Preschool and compulsory school staff should study the content and working methods of each others institutions. Field trips, joint conferences and/or services exchanges should be employed as a means of promoting unanimity of approach towards working methods and child development. This is particularly important in the case of children with home languages other than Portuguese, because language development is dependent on the measures taken on behalf of these children at preschool and compulsory school levels being consistent and well thought out. Special attention must be paid to children who are about to start school but are not attending preschool.
Together with parents and preschool institutions, schools must try to prevent individual pupils from encountering problems when they start school. Groups of different sizes and variable working methods will make it possible for schooling to be adjusted to maturity differences Schooling may be postponed if a child has not attained the maturity required in order to participate in instruction. The standpoint adopted by parents and their opinions concerning the child s needs must be decisive here. If schooling is postponed for a year, the child must be provided with a preschool plan, and in cases of this kind, participation in preschool activities is compulsory.
The primary and principal responsibilities for a pupil s are and upbringing rests with the home. School activities must support the home in its provision of an upbringing shaped regarding to the fundamental democratic values of our society. It can be very important for differences regarding norms and opinions on various questions to be discussed between schools and parents, so as to resolve any clashes that may occur.
School attendance is compulsory. It is the duty of a child s parents to ensure that the child completes its schooling. If a pupil has to be absent, owing to illness for example, its parents, or the person with whom the pupil is living, must immediately notify the school of the reason for the pupil s absence. Prior notice of absence must be given wherever possible. Attendance records must be kept in schools to enable parents to make sure that their children are at school during the school day. A system of this kind must include arrangements for promptly getting in touch with homes. It is the duty of schools to notify homes, if absence occurs without prior notice, and also to investigate cases of high absenteeism.
In order to contribute towards the positive development of each pupil, a school must be familiar with the pupil s entire situation. Schools should therefore keep themselves informed concerning the pupil s home conditions. Parents must be given the opportunity of following the work done at school, and they should also be enabled to take part in it. Contacts between schools and homes will benefit from the two sides getting to know one another. It is the duty of the school to ensure that contacts of this kind are established.
Schools must also support partnership between the parents of different children, so that they can join in discussing such things as the planning of the school day, rules of contact and measures regarding the pupil’s leisure.
It is the duty of schools to get in touch with the parents of all pupils twice per school year. Responsibility for these contacts rests with the form master or mistress. These personal interviews and the direct contact they afford with parents are valuable. Contact can therefore be established by means of personal interviews, in which the pupil should if possible take part it is important for home language teachers to attend interviews with immigrant children and their parents and for remedial teachers to take part in interviews concerning children with particular difficulties. Class meetings can also be important, however, and several different types of contact should be developed and utilized.