The Federal Government has launched a new school website that will help parents and families become more involved in their child’s learning.
The website, called Learning Potential Resources – was created by Education Services Australia (ESA) with support from the Federal Government.
It includes hundreds of educational ideas, activities, games and videos which give parents access to the resources that teachers are using in the classroom, adapted for the home environment.
In a statement today, Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, said the resource shows how to turn everyday activities like cooking, watering the garden or walking the dog into a “fun and interactive learning opportunity”.
“Once the flurry of books, school uniforms and lunchboxes are taken care of, we know that parents turn their attention to how best to support their child’s learning at school,” Birmingham said.
“That’s where Learning Potential Resources comes in.”
He added that parental engagement is a key factor in enhancing a child’s learning and supports the vital work teachers do.
“Parents are their children’s first teachers and a high level of engagement in their education is absolutely critical to success in the classroom,” he said.
“The most important things that parents can do include having high aspirations for their children, reading together, talking with their children, exploring things their children have learned at school, and demonstrating that they value education.”
Last year, data in the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) National Report revealed that more than one in five Australian children are vulnerable in at least one area of their development, and one in ten vulnerable in at least two areas at the time they reach school.
Following the release of the data, The Smith Family CEO, Dr Lisa O’Brien, said research like this shows how critical parents and the home environment are to children’s development.
“Parental engagement in children’s learning for example, is a bigger predictor of how children do at school than their family’s socio-economic status,” O’Brien said in a statement.
She added that equipping parents with the skills, knowledge, confidence and resources to positively engage in their children’s development, will help children build their skills and confidence, before they start school.
“This approach can make a critical difference to children’s longer-term educational outcomes and well-being,” she said.
Learning Potential Resources supports the Australian Curriculum for primary school and contains three main sections, which include:
- 41 ‘every day ideas’ to show parents how to practice literacy and numeracy skills with their child during everyday life.
- 80 ‘practice together’ articles to guide parents on how they can reinforce literacy and numeracy skills their child is learning at school.
- 80 ‘practice online’ activities, including internet games and videos that parents and children can do together to practice these same skills.
Birmingham said the new website complemented the popular Learning Potential app, which has been downloaded more than 119,000 times since it was launched in August 2015.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to making use of ever-evolving digital technologies to provide engaging ways for children to access information and to learn,” Birmingham said.