Kathryn Collier’s Play Project

Using SWAY Newsletters to put play at the heart of family learning.

Kathryn Collier
Working Party Member
Depute Headteacher

SWAY Newsletters

Relationships with our families is at the heart of our practice. Measures in place to keep everyone safe and mitigate any risk of Covid-19 have created additional barriers for connecting with our families and we are keen to keep connecting to our families and supporting them as best we can. As a Nursery we have always sent out a weekly newsletter and as a team we were keen to utilise this to best support our children and families. We want to ensure we gain family views in driving forward changes to making this weekly content accessible and useful for our families.

What format will your communication take?

During lockdown in March, we moved our weekly Newsletters from a word document, over to using Microsoft Sway.

There were several reasons for using Microsoft Sway;

  • It does not have a maximum size limit, which we had when sending a document out to our parents via ParentMail
  • It allows staff to add in both photos and videos
  • The platform is more interactive and allows us to include links and other documents that may be useful for families

All of the Nursery team take a weekly rota in creating our Nursery newsletters, which are also supported by myself, as DHT.

What content will your communication have?

  • Our week in Nursery
    • Updates on what the different groups have experienced and engaged with across their week
    • Photos, and sometimes videos are added
  • Monthly Home and Nursery Focus Links *new feature from October 2020*
    • A monthly link between home and Nursery. Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child and pass onto a member of staff or email us
    • We use the newsletters to update how the focus has been developed within the Nursery
  • In the Spotlight *new feature from January 2021*
    • An area to focus on further information for parents about life in Nursery, play or child development or signpost supports for families
  • Reminders/ Stay connected

Project Progress

  • All staff have familiarised themselves using Sway as a platform for our Nursery newsletters. We continue to send the links for these out to parents every Friday.
  • In November we asked families for their views, on settling back into Nursery after lockdown and about the use of the Nursery newsletters
  • As a Nursery team we gathered the views and discussed the feedback, and created our next steps.
  • As a Nursery team we analysed the data from Sway
    Understanding the data
    Average time spent—Average of all viewers’ time spent engaging with your Sway.
    Average completion—Average of how far all viewers scrolled through your Sway.
    Read ratio—We have three tiers of readership based on level of interaction—glanced, quick read, and deep read—and is based on the Sway and its contents. It could mean clicking through the images of a stack, listening to audio, watching an embedded video, or sliding between two images in a comparison.
    –          Glanced: Readers either scrolled through a Sway to get a high-level overview or they simply opened it.
    –          Quick read: Readers spent time in most sections. They interacted with enough of the content in a Sway to understand the material.
    –          Deep read: These readers are the most engaged. They spent significant time reading through and interacting with content.
  • It was important for us to share our next steps with our families and for them to feel valued and listened to. We sent out to families a ‘You said, we listened document’ to share the feedback and our next steps.

Next Steps

  • Continue with weekly Nursery newsletters
  • Continue to gather family views regularly and discuss how to best do this
  • Continue to analyse data from Microsoft Sway
  • Continue with Nursery and Home Monthly Links – gather ideas from pupils and families about this
  • Start In the Spotlight within the Nursery newsletters, as above

Covid-19 Caveat

Our project has been about communicating with our families with digital platforms, and therefore Covid hasn’t affected the project. In fact it has become more important.

Project Progress

We have continued with weekly Nursery newsletters, throughout the 2021 lockdown with updates from home and Nursery as appropriate.

As a staff we have continued to analyse data from Microsoft Sway.

Within the lockdown period, we paused the Nursery ad Home Monthly links as we had weekly story focuses and packs. We have restarted out Nursery and Home Monthly Link now that everyone is back in the Nursery.  We continue to consider how we can gather ideas from pupils and families about this.

In the Spotlights have been included in weekly Nursery newsletters. The format of the In the Spotlights are linked with My World Triangle. Some of our focuses have been: Routines at Nursery, Supporting learning at home, Scottish Child Payment, Sharing stories together, Sharing the Ambition Family Zone.

You can see examples of a few ‘In the Spotlight’ communications below:

Family Feedback

Next Steps

  • Monthly Home and Nursery links will continue.
  • Weekly in the Spotlight will continue.
  • We have been asking parents for ideas for future in the Spotlights, to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our families.
  • We will continue to regularly evaluate the content of the newsletters with staff and families.
  • We hope to continue to engage effectively with our families and provide support/ information to support them.

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