Video transcript - Cambridge Park Public School's community matters

Niel Bourke - Deputy Principal, Cambridge Park Public School

So, we're in Western Sydney, just near Penrith. We're a school of 609 students, ranging from preschool through to Year 6.

60% of our community is deemed to be in the bottom quarter of the low socioeconomic status. We do a lot of work at the school about how we can engage our parents.

So we currently have a project that began as our environmental education teacher putting together a plan for a garden the students designed. The local TAFE has since come in and then engaged us in a program called the community partnerships and work skills program.

Dany Boulos - Community Pathways and Employment Skills, TAFE NSW

It's a garden for the preschool. I think it's been a really valuable task in community building. The friendships that have been developed here, not just between the parents themselves but between the parents and the staff and TAFE, for that matter, has been valuable.

Maria Quinn - Parent

I was quite excited to do something new in my life. Meeting new people. Learned lots off Dany, our teacher. We're all here for one thing and to make our kids happy.

Niel Bourke - Deputy Principal, Cambridge Park Public School

From our first go of the project, several of our parents from that expressed some interest in wanting to be able to go on further, that they wanted to look into TAFE. It took away some of that fear factor around learning.

We also engage a community partnerships officer at the school who's now coming into her fifth year working with us at the school.

Donna Sirmais - Community Partnerships Officer

A community partnership officer is a facilitator of partnership practices between the school and home. We have quite a wide demographic of families at our school, so we have some families that are able to be here during the normal school day.

We also have families that work at varying different hours, so we decided to start looking at live streaming and trying to capture some of those people that weren't able to be here all the time.

So we live stream consultative group meetings, all of our workshops, information sessions. We've had some on NAPLAN information, how to understand the reports. We've had maths workshops.

I actually sit there just with my phone and we video it and it goes directly up onto our Facebook page and our community has input into that.

So we've got parents asking questions while the live stream's happening. The additional benefit of that as well is that if they can't be watching it at that time, they can still post questions that still pop up on our Facebook page and we can then go back and answer those.

Niel Bourke - Deputy Principal, Cambridge Park Public School

We also use YouTube channels to put up messages that we don't want to go out to the world of Facebook, that we can then use our School Star app to be able to target specific kindergarten group or to target the whole school or to target just preschool and specify exactly who we want to reach with that.

The parents feel like they're part of the school and having some more innovative systems in place as well means that we're getting that myriad of people, rather than just the people who are able to do the drop-off and pick-up each day.

End transcript.

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