St. Peter’s National School
Policy of Parental Involvement
Partnership is a working relationship that is characterised by a shared sense of purpose, mutual respect and a willingness to negotiate”.
Gillian Pugh, Working Towards Partnership in the Early Years
Parents as a group have a range of talents, abilities and skills that have the potential to enrich and extend the educational opportunities provided for the children. It is our policy to identify those parents who would like to become involved in programmes running in St. Peter’s and to invite those parents to share their skills with us at a school and a class level.
· Respect for the professional role of the teacher and the statutory responsibilities of the Principal, Patron and the Board of Management is always an important consideration.
· Parents are invited to become involved in the school in many ways and at many levels, for example:
- Serving on school bodies (Board of Management, Parent-Teacher Association.
- Fundraising, Sponsored Walks, School Tours
- Policy making e.g. Code of Discipline; relationships and Sexuality Education; Religious Education Programme; Parent-Teacher Association Constitution; Homework; School Lunch Box
- In the classroom with Maths for Fun and Shared Reading Programmes
- As partners in the Jolly Phonics Scheme for Junior and Senior Infants
2. Benefits of Parental Involvement
Children benefit from greater diversity in the classroom.
· Children profit from more one-to-one attention.
· Parental skills may support and complement work already taking place.
· Parental involvement actively supports and encourages the child’s learning.
· A wide range of activity is facilitated. This can be interesting and fun and can lead to a broader and more holistic education.
· It promotes ‘good parent/teacher relationships and a better level of understanding between home and school’ (National Parents’ Council).
· It enhances communication, trust and respect between parents and teachers.
· Parents can learn about the curriculum.
· Parental involvement allows children to see that school is an extension of home and therefore fosters the idea of the ‘school family.’
· Parental skills can contribute to the smooth running and development of the school.
· Parental involvement provides the opportunity of making lifelong friends.
3. How to get involved
· Parents are, first of all, invited to consider their interests and time available and communicate this information to the class teacher or the Home School Liaison or Principal to accommodate them in getting involved in Maths for Fun, Shared Reading, Parenting Classes, or any other programmes where they can see themselves taking part.
· Parents can consult with the class teacher about hobbies, skills or interests they can share with the class, bearing in mind that needs change from year to year.
· Parents can work in conjunction with the teachers in a planned and co-ordinated way. For example, they could help with library and shared reading book exchange, assist at tour times and sponsored walks, work with the children at various curricular activities and lend a welcome hand in many other areas which can be identified with the teacher or the HSCL.
· Ongoing courses over a number of weeks may enhance and enrich the parent’s sense of being a part of our school: parents are encouraged to discuss any ideas they may have with the Home School Community Liaison.
· Parents can help with tours and trips, organising the school library, art and P.E. resources and may also like to make costumes for school concerts.
· Opportunities are endless – baking, flower arranging, Positive Parenting, English Classes and discussion…..the school courses for parents free of charge and welcome all ideas.
Please note that an appendix to this document contains guidelines for parents in the classroom and a confidentiality form.
Guidelines for Getting Involved
· The happiness, welfare and safety of our children are our primary concern. A child’s personal history and academic achievements are strictly confidential. Any doubts about issues of confidentiality must be discussed with the teacher.
· Respect for the teachers in their professional capacity is essential.
· Discipline remains the responsibility of the teacher.
· Parents come into the classroom at the invitation of the teacher by prior arrangement and for an agreed purpose.
· All work will be supervised by the teacher.
· Parents who participate should be conscious of and sensitive to the needs of the entire class, not just the needs of their own child.
· Parents coming into the classroom must consult with the teacher before inviting other parents/individuals to participate.
· In the interests of safety, toddlers and young children cannot be accommodated during a classroom activity.
· The highest standard of behaviour and language is expected.
· Punctuality and consistency are crucial.
· No fees are payable. Any expenses that you wish to reclaim must be sanctioned in advance by the teacher and must be accompanied by receipts.
· The school ethos must be upheld at all times and it is important to keep in mind that the school is co-educational, Catholic, child centred and democratic. Consequently, respect for all the partners in education – children, teachers and parents – must be upheld at all times.