The Sense of Place Research Project involved families at early years settings across three areas of the city working alongside educators, family support workers and artists. The research project was designed with the aim of working with the families of young children to improve outcomes, reduce disadvantage and raise aspiration, in line with the finding of the DfE report Performing against the odds: developmental trajectories of children in the EPPSE 3-16 study (Siraj-Blatchford et al, 2010). Key implications from the Performing against the odds research brief (Siraj-Blatchford et al, 2011) included:
• Implications of ‘active cultivation’ for parenting programmes/initiatives are substantial as our study shows that in these cases the home as an institution is a very powerful ‘proximal’ context. This helps children to establish masterful learning dispositions towards school and learning and stimulates the development of self-efficacy.
• Parents who show ‘active cultivation’ provide strong, child-centred emotional support that is sensitive to the children’s developing needs. They do so, even in the face of difficulties, by being encouraging, persistent and consistent.
• The importance of social and cultural capital has implications for schools and communities in fostering ‘learning to learn’ dispositions by providing support with educational experiences especially for ‘vulnerable’ children.