The following are some tips and ideas for how parents/carers can support their children in their learning at secondary school. This is not intended to be a complete list, and should you have any further suggestions we would love to hear from you.
As a parent or carer, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. When you speak you are a language teacher. When you help your child recognise colour and shapes you are teaching reading skills. Before your child goes to the school you probably also teach Maths, Science, Human Studies, Art and Physical Education.
Even after your child enters All Hallows you continue to be the most important influence on their life. Remember, most teachers see children only a few hours a day. Parents are constantly teaching their children. The College will teach children a lot of important knowledge, but parents play a critical teaching role. We know that children can learn even more when the College and parents work together as a team.
Here are some ways in which you can help us to support your child’s learning. You may already be following many of these suggestions. Some may not be appropriate for your child. They are intended to get you started on home learning activities.
Stay Interested – We want you to feel as close to All Hallows as you hopefully felt to your child’s primary school.
Be visible - Attend the Parents’ Consultation Evenings so that you can get to know the teachers and your child feels supported. Our records of attendance at parents’ consultation days show a clear link between parents' support and young peoples' success.
Consider being a volunteer - Parent volunteers enable the College to grow as a community provide many extras for our young people. There are many ways to do this: You could consider joining the Parents Association, helping with the College Farm, supporting reading, speaking to students about your work, supporting fund raising events, to name only a few ideas.
Be an engaged parent - The College offers many opportunities throughout the year for parents to learn about various educational issues such as Dyslexia and E-safety. These events are advertised on the College website.
SUPPORT THE COLLEGE
Both parents and teachers want the same thing for children - the best possible education. When we all work together we make a strong team. Here are some ideas for helping the College do a better job:
See that your child attends College regularly
Monitor your child’s subject books and ‘Show My Homework’ account.
Support the College in its efforts to maintain proper discipline
Be aware of what your child is learning in College
Let the Form Tutor know if your child has any problems outside College that might affect his or her College work
If you have any concerns or questions do share them with us
If you have any suggestions or ideas do let us know
Let your child know that you have confidence in them, so they believe in their own worth and are more able to face the challenges of College life.
Try to establish clear, consistent rules for behaviour at home. This helps students adjust to specific rules for the classroom or College.
One important way to help your child in College is to make sure they eat well. Children need food energy to perform well. Try to provide a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruit, cereals, milk products, meat, poultry and fish. Ensure they drink lots of water and avoid fizzy drinks. As part of our curriculum throughout all years, we examine some of the issues around healthy lifestyles. We believe that good health is vitally important and depends not just on a good diet but also on exercise during the day. Encourage your child to play sport, ride a bike, skip, etc.
GOOD SLEEP HABITS
Sleep is vital to the health, well-being and educational success of children. The evidence shows that the successful students have parents who set good bedtime routines and ensure their children get enough sleep.
7-12 Years: 10 - 11 hours per day. Most 12 year olds go to bed between 8pm to 9pm.
12-18 Years: 8 - 9 hours per day. Teenagers needs vary and they may actually need more than previous years. Parents should help to limit the social pressures which conspire to prevent their teenagers getting the proper amount of sleep.
Help your child become a good reader. Whether your child reads fluently depends partly on you. If a family encourages and enjoys reading children are more likely to read well and often. Certain things influence children’s success and interest in reading, such as wide knowledge and thoughtful talking. Thought-provoking questions stimulate curiosity.
Help your child become a better writer. Clearly, writing is something we all do. It stimulates thought, enables us to communicate with friends and helps us express our feelings. To write well we must:
have sufficient time
read to become a better writer
have an interest that we can write about.
To help your child to write well and enable them to find it easier or more enjoyable, provide a place to write. Have paper, pencils, etc. available. Respond to your child’s ideas but don’t write it for them.
Do say something good about it - such as “it is interesting, thoughtful or accurate”.
You could write together, for example a business letter or order. This would show the value of writing in the adult world.
Encouraging them to make lists will help your child to become organised.
The ability to express thoughts clearly in writing is an essential skill. As writing is based on spoken language, you could talk with and listen to your child at home. As you share experiences and talk about them you might help your child develop a love of words.
Let your child see you writing. As they see you correct or adapt your work your child will learn the importance of drafting and revision to ensure good writing.
Encourage your child to write. Perhaps it could be illustrated so that the writing becomes a treasured gift for relatives or friends.
HELP YOUR CHILD DO BETTER IN COLLEGE
Research has clearly shown that behaviour and attitude affect success in the classroom. As parents, you can help to teach your child how to:
be interested in their work
learn and remember
study and know how to get help when necessary
Children can learn the knack of paying attention. Help them think positively so that they don’t say “It’s hopeless”. Encourage them to think they “can do it”. Don’t let them give up. A useful saying might be: “Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit”. Encourage them to answer and ask questions. This helps to focus attention.
TAKING AN INTEREST
Learning is a joint effort - teachers, parents and students working together. Children must believe that the hours they spend studying (and the effort they put in) make the difference between success and failure. Do take an interest in your child’s work and results. Discuss them with your child. Reward your child for improvement. Stress the benefits of doing well in College.