Fuel your journey…
Case Study: Highfields Primary School
Reaching across the language barrier with Weduc
Today’s diverse, multicultural classrooms are rich and creative learning environments where pupils can thrive. The benefits go far beyond the academic – when children are exposed to a wide range of cultures and languages as they learn, play, and explore, they are encouraged to be more curious and understanding of the world around them, helping them grow into intelligent, inclusive adults.
However, parents have often felt excluded from their children’s schooling journey. Removed from the four walls of the classroom, most rely on school communications to connect and engage with the life of the school. Problems occur when these communication systems are inflexible, unengaging, or difficult to navigate and understand. With language barriers forming an additional obstacle to effective two-way communication, it’s easy to see how parents with ESL can struggle to feel as connected to the school and their child’s progress as they would like.
Highfields Primary School was determined to close the gap between school and home. To meet the needs of its large and diverse school community, Highfields successfully leveraged Weduc’s pioneering engagement software, reaching across the divide to bring all parents into the fold.
Based near the centre of Leicester, Highfields Primary School has around 370 pupils aged 3-11 and some 55 staff. The majority of pupils and their parents are from ethnic minority backgrounds, with nearly nine-in-ten families speaking English as an additional language – a proportion well above the national average.
Highfields was rated as Outstanding at the last Ofsted inspection. Off the back of this significant achievement, the school is planning to grow over the next few years, expanding its happy learning community across the culturally diverse city of Leicester.
At such an exciting time in the school’s journey, Dave Nimmo, Business Manager for Highfields Primary School, wanted to ensure that parents were every bit as involved and engaged with Highfields life as their children were. Parental engagement has a significant impact on pupils’ attainment and wellbeing, making it a growing area of focus for schools across the country.
But the school soon realised that a significant piece of the puzzle was missing:
“Before Weduc, we primarily used emails and texts to reach parents. We often found that these methods of communication didn’t sufficiently ‘reach’ our diverse parent base at all.
Not only is it arduous and time-consuming to type out and send multiple emails, but the lack of visual imagery made it difficult to communicate clearly with ESL speakers. As a parent myself, I know how frustrating it can be when effective two-way dialogue fails – it certainly doesn’t make you feel engaged and inspired!”
Dave Nimmo, Business Manager, Highfields Primary School
Highfields needed an intuitive, accessible, and simplified communications system to enhance parental engagement. This needed to go beyond the basic functionality of traditional engagement software, providing a highly visual and user-friendly platform to enable seamless communication across language and cultural barriers.
Engagement made easy
Weduc’s Reach More Parents platform has transformed how Highfields Primary School involves and engages parents.
The integrated visual appeal of Weduc’s software immediately sets it apart from other suppliers. Accessible via smartphone app alongside a range of other platforms, Weduc displays videos and photos clearly within a social media-style newsfeed, making communication with ESL speakers significantly easier.
School staff can now set up targeted groups and channels with minimal effort, quickly sharing targeted, bite-sized communications through a variety of visual materials and PDFs. In turn, the parents of Highfields School can access everything in one place, with multiple communications options only a screen swipe away – and a range of language translations adding even greater value for multilingual parents. The school communicates with parents in a way that truly ‘speaks’ to them, untangling the crossed wires of the past and making way for frictionless two-way interactions between home and school.
“No one else does parental engagement as well as Weduc does. We would recommend it without a doubt to other schools.”
Weduc’s engaging newsfeed function acts as the school’s internal Twitter, making it easy for parents to keep up to date as they go about their busy lives. This enables the school to share and celebrate pupils’ achievements directly with the parents, as well as issuing important school updates without the need to write multiple emails, texts, and website updates. Since using Weduc, parents have also become more confident in asking questions and making suggestions via the app, helping them to engage and connect with the school in a way that fits around their needs and preferences.
Most importantly, Highfields pupils are now benefiting from higher levels of parental engagement and involvement. The simplicity and user-friendliness of the system means that it is accessible to parents from all walks of life, ensuring that even the most ‘hard-to-reach’ families feel a valuable part of the school community.
“Weduc has been a resounding success for our pupils, staff, and parents alike. Not only has it achieved a 100% teacher uptake, but we can see that parents are directly engaging with the software across all hours of the day. As Highfields Primary School continues to go from strength to strength, we are delighted that parents are now fully engaged and on board with our journey.”
If you want to find out more about how Weduc can help your school, call us on 01509 221 349.
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