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Helping your child succeed at senior school – some tips on what parents can do

All parents want their children to succeed in school, but it becomes even more of a priority when they’re in senior school and the qualifications they’re studying for can determine what happens next in their life.

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Whether they’re working hard towards their GCSEs in Year 11 or their A Levels or International Baccalaureate in the Sixth Form years, parents will worry about what they can do to help.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to support your child on their academic journey and ensure they reach their full potential.

Encourage your child to pursue their interests

You might think that in order to help your child succeed in school, you have to focus on their grades and academic performance, constantly pushing them to work harder.

While encouraging them to study and try their best is important, putting too much pressure on your child to get a particular grade will make them feel stressed and potentially damage their self-esteem.

You should also encourage them to pursue activities that they are genuinely passionate about. Because success doesn’t always have to be academic; some young people are musically inclined or excellent at sports.

At this independent senior school in Surrey, pupils are given the chance to shine, regardless of their interests and passions. They have a sense of ownership over their progress in school. This then builds good habits for Sixth Form when pupils choose which qualifications and subjects they will study.

Desks in a classroom in front of a blackboard

Understand your child’s curriculum

The more you understand your child’s education, the more you will be able to support them. At King Edward’s Witley, the school mentioned above, learning extends further than the National Curriculum. But the core disciplines of English, Maths and Science make up a substantial part of their teaching and help prepare pupils for the next stages in their education.

Don’t be afraid to contact your child’s school and chat with the teachers about upcoming lessons and what might be featured in their GCSE, A Level or IB exams.

Ensure your child has a dedicated study space at home

At senior school, pupils are encouraged to study more independently than ever before. So it’s important that as well as making use of the school’s own library and study spaces, they have a desk set-up at home where all their books and study materials are organised and easy to find. This is also a great area for them to use for home tuition if they need to have any help from a tutor.

This study space should be quiet, well-lit and certainly free from distractions. Exam periods, in particular, can be stressful for young people. So it’s important that parents try to be patient with their teenagers and be there as a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to if necessary.

How did I do?

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