Children in the UK are graded from the time they sit their SATs at the end of Key Stage 2. From then on, they face assessments throughout Key Stage 3, followed by GCSEs and A Levels.
Whether a child faces mock exams, the real thing, or even ongoing tests in class, it can be stressful for them and their parents. All anyone can ask is for them to do their best and achieve their full potential.
Can parents help their children do better and improve their results? Let’s look at ways parents can work with their children and schools to improve their outcomes.
Top Tips for Helping Children Achieve at School
Here are four ideas for parents who want to support their children at school.
1. Support your child to cope with anxiety.
Test and exam fear is a genuine problem for many children. Unwittingly, parents and teachers place a great deal of pressure on youngsters to perform well, which can harm their performance.
How many adults still have bad dreams about sitting exams? Removing excessive fear of being assessed at an early age is vital. Once children develop exam anxiety, it can be hard for them to focus on revision, and they may panic in exams or test situations.
Children’s well-being and mental health must be the main focus here. Concentrate on helping children to develop good study habits rather than achieving grades. While everyone wants children to do their best, their self-esteem should not ride on any one test result.
Children can also be taught relaxation techniques to help them deal with stressful situations. Praise effort rather than results to encourage a positive mindset.
2. Supporting children with homework
Encouraging children to complete homework on time must be one of the most contentious areas in many homes. Parents can make it easier for children by ensuring they develop good habits and have a positive environment at home.
First, ensure children have a quiet space to concentrate, away from siblings and digital distractions.
Create a routine where your child completes homework before relaxing with TV or games. It can help to provide a healthy snack and a drink to boost their energy.
Setting aside regular timeslots will ensure that when they are older and more independent, they will have developed the skills and habits to study well and be prepared for tests and exams.
3. Get Involved by don’t take over.
Studying and homework can be easier with some adult support. However, you mustn’t end up doing the work for them.
Younger children often have projects to complete that adults like to get involved with, but remember that the idea is for your child to demonstrate their independent work, not to produce the shiniest, perfect piece that you can do!
Support by taking an interest and asking them questions to make them think more deeply about the subject. You can take on the role of quiz show host when children revise for a test.
Children most value seeing that you care about what they are learning. It can be hard when juggling cooking and chores after work, but just a few moments to ask some questions can help build a child’s confidence and provide them with space to share concerns.
4. Collaborate with the teacher.
Parent-teacher communication is key to helping a child achieve their best. Attending parents’ evening is crucial, but do not be afraid to email or contact a teacher at other times to discuss any worries.
Teachers should always be willing to work with parents to help children overcome problems. They value parental input and can make suggestions to improve challenging situations.