Questions parents ask
We have compiled a page answering some of the recent questions we have been asked by parents.
You will find papers at the link: Exam-papers-and-syllabii. As you are looking for entry at this age to an Independent school they will be looking for a child who shows potential rather than actual achievements, although those will help. Numeracy and literacy should be evident from a working knowledge of multiplication tables and an interest in books that he/she may have read. A working knowledge of computers, music or sport would also be an advantage.
The Headmaster/mistress will probably want to meet your child and ask some questions about current events, interests and his/her hobbies. This will help them determine if your child would contribute to and enjoy life in their particular environment. This is not something to worry about but helps you and your child decide too whether the school is suitable for you both.
Can you please forward details of websites books or others to help my son with general knowledge facts/figures.
I have used the quizzes on the site to revise and extend children's knowledge. It is a fun way to do it and they seem to remember these details well this way. You will find details on these on the Worksheet Finder by selecting Concentration and Thinking skills/all/all. There are History quizzes, nature quizzes and quizzes for the family etc. There are also pages on Citizenship which will outline details about the UK etc.
I have also used books such as the Illustrated Family Encyclopedia at Set-up-a-reference-library-at-home
My child has auditory memory problems - do you have any advice?
Try to create the proper environment for your child to maximize his or her focus and listening levels. This can be done by reducing the background noise and other disturbances that affect concentration and focus.
It helps to sit the child in a place that has no visual distractions eg a doorway or window. Also for the best results, make sure the child is facing you when you address them, and speak to them directly.
Once you have their attention, ensure that the child is listening to you. Make sure the child is sitting properly, with feet straight on the floor and back erect. When a child maintains proper posture, it is a good sign that he or she is prepared to listen to your instructions.
Be sure to post simple ideas or instructions on a board or on the wall.
Try to reduce the amount of frustration your child is feeling. Distractions are the most common things that cause auditory memory problems to get worse, so another excellent suggestion is that parents should make their children aware of how distractions affect them, and help the child identify ways to avoid them. This will serve to reduce frustration for the child, and will educate them so that they feel involved and empowered. Developing special key words and phrases will also be beneficial.
You may find that you need to lower the volume on the telephone ringer, keep the television and the radio off, and keep all windows and doors shut in order to gain their complete attention.
A physical contact, a touch on the shoulder, etc. helps greatly towards getting a child's attention. Use soothing words, hand gestures and expressions to maintain their attention.
Parents need to break down their sentences and their instructions into smaller pieces, allowing for time in between them so the child has a chance to take the information and retain it.
Remember, a child with auditory memory problems is trying to process too many things all at the same time. Only patient parents who teach by example will be able to help a child to filter out what doesn't need processing, get on a consistent routine schedule, increase their self esteem, and help them lead a happier life.
If his/her teacher knows that s/he is hard of hearing and is having auditory memory problems it is important that s/he sits near the front of the classroom so that s/he has less distraction from other children and is able to see and hear the teacher easily.
Can you advise on behavioural problems in my 9 year old? She is aggressive towards parents and possessions, and shows immature behaviour in school with constant need for attention in class.
’Lacks concentration and is constantly seeking attention’ must be the most used phrase in school reports. This is normal childlike behaviour and is really only a problem if she really is regressing. She may be bored, lacking in stimulation from the teachers or simply not yet ready to apply herself for a complete lesson
All children behave badly at some time or other. It is a natural part of growing up and learning about the world. Children like to see how far they can stretch the boundaries. The two year old starting to scribble with crayons can be forgiven for getting carried away and decorating the table or even the wall but this behaviour is unacceptable in an older child.
Behaviour becoming a problem can depend on lots of things like the age of the child and where the behaviour is happening. Some parents find it useful to use a traffic light system as a guide as to what is acceptable and what is not.
• Green behaviour would be for behaviour that you would like to see all the time e.g being polite to guests, helping around the house, getting on with brothers and sisters.
• Amber behaviour would be things done in moderation but one which could end up in a problem e.g. running round the house, demanding sweets and ice creams and getting tired and cross)
• Red behaviour would be things that are unacceptable at all times.
Most children soon learn these rules and as they really want to please they soon realise that this is in their best interests. Children need routine and reassurance at all times. They need time, space to run ‘off steam’ and also time to relax. Sometimes this is one reason why children tend to be angry. They are unsure of the boundaries and perhaps these may vary from person to person.
Children need to feel safe at school, to enjoy the environment and not to feel pressurised. I think that there is a great deal demanded from young children, such as all day at school, clubs after school, tea with friends, sports, music and other hobbies to facilitate and they simply are doing too much. Speak to the teacher and ensure that your daughter is ready to undertake the school work done in class. You can help in a fun and constructive manner by using the computer or arranging a weekend visit associated with a school topic so she has something to discuss that he other children have not done.
I know it is hurtful when children are aggressive towards you and their possessions. Try to remember she is the child and it is her way of asking for help. Time, love and age will solve the problem. You need to be consistent, ensure that there is no underlying medical or academic problem and show her your delight when she has achieved well and been successful. Children need support and attention so please enjoy her growing up as this time soon passes.
Left handed writing
If a left-handed child is only permitted to write with the left hand but not taught how to write, a child may develop a needlessly uncomfortable, inefficient, slow, messy way of writing that will be a lifelong hardship. Therefore, it is especially important for parents and teachers to understand how to teach left-handed children to write correctly. There is a page on Left-handed writing on the Worksheet Finder under 'How to help your child'.
Help with English: I am at a loss as to how I can best help my son to improve his English. He is an active child who hates English, and particularly writing so I would be grateful for any helpful and fun ways that I could help increase his comprehension skills.
You need to read aloud to him. He needs to take an interest in any written material. This may be in the form of comics, computer programs or books. You could introduce him to graphic novels such as the Asterix series. A very popular book is The Dangerous Book for Boys. He should be introduced to programs such as Google earth where he can view different countries in the world. He should then relate this information to an Atlas and other books.
Boys are usually interested in sport especially football. Encourage him to use his literacy skills to learn more about the players, the teams, etc and then write about them. He may even find that he can write to a club and use his comprehension skills here to find the names, the addresses, the team colours and hence increase his vocabulary and his comprehension skills. If he is interested in computers, you could encourage him to contribute to forums on the internet (always under your direct supervision, of course). He could then print out and read the responses.
- Working together through papers slowly part by part is always a good idea.
- Stick to a pattern that is easy for your son to remember:
- Read passage through twice (start by doing this out loud and together)
- Read through the first question.
- Find appropriate part of the text for the answer.
- If answer has several facts underline these on the script.
- Transfer the answers to the answer paper in a logical manner
Questions which need opinions and thoughts. ...start by discussing these together. It is helpful to teach your son to list ideas and points on a rough bit of paper. Finalise list on answer paper. Opinions need substantiating but may also be original.
Pages to be found through the Worksheet Finder:
- CATS testing
- Key stage comparison table. We are often asked how the key stages relate to levels in other countries - this table shows how they relate.