Hundreds of parents in Bury are to receive support to help their children through activities, thanks to a generous grant.

Parents Who Play, a programme designed by the staff at East Ward Community Primary School, has been launched thanks to a £50,000 grant from education charity SHINE.

The programme aims to help the parents of more than 400 early years children through a mixture of workshops and ‘stay-and-play’ sessions, over the next three years, to develop an understanding of how young children learn and how play time is important.

Workshops will focus on reading, writing and maths, and it is hoped that it will help children to succeed academically.

Laura Jarvis, Assistant Head Teacher at East Ward, said: “Research shows that the more parents engage with their child’s learning, particularly in the early stages, the better the chance of academic success in the future."

The project will run for eight weeks each term, alternating between workshops and stay-and-play sessions where parents will have the chance to implement what they have learnt.

David Waites, Headteacher at East Ward and Executive Headteacher of Vision Multi-Academy Trust, said: “The support of SHINE will make a massive difference to the families and children in our school.

"The project, which focusses on our parent partnership alongside understanding the importance of play at home in the early years, has been an area that we have identified as a priority and the funding will allow us to address this key issue in school, for the benefit of our community.”

Dr Helen Rafferty, Interim CEO of SHINE said: “SHINE is delighted to be supporting this important and engaging work in Bury, and we can’t wait to see the impact on the children and families involved.

“We know that children learn so much through play, and that when parents and schools come together, children get the very best experience in the early years, and we look forward to hearing about the progress and expansion of the programme.”

After the programme is piloted, it will be extended to Sunny Bank Primary School in Bury and Higher Lane Primary School in Whitefield.