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Hi there everyone,

We have just had our PM interviews and one of my targets is to involve Parents more in the ongoing assessments of their child.

I wondered if anyone has any ideas please. :o

We already have a very good relationship with our new parents, but I was thinking of maybe having some form of home/school book which could be used to exchange information about the children. Obviously though I do not want to make this book too arduous a task!!!!

My notion was to emphasise to the parents how we value their knowledge about their own child, and for them to let us know if they notice anything that their child has begun to do, i.e. throw and catch a ball, ride a bike without stabilizers, notice numbers and letters in the environment etc. etc.

Would welcome any suggestions - thanks.

xD

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We have used a system of a home/school book in the past. Parents loved this as we would write about the activities their children had participated in that week, things they said or did how they were settling in. Parents could use this book to write in too, to tell us of family days out and other events and just about stuff the children were doing at home. As I said, most parents loved this book and regularly wrote back to us. Some parents didn't so we never knew if they liked it or not.

Anyway, as I have said, we used to do this!!!! We started to find this a very arduous task as the number of key children went up to 12 or 13 and there was real pressure to have the books ready as children finished on different days of the week. The information written in the books were observations so as well as going in the books, this info also went on the children's files. Writing the books was done at home and we found our nights being taken over completely.

Some parents tell us they really miss the books as we are giving sometiing else a go now. The books are still going home but they are mainly for parents to give us news about their children and to ask questions. Most of the books are coming back empty .

The parents who tell us they miss the books are the ones who never used to write anything in them! Strange that!

Sorry for going on and I hope you get something out of all this!

Good luck.

:o

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we're just starting 'learning journey'books........................we already keep records, of course, but this will be a system where parents can add their own comments to a book which is kept out permanently for them....and the child.....to add their own pictures, comments, observations,whatever really, all the things they have acheived and are proud of and the things which make us smile. Someone on my FD course does this and I just thought it was a really lovely idea, so have pinched it!

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I have made some stickers 'Ask me about...'.When a child has done something I want to share with a parent I add a comment and stick it on the child's jumper. "Ask me about...the robin we saw in the garden...the new word I can write...what we baked today"

They go down really well with the parents especially working parents who we have no daily contact with.It gives them a key in from 'what did you do today?' 'played' and is instant.

 

I also have stickers for "My teacher need to speak to you"-as its always a rush at the door at home time trying to catch a particular parent or a working parent and "I've bumped my head today" so all staff and parents know a child needs watching following a bump.

 

We had diaries in reception but found with 30 children it was not practical to make personal comments in each so we now have a weekly news letter that goes out on a friday about whats happening next week, events in school, class birthdays and special announcements.

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Hiya everyone,

Thanks ever so much for your ideas - I really do appreciate them. I am still keen on the idea of doing a home/school book, but as I have 30 children in my class, the practicalities of writing in each book every week would be totally unworkable. I do like Narnia's idea of a "Learning Journey" this seems to describe exactly what I want the book to be used for.

Perhaps if I give specific ideas of what I would like Parents to write in the book, and maybe add comments/replies for some of the children each week, this may be feasible!!! :o

Again I have had my notion supported in the Principles into Practice Cards - Parents as Partners - "Parents should review their children's progress regularly and contribute to their child's learning and development record".

The suggestions given for achieving this include contact by email, letter, telephone etc., but I think we all know that these ideas would not be practical and would not appeal to the majority of parents. A large proportion of our parents are working parents and their time is limited!!!

I will continue to think about my idea, and would welcome any further comments.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

 

ps: I love this site, you never feel on your own. xD

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We have used home-link news books for many years. Parents write in them to tell what their child has been doing at home. This is used for a prompt when we have "Key worker time".

Each child has an opportunity to have A "Special Day."SPECIAL_DAY.doc

each term to "show and tell" and they love doing this. We have a special cloak and hat that they can wear if they wish. I find this way that parents are always willing to put their comments. The childs key worker observes and records the child during the session. The actual activity covers many of the stepping stones and involves all of the group.This a workable system for us and our parents.

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We have used home-link news books for many years. Parents write in their child news,used for a prompt when we have "Key worker time".

