Parents as Partners
Here at the British Overseas School, we are proud to think of ourselves as a large family. A key part of this is the strong partnership between parents and staff. The strength of these bonds gives a sense of security and safety to our children. It allows them to grow in a community in which values are shared, co-operation is prized and consistency is unmistakable.
This philosophy lies at the the heart of our Parents as Partners initiative. This partnership should cover all aspects of a child’s life at school; whether they are educational, behavioural, social or emotional.
The objectives of the Parents as Partners initiative are to:
- form closer school/home links.
- help to identify areas of interest or concern.
- share best practice.
At the BOS we believe that effective communication is the cornerstone of a constructive partnership between the School and parents. Therefore, a range of communication channels have been created to allow the smooth flow of information from school to home and from home to school. We recognise that communication is a process and, as such, requires individuals to listen as well as to speak; to understand as well as to hear and to feedback responses and questions as part of the dialogue. Therefore, the School’s communication policy is an attempt to integrate these ideas.
These are held at the beginning of each academic year and the purposes are to:
- present the Primary School priorities for the academic year.
- bring the parents of each class together at the earliest opportunity in order to meet the teachers of their children for the coming year.
- enable the teachers to explain the practicalities and procedures for each class.
- demonstrate our desire to work together with the parents for the good of their children.
- provide a forum for parents to seek clarification or reassurance regarding class or school issues.
Informal Class Teacher Meetings
Parents are encouraged to contact the class teacher if they have any concerns about the progress their child is making. They are the individuals in school who know each child best and can give informed answers to questions parents may have.
Formal Class Teacher Meetings
At times there may be a need for a more formal meeting, outside of the planned parent/teacher conferences, to discuss a child’s development and progress. Such meetings may be initiated by either the parent or class teacher, and may also include a member of the management team, if necessary. For the benefit of all, brief notes are kept of such meetings as a reminder of the points of issue and the action to be taken.
Teaching is a dynamic process and educational practices are constantly evolving in the light of new findings relating to how children learn. Throughout the academic year, parents are invited to attend workshops relating to specific areas of the curriculum. These may take the form of presentations and activities for the parents alone, or may involve sessions with the children in the classrooms. The aims of these workshops are to demonstrate modern approaches to teaching, to give information and suggestions on how best to help the children at home, to help parents to feel secure in their understanding of the topics being studied and to answer queries or concerns that the parents may have.
Parent Teacher Conferences and Reports
Parents are given the opportunity to attend a more formal parent consultation on three occasions during the year. During each conference, parents are also given a summary of both the teacher and formal assessments pertaining to the child. This will provide a clear picture of the child’s attainment and achievement, together with desirable targets for the future. In line with our philosophy of openness and honesty, children are invited to accompany their parents to each conference.
Reports at the end of Terms One and Two consist of a document outlining the child’s progress in Literacy and Numeracy together with targets and appropriate action points. They also include a general comment and information about attendance and behaviour. These reports are given out at the Parent/Teacher Conferences.
At the end of the academic year the teachers prepare a more detailed report for each child in their class. This is a summary of the progress each child has made and is informed by the teachers’ ongoing assessment and the various formal assessments that your child will have taken during the year. Reports are given out before the final Parent/Teacher conference to enable parents to ask questions about the content of the report prior to the summer break.
Class Parent Coordinators
Each class in the Primary School has a Class Parent Coordinator, or CPC. Their primary roles are to foster good communication between the PTA and parents and to be a valuable resource to the teacher and the School. A full description of the role of the CPC is contained in the Parents’ Handbook.