The following information is intended to help new parents establish the best routines and structures to help their child succeed at Archbishop Holgate’s.
Before your child starts
- Time the journey to school or bus-stop.
- Be sure your child is clear about what time they are expected to be home and what to do if they are held up for any reason.
- Make sure they know/have your contact numbers.
- Buy an alarm clock and make sure your child knows how it works. Test run it before the first day at school.
- Work out with your child what time they will need to get up to get to school on time. Work backwards from the time they need to be at school. Include all the things they will need to do.
- Agree a routine for the mornings and after school. Will they shower/bath in the morning or the evening? Will they get their school bag ready the night before or in the morning? Who will make the packed lunch? When?
- Agree a bedtime for schooldays with your child that will ensure they get enough sleep.
- Have a couple of practice runs… set your child the challenge of getting up at the correct time and getting ready.
- Does anything need changing?
When they start
- If possible, be around for your child for the first few days/weeks and ‘supervise’. Praise and encourage independence but be ready to offer a helping hand.
- Keep to your side of the bargain – if you have arranged to leave dinner money on top of the fridge make sure it is there!
- Go through the routine regularly with your child if necessary provide a tick-list to help them.
- Insist on the routine being kept to – it will save you hours in the long run!
Before your child starts
- Check the uniform requirements including rules regarding make-up and jewellery (Schools will normally send out a list of regulations regarding dress and where it can be obtained).
- Ring the school if you may be entitled to financial support for buying school uniform.
- Beware cast-offs. Children are very sensitive about wearing ‘hand-me-downs’ (but this will usually wear off after a while as they become more confident).
- Name everything, even shoes – you would not believe what children lose! A marker pen is as good as labels.
- Have spares of essentials at home if possible, it prevents panic when things get mislaid at 7.30am (as they do).
When they start
- Encourage your child to hang up their uniform straight away after school.
- Decide on responsibilities – who irons the shirts, when/who puts them away, etc.
- If your child is very disorganised check items one by one, or give a checklist at first.
- Encourage your child to put everything out (including shoes, socks or tights and underwear) the night before (there’s much more time in the evening for finding odd socks etc).
- Have a system for making sure that clothes are clean and ready – the earlier children start to take responsibility the better, but whoever does it both parties need to know ‘the system’.
- If your child regularly loses or forgets essential items, give spares to the Form Tutor to keep at school (e.g. PE shorts, tie, trainers).
- If you have a timetable displayed for your child (a good idea) colour the days when your child has PE so they can see each day if they need to take their PE kit.
Organising books and equipment
Before your child starts
- Help your child organise their living space so that they have a place for everything to do with school. Try to make sure they have access to a desk, good light and storage space for their school books.
- Equip them with the tools they will need at home (it’s best to keep two sets of everything – one for school and one for home so that losing a pen at school does not stop them doing their homework). A useful home ‘tool kit’ consists of: pencils, pens, rubber, sharpener, crayons, felt-pens, whitener, ruler, maths equipment (protractor, compass, set-square and calculator), sellotape, glue-stick, paper (lined and plain) and plastic wallets.
- A box-file or stacking system is useful for students with organisational problems – each file can be labelled with the subject and all books, worksheets etc can be kept ready to pull out and put in the school-bag when required.
- A labelled A4 plastic or card folder to take to school for each subject is useful – students are given lots of worksheets which they are not used to organising. Folders can hold all work sheets, books, etc.
- An office two-tier ‘in-tray’ is useful for ‘homework to be done’ and ‘homework completed’.
- An additional A4 plastic or card folder for finished homework is useful for children with poor memories – they can check it each lesson to see if there is homework to be given in.
When your child starts
- Teach a routine for ‘emptying the bag’. The subject folders or books are replaced in the system. Any subjects for which homework is required are placed in the ‘homework to be done’ in-tray. Do this with your child to begin with if necessary, then gradually let them take over. Even when your child has ‘got it’ do ‘spot checks’ every so often.
- Encourage your child to glue any worksheet/odd bits of paper into their workbook if possible every night – otherwise the sheer volume of ‘bits of paper’ becomes impossible.
- When homework is completed (see section on homework) supervise the ‘packing of the bag’. This is best done the night before.
- The displayed timetable can be used as a checklist for subject folders and equipment. Write the equipment needed at the top of each day.
- Encourage your child to check their planner for any reminders/notes each night. It’s usually worth double checking.
- If you know your child has Food Technology (‘cooking’ to you and me) on a certain day, check at the beginning of the week if they need ingredients – searching through cupboards on the morning ten minutes before the bus leaves is not to be recommended!
At Archbishop Holgate’s School we understand that Homework can be a new experience to some students and parents, and therefore can cause unnecessary worry or stress. Please find below some advice designed to help support your child with the demands of homework, along with the expectations of our students in terms of taking ownership for their homework.
For more detailed information, please click here to be taken to the homework policy information page.
Aims of the Policy
‘I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’
The Archbishop Holgate’s School Homework policy has four key aims:
- To consistently set appropriate high-quality homework.
- To allow students to access homework, by providing supporting materials and appropriate differentiation.
- To ensure that all homework is reviewed by the teacher.
- To have effective systems for when homework is not completed
Advice for Parents Toward Homework
- Agree a routine for homework with your child. Research shows that regularly completed homework adds an additional 7 months of progress to a student learning.
- Agree with your child that TV, other activities, phone-calls etc will only be possible after homework is done.
- Be prepared to invest time at first – for example be available for a set time each day to help with homework until the routine is established – it will be time well spent.
- Initially, help keep your child organised by monitoring the work that is being set and help them plan when they are going to complete the work.
- If your child is finding the work too hard, please contact the school and speak to the class teacher or Head of Department.
- Recognise how hard it is to work unsupervised. Help your child structure their time and use it usefully – provide a clock or timer and agree the tasks that should be done in each e.g. half hour period.
- If your child is consistently not getting homework when they should (according to the homework timetable), do contact the school.
Student Responsibility Toward Homework
- Understanding how your planner works – make sure you use the correct week to record your homework.
- Writing down your homework in lessons (write exactly what you have to do). Recording when it has to be done for.
- Asking if you are not sure what the task means and checking with the teacher if you are not sure what books you will need etc.
- Making sure you bring home everything you need to do the homework.
- When you get home, use your planner to remind you of what you have to do.
- Ticking the ‘done’ column in your planner when completed.
- Taking your completed homework to school on the correct day.
Try to do homework on the night it is set – not the night before it is due in (you may get three other pieces of homework on that night).