Personal contact, including meetings, home visits, telephone calls, and curriculum nights or open evenings, appear to be the most effective form of communication and may be among the most familiar.
The establishment of effective school-home communication has grown more complex as society has changed. The great diversity among families means that it is not possible to rely on a single method of communication that will reach all homes with a given message. We now need to consider a variety of strategies, which can be adapted to meet the needs of particular families and their diaries.
Some strategies to consider include:
- Parent meetings – these can be informal opportunities, e.g. a quick catch up before or after school or a more formally arranged through an appointment. These every day interactions with parents provide the foundation for mutual support and keep parents informed about school practices. This could include information about their child’s development, achievement and learning goals, as well as how they can support their child or young person at home.
- Parent-teacher associations or school community meetings.
- Weekly or monthly folders of their child’s work sent home for parent review and comment.
- Parent newsletters
- Annual open evenings
- Curriculum nights
- Home visits (where applicable)
- Phone calls and texts
- Articles in the the local newspapers
- Annual grandparents or “special persons” days
- Homework hotlines
- Annual school trip outings
- Workshops for parents – This could include offering demonstrations of teaching and opportunities for questions and discussions, as well as making videos of literacy or maths with explanations and a commentary on the video.
- Family learning activities
- Communications that are focused on fathers as well as mothers.
- E-mail or information on the school website. For example, event calendars, class websites or blogs to inform parents about what their child is currently working on in school.
- Home school agreements – establishes the partnership between the school and parents.
- Home school link books – particularly useful for parents who are not able to get into school on a regular basis.
- The child or young person participates in or leads a parent-teacher evening.
- Writing in a ‘family message book’ about different aspects of their school day, such as something they learned, or an upcoming event, and take it home each day for the family to read
- The child or young person takes photographs or make videos to share with their families/in school.
- Inviting parents to school performances and other events. e.g. quiz and pizza nights
- Using children and young people or parents as ambassadors, e.g. to show other parents around the school.
Last updated 2 October 2020