Parental engagement is a huge opportunity to help develop children in your school, yet the path is not always easy. There are many reasons why a parent may not respond to traditional ways to get involved with their child’s education. Sometimes, practical barriers - such as language or time - can restrict participation. In other cases, however, there can be a deep-rooted mistrust of the school system, stemming from a negative experience of school as a child. Some parents might even have an anti-authority mindset. Many schools also have specific language and cultural issues, making it harder to draw in parental support. Sometimes, you need to take a completely fresh approach.
Enter Rocksteady Music School, who deliver interactive band workshops and assemblies to inject a new level of excitement into the school day, which makes even the most retiring pupils run smiling out of the school gates with a story to tell. Through weekly band rehearsals children learn to play music in their own rock and pop bands, working towards an energy-packed, end-of-term concert for parents and the whole school.
Ben Millier, Rocksteady’s head of school relationships, explains further:
“We work with more than 500 Infant and Primary schools across the UK, and find they really understand the importance of engagement. However, it can be very difficult to cut through a parent’s preconceived notions of what the school / parent / child relationship needs to succeed. Teachers tell us that even getting parents through the doors can be a struggle. This is where Rocksteady can often make the difference.”
A key turning point, enthuses Ben, is changing the context for the parent.
“The end-of-term performance is the point that school turns into a mini O2 Arena! Parents are not coming in to talk about how good their child is at Maths or English, or why their child can never seem to make it in on time on a Monday morning. They are coming to see their child headline their very own rock concert. That’s an exciting moment for all, and one which all but guarantees high levels of parental turnout.”
The weekly sessions are child-led, and deliver cross-curricular benefits. Children and parents alike start to get excited about school, and it allows schools a hook to develop a conversation with parents. As Julie, a young rock star’s parent, puts it:
“I love Tuesdays because James has Rocksteady, and actually wants to go to school!”
Finding fresh new ways to encourage parents to see schools differently can often be the first step in turning the corner in a difficult parent relationship and, most importantly, improve outcomes for the child. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0330 113 0401, or visit www.rocksteadymuscischool.com.
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