New project is already getting 10 out of 10
A new project is helping Renfrewshire pupils get the most out of school ... by inviting their parents to get back into the classroom.
Parents of pupils in three secondary schools – Castlehead, in Paisley, Gryffe, in Houston, and Renfrew’s Trinity High – were invited to take part in a pilot of the Parents in Partnership programme to help close the poverty-related attainment gap.
The pilot project, funded by Renfrewshire Council, assessed how a child’s attainment might relate to parental or carer involvement.
Parents, who attended school one morning a week for six weeks, said that the flexible model of the programme meant their unique family circumstances were taken into account and they were supported by the Homelink service, who work with identified pupils and their families to improve achievement and attainment.
Teachers also found that parents were able to read with their children more often once they realised it only needed to involve 15 minutes of reading and a chat afterwards.
Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Renfrewshire is ambitious for our pupils. We want all young people to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.
“Reducing the impact of poverty on attainment is a key priority for the council and being part of Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supported by the Pupil Equity Fund, is a big deal for Renfrewshire’s children.
“We’ve already recorded results from adopting the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, which has seen teachers adapting teaching styles to develop a love of reading in all pupils.
“We know involving parents and carers in school life is a great way to support pupils, with parents encouraging reading at night, and that has a knock-on effect on how well the child does at school.”
He added: “High school is an unknown world for parents, so being able to involve them in the school day and encouraging more communication between teachers and parents has been incredibly beneficial.
“Parents have told us that they have benefitted from understanding high school life, felt they could talk to their child more about school and that they had much more confidence in approaching teachers for support, while pupils have also felt they have more support at home.
“We will continue to build on the project, responding to the needs of parents and carers, as well as the pupils across Renfrewshire schools.”
Linda O’Neill, of the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland ( CELCIS), which supported the project, said: “We know that working with parents and carers in a meaningful way through school has the real potential to support family learning and improve the wellbeing of both children and their parents and carers.
“It’s great to see Renfrewshire Council making a commitment to develop real and lasting partnerships between parents, schools and communities though Parents in Partnership.”
Involving parents and carers in school life is a great way to support pupils Jim Paterson