powered by Typeform

Parent Support Page


Welcome to St Mary’s Parent Support and Advice forum page.


Are you worried about the progress your child is making?

Would you like to do more at home to help them?

Are you stuck for activities or strategies to support learning at home?

Would you like to know more about particular difficulties that your child may be facing?


This page aims to provide parents with information relating to children who may require additional support with a range of difficulties.  It is a place for you to source information, strategies and advice on how best to support your child in overcoming barriers to their learning.


Contact information:


If you have any queries regarding additional support you or your child may need, you can contact the SEND team via email:   or through the school office on:

01702 354012

                10 Tips on Hearing Your Child Read


As carers/parents, you are your child's most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.


Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.


1. Choose a quiet time

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.

2. Make reading enjoyable

Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. Try a range of books according to your child’s interests (e.g. comic books).

3. Maintain the flow

If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.

4. Be positive

If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

5. Success is the key

Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.

6. Visit the Library

Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

7. Regular practice

Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best.

8. Communicate

Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns in your child’s reading record book. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.

9. Talk about the books

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, and their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. Variety is important

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.

 School Nurse 

Our new school nurse (Mrs Kimberly Kiss) visited us recently to give a talk on the service her team provides and some basic information on preventing and treating coughs and colds. 

The school nursing service is available for support either through school or directly on the contact details below:

Email address:

Phone number: 01702 534843

Twitter: @SouthendSN

For more information on the services they can provide, please see the attached leaflet. 

Preventing coughs and colds:

  • Hand washing – teach your child to wash their hands thoroughly, paying particular attention to between the fingers and under the nails.
  • Use a tissue to blow noses which can then be thrown away as soon as it has been used. 
  • Healthy diet – including lots of fruit, vegetables and protein (this can include lean meats, beans, pulses and eggs). 
  • Exercise – staying active whilst well, will help your body’s immune system to fight off potential coughs and colds. 

Treating coughs and colds:

  • Ensure your child rests if they are feeling unwell and monitor them closely.
  • There is no exclusion time period for coughs and colds, if your child still feels well. You can still send them into school, just ensure staff are aware so they can monitor them. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids – water is best. If your child drinks juice at home, encourage them to drink water by reducing the amount of juice you add each time. 
  • If your child becomes unwell along with a cough or cold, including a high temperature, paracetamol based medicines are available to reduce pain or temperature and should be taken as instructed. 

If your child suffers from persistent coughs and colds, it is advised that you take them to your GP to seek further advice.

What should I do if I am worried about the progress my child is making?

Discuss your concerns with your child’s class teacher. They are your first port of call. They will be able to talk to you about how they are getting on in school and what additional support/ activities you could try with them at home. Your concerns are always taken seriously and your views may provide us with the extra information that we require in order to best meet your child’s needs.

A Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support services the local authority think will be available in their local area.

Click on image to read the full Newsletter. 


SEN Team

Ms Brewer – Deputy Head Teacher / Inclusion Manager

Miss Jones – Special Educational Needs Coordinator

Mrs Roberts-Smith – HLTA/ SEN Support

Miss Evans – Nurture leader

Miss Purse - Nurture mentor

Miss Philips - Nurture mentor

Six Strategies for Making Bedtime Easier 

Click on this image for useful help at Bedtime

How can I help my child to be more confident in school and to make friends?

As parents and carers we worry about how our children are getting on in school, not only academically but socially. We worry that they won’t make friends, that they won’t have anyone to play with or that they will be left on their own. When we are not there to protect them and speak up for them, we worry that we have not provided them with the skills they need to build strong happy friendships. These fears are perfectly normal and ones that will, with time subside. 

Below are some simple tips that may help you to support your children in becoming more socially confident and give them the skills needed to build good relationships with others.

Find a hobby/ extra-curricular club where friendships can develop over a shared interest

Help your child to find something that they enjoy e.g. football, dancing, art, swimming, music etc that will not only develop their skills in this area, but help them to meet others who enjoy similar things. A shared interest will help children to find something in common to talk about and support their confidence to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings. If this is a club in school, this will also introduce them to children from different classes/ year groups who they may see in the playground or around the school. 

Speak to your child about their social experiences at the end of each day

Encourage your child to talk to you about their day. Ask them about who they played with/ spoke to and who they enjoy spending time with. If they are a child who is reluctant to speak to others, praise them for speaking to new children. Also compliment them for having the confidence to include others in their games and for approaching others to join in their games. Whenever possible, introduce your child to new experiences outside of school to build their confidence. For example when in the park, encourage children to try new climbing equipment and to interact with other children around them. Children feel most comfortable to take risks when they are in the company of someone who makes them feel safe (e.g parents) and will be more likely to try something new and speak about their experiences. The excitement of succeeding at something new will likely take the attention away from the nerves of speaking to new people. 

Encourage them to speak for themselves

It is easy as parents/ carers to speak for our children when we know they are struggling. Although we mean well and only want to support them, it is also important to get the balance right. We don’t want to become too much of a crutch for our children where they depend on us to speak for them all the time. We must encourage and nurture our children to have the confidence to speak for themselves and to express their thoughts and feelings appropriately to a range of people in their lives. We can support them to do this by developing their speaking and listening skills at home. Whenever possible speak to children about the things they are doing/ have done/ will be doing. Ask them questions and encourage them to ask questions about the things they have experienced. 

Be a good role model! 

Children learn best from the examples around them. The people that they spend the most time with, are those whose behaviours they are most likely to imitate. As parents/ carers we have the biggest impact on our children and are constantly sending them messages (even if we don’t realise it!) of how the world works. Our actions give children the examples they need to learn how to interact socially both in and outside of schools. As parents/ carers we can show our children how to interact appropriately with others, how to approach others and how to communicate effectively in a range of situations. 

09/05/2017                                                                      Transition   

How to support children starting school, moving into a new year group or moving on to secondary school. 

The transition into school, moving up to the next year group or on to secondary school is an exciting time for children and their families. With this however, can come some concerns or anxiety that both children and parents/ carers need support through. 

Here are some tips for making the transition process a happy time for all:


Take the time to discuss the upcoming changes with your child. Encourage them to share with you how they are feeling, what they are worried about or what they feel they need help with. Reassure them that everyone has worries about changes and focus on how exciting their new class/ school will be. Make them feel that they are being listened to and that their worries are valid. Talk about positive changes they have experienced before and how well they coped with it previously. Praise challenges they have overcome in the past and relate it to how they are currently feeling. 


Wherever possible attend visits to the school/ open days to see their new classroom and teacher. The earlier children get to see unfamiliar environments, the sooner they will begin to feel comfortable in them. Be sure to point out interesting things in their new school/ classroom and remind them of them when they are at home. 

Prepare/ routine

Make sure your child has enough information about the changes that are happening so that they feel as prepared as possible. Find out about any changes to their normal routine and talk them through this. Make sure they have the correct uniform/ equipment and that where possible they are involved in choosing new items e.g pencil cases/ new shoes. This will help them to become more excited about their new class/ school. 

Basic skills

Support your child to develop the age appropriate basic skills they will need to ensure their time in school is as stress free as possible. 

For children starting school, using the toilet independently, using a knife and fork, putting on their own coat/ shoes, getting dressed by themselves. 

For older children, organising the equipment they need for the day ahead, telling the time, tying shoe laces and reading a school timetable. If you are unsure about the basic skills that your child may need, just ask their teacher.