Parent communication is crucial in any school. Communicating with parents ensures parents are informed about their child’s education, including the curriculum, upcoming events, school expectations, homework, etc. Consistent, effective communication that is easily accessible is key to getting parents on board.
This year at ACG School Jakarta, we have introduced Weebly sites as our main form of parent communication. Each classroom or year level has a site that is updated at least once per week. Each site is organized in the same way, so that parents of children across year levels are able to find information easily, but the content is specific to the class or year level. On our sites, we have upcoming events and reminders, our Learner Profile of the Month focus, a blog about the learning happening in class, photos, useful links, weekly home practice, unit of inquiry information, class schedules, and more.
Check out a few of our sites here:
In addition to our class and year level sites, each specialist group also has a site with information relevant to their subject area. Their blog entries showcase the unit of inquiry integrations they have been working on at the moment. In order to give more information related to the PYP and the programme as a whole, we also host a PYP Coordinator site, which includes a blog, a page for each Learner Profile of the Month, the programme of inquiry, and links to support parents.
Check out these specialist sites:
Parent feedback on this new form of communication has been wildly positive. We are excited about continuing to grow our sites, and learn more ways to share the great things happening at ACG School Jakarta with our parents!
Jennifer Kesler, M. Ed.
Head of Primary at ACG School Jakarta
We’ve introduced Parent Education Sessions this year at ACG School Jakarta as a way to ensure parents have a better understanding of the PYP. Thus far, we have presented two sessions, with plans to present at least once per month. Our first session, entitled PYP 101: An Introduction to the Programme was aimed at new to ACG parents. Last week we presented on the PYP Written Curriculum, the first in a three-part series.
One of our goals in these parent sessions is to incorporate teaching strategies that we use in the classroom. To this end, parents are actively involved in discussions and activities that encourage thinking and participation, rather than passively listening to a presentation. In our PYP Written Curriculum session, parents watched a couple of videos to spark discussions about the future and about student action. Additionally, in small groups, they brainstormed what skills an internationally-minded person needs to have before sharing out in the larger group. The Learner Profile embodies the traits that an internationally-minded person needs in order to be successful.
When we discussed the transdisciplinary skill sets, or Approaches to Teaching and Learning, that we teach students in the classroom, parents were involved in a Chalk Talk, a strategy where each person walks around, writing ideas about each skill set on the paper. No talking is allowed in this activity, but we communicate with one another by adding to existing ideas, agreeing with ideas through check marks, and adding questions we have about ideas. This is a strategy we use in the classroom to get students involved and show their thinking.
Both sessions have been highly attended, with over thirty parents at the first session and twenty at the second. The high turnout is an indication that parents are hungry for more information about the programme.
Click here for a copy of our Parent Session presentations:
Writer: Jennifer Kesler, M. Ed., Head of Primary at ACG School Jakarta
Writer’s email: email@example.com
Parents and teachers are partners in educating children in and out of school. On September 6, our PYP Indonesian Department Team conducted a session on ‘Language in the Primary Years Programme’. Around 100 parents, including fathers, attended the session held at BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, South Jakarta.
Early Years and Elementary parents attending the Language in the PYP session at BINUS SCHOOL Simprug.
The topics of the session for our Early Years and Elementary parents included:
- The importance of mother tongue.
- Indonesian language curriculum.
- Indonesian language teaching strategies.
- School language policy.
During the session, we asked parents to come up with ways they can support their children’s mother tongue. Some of their suggestions are as follows:
- Speak to their children in their mother tongue.
- Read books and tell stories in their mother tongue.
- Encourage children to listen to songs or watch videos in their mother tongue.
- Expose children to places where they can speak their mother tongue.
- Play games with children using their mother tongue.
Parents recognized that supporting mother tongue affirms the children’s identity; helps students achieve cognitive potential; and creates bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural students.
During the session, we discussed the Indonesian language curriculum in line with the framework of learning language, learning through language, and learning about language.
We also communicated our school language policy to the parents. This is in reference to Standard B1.5a which states that “the school has developed and implements a language policy consistent with IB expectations”.
By Ratuu Harida
PYP Indonesian Department Head
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug