Tonight I was back in Pilton, a community I had the privilege and joy to live and work in for 29 years. Tracey Berry, Forthview Primary School’s teacher (pictured right) invited me back to see a film made by the parents, carers and staff of Forthview Primary school as part of a multimedia family learning project. I’ll show you that film in a few posts’ time. Tonight I am left deeply touched once more by the lives of my former neighbours, by their strength and by their spirit.
Tonight I witnessed Forthview’s excellent, sector-leading work in partnership with parents and carers. By contrast, recently and often in the past, colleagues have said, “How do you get parents and carers to come into school? Our just won’t come. You couldn’t do that here.”
My current practice doesn’t match up to Forthview’s excellence but that’s absolutely what I aspire to for my school and its community of families. So what’s the journey been to get to that place?
Let’s start by looking at a traditional view of parents and carers in school through a typical teacher interview question. ‘How can parents and carers support the work of the school?’ Standard answer – ‘Parents and carers can come on trips, offer paired reading, speak about their work to children, share skills eg football training, sewing, make storysacks, sit on parent council, run school fairs etc.’
Long time ago, that was how I looked on ‘working with parents’. Now, looking at that approach, ask yourself, ‘Is that an equal partnership? Who’s giving? Who’s gaining? Would that induce you into working with schools?……. (to be continued)