YoungMinds in Schools: Involving parents in pupils' learning
When there is such a body of research showing that the involvement of parents and carers in their children’s schooling can have an extremely positive impact on learning outcomes, we really do need to do all we can to engage them in school life as early as possible. Miss this opportunity, and it seems that children and young people have less chance of reaching their potential.
In order to address these needs, YoungMinds in Schools has been working with a group of schools in Tottenham. This short film shows practical strategies for involving parents and developing links between learning at school and learning at home. For example, the “stay and play” approach, where parents of children in reception and KS1 stay for the first half hour of the school day, is a successful way of helping parents to understand more about the way in which children learn at school and of getting parental support for children’s learning. It also helps children to settle into the school environment and to feel confident at school.
Meeting the emotional needs of parents is crucial, too, if they are to have a clear understanding of how to meet the emotional needs of their children. Encouraging parents to join their children in school teaches them how to support their child’s learning as well as their emotional development. It gives them a good insight into how they are developing and how they are interacting with their peers. This is about feeling comfortable with learning and becoming aware of the many opportunities to support children’s learning. In addition, though, having this time at school with other parents also helps to boost confidence in parenting skills and to alleviate any stresses felt. The bonding achieved through shared activities such as the preparation of food, as shown in the film, can have many benefits for parents and carers.
Vulnerable children can be given additional support, as can parents who may feel isolated in their challenges with their children, especially those with mental health difficulties. To address these needs, YoungMinds runs a helpline specifically for parents and carers with children and young people up to the age of 25. Typically, the difficulties that parents call with stem from mental health problems, troubles with friends and peers and problems accessing learning.
More information about the YoungMinds helpline for parents can be found on our website. For detailed information on supporting the wellbeing of parents and carers, visit the YoungMinds in Schools wellbeing pages. You can also view the film featuring Tottenham schools on involving parents in their children’s learning.
Building strong partnerships with parents and carers supports the wellbeing of children of all ages. And when learning is at stake, these partnerships between schools and parents/carers really do have to take priority.