Only About Children (OAC) is a fitting name for the network of early learning services which uses a holistic approach that gives children the platform they need to thrive. Operating more than 73 early years learning, and kindergarten/preschool campuses throughout Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, OAC goes beyond education to encompass the health and total wellbeing of every child who attends one of their campuses.
Strong partnerships with family and community are valued at Only About Children, and they believe in the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is lived out through active, two way relationships with families. This means educators are able to understand and meet the unique needs of every child and their family. One strategy used to foster these two way relationships, is to document and share children’s learning with families, digitally.
The teaching team at OAC Chatswood North have been using Storypark to share children’s learning with families for almost a year now. Educators initially found that family engagement was almost non-existent. The team were curious to find out why this was the case. They discovered that not everybody read the daily diary, or even knew about it! Digging deeper, they reflected on their float roster, programming time and the quality of documentation they were publishing on Storypark. After researching, the team decided to try sharing more photos and videos, and writing less. An email was sent out to families, asking how they were finding Storypark and showing them how to add more family members to their child’s profile.
After 2 short weeks, the staff were rapt to notice that family members had starting commenting and “loving” the daily diaries and snapshots of learning shared via photos and video. They also noticed that the views per post had gone up tremendously! Families started communicating how much they loved the videos, both on Storypark and in face to face conversations with educators at drop off and pick up times.
One educator has found that sharing videos and photos on Storypark, has meant she is typing a lot less. This is due to the fact that she is discussing what is happening and what children are learning, in face to face conversations with family after they have viewed the photos and videos.
In addition to recording learning stories in this way, educators are using the child note feature. They say that families are loving the personal aspect of being able to share their own notes, goals and aspirations for children.
“Storypark has really lifted the team’s spirit as they feel like their work is being recognised. We’re all really enjoying Storypark here!”