- This is the final one of the planned 60 topics discussing the main factors impacting on your children’s success at school – and in life and work.
- To those variables must naturally be added academic attainment.
- What we have tried to do is not only provide an insight into the latest research on each of the key areas but also highlight the value of the school genuinely and actively collaborating with its homes and community in the 24/7/365 education of the children.
- For too long schools have operated in isolation from the parents providing little or no direction or help for the children’s ‘primary’ teachers.
- In a networked world where the children learn and increasingly teach themselves with the aid of their personal technology 24/7/365 it makes little sense for schools to restrict the ‘teaching’ to less than 20% of the children’s learning time.
- Disappointingly in analysing the websites of the other schools in the surrounding region all are still basically operating as ‘stand alone’ schools, telling highly intelligent and digitally aware parents, carers and grandparents what they should and should not do. There is little evidence of genuine collaboration. Of note is that all the region’s secondary schools, government and non-government, still ban the use of the student’s technology.
- Schools have immense educational expertise they should, as the research attests, share with their parents in nurturing and teaching the young.
- What Broulee P.S. is doing, like similar pathfinding schools across the developed world (Lee and Ward, in press), is daily demonstrate the immense educational and community value of a school genuinely collaborating with its parents in the teaching of the young, and how normal that arrangement soon becomes.
- You’ve undoubtedly evidenced the impact.
- At a time of generally declining enrolments elsewhere Broulee as mentioned in last week’s Scoop now has a waiting list.
- As reported the NSW Auditor singled out Broulee’s student attendance record as amongst the best in the State.
- The level of student detentions of 3-4 years ago is no longer evident.
- Read any week’s edition of the Scoop and you’ll note how actively the school collaborates with and supports its community.
- Vitally for an everyday regional state school that receives no type of special funding like most schools in the area, whose socio-economic profile sits just below the national norm and which does not teach for the test Broulee’s NAPLAN results sit above the national average.
- Tellingly a just released report on future UK schooling written by their peak business council noted:
‘When parents take an active role in setting expectations, delivering instruction and supporting learning, and backing up teachers while holding the school accountable for excellence, the benefits extend beyond better academic performance to a range of other outcomes that touch on the key behaviours we identified in the last chapter, including:
· Better preparation for school
· Better school attendance
· Improved study habits
· Fewer disciplinary problems
· Stronger links between students and teachers and between family and school’ (CBI, 2012, p 41)
- Broulee’s collaboration with you is already yielding those dividends.
- These achievements have come from astute leadership and a highly dedicated and professional staff willing to go out on a limb and provide what they believe is the best possible education for increasingly digital and networked world.
- Last week, as part of my work I involved Mrs Lowe in an interview with the leadership team at Coal Mountain Elementary in Georgia USA. The school is one of the US leaders in the use of BYOT and its collaboration with its parents.
- What hit home was the commonality of the experiences of both schools, the success flowing from the collaboration with the homes and the recognition that both schools are just beginning to realize the potential of that collaboration.
- While the logistics have obliged us to tackle a separate topic each week the reality, as you will appreciate all the topics are closely interrelated and ought be tightly integrated.
- The same kind of tight integration is also increasingly vital in all the school’s operations, in and outside the school.
- What you are seeing at Broulee PS is the emergence of a new mode of schooling where the home – rather than being divided from and neglected by the school – naturally collaborates with the school and its educators in the 24/7/365 ‘teaching’ of the children.
- Success in schooling, and of the school itself comes the tight integration of all the parts.
- Copyright. Mal Lee. Email – email@example.com Article used by permission of the author. Graphics by Greg McKay.
Are you finding yourself challenged by this series of articles? You're not alone. Perhaps you are feeling daunted by the scope and magnitude of the aspects that have been presented. Do you want to improve your children's outcomes at school but don't know where to start?
Children whose parents are involved in some way in the school perform better – that's because these parents are more in touch with what's happening at school and they get a feel for what is important to support their child to enjoy and work well at school. Doing something to help at school helps other children, too. It's a chance for us to give something back to our community. It doesn't need to be a huge commitment – but it might be an occasional day helping in the canteen or listening to reading or helping with literacy groups once a week for an hour. It may be just for a term or for a special project (Two projects coming up are helping decorate the kids' toilet walls or working on the new Imaginative Play space being planned). Your presence doing something in the school shows your children that you care and that school's important. Technology offers other ways for busy parents to stay informed and have their say.
Keep up to date via Scoop, the school newsletter. You can subscribe (if you haven't already) to a weekly email here:
The school's website and the class blogs are worth checking out – there are videos and photos of each class's activities and of school projects. These are great conversation starters to expand the afternoon question 'How was school today?'.
Keep in touch with the changes happening in the school. The results of the Homework Survey will be fascinating to hear about, and it may lead to changes in the school's homework policy.
Don't forget the Parenting Inspiration Library at the front office – pick a book to delve into over the holidays.
Another way to start is by joining the Broulee P&C. It costs only $1, and gives you the right to hear about and have a say in policy issues, fund-raising and spending the money raised. It will get you involved and put you in touch with other parents, so that working side by side for our children we can learn how to better support our children. You don't need to get roped into everything – many hands make light work. Meetings are in Weeks 3 and 7 of each term. You can find out more here:
Your child may be in a class which is using Edmodo - check it out. Your child can help you log on and show you how it works if you haven't seen it yet. Ask them about their 'backpack' – where they can put files to work on at home (like 'Scratch' projects).
If you have talents to share, talk to the P&C or to Sue about your ideas. Your children can benefit from the group experience as much or even more than learning directly from their parents, and other children gain as well.
I think this series has shown us that parents have more power to help their children succeed at school than we realise! The changes happening to include parents more are challenging, exciting and have great potential for the future of education.