Establishing a study culture

As your child progresses through Key Stage 3, there is the expectation that they will build on and consolidate skills already learnt. This means that as well as learning new topics, students shouldn’t forget topics they have previously studied. By promoting a positive culture towards study at home, and establishing expectations early on, parents can ensure that, by the time their child reaches their exam years, there are embedded and effective study routines at home to support success in public examinations. 

Getting into the habit of revising and reviewing work regularly – the idea of little and often, rather than cramming at the last minute – is extremely important and can help support students in managing their workload and making consistent progress.

Below are a few suggestions as to how this could be supported at home:

  • Ensure that homework is prioritised in family routines and there is a designated time each day for completion. Ensure you have a copy of the homework timetable at home.
  • Have a place where your child can study quietly without being disturbed and have sufficient space to do their work and have their books around them.
  • Use the school planner to check homework set and sign each week to confirm that you have checked.
  • Check when your child has assessments and ensure that they have scheduled some revision time and know what to revise.
  • Support your child in identifying the best ways they learn, particularly when they have revision. For example if a child is a visual learner, they may like to write things out or draw pictures and use them as visual aids, or produce charts or diagrams. Some children prefer a more auditory approach to learning, which means they need to speak out their ideas and hear information. Often, children combine the two approaches, but it is worthwhile observing how your child learns and considering how you can best support them.
  • If your child struggles to complete homework at home, encourage them to use homework club at lunchtimes in school, or stay in the Study Centre after school to complete work. It is open until 4.30 pm and staffed with adults to support learners.
  • Check that your child is using home study time constructively and not being distracted by their mobile phone, music, tablet, X-box etc.
  • Discuss their work and show interest in what they are studying: getting children to explain or ‘teach’ you a concept is one of the best ways of checking learning.
  • Offer incentives for successfully completing homework to a high standard.