Parental interaction with schooling is one of the most important factors for learners’ successful educational development (Desmond & Elfert, 2008; UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning, 2008) and Laura Vicuna Primary School, located in the quaint village of Ghasri, embraces and nurtures this tenet which the NCF (2012) promotes. An important date in its scholastic calendar, Laura Vicuna Primary school organised its 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 15th January inviting all parents and guardians to participate actively in a two-hour session discussing various matters. The agenda included a brief description of the Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) by its former President, Mr Robert Vella. The keynote speaker for the meeting was Inspector Timothy Zammit who willingly accepted the invitation to give an informative talk on cybercrime and succinctly explained the objective of the Cybercrime Unit within the Police Corps. This was very well-received. As a follow-up, the inspector offered to give a talk to the students which the Head of School eagerly accepted.
The statute of the PTA, which was beamed up, was then discussed and those present were encouraged to express their opinion on any amendments they deem necessary. The PTA, including new members on the committee, were then announced and introduced and parents were encouraged to voice their concerns and forward their suggestions which could then be discussed during PTA meetings. The members of the PTA include: Sr Antionette Pace, Sr Elsa Gretter, Barbara Fenech, Sandra Mifsud, Debbie Theuma Xerri, David Grech, Anthony Mizzi, Salvinu Attard, Sharon Roche, Pamela Zerafa, Irene Bajada, Maureen Borg, Ms Tiziana Azzopardi Casha and Sharon Galea.
Finally, Sr Antionette Pace, the Head of School explained the philosophy underlying the Assessment Booklets which are very much in line with the new Learning Outcomes Framework Approach where all stakeholders, including parents / guardians can understand fully what outcomes have been reached and what their child still needs to work on. This form of reporting is student-centred and helps give a clear picture of the achievement and progress each individual learner has made. The booklet also includes space for comments to be written by the parents / guardians and the learner, giving equal importance and voice to all the stakeholders involved. Opening the communication port allows for more active parental involvement and self-regulated learning and self-reflection on the learner’s part. Laura Vicuna Primary School together with its PTA aim to work hard to get all parents and guardians actively involved in helping their child’s develop holistically whilst ensuring the best educational experience. This is good practice which the school plans to share with other local schools thereby promoting the concept of a professional learning community which already exists within the school.