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Partnering with Parents

The Importance of the Relationship between Parents and School
We believe parents are their children's first and most important educators. The quality of learning children enjoy at school is hugely enhanced if we share an open, positive relationship with their parents. We bring the school's resources and our professional understanding of education to this relationship. Parents bring their intimate knowledge of their child and the impact they have on their child's learning at home.

Opportunities to Share Information
We provide a range of opportunities for parents and teachers to discuss their children's learning. These include:
  • Termly parents' evenings.
  • An annual report to parents.
  • Regular 'inspire' mornings, in which we invite parents to workshops to learn about how we teach different subjects.
  • Regular coffee mornings, on Wednesdays at the start of school.
  • Termly 'Parent Forum Meetings', providing an opportunity for parents to meet and question senior leaders.
  • Regular opportunities for parents to read with their children in classes.
We are also always willing to meet and talk to parents as need arises. Teachers and Phase Leaders are available at the beginning and end of each day. You can call or email the school to arrange meetings. We are in the process of setting up Phase Leader emails, so you can contact them directly.

Supporting Your Child to do Well at School
A few simple activities and approaches can make a huge difference to your child's success and enjoyment of school:
  • Let your child know school is worth it: We are committed to giving your child the best start we can in life and ensuring they reach their potential. We are here for your child. If they know this and value school, they will come each day ready to make the most of the opportunities we offer. Your child will take their cues about school from you. Let them know you expect them to engage well and try their best. Encourage them to think of school as a place where they can expect to be successful.
     
  • Read with your child every night: Reading is an essential skill that underlies a great deal of other learning in school. Books provide a wealth of information and ideas about the world, as well as helping children develop high quality language skills. If you build reading into your child's routine when they are young and make books available to them they will continue to value reading as they grow. It will make a huge difference to their achievement across the curriculum.
     
  • Value effort over achievement: A lot of research shows that children who are regularly told they are clever or good at things can develop a very brittle form of confidence. When things are difficult, they can quickly become demotivated, because finding things hard doesn't align with the fact that they see themselves as clever.

 

An associated problem can be that children develop a 'fixed mind-set', in which they believe intelligence is innate and cannot change. When a child who thinks this way starts to believe they are not good at things, a fixed mind-set offers no way out. Being or looking smart becomes more important than striving to learn. Challenges and mistakes become a threat to their ego, rather than opportunities to improve.

We encourage children to develop 'growth mind-sets', in which they believe that ability and success are not pre-determined, but due to learning. Learning requires time and effort. In the case of difficulty one must try harder, try another approach, or seek help. The key to helping children develop a 'growth-mind-set' is to praise effort rather than achievement; to focus on trying one's best, rather than on intelligence or talent. The article below, by Carol Dweck, explains these ideas in detail.

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