Since the inception of St Luke’s in February 2017, one of the ongoing challenges of designing a ‘new normal’ for preschool to post school has been to clarify how we work in partnership with parents to nurture faith filled curious children to become creative contributors and innovative problem solvers for a changing world.
With reference to the Family-School and Community Partnerships Bureau. 2012 and other research, we know that purposeful partnerships between school and families create better conditions in which children learn more effectively. That same research reminds us that parental involvement and parental engagement have a positive impact on student academic achievement, social skills and behaviour.
Over the course of Term 2 2019, a few members of staff have collaboratively worked with parents to co-construct an understanding of parent involvement, parent engagement and community engagement. We know that targeted and purposeful parent involvement and engagement will support better learning outcomes.
At St Luke’s Parent Involvement occurs when parents attend and assist at school organised events. It includes activities such as:
- Cooking pancakes
- Assisting with Bar-B-Ques
- Setting up spaces and places
- Attending Liturgies and Monday assemblies
- Participating at Community days
- Helping out with sports events at CEDP and other representative days.
At St Luke’s, Parent Engagement occurs when parents participate in and contribute towards learning focused activities. Examples include:
- Parent Learning Walk
- Kindergarten Orientation
- Numeracy workshop
- Reading workshop
- Participating in Facebook Live event
- Engagement with (yet to be developed) live online dashboards of student progress.
- Engaging with child’s Post School Pathways Plan (Year 9 onwards)
At St Luke’s, Community Engagement is when parents, community partners and other industry experts support, contribute and value add to student learning. It could include:
- Parent presentations to students, classes or large groups in an area of expertise.
- Parent participation in learning spaces linking their expertise to learning focus of the small/large group.
- Accepting Internships/Traineeships.
- Mentoring students with Passion Projects.
We know that increased parent involvement, meaningful parent engagement and purposeful community engagement will ensure greater possibilities for each child to grow as a learner and as a person at St Luke’s. The next step is to work with parents to action this for the remainder of 2019.