Dads and Drills: Involving Dads

Dads and Drills: Involving Dads

This project was a Primary School Partnership Goal in a school that is in the US Partnership Schools programme. 

Partnership Schools  Parental Engagement Type 3 – Volunteering

The Action Team at one of the American Partnership Schools knew that parents’ presence at school can have a profound effect on children and their learning.  In addition, research indicates the involvement of fathers and father figures adds an extra influence on children’s learning, behaviour and commitment to learning.

The Action Team, Headteacher and teachers at the school wanted to encourage more fathers and father figures to spend some time in school and add a bit of excitement to the pupils’ days.

They developed Dads and Drills, scheduled four times during the year in October, January, March and May.  As there was plenty of notice, this meant families could find time to put at least one of the days into their calendars.

Although these events were named to attract dads, all male adults in children’s lives were invited to come along. 

The Drills were stations or locations for physical fitness and learning skills activities.  The fitness activities were developed with the help of a local personal trainer; he designed the station and brought along equipment for people to use.

Fitness stations included a balance of races, organised games (eg basketball), balance activities, juggling, speed stacking and fun skills, such as hula hoops.  Learning activities challenged everyone with age-appropriate basic skills.

Another station gave everyone the opportunity to find out about healthy practices which was run by a local health service.

Dads and Drills started at 8am, before the start of school; if the adults had to leave for work, pupils could carry on for the rest of the hour.  The mix of exercise and learning plus a drink and a snack proved to be a great way to start the day.

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