From the Principal's Desk

I have been asked a number of times over the past few weeks, how and if parents can help or assist back on campus, and my answer for the moment is… not just yet.

In times of COVID-19, parents being involved in classes, or at the College, are a distant memory. However, engagement with our College can be achieved, and has been – just differently. 

We all know that parent engagement has a marked impact on a child’s success at school. There are countless articles written about the notion of parent engagement and the associated importance of the concept of working together. At A.B. Paterson College the aim of working together with you as parents, is to create a stimulating and supportive environment for learning and development that can be transferred from the College, to your home. This ensures our students, teachers, parents, and in many cases extended family, are all on the same page and delivering the same messages. Underpinning the notion of It takes a Village to raise and educate our child/ren, we all actually contribute to growing a child and we do that best, when we do it together.

As a teacher, we know that parents understand the rhythms and subtleties of their child/ren; their boundaries, their fears and, the social and emotional factors.

Teachers quickly get to know their students on a different level – their aspirations, how they manage themselves socially and emotionally – when they are out of the sanctity of their home. The relationship between our teaching staff and our families is pivotal and the stronger the relationship and partnership between school and home, the better the outcomes for our students.   

For the moment, until health officials notify us differently, parents are not able to be as physically involved in our College as they normally would. However, you can still maintain positive and effective engagement with our College – be conscious of the aims of our programs for learning and development, school decisions and policies, and help articulate this understanding at home. With the online Junior School Parent/Teacher Interviews occurring Tuesday, 15 September, and Wednesday, 16 September, this is an important opportunity to discuss strategies to further improve your child/ren’s learning goals – at school and at home – as they move forward into Term 4.

Another powerful form of engagement is talking about what is being learnt at school. Not just, “How was school today?” Create a deep discussion of specific subjects in the curriculum, using open ended questions starting with, “Tell me about…” and you will get an answer longer than one word. For the upcoming online Junior School Parent/Teacher Interviews, I encourage you to go in with questions about how you can help your child with their forward planning, as well as reflecting on their results. 

As we are coming to the end of Term 3, with the finish line firmly in our sights, our message to you is simple – continue your positive engagement in reinforcing these key messages at home and the better the outcomes for our students.

Joanne Sheehy
Principal/Head of College