Among the many things we do at Hawes Side to engage more successfully with parents, two things stand out. Learning Logs and ERIC time have been enthusiastically received by pupils and parents alike, at both ends of the school.
Learning Logs were first introduced into school three years ago by Julie, one of our Y4 teachers. She came across the idea on the TES website and thought it might be a good way of making homework more interesting.
Julie piloted the idea with her class before the rest of year three and four took it on board. A year later years five and six followed suit with year two introducing Learning Logs last September.
One of the things that makes the Learning Logs so exciting is the freedom to be creative. Children (and parents) are free to use whatever medium they like in their Learning Logs, gel pens, glitter and modelling are all given a free reign allowing children‘s imaginations to run riot. It’s fun, exciting and hugely engaging. The children can’t wait to bring their Learning Logs into school to share their results with their peers (something that’s timetabled each week). Parents have got fully involved and the completion of the Learning Logs, at it’s best it is a truly collaborative venture raising the profile of learning.
The Logs are simply A4 exercise books with a ‘brain builder’ pasted into the centre of two pages. This contains all the information the children need, learning objectives, references etc. There is also a space for comments from parents, children and staff so over the weeks the log builds up as a record of progress in learning.
Each week sees a featured Learning Log displayed. A screenshot is taken using a visualiser and the featured pages shared. The children also have time to walk around class and see/comment on each others work – again this is timtabled into the day.
Learning Logs have allowed our pupils to be creative, expressive and imaginative. It has help motivate them and developed their independent learning skills. Their work is original, considered and thoughtfully presented (not in HB pencil or royal blue writing pens, unless they so wish!)
Parents have seen huge improvements in their children’s interest in completing work at home and have been able to get involved themselves. A collaborative approach is encouraged! It’s parental engagement at it’s best.
To see a short video about the learning logs click on the link below and scroll down to the appropriate film. http://hawessideblog.wordpress.com/
ERIC Time is ‘Everyone Reading In Class’. It’s what happens at Hawes Side every Tuesday morning when we open the doors to parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles to come in and read with the children. It started with reception parents being encouraged to come in to see what school is like. For many bringing their children to school is their first visit since their own school days. For this reason it’s important to get them on board from day one and help them see school as a positive place where their input matters and has a profound impact on their children’s learning. We wanted to keep the strong relationship hat had grown with the reception parents as they moved into Year 1 and consequently made provision for them to continue to come in. ERIC time grew out of our desire to build strong relationships with parents to the benefit of the children.
ERIC time now operates across the school, although it is most popular from Foundation to year 2. The challenge is to build on this now and retain this level of parental support further up the school. Parents spending time in school with the children has helped forge stronger relationships and a greater understanding of learning. It has a hugely positive and powerful influence on children’s learning as they see how important it is viewed by thier parents. They also love showing their parents their classrooms, where they sit, where they learn etc…
ERIC Time and Learning Logs have helped us engage parents to the benefit of the children at Hawes Side but also much more. They represent two ways the school has bridged the gap and blurred the distinction between home and school learning.
For more information on Parental engagement follow the link below