ORIM stands for Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and Modelling. These are four practical ways that parents and carers support their children’s learning and development.


Parents and carers make the experiences of day-to-day life into learning opportunities through the ways that they interact with their children: listening, talking, singing, playing, encouraging, and giving them time and attention.


When parents and carers show that they recognise and value their children’s efforts and achievements - and the children themselves, just for who they are – it contributes to children’s understanding and belief in themselves as learners. Parents and carers also recognise what counts as progress for their own child.


Parents and carers support their children’s development by interacting with them in many ways, such as:

- listening and talking with them about what they are doing and or how they are feeling
- involving them in everyday tasks such as cooking
- explaining or demonstrating how to do something
- offering reassurance or encouragement as a baby explores
- helping a toddler to manage their frustration
- watching television with their child and chatting about what they are seeing.


Babies and young children learn from watching and listening to those around them. The most powerful models for them are those that they spend the most time with and who they love the best – their parents and carers. Through these models, babies and young children absorb behaviours, attitudes towards learning and how to interact with others. They also learn more specific things, such as how literacy and maths are used as part of day-to-day life (such as writing a shopping list or paying for the shopping).

This ORIM framework was developed by Professors Peter Hannon and Cathy Nutbrown (University of Sheffield), as they worked with local families and notice what they were already doing in the home to support their children's learning in everyday life. ORIM is threaded through Peep programmes - read more about using ORIM with families.

> Download our short topic handout: An Introduction to ORIM or our Urdu version: An Introduction to ORIM in Urdu (for screen) or An Introduction to ORIM in Urdu (to print).
To find out more about parents and children learning together in everyday life: ask about Peep sessions at your local children's/ family centre or early years setting, visit our facebook page or attend one of our practitioner training courses.

Sister recognising effort

Parent feedback in a Peep group, discussing the question: Has anything that we’ve done or talked about in this group made any difference to the ways that you encourage your child’s confidence?

‘I notice the little things they do and praise them more’
‘I allow her to experiment more – not worrying too much’
‘Being more positive and encouraging, giving him more opportunities and more recognition’
‘Encouraging my children when they have achieved something by themselves and seeing their excitement when they have achieved something’