Parent support is also vital, and on Wednesday 16th November our Year 12 parents discussed how these different elements can be managed and shared strategies for providing support at home. The 2-hour interactive workshop began with an activity designed to challenge parents to decide which elements of life in the Sixth Form should be prioritised and which we would say no to.
Our students love to get involved in sports activities, helping out at PTSCs and information evenings, the Saigon Enterprise challenge, community projects, Academic Mentoring, the Student Council…and all of the other opportunities that they are presented with. No wonder prioritising is such a challenge! Unfortunately, we never seem to have enough time to fit in everything we want to, and sometimes our students find it really hard to turn things down, possibly even double booking themselves. The role of teachers and parents is to help students when they are making these decisions and support the development of effective time management strategies.
A true or false activity about sleep reiterated the importance of sleep in getting the brain ready for learning and for helping to consolidate the information that has been learned. Our Year 12 students have covered sleep in ILS and Psychology, and understand the biological processes that help us to learn. A tired brain is not a ready-to-learn brain!
We also shared ideas about how parents can support their children, our students, at home, and the attendees came up with the following list:
- Encourage your children to try new strategies when faced with challenges, and be ready to provide motivation in case they don’t work out.
- Help your child to create a ‘priority list’ to balance their activities and support their planning.
- Buy a large pin board or white board for important information to go on to. Schedules can then be easily rearranged and ‘to-do’ lists updated.
- Offer incentives as motivation and celebrate successes.
- Look for common interests between you and your child and spend time together. This opens communication channels and helps you to be more aware of what they are doing (and helps you to get more involved).
- Set reasonable limits (e.g. on social media or the internet) through consultation.
- Know when you need to ‘give in’ or compromise and actively listen in discussions.
I hope these ideas prove useful to all of our BIS HCMC parents. Thank you to all who took part.
Lauren Binnington, Assistant Head Teacher (Acting) and Head of Sixth Form