Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s school life in several ways.
Homework – Most London institutions believe that learning does not begin and end during the school day. Students will be assigned homework to ensure that they are mastering the skills that they learn during their classes. As a parent, schools expect you to help your child learn basic skills such as reading, writing and maths. If your child has special needs or you are unsure about how to help, the school can offer advice on how to go about this task or, alternatively, you can consult the very informative BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/primary_support/.
Meetings – As a parent or guardian you are expected to attend parent-teacher meetings, which generally are arranged at least once a semester. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s daily life, performance at school, or relationships within the school, you should never hesitate to initiate a meeting with a teacher. Generally speaking, teachers are caring and supportive and will work with parents to ensure each individual is receiving the proper attention.
Transport – It is your responsibility to make sure that your child gets to school safely. Whether you drive or walk your child to school, it is often a time for parents to bond with their child and to stay involved in daily school life by talking before about what will happen during the day and being there afterwards to discuss the day’s events.
Become a School Governor – Any parent can volunteer to run to become elected a school governor. At most schools, there are meetings each half term and in addition to attending these meetings, you will need to join one or two sub-committees which will have additional meetings. School governors will influence areas such as curriculum, finance and building development. Depending on the school, the time commitment is roughly eight-ten hours a month, although this commitment could be increased during periods of change like when a new principal needs to be hired.
Volunteering – Schools often seek volunteers to bolster their ability to provide support to their teachers and ultimately, their students. As a parent, you can certainly take part. Even those outside of the school environment, however, are happily received. Inquire at the school if you are interested and willing to give your time. Typically volunteers are needed in the following areas:
- Listening to children read
- Telling the children stories or reading to them
- Assisting with maths
- Helping children who need additional support in class
- Assisting with school outings or sports days