Helping disadvantaged young people in Southwark to read and write

News article from November 12, 2015

The Nomura Charitable Trust (NCT) enables SHS practitioners to support children and families in the London borough of Southwark, based at Charlotte Sharman Primary School and Southwark Park Primary School. Working in partnership with schools and families, SHS practitioners are trained to deliver interventions that address the root causes of persistent absence from school, poor behaviour and low attainment, The practitioners work intensively with each child to address the complex problems that are affecting their learning.

Literacy Interventions and Family Work 2The project is targeted at disadvantaged children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, who are identified through low attendance levels, challenging behaviour, low levels of literacy or English as a Second Language (ESOL). The project reaches children who have Special Educational Needs (SENs) and children receiving Free School Meals, who are over three times more likely to be persistently absent than their peers.

The project is focused on three key areas:

  • Improving children’s literacy levels and enjoyment of learning.
  • Promoting parental engagement with their child’s learning and participation within the school.
  • Providing practical and emotional support to children and their families when wider social issues mean they are unable to focus on education (e.g. poverty, housing, domestic violence, mental health, etc).

SHS practitioners have provided a range of targeted support for children and parents, alongside wider learning activities and parental engagement. Some examples of these include:

  • Adult Learning – Helping Your Child to Read and Write – A course that builds the confidence of parents when helping their children with homework.
  • Fathers Read Every Day (FRED) Breakfast and Talks – Trips were arranged in partnership with Southwark libraries where there were a variety of talks, including a story-teller who gave the parents tips about how to read at home with their child.
  • Lunchtime Literacy Club – To support children’s learning at school, the children played literacy games and wrote in their Lunchtime Literacy Books. The different themes were ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ‘The Big Friendly Giant’, with activities based around these books.
  • Parent Programme – Sessions were provided on ‘Learning through Play’, ‘Developing Language and Communication’, ‘Behaviour Management at Home’, and there was a consultation session about the new SEN legislation.

“The family learning workshops are great, I get to see how my child learns in school and have fun with him.”
Parent who participated in project

Outcomes of the Project

Success of the partnership from November 2013 – December 2014:

  • SHS practitioners directly supported 155 individuals, providing 517 interventions to address underlying issues for poor attendance and lack of engagement with learning.
  • 27 courses, workshops and activities were delivered to support families with their literacy, comprising 73 sessions.
  • Across both schools, 74% of children worked with had improvements in their academic progress, as assessed by their teachers.
  • 100% of parents said they were more involved in their child’s learning.

“I can focus on the children who need extra help to reach their potential. I am able to organise activities that the school would not otherwise be able to do, such as encouraging families to read at home together.”

Kate Murray, SHS practitioner

“This project has surpassed its targets, reaching over double the amount of people we initially set out to support last year. One of our core objectives is to raise educational attainment through programmes that address topics such as literacy, numeracy,exclusion and truancy and we are proud to achieve this in Southwark through our strategic partnership with School-Home Support.”
Naomi Matthews, Head of Community Affairs, EMEA, Nomura 


Nomura is an Asian-based financial services group with an integrated global network spanning over 30 countries. The firm has been operating in Europe since 1925 and has its regional headquarters in London.  In 2009, The Nomura Charitable Trust (NCT) was established in the UK to support disadvantaged young people, focusing on educational achievement, employability potential and life aspirations.

The NCT has developed a strategic partnership with School-Home Support (SHS), a charity that works with vulnerable children, young people and families to overcome the barriers that are preventing them from learning.


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