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How Do You Get Info From Parents To Put In Child File?


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Hi

Another question related to SEF and results of parent questionnaire.

 

How do you keep parents involved in their childs learning and updating their files. We have recently given out the files to parents to fill in all about me sections and it was a nightemare trying to get them all back! We also do a home-preschool link which just enforces what we are doing at the time eg list our 5 favourite books,

 

Ive tried to get parents involved in coming in and reading their childs favourite story..got 3 out of 30!! Better than nothing!

 

How do we encourage them to contribute? How do you do it?

Any ideas appreciated!

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You just keep plugging away, Marley!

 

Seriously, we have renamed our home diaries 'learning journeys' - big writing on the front, and at the first meeting of the year we told parents that they were contributing to their child's learning story file - showed them one of those - and asked them to write down, maybe once a week or more if they could, something that their child has enjoyed doing or an outing or visit or whatever. Response has been positive so far with the opposite proportions - 3 out of 30 not bothered!

Early days yet i know, but i'm hoping we'll get more - we're getting good photos too from home as we are printing more out and sticking them in the learning journey to show mum etc with brief explanation of what the child was doing etc

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I read somewhere...and I think it was on here...about a setting who had a "WOW" box with some slips to fill in and post - if a parent/carer sees their child do something amazing, either for the first time or as a result of developing and practising a skill, etc., they write it down on a WOW slip, together with the child's name and the date, and post it in the box. The slips are then passed to the correct key person for inclusion in the child's file.

 

I thought that idea was fab! :o

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we have the 'WOW' box out everyday.. and so far one has used it.. but it is there and parents have the opportunity to use it if they wish... it is brightly coloured child decorated and very obvious...on front is a notice saying what it is, and ideas on what to write, next to it sheets of paper to write on printed with WOW at eh top, and space for child's name, date etc to be added.

 

we also have a space on the learning wall fro parent input which has also been used a few times...

 

Only way we find they contribute is by key person talking to them about child and what they have done , sometimes a comment from the child to encourage exchange of information.. then this is written onto a page of their learning diary.. as said sending therm home we lose so many and all the hard work so far is lost...we have also said parents can add to the diary at any time but they are not to be removed from the setting.. some do take us up on this offer too...

 

We feel that providing we supply as many options and ways to offer this information you cannot make them do it..

 

Inge

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The 'diaries' now 'learning journeys' are just exercise books (that go home in the child's book bag) which we write in and parents write in. We stick pictures in of what the child has been doing, maybe once a fortnight or more. We encourage parents to write in these and contribute to the fuller learning file which stays at Preschool till the children leave. By showing them their anecdotal evidence in the file, it demonstrates the importance we place on their input and how we use their information to show their child's learning.

Like I said, it works for us - this year - next year there's different parents of course so it may be a whole new ball game!

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We keep the learning journeys at school and ask parents to come in and look at them. When they come in we ask them to either write a short note or to make a comment on the child's progress, their interests etc. We also are available every day and we have always had a culture whereby the parents will chat to staff at the beginning and end of the session. If the children bring certificates in or something of interest we take a photo of them talking about it and include this in their learning journeys. So it will say e.g. "John had ducks nesting in his garden, he has brought some photographs in to show everyone etc". Also if a parent mentions that their child has really enjoyed doing something we just add "Mum says ...." or "Grandad says... quote in the learning journey. This works really well because we have a well established key worker system whereby the parents like to talk about what they have been doing. With those parents who are a little more reluctant we just find little things to chat about about their child until they are more at ease sharing information.

 

Sue

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