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Linking and informing the wider community of parents


CONNECTIONS – with parents and the community

Entry to the school is by lottery and students come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. The digital student portfolio enables parents to review their child's progress from anywhere via the internet and this makes the work of the school more transparent to parents. Parents are invited into the school by students to attend the SLC – the student led conference. The high-tech focus of the school fits in with the many high tech enterprises of the area and students are able to do internships with local firms. The adult type experience that students have in these last three years of their schooling gives them the confidence to make a success of this and leads to future employment. Many parents working in high tech enterprises want their kids to come to the school but balance is maintained through admission by lottery.

Students comments:

"At the SLC we tell our parents them how we are doing and what we are doing – for example, like time management"

*see full case studies in the 'Research and Resources' section

Case Study: Sir William Burrough Primary School (2015)

CONNECTIONS – Bringing parents together :

Sir William Burrough is a hub for its community. 'Cup of Tea Mornings' are alive with great ideas and suggestions, and 'Opening Doors' brings families from diverse cultures together in each other's homes, where tolerance, understanding and food are all served up in equal measure. The Toddler Group is simultaneously a hive of activity and a place of peace and joy, and a great introduction to "big school."

*see full Case Study in the 'Research and Resources' section

Case Study:Bishops Park College, Jaywick, Essex (2005)

CONNECTIONS – with parents and the community

Relationships between parents and their children's teachers were very strong and positive. Parents very much appreciated the care which all staff took to get to know their child thoroughly, and knew that tutors, teachers and learning mentors were easily accessible in person or by phone or email.

At the end of every term, a Saturday morning Academic Mentoring session was arranged for every student, who would accompany their parents or carers to the College and meet their tutor to show their work for the term to their family, and share what they had achieved. This was always a very well attended event, and often had a peripheral family event running alongside it. Students took every opportunity to invite members of their families into the College, regularly planning exhibitions (for example, of Faculty work) or other demonstrations of their work.

There were frequent visitors to the College, both from the local and the wider community. People from varied walks of life came to work with students, often giving them a taste of life beyond compulsory schooling, during Faculties or clubs, and broadening their horizons; from a local businessman who spent the day assessing their proposals for a new company, to the Holocaust survivor whose memories stunned them into an awed silence. When visitors came to see the College, it was always a group of students who showed them round.

The Bishops Park site provided accommodation to the public library, and a day care centre for the elderly, as well as a nursery. Students became involved with all of these, using the library, visiting people in the day care centre and doing work experience in the nursery. In many ways, the site became a hub for the community of Jaywick.

Students comments

"When Mum comes to see you on Academic Saturday, it's like I've got two mums!"(1)

*see full Case Study in the 'Research and Resources' section

Case Study: Madeley Court School (1977-83)

CONNECTIONS – bringing together school and community

Parents are of vital importance in the community school concept. Their partnership with the school is part of the essential fabric of education. At Madeley Court parents were invited in to the classrooms to share in lessons and participated in the Parents and School Coordinating Committee which one year raised £30,000 for the school. Their involvement went beyond traditional bounds - according to the Ofsted Report, parents had a consultative role in relation to the relevance of the curriculum for young people growing up in Telford.

Relationships with the business world were close. In an area of severe unemployment in the late 1970s work experience was seen as a high priority. Each student in Year 11 engaged in a work experience assignment, individually negotiated and written up. Parents contributed to this process. The school introduced School-to-Work conferences to Shropshire after 1977 on the Industrial Society model whereby local employers came to the school to work in small groups and workshops with the students.

*see full Case Study in the 'Research and Resources' section

Case Study: Stanley Park High School (2015)

CONNECTIONS – Forming links locally, nationally and overseas

The school stresses the importance of excellent relationships with parents. The school works very hard to ensure that they are fully involved in the topping and tailing of every initiative. Most recently they have taken an active role in the redevelopment of the assessment procedures and the introduction of Student Led Conferences. One parent commented:

"I'm glad the school have initiated this, as it will prepare my daughter to take ownership in her education and progress. I was really impressed to see my daughter being able to present in a confident manner and I'm sure this student led conference will prepare her for the future."

*see full Case Study in the 'Research and Resources' section

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