Are parents involved in developing their children’s mathematics? Are they clear how they can support the school’s aims?
Parents are of course a crucial group when discussing stakeholder views within school. Other sections in this module identify processes for involving parents and their children in developing a cohesive approach to mathematical learning and development. In order to fully involve parents in supporting the school vision, the support needs to reflect and involve the parents’ views. Involving the parents in developing the school vision is an important first step here as this will enable the school to identify and develop the diverse backgrounds of the parents within the community. Supporting parents to feel confident and excited to be involved in their child’s mathematical development needs, therefore, to offer a wide diversity of interests and approaches – there is unlikely to be a one-stop shop in this respect. This section offers a broad range of websites which may be helpful to groups of parents or indeed the whole school community. Offering a choice of entry points through these websites may be helpful for connecting homework more closely with the whole school vision for mathematics.
Here are some links to ideas for involving parents in mathematics on the NCETM portal:
- make contributions to the Primary Forum thread Maths Workshops (for parents) - read the ideas and add your own!
- read the Mathemapedia entry Record Keeping.
There are many useful books and websites which support parents in helping their children with mathematics: a suggested list is here.
How do we use our business contacts and local community to support our aims?
‘Both system and outward facing leadership call for a strong vision and a willingness to work with others towards a shared goal. They demand strong communication skills and a collaborative approach. They also require personal credibility and trust between the partners involved. They are key drivers for change, as local analysis of need leads to local approaches to organisation and collaboration.’
School Leadership today, NCSL 2009 p 74
Activity: Who are our business partners?
The Education Business Partnership in your local area has a brief to support local schools.
Do you know who your local EBP contact is?
Are they included in your planning for Mathematics?
Have you discussed their role with governors and staff?
The Institute for Education and Business Excellence was established in June 2009 to oversee all publicly funded organisations who work with education and business.
Informal links with businesses
In addition to these formal links informal contacts through parents and the local community can offer a depth of experiences to governing bodies, classroom interaction and a broader understanding of life in the workplace. Valuing each unique contribution from all members of the school community enables the school to be richer in experiences and to reflect local interests and areas of expertise more closely.
NB Care must be taken at all stages that the school complies fully with the safeguarding of children legislation.
Kirwan, T, MacBeath, J, Wilson, D, Adams, H, Higgs, R, Clayton, P, Frost, R, Crossman, J, Graham-Matheson, L & Bowker, A, 2008, ECM Premium Project: School Leadership, Every Child Matters and School Standards, Nottingham, QiSS and University of Cambridge,
EFFECTIVE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP: A brief review summarising selected literature on the evidence for effective school leadership Peter Lewis and Roger Murphy Centre for Developing and Evaluating Lifelong Learning (CDELL)
University of Nottingham Prepared for the National College for School Leadership April 2008.