DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: PARENTS

“When am I ever going to use Pythagoras?”; “Why do I need to know what a noun is?”; “What’s the point in learning this?”... Sound familiar? You must be a teacher. If you’ve been teaching for some time, you probably know that questioning the purpose of education is nothing new. Do you ever wonder what your parents were like at school? Did they ask the same questions when it was their turn?

In May of this year, Guilden Sutton Primary School in Cheshire found a new way to remove headaches from residential trips, school meal payments, sporting events, and even the school disco! One of the school administrators had used management app eeZeeTrip as a parent at a neighbouring school, and was keen to see the benefits for Guilden Sutton.

Staff and pupils from Ysgol Cae Top, Bangor, have teamed up with local IT company Semantise Ltd to help parents keep up to date with the school's activities. Innovative iPhone and Android app eeZeeTrip enables parents to quickly see details of the school events and trips children are going on. eeZeeTrip was the brainchild of Llew Davis, headteacher at Cae Top, who wanted to solve the problem of the large number of letters going to and from home.

One of the most important parts of my job has to do with finding new ways to connect our parent community to the school. In some areas where I have worked this has not been a big problem. I have experienced schools with strong parent councils, and parents groups who have the time to put a great deal of time and resources into the school.

As part of my job I attend a lot of education shows and meet a lot of teachers and heads in the UK. When I talk to them about improving their parental engagement I get a variety of responses. Some (hopefully half-jokingly!) say “Do we have to?”, but most are really interested in how this can be done.

As a mother myself, I like to know what’s going on at my children’s schools and be informed of any changes they are making ahead of when it happens. It’s important to have a positive relationship with the school; after all, it’s also beneficial for them to gain feedback that they may not have taken into consideration beforehand.

As a dad of eight, preparation for World Book Day starts early in my house. Unfortunately, the 'early' assertion usually relates to the morning of the day itself, with my wife and I rifling through the fancy dress box to match outfits to much-loved book characters for our children to wear. While lack of forethought is undoubtedly quite remiss on my part, I work in children's publishing, and so the annual event should have long since ceased to creep up and surprise me. I do love the whirlwind of chaos that results from trying to conceive plausible outfits that look like favourite book protagonists. In an instant, an oversized black coat becomes a wizard's cloak, and a smattering of face paint transforms a child wearing an orange t-shirt into the Cheshire cat.

As we March (ahem) into the spring, it is time to find sunshiny shortcuts and time-saving strategies, dear IMS-reader. The questions this month have been based around improvement and engagement. Please send in questions for next month via [email protected] for next months piece.

What is the Golden Triangle in education, and how can it aid school / parent communication? Dave Waddell explains.

If you’ve never heard of what many an educational establishment’s marketing material calls ‘the golden triangle’, then you will certainly know what it is. Each corner is theorised as representing one of a given school’s three stakeholders: child, parent and teacher. Linked up, they constitute that triangle, the lines of which are imagined as channels of communication. It is ‘golden’ because it is seen as being both ideal and benchmark, which when in fine working order makes for a happy, purposeful and child centred learning community.

A child’s safety at the end of a school day is paramount and is sure to be at the top of every school’s agenda; however, what should be a relatively routine process can often be poorly executed. Failure to adequately protect school children during the challenging end-of-day transition period will concern any parent, and could be deemed unnecessary considering the straightforward solutions available should the school be willing to take the necessary steps.

I believe that all schools should consider four key areas when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of their pupils at the school bell.

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