At STSA we are always looking at ways to support schools in involving parental engagement. We are now beginning to create a network of practitioners who are involved in working with parents and we are beginning to meet regularly meet to share good practice. If you are interested in joining this group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is an account of a current research based parental engagement project which looked at the benefits of family learning.
Learning Together – at Charles Dickens Primary School!
Since January 2016, we have been running the Learning Together programme. This is an exciting and effective programme to support both pupils and parents in learning together. The aim of the programme is to provide learning opportunities for both the parent and the pupil to be involved in. Parents have welcomed the opportunity to have time to spend 1:1 time with their child and to learn about strategies that can improve children’s learning. The children have also really enjoyed the sessions and have enjoyed sharing their learning with their parents.
Here are some examples of sessions that we ran. For our first session we all worked together to create some origami masterpieces. We had lots of fun creating dogs, cats and even penguins! The children really enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot about following origami instructions. It was a challenge as they had to fold the paper carefully and use their reading skills to follow the instructions. Other creative workshops have included decorating mugs, decorating plates and making baskets.
To develop ICT skills Mr Bakas ran a session on the best Apps for Ipads and the children and parents worked together to create animations. We also spent a number of sessions concentrating on puzzles by creating our own jigsaws and wordsearches.
We have also spent a lot of sessions working on cooking skills and many of the parents have led these sessions. We have made pancakes, banana fritters, fruit salad, coconut ice and papaya and avocado smoothies. Cooking is a wonderful way for parents to support children’s learning as it involves many skills. For example, children need to be able to read and write recipes and measure out ingredients.