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Home | Pastoral Care and Learning Support | Supporting Families

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Learning to speak and listen starts with you at home. Most children in Primary school years are able to use language readily to report on past experiences, to look ahead and predict, to look at possibilities and draw conclusions. Learning to speak and listen starts with you at home. Try to:

  • Talk to your child about what you’re both doing
  • Listen to your child carefully
  • Answer all of the endless questions
  • Read a story every day, maybe at bedtime
  • Borrow children’s books from your local library
  • Teach songs, rhymes, jingles, the names of colours and parts of the body
  • Count things. Does your child know what the number means? Try activities like 
asking your child to set the table and count the plates, etc.
  • Sort and match collections of things like fruit, clothes, etc.
  • Ask your child to follow simple instructions such as ‘Take off your shoes and put 
them on the veranda’
  • Take some time to play with your child and find out about their ideas and feelings
  • The importance of listening cannot be over emphasised.


  • Please send your child on time each day and every day so they learn punctuality and consideration for others, since a regular attendance at school is essential for progress
  • Let your child talk to you about their experiences. It is important that you share in their new life
  • Be interested in things they bring home from school ... talk about them, display them, treat them as something special for that is what they are to your child
  • Always look into your child’s bag for newsletters, notices etc each day. Maybe you could show them a special place in their bag to put these.
  • Work your child’s schedule to fit in with the school hours. Children need plenty of time to eat breakfast, wash and brush their teeth. If possible, get everything ready the night before. Children often get upset if there is a last minute rush
  • Try to make sure your child gets to school before the bell sounds to go into class, and is not collected late at home time. Children get worried if they are kept waiting when everyone else is going home
  • When you arrive with your child, allow them to put their bag in the designated class area
  • Children often get very tired during the first few weeks and may become babyish or bad tempered at home. With a bit of extra attention and sleep, things should soon fall into a routine
  • Try not to plan afternoon activities for the children for at least Term 1. The routine of school needs an adjustment period
  • Above all ...SPEND TIME with your child. Talk with them, tell them stories, read to them, enjoy their company and appreciate them as individuals. 


  • Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all that I ask for.
  • Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure.
  • Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to direct me in the early stages.
  • Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly big.
  • Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.
  • Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way, sometimes.
  • Don’t try to protect me from every disappointment or disagreement which may come my way – let me 
develop some resilience.
  • Don’t try to preach to me. You’d be surprised how well I know what’s right and wrong.
  • Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
  • Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I’m not always very accurate.
  • Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken.
  • Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies.
  • Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
  • Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are real.
  • Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
  • Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover you are neither.
  • Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologise to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you.
  • Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get on without it so please put up with it.
  • Don’t do things for me that I can do for myself. It makes me feel like a baby and I may continue 
to put you in my service.
  • Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult to keep pace with me – but please do try.
  • Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding love. But I don’t need to tell you that, Do I?