Posted 14 days ago

Parents play an essential role in developing positive attitudes in their children towards learning and school in general. I know this well because currently one of my children, Rory, is having a difficult time having just started a new school.

 

How does the ‘engagement’ need change for children who need extra help?

He was the one child out of four for whom I did not expect challenging behaviour to emerge. But it has. Although Rory still appears to enjoy school there are key points during the day when his behaviour deteriorates and he becomes challenging and simply refuses to follow the rules or meet expectations. This can happen at any time during the day- afternoon assembly seems to be a key trigger, but there are others. He has always had a bit of a stubborn streak, but this never came to the fore at preschool. Clearly the change of environment and setting has impacted his behaviour.

Fortunately, we have a very good partnership with the school and they are making the best efforts to support him and deal with the issues. We have a behaviour plan in place and there is a sticker chart to reward achievement of his targets. This is certainly having a beneficial impact and gives us the opportunity to discuss his day at home. He’s keen to achieve and proud of his stickers, but the system has limitations. Although we try to catch up with the teacher at the end of each day this is not always possible. Having three other children to pick up, the needs of other parents and pressures on teacher’s time all mean that the hand-over can be counterproductive and the day is not clarified in sufficient detail to be able to react appropriately.

 

It is imperative to establish clear lines of communication.

This is where the school have used technology brilliantly to support us. Some time ago they introduced the School Ping app. This is now the route for most school communication. We get our monthly newsletters, other letters and information, parent evening bookings and even make payments via the system. However, it has really come into its own to support us through this difficult time. The app is now used for daily communication about Rory’s behaviour. We get a regular update and have a good idea of how the day has gone before we are there to pick him up. More importantly we know some of the detail behind the sticker or the space on the chart and can support the school and Rory appropriately.

 

The benefits of using an app to communicate.

Apparently, it takes the school no time at all to send us the message, it’s effectively just like sending a text or email. But it does have significant benefits. I not only find out about how Rory is doing but also receive photos of him doing some of his tasks and get a regular update on his behaviour plan. I get a notification as soon as a message is sent and it’s easy to access on my devices. One key thing we have noticed is that we can now see Rory’s ability to complete certain tasks, which he doesn’t do at home – which is a really nice feeling.

 

How has SchoolPing helped to manage things at home?

This information provided by the school through School Ping has really strengthened our discussions at home and improved our sharing time. We are seeing a shift in his behaviour and I’m very hopeful that he’ll soon settle back into the rhythm and routine that he’d established at preschool. We are doing our bit at home as best we can, and we are grateful for the efforts the school is putting in. Hopefully the partnership will enable Rory to enjoy school and be successful once again.

 

Want more information?

If you would like to know more about the SchoolPing communication and how it could help your school communicate with staff and parents more effectively - get in touch.