Today it is generally accepted that when parents express confidence in the school and are involved with it in some way, their children are likely to be happier and perform better in the classroom. Young children view their parents and staff sharing common beliefs, attitudes and goals. They therefore feel more secure and more purposeful.
It has been found that when home-based educational objectives clash with school based objectives, the student normally resolves the conflict by rejecting the school. This underlines the importance of the need for parents and staff to work together.
Close Links : Home - School Partnerships
At Our Lady Star of the Sea, we try to maintain very close links with parents. Once forged, these links have been found to result in:
A Helping Hand
- greater understanding by parents of their children's schooling;
- greater understanding by staff of the children and their needs;
- better communication between home and school;
- fewer crises and misunderstandings;
- higher student morale and confidence;
- more goodwill and mutual esteem between parents and staff; and
- a happier school.
In 2003 a parent booklet was introduced which provides a framework of some of the basic literacy and numeracy concepts that your child / children will be learning in class. This is part of the Home / School Partnership focus.
We believe it is important that the information is shared with our families who are always supportive when addressing the curriculum needs of children. Children may bring home other helpful information and worksheets as the year progresses, so please be sure to add these to your booklet.
We ask you to 'pace' the work over the school year. You will be informed on occasion by the teachers, as to what the class focus may be - eg - x2 table, "oo" sound etc. Enjoy - have fun helping your child! Please don't forget to let us know how this partnership is going!
The partnership of parents and staff is vital to the achievement of Our Lady Star of the Sea's aims. The primary role of the Catholic school is to support parents in the formation of their children's faith.
Parents are involved in the following ways at Our Lady Star of the Sea:
- As community members they elect and largely comprise the School Board, and are the basis of the Parents and Friends Association which builds our educational community and provides so many resources;
- Their voice is heard in policy formation;
- Through their communication with their child's teacher, home and school can complement each other in encouraging development of the whole child;
- Our Behaviour Management program is based on parent support; and
- Parents play a valuable role in the classroom in extending the children's experiences and access to adult assistance. The active developmental style of learning we provide at Our Lady Star of the Sea needs this parent support in all areas including participation in the Junior Primary Perceptual-Motor Programme, language activities, art and craft, physical education, Library, Canteen, excursions etc.
We appreciate the extra personal involvement parent participation permits the children, and know that it is a rewarding experience for parents to observe children in their "work" situation.
Because teachers are entrusted with the development of whole classes of children, and have the long term good of each child at heart, we ask that parent helpers also provide for all the children - confidentiality, support and equal opportunities they would wish for their own child.
The teacher, as the caring professional and facilitator, will at all times provide the guidance needed by classroom helpers. If there is any part of the program that helpers are not clear about, we ask that they discuss it with the teacher, and not outside the classroom.
Children benefit greatly from the involvement of their parents in classroom activities.
Guidelines for Parent Helpers
The classroom teacher is responsible for the education, control and behaviour management of the children. The parent is a helper, working under his / her direction.
The classroom teacher is the professional and facilitates the learning. The school expects parents to respect the teacher's expertise and maintain a professional attitude as they work alongside the teacher. The school stresses the importance of being professional and it insists that parents do not discuss classroom, events, "children" outside the class or school.
Parent / Teacher Communication
Communication between home and school is essential if we are to reinforce the benefits of the Catholic Education you have chosen for your child.
Avenues of communication are:
ASSESSMENT and EVALUATION
Parent / Teacher information sessions
- Weekly Newsletter is distributed each Thursday. Please ensure your child brings one home each week as it keeps you up to date with current events.
- Calendar of Events is sent home at the beginning of each term.
- Interviews teachers welcome parents to make appointments to discuss their child's progress at any stage of the year. Because of responsibilities of classes and demands on teachers for out-of-school hours preparation and professional development, parents are asked to make an appointment at a mutually convenient time.
- P & F Meetings provide a good forum for gathering information about school happenings and are a way to make a real contribution to your children's education.
- Notes are sent home periodically by class teachers and administration. Please respond promptly if an answer is needed.
- Uniform Notes are sent home when part of a child's uniform is incorrect. If a child receives a 3rd uniform note one of the Assistant Principals will contact parents to discuss the reasons.
- General Meetings / Workshops are scheduled during the year to ensure co-operation and understanding of current topics such as sacramental programs, new syllabi and learning activities. Parents are urged to attend these, as they provide an overview of your child's experiences.
These will cover information on how the child's class is organised, Family Involvement, how behaviour management and positive reinforcement is achieved and how excursions and activities are planned. Social issues, religious education programs, information on school policies, class plans and programs are also discussed.
At this meeting Home/School Partnership booklets are given to parents. These provide an overview on how parents may help and support their children in the various learning areas.
Parent / Teacher Interviews take place between Week 5 and 10.
Portfolios are sent home at the end of Term 1. These provide examples of the different learning areas and how the child has been progressing during the term. They provide opportunities for parents to comment on student work.
Three-Way Conference with the student, parent and teacher.
An interview situation that focuses on what the child has been learning, and the goals they have set for themselves at school.
- Portfolios are sent home.
- An invitation to travel on a class Learning Journey .
- W.A.L.N.A. Testing in Years 3, 5 & 7.
An opportunity for parents to be taken on a journey around the classroom and school, and experience some of the learning activities that the children have been working on.
A formal written report. This looks at the "whole" child.
How Parents Can Make a Good School Better
- Make an effort to understand what the school is trying to do. If you can, express your support for our aims and the values we express.
- If at all possible, participate on committees and in discussion groups that consider educational issues and give opinions to the staff.
- See the school as YOUR school. Encourage your children to see it in the same way.
- By all means offer constructive criticism and suggestions and direct your information to the right people at the right time and in the right place.
- You are always welcome to attend school activities - assemblies, open days, plays, concerts, picnics, sporting functions, celebrations. Bring a friend or friends!
- Join the official parent group, (Parents & Friends) and look after the school's interests.
- Welcome new parents. Help them feel that they belong. Build their confidence in the school.
- Support a broad and balanced curriculum. Resist attempts by any pressure groups to narrow the curriculum to things that are purely functional and measurable.
- Encourage your children to co-operate fully, to join in all school activities and to take a pride in the buildings, the grounds and the school community as a whole.
- Let the Principal and the staff know that you support them, even if sometimes you have to be a friendly critic or a critical friend.