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How are you keeping a dialogue going with parents during closure?
With little or no opportunity to meet parents at the school gates, you’ll be finding new ways to stay in contact remotely. We’d love to hear about how you and your colleagues are keeping in touch with parents, giving them a chance to ask you questions, or enabling them to share feedback at this time.
Share your approach here to celebrate what you’re doing and help thousands of school leaders across the country.
You can also see what other schools have shared so far below.
Thank you for giving up your time to share. We're reviewing and publishing new submissions regularly and will be in touch with you as soon as we can.
Daily newsletter + Twitter live stream
Mayflower Community Academy has a two-pronged approach. First, the school sends a daily newsletter to all parents called 'Made in Mayflower'. This covers everything important: links to resources, questions for parents to think about, and inspirational messages. The headteacher also runs daily live-streams on Twitter called ‘Tea at Two’. Parents send in their questions (or ask them live on air) for him to answer. Some days it’s light-hearted and quick, on other days staff members will join him. The head admits that he’s “often rambling” on the stream, but this really doesn’t matter right now - he just wants to keep his school community connected.
Shared by David Sammels, headteacher, Mayflower Community Academy.
Questionnaire to check in on how things are
Rosendale Primary School sent a questionnaire to parents by email over Easter. This asked parents about home learning: how things are going, and how they can be improved.
Staff wanted to give parents a voice so they could support them and their children in the summer term.
Shared by Kate Atkins, headteacher, Rosendale Primary School.
Q&A via the school website
We’re having our website updated so that parents can use it to ask a teacher a question, and then teachers can send them back an answer.
Shared by Tina Newton, headteacher, St Denys Church of England Infant School
Regular phone calls, a weekly survey, and an Easter egg drop-off
SLT phone every family when they’re “on duty” in school, working through the school class by class. We phone our vulnerable children every week and our e-learner of the week every Friday.
We send a weekly survey to parents and I also send them a letter once a week. We’ve now got 6 staff members checking and responding to the general school email account. We use our school Twitter and Facebook accounts to keep up communication too.
I dropped off an Easter egg (while respecting social distancing) to every Year 6 child's doorstep, which meant I could have a brief chat with the family through their windows from the footpath and check they were okay. We did a song to cheer everyone up as well!
Dedicated Facebook threads, Microsoft Teams and texts for important comms
We’re using the school Facebook page with dedicated threads for activity ideas, art and craft photos, free school meals information and general questions that parents have. Parents are also asking class teachers questions via Microsoft Teams - which teachers also use to set work. We seem to have a good dialogue going with many parents on both these platforms. We send very important messages via text, too, using Teachers2Parents.
Shared by Sharon Birbeck-Simpson, deputy headteacher, Castlecroft Primary School
Reassuring phone calls and adapting home learning as a result
All our teachers are phoning their pupils’ families every 2-3 weeks (when they’re on site) to check that everything is ok, offer support and reassurance, and ensure that families don't feel too isolated. We've adapted our home learning as a result of these calls and have been able to provide hard copies of work for the few families who are struggling to do activities online.
Shared by Sharon Pritchard, headteacher, Grayshott Church of England Controlled Primary School
YouTube messages from teachers to families
We send parents weekly emails to update them on what’s happening. After Easter, we plan to include YouTube messages to parents and children from their teachers. All parents can email their child’s teacher about their learning, too.
Shared by Louise Bury, headteacher, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
Weekly parent quiz via Facebook
Our class teachers are making contact with parents every day (except during holidays, as they need a break) and the headteacher rings all FSM families twice a week, even during holidays.
We also have a school Facebook page and use it to keep in contact with all our parents. We set a quiz last weekend: all the staff sent in pictures of themselves as babies, and parents had to match up the baby with the member of staff.
Next week we’re going to ask parents to match the member of staff with a particular hobby or something that interests them.
Shared by Claire Simon, headteacher, Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School
Question-answering throughout the day on Class Dojo
We’re using Class Dojo to communicate with parents as well as pupils. We make someone available consistently from 8.30am to 4.30pm every day to answer questions, set specific work projects and to generally ‘be available’ if needed. Out of hours, we also check the platform regularly and respond to comments. For some there has been a great uptake, for others not so much. Our school’s rural with sketchy internet though!!
Daily round-up emails at the end of the day - now part of parents’ routine
The exec head sends an email to parents every evening, about the school day. Parents have sent in comments saying how much they value the regular communication and look forward to it as part of their routine.
Every Friday, each class teacher emails parents with a list of suggested activities for the following week. We’ve got a dedicated email address for families to communicate with staff and receive feedback on home learning or answers to concerns.
Sharing photos of smiley staff and children learning at home
We send weekly newsletters to both children and parents which include photos of our smiling faces. Since the closure we've shot up to over 1,000 downloads. We've also encouraged parents to send in photos of their children learning at home, then we’ve posted these on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Shared by Matt Doody, deputy headteacher, Meridian Community Primary School and Nursery
School mobile phone + PTA-run Facebook group
We recently got a school mobile phone so parents can get in touch with us over Easter, or out of hours if they need emergency childcare. And we’re sending regular emails and texts out to parents. Our PTA group also keeps parents up to date via a Facebook group. We’ve received some really nice feedback about how we’re keeping our families updated.
Shared by Tara Ainsworth, school business manager, Allerton Bywater Primary School
Using Twitter to keep parents up to date with school news
We have a school Twitter feed where we celebrate students’ work and efforts, keep parents up to date with our ongoing community efforts (e.g. weekly delivery of food parcels), and signpost to new safeguarding information on our website.
We use Show My Homework, which lets parents access their children’s work and communicate with staff to ask questions or seek reassurance.
Frequent emails and texts to let parents know “this isn’t home schooling”
We’re sending regular emails and texts to parents. This is just to keep in touch and support those who are working at home by letting them know that this is distance learning, not home schooling. We’re reassuring parents that activities are there if they want them, but there’s no expectation they complete everything. We’re telling our families that their focus needs to be on keeping safe and mentally well.
Shared by Alison Woffindin, headteacher, Diseworth Church of England Primary School