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How to engage them

Nationally, the biggest event involving parents is the Campaign for Learning's Family Learning Weekend, which this year took place on October 11-13. But for teachers who missed it and those wanting to engage parents in the education of their children, here are three ideas:

* Offer weekly after-school sessions for parents called "How you can help your child to get on". As well as offering practical tips, such as how to choose a good book or providing everyday maths activities to do at home, it's a chance for the school to explain aspects of the curriculum, such as how writing is taught these days. Headings in Help Your Child to Succeed will give plenty of ideas.

* Help a group of pupils to develop a presentation on being an effective learner and invite their parents to watch it. You could start with "What to do when I get stuckI " as an idea.

* Give out materials of the kind I am describing to all new parents and remind them they can enrol for the weekly sessions the school will be running. Involve the parent teachers' association and invite it to sell materials to the parents.

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