With all children back in school, it would be easy to ease off parent communication, but actually, that parent partnership is just as important as always. Not only may there be instances where pupils or bubbles need to stay at home and isolate (so preparations need to be in place for those circumstances), but a lot of parents may be feeling quite worried about their children being back in school.
After a long period of being off school, even the pupils that were most looking forward to being back may still feel some anxiety. After all, they had to stay home for their health and now, with the virus still present, they are sent back in. In any case, it will be a transition for pupils who have been off, as well as key workers’ children who have been used to smaller class sizes. Similarly, although many parents will appreciate the return to school (especially as many had to juggle home schooling and working without any childcare), they too will understandably have concerns about their children being back in school. They may wonder how their children are being kept safe, how they will feel in their school environment. What will the classroom look like now? Has the school day structure changed? There is a lot for them to mull over.
How tech can help
That is where tools like ReallySchool can help. By enabling teachers to send parents images, videos and audio clips of their child in school, it gives parents some answers to these questions. They will be able to see how their child is doing and celebrate learning and achievements with them. Through comments, teachers can open a simple dialogue with parents which can help to provide further reassurance. All of these features are quick and easy to use which is a bonus for teachers as they can so easily connect with parents; saving them both time and workload.
Even just awarding a student a badge for achievement can be a great way to let parents know their child is okay and that they are getting back into the routine of their school life.
Additionally, involving parents in their child’s learning will make them feel more valued by the school and help teachers to build a positive relationship with them.
A quick guide to our new parental engagement feature
With the importance of this relationship in mind, we have further developed our parental engagement features to enable parents to create their own observations from home. This gives them the opportunity to celebrate their child’s out-of-school learning and share special achievements with their class teacher.
Please note: this feature is only available on the app, which can be downloaded free onto an Android or iOS mobile or tablet device.
- Once logged in to the parent app, a parent can press the + button and start their observation with some text, a video, photo or audio clip.
- They can even create an observation for multiple children and give each of them an individual note and media attachments. To add these, parents can press the + button and choose to add video, photo or audio, as well as type notes in the text box. They can press each child’s avatar to switch between notes.
- Once they tick to confirm their observation is complete, the class teacher and any other staff assigned specifically to that class (such as teaching assistants) will receive a notification that a parent has shared an observation. Teachers can select ‘review’ to provide feedback to parents − and also award badges to celebrate pupils’ success.
- Teachers can also apply assessments to parental observations to track learning progress outside of school.
- If a teacher saves or posts the parent observation, it is added to the child’s journal.
Please note: once a teacher saves/posts the observation, the parents will no longer be able to edit it.