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Supporting your Child's Learning

Children can achieve well at school when their family and friends take an interest in their school and schoolwork. Getting involved in your child’s education, even in the simplest way, shows that you care about their school life. Often, the more supported a child feels at home, the more effectively she or he will learn at school. Whatever your lifestyle, or family situation, it is never too soon (or too late) to start helping a child develop a positive attitude towards learning.

Try to give encouragement and show appreciation of your child’s achievements, whether great or small, as this can help boost their confidence. Teach them basic organisation and time management skills so they are not overwhelmed with projects or homework. Be realistic and avoid putting your child under pressure by having over-high expectations. Let your child develop at their own pace, but if you do have concerns, please speak to their teacher.

Try to give feedback rather than criticism, e.g. saying ‘that didn’t seem to work’ rather than ‘you got it wrong’. This helps them think about where they went wrong and how they can improve in future, rather than just feeling like a failure.

Tips to help you keep up with what’s happening at the school

  • Make sure your child gives you any letters that are sent home.
  • Read the weekly newsletter, Windmill Words
  • Look out for notices and posters for parents on Parentmail and social media
  • If you can, check the school website.
  • Try to make it to the fun events, like school fairs, and to parents’ evenings.
  • If you are worried about anything, go and talk to a teacher. They will want to help.

Out of school support

Often parents and carers like to introduce a variety of interests in and out of school too so that children have the opportunity to explore other interests that they enjoy.  Learn together, do things together, visit interesting places, talk about things you’ve seen on television and encourage your child to ask questions. Support their reading development by having books, magazines and newspapers in the home and let your child see you and other family members reading them.

When a child comes home from school, they may be tired so try not to fire too many questions of your child as soon as they walk through the door. They may be weary or hungry and not feel like talking. Be available to listen later if they want to talk.

Thinking ahead

Education is more than just maths, English and science. your child’s talents lie in sport, art, music, drama, computers, or anything else, you can always help them aim high by boosting their confidence:

  • Encourage them to join after-school clubs or activities.
  • Tell your child how proud you are when they do well.
  • Let them hear you praising them to other people.
  • Talk together about their future and the kind of job they think they would enjoy.
  • Ask them to help you with things they are good at.
  • Help your child to find someone to look up to; a relative, friend or celebrity. 

School and parents

Young people live and learn in two worlds – home and school. The way the two connect and communicate can make an enormous difference to how children learn to manage in both places. If teachers, parents and young people all trust, listen and talk to each other, the final goal of helping children learn and develop to their best ability is most likely to be achieved. You have a right to expect and ask for help.