Research commissioned by Learning Ladders overwhelmingly concluded that parents want to be given more information about what their child is learning and techniques to support them.
This is encouraging when considered along with evidence that shows parental engagement is one of the key factors in academic achievement for Primary aged children.
So how can schools move towards more impactful parental engagement?
What successful schools have in common is the decision to make parental engagement a whole school approach. If parental engagement is a one-off bolt on, creating a big fanfare that is quickly forgotten about, it is highly unlikely to take off. It needs to be ongoing, in granular detail, without overloading staff with work.
Crucially, this parental engagement starts in the classroom. Conditions must be created for conversations about learning to take place between pupils and teachers. Children who are not used to talking about their learning with teachers in school will not be able to articulate learning with adults at home.
When pupils are explicitly aware of the learning objectives they are working towards they take co-ownership of their learning. Technology (such as the micropublishing technology used to create our pupil booklets) can be used to create engaging resources to be shared with pupils as a springboard for conversations about learning.
Success also relies on sharing this focussed, granular information frequently with parents. As someone who has sat on both sides of the desk as parent and teacher, it is questionable whether the biannual, five minute rotation of a traditional parent’s evening is still cutting it. Particularly when this feedback is time limited, infrequent and flustering.
We found success in automating this process as part of our multi-step solution involving; a bespoke curriculum for every school embedded in their own context, incorporation of school assessment policies and recording of rich formative data that is shared automatically and frequently with parents.
However, we know that in Primary, sharing objectives is not enough. If parents do not have access to