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Mid next term I have invited parents in to spend time with us and see what we do. However I'm now worrying about the sorts of things I could do! I would be really grateful if anyone who has done this before could give me any suggestions, hints or tips.

Thank you

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We have "Bring your grown up to school week" twice a year - once in the spring term and again in the summer. We found it too disruptive during the autumn term when the children have just got used to their grown ups leaving!

We don't do it on a Monday because it is always so busy! - We tried having a Mums day, Dads day and then "all comers two days" but found that lots of our mums wanted to come in and so few dads that it didn't work. We now have pretty much open house Tue-Fri and have mums, dads, grandparents and even aunties and uncles come in.

We send out an invite to get people to book in and say they should stay at least an hour (having learnt that some want to come for just a few minutes and then rush off leaving a devastated offspring) and try to have a limited number per day of 10 as more than 10 grown ups plus staff is again too disruptive for the children.

We also make sure we clear the diary for that week and don't have other visitors.

Our letter sets out the following ground rules

Guidelines

 

  • In the interests of Safeguarding and Child Protection please do not enter the porch area on your own to take any children, including your own to the toilets or to help them retrieve any outdoor clothing.
  • For Safeguarding and Child Protection reasons we do not allow any mobile phones (except the setting mobiles) to be used in the hall. Please either leave your mobile phones at home or be prepared to leave them on the desk, on silent during your visit.
  • Please don’t wear your “Sunday Best”.
  • Be prepared to spend some time on the floor and small chairs (please let me know if this is a problem).
  • Have some outdoor clothes with you for when we go outside.
  • I regret that we cannot have any other children or babies in during this time.
  • The Golden Rules and Conflict Resolution procedures apply including when we have visitors.
  • The children have been encouraged to develop self-sufficiency in respect of dressing themselves, personal hygiene and choosing activities and resources both indoor and outdoor to play with. During our Bring Your Grown Up To School Week we would appreciate your support in encouraging the children’s self-sufficiency skills.
  • In the unlikely event that you get the offer of a hot drink please ensure that you do not take it near the children.

We have learned to just be ourselves (warts and all), follow our normal daily routines and have stopped laying on special activities for parents to do after one particularly competitive junk modelling activity when small children were being virtually pushed off their chairs by grown ups keen to demonstrate their artistic flair and outdo each other :o

We hope that it gives our parents an insight into what really goes on - most appreciate it but do be prepared for the odd brickbat - we lost one client last year who took umbrage that her child engaged in most of his learning outdoors - she believed he should have been indoors doing much more adult led stuff (it was a very cold day!).

I guess its the old mantra - you can't please all of the people all of the time.

We also make sure that we get feedback via our annual questionnaire as it is also good evidence of your engagement with parents for those agencies that you are forever having to prove yourself to - mentioning no names :ph34r::ph34r:

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I've just come home from the PLA AGM. The focus was on Building Relationships with parents/carers. The PLA have looked at Ofsted inspections under the new framework and have seen Parent Relationships is high on Ofsteds list of what makes a setting satisfactory or better.

Its not just enough to have parents in now and then or to send out newsletters, Ofsted want to see that parents are involved in the childrens learning, from adding to the LJ to working together to crack a problem. Most of us are doing fab things already but not all of us are evidencing it all, they gave an example of a child who had been helped to give up his dummy by parents and staff working together. It was a small thing most of us do daily but they hadnt put evidence of it in the LJ.

Whatever you end up doing take photos, get parents to write a small comment anything to prove to Ofsted you do all these things. Sorry I cant help with giving you any extra hours in the day to do all this though :rolleyes:

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Let them make their own playdough while a member of staff tells them the learning that goes on, gluing activity, painting at easels anything parents might think of as not really learning. Always have a member of staff on hand to role model and to explain. Give them some playdough recipies to try at home, add essence to the paint, water play with bubbles, cornflour goop... :D

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We used to do them very successfully. I adapted our activity planning sheets so that they looked more like a poster for the parents to refer to. We were fortunate that our parents were very interested in how the children learnt through their play and what was going on, so they used the posters well and interacted with their children very much like we would do. After a few sessions we even got some parents making short observations on what the children were doing. Hardest thing for us was getting dads involved as most of ours worked, but after the first few tries we managed to get some of them booking leave from work so they could come and they (and the children) loved it. In fact I'm filling up now thinking about those sessions - time for a drink instead!

 

Good luck!

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