Re-thinking Parent Engagement in Schools is a Potential Game-changer - Expert


From electronic video newsletters for boarding parents, to “blossom bags” with home-based literacy activities for Prep and Kindergarten parents, Queensland independent schools are adopting new approaches to link school and home to enhance student learning.

The projects (see summaries below) were showcased at a parent engagement breakfast hosted by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) in Brisbane today.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said more than 40 years of research had shown that student outcomes and wellbeing were maximised when parents were not simply involved in their child’s school but were actively engaged in supporting their learning.

“In the busyness of modern-day 24/7 connected lives, sometimes the simplest activities such as eating a meal together or asking a child what they learned in school, can be lost. Yet the Programme for International Student Assessment has shown family activities like these can have the biggest impact on student outcomes.”

Mr Robertson said today’s breakfast was part of a broader joint project by ISQ and the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network (QIS Parents Network) to support community and parent engagement in independent schools.

Breakfast keynote speaker, Lecturer in Curriculum Studies at The University of Queensland, Dr Linda Willis said schools that are “knocking it out of the park” in terms of parent engagement were often doing very simple and practical activities.

However, she said these were grounded in an appreciation of the role of parents as the “first and continuing teachers of their children” and shaped around the needs of local families and the communities in which they are situated.

“When schools do that, it’s potentially game-changing.”

Dr Willis said strategies could be as simple as teachers providing a “week ahead” parent newsletter outlining the learning for the week; creating a parent room that encouraged families “to linger after morning drop-off” to network with other parents and school staff; and asking parents to give talks or value-add to student learning based on their skills and interests.

Dr Willis said at its heart, parent engagement was about building respectful, trusting and positive relationships that benefit student learning.

“If parents can see a school is genuine about inviting them and what they are being invited to do is linked to their child’s learning the research tells us they are more likely to invest,” she said.

QIS Parents Network Executive Officer Sue Kloeden said just 15 percent of a child’s waking life would have been spent at school by the time they graduate Year 12.

“There is an incredible and untapped potential for families to have a substantial impact on their child’s learning and wellbeing in partnership with their schools,” Ms Kloeden said.

“However, some parents don’t know how to help or may not feel confident in their abilities to support their child’s learning. That’s where the expertise and guidance of our schools is so critical,” she said.

Ms Kloeden said the QIS Parents Network maintains a central online hub of parent engagement resources and research for all schools and parents on its website.

It also provides funding support to independent schools that want to build and enhance how they engage parents in their child’s education. This funding is administered through ISQ’s Research in Schools Program.

Three schools that have been funded through the program shared their projects at today’s breakfast:

The Southport School proved distance is no barrier to engaging parents in their son’s school lives. The Gold Coast school improved its reach and connection with boarding families through the development of an interactive, electronic boarding newsletter.

Border Rivers Christian College recognised dads were less visible in the school than mums. The Goondiwindi school used simple, but effective strategies to engage its father figures in the life of the school and the education of their children.

St John’s Anglican College saw an opportunity to partner with their Kindergarten and Prep parents to reinforce classroom learning at home. They introduced take-home “blossom bags” containing a storybook and a connected hands-on home activity that encourages parents to talk, play and have fun with their children, all of which have a positive impact on a student’s oral language development.

Children Community Education & Schools Familes

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) :
PO Box 957 Spring Hill Qld 4004, Queensland Wide
07 3228 1515
Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ)
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Back to School 2020 - Qld Set to Usher in Extraordinary School Year 16 January 2020 | 2020 will be an extraordinary year for school education in Queensland with enrolments set to spike and Year 12s to sit external assessments for the first time in almost 50 years. More information...
Year 12 Results Set to Hit Student Online Accounts on Saturday 13 December 2019 | There will be a mix of anticipation and nerves in the households of the graduating class of 2019 tonight as Queensland school-leavers and their families count down to the release of Year 12 results. More information...
Renewed National Narrative for Schooling Welcomed by Independent Schools 12 December 2019 | Queensland’s independent schooling sector has welcomed the release of a renewed national narrative for schooling, committing to work in partnership with all sectors and communities to achieve the vision for... More information...
Leadership Change at Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network 29 November 2019 | After five years at the helm of the Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network (QIS Parents Network) inaugural Executive Officer Sue Kloeden is stepping down and a new Executive Officer is taking the reins... More information...
School’s out for History-making Class of 2019 15 November 2019 | Queensland’s historic first group of Prep students will finish their 13th year and final day of school today (Friday 15 November). More information...
Financial Education Aid to Flow to Drought-Impacted Independent School Communities 07 November 2019 | Queensland’s independent schooling sector has welcomed $10 million in federal Special Circumstances education funding to assist non-government school communities impacted by the nation’s record-breaking... More information...
Queensland Turns the Spotlight on Teachers 24 October 2019 | Teachers’ role at the heart of learning will be celebrated across the state tomorrow (Friday, 25 October) when the community pays tribute to the profession on World Teachers’ Day. More information...
Celebrating Exceptional Classroom Teachers 18 October 2019 | The exceptional classroom teaching and combined 400 years of professional experience of 27 independent school educators will be honoured tonight ahead of World Teachers’ Day on 25 October. More information...
Costs Could Constrain Future Growth in Independent Sector 17 October 2019 | Parental choice in schooling could be eroded if the independent schooling sector is unable to meet forecast enrolment growth due to high land and infrastructure costs, Queensland’s peak independent sector body... More information...
Re-thinking Parent Engagement in Schools is a Potential Game-changer - Expert 09 September 2019 | From electronic video newsletters for boarding parents, to “blossom bags” with home-based literacy activities for Prep and Kindergarten parents, Queensland independent schools are adopting new approaches to... More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service