Supporting your child at secondary school

January 1, 2017

Supporting your child at secondary school: A Practical Guide

Before the school day

Establishing a morning routine will help the day start smoothly with minimum stress.

  • Rise early to ensure your child’s breakfast and preparation are not rushed. Allow for ½ hour extra to ensure any unforeseen incidents or delays can be accommodated.
  • Encourage your child to pack their school bag and lay out their uniform before going to bed each night.
  • Help your child to eat a good breakfast. This provides them with essential energy first thing in the morning and will help them perform better at school.

When they get home

When your child arrives home each evening, take time to ask them about their day and talk through any issues they may have had. Once they’ve had some time to decompress, check for letters home, permission forms, and homework diaries to sign. This will help avoid early morning panic and items being forgotten.

Help with homework when necessary

Your child needs to learn to work more independently at secondary school. Remembering your own experiences of homework and revision can be a valuable exercise in helping you show your child how to study. 

At the same time, your interest and input are still important and will help your child to do well. Look for opportunities to talk to your child about their schoolwork; children enjoy sharing what they are learning. Try to find topics you’re both interested in so that your exchanges are more of a conversation.

Ask your children if there's anything you can do to help with their homework. Discuss their organisation of the work and how to time-manage their homework and revision. The following is a rough guide to how long your child should be spending on homework at secondary school:

Years 7-8

45-90 minutes a day

Year 9

60-120 minutes a day

Years 10-11

90-150 minutes a day

Support your child's learning and development

Outside of their studies, encourage your child to be physically active, e.g. through sports such as athletics, football, tennis, golf etc. It’s important that your child does something outside of academic work at home and/or in school to refresh themselves both mentally and physically, and to develop other aspects of their personalities.

Reading is an important activity that you should encourage your child to purse. For many children, it is a joyful experience and regular reading boosts their literacy skills and brain development. 

When you plan excursions, you could look to visit a museum or gallery that ties in with the work your child is doing in subjects such as Art, English, History, Geography or Science. This is a fun way to add depth and level of intrigue to your child's learning outside of school.

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