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The Framework
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Welcome to Homezone

Helping parents and carers to build their child’s essential skills at home.
An image of the Eight Essential Skill icons. Listening, Speaking, Problem Solving, Creativity, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership and Teamwork.
Enjoy activities together at a time and pace to suit you and your family.
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Learn more at the Parents & Carers page

Skills Challenges

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More Skills Challenges

Organise a game of 'What Am I' with your family. Each member of the family writes an agreed number of objects on small pieces of paper to put in a bowl. Take it in turns to pick an object, describe the object clearly without saying its name and see if your family can guess what it is. You could use a timer to see how many objects people can guess in one minute.

Extension - to make this harder you could also write down one word that you are not allowed to use when describing your object.

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How do we know if we are speaking clearly?

Intermediate: As you speak how can put your points into a logical order so you can be easily understood?

Advanced: How can you use tone, expression and gesture to make your speaking engaging?

Mastery: How can you adapt the content of what you are saying, in response to listeners?


Listen to a new song, paying particular attention to the lyrics (words) in the chorus.

Listen carefully twice and then try to write down the lyrics by singing the song in your head.

Extension: What is the song about? What is the main message behind the song?

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How can you make sure you are listening carefully?

Intermediate: What does it mean to summarise what you have heard?

Advanced: Why is summarising or rephrasing what you have heard useful sometimes?

Mastery: How might changing the language (words) used affect how you feel about something?


When you are outside with your family, work together to create a piece of natural art. You could be in the garden, at the park, the woods or even the seaside.

Encourage everyone to join in and decide together where to make the art, what to use and what it will look like. Work as a team to gather natural resources such as sticks, leaves, stones or shells to create your art. Can you share ideas and come to an agreement about the design? Can you help each other while creating it?

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: When do you find it easier (or more difficult) to work with others in a positive way?

Intermediate: Have you helped make decisions with others?

Advanced: How can you encourage others to help out too?

Mastery: What is an 'unhelpful conflict'? How can you avoid this when working with others?


Each evening for the next week, consider how you have felt throughout the day.

How can you express this to someone in your household? You could write it down or draw how you feel. Or would it be easier to talk about it?

Throughout the week try a few different ways of expressing how you have felt that day. Which way was the easiest method for you to explain your feelings? How did the other person react?

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How can you find out about how others are feeling about something?

Intermediate: How can you find out more about strengths and weaknesses in others?

Advanced: How might you be able to motivate others to improve their weaknesses?

Mastery: What kind of leader would you like to be?


This week, set yourself a new challenge. It might be to:

  • learn the rules of a new game
  • learn how to play a new piece of music
  • try a new sport or exercise
  • get up (or go to bed) earlier
  • cook something new
  • start a new book by an author you've never read before
  • reduce your screen time

or something else totally different and new!

How does it feel to be out of your comfort zone? Will you keep up this new activity?

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How do you know if something is too difficult for you?

Intermediate: Why is it important to be willing to take on new challenges?

Advanced: What resources might you need to achieve your goals?

Mastery: What steps do you need to put in place to make your goals happen?

Aiming High

Create a Positivity Poster to display at home.

  1. Write words and phrases to help people stay positive.
  2. Draw pictures to illustrate each phrase.
Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How does this activity make you feel?

Intermediate: How could you use this activity to feel more positive when something goes wrong?

Advanced: How could this help you to look on the bright side of something?

Mastery: How can you manage your emotional response to best support others?

Staying Positive

Create your own animal by merging two animals together: e.g. Head of a Zebra, body of a Bear.

Can you draw it? What will you call your new animal? Where will it live? What is it like?

Extension - now create a new animal by merging three or four different animals.

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How can you share what you imagine?

Intermediate: How can you come up with lots of different ideas?

Advanced: How can you combine different ideas to create new ones?

Mastery: How can you help someone else to be creative?


Read a story or watch a film.

Pause when a character experiences a problem. Ask yourself, is this problem...

  • a simple problem? (it has one solution)
  • a complicated problem? (there are a few different solutions)
  • a complex problem? (there is no ‘correct solution’)

Write and/or draw how you would solve this problem, if you were the character.

Continuing reading or watching: how did the character solve the problem?

Reflection Questions

Getting Started: How can you best explain a problem you are having to someone else – what do they need to know?

Intermediate: How can you come up with lots of possible solutions?

Advanced: Why is it important to consider a range of solutions for problems?

Mastery: How might you choose between different solutions to a complex problem?

Problem Solving
Pick your child's experience level to begin

Getting started

For those right at the start of their journey to begin building essential skills with your support.
The Getting Started stage is suggested for children in early primary school. This stage is also a good place to begin for a child or young person who is new to building their essential skills or wishes to revisit the skill with your support.


For those more confident with essential skills to practise further with you and accelerate learning.
The Intermediate stage is suggested for children in late primary or early secondary school. This stage is also a good place for an older child or young person to continue building their essential skills with your support.


For those using essential skills regularly to work more independently on strengths and areas for improvement.
The Advanced stage is suggested for young people in secondary school. This stage is a good place for a young person to begin building their own essential skills on their own, with help from online tools and resources.


For those looking to independently improve essential skills to prepare for future learning or careers.
The Mastery stage is suggested for young people who are about to leave secondary school or college. This stage is a good place for a young person to continue building their own essential skills on their own, with help from online tools and resources.