Julia Shingler is headteacher at Causeway Green Primary School.
Our school is in a deprived area outside of Birmingham – some families have chaotic lives and face many barriers to engaging in their children’s learning.
Lots of our parents have had a bad school experience themselves and can feel intimidated by school and teachers. Very few of our families were engaging in the worksheets we were previously sending home as they did not have the confidence to ask us how they could support their child with them. We have been using Learning with Parents since 2021 and this has made home-learning become much more meaningful.
How Learning with Parents works for families
Learning with Parents’ topic videos support parents to engage in their child’s learning. Not only do they show them how the topic was taught in the classroom, but the fact that children are presenting the topics rather than teachers makes parents feel more comfortable and motivates them to work together with their child. Some of our parents are not confident with reading and writing so the fact that they can listen to a video and that the activities are hands-on and not paper based really helps them.
Learning with Parents also gives parents real ownership over the home learning – they can choose how much they do and how long they spend on the activities and I know this helps take any pressure off their home-lives too. A Year 4 parent recently told me that the activities have encouraged them to have more family time!
The programme does really well at engaging the children too which means they go home wanting to do the activities – we know lots of them ask to do Learning with Parents when they go home. They really like the games and the competitive side of the activities! Pupils also look forward to discussing their home-learning and photos with their teacher and classmates at school.
How Learning with Parents works for teachers
Teachers have found that Learning with Parents has eased their workload when setting homework – they can easily schedule curriculum aligned topics and track family engagement. The comments that parents leave are so valuable and provide a link between school and home we did not previously have.
The programme has become an integral part of our weekly routine in school. We reward children for their work in assemblies and discuss children’s activities in classrooms – the topics on the platform really support the learning we are doing in school.
72% of our Pupil Premium families are signed up which is more than we would expect to see! We look forward to building on this engagement further.
*In line with our safeguarding policy, children featured do not attend the school mentioned.