Gearing up for Manchester

bett3Things have been very busy here at Jigsaw School Apps. We’ve been inundated with orders since Bett2014 and if you are waiting for your apps – they are on their way! If you want to order yours before the end of the financial year – let us know soon. We are expecting even more interest once we have been to the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Manchester on 27th and 28th February at Manchester Central. If you are coming to that – look out for our stand C31 and come and say hello! We have free biscuits – which you can munch while watching the demo!

Meanwhile there have been some very interesting articles in the education press and on social media. Department for Education figures reveal that English is no longer the first language for the  majority pupils at one in nine schools. The Telegraph said “schools have enlisted  interpreters to help at parents evenings and bi-lingual teaching assistants for reception classes.”  This also highlights the need for even better school to home communication so that parents can feel included too. Our school apps can be made available in up to 72 languages. The school decides which languages are appropriate for their needs and can offer those choices to parents. This means the parent can download the app to their phone and choose from the list which language they would like to read the content in.

This means they get the news, learn about the events at the school (and can put them in their own calendar with a reminder) and take part in surveys in their own language. It is another way you can keep up the parental engagement that Ofsted are so keen on – but more importantly it is better for the pupils if their parents are involved in their schooling too.

I enjoyed reading a recent discussion on Storify – a kind of sharing of best practice between Primary Schools on ways of Developing Good Parental Relationships. Click on the link and have a read – there are some great ideas! I like “Having a range of communication strategies in place imperative as parents like to engage in different ways”. It made me laugh when one contributor said that she liked to ring parents and tell them good news – she said they were always suspicious!!

Some good news that came out last week: a Harvard academic had done a study which showed that closing school for occasional days for bad weather did not affect pupils learning. In his article he said “Such a clean break seemed to cause less disruption than trying to stay open, when many pupils might not be able to get into school.”  Although this year it seems they are less likely to be snow days – more like flood days!

Either way – when you need to close in any emergency – your school app will be able to notify parents wherever they are! As one visitor to our stand told us at Bett 2014 – “You have identified all the issues schools have and solved them all!”  That is nice – but we still have innovations in the pipeline – so watch this space!