Each child has an opportunity to have A "Special Day."SPECIAL_DAY.doc

each term.. We have a special cloak and hat that they can wear if they wish. I find this way that parents are always willing to put their comments. The childs key worker observes and records the child during the session. The actual activity covers many of the stepping stones and involves all of the group.This a workable system for us and our parents.

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Thank you Bubblejack,

Your idea sounds great. I have downloaded the attachment and am already beginning to see how this will be a very useful idea. Also I think by involving each child individually as you do, will add to the parents' desire to write in their home/school book.

Thanks, thanks ever so much. :o

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Guest tinkerbell

We have a big Book of photos A3 size (empty plastic pages 10=20pages back to back)which we send home once we have filled it each half term with the photos from on going activities and school day eg,this half term had baking,outdoor work,visit to wasp nest,children eating lunch,pe,gardening,phonics,problem solving,Funny Bones, spiders,weaving, harvest etc

I show this to the parents on our parents evening and it is very enlightening for them as to what goes on in their childs day.

The children take it home ( one night only and pass on)and share with the parents,we include a parent comment book and every parent (for the past 2 years!) has written something positive in it.Once evry one has had a turn the children borrow it for weekends to show grandparent etc.

 

I only have 20 children reception/yr1 ,we have a home share book too that each child has and parents/teacher puts comments in ....very time consuming going through book bags every day looking.I much prefer meeting parents out and about in the playground before and after school

 

I do like the learning journey idea.

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We are just starting to implement a Home/nursery record sheet called " All about me"!

The record is given to 3 childrens parents a week.

 

The childs keyworkers will fill out the nursery section on a Monday based on the childs interests

and observations at nursery, it is then given to the parents and they will fill out the home section and bring it back to nursery by

Friday.

We can then plan activities based on the childs individual interests at home and nursery for the following week, some experiences for children can only happen away from home ie: washing up with grandma.....!!

 

We feel this is a great way to involve parents in the planning and also plan for the childrens

individual interests, could be called a learning journey too.

 

Not sure if that makes much sense, but i hope it helps a bit!!!

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Thanks Tinkerbell and Bubbles00,

Some lovely ideas - thank you. xD Last year I had a similar idea to yourselves. Mine was simply a file containing photographs of activities which the children had enjoyed. There were also lots of observational photographs in the children's individual Profiles. Similarly the parents' used to really enjoy looking at the class file and their own child's Profile. However, when I was moderated last year (for assessments of Profiles), it was suggested that I start to build up a Profile Moderation File, which used the photographs I already had, but these would be linked to specific points within the Profile. I spent a gread deal of time over the Summer holidays relocating photographs into this new Moderation File and I can really see the beneficial use it will have. So rather than having lots of individual photographs, I can show examples of how we assess each scale point.

 

I did begin a Reception Year Book File, which I thought would still be nice for the parents to look at (because obviously I wouldn't show the Moderation File as a lot of the photographs were of last years children). However, I soon discovered that this was impossible to manage and have abandoned the idea. I still use lots of photographs around the classroom showing examples of "Children doing the right thing", and of course photographs in Profiles.

 

I like the idea of only sending maybe a few home/school books home every week - this would make the exercise more manageable. I am still not sure however, how to get the parents into the mindset of advising me of their children's developmental progress. As obviously this is what I really want to get to - so that their observations can be added to their child's profile, therefore helping to reinforce my own observations in school.

 

I will keep thinking about this - thanks again for your help.

 

Off to London now for a few days, no doubt constantly thinking about my Home/School books. :o

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Hi there

 

Have been very interested reading through everyones comments on this subject. I work at a pre-school and we have just decided to stop filling in our Stepping Stone booklets on each of the children and instead have a booklet for each child. Our parents were not too keen on it and found it too clinical. Previously a diary had been kept on each child which everybody still comments on because it held such a wealth of info about the child but far too time consuming for staff.

 

This new booklet will hold photo's, observations, examples of work (alongside each we will put what the item is showing about their development). Once a month or more regularly if possible we will put the booklets out for parents to comment and add to the info. Being a small village pre-school we are lucky enough to have parents who enjoy coming in for a chat and love to see how their child is progressing.

 

I am off to a PEAL training day in November so it will be very interesting to see what they have planned for us.

 

Shelley

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