Parents & Carer Guide

Partnerships with parents

At Holmfirth High School the Learning Support Department is made up of 18 members of staff. We offer a range of strategies, programmes and activities to support students who may be experiencing difficulties. The views of parents and carers are very important to us. By working together we aim to make your child’s experience of school a positive one.

During their school life, many children have some kind of special educational need that makes it harder for them to learn or function socially, than most children of the same age. By law, we as a school must do our best to make sure we meet the special educational needs of your child.

Helping your child at home

Helping your child to get organised will ease anxiety about school and give him or her a better chance to succeed.

Getting Organised

  • ​Encourage your child to put up a copy of the school timetable at home.
  • Encourage your child to pack his/her bag the night before, making sure that the correct kit and equipment needed for school are included.
  • Check your child’s planner each night. If you do this you will be aware of what homework has to be done and you will be able to check for messages from staff.
  • Make sure that there is somewhere quiet with a suitable surface, for your child to do homework.
  • Make sure that your child has the right equipment available to complete homework.
  • It is a good idea to get into the habit of using a regular time for doing homework, for example, before playing with friends.
  • You can help and support your child with homework, as long as you do not actually do the work for him or her. If your child is struggling with homework in any way, contact the relevant member of staff, either through a note in your child’s planner, or through a telephone call to school.

Reading at home

Many children with S.E.N. struggle with reading. However, there is much that you can do at home to help develop your child’s reading skills.

First of all, try to make reading a natural part of family activities and try to have a good selection of books, newspapers, magazines, etc. available in the house.

It is really important that your child is encouraged to read by both males and females. Boys, in particular, can often be reluctant readers.

A positive male role model outside of school, who shows that reading is an important skill for all of us, can be really beneficial.

Listening to your child reading

It is not always appropriate to listen to your child reading, especially as they get older, but if you do, these hints may be helpful.

  • Give your child time to try out new words.
  • You may want to use the pause, prompt, praise strategy.
  • Pause for them to try a word, prompt them with the beginning or part of the word.
  • Praise them when they get it right.
  • If they get it wrong, prompt them with the word and praise him if he uses it correctly later.

If you find your child is struggling with quite a few words, try one of the following strategies:

  • Read the book together at a slow pace. In this way the story can be read without the child having to worry about difficult words.
  • Try reading a page or a few pages ahead for your child and then let him/her have a go at what you have just read.
  • Try reading alternately with your child. You and your child can take turns reading sentences or paragraphs.
  • Encourage your child to retell the story in the correct sequence of events. This will help develop sequencing and memory skills.
  • Encourage your child to talk about the pictures, the events and the characters in the story.
  • Discuss with your child what he liked or disliked about the story.
  • Encourage your child with lots of praise.
  • Encourage all types of reading material including comics, magazines and picture books.

Do not:

  • Be impatient with your child when he reads to you.
  • Show your disappointment if your child has difficulty reading previously managed words or words you have already told him.
  • Criticise his or her choice of reading material.

Remember, the most important help you can give your child is continual encouragement and praise for effort.

Learning Spellings at Home:

If your child has spelling lists to learn or asks you how to spell a word, get him/her to use the following method to learn the spelling:

  • Look at the word
  • Say the word
  • Cover the word
  • Write the word
  • Check if it is correct

Praise any effort made by your child. If he gets the word right, get him to use it frequently until he is confident with its spelling. If he gets it wrong, praise his efforts anyway, and encourage him to practise until he gets it right. Do not just spell the word for him.

If you would like to know more about Special Educational Needs at Holmfirth High School please contact Miriam Thomas the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

A Kirklees organisation called Parent Partnership Services is also available

to offer you support on any educational issues.

Telephone: 01924 326646