Your child spends a lot of time at their school, so you’ll want it to be the best it can be. There are lots of ways you can contribute and also get to know some of the people who are a part of your child’s life at school.
Here are a few ideas:
Step on in
If you can, try to go into the school sometimes when you take your child in or pick them up. This simple act shows your child that you are interested in what they are doing. It also makes it much easier to talk to your child about their day, and gives you the chance to meet other kids, parents, and teachers.
Offer a hand
Especially in the early years of primary school, there are lots of ways to help out in the classroom, from listening to children reading to preparing materials for craft activities. You don’t need any special skills—just ask the teacher if they’d like any help. They’ll let you know what you can do and whether there are any requirements for parents working with children at the school.
Stay in touch
Don’t rely on your child to tell you what’s happening—make sure the school has your current contact details so they can send you newsletters and information about upcoming activities. When the school sends you something, read it and add events to your calendar.
There’s often an active parent group putting on events or running working groups, and they’re usually keen for volunteers. Check the school website or newsletter to find out who they are and what they are doing, or ask at the front office.
Contribute to the big picture
Schools also have formal mechanisms for parents who want to be involved in school decision making. Being part of a school board or school council means you can be part of a team, along with the principal, teachers, other parents and community members, in shaping the future for your school.
Tap into resources
Schools are always keen to promote the wellbeing of your child, and do their best to connect students and their families to support. If you are facing difficulties or think your child might need special assistance, you can have a confidential discussion with a teacher, counsellor, student liaison officer or principal.
The good news: research suggests that when schools, families and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to have positive attitudes toward school, stay in school longer, and do better.