Research indicates that gifted and talented children have the best opportunity to learn and develop in a healthy all-round way where parents and teachers work in partnership (Rogers, 2002).
Even though these students have advanced abilities they still need educational support to make progress in their learning. In particular, educational programs at school need to provide them with 'new' learning at the edge of their level of competency.
Succesful partnerships between families and schools
Successful partnerships between families and schools are mutually beneficial relationships that provide opportunities for improved learning outcomes for children and young people. Schools recognise the importance of partnerships with families by:
- engaging families and staff in regular, meaningful two-way communication about children and young people's learning needs
- involving families in their child's learning activities at home, including homework as well as other learning activities that include the families' culture, history and language
- recognising families as the first and primary educators of their children and acknowledging the lasting influence families have on their children’s attitudes and achievements
- facilitating family participation in consultation and decision-making as participants in governance and advocacy through parent associations, committees and other forums.
How you and your wider family can actively participate in your child's learning
You and your extended family can actively participate in your child’s learning and development in a number of ways:
- being involved in their child's learning at home, e.g. shared reading, storytelling, rhymes and songs, helping with homework, visiting museums
- showing an active interest in and valuing what their child does
- being engaged with the school by volunteering to help with activities where possible
- being involved in decision-making activities, such as parent associations and committees, school councils and governance boards.
Tips - when a child is not thriving in the learning environment
If you believe that your child is not thriving in the learning environment, you should first approach your child's educator to discuss the situation with a focus on:
- if the educator knows at what level your child is learning
- if new or challenging learning is being provided
- identifying any changes that may explain the child's disengagement.
You can work in partnership with their child's educators to explore how the situation can be changed and implement some strategies to resolve the issue of disengagement. This could include:
- a meeting to discuss both family and teacher knowledge about the level of the child's learning
- communication between both family and school teacher about your child's learning interests
- teacher to assess off-level to determine the child's actual learning needs (see VCAA 'On demand' assessments)
- discuss how extension learning and learning skills could be provided at home to enrich learning at early childhood or school setting
- once a satisfying intellectual learning program is established there may be a need for a learning plan to support development of more mature social or emotional behaviours.
If these strategies do not work and you still feel that your child is not engaged in their learning you can request a meeting with more senior school staff to explore any issues. In some cases the relevant regional office may also be able to provide assistance.
74 ways to partner with your child's school
For information on how you can partner with your child's school, see:
For policy information, see: Connecting learning at home and at school
For information on the relationship between parents and schools, see: