Helping your child get off to a great start

The transition from primary school to Year 7 is a big change for your child, but also for the whole family. We know that you all have a lot of changes to get used to, but by working together we can ensure that every Archer student makes a happy, successful and confident start to life in Year 7.
With so much change ahead, the key is to make sure that your child is ready to learn every day and that they feel supported. So what can you do to help?

Talking and listening

It sounds so obvious but it is really important to talk to your child and listen to them. We know that finding the time to do this can be so difficult with such busy lives, but here are some things worth thinking about:

  • Building in time and routine for talking without interruptions by phones, TV, computer is valuable.
  • Tell your child about your day and encourage them to tell you about theirs.
  • Don’t interrupt your child, be patient and allow them time to speak.
  • Ask your child for their opinions and value what they say.

Spending time together
Sometimes it’s the simple things that children really enjoy doing with their parents:

  • Share books and games in a quiet environment, away from the TV.
  • Play games as a family that encourage concentration, such as jigsaws and board games.
  • Encourage physical play and exercise by taking trips to the park or the local leisure centre.
  • Whatever you’re doing, give lots of hugs and praise.

Being prepared and organised
This is something we know that many of you and our students are worried about. The following may help:

  • Check your child has their name in everything they bring to school.
  • Make sure your child remembers to bring everything they need each day by having a copy of their timetable in a central place, such as stuck on the fridge.
  • Encourage your child to pack their school bag the night before.
  • Keep in touch with us and let us know if you change phone numbers and addresses.
  • If you are worried about anything, talk to us as soon as possible.

Working out a family routine together
It’s easier for everyone to stick to a routine if they feel they have had a say in it. Here are some simple principles that you can agree as a family:

  • Organise a homework timetable together to establish a routine about when independent study will be completed, avoiding work being left to the last minute.
  • Agree regular times for going to bed, getting up, meal times and family time.Make a healthy breakfast at home or arrange for your child to attend our breakfast club.
  • Set a regular time for a meal together in the evening.
  • Try to make time for homework, reading and talking together and bedtime stories.

Getting enough sleep is so important. All children need sleep to develop, to concentrate and to learn well but this can become a challenging area as they grow up. All Year 7 children need about 9 hours sleep a night.

Finally, we know that the increasing demands of homework concerns some parents, and it’s much easier if you feel confident that you can help to support your child. These books are well worth a look:

  • Maths for Mums and Dads by Rob Eastaway
  • More Maths for Mums and Dads: The Teenage Years by Rob Eastaway
  • Homework Help for Mums and Dads by Karen Dolby
  • The Usborne Guide to Better English: Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
  • How to do Maths so Your Children Can Too by Naomi Sani
  • Learning Unlimited: Using Homework to Engage Your Child’s Natural Style of Intelligence by Dawna Markova