New Learning Potential 2.0 App upgrade
The Australian Government has released an upgrade to the free Learning Potential app for parents. Learning Potential 2.0 is packed with useful tips and inspiring ways to be more involved in their child’s learning. It’s for all ages, from the high chair to high school.
The upgraded app includes a range of new features and improved functionality so parents can:
- search for the information they want
- see recommended articles based on the content they are interested in
- filter articles according to topic
The upgraded Learning Potential app includes 45 great new articles, 2 new videos, and lots of tips and suggestions for fun summer holiday activities. The free Learning Potential app is available to download now on Android and Apple devices from the App Store and Google Play. Go to www.learningpotential.gov.au to find out more, or to access the content through a web browser.
Download Learning Potential for free.
Learning Potential Resources
The Learning Potential app is now complemented by Learning Potential Resources, a new website specifically for parents of primary school children. Launched in February 2017, it provides ideas, activities, games and videos to help parents support their children with literacy and numeracy skills.
Learning Potential Resources shows how to turn everyday activities like cooking, watering the garden or walking the dog into fun and interactive learning opportunities. It supports the Australian Curriculum for primary school and is structured in three main sections:
- ‘everyday ideas’ showing parents how to practise literacy and numeracy skills with their child during everyday life.
- ‘practise together’ articles giving parents ideas about how they can reinforce literacy and numeracy skills their child is learning at school.
- ‘practise online’ activities, including online games and videos that parents and children can do together to practice these same skills.
The Learning Potential Resources website was created by Education Services Australia with funding from the Australian Government. View it at learningpotential.edu.au.
What is Parent Engagement?
Parent engagement is being positively involved and active in your child’s learning. Your attitudes, values and behaviours can positively influence your child’s education outcomes.
We know that parents, families and carers are some of the most important influences on a child’s education. When you are positively engaged in your child’s education, they are more likely to attend and perform better at school.
Effective parent and family engagement in education is more than just participation in school meetings and helping with fundraising, it is actively engaging with your child’s learning, both at home and at school. When schools and families work together, children do better and stay in school longer.
You can support your child to get the most out of their schooling. The earlier you become engaged, the better it is for your children.
Why is parent engagement important?
Parent engagement is associated with improvements across a range of indicators, including:
- better education outcomes
- enhanced engagement with school work
- more regular school attendance
- better behaviour
- and increased social skills.
Parent engagement is one of the four pillars of the Australian Government’s Students First reform agenda for schools.
How you can help your child do well at school
While it’s important to stay informed and be involved in school activities where possible, there are lots of things you can do at home which can help your child to do better at school:
- Have high yet achievable expectations of your child.
- Talk regularly about school and the value of learning.
- Encourage positive attitudes and respect for school and teachers.
- Model the behaviours you would like to see in your child.
Other things you can do which have also been shown to have a positive impact are to:
- Read out loud with your child and listen to your child read out loud.
- Talk and ask about what they are learning.
- Ask what was and was not fun at school.
- Help them to develop strong work habits.
One of the most effective ways parents and families can help children to do better at school is to make sure they go to school every day. School attendance has a major influence on educational outcomes. Students who attend school regularly are more likely to achieve better results at school and are more likely to complete their schooling.
Visit the Department of Education’s Parent Engagement in Learning webpage for more tips and information to help you get involved in your child’s learning.
What is the Australian Government doing to support parent engagement?
There are a number of ways we are working to increase parent engagement in education.
My School is a resource for parents, educators and the community to give readily accessible information about all Australian schools and campuses. The publication of data on My School allows educators to share information about school achievements and characteristics with the aim of supporting and driving improvement across the nation. For parents, My School provides valuable information to help make informed decisions about their child’s education. Visit the My School website for more information
Parent engagement project
In the 2014-15 Budget, the Government committed $4 million over four years (2014-15 to 2017-18) to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) to undertake research and related activities to support the Australian Government’s parent engagement agenda. This investment provides a solid evidence base for the Government to build parent engagement policies that improve the educational outcomes of all Australian students. More information on the parent engagement project is available on the ARACY website.
Home-based support for disadvantaged families
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a two year, home-based parenting and early childhood learning program that empowers parents and carers to be their child’s first teacher. The program builds the confidence and skills of parents and carers to create a positive learning environment to prepare their child for school. More information is on the Department of Social Services Website.
Parent guides to the Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority has developed a series of parent guides to the Australian Curriculum. Download them here.
Involving parents in school decision-making
The Australian Government is responding to the growing demand for greater school autonomy through the $70 million Independent Public Schools initiative.
The Independent Public Schools initiative will help schools build strong communities, give schools greater local decision making powers and increase the engagement of parents, community groups, business and industry in the life and operation of the school.
To help parents get involved in their school community, a useful online Guide for Parents on School Boards and School Councils is available to help explain some of the ways to get involved in their child’s school and the different school systems in their state or territory.
Parents and community representatives are integral members of school communities and bring a different perspective to teachers and principals. Greater autonomy encourages schools to engage with parents and community members as the diversity of views, skills and experience is beneficial in school decision-making.