Parents Guide To:

Welcome to the Parent’s Guide page. Here you will find useful information to help you support your child through the school year.

 

Pick ‘N Mix for Parents

Suggestions on how to engage with your child’s learning.

We believe in being nosey!

You need to know how your child is doing at school if you want to help them, support them and encourage them, but you need to know some things first…….

BACKGROUND:

Foundations for Learning – what are these?

They are the building blocks essential for developing your child’s education, personal development and self-reliance. They include:

Behaviour and routines – such as bringing the right equipment to school, wearing correct uniform and doing catch-up work following absence.

Presentation – such as clearly writing the date and title for all work, using a pencil for diagrams and a single line for crossing out and using a ruler.

Improvement and Dedicated Improvement Time (DIT) – which is for example, the use of ‘What Went Well’ (WWW) and “Even Better If…” (EBI) to comment on work, knowing the progress they are making using the assessment tracker and asking if they don’t understand.

Personal Study (PS) – the school week now gives your child time during the school week to complete some independent study. They need to complete PS on time and to the best of their ability, attend RHAPT sessions if they have more than 3 Behaviour Managers for lack of PS in any half term and keep up to date with what is set and when it is due.

Resilience – Having self-belief and confidence, rising to challenges, managing emotions and bouncing back from set-backs as well as being engaged and committed to learning.

How do we measure these?

Your child will be assessed against these ‘Foundations for Learning’ and graded according to three levels:

Working Towards      = Could do better

Expected                     = Good, meets the required level

Above expected         = Outstanding, exceeds the required level

So, how do I know how well my child is doing?

Here are a few suggestions:

1 Ask them! They will know…

2 Look at their exercise books.

3 Read their school reports and if you don’t understand anything, ask them or the teacher/tutor.

4 Read your weekly email – this tells you if your child has any behaviour managers or achievement managers and what homework is set and when it is due. If you are not signed up to the weekly email, do so by contacting the school.

5 Go on the ‘Virtual School’ website (VS). If you log on to your child’s profile you can see what homework is set and when it is due; check what homework has not been done on time, check if they have any behaviour managers and what they are for; see if they have been awarded an achievement manager and read previous school reports to check on progress.

6 Attend parent evenings where you can talk directly to staff about your child’s progress.

How can I get involved?

There are numerous ways you can support your child from ensuring they are wearing the correct uniform, that they turn up on time at the start of the day and being aware of their homework schedule amongst many others but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start if you want to get more involved – so here is a list of things you might like to try.

We suggest picking one or two every week to get in the habit of being nosey about your child’s school life. Choose a different one each week or work your way through them one-by-one. It’s up to you. Pick those that work for you and your child; mix it up a bit from week to week and see what happens.

You may be surprised at what you find out……..

 

“How was school today?” because they will say either “fine” “okay” or “something else!!!”

“What was the best lesson today?” and “why?”
“What new thing did you find out today?” Ask them to explain it to you
“What did you struggle with today?” Ask them how they will deal with that.
“What are you most proud of today?” Ask if you can see the work.

What is this?
What does this mean?
Who is this about?
What did they do?
How did you get that result?

Ask them to explain it
Did they have to do something about it?
What have they learned from it?
Get them to show you what they did.

What does it mean?
What did they have to do?
Ask them to show you what they did.

The test results / grades
What is their target grade?
What is the biggest thing they must do to reach the target grade?
What area is causing the most difficulty? Can you help them? Can they help themselves and if so how? (ask the teacher, go to homework club or revision session etc)
Do they know what they need to do to improve? Can you help them? Can they help themselves and if so, how? (ask the teacher, go to homework club or revision session etc)

“He/she doesn’t understand this – can you help him / her?”

“He/she worked really hard on this homework”

“He / she is really enjoying this subject”

“He/she wasn’t sure what your comment meant – can you explain it further please?”

“What was this Achievement Manager (AM) for ?”
Ask them to explain how they can get another one
Can they get one in a different subject?
Can they get two next week?
Think about setting up a reward scheme at home for getting AMs.

“What was this Behaviour Manage (BM) for ?”
Ask them to explain how they can avoid getting another one
What could they do differently in this class or this situation next time?
Link them to a reward scheme for turning them into AMs in future.

“Have you done this homework?”
“This is due in tomorrow – have you done it?”
“What is the most urgent piece of homework you have to do? When will you do it?”
“Do you need anything to do this homework?”

Rising hormones, friendship issues, exam pressure, behaviour and bullying all impact on our children at one time or another and it can affect their learning, so you need to know what’s bothering them. Go on – ask them!

“Did ………. cause you a problem today?”
“How are you feeling today?”
“Did you manage to sort out………?”
“Anyone unkind to you today?”
“Did you struggle with anything today?”
“Does that bother you?”

And don’t be afraid to ask the school for help – they have a range of qualified staff to offer that extra emotional support, practical help or counselling. In the first instance, you should approach their tutor or a member of staff whom they trust, they will be more than happy to help you and your child to put things right. You can leave a telephone message with reception staff on 01326 372 379 and ask the member of staff to call you, or email in confidence to:

secretary@penryn-college.cornwall.sch.uk

REMEMBER

It’s very easy to sit back and let the school do their job, but it’s even better if parents get involved. It does make a difference – promise. And a little time each week just to ask a couple of questions, to really understand how your child is doing, or to hassle them out of the door on time after making sure they are ready for the day, will improve their learning, raise their aspirations and let them know that you are behind them every step of the way.

The Pick N Mix for Parents was created by the Parents Forum.

Recommended Reading

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