Grandparents and the Bingo Connection

Grandparents and the Bingo Connection

This was a Primary School Partnership Goal at a US Partnership School.

Partnership Schools Parental Engagement Type 3 – Volunteering

Another great idea from one of the American Partnership Schools brings together young and older family members.

The Action Team brainstormed how they might organise an activity to include all generations of pupils’ families.  Bingo came to mind as one way in which people of all ages felt comfortable participating.  The Team saw the older generations as 'the ultimate family foundation' for influencing pupil success in school.

Grandparents, parents, and other family members were invited to the Bingo Afternoon which took place in the school’s dining hall.  Grandparents were welcomed with tea, coffee and home baking (donated by parents and staff) and were asked to answer three questions about their grandchild: what they loved about them; things that made them proud of their grandchild; their hopes for their grandchild’s future.

Pupils were given a similar questionnaire as a homework task.  Pupils were asked to answer the following questions: what is the best thing about their grandparent/s; what do they most enjoy doing with their grandparent; what do they do to make their grandparent proud of them?  This proved to be another part of the day that strengthened pupils’ connections with their families.

During the afternoon, some youngsters worked side by side with family members using bingo equipment donated by a local community group.  The Headteacher commented 'How wonderful it is to see that kid smiling so big and enjoying some quality time with his grandpa'.  Another member of staff noticed how many grandparents had dressed up for the special occasion.

The afternoon was a positive experience for all involved – grandparents, parents, other family members, children and staff.  Staff commented it was great to get to know their pupils’ families.  Teachers also noted a longer-term impact when they noticed an increased presence of parents and carers at the school and an end of year survey found parents felt more welcome at the school.

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