Education is the key to a future with hope and security. SmithMartin Partnership hold education as enormous value to everyone in our communities. It is a never-ending process which provides fulfilment and enrichment for all our lives.
We focus especially on education for children and young people as an entitlement for life.
“Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities. It should teach them to understand their own rights, and to respect other people’s rights, cultures and differences. It should help them to live peacefully and protect the environment.”
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Unicef.
Our projects with education have a UK and global focus. We work with schools and organisations in inspirational and achievable formats to improve education for children and act as a platform and starting point for a successful life future.
Our team has been working on Home Learning projects with settings. The Adobe Spark below gives some of the highlights and interests.
It is a good area to focus on as it has enormous value to children in Early Years.
Why is it so important?
Working together with parents is integral to effective teaching in the Early Years.
Making connections between the setting and the home environment will ensure that Early Years is a continuous process and that nothing takes place in isolation.
A child can deepen their understanding of the learning at home as well as in nursery.
There are a huge number of activities and learning times, which encompass a wide range of experiences, to provide sound foundations on which other learning can take place.
Family life and children are a keystone to communities. We enjoy working across communities in places where children and families are active, healthy and learning. Everywhere, in fact.
Whether the family lives in a tower block in the city, or in the depths of the countryside, there are always aspects of life which can be a challenge and need some support.
We engage with organisations and groups, from education, faith and family support to develop motivational projects, ideas into actions, and help enthusiastic people develop their own potential creating a good future for their children.
Some other recent projects:
- Working with Family and Childcare Trust on the Parent Champions programme in Brent, Greenwich, Slough, and Newham.
- Developing a project for young people in South Norwood, London for a faith based group in activities and sewing groups.
- Working with Playworks in Nottingham on their innovative work in scrap materials and creative projects.
- Developing parent programmes and courses which provide information, support young families and enhance family life.
Our partnership sees Children’s Centres as the best places for services and activities to take place for families and young children.
We work with a number of local authorities in ensuring that children’s centres are supporting their communities and engaging with all families, especially those who need help the most.
Some recent projects:
- Children’s Centre Improvement Partner with London Borough of Islington where we support two children’s centres, Willow and Hornsey Road. Both centres are in very diverse and transitory neighbourhoods and have excellent reputation of delivering to meet the needs of their families.
- We also work with other boroughs on the delivery of the strategic operation of Children’s Centres, including previous development of centres in Waltham Forest.
- We have supported Essex in 2014 in the development of 2 year old FEE provision and linked that with the children’s centres in areas of the county.
- We also deliver literacy programmes, books, C & L projects and websites, including all design, build, hosting, updates and maintenance.
Education, Early Years and Childcare
Education is a first principle for our partnership. Without education our world would be a smaller place and we aim to work where education is not easily accessed.
Education is about leading out, and it is how our societies flourish and people prosper.
Early Years education is the foundation stone for all further learning, by the time a child is 4 years old 80% of the brain is developed and is an indicator of future achievement.
We are professionals in early years and primary education. We have a wide portfolio and a vast experience of teaching, learning and curricula, underpinning education systems.
Some recent projects:
- Consultant with local authorities in provision and capacity for FEE for 2 and 3 year olds.
- Training for providers on quality of provision for 2 year olds in schools.
- Developing the Foundation Stage profile at a children’s centre in North London in a full day nursery for 3- 5 years, 2-5 years and under 2’s, developing good practise and fully integrate the outdoor and indoor provision.
- Working in liaison with a local authority provision at a school and making links across the curriculum and involvement with parents on transfer to the Reception class from nursery.
- Managing of a University full day care nursery and incorporating change to a 100 place nursery in an extensive new building.
- Being a Headteacher of a primary school
Being able to volunteer can be a great benefit and can be a pathway to future employment and training, an opportunity to meet other people and a new social network, and a chance to increase self-confidence.
In our work with families and with young people we work with organisations to develop a creative and purposeful programme of activities for volunteers in communities, through children’s centres and schools, community groups and local authorities.
Some recent projects:
- Parent Champions scheme, through Family and Childcare Trust, we are trainers and consultants providing direction and help to projects in communities through charities and groups, local authorities or other large organisations, children’s centres and schools.
- We have led the training in LB Newham, Slough, LB Brent, Buckinghamshire, and RLB Greenwich. These have been different profiles and projects which use the model for Parent Champions and adapt for their own initiatives. Data is collected and outcomes are measured to show effectiveness.
Our partnership has a strong focus on the importance of children’s literature. Through some very innovative programmes we have developed our own ‘in house’ delivery and style.
We enhance and encourage literacy through communication and language development, early reading skills, love of reading, creativity and increasingly the relationship between development of individuals and reading abilities.
Some recent projects are:
- Books Go Walkabout which is moving from a nascent concept to a fully-fledged and sustainable programme . It is part of our drive to use the potential of IT to enable people in developing countries and cultures to engage with literature and reading.
It is a global project to unite children with authors and illustrators across the world.
- It brings an inspirational dimension to reading, literacy and cultural exchange. Children talk with authors across the world.
- We distribute the books and create an international book purchase and exchange mechanism in the project.
- Our Dolphin Booksellers website hosts information with a Blog and Twitter feed, giving regular updates on new books and new literacy projects.
- Our Dolphin Bookshelf project delivers books into centres and organisations for sales direct to families at very good prices. Our BookBasket business makes quality books available for £2 per book. Using our knowledge of the children’s books procurement and distribution to always provide the best books from good authors.
- We deliver author events into schools, centres and organisations, using authors who are well known to us and enjoy being with children. Authors include Ifeoma Onyefulu, Cheryl Moskowitz, Jackie Morris and Mike Spoor.
- We engage with authors across the world, especially in the UK and Australia.
Book Sales, and eBooks
We have a developing and unique position in the sale of children’s books. Our expertise in children’s literacy means that we can be selective in providing the best in children’s books directly into organisations including schools and children’s centres.
Publishers we work with provide us with continual information about new and exciting books and authors. We can provide good resources, carefully ensured to meet the needs of the school and bring a soft commercial aspect into providing good books to children.
Without huge investment in sales of books and without the need to limit our work to the ‘Elite Super Sales’ we can bring diversity and cultural understanding as part of our book packages.
eBooks are increasingly a major way to engage with children and young people through tablets, PC’s and mobile devices. We are currently developing a futuristic eBook platform for developing countries and working with World Reader and other global distributors.
eBooks also provides a way to enable sales of literature direct to students and families without the need for high street stores and increasingly higher prices.