the use of environmental print at a REAL event National Children's Bureau Lottery Funding

Making it REAL

From 2009–12, the Early Childhood Unit (ECU) at the National Children’s Bureau collaborated with the University of Sheffield, and Oldham and Sheffield local education authorities, on the successful three-year lottery-funded Making it REAL project.

This has had a powerful impact on children’s educational outcomes. The children involved in Making it REAL are all now in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes in primary school. Teachers report how much more involved and focused they are; they have a real chance to succeed and build confidence as learners. Oldham are investing in more REAL projects from January 2012 in areas of low educational attainment and schools and centres in Sheffield are sustaining REAL home visits and events.

The Early Childhood Unit can support local authorities who wish to embed REAL as an approach to family literacy work, and intervene early in the education and development of young children. Please contact Helen Wheeler for further information.

Making it REAL was the winner of the Early Years category in the Children and Young People Now Awards 2012.

Examples of practitioners' work

Making it REAL Training 2013

The Early Childhood Unit has developed Making it REAL training, based on the partnership project in Sheffield and Oldham, and this is now available to commission as part of a two-day training and consultancy package. In addition, funding from the DfE National Prospectus Grant (2013–2015) will enable a national rollout of free training, available to groups and individuals.

To find out about free, DfE-funded Making it REAL training for groups or individuals please visit the ECU website, or email ECUadmin@ncb.org.uk or call 0207 833 6807 for booking information.