How to help your child

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You can use the guides on this page to support your child to learn more at home.  Don’t forget to read the other sections here, especially Homework (with activities that provide an opportunity to participate in your child’s learning).

Probably the easiest way to help your child is to read each day. Our Reading leaflet will provide lots of activities to make reading an even more enjoyable and active experience for all. Children should be encouraged to read aloud and read on their own, but being read to is really important, too, so don’t overlook the bedtime story.

With just three points to remember, our Handwriting Guide is easy to follow and a great way to support your child. Children have told us that with better handwriting they feel more confident and proud of their learning.

Parents and carers often say they are less confident about supporting their child with Maths. The first rule is: don’t suggest that Maths is less important than Literacy! Mental calculations, estimating, measuring and telling the time are important skills we use every day. Beware of saying in front of your child that you weren’t good at Maths at school – children might perceive this as you saying it’s OK to have these low expectations.

Instead, have a look at our Mental Calculation guide which outlines useful techniques that people use to calculate in their head. Addition and subtraction uses some similar strategies, so they’re colour coded and next to each other (number bonds, for example). It’s the same for multiplication and division (doubling and halving, for example). If you’re not sure, please ask a teacher in school.

Mental Calculation Expectations provides a useful guide to what mental skills your child should be practising both at home and school.  Again, do ask if you’re unsure.

We have also included the progression in calculations which shows how the children move through the stages. This guidance should help you when children practise calculations at home.

Take care not to confuse your child with methods that are not learnt in school.

Our Homework Guide for Parents is a useful guide to general support, especially in Reading and Writing.

For younger children beginning to learn to read and write, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside the actions of Jolly Phonics.  We know phonics can be confusing to parents (much less so for children!), so we’ve produced a guide to the key terms and concepts of spelling.  At home, encourage your child to listen and say sounds:

  • Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag and pull one out at a time. Emphasise the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b – box’, ‘ch ch ch ch – chip’.
  • Say: ‘A tall tin of tomatoes!’ ‘Tommy, the ticklish teddy!’ ‘A lovely little lemon!’ This is called alliteration. Use names, for example, ‘Gurpreet gets the giggles’, ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Naheema’s nose’.
  • Teach them ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’.
  • Try to avoid the ‘uh’ sound you might have learnt to say for sounds like ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ – say the ‘purest’ sound you can (a ‘short’ ‘b’ rather than ‘buh’, a long ‘mmm’ rather than ‘muh’) – ask us if you’re unsure.