Running showcase lessons with parents
Paul Barber, Assistant Head at Westacre Middle School shares his experiences
As a school, we were keen to increase the footfall for our parents’ e safety meetings. Generally numbers were fairly low, but feedback to the sessions was always positive. We had always received positive feedback for our events over the year that supported transition (as a middle school, this is for our pupils joining us in Year 5) which includes various invites for parents to join their child in ‘showcase’ lessons, where adults have the opportunity to join in with a lesson and see what the pupils have been learning.
To hopefully utilize the success of this model within our e-safety drive, we decided to combine the two. At the end of the autumn term, parents of our new intake in year 5 were invited into school for a Computing Showcase. This involved a half an hour session with their child in our ICT suite simply looking at all of the learning achieved over the term and any work created in Computing lessons.
A definite buzz could be felt in the room from both children and adults, with pupils having the chance to share and teach what they had been learning. To link this session in with e-safety, we encouraged the pupils to share with the adults the ‘Think U Know’ website that they had already used within their Computing Digital Literacy sessions, and used members of our Cyber Council (pupil led digital leaders group) to welcome parents and introduce themselves. After the initial thirty minutes, pupils returned to their classrooms while the adults remained in the ICT suite.
At this point, myself and Brett Laniosh led an e-safety discussion which looked in more detail at online safety. As per usual, the feedback from attending parents to this session was positive.
Numbers of parents attending compared to last year increased slightly, and we will try this model again next term. We have sent out letters to this effect to all parents across school and invited parents to suggest suitable days and times that they could attend such a session, in order to take into account some parents’ other commitments.
Paul Barber, Assistant Head, Westacre Middle School, Droitwich