Last week the Storypark team had the pleasure of attending a presentation by local Hutt City Kindergartens who have been using Storypark e-portfolios for the last few months.
The kindergarten teachers from Pencarrow were very eager to share their experience with neighbouring kindys and we were all delighted when the room overflowed with teachers who were wanting to learn more about Storypark.
When Pencarrow Kindergarten set out to trial Storypark, it was to see if they could simplify the process of observations, increase communication with family and build the partnership between home and kindergarten. They wanted Storypark to support what they were already doing and not create more work. They also wanted their learning stories to be fresher and more relevant to the current day.
What they didn’t know was how much excitement their Storypark e-portfolios would create in their kindergarten community!
Parents love the instant feedback and enjoy receiving emails at work showing photos of their child exploring water play, making friendships or creating art. Pencarrow kindy found that the Storypark format has helped parents open up who aren’t usually comfortable responding. Some parents have even been updating their child’s page to inform the teachers of what has been happening at home such as: A day spent fishing with granddad.
Teachers using Storypark have been inspired by their new audience of engaged parents and have been writing more stories which reach parents the very same day. Although the teachers are spending less time on each story, through the use of keywords, they are able to link learning and see the “where to next” elements of a child’s journey. Also, because parent participation is so high, it has made writing learning stories more enjoyable. The teachers also found that parents are more plugged into what is happening at Kindergarten and offer daily donations, materials and support. One of the nicest surprises of using Storypark has been that the teachers are gaining deeper knowledge about all the children, not just their own group or class.
It was a very inspiring afternoon to be supporting the work of such fantastic kindergarten teachers and we enjoyed listening to the community who are helping make Storypark a helpful tool for staying connected to children’s learning.
Want to learn more about Storypark e-portfolios? We would love to hear from you!