Weekly Parent Updates

Each Wednesday, parents will receive a weekly update from our Principal.

This includes

  • updates on forthcoming parent events, such as webinars, Academic Review meetings, etc
  • links to regular parent surveys
  • updates on school events, such as speakers or competitions being held
  • information on the current curriculum, termly assessment and revision
  • additions/changes to the school canteen menu
  • key reminders relating to school life including uniform, attendance/punctuality and behaviour
  • updates following on from changes to government policies or guidelines

The updates for this term are below -

Parent Webinars

We have run a number of parent webinars this year focussed on ways in which parents can support their child.

E-Safety Workshop

The session focusses on e-safety relating to popular social media sites, online gaming, sexting, cyber bullying and looks at ways for parents to support their child through the use of the acronym TEAM: 

  • Talk – chat to your child about their online world, just as you’d ask about their day at school. Discuss the apps, social networks and websites your child uses 
  • Explore – explore and understand the apps, games and sites your child uses by downloading them yourself and taking time to understand how they work 
  • Agree – make sure you are a good role model and agree common ground rules and boundaries your child as well as the rest of the family, such as which websites and apps are okay and not okay to use and why, times they are allowed online and what they are allowed to do 
  • Manage – Adapt privacy settings and use parental controls where necessary; set rewards if your child sticks to the agreements and allow them more freedom as they mature and develop 

For further support, below are some websites which can support you as the parent with knowing and learning more about e-safety: 

Supporting your child with homework & online learning 

Key points from the Supporting your child with homework & online learning session include the four characteristics that make for excellent, effective home learning.

  • Purpose – home learning involves practice or rehearsal of subject matter already taught within the classroom by their subject teacher. Students should not typically be exposed to new material for their home learning, unless it is a research task. 
  • Competence - students should feel competent and successful when completing home learning hence, why we want students to mark their own work in red pen for instant feedback as well as extra support. 
  • Efficiency - home learning should not take an inordinate amount of time. Home Learning should last for roughly 1 hour a day for our students. Students have a home learning timetable stuck into their planners outlining what days home learning is set for all subjects. 
  • Additional: students who want to access more challenging content have the choice to do so. 

Strategies that will support you with your child’s home learning: 

  • Create a positive learning environment – provide a desk where your child can work on with little noise around them and no distractions (remove mobile phones and turn off the TV). 
  • Take interest and invest time in your child’s learning – this can be 5 minutes a day where you ask what home learning they have that day and what it is on.  
  • Complete home learning on the day that it is set.  
  • Eat your frogs first - ask your child to start with what they feel is the most challenging piece of home learning – that way the worse is over. 
  • Test yourself with techniques such as cover, copy, check and quiz yourself or parents test them – you really don’t have to be an expert as answers are always at the back of the booklet 
  • Exercise, eat healthy and get good sleep. 

Supporting your child’s reading 

Scientific evidence has shown that reading has an incredibly positive impact on all of us. Children who read for enjoyment several times a week show stronger literacy skills, score higher on reading and intelligence tests, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. The cumulative effect is that they often end up in better jobs than non-readers, following on from strong academic achievements. When practiced over a lifetime, reading and language-acquisition skills can support healthy brain functioning. Here are some helpful toips from this parent webinar:

  • All students need to be reading actively at home for at least 20 minutes a day
  • Using decoding is very useful for pupils to access challenging words
  • Non-fiction texts, such as newspapers, magazines, biographies, are useful to ensure that all pupils are reading a range of texts
  • Pioneer has a range of reading support programmes, including Reading plus, writing workshops, spelling and word initiatives. These are targeted towards specific pupils who need them; please encourage your child to make the most of any intervention offered.