Written by: Steven Petter
Have you thought about tracking your child’s progress at school or are you already bang up to date? Packing your little bundle of joy off to school every morning without knowing what they are really doing all day can be a tough thing for some parents to do, especially if you take a keen, hands-on approach to your child’s learning. Often when we talk to our kids about what they did at school they can be less than enthusiastic about the work they have been doing or the lessons they were taught, this can make you worry that perhaps they are not getting everything out of the class they should. So how do you check?
Speak to the teacher
First off, get friendly with your child’s teacher, make sure they know your face from day one as should any of the support teachers or assistants. Encourage them to tell you how your little one did today and ensure your read any feedback given to your child in work books or on homework, if there is something you don’t understand or agree with then ask to speak to your child’s teacher to explain what is happening.
Always attend parents evenings and make sure you engage the teacher about what is great and what needs some attention when it comes to areas of learning as you may be able to focus your time together at home on those areas, such as encouraging them to tell the time, or recognising shapes when you are out together. Understand what Level your child is at in their key stage, there are eight levels in key stages 1 to 3 with clear definitions on where your child should be by the end of each key stage, for example by the end of key stage 2 most pupils should be at level 4 and if they are not quite at the level they need to be, ensure you have a complete understanding of what the school is doing to support them.
Check their work
Looking through school books and reading any comments will help you to understand what level of work your child is achieving, it’s also good to see what subject they are doing so you can ask them about it at home, for example if your read that he\she did very well at spelling then see what words they were asked to spell and get them to show you how good they are.
Lastly, make sure you study your child’s end of year report and see how they are progressing, encourage any higher levels and support them in developing lower levels, keep the report as a reference for next year to make sure there is obvious improvement in the areas highlighted for concern. Don’t panic if your child has a low level in Maths and a high level in English, there is bound to be some subjects they will find easier than others, and no one can be great at everything, just remember to encourage what is great and support with what they need help with and follow the basic Key Stage guidelines.
Keeping yourself informed will stop any surprises, will make a teacher more willing to ask you to support their learning structure and may help your child to open up to you about what they have been doing during their day.