Scroll to content
School Logo

Northaw CE Primary School and Nursery

Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith

Supporting Learners

How to help your child with





  • Ask your child to identify a sound, e.g. of a bird, or car horn, then to copy the sound.
  • Sing or say rhymes together. Help your child to spot rhyming words.
  • When making consonant sounds, make them really short, without an ‘uh’ on the end (e.g. ‘rrr’ not ‘ruh’). It’s how they’ll be taught at school as it helps when they start reading.

  • If your child gets stuck on a word when reading their reading book to you, remind them to sound out the letters, then blend them together.

  • Encourage your child to read words on signs, posters and packaging.

  • Children spell lots of words incorrectly when they first start writing. Don’t worry about correcting them at this stage — it’s more important that they learn to feel comfortable and confident communicating by writing.




  • Encourage your child to hold their pencil correctly so they have more control.

  • If your child is left-handed, writing can be extra tricky. It’ll help if the page is a little to their left, so they have a good view of the pencil tip. Also, try tilting the page down to the left slightly.

  • It’s good to read longer stories with your child over several sittings, such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. This will develop their powers of concentration, and get them more emotionally involved in what you’re reading.

  • Great stories you might like to read with your child at this age are The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith, Gorilla by Anthony Browne and The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by David and Ronda Armitage.




  • It will help your child if you can make them aware of the parts of their dialect which are non-standard. Then they can switch to the standard form when necessary — particularly in their writing.
  • If your child says something you don’t agree with, ask them to explain why they have that opinion. They may change their mind when they start to interrogate their own thinking.

  • When watching TV, discuss the register in which people are speaking. E.g. soap opera characters speak differently to MPs in parliament.

How to help your child with





  • Add Maths to everyday tasks. E.g. there are 3 plates on the table, how many more do we need?

  • Set up a shop where items cost between 1p and 10p. Your child can buy items with pennies, then with 2p and 5p coins.

  • Connect the names of shapes to objects, e.g. a ball is a sphere.

  • Provide pattern-making opportunities, e.g. with leaves and acorns.




Year 1


  • Encourage your child to count everything — stairs, raisins, lamp posts. Ask your child to guess how many there are first.

  • When out and about, spot numbers and read them. E.g. bus numbers and numbers on football shirts.

  • Play games involving numbers. E.g. dominoes involves recognising numbers of dots.

  • You can make up number stories at home. E.g. there are  six eggs. We use two eggs to bake a cake. How many eggs are left? How do we write the calculation down?

  • Encourage your child to share things out equally between friends or family. Instead of them moving around the actual items you could use something else to represent them, e.g. pieces of pasta.


Year 2


  • Baking is a great way to get your child measuring and familiar with units of mass and volume.

  • Measure the height of family members and make a height chart.

  • Talk to your child about what you’re going to do that day using time language. E.g. "First we will have breakfast, then we will get dressed. After that, we’ll go to the park."

  • You could talk about what time you'll do each activity and make a timetable.

  • Find examples of shapes around the home. E.g. cereal boxes are cuboids, and oranges are spheres.

  • Encourage your child to play with building blocks and other construction toys to help them develop an understanding of shape.

  • Make a ‘bead string’ of 100 beads where the colour switches after each block of ten. Help your child represent different numbers on it by counting the tens, then the ones.

  • Play a game like snakes and ladders. Ask your child questions such as "How many more are needed to win?"

  • If you’ve made a ‘bead string’ as suggested above, hide part of the string in a bag and ask your child to work out how many pieces are hidden.

  • There are fun apps for times tables practice. Encourage your child to practise for ten minutes each day.

  • Relate real examples, such as sharing out sweets, to times table facts. E.g. 5 × 4 = 20, so 20 shared between 5 is 4.

  • Look around at home for boxes of different shapes and count the faces, edges and vertices. Warning: this may lead to increased chocolate consumption.

  • Download ScratchJr — a free coding app for children aged 5-7. By dragging blocks, your child can programme a character’s movements.




Year 3


  • Challenge your child to see what number they can count up to in 15 seconds, counting in fours or eights.

  • When you're next out shopping, ask your child to work out the total cost of two items that you're buying. You can convert the pounds to pence so they have two 3-digit numbers to work with.

  • Help your child to find the masses on food packaging, e.g. on butter and flour. Talk about the units they're given in.

  • Ask your child to count how many sweets of each colour or type there are in a packet and make a tally chart of the data. Then get them to display the data on a bar chart or pictogram.


