Teacher and Parents
The partnership between parents and carers responsibility for children’s education and development has only been recognised as important in the last forty years in this country. Before then children had no induction into school and parents were not invited in unless there was a problem or it was parents evening. Home and School were seen as two different entities and it hadn’t become apparent how much they could gain from each other.
In the past children were just put on a bus if they didn’t live within walking distance and sent off to school for a full day with no integration and then sent back home on a bus back to their carers/ parents. Today things couldn’t be more different. Parents in our setting are invited to visit the school during a normal working day to see the classes in action. They have the choice of bringing their child with them to see how they react with the school. If they decide that our school is in their child’s best interest we then offer a home visit by the teacher who will be in their class.
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This can also involve the parent support officer for our school if the parents feel they would benefit from her involvement. Some children may be integrating from another school, so may join us for 1 session per week with their one-to-one teaching assistant from their school. Others may begin mornings, coming in initially with their parents/ carers and progressing to staying until after lunch after a couple of weeks and full days shortly after that. Each child’s plan for starting our school is planned to meet their and their parent’s needs as far as possible.
For the children who are collected by parents we have the opportunity to discuss any matters on a daily basis however as many of our students come in on transport we have a home school book which we fill in daily also any information letters are put in these. We encourage parents to fill it in as any input from them can assist us with their child. If they have any particular concerns they are welcome to phone or call in and speak to the teacher. We also have regular parent’s evenings, however parents are elcome to make an appointment to see the teacher for extra information if needed. The good practice of partnership between parents and the school is very beneficial to all concerned. As stated in EYFS children not only learn at school but in all environments, home being the first educator. Parent’s information right from the beginning can help us to plan for their individual needs. Sherry Harris EYMP 1 03-03-2013 3. 2 A review of the potential barriers to participation for carers, and an explanation of how these barriers may be overcome.
There are a number of barriers I have become aware of in our setting which have needed to be addressed and dealt with. Language barrier To overcome this I asked my team for advice and ways that I can communicate with their parents I even observed how other members of my team dealt with this barrier before I spoke to the parent myself. The parents need to understand when we are giving them information of any kind and also to explain any problems with their child or to discuss their child’s progress.
When speaking to the parents we speak slowly and clearly and keep eye contact looking for visual and verbal signs that we have been understood. We allow plenty of time for them to respond and are careful not to hurry them. We have also used translation on the internet to help us overcome this barrier and letters depicting pictures and signs. Religion To overcome this we make sure that we know about the children’s beliefs and what they are allowed or not allowed to celebrate and the same for foods.
We can do this by contacting the parents/ carer’s or getting them to come into school to discuss their religion and how we can support them and their child with it correctly. I have one child who was not allowed to join in with Halloween so it meant that a staff member needed to be assigned to her and have some activities for her to do which was fun so she didn’t feel she was missing out. Another child isn’t allowed to eat gelatine so we overcome this by buying different ingredients for cookery class so he can still join in and still enjoy the tasty outcome.
Not seeing the parent Children who are not collected by parents we don’t have the opportunity to discuss any matters on a daily basis. Because of this we have in place a home school book which we fill in daily with any information, concerns and progress about their child also any information letter are put in these. We encourage parents to fill it in as any input from them can assist us with their child. If they have any particular concerns they are welcome to phone in and speak to us and we can call them at home too.
Sherry Harris EYMP 1 03-03-2013 3. 3 – An explanation of strategies that can be used to support carers who may react positively or negatively to partnership opportunities It is not always easy to spot if someone is experiencing difficulties and as carers of children we should look carefully for signs that parents may need some form of support. If we are unsure we should tread very carefully as some carers may feel embarrassed or upset if there are problems.
We should try to keep communication lines open hoping that the parent will talk to us from which we could then try to offer them some support by suggesting advice and pointing them in the correct direction. Some parents see teaching staff as positive areas who offer sound advice and will actively seek it. Because they see us on a daily basis they have an empathy with us and as they entrust their children to us every day, they themselves feel we are a ‘friend’ they can trust to help. We should be honest and encouraging. If we give advice and it is not followed we should take care in our approach of questioning their choice.
It may be they feel uncomfortable that we have suggested speech therapy for example or a social worker, depending on the initial problem. May be they are still coming to terms or adjusting to accepting a problem and need more time to understand it themselves before admitting it to outsiders. We need to listen and show them we understand, remaining calm and helping them to see that support is accessible and they should not undervalue themselves because there are times in everyone’s lives when we need help, advice and support.