Community is something that is often undervalued in today’s society. People brush it off as unimportant, but this could not be further from the truth. A community stands for basic values such as trust, respect and looking after one another. And when you compare these to the basic values of a school, a clear similarity emerges. So how can a school become the focal point of the community?
A successful community is created through engagement. They actively talk to and engage with the local people and this is something that the vast majority of schools are already doing. Teachers have a lot of informal conversations with parents and carers at the school gates, at parents evening and sometimes even in the supermarket! And all of this engagement is good engagement, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t be enough to change a school from being its own little community to being part of the wider local community. For this to happen, feedback from parents and students needs to be recorded properly to ensure that it can be acted on and changes can be made, the progress of a parents child needs to be readily available for them to see, and the impact that the school has on the surrounding area, such as litter picks or school fates, needs to be shared quickly and widely to prove that they are a positive force.
There are a number of options to do this, and different schools will have different preferences, including having an updated website, sending a newsletter, creating an information board by the school gates or having a school app that parents and pupils can access. Whatever option a school chooses, by efficiently engaging with those around them, a school can quickly become a key figure in the community.