Year 8 Guide for Parents. Are You Prepared

August 25, 2015

A Year 8 Parent Guide – Are You Prepared?

Year 8

Moving through the various stages of secondary school can be challenging for students. When parenting teens, it’s a good idea to focus on communication and talk through any fears or worries that your son or daughter may have in advance of a new academic year.

It may be hard to believe that your child is in the eighth year after Reception and it’s likely that you feel as if time has flown by. This is all the more reason to concentrate on what will be expected of them in the coming year.

Year 8 is important
The previous year may have been more of a challenge for you and your child because of the major transition into Year 7. However, it is not a good idea to be complacent when moving into Year 8, because this school year is just as important.

Year 8 is the second year of Key Stage 3 (of the National Curriculum).  In some schools, Year 8 is when students pick their GCSE options. Find out ASAP whether this is the case in your child’s school because you and your child need to be equipped for the decision-making process.

Is your child clear in their learning?

All parents should know that there are four general requirements for all teachers applicable across all subjects at this level. They are required to:

(1) Use language effectively
(2) Follow health and safety guidelines
(3) Use information and communication (ICT) effectively
(4) Provide teaching that includes the viewpoints of different ethnic minorities

After the first half-term, ask your child if they are happy with their teachers’ level of communication, and check that they are clear on and understand what they are being taught. If you feel that they are struggling in any way, all schools will be open to contact from you.

Check-in with your child’s school
The new curriculum gives teachers more flexibility on what they teach. While teachers still need to follow programmes of study, they can design their own lesson plans within particular parameters. This allows teachers to tailor lessons for their pupils.  

Some schools have introduced additional study programmes, e.g. for personal and financial wellbeing. If you haven’t been informed of these, it’s a good idea to check with whether these apply to your child.

Take an interest in their homework
Parents often wonder how much homework should be set for pupils; the ideal daily amount for a Year 8 should take 45-90 minutes to complete.

While your child needs to learn to work independently, the more interest you show and input you have in their progress, the more they will thrive.

Support their school day
A final way to support your child’s Year 8 learning is to provide a calm, relaxed atmosphere at home for them, before and after school. Feed your child with healthy meals and snacks and make time to talk to them. Read any correspondence you receive from their school and help your child with any research projects they may have.

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