Last Updated: Friday, December 30, 2022

The Lighthouse Keeper Joint Transition Project

What is this?

This practice exemplar highlights creative approaches to engage parents and carers in their children’s learning.

Who is this for?

This practice exemplar will be most relevant for practitioners delivering family learning outcomes such as those working in CLD, the Third Sector, teachers, early years etc.

Since 2012, the City of Edinburgh Community Learning and Development Family Learning Team have worked in partnership with Moffat Early Years Campus, Niddrie Mill and St Francis Primary schools and the local community to develop a partnership transition project with the aim of raising attainment by engaging families.

How to use this exemplar

The video and reflective questions will give you an insight into how a family learning project can be developed, implemented and evaluated. It will invite you to consider the impact of your own approach to engaging and involving families in learning.

These reflective questions will support you to consider your own approach to engaging and supporting children and their families through transition:

  • How effectively do we use current available data about levels of poverty in our community to help us target our interventions?
  • How effectively do you encourage parents to support their child’s learning in literacy? In what ways could this be developed further?
  • How effectively do you encourage parents to support their child’s learning in numeracy? In what ways could this be developed further?
  • To what extent do staff understand GIRFEC, the wellbeing indicators and how these can have a positive impact on children and families?
  • How effectively do we monitor programmes?
  • What evidence do we have that family learning is improving the life chances of the families involved?
  • Are outcomes for children improving as a result of their participation in family learning? How do we know?

Explore the resource

What was done?

Families engaged in a series of enjoyable challenges developed around the children's book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch, by Ronda and David Armitage. The project offered different learning possibilities and was used both in nursery and primary 1 as a supported transition project for both child and parent.


Due to low attainment figured identified by SIMD data for the area family learning was used as a vehicle for early intervention and prevention.

The intended outcomes were as follows:

  • increase the confidence of parents to engage in their child’s learning
  • enable parents to familiarise themselves with, and increase their confidence through using a creative project as a focus for transition
  • increase parents confidence to read with their children
  • offer creative mediums and methodology as a way of attracting parents who would not normally get involved in their children’s learning
  • encourage families to engage with other local educational services, such as the local library
  • promote positive health and wellbeing through healthy eating experiences

What was the impact?

The success of this particular approach to partnership working and engaging parents led to a positive impact on children's learning and a better understanding of the benefits of a family learning together.

Working in partnership also supported more direct interventions, utilising the skills and knowledge of colleagues and sharing of resources.

As a result of partnership working, led by the Family Learning Worker, the project has shown the following benefits:

  • there was an increase in parental engagement in both library attendance and school activities
  • parents' confidence has increased to read with their children
  • families were more aware of positive health and wellbeing through healthy eating experiences

Children further developed their listening skills and understanding of the storyline which encouraged them to read more.


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Family learning