At St Mary’s, we believe education is a three way partnership between our students, our parents and school.
For our students to make the most of their potential, each partner must be fully committed and equally valued and respected.
We recognise the outcomes of this successful partnership through students who are active participants in what they are learning, assessing and reporting, rather than passive receivers of knowledge.
Parents need to be active participants, engaged in educating your children with the help of our professional teachers.
As your child’s first teacher, you can encourage your child’s innate passion to learn, through fostering curiosity about their world. Children catch the learning bug if their parents are enthusiastic and excited by learning.
For St Mary’s school’s part of the partnership, we need to excel at what we specialise in, developing professional learning leaders who are committed to ‘the student at the centre’ philosophy of teaching, learning, assessment and reporting practices and who care about your child’s all- round development.
You can play your part and fill your family life with learning by using the 6 Factor Framework:
- Expectations: set high and consistent standards for your children
- Routines: which promote health, well-being and learning.
- Learning opportunities: Provide a home learning environment that stimulates learning.
- Support: praise your child’s learning attempts, mistakes, the process rather than successes to develop their ‘growth mindset’ for learning.
- Culture: establish a warm, cooperative, positive environment around learning at home.
- Role model: show that you are a successful learner, give positive affirming messages about learning to learn, model being a reader, the love of numbers and help to foster a curiosity about the world through posing questions and helping them notice.
How to Play Your Part and Fill your Family Life with Learning
A 6 Factor Framework
- Expectations- set high and consistent standards for your children
- Routines- promote health, well being and regular study.
- Learning opportunities- provide a home learning environment that stimulates learning.
- Support- show interest, give specific praise and teach social and learning skills.
- Culture- establish a warm, cooperative, positive environment.
- Being a role model- show that you too are a successful learner.
Using the 6 Factor Framework parents could:
- Be clear about their high- expectations
- Look ahead and help their child set goals
- Make clear their belief that all children can get smarter and learn more effectively through effort and positive thinking
- Show affection and warmth while at the same time maintaining consistent boundaries of expected behaviour
- Set clear routines for the time before and after school and for weekends and encourage your child to be involved in a reasonable amount of regular extra curricula activity
- Use mealtimes as an opportunity to talk
- Set aside time to read with their child and to look at their school and home learning
- Create space for their child to tell them when he/she is under stress or worried
- Opportunity to Learn
- Ensure their home has lots of games, puzzles and books
- Make sure that their child has a quiet place to study
- Find things to learn together on a regular basis, ideally with parents sometimes creating special one to one time with each child
- Use everyday activities, cooking, gardening, making things, reading the newspaper to do things together and get to know one another more
- Celebrate effort and hard work whenever possible
- Tune into the way their child learns, providing hands on experiences where possible and also opportunities to reflect
- Teach their child to practise- setting aside time, setting goals, repeating the hard bits, watching experts etc.
- Make it clear that learning involves making mistakes and requires effort
- Encourage their child’s questioning!
- Notice what their child loves doing and be on the lookout for their emerging passions
- Talk about times when they are finding something difficult and what they are doing to cope
- Role modelling
- Talk about their own learning, successes, frustrations, times they have had to persist at something
- Take the opportunity to share their passions and show how they make time to do things that matter to them
- Talk about people they admire
The following statements are what we hope to develop with all our parents;
Parents are able to understand assessment terminology and access assessment data on their child.
Parents are able to ask questions and have dialogue in relation to their child's learning.
Parents are able to support their child's next learning steps.
Parents are in communication with their child's teacher and the school regarding their child’s progress and achievement.
This approach to learning is motivational to students. They come to lead their own learning because they come to be in control of it.
Teachers help children to scaffold their next steps. The students are self motivated to improve. Parents have a big part to play in sustaining and encouraging their children. Your questioning and your understanding ensures your children of their progress and development. We need you as part of this vision. You are in this partnership. Please take up your role in your children's education.
Support For Parents
TOUGHLOVE NZ is a unique national organisation which focuses on parents of teenagers and provides ongoing support for as long as required. It operates a national network of support groups which meet once a week. Thousands of parents in New Zealand have benefited from the TOUGHLOVE programme. www.toughlove.org.nz
The Incredible Years Programme is a 14-18 session programme for parents of children aged 3 - 8, which helps parents turn behaviour around and create an enjoyable and harmonious family life. Parents come together each week and develop approaches to use at home with problem behaviours. The programme is delivered by Ministry of Education, Special Education staff and by 51 non-government organisations (NGOs) contracted to deliver the programme in partnership with the Ministry. Eleven of the NGOs are Whanau Ora providers. Many are also providing a range of social services to families funded through the ministries of Health or Social Development or other agencies. www.incredibleyears.com