PARENT HELPER GUIDELINES
Who will benefit from your helping in our school?
The children will value your help because:
- They will benefit from your skills and experience
- They can spend more time in small groups or receiving individual help
- Your support and encouragement can help to make an activity a really worthwhile learning experience
- You have the time to listen and talk
- You can be a special friend
- You can help to increase a child's confidence in dealing with a wider range of people
The teachers greatly value your help because:
- You probably have skills which the teacher does not have
- You are able to give more time to a group or an individual than the teacher
- You release the teacher to work in a more concentrated way with other children
- We hope that you will find the experience enjoyable
- We hope that you will gain a greater understanding of how children learn
- We hope that you feel that you have learnt something through the experience
What are the key points when working with children?
These are a few of the most important points to remember when you are working with a group of children
- It is vital to encourage the children to talk about what they are doing and to use the correct vocabulary
- There is no rush: We give the children plenty of time to complete a task and they will often need to return to it over several occasions
- Always encourage the children to do things for themselves. It is important that they are independent and although they need help and supervision, the end result should always be their own work. Don't be tempted to do the work for them! The learning that goes on while the children are doing an activity is much more important than the end product!
- When playing games with the children, try and encourage the idea of taking turns and being a good loser. The real joy of a game is the taking part!
What kind of activities might you be engaged in?
We might ask you to become involved in a variety of activities such as:
- Sharing books
- Working on the computer
- Playing games
- Making things
- Topic related studies
- Coming with us on visits
- Sometimes just being there is what is needed!
Many of the activities that we ask you to help with are the sorts of things that you do with your children at home.
The teacher will give you:
- Clear guidelines about the activity
- All the materials you need
- A notebook to jot down any comments (possibly)
Afterwards it is very helpful if you can talk to the teacher about how the activity went and how you got on.
Please ask if there is anything that you are not sure about or if you need help.
What does 'sharing books with children' mean ?
A few quick pointers to help you when you are asked to read or share a book with a child :
- The teacher will indicate whether you should read to the child or the child should read to you - if this is not clear, ask
- If the child appears 'stuck' tell them gently to use their phonics and 'sound it out' or encourage a sensible guess based on what has already been read or look at the illustrations for clues and if all else fails, tell them the word. Quite often a lack of confidence will inhibit them from making an attempt and their fear of 'getting it wrong' will quite often result in silence
- Encourage the child to predict what might happen next and discuss how they feel about the story and the characters
- Make the experience an enjoyable one, sharing with the child your love of books. This is a moment for quality time for you both
What are the security procedures within school?
In order to ensure that the safety and well being of the pupils in school there are a few procedures that we need you to be aware of and adhere to :
- Please come into school through the main door, where you MUST sign in and receive a lanyard to wear. Please remember to sign out and return your lanyard before you leave.
- If you see an adult who is not wearing a badge or lanyard, please tell a member of staff. If you are concerned about an adult's behaviour in any way, do not attempt to deal with the situation yourself, but again report it to a member of staff.
- You may be asked to accompany a member of staff with a class or group of children on a visit in the neighbourhood, but you should NOT under any circumstances take children off the premises by yourself.
A few miscellaneous points:
- If a child displays inappropriate behaviour when under your supervision, tell the child firmly that this is not acceptable. If the behaviour is repeated send the child straight back to the class teacher or send a sensible child to fetch the teacher. Do not get involved in disciplining a child; leave this to the class teacher.
- If you are unable to attend when arranged please let us know at the earliest possible opportunity, the previous day if you can.
- It is not possible for helpers to bring pre-school children with them when they are helping in school and we would therefore appreciate it if you would either make alternative arrangements for your pre-school children or perhaps wait until they are a little older and come in when they are attending Playgroup or Nursery.
- Occasionally children become a little unsettled when their parents are working with other children in the classroom. It may be therefore that we ask you to help in a different class for a while. This will be entirely at the teachers and/or Headteachers discretion. It would be helpful if you could explain to your child that you will be coming into school to help all of the children and that he/she will not always be able to work with you.
What do I do at break times?
Please join the teachers for a coffee and biscuit in the staffroom during the morning play.
Do take this opportunity to tell the teacher how the activity is going and to iron out any problems you may be having.
We do ask you to respect the need for discretion at all times. There is a code of confidentiality that all adults working in school must observe at all times. Please do not repeat or discuss anything you see or hear concerning individuals or the running of the school. If you are unhappy or concerned in any way, go straight to the teacher or Mrs Harper.
Key times in our school day
Morning School: 8:40 to 12:00
Assembly Time: 10.00 to 10.30 (Yr 1 and Yr 2)
Playtime: 10:30 to 10.45 (Yr 1 and Yr 2)
(Your teacher may be on playground duty, but you are welcome in the staffroom).
Afternoon School: 1:00 to 3:00
Fire Drill : Please file into the playground from the nearest exit in silence and make your way to the designated assembly point. No attempt should be made to collect personal belongings.
What do I do if a child has worked exceptionally well ?
First of all, praise the child and let them know why you are pleased with them. Then let the class teacher know why you feel the child deserves recognition for their efforts.