A great many schools rely on the help of parents to perform a range of extra-curricular activities and excursions. Whilst this help is invaluable, it is also an opportunity for you to keep in touch with your child’s educational and social journey. Getting involved with your child’s school is a great way of showing that you are both on the journey together, and there are several ways you can make it happen.
Involvement in Parent-Teacher Organisations
The typical primary school in London will be operated by a body that includes both teachers and parents. By volunteering your time as a PTO or PTA member, you can influence crucial decisions surrounding budgets, curriculum and various extra-curricular activities. This could give you the platform from which to pursue your child’s interests.
Volunteering as a Teaching Assistant
There is often a need for an added supervisory presence for certain classroom activities – particularly where class sizes are larger than average. This may involve helping with arts and crafts, arithmetic, spelling or simply attending to the needs of the children. It will also give you a chance to see first-hand how your child is coping with school life on a day-to-day basis.
Attending Field Trips
It is very important that children are given the opportunity to escape the confines of school once in a while in order to broaden their horizons. However, taking several children on a field trip can be a logistical headache. A lot of schools actively encourage parents to attend these trips with their young children, as it provides the extra supervision that is essential when children leave the safety and protection of the school grounds. You will need to submit a criminal record check, but it could be well worth the hassle.
Attend Events Regularly
Even if you don’t have the time to spend in classrooms or on school trips, it is important to attend the events that are part and parcel of school life. School concerts, drama productions and assemblies represent a fantastic opportunity to see your child interact with staff and fellow pupils. Young children often take great pride in seeing their parents or guardians sitting in the audience, and it can spur them to achieve their full potential throughout their educational journey. Parents’ evening will give you an insight into your child’s development, as well as the opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have.
Offer Your Expertise or Knowledge
Many schools invite guest speakers from various spheres of professional life in order to talk to children about potential career paths, safety or playing an active role in the local community. You might be able to provide an insight into your particular job, or you may have valuable knowledge that children may find useful and interesting. Imparting your knowledge in this way can be a highly rewarding experience, and it could be a source of enormous pride for your child.
Sending your child off to school requires an element of trust. You are placing the welfare and future of your child in the hands of near-strangers, and you also trust your child to behave responsibly whilst outside your sphere of influence. By playing an active role in their school, you can ensure that this trust has not been misplaced.