One of the things that was raised at our last parent’s forum was the desire for more parent ‘learning’ sessions. At the moment, with the chaos of Christmas performances, concerts and fairs, we haven’t yet held very many. So far we have offered two evening e-safety sessions as well as generalist safeguarding sessions for all staff and any parents who come to volunteer in our school.
On the agenda so far, are phonics, calculations, grammar and a session with Di Pardoe herself in February. Having these events are great……but getting parents there is another issue. Many parents say they want these sessions to take place – but even when we offer them during school, after school or in the evening, time always seems to be an issue and we just don’t ever get more than about 25 parents in total coming to all of the various timings of the sessions we hold. The sessions always seem to be useful for the parents that come, but how do we get the majority in?
Di suggests that we involve the children in her session. She asserts that having children run the sessions actually gets more parents to attend, makes it less threatening and also tells it straight from the children’s perspective. So, this is what we are going to try and do with all of our parent sessions – we are going to get the children to help explain concepts or to demonstrate how things are done. They are going to ‘model’ the learning and help explain new concepts to parents. This is a brilliant idea.
During our staff meeting this week we are going to start planning for some of these sessions to take place before February half term. I’m hoping that having the children involved and running key aspects will help more parents to turn up and to make these sessions seem more fun, exciting and open.
How are parent sessions run in your school? What topics do you cover with the parents and what have you found to be effective not only in raising attendance but in sustaining such events?