An interview with Robert Hutton, Junior School Assistant Principal, Kristin School, Auckland, New Zealand. 


Before Storypark, what were your previous methods of keeping parents up-to-date with their children’s daily activities and progress? 

We used written portfolios, (brief) end-of-day conversations with parents, showing parents work samples, newsletters and parent-teacher interviews.

What were the challenges and barriers you faced using these methods?

  • If we’re able to ‘catch’ parents at the start or end of each day they are often in a rush, and we’re unable to fully share their child’s progress or go through their written portfolio
  • Parents hardly ever add comments to written learning stories
  • The cost and waste of paper resources
  • The amount of time it took
  • The difficulty of keeping written portfolios current.

What made you feel there was a need for Storypark?

We have many international families, so the ability to share with those far away was important. It gives a sense of an instant community and the opportunity to show a pathway of learning.

How easy or difficult was it to implement Storypark at your school? 

Storypark is very user-friendly. It saves a lot of time previously spent creating beautiful backgrounds and headings for learning stories and enables us to celebrate events in realtime, leading to families having a real part in it.

What has been the effect of Storypark for parents?

Our parents have been delighted with Storypark. They like that they receive a notification the minute we upload a new story – they can be anywhere and read a story. They enjoy adding comments, and will often do so within seconds. Everyone involved receives a lot more feedback. They can see exactly what their child is doing on a daily basis. They can now also share more with families overseas.

What has been the effect of Storypark for children?

It gives children a visual reference to talk to their parents about each evening and on weekends. Some children prefer a printed paper version they can pick up any time – we are looking at how to make it more visually available to those children.

What has been the effect of Storypark for your school and practice?

Our teachers are more time-effective and it has cut down on the printing budget.

What has staff feedback been like?

  • We personally like creating new stories, knowing that parents will be able to read them immediately – I find it exciting and motivating to send off a new story
  • We thoroughly enjoy reading the comments from parents
  • Teachers have all been very positive.

What is the future of Storypark at your school?

It is now being rolled out into Years 0, 1 and 2.

What advice do you have for other schools who might be thinking about using Storypark?

  • Hold good professional learning sessions beforehand
  • Start slow – don’t open it to all parents until you’re 100% sure that each teacher feels comfortable with what they are doing.

Sign for for Storypark and get 30 days free to explore and evaluate how things work, or attend one of our free webinars for a guided tour by an ECE ICT expert. Register here.

Posted by Storypark

Try Storypark for free and improve family engagement with children’s learning

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *