In the past, parents were often kept away from the classroom and were simply informed of their child’s progress once a year. We never heard the poem that our children wrote in class because it stayed inside this secret space called the classroom. We never witnessed their excited expressions when the experiment they were doing in science gave them a new insight into how things work in the world. We never shared that discovery, that awe-inspiring moment because we were not there.
Over the course of the year, parents are invited into school to share in their child’s learning by physically joining the class. However, these are only snapshots of what takes place in and out of the classroom and rarely capture those inspiring moments of awe and wonder. The Team at Compass International School Doha wanted parents to have the opportunity to witness the learning taking place throughout the week and looked to a virtual solution with technology providing the answer. We are in a brand new world where inventive schools such as Compass International School Doha, use technology to invite parents to join in the learning experiences that their children enjoy every day at school.
Parents of students at all of the Compass International Primary Schools have been invited to join their child’s class through “Class Dojo” to give them a window on learning in the class. At first, some parents were a little unsure as they were invited to sign up by an image of a bright green critter, raising the question ‘What has this got to do with my child’s learning?’. The answer is a great deal because it chronicles key moments in a child’s learning journey behind the closed doors of the classroom.
This leading school in Doha hopes that by sharing this unique insight into classroom learning with the out-of-class parents, the dinner table conversations and interactions surrounding student learning will increase. This has already been reflected in the feedback the school has received from parents:
“For me, Class Dojo is an amazing way to connect to the education process of our daughter and those doing the educating. The way in which updates are delivered, fit into our digital lifestyles and it allows us to be “present” in the classroom. It also makes talking to our daughter about her school day a lot easier and more productive. Congratulations on adding this tool to your teaching tool box.”
“Being so far from [my family] is very hard for me. I receive photos via email and we have regular calls/Skypes, but it can be hard to really grasp from [my son] what he's getting up to in school (despite him being very good at telling me). Having the regular photos pop up on Class Dojo is amazing. It makes my day to see him so happy in school. Thank you!”
“We love seeing photos of our child’s learning and like the fact we can ‘like’ and add our own comments.”
The students are big fans of Class Dojo too:
“I like that I can make my own monster and that my mum sees my great work!”
“It’s great that my parents see the work we do in class and when we receive dojo points!”
Does your school let you in to the class to see your child’s learning moments or does it perpetuate old-school values and keep you at arm’s length? Teachers at Compass International School Doha believe that bring parents into the classroom, physically and virtually, enhances the learning experience of children at the school.
“Class Dojo” is used by many Nord Anglia Education schools, as well as 2 out of 3 schools in the United States.
Dr Terry Creissen and Jimmy Frawley
Jimmy Frawley is Head of Primary and Dr Terry Creissen is Executive Principal at Compass International School Doha. Their schools in Doha run special seminars for parents to explain their philosophy of “Be Ambitious” and provide practical advice on how to bring out the best in the partnership between school and home. To find out more about their leading edge programmes, contact the school by email: firstname.lastname@example.org