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    Learning at Home, Learning at School

    When learning at home and school are connected:

    • Teachers and parents have an understanding that children ‘learn everywhere’ and there are important overlaps between home, school and the community.
    • Teachers and parents have an understanding of the benefits that come from effective partnerships – for children’s learning and outcomes, and for parents and teachers themselves.
    • Schools provide opportunities, sometimes in partnership with others, for adult learning and development of new skills to support children’s learning at home.
    • Families are informed about and understand their child’s progress and feel confident to work with teachers in the educational decision-making affecting their child.
    • Schools acknowledge, value and support the home learning that children bring to school.

    What can schools do?

    • Take advantage of every formal and informal meeting or school gathering as an opportunity to highlight the importance of the family’s role in children’s learning.
    • Review the school’s ‘homework’ policy, so ‘homework’ includes interactive activities shared with others at home or in the community, linking schoolwork to real life.
    • Use school community communication strategies (e.g. newsletter, website, noticeboards, meetings, assemblies, letters, flyers) to communicate the value of parental engagement in their children’s education.
    • Teachers send home outlines, in family-friendly language, of school learning to be undertaken each term with a clear explanation of what students are expected to learn and how families can help.
    • Teachers communicate regularly with parents, using a variety of ways, to share progress and provide specific advice and to hear feedback from families on how they can help their children learn.

    Faith Development

    Parents are the first educators in faith of their children. Therefore the continual development and enrichment of every parent's individual faith is encouraged and is highly commended.

    Opportunities for participation in personal faith development are available for entire school communities where liturgy, sacramental programs and prayer is provided within the parish/school environment. Parents are encouraged to participate in these opportunities when offered by their local school or parish. Read more about Faith and Religious Education in the curriculum.

    Social and emotional learning

    Where responsibility for development of all aspects of a child’s growth is seen as a shared task between school and home, is aligned with children’s at-home experiences, and is an integrated aspect of the school learning environment, students can be more engaged and learning outcomes improved.

    Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing basic social and emotional competencies that serve children (and adults) in all areas of life. Research generally identifies these competencies as:

    • Self awareness
    • Self management
    • Social awareness
    • Relationship skills
    • Responsible decision making

    Research further indicates that these competencies can be taught. The most beneficial SEL programs take into account the various settings where children spend their time including home and school. They are undertaken in partnership with families to offer common language and understandings, appropriate support, and explicit instruction across year levels.

    SEL programs aim to build the capacity of school leaders, staff, students and families to develop an integrated and sustainable whole-school approach to social and emotional learning.