Home-school partnerships are crucial for the education and development of children. When parents and teachers work together, they can create a supportive learning environment that meets the needs of each child. This close collaboration helps to ensure that children receive consistent messages about expectations and behavior, which is essential for establishing solid foundations for lifelong learning. Additionally, when parents are actively involved in their child's education, students tend to have better academic outcomes and higher levels of achievement.
Teachers also benefit from this partnership, as they can gain valuable insights into each child's background, interests, and learning style. Overall, home-school partnerships are vital in creating successful educational experiences for children.
At the Western International School of Shanghai, we invite families to participate in learning with their child during our “Come Learn with Us” sessions in the Early Years. During these sessions, the children and their parents learn together as the teachers facilitate learning engagements that target developing specific skills. This targeted development is shared with parents and, at the same time, guides parents with how they can best support the further development of these skills through inquiry at home. Engaging in the learning as a family enables the children to share their learning with their parents firsthand. This is a unique opportunity and helps to develop their love of learning further.
The students demonstrate their skills and inquire into the learning engagements through play, developing new understandings and deeper knowledge in all areas of learning as they interact with the materials and communicate with others. Young children learn best when working from their own concrete experiences, inquiring into new experiences, developing their knowledge of the world around them, and moving from concrete personal experiences to applying conceptual understandings in new and familiar situations. The children do this in a variety of ways, all incorporating opportunities for hands-on learning and interactions with their peers and teachers. By the children leading the learning in the “Come Learn with Us” sessions, they are able to explain their understanding and demonstrate their learning to their parents. This application and communication of the learning help children to deepen their understanding of key concepts and skills.
We value our partnership with all families and enjoy sharing learning experiences as a community.
We look forward to more opportunities for families to learn with their children in the Early Years. Additional “Come Learn With Us” sessions will focus on holistic development through the outdoor learning experiences offered at the Western International School of Shanghai and physical education focusing on skill development through the integration with our Units of Inquiry.
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Contributed by Fiona Morris, Early Years Principal at the Western International School of Shanghai.
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