“How was your day?” If you ask this question and your child tends to respond with a shrug or a vague description of a missing pencil, then consider yourself in good company. The ubiquitous question asked so often at the school gates or dinner table rarely provides the kind of info that Mum and Dad most want to know about classroom learning. Enter Storypark, a brilliant new app that’s bridging links between school and home life and helping parents stay connected with their child’s education.
Introduced by Australian International School (AIS) and accessed via mobile, desktop or tablet, the app lets parents relive important moments that happen during the school day. We find out more from AIS parents and Adam Patterson, Head of Early Years at the Australian International School.
Live updates from Australian International School teachers
Storypark allows teachers to send out updates, photos and videos throughout the day, with parents receiving real-time notifications when new stories have been uploaded.
Bec Round, mum of a four-year-old in Early Years at AIS, has found the app extremely useful. “Once my daughter started taking the school bus and I was no longer doing the drop-off, I felt much more removed from her classroom. 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 now have conversation starters at the end of most days,” she says.
Child-centred learning at its heart
AIS is gearing up to unveil its brand-new Early Learning Village in July 2017 that’ll house heaps of unique learning spaces to guide children’s exploration of the world around them. It’s this Reggio Emilia-inspired philosophy that places the child at the centre of the learning experience, which underpins the Early Years Curriculum at AIS.
Adam Patterson, Head of Early Years at AIS, believes that Storypark supports this child-centered approach to learning. “Storypark is the perfect fit for the Australian International School as it puts the child at the heart of the learning journey and recognises 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,” he says.
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.
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. “We include private happenings into the stories, which supports the teachers, so when our daughter Mia talks about an adventure she had at the weekend, the teachers know what it is about,” he says.
Involve extended family in school milestones
One downside to being an expat is that it can often be difficult for family members back home to feel involved in our children’s day-to-day lives, especially when they are growing up and changing so fast. Storypark softens the blow by letting parents invite family and friends anywhere in the world to share in their child’s journey. Just imagine how your little one will love seeing a comment or new story from Grandma and Grandpa pop up on their screen!
Megan Johns, mother to four-year-old Charlotte, has recently moved to Singapore from Australia and uses Storypark to stay in touch with family back home. “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,” she says.
Want to know about AIS and how it makes learning Maths fun?