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Parental Engagement - How do you start?


It’s not a bad idea to share high points of your day when the family is together. Try to focus on positive things such as a nice thing that has happened to you or an unusual thing that has happened. Ask your children what we call an ‘open’ question; that is, a question that they can’t answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Don’t take ‘nothing’ for an answer.


Questions like “What was the high point of your day today?” or “What was the most interesting thing you learnt today?” should be good starting points. Remember that the way teaching is structured today, all pupils should learn something during each lesson, so ‘nothing’ no longer works as an answer. A response to such an attempt could be ‘Oh, surely not. What have you been doing today then?”


If your child has a work diary, read through it and talk to them about the things in it. Most secondary schools issue diaries as they can be really effective tools to help the pupils with their organisational skills. Insist that your child uses it well and use it to check that homework is being completed.


Try to find a quiet place and some quiet time for your child to do their homework. In some households of course, there just isn’t the space for this. Ask your child’s school if they can stay behind a bit later after school to do their homework.


If you know that your child has done a test, ask them for the results and ask how you could help them do better if they haven’t got full marks.


These points reinforce the fact that you think their education is important.