Year 4


  • Help your child learn their times tables by saying them out loud — your child should join in as much as they can.

  • Play board games that involve addition, e.g. Scrabble and Monopoly.

  • Look out for Roman numerals, e.g. Henry VIII, and also negative numbers, e.g. a temperature of -3 °C.

  • Involve your child in solving real life problems. E.g. Wallpaper is 53 cm wide. How many strips are needed for a 4 m wide wall?


Year 5


  • Encourage your child to check answers to calculations are sensible. E.g. to check 2795 × 43 = 120 185, round the numbers to 3000 and 40. 3000 × 40 = 120 000, so the answer is likely to be right.

  • Ask your child to estimate the volume of a liquid and then to measure it using a measuring jug. You could ask them questions such as, what fraction of a pint does a mug hold? What is it in millilitres?

  • When using public transport get your child to help with the journey times. You can get them to work out the duration of the journey, when you'll arrive, etc.


Year 6


  • With many maths topics, a diagram (e.g. a bar model) makes things clearer. So if your child gets stuck with their homework, suggesting they draw one just might give them the breakthrough they need.

  • Talk positively about maths and encourage perseverance (even if you hated it at school).

  • Help your child make a certain number of pancakes. For 3 pancakes you need 1 egg, 35 g flour, 50 ml milk and 12 g melted butter. For extra pancakes, they'll need to increase the ingredients, keeping them in the same proportions.

  • Work out the approximate scale factor of toys. E.g. if a plastic T-rex is 10 cm tall and a real one was about 5 m tall, the scale factor is 50.

  • Help your child to map a journey using an app. Get them to convert the distance from miles to km.

How to help your child with





  • Look at the night sky together and talk about what can be seen.
  • Point out things such as rainbows, lightning and fog to your child.
  • If you have a pet, get your child involved in looking after it so they understand what it eats and the exercise it needs.
  • Explore floating and sinking at bath time. Predict whether objects such as a rubber duck or a bar of soap will float, then test them.
  • Visit an aquarium, a farm, a zoo or even a pet shop and spend time looking and talking about the animals and their differences.
  • When out walking, talk about how the trees and the leaves change through the year.
  • Do some gardening together and grow flowers and food from seeds. Discuss what the plants will need to grow well.
  • Hunt for bugs in the garden or when out on a walk together. Talk about why they live where they live and how different animals need different environments.
  • Watch wildlife and science programmes together. You can find ones aimed at children, such as Nina and the Neurons and Maddie Moate’s videos.
  • Borrow science books from your local library that interest your child. Read them together at bedtime.




  • Help your child to plant seeds in containers and decide where best in the  house to keep them. Try cress  or marigolds for quick results.

  • Encourage your child to experiment with a fridge magnet —  which household objects does it stick to?

  • Point out examples of condensation to your child. E.g. bathroom mirrors get misty when steam in the air turns back into water on the cooler surface.

  • Make rice crispy cakes with your child. This involves chocolate changing state when it’s heated, then changing back again when it cools. You could also freeze fruit juice to make ice lollies.

  • Create salt-dough fossils with your child using a recipe from the internet.

  • With your child, mark the position of an object’s shadow each hour. Link its change to the movement of the Sun.

  • Help your child make shadow puppets. What happens to the shadows when you move the torch closer to them?

  • Help your child make a string telephone using two disposable cups. Experiment with it around the house and outside.

  • Give your child the opportunity to plan some of their meals, making sure they include things from each food group.




  • Go mini-beast hunting with your child in your garden or a park. Identify the creatures you find using the internet or library books, and classify them as arthropods, molluscs or annelids.

  • Buy a butterfly habitat and some caterpillars so your child can observe their life cycle at home.

  • Baking with your child is a great way to show reversible and irreversible changes — e.g. melting chocolate (reversible) or the action of a raising agent (irreversible).

  • Use stargazing apps (e.g. SkyView Lite or Star Walk Kids) to identify objects in the night sky with your child.

  • Help your child track the phases of the moon over a month.


How to help your child with

art and design


  • Set up an art station at home where your child can practise their drawing, painting and sculpting (e.g. with Play-Doh, plasticine or clay). This could be a specific area or just a box of art supplies and a protective sheet that can be used wherever.

  • Visit an art gallery and talk about what you see.

  • Create a gallery in your home (e.g. on the fridge) to celebrate your child’s artwork.

