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Getting Parents Involved


klc106
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Hi

 

We were told by our improvement advisor that we need to involve parents more with learning journeys and should put comments about what they think of them etc.

We have sent out letters asking for contributions to the learning journey's and invited them in to look at them and discuss them but they have all said they don't want to/need to.

 

We were then told by our improvement advisor to set up a parent information table with things like policies etc on, a suggestion box and sheets for them to fill in to go in their child's learning journey about things they have done at home.

 

We are not sure what else we could put on this table and how do we get parents to get involved if they don't want to???

 

Any advice please :o

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Do the journey files go home? Could you just make up some sort of sheet that goes with it asking for comments, things their child particularly enjoyed telling them about, comments from members of the family, questions from them?

 

We have a suggestion box but it just seems to collect the odd spider - but it's there

 

Could you organise social evenings - we have 2 a year and it's really nice to spend time together without children. Of course, the talk is about children.....

 

We have 2 facebook groups as many of our parents are there anyway. One is a 'blog' on what we've been doing each day and the other is the Parent Committee chat

 

We also have parents coming in to look through their children's folders and Key Person observations, next steps things, and that works well

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Thanks for your reply cait.

 

We have offered the parents to take the learning journey's home but they all said no (we only have 7 children as we only opened in September).

 

I was thinking of inviting each parent to a session for about an hour to play with their child and thought maybe I could get the learning journey out then as the children love looking through them. Do you think this would work?

 

I'm very new to all this as I only ever worked in an infant school that didn't do learning journeys and we only opened in September.

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We do parent meetings, which are a quick few minutes as parents collect/drop off their child - we don't really give them the opportunity to say no! We put up a list of times and dates for them to make an appointment, and will visit in their home if needed. We have a sheet filled in of achievements, and next steps, with space for parents to add their comments. A lot don't but we insist they sign to say they have seen their child's learning journey anyway. We encourage them to take the learning journeys home to share with family members. We only do this twice per year, as well as the initial meeting after they have been with us 6 weeks. Most parents are very receptive to this, and it is all quite informal, more of a chat than anything.

 

We also have a WOW board which is great. As parents bring in new WOW's, the old ones go into their folders (just remember to date them when they come in!)

 

Also we have home diaries, like most settings, which a lot of parents add to, telling us what they have been up to that week at home - really useful for starting converations, especially with the younger children.

 

We have also asked parents to come in and share their interests or jobs with us, and this has been fantastic! We have a weekly e-mailed newsletter with lots of photos of what the children have been up to, and I think this really helps in making parents feel part of the setting.

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i always find this conversation fascinating...we have tried all sorts of ways to engage our parents with their childs learning. I have a higher than average quantity of parents who are teachers and all they ever seem to want to know is that their child is happy!

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i always find this conversation fascinating...we have tried all sorts of ways to engage our parents with their childs learning. I have a higher than average quantity of parents who are teachers and all they ever seem to want to know is that their child is happy!

 

 

That's exactly what ours say!

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We invite each parent once per 1/2 term to spend a session with their child, this used to be very well attended

However since we've gone to 3 hour sessions I think the parents find it too long, so we have said that they can stay for what ever time they have to spare, even if its a quick 10 minute chat.

 

I once had a parent actually ask me if it meant that we refunded part of their child's fees as she would be potentially looking after them! I took that as a 'No I'm not staying' :o

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We invite each parent once per 1/2 term to spend a session with their child, this used to be very well attended

However since we've gone to 3 hour sessions I think the parents find it too long, so we have said that they can stay for what ever time they have to spare, even if its a quick 10 minute chat.

 

I once had a parent actually ask me if it meant that we refunded part of their child's fees as she would be potentially looking after them! I took that as a 'No I'm not staying' :o

 

I think you were right! But weren't you tempted to reply 'Well, actually having you here is so much more of a liability than not that we're going to have to charge you extra to cover the member of staff talking to you & being out of ratio' ;-)

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we have communication books which are in each childs bag - the parent is invited to put in anything their child has done /achieved = as before some parents do not ever write in the book and others write all the time but that is the way of the world i think .

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we have communication books which are in each childs bag - the parent is invited to put in anything their child has done /achieved = as before some parents do not ever write in the book and others write all the time but that is the way of the world i think .

 

I dont think parent get it. The pressure we are put under to get them involved about their own children.

They tell me if the child is happy they are happy. But it's not on paper is it!

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That's exactly what ours say!

 

 

Ours too!!!!

 

I think being a sessional pre-school, sometimes this is all parents want to know. If we have any concerns about a child's development we do go the 'extra mile' to engage them though.

 

.....and we too have the suggestion box for collecting spiders in :oxD:(

 

xxx

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Guest babyjane31

devondaisy, on my to do list is producing a proforma for parent's meetings much like you have described, don't suppose it would be possible for you to share please :o

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We were always getting told we should involve parents more and our reply was quite similar - how are we meant to make them be involved? We used a diary which went home weekly and were always chatting to parents informally. We had parents evenings and also were run by a management committee of parents. Eventually in desperation to find something I added a box to our long observation format. I expected staff to have one of these per half term for each child, which was manageable in our setting. Once complete I asked each key person to sit with the parent(s) and discuss the observation, noting anything they added, and then get them to sign it. This worked so well some parents asked to take copies home to show their other half/grandparents, etc. It also only took five or ten minutes per child and as this could be at anytime of the half term it didn't build up. More importantly it also got parents interested in discussing the termly forward plans we did for eah child, and satisfied (at least temporarily!) the LA bods and Ofsted.

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We have WOW moments that sit on the table in the hall where parents enter

 

It asks parents to write there child's name, date and then to share there child's achievement/observation with us.

 

These work well and we recieve loads when I remember to put the forms out

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Each child has a display space in the cloakroom that is updated with a 'new' picture every couple of weeks. Parents are informed on the weekly newsletter to watch their childs space for a new picture. It's been very popular and usually relates to a topic but also helps as an assement piece. The new picture goes over the top so the parent can flick back and see progress. The work has speech bubble of what the child has said.Parents love it!

 

We have 'bright stars' like a wow wall. Blanks are near the door so parents take one and make comments about the childs homelife. They are shared at carpet time and a sticker awarded before being added to the display space. Dated they can be added to learning journeys at the end of the year.Today I had one about fastening buttons and one about laying the table.

 

Fridays are 'Parent partnership days' When we have a themed day with a challenge that gets the parents involved . Parents ask whats coming up although they get the dates and events on the half termly newsletter. This week is teddy bears picnic so its not too hard just bring a bear but next week its bring something to make a noise when we parade our carnival. I shall make a few suggestions-a pan and wooden spoon, whistle, party blower, empty pop bottle with dried peas in.Photo's and comments in learning journeys (mentioning home) will help with our parent as partners evidence.

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Each child has a display space in the cloakroom that is updated with a 'new' picture every couple of weeks. Parents are informed on the weekly newsletter to watch their childs space for a new picture. It's been very popular and usually relates to a topic but also helps as an assement piece. The new picture goes over the top so the parent can flick back and see progress. The work has speech bubble of what the child has said.Parents love it!

:o What a lovely idea - thanks for sharing.....

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