Where possible, establish an agreed process for regular communication with the student’s family/carers as early as possible.
Some possible methods for consistent, specific communication include:
- a “communication book” which travels with the student between home and school
- a “weekly news” letter to the family summing up the student’s week in learning, behaviour and social experiences. This update could describe the themes and topics of current units and upcoming events (photos of work or the student completing activities can assist the family to engage with the “weekly news”).
- regular email correspondence
- scheduled phone conversations
- weekly/fortnightly/monthly meetings (be sure to take notes)
Too often, communication between home and school focuses on student behavioural incidents and the signing of forms. While this may be necessary at times, it is valuable to communicate about the topics and tasks the student is currently engaging with, their progress toward learning goals and their many successes.
Home-school communication is valuable for teachers as well as families. Consider the information that parents can share about:
- the student’s changing interests, abilities and support needs,
- issues affecting the student’s mood, wellbeing and readiness for learning (such as whether the student is overtired, is coming down with a cold, has had a disruption to their routine or a change of medication),
- social or educational issues which the student has not communicated with their teachers, and
- strategies that have worked well in the past for particular situations
Information of this kind makes it easier for teachers to adjust the student’s educational programme and to support behaviour.
Benefits of Regular, Structured Communication Between Home and School