Supporting Your Child
On this page, you will find useful information to help support your child through the school year.
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…
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) – Our timetable now gives your child time to complete some independent study during the school week. They need to complete Personal Study on time and to the best of their ability, attend RHAPT sessions if they have more than three Behaviour Manager Points 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 setbacks, as well as being engaged and committed to learning.
How do we measure these?
Your child will be assessed against the ‘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 e-mail – this tells you if your child has any Behaviour Manager (BMs) or Achievement Manager (AMs) Points, and what homework is set and when it is due. If you are not signed up to the weekly e-mail, please do so by contacting the school.
5. Visit our Virtual School (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 Manager Points and what they are for; see if they have been awarded any Achievement Manager Points; and read previous school reports to check on progress.
6. Attend Subject Review Evenings (Parent/Carer Evenings) where you can talk directly to staff about your child’s progress.
How can I get involved? Pick ‘n’ Mix…
There are numerous ways you can support your child – from ensuring they are wearing the correct uniform and that they turn up on time at the start of the day, to being aware of their homework schedule. We know that it can be hard to know where to start – so check out this list (see below) which may feature some things that you’ll want 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, and then mix it up a bit from week to week and see what happens.
You may be surprised at what you find out…
The ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix‘ for parents/carers was created by the Parents’ Forum.
“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(s) 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 their target grade 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, revision sessions, 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, revision sessions, 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?"
"How can you get another one?"
"Can you 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 ?”
"How can you avoid getting another one?"
"What could you do differently in this class or this situation next time?"
Link them to a reward scheme for turning BMs into AMs in the 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...?”
“Has anyone been 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 - we have a range of qualified staff to offer that extra emotional support, practical help, or counselling. In the first instance, you should approach your child's 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 372379 and ask the member of staff to call you back, or e-mail in confidence to: email@example.com.
It’s very easy to sit back and let the school do their job, but it’s even better if parents/carers get involved. It does make a difference – 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.
Chores are good for you! – From the Unstoppable Teen website.