Useful information for parents

If you are worried about your child your first port of call is to talk to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school. Your School’s  SENCo will have a wide range of strategies to support your child in class. We work closely with schools across Sheffield to assess children who require additional support to access the curriculum at the appropriate level.  Please see the SEN Provision page that gives you some clear and practical information about SEN Provision within Sheffield.

On our Useful SEND Resources page, you can view short videos introducing various Special Educational Needs Difficulties and strategies that may help you and your child.

Here are some resources and tips to try at home with your child…

Listening to Children Read

Book introduction

  • Draw attention to important ideas within the book
  • Look at and talk about the pictures
  • Point out new words – can they find any from the initial letter sound?

They should know what the story is about before it is read. Encourage expression: “Try and make your reading sound like talking.”

Some ideas you can use if your child is stuck on a word

Check what clues can be found in:

  • The pictures
  • The storyline or the meaning of the sentence

Suggest they:

  • Leave the word out and read to the end of the sentence
  • Say the first sound of the word and read to the end of the sentence

Now think about:

  • What word would make sense?
  • Does the word you are thinking of look right?
  • Does the word you are thinking of sound right?

If necessary have another go.

Praise your child, e.g.

“You said … That was a good try but does … look right and make sense?”
“You said … That was a good try but does… look right and sound right?”

Try not to say “No” and encourage them to keep having a go.

Remember if your child can’t do it just tell them the word

Helping Your Child At Home With Maths

Maths is all around us and we use it all the time:

  • Have magnetic numbers on the fridge to aid number recognition.
  • Use the language of maths, e.g. bigger, smaller, biggest, first, last, heavier, lighter, longer, shorter.
  • Play cards, board games, number games. (make sure you have lots of dice and counters available, buttons, pennies)
  • Counting forward/ backwards, sequencing, begin at different starting points.
  • Sort washing, match pairs of socks or shoes.
  • Look for number patterns, e.g. house numbers, money – adding up 2p, 5p or 10p coins.
  • Add up the digits of a phone number or car registration.
  • Use your finger to write a number on your child’s back– can they recognise it? One more than? One less than? Double it? Treble it?
  • Learn times tables at the shops with multiple packs, e.g. 2 twin packs of orange juice or yoghurts; 3 bars of soap, packs of biscuits; 4 bread rolls, pies; 5 slices of cheese, meat; 6 eggs, jam tarts, cans of pop.
  • How many legs on 3 elephants? How many wings on 7 parrots?
  • Look for weights on packets, feel weight of 1kg, can child identify things which weigh less/ more?
  • Place value (need straws, dice and rubber bands) Throw dice, count straws, every ten make a bundle and ask “How many here?” throughout the game, who has more. Good for avoiding confusion, e.g. 17 (I bundle and & straws) with 70 (7 bundles) and 18 with 80.
  • Odds/Evens – decide on an action to do to a given number, e.g. arms up if number said is even, hands on knees if odd number or hold up yes/ no cards. Say the odd numbers between 2 given numbers.
  • 20 questions – What number am I? Ask questions to guess a number, e.g. “Is it an odd number?” Can be done with shapes “Does this shape have straight sides?” “Does this shape have more than 3 sides?”
  • Money – use real money to make different amounts and practise giving change from 10p, 50p or £1.
  • Learn number bonds to 10, e.g. 3+7=10, 2+8=10. When these are secure practise number bonds to 20, e.g. 11+9=20 etc.

Ask your child’s teacher if you are unsure of the calculation methods your child is using. Teaching them methods you understand and used at school may confuse the child.

Here are some handy leaflets to download with information on a range of difficulties children may experience during their learning.

Sheffield Parenting Hub and Positive Parenting

In Sheffield, parents and carers can access a range of groups that offer practical advice and support with parenting. The Sheffield Parenting Hub/Positive Parenting deliver programmes that are evidence based, and tried and tested. This means that the content is written by professional psychologists who have years of research into what works to manage behaviours and difficulties that we can all face as parents.  These programmes are delivered across the world and have over 30 years of research behind them.  

For more information on the support they can offer please visit:

These links can support parents and carers to access a range of programmes, seminars and discussion groups that offer practical advice and support with parenting.

What’s On Guide – Autumn 2021

Sheffield Parent Hub are planning some of their Autumn programmes to be delivered face to face out in community venues across Sheffield, in alignment with the latest government guidelines and safety measures. If you would like specific information regarding community venues please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them directly.

To access the Sheffield Parent Hub, What’s On Guide for Autumn 2021, please click on the link below.

The guide and other information is regularly updated and available on their website: