“Parental engagement is consistently associated with pupils’ success at school” EEF, 2020

Whilst the EEF acknowledges there are challenges to increasing parental engagement and the inconclusive evidence, I have thought about how a light touch, low cost effort might help us in history.

Having seen a number of newsletters on Twitter, we decided to trial one at KS3, one each half term.

Unfortunately Covid-19 got in the way and it fell off until we thought about methods to improve our home learning engagement, and the newsletter came back to my mind.

The simple aim of the newsletter was:

  • To inform of key events & updates in the half term
  • To provide the curriculum journey laid out for the coming half term
  • To encourage parents to discuss the current curriculum journey with their child
  • To provide guidance on homework or assessments, either ‘how to’ as shown above, or as a reminder of what is coming up
  • To encourage wider love of history and opportunities to access this, trips, film club and reading/podcasts.

We won’t say it’s perfect or a finished article, it has been hard this year, especially with a changing KS3 curriculum.

Link to my example here: Download

As we continue with remote learning for the near future, we are cranking the machine back up and providing guidance on using Socrative (our quizzing platform), tackling any big concerns, submission of homework, work expectations and also praise.

I, as always, loved the @hfletcherwood article on remote learning and this has made us think about a lot of our provision.

Harry raises some points that I think a newsletter could support:

  • Clarifying the habits they should pursue
  • Encouraging them not to ‘miss out’
  • Emphasising what we expect and what’s being achieved
  • Helping them plan what to do and when
  • Simplifying everything
  • Creating and highlighting small wins, to show students it works.

Thanks for reading,

Hopefully, even if it doesn’t have a huge impact, it will lead to more families discussing history – what a thing!

  1. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/teaching-learning-toolkit/parental-engagement/
  2. https://improvingteaching.co.uk/2020/03/19/motivating-distant-learners-schools-under-coronavirus/