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31 March 2017

AIS Makes Every Moment Special With Storypark

Published by Rachel Bennett

The Australian International School has a new way of keeping parents involved in their child’s education, through an exciting new App provided by Storypark.

Helping parents stay connected with their child’s education

As busy parents, we all know how difficult it can be to feel connected with what our children are doing whilst we’re at work. Every moment matters when children are in their formative years of learning, and for many parents these moments can pass them by if they happen at nursery, school or daycare.

The Australian International School has partnered with Storypark to introduce an App for parents which allows them to relive the important moments that happen in the school day and to feel more involved with their child’s learning. The App, which can be accessed via mobile, desktop or tablet, allows teachers to send out updates, photos and videos throughout the day, and parents receive real-time notifications when new stories have been uploaded.

Bec Round has a 4 year old daughter in Early Years at AIS and has found the App extremely useful. She says ‘At the start of the year my daughter was desperate to take the school bus, and as it was taking her little brother and I close to two hours for a return trip on public transport, we decided it was best for everyone.  What I didn't take into account was that no longer doing the school drop-off meant I was so much more removed from her classroom as I was no longer in the class for 15 minutes each morning. When she came home many of the typical questions we asked about her day went unanswered as is common for lots of parents! Along came Storypark and it’s fantastic! I love being able to 'see' into the classroom and understand how learning occurs through her play.  I love the videos capturing my daughters social interactions and the quotes in her own words.  I now have conversation starters at the end of most days’

A two-way dialogue between teachers and parents 

In the same way that teachers can provide insights into the school day, parents are encouraged to share things they do with their child outside of school, creating a two-way dialogue between teachers and parents. This helps both parties to have a better understanding of the child’s learning style and helps create relevant links across school and home life.

David Bell, father to 2-year-old Josh says ‘Storypark is essentially our window into Josh's world at nursery. It’s allowed us to observe how he’s grown in confidence and how he’s beginning to explore relationships and develop social skills with his classmates and teachers. Josh spends a lot of time with me so we actively try to apply our new discoveries and experiences to real-world things, like counting the busses to improve numeracy, naming the colours of fruit at the market and more recently exploring means of transport. With Storypark we’ve been able to include his teachers and classmates in this process too - allowing them to focus on how best to engage with Josh and his interests.’

Mike Wong, father to three-year-old Mia, also uses Storypark as a way of communicating with the teachers about what Mia is doing at home. He says ‘we include private happenings into the stories which supports the teachers: when our daughter Mia talks about an adventure she had at the weekend, the teachers know what it is about’

Keeping the whole family involved

When living overseas, it can often be difficult for our family members back home to feel involved in our lives, and this is all the more apparent when young children are involved. Despite the plethora of digital communication channels now available to us, overseas relatives can still feel disconnected from the day to day happenings in our children’s lives, especially when they are growing up and changing so fast.  

With Storypark, parents can invite family and friends from anywhere in the world to share in their child’s journey. Extended family can comment on stories and add their own stories, creating a loving, reciprocal learning community

Megan Johns, mother to 4-year-old Charlotte, has recently moved to Singapore from Australia and uses Storypark to stay in touch with family back home. She says ‘We are in a unique situation where we are trying to bridge the gap between home, school and family back in Australia. We've tried Skype and WhatsApp which work well to chat to people but can't provide what we need to show Charlotte's life at school. Storypark has enabled family members to share in exactly what Charlotte does at school and celebrates some of the milestones with her.’

Supported by a unique Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum

The Early Years Curriculum at the Australian International School draws on the principles of Reggio Emilia philosophy which places the child at the center of the learning experience. The learning spaces, which are soon to be housed at the brand new Early Learning Village, guide each child’s exploration of the world around them, celebrating each child’s ideas, whether that be in mathematics and literacy, music and movement or learning a new language.

Adam Patterson, Head of Early Years at the Australian International School, believes that Storypark supports this child-centered approach to learning. He says ‘Storypark is the perfect fit for the Australian International School as it puts the child at the heart of the learning journey and recognizes that every child is unique and has their own individual story. By opening up this daily dialogue with parents and families, we are able to gain a deeper understanding of each child’s learning style, and tailor our teaching approach to suit their needs. With the opening of our new Early Learning Village this July, I believe that Storypark will further enhance our Early Years offering and strengthen our position as a center of excellence for early childhood education.’

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