increasing parental engagement in children's learning
Update from Soozin Rogers, Community learning and development worker, Edinburgh
We wanted to increase our parental engagement within Clovenstone Primary School, so we began Peep sessions for parents and children together. Peep provision in our school is a partnership between Community Learning and Development (CLD) and the school, specifically the early years practitioner based in the nursery. Parents say that their engagement with Peep has not only strengthened their relationships, it has increased their knowledge of the impact they have on their children’s education and development.
We started off in a community hall close to the school, but once the group was running, the parents were happy to move sessions into the school building itself. School teachers and support staff popped into groups and established relationships with parents, carers and their children. This helped to support the transition into the school – important for parents as well as children! Parents felt less wary of the school environment, and more confident in approaching staff, as relationships had already been formed.
school readiness and community involvement
As a transition group focussing on 4-5 year olds, we link to the early literacy and numeracy programme of the nursery and school. This not only reinforces early literacy and maths with the children, it also supports the parents to build on this learning at home – we can all do the actions now! The parents are also more confident with their engagement in the school and the wider community. Many have progressed on to other groups within the school such as FAST and some have developed Clovenstone’s parent council, the first in almost twenty years!! They say they feel more able to speak with the school and are more confident in engaging in school activities. Some have also got more involved in Clovenstone Community Centre, again joining activities and the management committee.
'The Peep group gives me lots of ideas about how to better support my daughter out with the school/nursery setting'
'It really helps to have the one to one interaction and time with my child as I don’t get to do this very often'
'I’ve learned not to be afraid to sign and join in and this has had a huge impact on my child’s confidence to do the same (modelling!)'
'It’s really helpful to have something to take away (information sheet) about what we’ve covered in the session so I can try things to do at home, otherwise I might forget'
'It’s made me think more about how I recognise and praise my child’s efforts to try doing different things at home'
'I feel more confident to support my child at home with what they are learning in nursery - if I didn’t come to Peep I might not know as much about what they learn in the nursery. For example, how the pupils are taught letters and why they are taught in that way.'
'The Peep group leader make you feel OK to ask any questions you want to'