This week much of Europe imposed a second lockdown. Consequently families are again, struggling to connect. Both at the school gate and in their social circles. At the same time there are concerns about pupil and family mental health. Due to the lack of opportunities to make new friends. Whilst promise of a vaccine is on the horizon, group gatherings aren’t going to happen anytime soon.
Some school communities are addressing this problem by creating online social groups for families to join. Fortunately, Classlist is perfectly placed to host these groups. Firstly, members are already pre-vetted on Classlist. So this sets the foundation in which members can trust each other. Secondly, anyone can create a social group in a matter of seconds on the platform.
Setting up social groups in your community
To ensure their success, there are some important factors to take into account when setting up sub-groups within a school community:
- At least 100 active members in your community. Any fewer members and you are diluting your conversations too much. New groups are unlikely to get any traction or worse, take over your community’s mainstream.
- Appoint a group leader for each sub-group. Don’t just hope for the best and think setting up a group it will just run itself. Ask a parent to take the lead. If they are interested in the topic or activity that the group supports this shouldn’t be a hard sell. You should give them some opening suggestions on how to get the ball rolling. After the group proves to be a success you may have another candidate to take on more responsibilities.
- If a group dies disband it. Don’t leave sub-group ghost towns. And if a group is successful promote these to other members rather than attempt to revive less popular groups.
- Groups that are topic based are usually more successful than goal based groups. With the exception of newcomers groups and international parent groups. Their aim is clear – to help new and outsiders to integrate. Furthermore, these early connections often result in long term friendships.
- Topic based groups that are popular include: book clubs – this year’s big hit; Covid-19 discussions; theatre groups; returning to work; and wellness tips.
- Activity based groups that thrive in school communities evolve around walking – with dogs or without. Use the signup tool on Classlist to schedule groups. For instance – groups of two to walk with each other. New activity groups emerging include meditation (sessions held on zoom); and music appreciation.
For more inspiration
Do listen to our recent podcast with Charlotte Bullock, who describes some of her highly successful groups hosted on Classlist at Latymer Upper School. Learning something new, making the most of talented teachers at the school and friendship are some of the benefits she highlights in the podcast.
For more school community trends click on the link here.