A Recipe for School Success
We all want our children to succeed at school, and all children have untapped talent and potential.
As parents, carers and teaching professionals, it is our role to nurture these talents and passions so that our children can shine academically and socially.
Success reaches beyond academic grades, while they are important. It encompasses the whole child, and includes their emotional intelligence, empathy for others, ability to work in a team and, eventually, their contribution to society.
Haileybury’s leading programs, such as Explicit Instruction and Parallel Education, where girls and boys learn separately in most classes from Year 5, provide the best possible start to a child’s education.
Our focus on the basics ensures that our students have the skills and analytical thinking needed to reach their potential, regardless of where their passions lie.
Parents and carers are an important part of this journey and can help to ensure that their children are ready and primed to learn.
Back to the Basics
A child’s first few years are a time of wonder, bonding and curiosity. However, it’s never too early to instill in them a love of reading. Reading to your child from birth will help develop their language and literacy skills, not to mention their cerebral development.
The Victorian Government offers helpful advice for parents on child development and education. While we all want our children to have fun, they can also learn at the same time.
Children starting school with greater literacy skills perform better in school, and these skills can be enhanced activities like music, dance, storytelling, visual arts and drama.
Reading to your child should start in the first few months after birth, to stimulate language development and encourage a love of reading. Talking and engaging children in conversation also helps.
- Read together, visit the library, and attend story time sessions.
- Make the most of screen time; discuss TV shows and play educational games together.
- Outings to the zoo, shops, museums, libraries and galleries.
- Share rhymes, poems and songs. Encourage your child to join in.
- Share and talk about family histories and family photos.
- Look at picture or art books. Ask your child to describe what is happening and make up stories together.
- Collect cardboard and other household items for your child to build with and ask them to describe what they are building.
- Look at ‘junk mail’ and talk about the things for sale.
- Listen to simple radio programs or podcasts together and discuss the content.
- Play vocabulary games such as, “what’s the opposite of ….?” and “what’s another word for….?”.
Source: Victorian Government Department of Education and Training
Enhancing the School Years
For those with school age children, the Federal Government offers excellent Parent Engagement Research and Resources. They explain Australian Curriculum requirements and how to ensure your child reaches those goals.
Creating a Mathematics Toolkit, for example, can enhance the ability of young learners to develop strategies and shortcuts for solving Maths problems. This may include practice at:
- Estimating an answer first, then working it out and comparing the two answers
We need five ribbons that are 17cm long each. 17 is a bit less than 20, and 5 times 20 is 100, so 1 metre of ribbon should be enough.
- Using materials to model the problem
Hmm, we need to work out ‘14 minus 8’. Let's put out 14 sultanas, eat 8, and count how many are left!
- Practising the combinations of two numbers that add up to 10 (1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6, 5+5) and using those shortcuts to work out combinations up to 20
- Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s and (later) by 3s
- Finding different ways to work out how many units there are in a group.
Let's see, how many ways are there to work out how many eggs are in the egg carton? That's right, you can count by ones, or you can count by twos, or you can add together the number in each row.
Source: Australian Government Learning Potential pages.
Joining their Journey
You can also enhance your child’s learning journey by being involved at school, where you become familiar with the environment and contribute to programs and social activities.
Haileybury’s Parents & Friends groups embrace enthusiastic volunteers who can help them to organise social events. You can also seek to join a School committee or volunteer to help with Sport, Music or other extra-curricular programs.
These activities are enjoyable and help you to understand how the School works, while contributing to the programs that allow your child to thrive educationally and socially.