Category Archives: Schools

Principles of effective parent engagement in early childhood education

The engaging diverse families project of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) identified principles of family engagement in early childhood education, collected case studies of good practice and developed resources to help programs more effectively engage … Continue reading

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What works in connecting families, communities and schools?

What works in strengthening connections between families, communities and schools? This is the subject of a report by the J R McKenzie Trust, “Connecting Education and Communities.” The J R McKenzie Trust, a New Zealand charitable trust, currently focuses on … Continue reading

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A few reflections after 10 years of primary school

Yesterday Alexa finished Year 6, marking the end of our 10 years at the primary school since Jasmine started in 2006. Both girls received a top class education, and have grown as individuals through their time at the school. We … Continue reading

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Jihad Dib on school transformation (TEDx talk)

This TEDx talk by Jihad Dib, the Principal at Punchbowl Boys High, captures the essence of strengths-based practice and highlights the importance of community engagement. In the school of around 450 students, 65% of the students come from the bottom … Continue reading

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Irony – Denying parents information about school ethics classes

Once again NSW ethics classes (Special Education in Ethics – SEE) are under attack. The NSW government is apparently considering removing any reference to ethics classes as an alternative to scripture classes (Special Religious Education – SRE) from school enrolment … Continue reading

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Engaging families in early intervention for child conduct concerns

I was one of the authors on a paper published this month in the journal Children Australia about Getting on Track in Time (Got It!): an early intervention programs assisting families to deal with emerging child behavioural difficulties that are … Continue reading

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Learning vs school education

Engaging children in their school is not the same as engaging children in learning. I’m a huge fan of families being engaged with schools but we also need to recognise that families can engage their children in learning in many … Continue reading

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Teachers phoning parents

Imagine the difference to school-family relationships if teachers made a phone call to all families at least once a year, not when there were problems, but just to help build connections. I first heard this idea a number of years … Continue reading

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Community engagement in turning around schools

Earlier this year, the Grattan Institute released a report “Turning around schools: it can be done” (Jensen & Sonnemann, 2014). It explored how schools can transform from being a “low-performing’ school into a “high-performing” school. I suspected that engaging parents … Continue reading

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Family and community engagement by schools

Across Australia there is an increasing awareness of the importance of school–community partnerships and engaging families and the local community. I recently presented a workshop for teachers on community engagement as part of a Teachers’ Visit Day at the University … Continue reading

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