ORIM based projects

Making it REAL

Making in REAL, 2009–12

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 had a powerful impact on children’s educational outcomes. Teachers reported how much more involved and focused the children were; they had a real chance to succeed and build confidence as learners. Oldham invested in more REAL projects from January 2012 in areas of low educational attainment. Schools and centres in Sheffield sustained REAL home visits and events.

The Early Childhood Unit supported local authorities who wished to embed REAL as an approach to family literacy work, and intervene early in the education and development of young children.

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

Download the Making it REAL project information leaflet (PDF, 2.4MB)

Examples of practitioners’ work

Making it REAL training 2013

The Early Childhood Unit developed Making it REAL training, based on the partnership project in Sheffield and Oldham. This became available to commission as part of a two-day training and consultancy package. In addition, funding from the DfE National Prospectus Grant (2013–2015) enabled 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, visit the ECU website, email ECUadmin@ncb.org.uk, or call +44 207 833 6807 for booking information.

Making it REAL, 2013–2015

Thanks to funding from the Department for Education National Prospectus Grant, The Early Childhood Unit (ECU) at the National Children’s Bureau extended the REAL project work to eight local authorities.

Local authority lead officers brought together a group of 8-10 schools, children’s centres, nurseries and childminders to create REAL networks in Oldham, Sheffield, Blackpool, Peterborough, South Tyneside, Luton, Sandwell, and the London Borough of Haringey.

Up to four members of staff in each setting attended two development days led by ECU and now work with a group of children and parents on REAL projects, visiting children at home and opening up literacy events to more families. Teams have worked very successfully with children aged two to five years.

Read the evaluation of year one.

Some settings were also explored using ORIM to support early mathematics in the project Making Maths REAL.