Support Your Child's Learning
The research is conclusive. Children do better when their parents are engaged with learning at home. Alongside regular, on-going home-school communication, Parent Workshops and school Open Days, on this page, we aim to provide you with tools, suggestions and resources that will help you support your child's learning.
Parent’s active engagement with their children’s school and their learning is the most important long-term influence on academic success and behaviour. Bewick Bridge is committed to securing strong home school relationships to ensure this. Our school calendar will keep you up to date with what is ahead and we send weekly reminders via the Friday Newsletter.
Top ways to get involved:
- Come and celebrate children’s successes with our Friday Celebration Assemblies at 3.00 p.m.
- Attend your child’s class Exit Points to see and hear about their learning through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
- Volunteer to accompany your child on an Educational Visit.
- Take time to read the weekly class newsletters (Bewick Bugle) and talk to your child about their learning.
- Stay and play with your child (Reception classes) on Friday mornings.
- Attend school events.
- Attend parent consultation evenings regularly.
To find out more about supporting your child's metacognitive skills (ability to think about and develop their own learning), visit our Supporting Learning page. On our Parent Workshops page, you can also find information about Growth Mindset and how to use praise to develop resilient and independent learners from workshops we have offered.
- What have you been learning today? (as opposed to what have you done today?)
- What new knowledge do you have? What new skills do you have? What do you understand better after today?
- Why are you learning this?
- How did this connect with things you have learnt about before?
- Is there something you really liked learning today?
- Can you teach me/ someone what you learnt today?
- Was there anything that you’d like to know more about after today?
Top Tips for how to support your child at home (from Pobble.com)
Making time to support your child with their schoolwork can be a struggle. Especially on top of working, the shopping, cooking a meal, bath time and all the hundreds of other jobs that parents have to complete on a daily basis. Here a few handy tips and hints to make supporting school work more manageable allowing you to offer the best support possible to your child. Remember, it doesn’t have to be hours each day. All help you can give will be beneficial.
1) Let kids have some wind down time after school. Their minds have been active all day so get them some time to play and switch off. Getting them to do homework as soon as you get home probably isn’t wise. Choose the right time, not too near bedtime as they’ll be worn-out, but perhaps after a meal so they are refreshed.
2) Get organised. Consider a family calendar to keep track of school dates, homework and other assignments. A weekly overview of what needs to be done and by when can be so hopeful and ensures nothing gets missed. Get into a good school routine too, organised pack lunches, uniform, school bags and homework the night before.
3) Decide on a homework routine and stick to it. Having a set time slot every day will help. They still won’t like to do it, but they’ll know it’s coming. Ten minutes of reading or homework a day can be much more effective than an hour a week. Be consistent.
4) Provide a special space where your child can complete homework undisturbed. A seat round the dining table, a desk in their room or a cushion in a cosy corner; wherever your child works best. Ensure they have all the tools they need: pens, paper, books and any other relevant resources. Keep the homework space calm and distraction free, preferably away from TVs and video games.
5) Don’t do their homework for them, no matter how much they nag and moan! Offer them support and guidance, but don’t give them the answers. Your child won’t learn if they aren’t doing it themselves.
6) If time is an issue, consider asking extended family for help, can they spare ten minutes to help with homework or hear your child read? Chances are they’ll relish the opportunity to spend some extra time with them. If you have more than one school-age child, make it a homework club and get them helping each other.
7) Make time to talk with your child, whether it’s on the walk home, over dinner or during bath time. A conversation between parent and child can uncover needs and perspectives of which the teacher may be unaware. Finding out information about a child’s day can be tricky. Try asking them direct and specific questions such as ‘What was the best thing about school today?’ or ‘How would you rate your day at school out of 10? Why? These are much more effective than ‘What did you do today?’ Ensure you always feedback any concerns to the teacher.
8) Most importantly: don’t worry. You don’t have to know the technical terms or strategies used in school, encouragement and support is enough and can give the children the confidence they need. If you’re unsure of something or don’t know the answer yourself, then explain that to your child and find a way to learn the information together. Search for the information together on the Internet or in a book, or speak with the class teacher about it.
If your child is at the stage of developing or mastering phonics, here are some useful resources you can access at home:
- http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com. There is no charge for this site, though you need to register your details to sign up.
- http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/InteractiveResources.htm - there are phonics games for different phases. You could direct parents to particular phases.
- Geraldine`s phonics You Tube videos - (Google ‘Geraldine the giraffe’)
- Mr Thorne's phonics -www.mrthorne.com
- http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html - a good selection of games, including Forest phonics (www.ictgames.com/forestphonics) and Look cover write check (www.ictgames.com/lcwc)
- www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies - You can listen to stories and play games on this site. It links to the BBC television channel Cbeebies. The Alphablocks games are good for learning how to say and spell words.
- http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Interactive.aspx?cat=40 – the letters and sounds; words and spelling; and learning to read sections may also be useful.
- https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-school/for-school/oxford-owl-ebook-collection - you need to register for an account, but it is free. And then you can search by Oxford reading tree book level or Letters and Sounds Phase - there are some good games/ activities with the books too.
Each child in KS1 and 2 has a Reading Journal. This is a book in which they can keep a record of what they read; this will help them keep track of the books they have read and make sure they are enjoying a 'balanced reading diet’. It will also provide a space in which to record their thoughts about and responses to what they are reading (they will be required to do this at least once a week using the prompts provided but can do it more often should they wish).
