Parent-School Partnership Key to Success

Schools work closely with parents to give children a strong learning foundation, reports Melissa Iaria from The Age Early Learning Feature.
St Catherine’s School’s Head of Early Learning, Ms Sarah Bethune was featured in this story. Read her insights on the importance of a positive parent-school partnership below.

Many parents lead busy lives, but their relationship with early educators can help foster a positive learning environment for their young child and enhance their progress.

Sarah Bethune, head of St Catherine’s School Toorak’s Early Learning Centre, agrees that it’s crucial to build a rapport and trust with parents from the beginning, so children have the best possible education outcome.

“It is essential to have parents on board, working in partnership with you. You make more progress with the children when you can work together, so it’s really critical to everything that we do,” she says. The school begins this process with a one-on-one meeting with the child and their family six months before they start, to learn more about the child and begin planning for their schooling.

Events such as orientation also help families connect with educators early. Bethune says the school acknowledges that the family is a child’s first educator and there will be differences in what occurs at home and
what happens in class. That information shared by families is then harnessed positively to help understand the child in different contexts and plan for their learning.

The parent-school relationship is further strengthened through the sharing of information, Bethune says. This happens through parent teacher interviews, special event days such as Mother’s Day, electronic classroom newsletters and inviting parents to share their expertise where it relates to topics studied.

“To achieve the best outcomes for the children, we need consistency between the home and ELC environment,” she says. “You really have to bring parents on that journey with you.”

Ms Melissa Iairia

The Age, Early Learning Feature 2023

Up next