Our School Partnership Manager, Amelia, spoke to Michala Warner, Vice Principal at Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy in Norfolk, about their top tips for using the Learning with Parents programme.
How have you supported parents to sign up?
We launched the Learning with Parents platform in the first couple of weeks of the new school year. This has helped the programme become integrated in our home learning policy straight away and we wanted families and teachers to get used to using the programme as soon as possible.
We held in an in-school parent event where we went through the process of signing up, shared an example video and had the parent letters available in different languages. Parents who had previously used the programme were able to advocate how easy it is to use and how much their children have enjoyed it. I was able to solve any problems there and then and having the face-to-face conversations made this event feel very personal.
Then, in the weeks leading up to half term we made sure we promoted the programme as much as possible. At our parents evening, we had a stand with the flyers and an iPad to get parents signed up in person. There is a useful guide on how to do this on the Learning with Parents website! Teachers have also been resending email/text invites from the class register page.
Personal conversations have worked well with some parents. Teachers have taken the chance to speak to parents on pick up. We continue to promote and celebrate wherever possible. In most classes, we have over half of parents registered and it is our aim to have every parent signed up by Christmas!
How do you plan to keep families engaged?
We take a whole school approach to using the programme. A school competition to name a Learning with Parents trophy was a great way to get the children excited – they all voted on the name Milo and the children look forward to seeing him in our weekly assembly where we give him to the class that has had the most engagement that week. We have a Learning with Parents section on our weekly newsletter where we celebrate the winning class.
After half term, we are going to introduce a ‘Learning with Parents’ 10 minutes every two weeks where teachers celebrate the achievements of the previous topic by showing the ‘activity feed’ in class and give out certificates available on the website. They will also show the class the next video and one of the activities to help them feel ready to do the activities at home with their parents!
Going forward, we are particularly interested in supporting families who have signed up but not taking part in the activities. As a first step, I will be putting together a short parent survey to see if we can identify any common barriers. This will help us frame our conversation with parents and we may put together a parent workshop to address these barriers.
How are parents feeling about using the programme?
Parents seem to be really enjoying the practical side of the activities and the fact that they can play them as a family. A couple of recent comments I have had:
“My daughter loved doing this activity with her sister and it is helpful for me that they can learn together. Some of the activities are so creative and that’s what my daughter enjoys.”
“I like the fact the activities are practical and not computer based. I have two children and they can both join in with each others’ learning sometimes.”
If you are one of our partner schools and would like further support in launching the programme email email@example.com.
If you would like to find out more about our school programmes email firstname.lastname@example.org.