Although opportunities to engage parents exist within the Foundation Stage, there is no guarantee of take-up because many parents view school premises as less than welcoming. In order that parents can be enticed into the school, our intention is to make extensive use of the outdoors as a learning environment, thereby providing parents with an alternative, non-traditional school space that will help some parents to engage with the school who otherwise would not. We will also offer accessible volunteering opportunities in more traditional indoor environments so parents have options and choice.
All parents will be encouraged to volunteer within the school, as outdoor assistants, classroom help, in the offices and other support services. Moreover, we will engage other community members, particularly retired people, as volunteers in order to broaden the experiences and skills available to learners.
Volunteer parents will be invited to take part in CPD opportunities. These opportunities will be provided to improve their understanding of how they can support their children’s learning, and so they can access basic skills training to improve their personal skills and knowledge.
Parent volunteers will become an integral and important part of the teaching team. Training will also be offered to parents who are unable to volunteer, through drop-in sessions, internet courses and handbooks.
By the end of the Foundation Phase, every child will have a very supportive learning environment at home, and be ready to fully engage in high quality learning.