How to use this exemplar to improve practice?
This exemplar could be used to support improvement to:
- strengthen/improve the learning home and home / school partnership links
- increase attainment in reading, writing, numeracy
- increase parental engagement in their children’s learning
- Have parents been involved in developing/reviewing the setting’s home learning policy?
- What are the positive elements of your current policy about homework or learning at home? What improvements are required to improve this policy?
- What support strategies do you have in place to improve the nature and quality of parental involvement in supporting learning at home?
- Do parents get information about how they can help support their child's learning at home?
- How are parents encouraged to share their interests and skills with their children?
- Do parents know that members of the extended family can be involved with learning at home as well?
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What was done?
At the beginning of each new session, the class teacher meets with parents/carers to discuss desired outcomes for their child for the coming year. Using the My World Triangle to identify needs, the outcomes are loosely based around the core subjects of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.
From these longer term targets, medium term targets to be achieved by the end of the first term are identified through discussion between each child (P3 and above), their parents/carer and the class teacher. The targets are recorded in a child friendly form in the Learning Log.
Every week each child reflects on the previous week’s progress towards targets with their class teacher and sets new short term targets which will help them to achieve the medium outcomes. The reflections are recorded on a sheet which is sent home in the Learning Log at the end of each week for parents to view and comment on.
A weekly diary sheet is used to ensure daily communication with parents/carers. Details of Literacy and Numeracy activities are noted here as well as suggestions for home learning. Home learning includes reading aloud, phonics practice, oral number activities for P1-P3 and more independent Literacy and Numeracy. There is also space for both teachers and parents/carers to write a comment if they wish.
All parents/carers are invited to an information meeting at the beginning of the session. The benefits of a good home school link are explained and how parents/carers can be involved in their child’s learning. The school follows a philosophy of Growth Mindset and the terminology and expressions used with the children are shared with the children. A leaflet giving this information is also distributed so that parents can refer to it at a later date.
To encourage wider achievement and home learning, we have also introduced the “Lismore Award” scheme where children choose challenges both at school and at home under the headings:
L - Living healthily
I - Independence
S - Skills
M - Making friends
O - Outdoors
R - Responsibility
E - Employment
Challenges range from laying the table for a meal at home and finding out about a parent/carer’s job for Early Level through to preparing a snack at home or at school and spending time at the place of work of a friend or relative.
Lismore Primary School aim to develop a positive and effective home / school partnership to enhance children’s learning and ensure the best support for the children.
What was the impact?
- All parents/carers are committed to home learning to support their child.
- Parents/carers are fully engaged in their children’s learning.
- Parents/Carers are aware of their children’s progress and areas for development. They ask for guidance about how to support their child.
- Learners’ attainment in reading, writing and numeracy has increased as a result of the extra support from home.
- Learners are practising skills at home which they are applying in their school learning.
- Learners are encouraged to tackle challenges at home as well as at school and are more willing to persevere.
- Growth mind-set language is being used in the home as well as at school reinforcing a positive “I can” attitude in the learners.
- Learners are experiencing achievement in a wide variety of activities.
- Parents/carers offer suggestions for further learning.
- Parents/carers and teachers have established a good rapport where both feel able to discuss any problems or challenging situations openly and promptly.