AS PART OF OUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL SERIES, WE’VE GATHERED SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE EDUCATION-PROFESSIONALS TO SHARE THEIR TIPS FOR A SMOOTH START TO YOUR CHILD’S ACADEMIC YEAR.
English Teacher, Yvonne Ross, shares her top tips for a smooth back-to-school transition
TODAY, WE HAVE A Q&A WITH CUMBRIA-BASED TEACHER, MRS ROSS.
Subject specialism: English
Age-range specialism: 11-18
Motto for life: “Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” – Carl Bard
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS IN SUPPORTING THEIR CHILD AS THEY GO BACK TO SCHOOL?
My first back to school tip is to ensure adequate quality time for homework. Making sure that revision-time is built into family-life from those all-important first weeks back can make all the difference!
Creating an agreed timetable together can also be helpful. It means that there are really clear expectations and work habits established from the outset.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE A PARENT WHOSE CHILD FEELS THEY ARE STRUGGLING IN ENGLISH?
To be supportive and reassuring. Setting realistic, achievable shared goals and celebrating every incremental success towards these are great ways to boost confidence and self-esteem!
Making sure you and your child can have clear, helpful conversations with their teacher about how to achieve their personal targets really can make all the difference. As can sourcing an excellent tutor who can have a significant impact upon progress.
WHAT TIP WOULD YOU GIVE PARENTS WHO FIND THEIR CHILDREN RELUCTANT TO READ?
Highlight English in action. For example, interesting vocabulary, clear biases and multiple interpretations of language are often evident in everyday life.
Striking up discussions about the way English is used (often non-book-related) can be an excellent way of engaging a reluctant reader.
TOP TIPS FOR RELUCTANT READERS:
LET YOUR CHILD TAKE THE LEADING ROLE IN CHOOSING A BOOK TO READ.
Spend some time together looking at the first pages of any book chosen. Read a few pages together to ensure that the book is accessible for your child.
“TOO MANY DIFFICULT WORDS CAN LEAD TO A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING. THIS WILL DEMOTIVATE YOUR CHILD AND, CRUCIALLY, THEIR INTEREST. KEEP THEM INTERESTED!”
SHARE THE READING.
Taking turns reading pages – sometimes chapters – can support and motivate reluctant readers.
Parents can also show an interest in their child’s books by introducing snippets of conversations about their reading. Make it part of your life. It makes a huge difference to literacy success.
READING IMPROVES ATTAINMENT: IF YOUR CHILD DOESN’T READ BOOKS, ENCOURAGE THEIR READING ELSEWHERE!
The reading of articles – about anything or anyone that interests your child- extracts, reviews, etc., all provide subtle learning experiences in spelling, punctuation, grammar and appropriate vocabulary.
There are many great ones free on BBC and online. These can show children which authors/ what type of fiction they like, providing useful inspiration for reading!
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE BOOKS THAT YOU FIND ARE A SURE-FIRE HIT WITH A CERTAIN AGE-GROUP?
Michael Morpurgo books score winning points from many students!
The Dork Diaries are a hit with 11-13 year-old readers!
Another winner for students is the ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ series.
In our World Book Day school poll, the books voted top reads by pupils were, for older readers, ‘The Maze Runner’ series by James Dashner – also anything by John Green was voted top, too!
For Year 7 and 8, ‘The Dork Diaries’ series ( about changing schools), the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ series along with several books by Michael Morpugo were all voted winners.
Check out our other back to school tips here for more in our Back-to-School series
If you’d like to chat with us about how we can support your child as they start the new academic year, get in touch with us here