St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

Parents must be recognised as the primary and principal educators (Gravissium Educationis, 11)

This Vatican document, which was published over 50 years ago, reminds all of us who are involved in a child’s growth and development that the partnership that is developed between family and school is a key to that child’s success in all aspects of learning.

At St. John Rigby, parents and visitors frequently comment on the welcoming “feel” of the school which is to be celebrated.  

As parents and teachers, we derive a great deal of joy from observing youngsters minds at work. We remember our own childhood when everything seems so raw, vivid and exciting and our minds “are like sponges.”

Here are a few more ways in which you can support your child.

More detail on some of these is provided on the Home and Online Learning Page


Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.

Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:

  • Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
  • Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
  • Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
  • Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
  • Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
  • Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.

Throughout Early Years and Year One, your child will follow the "Letters and Sounds" Phonics programme. Members of staff will explain more about this during "Parent Welcome" afternoons as well as "Phonics information evenings" which are in the school calendar. If you would like more information on the Letters and Sounds programme please go to:


As with reading, try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It's also important to show how we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this.

Identifying problems and solving them can also help your child develop maths skills. If you see him or her puzzling over something, talk about the problem and try to work out the solution together.

Don't shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child.

Tips for helping your child to enjoy maths:

  • Point out the different shapes to be found around your home.
  • Take your child shopping and talk about the quantities of anything you buy.
  • Let your child handle money and work out how much things cost.
  • Look together for numbers on street signs and car registration plates.

Supporting our children’s welfare

Parenting is never an exact science. There are so many challenges. We want to see our children enjoy the world, make good friendships and tap into life’s joys. At the same time we are all too aware of the challenges and dangers that children face. None of us can say that we get parenting right 100% of the time but that does not make us bad parents.

As a school, we want to be of support. Sometimes, the safeguarding responsibilities of schools can mean that there is an image painted of schools keeping an “eye” on parents in a way that suggests suspicion. At SJR, we recognise that “walking alongside” our families is the way in which our children can derive greatest benefit. We are lucky to have a Family Support Worker and Pastoral workers who work alongside in providing a listening ear and advice on how best to support your child, especially when circumstances are difficult.

Finally, your child will perform well at school if he/she gets a good night’s sleep, has a sensible diet, has time planned in for leisure activities and physical exercise, and is able to spend time outdoors. Treats, from edible ones such as sweets to time on technology, are good, but all in moderation.