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Support for Parents

How Can I Help My Child At School

Here are some general ways that you can help your child do well at school:

  • At home encourage your child to read quietly for 20 minutes each day. Read with your child as
    often as possible and discuss the book. Record as appropriate in their Reading Journal.
  • Find opportunities for your child to use numbers in everyday situations and encourage them to
    work out sums in their head.
  • Encourage your child to follow up interests and talk about them.
  • Help them to research on the Internet and to actually read and discuss their findings.
  • Try to keep up to date about what your child is learning at school and talk to them about it. The
    termly information sheet is useful for this.
  • Help your child to be ready to learn and not tired.
  • Make sure you know what homework is set and encourage your child to do it thoroughly.
  • Play word games with your child.
  • Use the termly information sheet from the class teacher.
  • Attend workshops for parents e.g. ICT, writing
  • Have some good reference books at home especially a dictionary, Atlas and Thesaurus.

Reading and Writing at Home

With young children it helps to:

  • Read stories together.
  • Talk about the story together and ask each other questions about it.
  • Let them see you reading and writing.
  • Make shopping lists together.
  • Help them to read signs and labels when you are out together.
  • Visit the public library.
  • Share songs and rhymes.
  • Listen to tapes of books and songs.
  • Talk about TV programmes.
  • Use the subtitle facility on the TV to see the written words as they are spoken.

If I am listening to my child read and they are stuck on a word what should I do?

  • Let them read on – then they may be able to work out the word.
  • Point to a picture, if this helps them with the meaning.
  • Give them the first or last sound and see if they can read the word.
  • Read the word for them.

With older children it helps to:

  • Read with them and talk about the ideas in information books, stories, comics, newspapers or
  • Encourage them to read ‘everyday’ print in DIY manuals, diaries, TV guides and catalogues.
  • Give them plenty of chances for writing in notebooks, diaries, scrapbooks or on a computer.
  • Help them to notice the spelling of common words, e.g. because, many, and encourage them to
    look at words, check and remember how words that they use often are spelt.
  • Play word games with them, Boggle, Scrabble etc. Try to find words within words.

If your child is a good reader, no matter what age, let them still read books that they feel comfortable
with even if you think they are too easy. We all enjoy an easy read! Younger children especially need
to enjoy the pictures and stories. Often these books are just good fun!

How Can I Help My Child With Maths?

Help your child learn essential number facts. This is vital
Many children who struggle with Mathematics do so because they do not know basic number facts. They
need a thorough knowledge of:

They need a thorough knowledge of:

  • Addition/subtraction facts to 20, call out a number and they give you the other number to make
    10. This can be extended to 100.
  • Multiplication facts in all of the times tables. The order that these are best learnt in are on the
    Mathematics learning in. booklets that you are given at the beginning of each school year.
    Instant recall of facts asked randomly is needed. As a rough guide children should know all of
    their tables by the end of Year 4/5. These can then be used to learn division facts.

How can this be achieved?

  • Provide your child with regular times when the learning of number facts takes place. “little and
    often” is the best way with 15 minutes twice a week being a good guide for most.
  • A set of flash card with a question written on one side and the answer on the other is both easy
    to make and very useful.

Front (Sum)

13 - 5

Back (Answer)


  • Some “sing along” tapes which put multiplication tables to music can be bought.
  • Many personal computers now come complete with basic number fact practise as part of a
    game. Otherwise games can be bought. There are also some very good free websites.
  • Try to ensure that your child has access to a range of toys/games including: Dominos Pentominos,
    Triominos and board games based on a number line e.g. Snakes and Ladders.
  • Those that involve adding and subtracting e.g. card games, dice games and darts (with velcro
  • Logic games e.g. chess and draughts.



Try to involve him/her in practical kitchen/workshop activities. This is an ideal way to reinforce the
mathematical language and practical skills related to: weight, volume/capacity, time, reading scales,
temperature and length. It also provides a very important link for the children because they can then
realise that the mathematics that they learn inside school has real and very important uses outside of

Reinforce work carried out at school.

Try to avoid teaching your child how to do “sums” unless you are sure of the approach used at school, this
is when problems can arise.
Helping your child with these ideas will make him/her more successful at school.


Research shows that reading to a young child is the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education.  This is a helpful guide to support your child in their journey as they discover the enjoyment of reading for themselves.

Book Lists

The Book Trust ‘Best Books’ list groups books into 6-8 year olds and 9-11 year olds.