We appreciate that at secondary school, the number of subjects that students study together with the demands of Key Stage 3 and particularly at key stages 4 and 5 means that parents/carers may sometimes feel unsure as to how they can best support their children in their learning.
Some general tips:
- Listen, talk, and encourage – this can have a big influence on children's learning.
- Encourage your child to talk to you about their learning, what learning is happening at school and do what you can at home to build on that.
- Talk to your child about their strengths and interests and how they are progressing.
- Encourage your child to talk to you about their next steps in learning and find out how you can work with the school to support this.
- Ask for help if you think your child needs it for any reason.
- Praise your child if he/she is working hard at something or has a achieved something within or out of school
- Encourage any reading
- Look for opportunities at home to develop literacy and numeracy skills: money, number problems, time, measuring, matching, size, reading, writing, understanding instructions, questioning information
- Encourage your child to take part in activities e.g. hobbies, clubs which will provide opportunities to develop a range of skills
- Help them work on tasks on their own and then talk about it with you afterwards
- Do things together where appropriate – learn together e.g. if your child has a project or task to do, take an interest and discuss with them what he/she is doing or offer support if this is needed.
- Help prepare for change- particularly at key transitions.
- Talk to them about how they are feeling
- Work together with the school by taking part in discussions about your child’s learning and progress e.g. at parents nights, reviews
Supporting independent research – the “supra-curriculum":
When it comes to university and higher education, it is clear that successful students are most often those that are curious and independent learners, who have taken the time to explore their subject beyond the formal curriculum: the so-called “supra-curriculum”. This interest in the subject must come from the student, supported by their parents and the school. Within school, there are formal programmes to assist with this, such as “Challenge Plus” and “Aspire”, and we are fortunate to be one of only two schools in the South West accepted onto New College, Oxford’s “Step Up” programme. We also provide a packed schedule of enrichment opportunities for students.
In addition, we have worked with Downing College, Cambridge, to produce the attached pack, which provides support and guidance for parents and students on how to access and use supra-curricular resources.