The LTS Parent Toolkit is available online now, leaflets and information will follow to schools shortly.
Following the launch of Scotland’s new curriculum guidance and the experiences and outcomes in April last year, communications work was mainly centred around implementation, targeted at local authorities and practitioners. As we move forward with implementation, parents want to know what impact the changes will have on their children.
Parents require more information on the benefits and principles of the new guidance and research has shown that practitioners are seen as the most critical channel for information to parents, learners and other key partners and stakeholders. This toolkit will provide practitioners with the tools they need to talk to parents with confidence.
Letter from Cabinet Secretary – Michael Russell
Curriculum for Excellence: Parent Toolkit
Speaking to parents with confidence
I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the new Curriculum for Excellence Parent Toolkit – an online and print resource provided as a support to staff who are delivering Curriculum for Excellence. This is designed to help you speak to parents with confidence.
Teachers and other practitioners are key to the success of Curriculum for Excellence. We have been communicating to you about the changes for many months now, in all manner of ways – at conferences and events, through policy documents and support for staff, in Curriculum for Excellence on the official website, via well-used professional journals and through News,our partners – LTS, SOA, HMIE and the unions.
The other key partners in the process are parents (we use this term as shorthand for all parents, carers and people working with children and families). We know from research carried out that parents want to keep up with any changes in their child’s learning. They recognise the need to prepare them for an ever-changing and more demanding world. They want to do whatever they can to support their education and many see Curriculum for Excellence as an opportunity to work more closely with schools and nurseries.
Parents have told us they want to hear about changes from the professional who is teaching their child. We know that good communication and relationships lead to more effective parental involvement and better outcomes for children. Some teachers have told us they haven’t felt well enough informed to talk confidently to parents – or the reverse, they almost know too much and so don’t know how to condense it. So we have produced this toolkit to help you speak to parents with confidence. We are providing the key points we would like you to share and you can add local context.
Research shows that parents have varying levels of knowledge and interest, both about the existing system and Curriculum for Excellence. This makes our job challenging, but parents’ main questions are:
- “What’s happening to my child?”
- “How are lessons different?”
- “What’s the school doing about Curriculum for Excellence?”
The toolkit offers information to support you in answering these questions.
At www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk there are PowerPoints: one to run as a presentation, one as a pick-and-mix bank of slides. There is a core script, parent questions, film clips and images, style guidelines and templates you can use and customise. In print, there is a quick guide for you and your colleagues to keep handy, posters for your school and leaflets that parents can take away from events or meetings. The leaflets and film clips take best practice examples from the Curriculum for Excellence website – one each in nursery, primary and secondary – and bring them to life for parents.
We have used the pupil voice to share the experience of learning. We have used the practitioner and parent voice to share their perspective.
At www.LTScotland.orq.uk/parentzone there is information on key elements of Curriculum for Excellence for parents too . We have consulted with parents and practitioners in producing this toolkit and this is just the start. We will keep building on it, so please, go online, download resources, use it, add your own story, let us know what else you need, and add to the bank of parent questions using the Parent Toolkit Glow Group.
As headteacher, you have a key role in considering with your team how best they can use the toolkit. We want our children to be successful, effective, responsible, confident citizens. The toolkit aims to help professionals involve parents to achieve that goal. It’s an exciting time for all of us in the sector and I am confident that together we can help Scotland’s children and young people excel.