How can you support your child’s learning?
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), Class News (which can provide some ideas about class activities that could be continued at home), and Our Curriculum and Expectations (which sets out the age-related expectations for children, based closely on the National Curriculum). Another useful page to visit would be Calculations, where you can watch videos of the ways we can calculate, whether that be add, subtract, multiply or divide.
Probably the easiest way to help your child is to read each day. Our Reading Activities 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! Check out this handy guide to reading with your child, produced by Leeds City Council and Library Libraries.
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!
Our Super Spelling Strategies leaflet features some ideas to encourage and engage your child in an active way to learn spellings. There’s no one best way to learn spellings, so it’s definitely worth trying out the various ideas contained in the leaflet. Some you and your child will like, some you and you child may not – give them all a go!
Parents / 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. Perhaps the best place to start supporting Maths is our Calculations videos where you can see methods of carrying out addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Have a look, too, at our Mental Calculation Strategies guide which outlines useful techniques that people use to calculate in their head. Please support your child by talking through different methods, being aware that there are often various ways to work something out (and rarely one right way). Remember, this guide is all about mental calculations – it’s quite hard to explain the strategies on paper – please ask if you’re unsure.
Does your have to work out what 8 + 2 is, or does (s)he ‘just know it’? There are some simple calculations where people shouldn’t need to work out at all – they should just have secure, confident recall of the facts. Our Addition Facts guide provides a guide to what addition facts we expect pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 to know (the table might look confusing – please ask us if you’re unsure).
Also, check out the Family Maths Toolkit which has some really helpful guidance and ideas. However you support your child’s mathematical skills, remember if you’re not sure, please ask a teacher in school.
Our Homework Tips 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.