Parents and Carers
Did you know that parents can add the same amount of achievement to their students’ grades as 30 months of extra schooling!
This research really surprised me as a parent, grandparent and as a governor, it was so startling that I wanted to share it with you. This suggested improvement is not related to income, social class or the education level of the parents but is the same for all students. The theory suggests that parents and carers being regularly involved in their students day-to-day experiences in school or college will make a really important difference to their exam results.
Most parents are closely involved in their children's schooling but can I encourage you to continue doing this as much as possible and throughout their whole education? I understand that today parents are busier than ever before, but this current research suggests it is well worthwhile talking regularly to your children about their day in college and taking full advantage of opportunities to visit college.
Because there is no average family, the level of involvement of parents and carers is very varied. For those who want hints on increasing involvement, I have made some very simple suggestions below. If I am talking of things you already do please accept my apologies.
Here are some ideas for getting involved with your child's education at Springwell.
Make a point talking to them about their day, every day. The idea behind doing this is to make the child aware that you are always interested in their schooling and their progress. It will also keep you up to date with their struggles and triumphs while they are learning.
Do not be put off if it takes several tries before you get a good response. Try to vary your questions so that your child has to think before answering. It would help to give them some idea of how your day went so that the child knows that you also have good, bad and maybe even horrid times but that continued learning and resilience are important and celebrating good times together is fun.
Here are some ideas for questions. A good hint is, whenever possible, be ready to give them an idea of when something similar happening during your day.
• Did you get any good feedback from your (subject) homework?
• Have you got any interesting or urgent homework?
• Were you worried by anything in college today?
• Do you have anything you want to tell me about the coming week in college?
• Can you show me what (subject) you are doing at the moment?
• Did you get into college on time today?
• Do you need anything researching for the next day or week?
• Was the bus ok today?
• Did anything interesting happen in tutor time?
• What did you eat today?
• Have you missed giving in any work on time?
• What was the most boring thing you had to do today?
• What was the funniest thing that happened in college this year?
• Did you wait long to get into the dining hall today?
• Can I help you with anything today?
• What did you find difficult to do today? Did you manage it?
• Are there any catch up classes being run at lunchtime or after college?
• Are the classrooms warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer?
• Have you got many kudos points? Have you found anything to swap them for?
• Are there any lunchtime activities you would like to see that are not currently provided?
• How long did that piece of (subject) homework take?
• Have there been any students causing problems for you, your class or a teacher today?
• Are the toilet facilities in good order?
• What is your overall progress like this term?
• Can we look at your (subject) book today? When was it last marked and have you put any corrections in already?
• Have you got a good library book at the moment?
• Are there any particular books you would like the library to stock?
• Did you peer mark anyone's work this week?
• What was your best/worst lesson today?
• How many kudos have you got so far this year?
• Who is your favourite teacher and why?
• If you could make one change to college what would it be?
• What is your favourite lesson and why?
• Did you learn anything surprising today?
• Did anyone get (disciplinary points) in class today?
• What is the Student Council doing at the moment?
• How long is it until the next college holiday?
• What subject are you achieving the highest scores in and where are your lowest scores?
• Are you taking part in any competition in college sports?
• What was the best bit of school today? (My children would have said home time automatically!)
All the answers you get will help you have meaningful conversations with your child and let them know that you are interested and willing to help. Please feed back to the child's form tutor areas of concern and celebration, as it would be helpful. As I have already said, any similarities with your day that you can share will help in showing that college is not the only place where people learn and adjust.
In college we are making changes to try and encourage more parental involvement which I hope you will notice during the coming months.
We will be putting out a small number of questionnaires for different groups and would be most appreciative if you complete any you are given and encourage your child to do the same if they are given one. Please make suggestions where asked, as we do want to improve our communication with parents.
Attendance at college events
We would like to increase percentage of parents who attend college events. We are going to try and explore ways of breaking barriers that stop attendance. The timing of events is probably the main one but there will be several others. Again, we will be using questionnaires to try and make your experiences better.
Chair of Governors