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Best practice for engaging parents in the spring term

Now that the spring term is well underway, there are many important dates coming up. Engaging parents now will make it much easier to enlist their help for KS2 SATs, KS3 options or exams and assessments at KS4.

It is often those ‘hard-to-reach’ parents that teachers most want to talk to. These are the ones least likely to attend parents’ evenings and academic review days. For many parents, the thought of coming into school can be quite intimidating and overwhelming, especially if they are expecting bad news.

Of course, if they came and talked to your teaching staff they would realise how supportive your school is. But how to get them in?

The key is to break the vicious circle and change parents’ expectations. If they are used to coming through your school gates and having positive experiences, they will be more open to attending those all-important parents’ evenings.

Here are three chances to engage parents in your school community this term:

National Storytelling Week

National Storytelling Week takes place from 28th January to 4th February and is a celebration for all ages of the oral tradition of storytelling, National Storytelling Week takes place in schools, theatres, museums, hospitals and care homes all over the country.

Invite parents to school for a Storytelling Week Event such as a bonfire with blankets, hot chocolate and stories. Enlist the help of your Drama department to organise the storytelling, or seek pupils, staff and parents to volunteer.

National Bug Busting Days

It would seem that busting bugs needs to happen more than once a year, so the National Bug Busting Days are 31st January, 15th June and 31st October.

The idea behind this initiative is to take a whole-school approach to tackling head lice and get rid of them all in one fell-swoop. Many schools across the country take part in National Bug Busting Days. Synchronising bug busting in this way helps to prevent lice from circulating.

From the perspective of engaging parents, addressing and educating all parents in one go takes away any stigma or blame associated with treating head lice.

Time for a Cuppa

Time for a Cuppa (1st-8th March) helps to raise money for Dementia UK, with the goal of employing more Admiral Nurses to help families facing dementia.

Host a Time for a Cuppa tea party and invite parents to attend. Make sure you give plenty of notice to get good attendance, and remind parents again nearer the time.

Invite pupils’ families to bring a contribution – either in the form of food or a donation to the charity, or even to help run the tea party. Engaging parents with an opportunity to socialise whilst helping the school to raise money will help them to feel a part of your school community. You could even get pupils to serve their parents so that they can put their feet up for a change!

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