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Archive for June, 2012

End of term reports – what do they mean?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It’s just a few weeks until the end of the academic year and that means school reports will soon be coming home. A school report is a good time to reflect on your child’s progress over the year and start to identify any areas where improvements could be made. At 121 Home Tutors we often get asked by parents to work on specific areas that might be a problem over the summer holidays. This year we’ll also be offering summer schools where your child can have fun and keep up their academic work over the long break.

If this is your child’s first report or they just bring back bad memories of your own school reports then here are a few things to think about:

  1. Don’t think about the report too much before it arrives.  Hopefully by now you have developed some sort of relationship with your child’s teacher and have dealt with issues as they have come up during the year. It’s best to deal with what’s in the report when it arrives rather than second guess the contents.
  2. Focus on what your child has done well. You may have your own expectations for your child but it’s a good idea to praise them for achievements (even the small ones) and positively focus on areas where they struggle. This will help build up their confidence.
  3. Each school will have its own reporting system and if you don’t understand what it means then do go and speak to your child’s teacher. They may refer to National Curriculum, levels and grades. Most schools are happy to hear feedback on reports so if you feel the report isn’t giving the information you need then approach the school to discuss how improvements might be made.
  4. It’s worth remembering that a class teacher has to write reports for EVERY pupil in the class. That’s a lot of reports to write and it does mean you may not always get the in-depth detail you want. Most teachers will be very open to having a chat if you have concerns about the report.
  5. Talk to your child about the report – ask them what they think about it and any areas where they think they need help and support. This is where a 121 private tutor can come in handy – you can focus on a specific area over the summer and ensure your child starts the next academic year in the best shape.

If you’d like to discuss private tutoring and summer schools in Manchester, Stockport or Wilmslow & Cheshire areas (we cover areas including Altrincham, Didsbury and Hale) then contact 121 Home Tutors.

Moving from primary to secondary school

Friday, June 15th, 2012

In just a few weeks thousands of children will be leaving primary school for the last time as they move up to secondary school in September. This is a major change for most children as they have been in the same environment for the last 5 or 6 years.

So what can you do to help your child transition easily from primary to secondary school?

  • Recognise that this IS a big deal for your child. They have known nothing else for the last few years and suddenly everything is changing. Lots of schools will have end of year assemblies and celebrate your child’s time at primary school but you can also do this at home. Maybe make a memory book of things they enjoyed about primary school and leave a section for ‘things I’m looking forward to about secondary school’.
  • Be prepared to answer your child’s questions. If you can cast your mind back to when they started primary school they may have asked questions about when they could go the toilet, who they would go to if they got hurt. The questions might be different this time but they will be there – make the time to sit with your child before the summer holidays start and go through any concerns they have (they could be very simple – where does the bus pick me up to more complicated –  none of my friends are going to my school). If you do it before the holidays it gives you the opportunity to check information with your current school or the secondary school they are going to.
  • It’s time to buddy up. Do they have a friend who is going to the same school? It’s worth making arrangements for them to ‘look out’ for each other. But do bear in mind that many schools may allocate children to classes based on academic ability so long held friendships can suddenly disappear overnight. Some children cope well with this and others find it very traumatic. This is the time to be supportive and encourage new friendships. As a parent it will also be hard for you to get to know a whole new set of parents but if you make an effort it can help your child forge strong relationships early on.

This summer holiday should be a blissful stress free experience for your children as they look forward to a positive start in a new enviroment. If you have any concerns about your child coping academically in secondary school in the Manchester area (we cover Didsbury, Hale, Trafford and many other areas) then a 1-2-1 Home Tutor can help with private tuition in your home, do contact us for a chat.