peep in high schools - supporting families & developing the young workforce, Moray

Pupil and child read together

Senior Phase Peep is a project where parents, children and high school pupils learn together. Parents, children and pupils all take part in the Peep group, delivered by professionals from Health and School-Home link work. Both parents and pupils can complete a Peep Progression Pathway unit in development of babies or development of toddlers. Pupils can have a hands-on experience of working with families which allows them to dip their toe into Early Learning and Childcare, testing out whether this may be a future career path.

The first phase of the project was with S5 (English equivalent Year 11). Due to its success, Moray aims to roll out this project across other high schools and with pupils in S4 (Year 10), with the S5 pupils returning to the programme as pupil mentors. S4 students can then use their Peep experience as a stepping stone to further relevant studies.

Please see below for more details and do contact us at info@peeple.org.uk if you would like to learn more and/or link with Elizabeth Duncan, the project coordinator for NHS Grampian.

Read what Developing the Young Workforce, Moray, have to say about the project 

what is senior phase peep?

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'This is a true community project' – Mrs Linda Brown, Lossiemouth High School, Headteacher

Senior Phase Peep is a Peep group delivered by the Community Nursery Nurse who is assisted by a home-school link worker and senior phase pupils. It is a collaboration between:

  • NHS Grampian: Health Visiting team based at Moray Coast Health Centre, Lossiemouth
  • Lossiemouth High School
  • Moray Council: Home-school link worker covering Lossiemouth & Forres ASGs[1]
  • Moray Council: Youth Worker based with the Lossiemouth ASG.
 

[1] An ASG is an Associated School Group, where schools work in a group format based on a Secondary School and its associated Primary Schools.

how is senior phase peep offered?

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The health visiting team promote the group to families. Peep is well-established across Moray so parents are often aware of Peep.

The school identify students who they feel would benefit from participating.

The cost of refreshments and materials was subsidised by the universal Peep group in Lossiemouth. The qualification registration for parents and students is met by Lossiemouth High School. 

integrated qualifications

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Both the high school students/recent school leavers and the parents complete a Peep Progression Pathway unit. These can be offered at SCQF levels 3, 4 or 5. The parents complete this based on their own child’s development. The pupils are part of the group along with the parents; activities are used each week to enable the pupils to interact with the children and have the opportunity to answer the portfolio questions.

The students also complete a Youth Achievement award, which recognises reflective thinking around their learning, and a Saltire award which reflects their volunteering experience.  

what are the outcomes for families?

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'At home I have changed how I communicate with my daughter. I am seeing things as she does’.  Peep Parent

Parents who attend Senior Phase Peep say that they appreciate:

  • meeting other parents - this in turn enables them to access other community provision, as there are now other familiar faces;
  • ideas for things to make at home with everyday items;
  • encouragement that the everyday things they do with their children support key areas of learning such as early literacy. Peep gives them the time to stop and reflect on these things, and the child development knowledge to appreciate the value of their interactions with their child;
  • reinforcing this learning by completing the Peep Progression Pathway.  Comments from parents include: ‘The Progression Pathway really makes me think about what learning opportunities there are in activities’;
  • the structure of the group, which provides focus and purpose;
  • face-to-face contact with the Community Nursery Nurse, making it easier for parents to discuss issues of concern around their child’s health and development;
  • the participation of the school students in the Peep group -  they felt that this positively contributed to the dynamic of the group.

The home-school link worker commented that she normally works in primary schools, and that it is now common to meet children who struggle to listen, maintain eye contact and hold a conversation. She said that it has been eye-opening to see - through the Peep training and the Peep group - that these issues can be addressed through a playful approach in the early years. 

The Peep coordinator, Elizabeth Duncan, adds that Peep groups are preventative rather than reactive. They allow for informal contact between parents and their children and health services, which allow any parental concerns to be raised at an early point and addressed before they escalate.

Peep is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of a particular group. This means that specific health concerns raised by parents such as weaning can be addressed in a structured yet fun and relaxed way. The specialist knowledge of the health visiting team can be shared as requested.

Lossiemouth has a high number of service families due to the local RAF base.  Many of these families are socially isolated with no local family support.  Peep groups give parents the opportunity to meet other parents in a relaxed, non-threatening environment. Many friendships between parents have endured.

what are the outcomes for students?

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Students are given an opportunity to:

  • Gain a Peep Progression Pathway unit at SCQF levels 3, 4 or 5 in development of babies or development of toddlers;
  • Gain the Bronze Youth Achievement Award, showing their ability to reflect on their learning;
  • Gain a Saltire award, reflecting their volunteering experience;
  • Gain work experience in Family Learning;
  • Gain practical experience of working with children and their parents;
  • Work as part of a team.

Some students are currently studying Childcare and Peep provides practical experience in this field. 

what are the outcomes for the school?

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“The programme is a great benefit to us as it brings the community into the school and creates a wonderful atmosphere when the parents come in with their children to work with the pupils”, Donnie Carthew, Deputy Headteacher, Lossiemouth High School

Mr Carthew, commented that Senior Phase Peep is a true reflection of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) in action. One of the Peep students has been awarded the DYW shield. Mr Carthew described how Senior Phase Peep has been ‘life changing’ for this pupil; it has developed her communication skills and given her career prospects in Early Learning and Childcare. She is moving on to a Childcare and Play course at College and the College commented that it was the students work and qualifications gained through Peep which secured her the place on this course.

 

what are the plans for the future?

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Senior Phase Peep will now be offered to S4 pupils, with S5 pupils returning as mentors on the course. These S4 pupils can use the Peep course to progress to the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services, Children and Young People (which is the equivalent of two Scottish Highers at Grade A) in S5 and S6. 

The project is also set to be rolled out to more schools across Moray. 

pupil and child read