Parental Involvement is paramount to the ethos of Corpus Christi Primary School. We respect the role of parents as primary educators and work tirelessly to give parents a sense of ownership and involvement in their child’s education. We promote the active participation of parents in the child’s school life and operate an open door policy where parents are always welcome. Teachers, staff, parents and children of Corpus Christi Primary School thrive on an atmosphere of cooperation, support and unity.
This is a programme involving parents, students, teachers and tutors. It targets the infant classes and is geared at children between the ages of four and six. The programme is aimed at promoting literacy and fostering a love of reading with children and parents. Story Sacks highlights reading as a shared process and a bonding experience between the parent and child. It involves a parent and child choosing a particular book to work with over a fve to six week period. The weekly, hour-long sessions take place in the infant classroom after school hours. These sessions with the tutor and teachers allow the families to make a sack flled with accompaniments to each particular story. Accessories such as drawings, paintings, stuffed animals, puppets, games and appropriate extras are placed in a hand decorated sack that becomes the parents to keep and share with their child repeatedly. The items in the sack are handmade. The programme helps parents and children bond with one another, as well as allowing teachers to chat informally with parents. The initiative has a proven track record in improving literacy and making children life long readers.
Family Reading Sessions:
These sessions have been running in our school for a number of years and are coordinated by our Home School Liaison Officer (HSLO). These reading sessions involve parents being invited into their children’s classes to enjoy a shared storytelling experience and to complete a follow up creative activity with their child. These sessions have proven extremely successful. The teacher models reading of a story and follow-up questioning which allows the parents to observe the correct process. The teacher often takes this opportunity to speak to the parents about particular issues of need such as attendance, punctuality, homework, reading etc. The aim of this session is to portray reading as an enjoyable, shared experience between parents and children, thus promoting reading in the home.
Breakfast Book Club:
The Breakfast Book Club runs before Christmas for one term in our school and is quite popular with
the parents who attend. It targets junior infants and invited their parents to attend a breakfast reading
morning in our school kitchen each Friday. Usually fve parents volunteer to come and listen to the
class reading their shared reader that had been sent home for homework the night before. Each parent
reads with their own child and then calls another child until every child has an opportunity to read
their homework book. While this is going on children are having breakfast while waiting for their
names to be called. Breakfast is toast or cereal with tea, milk or juice. The parents enjoy the tea and
chat. Once all the children have had a chance to read individually, a parent volunteers to read a story
for the whole class while finishing breakfast. This fosters great confidence among parents and a great
sense of pride among the children.
Breakfast Mornings for Parents:
Breakfast Mornings for Parents have been extremely successful in our school for a number of reasons. The parents, children and their teacher share breakfast together in an informal, positive environment. The parents are enabled to share a healthy meal with their child and encouraged to engage freely with the class teacher, thereby breaking down barriers and building confidence. The breakfast mornings enhance the emotional health of both the parents and the children in that they provide a forum of open and positive communication and enhance the self-esteem of all involved.
Maths for Fun:
This event has been highly successful in our school since it began in 2002. Parents are trained to be maths for fun leaders for 3-4 weeks before the programme begins and later organize, facilitate and lead various mathematical centers in their child’s class for hourly sessions over a 6 week period of time. The children work in groups of four, spending ten minutes at every center before moving on to the next activity. The Maths for Fun programme develops not only essential mathematical skills and concepts for both the parents and children, but clearly provides a forum for the development of essential life skills also. Self-esteem and confidence are enhanced by ensuring that every child and parent are working at a level on which they can succeed while the parents thrive in the role of teacher during the sessions . The programme also provides a great opportunity for the parents and children to work together in a positive environment and to be justifiably proud of each other.
We have established a Parent’s Council in Corpus Christi where parents are afforded an opportunity to have a direct voice in certain aspects of the school. Policy formation, fundraising and organizing enjoyable events for the children are top priorities for the Parent’s Council. To date, they have helped to organize a ‘parent’s room’ within the school and run a number of successful fundraisers and enjoyable events for children who attend our school.