By Nomali Cele
We are almost at the end of the first term of the 2019 school year. Other than exhaling that your bundles of joy have finally settled into their school routine, the end of the first term presents an opportunity to see how they are doing. First term school results are important because they are almost like putting the back of your hand on a forehead to measure temperature.
Use the first term report to decide what your next step should be, especially if they’re in grades 10 or lower.
When the first term school report cards come, whether the results are excellent or in need of improvement, it’s still early enough in the year and in their education to make a change. Basic education is generally about parents being present enough to act while there is still time. Use your child’s first term school report for 2019 to see if they need any of the following.
In the foundation phase, where your child is still learning to count and write, it’s important to be active in their learning through assistance with homework. Their first term school report will show you the areas that need focus.
If the first term school report shows that your child’s support needs are beyond what you can do for them, now is a good time to see what you can do about organising them extra tutoring. Languages and mathematics are usually the subjects that need assistance that parents cannot provide.
The reason for highlighting children in grades 10 and lower is because there is usually still a lot that can be done to change their education experience. Grade 10 students have just started a more focused stream of subjects — usually the sciences, commerce or the humanities.
In most schools, the first term of grade 10 is still early enough for your child to make a switch to some of their core subjects. Yes, they will need to play catch up but a change now is easier than completely failing at the end of the school year, when it could have been avoided.
When used early enough, a bad first term school report can be just what a learner needs to change their school trajectory. Teach your child it’s okay to seek and accept assistance.