Key benefits

  • Immediate, positive impact on parental engagement (90%)
  • Builds resilience in children
  • Reinforces positive behaviours and learning attitudes
  • Re-enforces classroom learning at home
  • Supports online learning platforms
  • Supports staff well-being
  • Ensures clear communication boundaries from home to school
  • UK based and fully GDPR compliant

About Orsett C of E Primary School

Based in Essex, Orsett C of E Primary School has around 200 pupils aged 4 to 11 years. As a ‘Good’ school who are always looking to continually drive school improvement forwards, Orsett Primary prides itself on positive learning attitudes and positive learning behaviours.

The challenge

As with many schools during the lockdown, the school was impressed with how parents supported their children during remote learning.  They wanted to continue to involve parents in pupils daily learning, as well as re-establishing a more formal communications process as things returned to normal, as Gemma Smith, Head Teacher, says:

“Our parents are always so supportive of their children’s learning, and of course, during the lockdown, this stepped up to a new level.  We wanted to maintain the enthusiasm and support they had shown by keeping them regularly involved in their children’s learning whilst having clear boundaries to protect teacher well-being and workload now that classes have returned. 

“We looked at various solutions, and after reviewing MarvellousMe, it was the perfect answer for our school.  It was a system that would complement our other technologies with exciting teacher-led news, enabling parents to enjoy an insight into what happens in the classroom, and then easily discuss topics at home and celebrate their children’s successes.”

Parent power

Like many schools, parents showed the school how passionate they are about their child’s education during the lockdown.  As school returned, the team wanted a way that parents could continue to be involved:

“The challenge for many schools is having a positive communication channel which is progress-led and rewards focused, flexible to underpin the specific behaviours and values of our school.  Also, to support teacher well-being, we wanted to ensure that we have a holistic approach where the school were in control of communication with parents.  MarvellousMe gives the parents the flexibility to respond to messages whenever they wish, without jeopardising teacher workload and well-being, by seamlessly integrating with our well-monitored office-based email system and remote learning platform.”

“We chose MarvellousMe because it is all about the sharing of good news with parents, in respect of the learning completed in class and the values and good habits their children are building.

We have created badges to reflect our new school behaviour policy and rewards for learning attitudes.   The messages are positive and personalised automatically, and go straight into the hands of parents to their mobile phones.” 

“Since moving from our previous system, just a few weeks ago, over 90% of our parents are signed up and now know what their children are working on in class. We haven’t had any complaints; parents like it and tell us it makes them smile and feel proud of their achievements.”

Triangulated approach

The school like the triangulated approach MarvellousMe gives between pupil, teacher and parent. As Gemma explains:

“When a child works on a task in class, we can send an instant reward home with a note.  For example, if a child uses great descriptive language in storytelling, we can ask the parents to continue that conversation at home.

“Blended learning is here to stay”, says Gemma, “During the lockdown, parents have seen how they can support children, and they now have a wider, more holistic view of the challenges their children can face in school.  As educators, we need to embrace that and provide parents with the tools and information to support their child’s learning at home.

“What we have with MarvellousMe is the perfect solution for a joint approach to education, a partnership between teachers and parents to improve each child’s happiness, motivation, behaviour and learning outcomes.”

Rewards for resilience

Post lockdown, as children arrived back at school, they were keen and eager, but that has changed, says Gemma

“Children arrived full of excitement, energy and enthusiasm at the school gates on the first day after lockdown.  But, six weeks in, we can see the challenges that Lockdown has provided for some children. Children’s resilience, independence and confidence have been shaken from Lockdown. We have to provide additional support for some on how they interact with each other; we have to spend more time on Children’s emotional well-being and mental health.

“We expect this to continue for some time as children adjust to each stage of the lockdown roadmap as restrictions lift.”

“With MarvellousMe, we can let parents know immediately of any challenges and also reward positive behaviours.  We can reward positive behaviour but also use the system to praise where a child may have been reflective of their actions if a child has made an error of judgement.  This teaches our children to be reflective of themselves, their actions and to have empathy for others.

“Rewards are such a critical part of school life at the moment; MarvellousMe is helping us to restore the resilience and confidence in these children, which is essential for their future well-being.”

Empowering children

The children have enjoyed being part of the set-up process, and Gemma has made sure that they have been involved throughout:

“The pupils have loved choosing their own avatars and seeing what badges are available. In MarvellousMe, we’ve personalised many badges to meet our school values and behaviour policies, and we have also asked children what badges they would like to receive. 

Involving them in the process means they cannot wait to see what badge they are getting; simultaneously, they are excited to know that with MarvellousMe, their parents are being told the great news about their achievements. It’s so lovely to hear parents greet their children after school with comments like, ‘Well done you! I saw the badge the teacher gave you today….’

Next steps

It’s early days for Orsett Primary School, but their journey with MarvellousMe is off to a flying start. But where will it take them next?

“We are so pleased to have 90% of parents signed up within a few weeks.”

We’ve just started trialling the MarvellousMe reading log in Year 4. It’s brilliant to tailor the feedback forms to fit with exactly what our Year 4s are doing in class, how they talk about books, their comprehension and encourage further discussions about the book at home.

Reading is something we are working hard to develop, and I’m sure this will help pupils and parents to enjoy and develop their reading further.”

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