Partnership with Parents
Highland Council expects all schools to work in partnership with parents through creating a positive ethos where parents are recognised as having the prime role in influencing their children’s lives.
Research has proven that effective partnership with parents does have a positive effect on pupils’ learning.
“Inclusiveness is an absolute principle. It includes not only the pupils of the school, it includes all the staff; it includes the community of the school, all of the agencies who participate in the school and supporting the learning climate in the school; it also includes parents, as key agents in young people’s learning.” (‘Climate for Learning’- Brian Dobson)
Inclusiveness means encouraging parents to feel that they are valued as individuals, and that they have a vested interest in the community and its values, and that the sense of belonging which schools and teachers work hard to sustain in the classroom and the wider school, also encompasses them. When parents see the point of a collaborative venture, when they feel it makes sense to them in terms of promoting the well-being of their children, and when they have been involved in its negotiation, then they will be more inclined to give it their active support.
If schools can develop strategies to make parents feel included and of value to the learning community, then many of the perceived difficulties associated with the idea of partnership will disappear.
School inspections take account of the views of parents on all aspects of the school and partnership with parents is an important aspect of a school’s operation considered in ‘How Good Is Our School’ and ‘Child at the Centre’.
In order to achieve the above, at Kirkhill Primary we aim:
- To create a positive ethos and climate within the school where parents are valued as having a key role in their child’s education
- To work collaboratively with the Parent Council
- To provide structures within the school for partnership with all parents
- To keep parents informed of developments within the School Improvement Plan
- To keep parents informed of the everyday life of the school
- To inform parents of their child’s progress and welfare in school
- To involve the parents in school activities
- To seek the views of parents when auditing aspects within the school
- To involve parents in their child’s learning
Structures for partnership with parents
The school will:
- Create an ethos and climate within the school where the views of all parents are valued, respected and taken account of, irrespective of their ethnicity, culture, background or religion
- Create opportunities for the parents to come into the school on a regular basis e.g. attending class assemblies, school events and attend extra-curricular activities
- Seek out possible skills and interests that parents may have that can be incorporated into enhancing the education of the pupils e.g. taking extra-curricular activities, helping within the school
- Create clear and positive communication links with parents that ensures they know they can approach the school with a problem and it will be acted upon positively
- Seek support from outside agencies if there are barriers to partnership due to language and/or culture differences
- Share responsibilities for implementing school policies on for example bullying, homework, road safety, administration of medicines, health and safety, discipline etc
- Provide opportunities for parents to help within the school and on school trips
- Establish mechanisms for seeking all parents’ views on areas of development/amendments to practice.
- Participate in events and activities within the local community and allow community events to take place within the school
Learning and teaching
The school will:
- Establish structures to involve parents in being active partners in their children’s learning e.g. through homework, use of home-school packs, story bags, contributing to child’s profiles in the Nursery
- Establish a parents reference library where parents can borrow literature and videos that are relevant to their role as parents and informs them of aspects of the curriculum
- Provide curriculum workshops where the role of parents is explained and ways of helping their children at home are highlighted
- Keep parents informed about new methodologies and initiatives that are being implemented within the school eg Formative assessment, A Curriculum for Excellence etc
Information for parents
The school will:
- Provide parents with a helpful and informative school prospectus
- Communicate with parents through regular informative newsletters and if possible via email.
- Provide alternative modes of communicating with parents if appropriate e.g. braille, translations into other languages, using interpreters, involving support agencies etc
- Provide a vehicle for a 2 way communication link from home to school e.g. homework diary/home-school diary, provision of a zipped plastic wallet for holding all correspondence from school and home
- Inform parents of extra-curricular activities available and events that may be happening in the local community
- Regularly updating information on the 0870 telephone link
- Display notices and information on the school and nursery notice boards and in the local shop/community centre
- Circulate information from Parent Council and local community
Pupil progress and welfare
The school will:
- Inform the parents of pupil progress through written and oral reports
- Invite parents in to discuss any concerns with pupils throughout the year
- Actively involve parents of pupils with specific needs in drawing up and reviewing I.E.P targets
- Involve the parents in the development of welfare policies and issuing them with Health and Welfare policies
- Inform parents of school expectations on behaviour and attendance e.g. school rules, letters explaining absence from school
- Informing parents of sanctions and procedures if above are not adhered to
- Inform parents of procedures for dealing with incidents that may result in pupils being put at risk
The school will;
- Submit regular reports to meetings to keep the Parent Council informed of relevant matters going on in the school
- Seek the views of the Parent Council in aspects of School Improvement Planning e.g. in developing /amending school policies
- Update the Council on pupil attainment and attendance
- Follow up on any concerns voiced by the Council
- Invite members of the Council to speak to parents during induction parents evenings/meetings
- Work together to resolve any problems that are of concern to both parties e.g. aspects of road safety around the school
- Seek their approval regarding the school’s yearly budget
- Involve them in how money raised by them through fund-raising is spent and provide a regular report for parents
School Improvement Plan
The school will:
- Regularly seek the views of all parents when developing aspects of the School Improvement Plan through questionnaires, oral feedback at meetings etc.
- Report back to parents on findings of the above and set out action that may result from these findings
- Provide opportunities for parents to attend information workshops where aspects of school improvement can be explained
- Inform the parents annually of the School Improvement plans to be undertaken during the year and progress that has been made
Monitoring and review
Monitoring and review of partnership with parents is an on-going procedure within the school. A more formal evaluation is undertaken within the cycle of School Improvement Planning.