While some of us will still be waving our sons or daughters off to school each day as keen and eager as they were on the first day of term, it takes a strong partnership between parent and school to keep a child focussed on their schoolwork throughout the academic year.
It can be quite a challenge to motivate some children to continue making good progress once the novelty of new classes and teachers has started to wear off, the homework train is well and truly chugging along and energy levels start to drop along with the temperature outside.
So, what can you do to help motivate your child and keep them on track with their learning?
Unlocking your child's potential
A variety of approaches is often needed when it comes to motivating a child to learn and succeed over time. But key to ensuring children progress is the support provided by their parents from home.
Everyone is different so the magic ingredient that keeps your child aiming high may not be the same for their classmate, their best friend or even their sibling. By exploring some of the ways in which your child's school keeps pupils moving forward, you can identify what works best for them and support them from home.
Harness your child's individual passions
Langley School's motto - passionate about sport, serious about education - is the guiding principle for encouraging all students to work towards their sporting as well as their academic goals. The school has entered into a partnership with Norwich City Football Club to meet the challenge of helping some of the country's most promising young footballers build strong academic foundations as they pursue their sporting careers.
With a package of support which includes flexible timetables, tracking of students' achievement and timely communication with parents and the football club, the school has been delighted to see the positive impact the initiative has had in helping to generate a culture of high achievement, not only for the players, but for students across the school.
Most children are passionate about something - be it science, Shakespeare or sport. Schools like Langley encourage children to harness the same enthusiasm they have for their particular talent or interest and channel it into their academic achievement.
As parents, we can play our part too by challenging our children to think beyond their comfort zones. Encouraging a sporty child to participate in the science quiz or persuading a maths whizz to take up a musical instrument might just inspire them to discover an additional passion.
Teachers at the British School of Kuwait (BSK) award two house points in each lesson, one for achievement and one for attitude to learning. By doing this - and ensuring parents are kept up to date - the school has found that students try to outdo each other in class with the quality of their answers so that they will be awarded the points in the lesson. Deputy headteacher, Nicholas Smith, describes the reward system as "a huge motivator for students".
Even the most motivated child likes to be recognised for their achievements and rewarding them can encourage them to go the extra mile to aim for excellence. Some schools award pupils merits for anything from good attendance, getting homework in on time or showing kindness to a child that has fallen in the playground.
Many schools have the facility to share this kind of information with parents by sending an email or text message or enabling them to read it via a secure app directly from their phone. Doing this provides a great opportunity for parents to play their part in motivating success as they can congratulate and celebrate their child's achievement as soon as they get home.
Encourage healthy competition
Some schools take the view that if their pupils know how their achievement measures up to the rest of the class - and that their parents do too - this will give them the added incentive to work harder.
At Ruthin School, parents are kept informed of how their child is progressing in every subject compared with their peers. The school has found that, for their pupils, this encourages healthy competition and often leads to notable improvements in academic performance.
More and more schools are involving parents in encouraging pupils to review their own progress too. Doing this includes capturing pupils' feedback on their performance and discussing future targets with them to help them take responsibility for their own learning.
There are many different approaches that schools take to keep children moving forward so chat to teachers to find out what works best for your child. Being provided with challenging yet achievable targets to aim for in school - coupled with the praise or added incentive of a special treat at home - could be an effective way to encourage them to go that extra mile.
Whatever it is that gets your child reaching for the stars, working closely with their school can help to fuel their aspirations - and this could be the winning formula for their future success, both inside and outside the school gates.
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