We encourage children to decorate their journals to make them personal to them. We’d also encourage you to talk to your child about their journal and to talk to them about if and how you might support them. If you read with them, you might like to record a comment too. Time and time again, research shows that learning to read - and to love to read - is directly linked to children's success at school and beyond. As parents, you can make a big difference to your child’s success as a reader by encouraging your child to read as much and as widely as possible at home. A short daily reading session at home can make all the difference to your child’s progress. Keep your eye out for regular ideas and suggestions for how you can help your child develop as a reader in the school’s newsletter.
Supporting your child's writing at home: top tips from pobble.com
- Although your child is learning the basics of writing at school, the development of these skills must be encouraged at home, too. Luckily, it’s easy to support and nurture there’s much you can do. Encouraging good writing habits will make a big difference in your child’s attitude to writing. Here’s how:
- Provide a suitable place for your child to write and provide a writing toolkit with plenty of pens and colours.
- Urge your kids to write wherever possible: shopping lists, birthday cards or thank-you letters for gifts.
- Encourage them to write for fun too, about whatever they like. Silly stories, poems, letters to friends or a menu for a family meal. Talk to them about authors and the characters they create. Can they create their own characters and write a story?
- Provide learning opportunities outside the home environment such as museum visits or interesting walks to give them something to write about.
- Talk through their ideas with them; help them discover what they want to say in their writing. When they ask for help with spelling or punctuation then give it positively.
- Use a variety of writing surfaces and mark making objects such as coloured pens, chalk, paint, and markers.
- Let your children see you write: notes to friends, letters to business, shopping lists and everyday stuff. Leave little notes around the house for them and encourage them to write back to you.
- Be realistic about spelling and grammar: if they are in full flow don’t kill their enthusiasm by pointing out mistakes. Words, sentences, and ideas should come first. Spelling and grammar second. Simply encourage your child to have a go at spelling words they are unsure of.
- Keep an eye out for fun writing competitions designed just for kids. The possibility of winning a cool prize is a great incentive to write.
Science: Great activities to do with your child at home
Here are five fun activities you can do at home with your child using just household objects. Warning: you WILL make a mess, and that’s half the fun!
Professor Robert Winston writes:
“Helping children learn about science isn’t just about nurturing the scientists of the future. It’s about ensuring every child develops a natural curiosity about the world around them, so they start to think analytically about situations.
Why is this important? Well – if you think about it – so many of today’s decisions require you to be analytical and ask the kind of questions a scientist would.
How much red meat should I be eating? Do the health claims of a product add up? Should we be building more nuclear power stations?
An understanding of science is behind so many of today’s decisions, let alone tomorrow’s. If we want a better society, we have to give even the youngest children a fantastic introduction to science.
KIRFs - Each child in Y1-6 has a set of KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) to focus on each half term. Your child should bring a paper version home, but you can find the whole collection here. These are facts to practise at home in order to increase pupils' speed of recall. This can be practised digitally, orally, with objects or on paper.
Fun Maths activities to do at home - Please have a look through some of these short, simple maths games and activities that can be played anytime, anywhere. If you could play an activity a day with your son/daughter, it would greatly improve their mathematical abilities. The year group is merely a guide – if you need to dip into a higher/lower year group’s activities, then please do. Find games that are challenging enough for your own child. Have fun!
Parents Guide to Primary Maths - A Parent's Guide to Helping your Child with Maths
Make your child a Maths Star KS1 - A Parent's Guide to Helping your Child with Maths
Maths Glossary for Parents: http://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-numeracy-glossary-for-parents
Maths Dictionary for Kids: http://amathsdictionaryforkids.com/
- Maths for Mums and Dads by Mike Askew and Rob Eastway
- Help Your Kids with Maths by Carol Vorderman
- BBC Bitesize – KS1 & KS2 Also good for other subjects. Other areas of the website are great too, cbeebies, schools etc.
- Woodlands Junior – maths games split into areas of maths
- Maths is Fun– fun maths and logic games and explanations of mathematical concepts
- Top Marks – lots of games and split into ages
- Mr Nussbaum – good games and fun maths
- Nrich Maths – a great resource for mathematical activities for all ages
- Count On – good maths games
- Fun Brain – fun maths games
- Murderous Maths – a busy website and there is a set of books too.
- Coxhoe School – lots and lots, split into areas of maths
- Primary Games – other areas of the curriculum too
Oxford Owl for Home was created by Oxford University Press to provide advice for parents who want to support their children through primary school. The site features expert tips on helping your child develop the key skills that will give them the best possible start, and help them approach learning with confidence and enthusiasm.
Visit Oxford Owl for Home, a website packed with a range of free resources and advice on how to support your child(ren) throughout their time at primary school, including:
- a guide for starting school, including information on how to prepare your child over the summer and on the first day, as well as more general information about what to expect and how to get involved as a parent
- school jargon busters (Maths, literacy, grammar, punctuation and spelling) to help you understand the different terminology you will hear your children and their teachers using
- phonics made easy - a range of resources to support the understanding of phonics and how it is taught and learnt
- how to support your child in Maths, including games to play at home, videos explaining different methods taught in school and other top tips
- how to support your child in reading, including recommended books, how to support the learning of phonics, what they will be learning at school and how, games to play at home to support the development of reading skills and more, all organised into age ranges so you can easily find the support you are looking for
- a free ebook library that can be read at home
- videos and games to tackle times tables
Apps, and technology overall, are another tool for learning. Children get the most out of playing with apps if they are well chosen by parents and if played together.
The National Literacy Trust have put together a guide for parents with tips for how to choose and use apps to support children's literacy development, as well as a selection of apps they have already identified as supporting the development of listening and attention, understanding, speaking, reading and writing skills.