How to help your child with





  • Take photos with a phone and show how they can be altered with filters or photo apps.
  • Allow supervised access to games and apps that your child can use to learn. Teach your child how to interact with technology. E.g. how to use a mouse and to navigate through an eBook.
  • Teach your child what the different keys on a keyboard do. E.g. holding Shift and pressing a letter will type the capital.




  • Develop their creativity using apps like Kids Doodle for drawing or Isle of Tune for music making.

  • Talk to your child about how they would respond if faced with images they don’t feel comfortable about on the internet. Take a look at the information on the ThinkUKnow website so that you can offer advice.

  • Give them opportunities to present their homework using apps like Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint.

  • Build their typing speed with online tools like Dance Mat Typing which is free from BBC Bitesize.

  • Encourage them to try a free coding app like Scratch, Code Club or Code Kingdoms at home.

How to help your child with



  • Vocabulary posters in the bedroom can be great for building a bank of useful words.

  • There are lots of fantastic apps to help children learn a new language. Penyo Pal, Duolingo Kids and Gus  on the Go are just some of those suitable for phones or tablets.

  • Stick Post-It Notes on objects around the house with the language word on them — e.g. on their bedroom door, ‘ma chambre’.

How to help your child with



  • Talk about the changing seasons as they happen. Ask your child about how the weather differs between the seasons.
  • Plan a walk in your local area using a map. Talk through what the lines and symbols represent — if you don’t know the answer use the key to find out together.
  • When travelling in the car or on the train, point out the rivers, cities and counties you pass through and visit.
  • Complete a jigsaw of a world map. Talk about where the different countries are in relation to each other (e.g. use compass directions and the names of continents). Can your child give a fact about any of them?
  • Have a map of the UK at home. Use it to talk about trips you’ve taken in the UK, the characteristics of different areas and test them on the names of counties and capital cities.
  • Visit a landscape feature that your child has learnt about in class (e.g. a wood or a beach).
  • When you see news clips or videos about life in different countries, chat about what it might be like to live there compared to life in the UK.

How to help your child with



  • Take a walk locally and look at the different types of buildings. Try and work out how old they are by looking for clues about when they were built.

  • Make a family tree. Ask relatives questions to help with names, dates and places.

  • Take a trip to a national museum to find out about the history of a wide range of people and places. Museums like the British Museum offer online tours so you can learn from home.

  • Take a trip to a local museum to find out more about the history of your local area.

  • Go to your local library and borrow some books about ancient civilizations like the Greeks, the Egyptians or the Mayans.

  • Create a photo album of your child and talk to them about how their life has changed so much already.

  • Watch history programmes, such as Horrible Histories, and children’s films based in historical settings, e.g. Hercules or Mary Poppins. Talk with your child about similarities and differences with their own life and what they watched.

How to help your child with





  • Encourage your child to move to the music they hear — a good way of doing this is by demonstrating...  Try and hide any inhibitions and wiggle to the beat to show how it’s done.

  • Play music when you’re at home or in the car and talk about the instruments, voices and style of the music. Ask them what they like listening to and why. Perhaps you could play some of your favourite songs and talk about them.

  • Create homemade instruments using household objects or materials from the recycling.

  • Chat about the sounds you hear when you’re out and about like birdsong, car engine noise and the sound of wind moving through trees. Discuss how loud or quiet, and how high or low pitched they are.




  • Watch live or recorded musical theatre and discuss the emotions that the performers show through their singing.

  • Listen to a wide range of music and talk about how music has changed since you were younger.

  • Sing songs together at home and on journeys. You could even add actions for fun.

  • Introduce them to music-making apps such as GarageBand and MusiQuest.

  • Show them pictures of equipment for playing music such as a gramophone, record player, cassette player, CD player and an MP3 player. Talk to them about the differences and perhaps which ones you’ve used in the past.

  • See live music locally —  this is a great way to teach your child how to be a respectful audience member.

How to help your child with



  • Enjoy family walks together. These can be made more engaging by ’treasure hunting’ for a list of things.

  • Have fun with your child in water — even being able to put their face in the water will help them when they learn to swim at a later date.

  • Get involved in local parkruns with your child (or just make up your own running routes).

  • At the weekends and during school holidays, make sure your child gets some exercise outside every day.

  • Help your child to learn to ride a bike.

  • Encourage your child to join after-school sports or local sports clubs if a particular sport interests them.